Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015

* * *

MARSHALL NEWMAN TELLS US, "The official Boonville total for Sunday/early Monday was 0.36 inches of rain, meager but better than nothing. However, with Navarro River flow at approximately 15% of normal for this date, according to USGS, Anderson Valley-ites should pray hard for rain."

* * *

SATURDAY BRUNCH! March 28th at the Yorkville Market.

Egg souffle * Scrambled eggs * Chedder jalapeno Corn bread * Breakfast potatoes * Bacon * Tortilla cups with yogurt and fresh fruit * Mini pastries * Smoothies and juice * Thanksgiving coffee * Sauces and jams from Petit Teton

BREAKFAST WILL BE SERVED buffet style from 8:30am until noon. $18 per person. Call ahead to reserve your spot. 707 894-9456

* * *

COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT Board Chair Valerie Hanelt has tentatively scheduled Wednesday, May 20 for a wide-ranging discussion of water, sewer, septic, and potential development in the downtown Boonville area. Ms. Hanelt has invited several technical and financial specialists to the event as well as 5th District Supervisor Dan Hamburg and a couple of other local officials. "I think we need to have a conversation on public health and development," said Hanelt, commenting that she's heard stories about contaminated water, earlier water system proposals that didn't get very far, and potential drought-related water shortages. The Boonville Fairgrounds water system could become a source of water for a water district under the Community Services District. The discussion begins in earnest in May.

MENTION of Fairgrounds water reminds me, again, of one of my fave local stories. That giant water tank near the grandstand, the storage tank with the buckeroo on it? That came into being when the state declared that the Fairgrounds had to install a fire sprinkler system. Cloverdale's fairgrounds had completed just such a system, storing the water for their sprinkler system in a community swimming pool. Maybe Boonville could do the same. Nope, no way. Petitioners were instantly out in front of the Valley's post offices gathering signatures against a community pool. How could anyone oppose a place for kids of all ages to get out of the summer heat? How could any kind of community oppose a significant local public upgrade that we would have been enjoying for forty years now if..... If, the petitioners argued, there weren't hippies! Hippies? Yes, hippies, and their grubby, insolent hordes of little hippies. Committed deadbeats that they are, hippies would not only use the community pool, they'd take it over. Non-hippies who dared go for a dip would get sick and die. Or never use it out of pure fear. The petitioner's slam-dunk logic convinced the Fair Board that it would be wiser to store the Fair's copious water in the impregnable, hippie-proof tank we see at the Fairgrounds today.

* * *


Best Thing I Saw All Week: House of Cards (Third Season): We were semi-binge-watching as Spacey and Wright cavorted across Washington making occasional foray through the fourth wall and bitching about the boring even-more-unlikely sub-plot that threatened to take the whole thing over and confidently opining, "This is utterly preposterous." and "That would never happen." But then the Senate sent a screed to the Ayatollah they wrote while Miss Shields was out of the room and the venerable if chronically tardy finally NYT called out the Bush gang and Graham proposed a nutjob coup run by the spitballers in the back row and...and...and now nothing seems too preposterous to escape serious consideration. For years they've claimed satire is dead and it's now time to include improbability in the same category.

* * *

Best Thing I Read All Week: Hubert's Freaks by Gregory Gibson. A terrific little book about the imperishable pleasures, troubles and treasures to be found rooting through other peoples' junk; in this case a used-book dealer who stumbles onto some previously unknown Dianne Arbus photos. Hi-jinks ensue as he descends into the fabulously crummy world of gallery owners, museum curators and art appraisers. Not to mention the Arbus family. It is also an homage to the rinky-dink charms of mid-century Times Square - the telephone-booth Indians, sword swallowers, wax museums, hustlers, midgets, whores, alligator-skinned men, strip joints, snake handlers, cops and knothole peepers - before Giuliani traded it all off for endless corporate naming opportunities.

— Byron Spooner, Literary Director

Friends of the San Francisco Public Library

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, March 23, 2015

Delduca, Jewel, Lopez
Delduca, Jewel, Lopez

NICHOLES DELDUCA, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, probation revocation.

AMANDA JEWEL, Willits. Domestic battery.

EVAN LOPEZ, Ukiah. No license.

Martinez, Mora, Rapp
Martinez, Mora, Rapp

ZIOMARA MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Possession of meth, suspended license.

PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Violation of court order. (Frequent flyer.)

GUSTAV RAPP, Clearlake/Hopland. DUI.

Rivera-Diaz, Thompson, Trefil
Rivera-Diaz, Thompson, Trefil

JOSE RIVERA-DIAZ, Ukiah. Possession/under influence of controlled substance, failure to appear.

KAWLIGA THOMPSON, Willits. Domestic assault.

KANDEDA TREFIL, Albion. Domestic assault, elder abuse, witness intimidation, false imprisonment with violence.

* * *


Announcement: No KZYX ballot, no confidence. No KZYX board election ballot yet in my p.o. box, despite my having called the station weeks ago because others told me they got theirs, and despite my having written, communicated with Stuart Campbell, got via email a form to fill out and filled it out and signed it to swear, as requested, that if I got a ballot beyond the one I didn't get but might get I'd destroy it, and physically mailing that form to the address provided on it by the "election coordinator". And a full week after that, after checking my p.o. box again, I'm out of town, as I said I would be, and won't get to my box now until the night of Saturday the 28th, a single post-office day before the election deadline.

I'm beginning to think somebody up there (at KZYX) doesn't like me. Also, given how the board and management have behaved so far in other areas, this doesn't inspire confidence in the election process. I wonder how many other members didn't get their ballot; and how would it even be possible to find out?

In the previous election less than a third of the members' votes were even counted and, given that, a reform candidate lost by a handful of votes.

And in case this is the only chance I get to officially say so, which it looks like it is, if I had not been prevented from voting I would have voted for Dennis O'Brien and Doug McKenty, based on their candidate statements, their writing to, and their comments at the single short farce of an on-air forum.

* * *

MARCO HERE. Okay, Stuart Campbell, "board liaison" for MCPB (KZYX) wrote me back nearly instantly to say the following. I'll address what he wrote, my interspersed comments clearly marked as mine.

* * *

Stuart Campbell wrote: Marco, Your affidavit was received on Thursday, 3-19, and a new ballot sent Friday, 3-20. I told you the turnaround would be tight when we first communicated about this two weeks ago. You opted to use the mail and not meet physically, and it is disingenuous of you to not include that in what you have sent. I have both our emails to prove all this.

Marco writes: Stuart, I have all the emails too. I declined to meet you at some unspecified place and time and day an hour's round-trip drive away from my work in favor of your just mailing me another ballot, which you waited to do until you got my signed form, which I had to sign and send because you never sent me a ballot in the first place.

Stuart Campbell wrote: I have no control over either the post office delivery or your access to your post office box. There is no attempt to keep you from voting here. I repeat, there is no attempt to keep you from voting; quite the contrary. Your statement that "In the previous election less than a third of the members' votes were even counted" is false in its implication. It would be accurate to say that approximately only 25% of members voted, and all that voted were counted.

Marco writes: So, in fact, I was wrong when I said that less than a third of the members' votes were even counted. I should have said that only a quarter of the members' votes were even counted. I stand corrected.

Stuart Campbell wrote: All members whose ballots are received by next Tuesday will be counted this time as well. The reform candidate did not lose because we did not count ballots, another false implication.

Marco writes: What a horrible little man you are. You can't be that stupid nor expect others to be. You must be trolling me.

Stuart Campbell wrote: Seventeen people have contacted us saying they did not receive ballots. Of those, some turned out not to be members in good standing, for some we had incorrect addresses, one found it later, etc. All have been logged and dealt with according to our procedures. By the way, this is less than 1% (.008) of the total number of ballots sent.

Marco writes: I just don't trust you. Neither you nor anyone else at KZYX has given me a reason to trust you. You refused to release the email addresses of the board members nor the email addresses of the candidates to the operators of a candidates' forum not under your control (I'm speaking of MendocinoTV). When I've written multiple times to the board members through you, Stuart, and eventually got a single inadequate reply from you, you told me that all the board members but one had agreed on the reply you should send. I'm not sure if you realize it, but that's an example of the MCPB boardmembers meeting unposted to conduct station business. It's against the law -- I mean, if you really did pass along my emails and meet and agree. It wouldn't be against the law if you really just replied to me and only said the others got my emails and agreed on your collective response. That would be just be another example of your untrustworthiness.

Stuart Campbell wrote: Other members have notified me that you sent this out to a couple of listservs. Will you correct your false implications just as publicly?

Marco writes: Sure: I never got a ballot. Instead, I got the runaround. In the last election only about 25% of the ballots sent out were counted. I said it was less than a third. That's a noticeable difference. I'll be more careful next time. But I'll only send this to the AVA, the Discussion list and the kzyxtalk list, not the Announce list, because I see this is kind of turning into a discussion and that's frowned upon in Announce, which is mainly for announcements.

* * *


Counted the stars on the 4th of July

Wishing they were rockets bursting into the sky

Talking about redemption and leaving things behind

As the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line


As fierce as Monday morning feeling washed away

Our orchestrated paradise couldn't make you stay

You dance with the horses through the sands of time

As the sun sinks west of the Mendocino County Line


I have these pictures and I keep these photographs

To remind me of a time

These pictures and these photographs

Let me know I'm doin' fine

I used to make you happy once upon a time

But the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line


The two of us together felt nothin' but right

Feeling you near immortal every Friday night

Lost in our convictions left stained with wine

As the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line


I have these pictures and I keep these photographs

To remain me of a time

These pictures and these photographs

Let me know I'm doin' fine

I used to make you happy once upon a time

But the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line


I don't talk to you too much these days

I just thank the lord pictures don't fade

I spent time with an angel just passing through

Now all that's left is this image of you


Counted the stars on the 4th of July

Wishing we were rockets bursting in the sky

Talking about redemption and leaving things behind

I have these pictures and I keep these photographs

To remind me of a time

These pictures and these photographs

Let me know I'm doin' fine

We used to be so happy once upon a time

Once upon a time

But the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line

And the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line

— Willie Nelson

* * *



Re: Lake Mendocino — I'm just a dumb country hick, but smart enough to know that if there was no dam, little to no water would flow into the Russian River. That's nature. Artificial flows into the river will not “fix” the water problem in California. I walked to the middle of the lake last year, if we did not have the two storms that put water in the lake, where would the water come from to water all the vineyards?

* * *


by Shepherd Bliss

(Sonoma County, Northern California) This neighbor drives by Paul Hobbs new Watertrough Rd. vineyard in the Sebastopol countryside many days each week on the way to town. The vineyard borders on five schools with around 700 students.

Bright wildflowers and vibrant grasses recently appeared in the rows between his young grape vines. Perhaps Hobbs had decided to change his colors, as he agreed to do so as part of a $100,000 settlement with Sonoma County. It could have fined him millions of dollars for his repeated violations in at least three cases, including causing soil erosion into a creek off Watertrough and clear-cutting redwood trees without permits.

Alas, last week the plants were brown and dying. Then emails arrived from other neighbors and parents, who formed the Watertrough Childrens Alliance (WCA) back in 2013. They had seen someone in protective covering and a mask spraying from a tractor and tank early on March 20, a school day.

WCA had scheduled a barn sale that weekend to help raise funds for an ongoing lawsuit against Hobbs. So this neighbor went and listened to an animated discussion on what was happening and how to respond to it.

“I love our Orchard View School, which my son attends. He is very sensitive to chemicals,” commented Hilary Avalon. “It would be a shame if we had to leave the school for something like this invasive process. If CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) had been applied, this spraying might not have happened. The schools are impacted and my child is affected. The law needs to be strengthened.”

Winemaker Paul Hobbs broke promises again on a windy school day. He had agreed not to spray without informing Apple Blossom and the other four schools on Watertrough within 24 hours before spraying, so that families could be alerted. He failed to inform them, as promised.

Concerned rural neighbors made the following comment, all requesting anonymity:

“Hobbs has so much money. He is on a power trip. We don’t trust him. If we could get him to really go sustainable, that would be good.”

“We smelled the pesticides on two different days, early in the morning. They had a small tank that they were spraying from.”

“They put in a big pump for water. It sucks our wells dry. The last time a nearby vineyard put in a well to irrigate, our wells went down.” All this in California’s fourth year of drought, when residents are asked to conserve water, whereas Hobbs can use as much as he wants.

“After they cut the apple orchard, there are now more winds. He also took out a redwood grove. We get a wind tunnel all summer long. I have to wipe the dust off every day.”

“Taking out the apple trees was horrible. This big giant equipment ripped out the trees and turned them into dust.”

“Hobbs promised to communicate to Superintendent Barbara Bickford about when he would spray, but he did not.”

“At least one child was sent home sick.”

“I developed a low-grade headache from the spraying.”

“I call this Hobbs toxic playground,” said one grandmother.

“The head of the school board is concerned by this spraying. They will meet on April 9 at 4:30.”

“Round-up was recently classified as cancer-causing, which might have been what Hobbs used.”

“Hobbs wine is full of pesticides. It comes at the cost of children’s health and redwoods.”

“Hobbs promised to not spray until next year.”

“Hobbs had a great opportunity to do the right thing, which he blew.”

“This is Hobbs saying FU to the community again.”

“Our technical case for a permit violation by Hobbs was not dismissed on March 2,” an observer of WCA’s court case commented. “The judge agreed to make a ruling in 90 days. Hobbs agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that he would give 24 hours of notice before spraying, which he did not do in this case.”

San Francisco’s North Bay large winemakers routinely violate the weak rules regarding their practices and are seldom fined, according to the daily Press Democrat, March 11, 2015. Those rules need to be enforced and strengthened, especially as we enter an even more-dry drought.

The Economist magazine reports that it takes around 30 gallons of water to make one glass of wine. Water is used for many purposes, including irrigation, cleaning, and frost protection. Whereas Hobbs’ wine costs up to $300 dollars a bottle, he extracts groundwater for free, while the rest of us are encouraged to conserve.

At press time, it remained unclear what Hobbs was spraying. Perhaps it was Round-Up. According to a March 21 AP story from London, recent studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) document that its use can cause cancer: “One of the world's most popular weed-killers — and the most widely used kind in the U.S. — has been labeled a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.”

Fortunately, there remains many hard-working, local, ethical grape-growers and winemakers who do follow the law. Some are even organic and biodynamic and work to preserve the environment, rather than assault it, as Hobbs does.

WCA has a flyer with the words “Don’t Spray Where We Play” at the top. It continues, “Take a Stand to Stop Pesticide Drift on our Playgrounds.”

For those not wanting to purchase such tainted wine, Hobbs sells wine under his own name, as well as under the labels Crossbarn and Vina Cabas. More information is available at

Donations to WCA can be made by visiting They can also by made by PayPal to or by a check to O.W.L. Foundation, 1390 McDowell Blvd # G306, Petaluma, CA. 94954 with WCA on the check.

(Shepherd Bliss {} teaches college, farms, and has contributed to 24 books.)

* * *

CALIFORNIAN REDWOOD TREE AS TALL AS A 30-STORY BUILDING set to come back to life in Cornwall — 125 years after it was felled to satisfy a drunken bet.

by Jennifer Smith

A giant redwood tree that was felled 125 years ago to satisfy a drunken bet is to be brought back to life on the Cornish coast.

The tree in Humboldt, California, became known as the Fieldwood Stump after being cut down in 1890 at the behest of a wealthy American living in Britain.


For decades since tourists have visited the site, perching on what remains of it for photographs.

But a group of scientists believe they may be able to recreate its former glory after planting cuttings of its wood in the Eden Project in Cornwall.

At one time the tree, whose stump is 35ft in diameter, towered as high as a 30-storey building.

It was felled in the late 19th Century on the orders of William Walford Astor who is said to have bet drinking mate he could source a 40-seat dining table from a single cross-section of a tree.


A huge slice indeed arrived at Cliveden, his stately home in Buckinghamshire, but Lord Astor forbid peers from retelling the story.

More than a century after meeting its end the tree will be rejuvenated by scientists in Cornwall as part of an adventurous project to clone American plants in Britain.

'We’re really excited about this, we’re going to plant a hundred trees to the north of the Eden site to form a living library.

'It feels really odd to hold these saplings and know that they might well be around for another 3000 years from now.

'The climate in Cornwall is not dissimilar from Oregon and northern California where these trees grow naturally so Eden offers absolutely perfect conditions for them.

Scientists began last year by collecting cuttings of trees around California. The cuttings were replanted in nurseries at the Eden Project in St Austell and have now grown to leg height.

Planting cuttings rather than seeds is more likely to produce an exact clone of the original tree, with the shavings containing exactly the same DNA.

The method of propagation is one championed by David Milarch, a former biker-gang member who founded the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive in a bid to save more of the planet's plants.

Along with his sons Mr Milarch has concentrated on planting more sequoias and redwoods because of their ability to absorb carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas most commonly associated with climate change.

'This is the culmination of hopes, dreams, aspirations and a lot of hard work. These trees are a great green hope for the future.

'Near the end of their lives, coast redwoods put out basal sprouts in a circle around their trunk.

'This ‘fairy ring’ of clones ensures that even when the parent tree dies it’ll live on in a dozen or so sprouts. It will do that indefinitely so these trees will essentially live forever.

This is an archive, a living library of genetics that can be utilised not just for our generation, but for hundreds of generations into the future to rebuild and replace what we’ve damaged.'

(Courtesy, the London Daily Mail.)

* * *


To the Editor:

Dear Mendocino County Board of Supervisors:

Thank you for working to hard to make Mendocino County a great place to live — safe, sustainable and sensitive to the needs of all residents.

We live at Cherry Creek Ranches, sixteen miles north of Willits off of Highway 101. The southeast side of Cherry Creek Ranches borders Outlet Creek and faces Grist Creek Aggregates.

We spend countless summer hours with our friends, kids and grandchildren enjoying the spectacular swimming hole on Outlet Creek near Mile Marker Five, not far downstream from Grist Creek and the proposed asphalt plant. The first and just about the only thing our grandkids want to do when they visit from New Mexico and Santa Rosa is pack a picnic and hang out at the swimming hole — all day, every day.

They, and we, love the pristine beauty of the creek, the sweet smell of the tall grass along the banks and the peaceful sound of the wind in the trees. The kids launch themselves into the water from a rope swing attached to a tree hanging above the creek (photo attached), which is deep and clear here. Even in drought years we can swim upstream in the direction of Grist Creek Aggregates for nearly a quarter of a mile.

An otter family lives near our swimming hole. At dusk, trout jump, herons glide over the water and turtles warm themselves on the big rocks. We treasure this amazing place, which is also one of the longest remaining coho salmon runs on any river tributary in the state of California.

We want to preserve the creek as a unique recreational area and for its importance to the Eel River Watershed, providing the drinking water not only for our county but for Sonoma and parts of Marin.

Allowing Grist Creek Aggregates to produce asphalt at the Longvale Site (APN 036-190-26), puts the quiet, the beauty, the environmental quality and the natural life of Outlet Creek at risk. In heavy rain years — and we all hope to have some of those again — the rainwater saturates the ground and the creek can flood at the Grist Creek Aggregates facility.

Now that you have accepted the company’s request for a zoning declaration to conduct asphalt production, at the very least, require Grist Creek Aggregates to conduct a new EIR for the site. Mendocino County’s General Plan Update EIR minimized the real and present dangers of asphalt manufacturing so close to Outlet Creek.

If California’s drought continues, it’s critical for you, our county’s leaders, to ensure that our water and environment are pure and safe.

We know you will do the right thing and reject this environmentally risky project.

Jane Futcher & Eric Carney


* * *


by James Kunstler

I begin to understand why the death of Ferguson, MO, teen Michael Brown sent such shock waves through America last year. He truly symbolized our country: an overgrown, oafish, wannabe thug making one bad choice after another until his final, suicidal lurch against authority — followed by all the exculpatory lying on his behalf: the “gentle giant,” hands up, don’t shoot! This is exactly how America acts on the world stage these days. We are the Michael Brown among nations, high on exceptionalism, stoned on entitlement, swaggering moronically from one place to another grabbing what we feel like, smashing things up as we go.

Also, as in the case of the actual Michael Brown, supposedly sentient observers do not have the guts to call bullshit on all the excuses we make for ourselves. Has any self-styled presidential candidate made a peep about America’s idiotic campaign to make Ukraine the 51st state? Has Hillary (“It’s Her Turn”) Clinton asked publically why the US is egging on NATO to stage military exercises on the Russian border? Do we still have a senate Foreign Relations Committee, and does it convene once in a while? Is The New York Times so preoccupied with its “Gay Cities” index it forgot that the world is full of serious conflicts and hazards that extend beyond the choosing of apartment décor?

Likewise, there are obvious reasons why we’re so busy demonizing Vladimir Putin. He’s the only serious adult on a stage full of special ed students. When Vlad goes on vacation what does the American media do? It launches into raptures of speculation about his “love child” — because in this country any political leader foolish enough to step out of the spotlight for a few minutes will be gleefully unmasked as a “cheater,” a lothario (because, despite our ultra-pornified 24/7 twerk-o-rama culture, we apparently think sex is bad), so then the peanut gallery can enjoy the grotesque spectacle of apology and the inevitable punishment that follows despite any apologies. Vlad walked out of a winter Olympic venue fourteen months ago and said, simply, “I’m divorcing Lyudmila….” End of story. Oh, and Vlad also doesn’t subscribe to the current American notion that being homosexual is a major life achievement. That truly offends!

This also explains America’s obsession with cartoon superheroes, and especially characters who enjoy high-tech prosthetics for projecting power — all those robo-soldiers and cops, and the fabulous American Sniper with his thousand yard kill-shot. Without all this magic we’d be revealed as weaklings, our vitality sapped by decades of Froot Loops, Cheez Doodles, and Pepsi, our brains shriveled by untold hours of conditioning by way of Grand Theft Auto, Dark Souls II, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. What do foreign leaders think when they have concluded their mystifying sessions with our Secretary of State, the haircut-in-search-of-a-brain, John Kerry. Do they look around the floor of their ministerial offices to see if any sawdust leaked out of his head?

Has anyone actually looked around and noticed what a scabrous sight American towns and cities present these days? There are places here in the old Yankee northeast that Borat would be ashamed to call home. We live amidst so much delaminating plastic it’s a wonder that virtually everybody doesn’t have cancer. The squalor is awesome, and to make matters worse, we’re even too lazy to clean up the stuff that is just lying around on the ground — and certainly too lazy to try to grow anything in that ground if it didn’t promise to grow up looking like a pepperoni stick or a corn dog.

America’s moment of getting kicked to the curb by other nations is at hand. I don’t think it will be a kinetic war, not right away, but it will be a hearty financial beat-down, and many of the members of our insane clown posse in Europe are going to feel the beat-down, too. America tried, at the very last moment, to join the new BRICs development bank. Who finally decided that? Barack Obama? John Kerry? Jack Lew: the Three Stooges? Get gold. If you can.

* * *


by Dan Bacher

(Sacramento) This year was the worst ever for steelhead returns to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery on the American River – and things aren’t getting any better with a planned drop in flows on the river to 500 cubic feet per second (cfs.). That means low, warm flows for steelhead and king salmon through the spring and summer unless we receive some late March or April storms to fill the reservoirs in the watershed.

The Bureau of Reclamation will ramp down flows on the American below Nimbus Dam from 800 cfs on March 24 to 500 cfs on March 26. Randi Field of the Bureau said the reason for the reduction in flows is “storage conservation.”

Wilbert Louis Moore, Deputy Public Affairs Officer of the Bureau of Reclamation, today released the following statement, in response to a request by Felix Smith, retired US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and Save the American River Association board member, and myself for more information about the rationale behind the Bureau's cut in releases:

"On Thursday, March 19, The Bureau of Reclamation held its monthly American River Group meeting. This group includes stakeholder members from federal, state and local government and environmental agencies who discuss information on the operations of the American River. The group provides updates from the various stakeholder perspectives and offer operational alternatives for flows and temperature management in the river.

This month's talk covered flow changes, temperature management and shutter management. Reclamation considers the information provided and uses it to make informed decisions on which options to implement. Due to the persistent drought conditions, conservation of water is a must.

This flow reduction is also being complemented with real-time temperature management to protect fish habitat. Should conditions improve, Reclamation will make the appropriate adjustments to provide as much water as possible while at the same time working to manage for all other important requirements related to water use, including human health and Safety and Delta Salinity requirements."

The fish hatchery staff has trapped only 143 adult steelhead, including 93 females and 45 males, to date, according to Gary Novak, hatchery manager. That compares to a total of 546 adult steelhead, including 527 adults and 19 half pounders, 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.

Novak plans to keep the fish ladder open until the end of March, hoping that some additional fish come into the facility. The poor steelhead returns this year are believed to be the result of the poor management of Folsom Reservoir by the Bureau of Reclamation during the drought. By January 2014, the Bureau emptied Folsom Reservoir on the American River to only 17 percent of capacity, the lowest level in history. The federal water agency shipped the water to corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations, in spite of 2013 being a record drought year.

The result was low, warm conditions in the American, inevitably leading to poor survival of adult and juvenile steelhead as the cold water pool in Folsom was drawn down.

For more information on the temperature and water flow requirements for steelhead and salmon on the American River, go to:

* * *


Island ecology is subject of two films

On Friday, March 27th, two films on island ecology and wildlife will close out the six-week run of the International Wildlife Film Festival. The films show at the Ukiah Civic Center at 101 Seminary Avenue, beginning at 6:15 pm with eclectic live music by the group Midas Well. Films begin at 7 pm.

"The Philippines: Islands of Mystery" (55 min.) explores the Philippines, an archipelago of over 7,000 islands where both the wildlife and the people have had to adapt to survive. This heavily mountainous country suffers earthquakes and eruptions from around 20 active volcanoes, while typhoons and strong storms assault the coast. Enveloped within an otherworldly landscape of sea, jungle, and insurmountable cliffs, the Philippines harbors one of the most biologically diverse populations of wildlife on the planet. A vast number of species are endemic to these islands, including the Philippine Tarsier, one of the smallest primate species on earth, and several species of carnivorous plants. On these isolated islands, the ability of both wildlife and people to adapt to change is crucial.

Also playing: "Catalina Island" (22 min.), winner of the top award for Cinematography in a Short Film [at the Wildlife Film Festival]. Just 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles lies Santa Catalina Island, the last bastion of true wild land in Southern California and the home of over 25 endemic plant and animal species. "Catalina Island" explores the island's unique ecology as viewed through the eyes of the island's most iconic species: the American Bison, the Catalina Island Grey Fox, and the Bald Eagle.

Tickets for the Wildlife Film Festival are available at the Mendocino Book Company and at the door for a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children. Films are appropriate for older children.

Proceeds from the film festival are an important funding source for the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP), a special program of the Ukiah Unified School District that provides outdoor environmental education program to over 2,000 students a year. For a full program of the film series and more information about the RVOEP visit its website, To find out more about RVOEP, contact Maureen Taylor, Education Coordinator, at 489-0227.

— Roberta Werdinger

* * *


* * *


MTA’s March Board Meeting to be Held in Ukiah Video-Conferenced with Fort Bragg

The Mendocino Transit Authority (MTA) will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, March 26, 2015 starting at 1:30 PM. The Board meeting will be conducted in the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, 200 South School Street, Ukiah, Riesling Room and video-conferenced with the Diana Stewart Fort Bragg Division, Conference Room 190 East Spruce, Fort Bragg.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting to address items that are on the agenda, or to bring other transit related items to the attention of the Board. Time limit is three minutes per speaker.

Among the agenda items are: Unmet Transit Needs Hearing for the Fort Bragg/Ukiah areas, FY 2015/2016 Draft Budget and Claim for Funds, Four Bus Purchase – approve use of Prop 1B Funds, FY 2013/2014 Fiscal Audit, and the General Manger Evaluation.

* * *



Early last month I wrote to you about a book I was crowd-funding through Inkshares, a new publishing start-up. Here’s the link:

Although I have yet to reach my funding goal I have begun writing the book. Here’s a sample chapter:

If you like where I am headed, you could make a donation to the project or shout it out to your friends and followers, or both.

For whatever you can do, I will be eternally grateful.


Mark Dowie

* * *


Hospice of Ukiah is having its Hospice Volunteer Training Course for seven sessions on starting Tuesday, April 21st through June 2nd , from 2:00pm, to 4:30pm. This 7-week course is designed to prepare Hospice volunteers in providing support to the terminally and chronically ill and their caregivers.

Areas for focus include a history of Hospice, exploring feelings and fears about dying, defining palliative & terminal care, grief, mourning and spiritual issues, bedside care, care for the caregivers, medical aspects including pain and symptom management, communication skills, bereavement, funerals- both home and standard, and the business of dying, legal issues, and community resources.

Volunteering is a meaningful way to give to others and your community as we are funded 100% by community donations. You will genuinely enjoy being a Hospice Family Volunteer. Hospice of Ukiah has been serving as a volunteer Hospice in our community since 1980. We are your local, end-of-life, health care provider.

Course Facilitator is Leah Middleton RN, CHPN. Class is held at 620 So. Dora St., Ste. 101. To register call: 462-4038, Leah-707-391-4828, Diane 707-489-0554

* * *


On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Mendocino County Water Agency and the University of California Cooperative Extension Service will hold an educational forum on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA). The presenter, Mark Nordberg, is the Senior Engineering Geologist at the Sustainable Groundwater Management Section of the California Department of Water Resources, the agency that has oversight under the newly enacted law. Mr. Nordberg will give an overview of the SGMA and respond to questions regarding the groundwater regulation. Topics will include timelines for enactment, the authority and responsibility of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), a map and overview of the Ukiah Valley groundwater basin, and available funding sources.

“The SGMA became law at the beginning of the year. Every water manager in the Ukiah Valley, including private property landowners with wells, must understand the new law and be prepared for its implementation under very short timelines,” stated First District Supervisor Carre Brown, who also chairs the Mendocino County Water Agency Board of Directors.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend this meeting. The discussion will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, Room 1070, 501 Low Gap Road, in Ukiah. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and receive up-to-date information.

Attendees will be requested to take the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act information back to their constituency, or local governing bodies, for discussion and to develop a recommendation for the creation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA). A follow up meeting will be scheduled for the end of April to receive recommendations on a GSA. More details on the follow up meeting will be coming forward at a later date.

For more information, or to reserve a spot, please contact Jason Claunch at the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441 or

Released by:

Carmel J. Angelo

Chief Executive Officer/Water Agency Director

* * *

PAULA HARRIS at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance on April 2

Cloverdale Arts Alliance/THE Jazz Club

On Thursday, April 2, THE Jazz Club at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance is pleased to present the “killer funky blues” of Paula Harris. Paula may be described as enthralling, feisty, uplifting and wildly entertaining. With her dynamic vocals, she has evolved a sort of contagious following with a new generation of blues lovers wherever she goes.

Members of the press most often say “If Etta James fronted the Tower of Power and they were a funky blues band it would sound a lot like Paula Harris.” She has also given the world something to vote about with her recent nomination as “Best New Artist Debut” for Blues Music Award (BMA).

If one was forced to wrap Paula into a nutshell, Lou Rawls would have done so best when he told her “Paula, You’re a vanilla coating on a chocolate soul”. You’ve never heard anything like THIS before! She’s “cooking with grease”. It’s hot as hell and ooh so tasty!

The Cloverdale Arts Alliance is located at 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd. Tickets are $15 for Cloverdale Arts Alliance members and $20 for non-members. Doors open at 7:30 pm; music from 8:00 — 10:00 pm. The Jazz Club takes place the first Thursday of each month from October through May.

To receive reserved seating privileges purchase advance tickets online at www.cloverdaleartsalliance or at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance during normal business hours. Tickets are available at the door.

The Jazz Club is a program of the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, a non-profit arts organization bringing cultural arts to northern Sonoma County. Other CAA programs include Friday Night Live at the Plaza, Art Gallery, Sculpture Trail, Americana Night, Music Workshops, Discovering Art Series, Writer Workshops, Art Classes, Dance Classes, Wine Appreciation Workshops, and Special Events.

* * *


Fort Bragg – California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Mendocino Unit Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) has two exciting opportunities for volunteer campground hosts at two of its campgrounds located off Highway 20 between Fort Bragg and Willits. JDSF was established in 1949 and is the largest of the state demonstration forests at approximately 50 thousand acres of beautiful coastal redwood forest. The campgrounds are located adjacent to tributaries of Big River and Noyo Rivers and offer endless opportunities for recreational hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trail rides.

The volunteer campground hosts provide basic operational services and information to the campground visitors. Volunteer campground hosts generally work approximately 20 hours a week and, in exchange for those services, the hosts are provided with a campsite during their stay. Hosts, using their own recreational vehicle or trailer, reside temporarily in a designated campground host location. Host campsites have non-potable water, sewer and telephone hookups but do not have any other utilities available. The campgrounds are generally open to visitors between Memorial Day and Labor Day of each year.

As with all volunteers, hosts are provided direction by CALFIRE personnel and receive orientation and training to perform the duties of a volunteer campground host. To apply as a volunteer campground host, please contact the JDSF office at (707) 964-5674. Office hours are 8-12 & 1-5 Monday through Friday.

Multiple uses of JDSF for a wide variety of activities that benefit the public, the economy and natural resources are what our demonstration forests are all about.

* * *


Arts Council Requests Community Input

The Arts Council of Mendocino County will have a new online presence, thanks to a $5,000 Community Enrichment Grant from the Community Foundation of Mendocino County to restore website services.

The current Arts Council website started to have problems when it was about three years old. “We had no way of knowing that our current website’s design template would be abandoned by its engineers,” says Executive Director Alyssum Wier, “which made the site vulnerable to hackers and scammers.” Many functions on the otherwise stable site had to be disabled to prevent abuse by cyber scammers who were taking advantage of weaknesses in the abandoned template. Members, for instance, cannot currently use the website to renew memberships, add calendar events, or update arts directory listings—and the site still has vulnerabilities that cannot be addressed without a complete overhaul.

Because member organizations have been unable to update their listings since the end of 2014 the loss of functionality has put a strain on Arts Council staff. The online calendar and directory are important ways for county residents and visitors to locate exhibits, venues and galleries, get information and purchase tickets for events, and access arts resources for educators. The Community Foundation recognized the seriousness of the problem, and is providing funding from its Community Endowment Fund to help make the Arts Council’s online presence fully functional and be interactive again.

The Arts Council staff and board have already drafted a new site map and assessment of needs. Board member Brandon Kight of Brandon Kight Visual Creations will provide consultation, but the web designer has not yet been selected, and the design and content are still open for ideas and suggestions. Like other regional arts councils, the website will include an online calendar of art events, an artist and arts organization directory, and information about programs. Executive Director Alyssum Wier states: “While our priority is to restore pre-existing, essential services, such as online renewals, calendar input forms, and arts directory, the Arts Council invites the community at large to let us know if there are additional ways that this website could facilitate and expand cultural participation beyond existing Arts Council tools. A recent suggestion, for example, was to provide a list of in-county field-trip opportunities for educators. Other suggestions are welcome that might help engage the public in a more vibrant experience of ‘all the arts for all the county’.”

“We are very grateful to the Community Foundation of Mendocino County for their generous funding of these essential services,” says Wier. “We hope that the entire community will let us know by April 30th if there are specific ways we can serve arts needs of all kinds throughout Mendocino County better than ever before.” Website developers wishing to receive the project RFP when it is available should contact the ACMC.

The Arts Council website is Arts Council Executive Director Alyssum Wier may be contacted at or 707-463-2727. Information about the Community Foundation can be found at

* * *

APRIL FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK, Friday, April 3rd, from 5-7:30pm

Hosted by Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting:

Zen Doodle: the art of creative mindful meditation. Doodling can help decrease worry and is a playful tool for opening the mind. Please Join Us for an evening of creative mindful play.

Live music with Don Willis & yummy treats

Sponsored by the Friends of the Ukiah Library


Sarah Handy – “Wyoming”


Leslie Rich "Untitled Road"

Study of the Dynamics of Habitat Fragmentation

"Study of the Dynamics of Habitat Fragmentation," by Luke Matjas.


  1. Eugenia Herr March 24, 2015

    The “Mendocino Water Agency” has more directors than employees since evisceration by Ms. Angelo and the Sups some five years ago. Now they think a new agency will solve the problems of a generation of official neglect and sabotage? Wow!

  2. Jim Armstrong March 24, 2015

    Hey Honey, cash in some 401(k)’s, were taking the kids to Yorkville for breakfast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.