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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Apr 3, 2015

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Weather outlook for Northwest California. Patchy frost may form late tonight or Friday morning in the coldest coastal valley locations. A cold storm system will bring lowering snow levels and scattered showers to northwest California Sunday into early next week. Isolated thunderstorms will be possible Sunday with the possibility of small hail. Snow levels will fall to around 3000 feet Sunday night into Monday and then slowly rise into Tuesday.

— National Weather Service

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SUPERVISOR DAN HAMBURG told KZYX newsperson Valerie Kim Wednesday that our lawsuit to reduce the noise from vineyard fans was “unproductive.” Our oracular supervisor didn't elaborate, but a more dispassionate assessment of his pronouncement might simply dismiss it as typical of an elected cipher who has been absent on not only this issue but every other issue affecting his unrepresented Fifth District constituents.

THEN WE HAVE Pennyroyal Farms’ (so far unnamed) attorney who, according to our attorney Rod Jones, has already argued that “Scaramella’s request to quiet the machine noise levels will risk hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crop damage and is unnecessary in light of alternative, less-costly remedies.”

PENNYROYAL is Sarah Bennett of Boonville and her parents Ted Bennett and Deborah Cahn. Their vineyard is across the street from the property where the AVA's brain trust lay their pretty little heads at night. Pennyroyal’s attorney seems to think that those “alternative, less costly remedies,” include: “Mr. Scaramella get up in the middle of the night when the automatic fans begin operating because of a freeze and go somewhere to ‘rent a hotel room’ or wake up ‘friends or family’ at 2 a.m. and go to their house to sleep. (Opp., 7:3-5, 8:10-13)

WHEN WE'D RECOVERED ourselves from the shock of the idiot arrogance of that suggestion, our attorney, Rod Jones of Mendocino, replied,

“REALLY? Is Pennyroyal then offering to pay for this inconvenience and lodging every time it operates its fans, much like a water polluter purchases bottled water for affected families?”

THE ASSERTION that our lawsuit will “risk hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crop damage” is also ridiculous. Why? Because the County and the vineyard owners are misrepresenting what our lawsuit is about. As Jones notes, “The ‘defense’ of County and RPIs [the three vineyards] is that they must be allowed to use wind machines to battle frost and save grapes. This is a peculiar posture because nobody is suggesting that they cannot do so. Only that they must situate the fans and/or use multi-bladed fans that do not produce noise pollution. It is that simple.”

PENNYROYAL’S ATTORNEY ALSO ARGUES, “It is also possible that Scaramella will not be harmed if his motion is denied if there are not frost events that result in frost fan use in the coming month. Regardless, Scaramella has several options besides forcing the vineyards to avoid frost protection.” (Opp., 8:14-16)

JONES REPLIED: “Pennyroyal overlooks that, as the noise offender, it is the one that possesses the option, not Scaramella. It can quiet the machinery by adding blades or changing the equipment or relocating the fans. Nobody is ‘forcing’ Pennyroyal to not protect its vines. But is Scaramella’s well-being truly to dependent (as it is presently) on the fortunes of changing weather and the erratic weather of global climate change?”

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RANDOM comments today re frost fans:

"I love the idea of renting a bigass fan, putting it on a flatbed truck during weekend biz. or maybe during pinofest, staying on public streets and maybe have a flat tire in front of select wineries. Oh dear! while running the fan, of course. And then explain to anyone passing by…"

"Is anyone ready to picket a tasting room?"

"A rifle with a night scope would do fine."

AS A THOUSAND or so people in the Anderson Valley prepare for the second night in a row of no sleep, the wine business, with typical arrogance, hires lawyers and issues stupid statements misrepresenting the issue. Which amount to muffle the noise. Is that an unreasonable request? No, but it's unreasonable to have to go to court to achieve it.

AT LEAST THREE more wind fans have been installed at Rhys Vineyards, Navarro, and there are a couple up on the hill off Salmella Road.

EVERYONE WHO IS BOTHERED, annoyed, upset, distraught, disgusted or otherwise moved by the Wind Machines this morning should absolutely turn in a complaint.

Print and fill out the form at the following link

and send to Building and Planning @ 860 North Bush Street, Ukiah CA 95482


Also make copies and let’s go to the Supes with these and as large a group as folks can to complain. The No Nighttime Ag noise resolution was submitted by the regional Grange President to his Supervisor (Woodhouse) and we can present it to them again formally. It is time to rev this up. They think that our lack of response means they can continue. Let us be sure that the Supes understand we are not pleased with their lack of action. I personally plan to embarrass Dan Hamburg for sitting on his hands on this. This could have been resolved in the fall this year but the lack of leadership has let the vineyard industry continue. With pressure we are saying two things: No to noisy machines and, We are not sleeping in supporting basic rights because, well, how could anyone sleep? FYI, a smaller multiple propped version of the blades runs slower and creates little noise (5 db) above background. Mark Scaramella has at least two vineyards looking at these (late though) but Scharffenberger has rented the same noisy fans. Also calling the local vineyard owner saying you can't sleep is important.

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YOU HEAR A LOT of stories out of San Francisco about people urinating and defecating wherever. I saw a guy just today taking an unabashed leak between two parked cars on Clement between 9th and 10th. Usually, the public urinators crouch or otherwise at least attempt a nod in the direction of decorum by trying to disguise what they're up to. All this public splasher did was step between two cars. A white, transient-looking man about 40, he looked to be more of a dope-oriented self-medicator than a drunk or multiple substance abuser. In his defense, there are no public bathrooms anywhere in a couple square miles, but the casual way he just whipped it out as passersby harrumphed and tsk-tsked, he was accustomed to going wherever. It occurred to me it might be fun to take him wine tasting up in Boonville some time, but less frivolously his display was just one more tiny example of the steady social slippage underway for years now with no sign of being arrested.

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MARY CALLAHAN of the Press Democrat reports:

Woman’s body found by hikers on Mendocino Coast

A woman was found dead on the rocks at the base of a steep cliff near Caspar Point on the Mendocino Coast late Wednesday afternoon, Mendocino County authorities said Thursday. Two young adults hiking the Caspar Headlands made the grim discovery shortly before 6 p.m. while scrambling over the rocks to explore a cove, Mendocino Coast State Park District Superintendent Loren Rex said. The deceased person was described as a white woman believed to be in her 40s. She was found at the foot of an approximately 70-foot cliff, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Van Patten said. She was wearing street clothes and appeared to have been exposed to the elements for a relatively short period of time, Rex said. Deputies were working still working Thursday to identify her, Van Patten said. He said there were no obvious signs of foul play. An autopsy also was planned Thursday to help determine her cause of death, he said. Rex said the body was found in an area of steep bluffs and rocky shoreline west of the Caspar Inn on a part of the Caspar State Beach.

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SALMON SEASON opens Saturday from Shelter Cove south to the Mexican borders.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 2, 2015

Boone, Hayes, Hill, Jeffers
Boone, Hayes, Hill, Jeffers

MICHAEL BOONE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

TYLER HAYES, Boonville. Under influence of controlled substance.

WILLIAM HILL, Fort Bragg. Robbery.

JEREMY JEFFERS, Talmage. Domestic assault.

Llamas, Mora, Newkam, Reynolds
Llamas, Mora, Newkam, Reynolds

ARMANDO LLAMAS, Ukiah. Drunk in public, fighting in public, probation revocation.

VICTOR MORA, Ukiah. Felon in possession of firearm.

KATELYN NEWKAM, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.

NICHOLAS REYNOLDS, Arroyo Grande/Ukiah. Pot cultivation.

Tomahawk, Valdez-Rubio, Valenzuela, Ybarra
Tomahawk, Valdez-Rubio, Valenzuela, Ybarra

CHARLINA TOMAHAWK, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

ORLANDO VALDEZ-RUBIO, Ukiah. Possession of drugs while armed, failure to appear.

LEONEL VALENZUELA, Talmage. Dirk-dagger, probation revocation.


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Since the jury's still out on climate change for a large percentage of the population, no-nonsense articles confirming planet warming should only occupy the front page. Studies of a 34-foot-long sea floor core sample have shown an identical set of circumstances, a well-oxygenated and populated ocean until a warming climate caused massive oceanic 'dead zones' similar to several off our Pacific coast, followed by rapid species decline to the point that fossils in the core sample nearly disappeared.

History tells us that the ocean and its bounties are our food safety net. As climate change brings flooding to once arid lands and deserts become lush and fertile, some civilizations may come to depend on seafood for survival. If we're lucky, changes to our lifestyles will maintain the Earth at current temperatures. Cooling the planet is not an option. And we know warming causes climate change, so what we have now is likely our future.

Michael Haworth, Vallejo

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"IN ALL THE YEARS I watched them play football, there never once was a guy that got called into the game who was sitting on the bench with his helmet off, with his feet up."

TO WHICH millions of us can say, "You don't need any kind of helmet if you're born a billionaire."

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THE LATEST from the witty policeman, Captain Simon Silverman, of the Richmond District Station, San Francisco: "Arrest: Vandalism Via Spray Paint — Murphy Windmill in Golden Gate Park, 03-27-2015 5:53 PM

Officers responded to a report of two people spray painting Murphy Windmill in Golden Gate Park and arrested the two adult suspects for causing about $200 in damage.

Captain’s Note: Graffitists typically have a “tag” or name that they spray on everything. In this case, one suspect used the tag “Sewer.” Sewer was wearing a sweatshirt with the word “FAME” printed boldly on the front. He may wish to consult the dictionary to be certain that he understands the difference between “fame” and “infamy.”

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NAPA'S GEOFF ELLSWORTH AND MENDOCINO'S WILL PARRISH plan to join me to speak about the over-growth of wineries in the North Bay on April 11, Sat., at the Jenner Community Center 10444 Highway 1. The public part starts at 6:30. We will have a pre-meeting at 5 p.m., to which all activists are welcome. If you might come, please RSVP to me for directions and details. A kitchen will be available where we gather. We may also have a post-meeting, after the public part, if there is enough interest.

My opening remarks will be as a writer and food farmer who has been challenging the over-development of large wineries since we stopped them in 2001 from spraying on private property without our permission. They feared the arrival of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, which would have damaged their mono-crop. I will then speak about the 2013 actions against Paul Hobbs for putting in a vineyard next to five schools with around 700 students. We turned him in to officials for violating his permits, including clear-cutting redwoods and soil erosion. He eventually settled by paying $100,000. Will plans to speak about his years of research on the wine industry's power, some of which has been published in the AVA (Anderson Valley Advertiser). Geoff will update us on things happening in Napa, such as the good press that they recently received, their active Coalition, and their ongoing sign-holding. The design of the evening is to spend most of the time in a conversation.

If Geoff is available in the later morning or early afternoon, in time to leave for Jenner by 3 p.m., are there any of you who would like to meet with him at that time, perhaps in Sebastopol? If so, where might we meet? One thing we could do in Sonoma County would be to get an update on the April 2 Planning Commission meeting on the Hop Monk application to increase its size.

—Shepherd Bliss

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Here is a link to our latest April 2015 Newsletter in Google Docs. Give it a little time to load and enjoy!

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PETTY OFFICER KRISTY NEUMANN of the United States Coast Guard confirmed that yesterday around 12:30 p.m. two individuals were rescued after their boat engine died near Big Flat.


Dan Gribi, a local pilot, said the two men had been surfing. They were attempting to leave when the engine failed. The surfers were then stranded in dangerous ocean conditions. He explained that the day was “very windy with a 6-8 foot swell in the water.”

Neumann explained that because of how long it would take for the Coast Guard vessel to get on the scene from Noyo where it was anchored, a helicopter from the agency was dispatched to the area “to hover around” because of the unsafe conditions until the vessel arrived. After the Coast Guard vessel reached the scene, it towed the stranded boat to Shelter Cove where the surfers were able to paddle their boat the final stretch to the shore.

Huzzah for the Coast Guard!


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SHERIFF ALLMAN posted the following on his facebook page on Thursday:

Two policemen call the station on the radio. “Hello, is that you Sarge?” “Yes?” “We have a case here. A woman has shot her husband for stepping on the floor she had just mopped clean.” “Have you arrested the woman?” “No sir. The floor is still wet.”

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April has started rather badly for Prime Minister Netanyahu. On April 1 the International Criminal Court (ICC) had a welcome ceremony for the State of Palestine as its 123rd member which probably will open the door to an Israel war crimes prosecution. It should be noted that neither Israel nor the United States are members of the ICC for rather obvious reasons. Palestine is a non-member observer state of the United Nations and 135 or 70% of the 193 member states have recognized the State of Palestine which has establish a network of diplomatic missions in these countries. It is clear that except for the threat of a U. S. veto the State of Palestine would be accepted as a full member of the United Nations.

Now flash forward to the following day. The United States and its international partners have reached a nuke framework deal that will be drafted between now and June 30th. As might be expected Netanyahu and congressional GOP members are opposed. As President Obama pointed out the alternatives are to go to war or let the issue continue to fester on the back shelf. The war mongers and Israel would prefer we bomb the atomic facilities. That would start a war and Iran is a military power. It would be a long and bloody war. You would think the war mongers learned a lesson from the Iraq fiasco

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff, Sacramento

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A Tintinnabulation Of Sheer Aural Fromage. Or Frottage, Whichever Is Used.

It's still not too late to go to

and download and keep or just play last Friday night’s (2015-03-27) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show.

The hourly-or-so two-to-twenty-second dropouts and jagged musical intrusions I talked about in my last newsletter are not part of the recording, and could never be, because the recording is made wherever I’m doing my show and not at the streaming server or transmitter end of the link. Just to let you know.

Ken and Bob troubleshot their end of the signal dropout problem and that seems to be okay now. And it turns out that there was a problem with my streaming computer – a thick felt of bed-blanket feathers and pet bird feathers and house dust, and at least one moth (!), had gradually, in the 22 months I’ve had what I still think of as this new computer, accumulated on the inside vents and fan blades and on the CPU heatsink fins. I opened the computer up, discovered the mess, carefully cleaned it out (outside on the porch) with compressed air, plugged everything back together and turned it on, and voila: it runs like new again, hour after hour, doesn’t overheat and slow down nor stutter. I’m prepared to trust it this Friday and see how things go.

Speaking of which, in the last post I told you that I'd be back in Fort Bragg on April 3 to do the show from the storefront on Franklin Street. That's changed -- something came up and I had to stay at Juanita's house for an extra week, so I'll be doing this coming Friday's show by live remote again. If you were planning to come by 325 N. Franklin and read your own work on the air or bring a musical instrument and show off or just talk about your project or whatever, you can do that next week (April 10).

Meanwhile, also at there are thousands of wonderful but not necessarily radio-useful items that I find while putting my shows together. Here are just a few:

Art. How to do it.

What happy pigs and bigoted weasels have in common.

A drawback of democracy: Let’s take a vote on the purpose of a chair. Difficulty: we’re all crazy dogs. (The film is mercifully silent.)

And a haunting fan-made tribute to ten years of the rebooted Doctor Who teevee show. Marco McClean

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The bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin'

That's what I said

The looser the waistband, the deeper the quicksand

Or so I have read


My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo

I like to sink her with my pink torpedo


Big bottom, big bottom

Talk about bum cakes, my girl's got 'em

Big bottom, drive me out of my mind

How could I leave this behind


I met her on Monday, it was my lucky fun day

You know what I mean

I love her each weekday, each velvety cheekday

You know what I mean


My love gun's loaded and she's in my sights

Big game is waiting there inside her tights


Big bottom, big bottom

Talk about mudflaps, my girl's got 'em

Big bottom, drive me out of my mind

How could I leave this behind


My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo

I like to sink her with my pink torpedo


Big bottom, big bottom

Talk about bum cakes, my girl's got 'em

Big bottom, drive me out of my mind

How could I leave this behind?

— Spinal Tap

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I've got to respond to last Wednesday's pair of long-winded letters to the editor by Kathryn Massey and Marco McClean.

Ms. Massey's condescending reply to Ole Wik's earlier letter which was an eloquent defense of our favorite radio station seems to be just the same shopworn catalog of time-wasting demands on the station management for things that no one else cares about except these perpetual whiners, whose feelings have apparently been hurt by not being welcomed to work at the station with open arms. The hard-working staff at the station has enough to deal with without having to respond to the endless demands for documentation of this or that expenditure. The bottom line is that the vast majority of KZYX listeners love and support the station and appreciate all the hard work that goes into keeping it on a firm financial footing, and we would like nothing better than to have Ms. Massey, Mr. McClean and the rest of John Sakowicz's insurgent brigade get a life and stop trying to tear down one of the best things about Mendocino County.

Her closing paragraph is particularly galling; "Finally, how is it that the station continues to ask for community dollars when the FCC hasn't even renewed its license?" When she knows perfectly well that the only reason the FCC has hung up its license is because of Sakowicz perfidy.

As far as Mr. McClean's letter, he’s shocked!, shocked! At the princely sums paid to the station management (is 60 grand a year really excessive for all the hard and creative work done by the general manager?!) He compares it to the shoestring operations of KNY0 in Fort Bragg (a station I've never even heard of) and the microbroadcaster KMEC in Ukiah, well, talk about an apples to oranges comparison; it's pure fantasy to believe that KZYX could be properly run, administered and maintained strictly with volunteer labor. I mean, I suppose it's possible that someone would do all the paperwork drudgery involved in the audits required to get the meager federal subsidy that they work so hard to get, and that someone else might volunteer to drive up into snowy mountains in the middle of winter and climb the broadcasting tower to fix some part just out of sheer love for the station, but it's not bloody likely!

KZYX is a large and complex system, with a huge footprint in this and other counties. It is being run very capably right now and I doubt very much that any significant number of its listeners have any interest in switching horses in midstream and perhaps going back to the kind of incompetent management that preceded the present one, which left the station a quarter of a million dollars in the hole. I say bravo to John Coate, Mary Aigner and the rest of the indefatigable crew there; keep up the great work!


John Arteaga, Ukiah

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To the Editor:

I’m a long-time supporter of public radio. I had heard about problems at KZYX, so I went to the board/membership meeting in May 2013. One of the members asked for an update on efforts to build a Ukiah studio. The chair of the board said that, although they would allow member comments, they would not respond. This was my first hint that the organization’s lines of communication had broken down.

Since then, I have learned that all the committees set up to help and oversee management of the station are nonexistent. No program advisory committee to work with the program director. No finance committee to work with the general manager. No personnel committee to work out grievances so people don’t have to turn to regulators or air laundry in public. No infrastructure committee to provide a critical mass of knowledge and wisdom to keep us on the air and move us forward.

It is not weakness to rely on these committees. It is strength, a strength built on faith in the members and the public. And it is not anarchy to want a station of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is our best destiny.

Dennis O’Brien, Ukiah

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CONGRESSMAN JARED HUFFMAN reportedly said Thursday:

Kudos to Gov. Brown for strong leadership on mandatory water conservation by residential/commercial water users throughout the state. But why continue to ignore the Water Buffalo in the room? Huge mega-farms in the Central Valley continue to get a pass on actual conservation requirements. Yes, some have received major reductions in water deliveries from state and federal projects and some have actually conserved. But many, perhaps most, have not. Some continue to receive close to full deliveries, replacement supplies are bought and sold, and many have simply cranked up their groundwater pumps, causing a regional groundwater depletion and aquifer subsidence crisis that will have long lasting effects. A new form of legalized gambling is rampant in our Central Valley: according to CA Dept. of Agriculture, in the midst of this extreme drought 70,000 acres with 8.3 million NEW almond trees were planted! That's the opposite of conservation. Almond trees require lots of water, cannot be fallowed, and BTW, most of the lucrative almonds are exported to Asia. Should taxpayers and the environmental laws be allowed to serve as a backstop for these risky business decisions? Given the extreme measures that now apply to every other class of water user, clearly it's time to start asking some hard questions about where and how most of California's water is being used. Instead of continuously scapegoating fish and the Endangered Species Act, big Central Valley irrigators should remember that we're all in this together -- and we should all be conserving together.

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by Rick Weddle

We called her Old Margaret among ourselves then, when she was about as old as we are now. Friends had seen her walking along that portion of old highway south of town known as Ocean Drive. When they stopped one morning to ask if she wanted a lift, she happily accepted the offer, showing little reserve. During the drive into town it was learned she walked the two or three miles from her place to the post office in Ft. Bragg and back most every day to check her mail. She didn't drive, own a car or even a bicycle. She lived nearby this couple, and they came to look out for her, giving her rides to and from town frequently over a period of some weeks. Nobody seemed to know exactly where she lived, and while she was friendly, she was 'private' not in a furtive way, but more dignified and prudent. Finally, after becoming better acquainted sharing these rides, she invited this young couple to come to her place for tea when they'd delivered her to their neighborhood.


As was their habit, they dropped her at the head of their own drive, parked their truck and took their parcels in, eagerly anticipating their visit with Old Margaret. No one was ever invited to her house. There was no driveway, and one needed special directions: Over or through the barbed wire fence on the ocean side of the road, then threading through the Monterey pines, underbrush, headlands pasture and the occasional casual cow, you'd come to her Barn perched near the bluffs in a postcard kind of setting. This was before the dead-wrong-headedness of the Reagan Disaster brought us words like 'homeless.' The Barn had been constructed as part of a set for a movie called 'Johnny Belinda,' (late '50's, early '60's) and had been left intact after filming ended. Margaret had seized upon the place, all unknown by others it seems, and made it her own. She'd made herself at home there with windows and skylights fashioned so she could grow flowering plants, succulents and cacti indoors with her. She served a gracious cup of tea in this setting, with ingenious arrangements to approximate the furniture and ambiance of High Culture. During tea, her guests noticed there were stacks of notebooks and tablets here and there around the 'room,' some open with pages filled with neatly handwritten lines. She valued her privacy and solitude, she said, not only for her own preferences, but to keep her writing from being disturbed, as it had become her Life's Work. She was adamant that they were to please tell no one (nobody) about her, her living arrangements, or her Work; they politely agreed.

She wrote hundreds, perhaps thousands of pages, in what she described as a communion with her late husband, Frank, who spoke with her regularly and encouraged her to take down what she heard thereby as a kind of dictation.

These episodes of her communication beyond the grave included not only her dear departed husband, but such historic figures as Tchaikowski, Jack London, and others. She made no effort to hide her piles of notes, but did not want any of it read until it was 'finished.' She repeated her wish to keep herself and her Work as much a secret as possible. That very evening, this couple called me and asked me to come over, they had the most amazing story to tell.

The next morning, not twelve hours later, when they were headed to town, they saw Margaret walking along toward town and stopped to pick her up. When she got into the truck, her manner was noticeably cooler than usual. After the obligatory morning exchange of greetings, she said she was very sad, disappointed that they had not honored her most definite wish that they not tell anyone about her and her situation and her Work. She thanked them for this ride and that's the last time she rode with them or asked them to tea.

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RETRO SUNDAY! Community Appreciation Day at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens Enjoy One Dollar Admission on Sunday, April 26

Fort Bragg, California — April 3, 2015 — Flash back to the early 1960s and the origins of Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens with $1 admission for everyone on Sunday, April 26, from 9:00am to 5:00pm.The Mendocino coast community has supported the Botanical Gardens for more than 50 years and the Gardens believes in giving back. For those who have not visited in awhile, come see what’s new and blooming this spring. Tour the expanded organic demonstration Vegetable Garden. Delight in rhododendrons, specialty bulbs, Pacifica irises, coastal wildflowers, and so much more. Introduce a friend to the Gardens or bring your family and spend the day wandering the Gardens 47 acres. Enjoy a picnic or purchase a lunch special from Rhody’s Garden Cafe. Plan an hour or stay all day!

Memberships will be 10% off during Retro Sunday. Members enjoy multiple benefits, including first notification of special events such as Art in the Gardens, bigger discounts during store and nursery sales, and a Customer Appreciation punch card for Rhody’s Cafe. Plus, as part of a Reciprocal Admissions Program, Gardens members enjoy free or discounted admission at nearly 300 gardens nationwide!

Looking for new and exciting plants for your home, a fresh scarf for spring, or needing new tools or garden decor? The spectacular annual Spring Plant and Store Sale will be underway, with discounts up to 20% for members and 10% for the public.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is located at 18220 North Highway 1, two miles south of downtown Fort Bragg and just six miles north of Mendocino. For more information, see

Submitted by Elizabeth Petersen Marketing Coordinator 707 964-4352 ext. 22

Exciting New Benefit for Members; Plan a Rhododendron Weekend

New Partnership Benefit for Gardens Members

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has recently formed a partnership with the Pacific Horticulture Society, a west-coast based organization founded in 1968. The Society brings together horticulturists, designers, and gardeners to share knowledge through publications, seminars, and tours. Their publication, Pacific Horticulture magazine is widely recognized for its horticultural accuracy, beautiful photographs, and engaging articles. There is an accompanying website that offers even more information to all online visitors. 

Our partnership with the Pacific Horticulture Society means that your Gardens membership entities you to a special discount rate for membership in the Society. This is a significant value; the retail cost of the magazine alone is $40 for four issues. Your PHS membership includes a one-year subscription to the magazine; advance notice for tours and special events; and one of the most widely read electronic newsletters in the field.

We continue to seek opportunities of benefit to our members, because we appreciate our members' continued support and wish to add value in return. If you have not yet joined the Gardens, please consider supporting our essential programs through your membership. You’ll find more information about membership at

If you are already a Gardens member, thank you. If you’d like to take advantage of this special opportunity to subscribe to Pacific Horticulture magazine, please email Administrative Assistant Janet Ferraiolo at for the information on how to do so.

“Everything in the pages of Pacific Horticulture is contributed by gardeners like you and me: designers, growers, educators, and horticulturists. Working professionals or avid home gardeners, they’re all passionate about the beauty and ecology of West Coast gardens. Our stories and photos—in print and online—show the remarkable potential of inspired plantings and smart design, within a framework of environmental stewardship, to create sustainable landscapes. That’s why we say, ‘We believe in beautiful gardens connected to the world at large.’”

— Lorene Edwards Forkner, editor of Pacific Horticulture

Enjoy a Weekend of Rhododendrons
 on the Mendocino Coast!

Nothing heralds spring on the Mendocino Coast like the annual migration of gray whales, the arrival of baby seals and sea lions, and flashes of riotous color of blooming rhododendrons. Rivalling the brilliant oranges, golds, purples, and red of our sunsets, these perennial shrubs beg you to stop and appreciate their beauty. In celebration of the height of the bloom, two free events will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3, so plan a weekend and head to the Coast!

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and American Rhododendron Society Noyo Chapter co-sponsor the annual John Druecker Memorial Rhododendron Show, to take place the weekend of May 2–3 from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The big white tent at the Botanical Gardens, at 18220 North Highway 1 in Fort Bragg, houses hundreds of colorful blooms for viewing, as well as bonsai, photographs and floral arrangements. There is a raffle for gifts, a silent auction, and attendees at the show receive a coupon to tour the Botanical Gardens for a $1 admission discount (those who are not already members of the Gardens or American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program garden member). For details on the event and information to enter your own rhododendrons in the show, visit or

Rounding out the weekend is the second annual Rhododendron Walk in downtown Fort Bragg on Saturday, May 2, from 11:00am through 4:00pm. The event features a passport drawing for prizes, strolling musicians, and refreshments at Town Hall on the corner of Laurel and Main. To attend, pick up a passport at any participating merchant and start exploring the fascinating shops, galleries, and boutiques of Fort Bragg. Have your passport stamped by at least ten of the more than 30 merchants and become eligible for a random drawing for fabulous prizes (no purchase necessary). Be sure to return your passports to any participating merchant by 3:30pm or to Town Hall prior to the 4:00pm drawing.

For further information on both events, visit

Make your plans now and get away to rhododendrons and fun!

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Enjoy a casual and amazingly delicious Mexican meal while supporting a local school program on Tuesday, April 7, from 6-8 pm. All proceeds from your dinner and bar tab will be generously donated by the Little River Inn to Caspar Creak Learning Community. For reservations please call 707-937-5942.

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at the



FRIDAY, APRIL 3 — 7:30 P.M.

Sponsored by the Elk Transmission Meditation Group, celebrating the first of three Spring Full Moon Festivals: Easter, Wesak and the Festival of Humanity. This is the time of year when the spiritual energies entering the planet are at their peak. Transmission is a simple, potent form of group meditation and a world service activity, benefiting the planet and one's own evolution. For more information call 877-1800.

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FREE CAR SHOW, Live Italian Music on Nob Hill Precede 1000-Mile Drive

The 25th annual California Mille will bring 67 historic cars from all over the world to San Francisco on April 26 to salute Italy’s most famous open road race, the Mille Miglia. The public is invited to see the biggest free car show of its kind in America, meet the drivers and enjoy live Italian music on Mason Street between Sacramento and California Streets from 12 noon until 4 PM.

Co-organizers David and Howard Swig, carrying on the Mille tradition begun by their late father Martin Swig in 1991, will introduce dignitaries, recall the colorful history of the original event and its California counterpart, and spotlight significant classics that could have qualified for the Mille Miglia that ran from 1927 to 1957.

On Monday morning, April 27, Italian Consul General Mauro Battocchi will wave the Italian flag by the partenza (departure) arch spanning Mason Street, signaling the start of a four-day, thousand-mile drive--not a race--that celebrates the spirt of the original event with “important cars, little roads and wonderful friends.”

Day 1 will see the Mille crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to parts of California that Martin Swig said, “Look more like Italy--than Italy”: Mill Valley, Fairfax, Pt. Reyes Station, Occidental, Santa Rosa and Napa for the night.


Day 2 (April 28) the Mille will depart for Calistoga, Cloverdale, Boonville, Ukiah, and Little River.

Day 3 (April 29), the California Mille will motor to Fort Bragg, Garberville, Victorian Ferndale, returning to Little River for dinner and an overnight.

Day 4 (April 30) will see the California Mille heading for Jenner, Petaluma, Glen Ellen and concluding the adventure in Calistoga.

International entrants from Japan, Colombia, Britain and Germany will join California Mille participants from 13 U.S. states, with California accounting for 46 of the classics.

For further information:

Ron Wren

California Mille Marketing & Publicity Office 415-706-8717

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The Lakeport Ukiah Challenge is kicking off the racing season with a hop this weekend. Easter is a great weekend for family, friends and racing!

Drivers will get a chance to test and tune their cars at Lakeport Speedway Friday. Then the gates will open Saturday at 3:30pm for the first race of the 2015 season with the Taco Bell Bombers, Budweiser Outlaws, Jammers, Mini Stocks and Bandoleros. In gratitude for the fan support that racing receives, every person from 5 on up only has to pay Five Dollars for grandstands admission to a whole night of racing! There will also be an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids.

Racing is a family involved sport for local promoter, David Furia. When the races start, the whole Furia family is busy working at the track or racing on it. “My family is involved, but racing wouldn’t happen in this community without the support of the other families that share the load. We have generations of families that come out every weekend to take on many of the tasks that make racing happen and I couldn’t appreciation them more. We also have generations of fans come out to see their favorite racers on the track. It’s not unusual to see Grandparents, Parents and Kids watching the races together. Racing truly is a family sport.” With auto racing fast becoming one of the nation’s most popular sports, fans from all ages and walks of life attend local races to see their friends and neighbors race. Auto racing has something for the young and the young at heart.

Ukiah Speedway will have its first race of the season with test and tune Friday April 10th and Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Mini Stocks, Modifieds and Legends will race around the Track at 5:00pm Saturday April 11th.

For more information and schedule, go to or or look for Ukiah Speedway or Lakeport Speedway on Facebook.

An exciting season of racing is just around the corner! Make plans now to support community motorsports at the Lakeport Speedway and Ukiah Speedway.

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We here at KMEC Radio we want to thank you for spending 90 minutes with us earlier today. We'll get the show's digital quality cleaned up, and the show edited, etc., possibly with a transcript, and posted to Youtube, the Public Radio Exchange, and Radio4all.

The station manager and I also talked about getting out a press release to mainstream media, pitching story ideas based on some of the important points you raised today. In a separate email, I'll copy you on what we think those points are. Our hope is that they're run feature stories based on our interview with you.

Finally, below are four questions that remained unanswered during the show. Before the show, I had asked many of your colleagues and peers to submit questions. Their questions helped me outline the show's content. I asked some of the questions verbatim, and slightly rephrased others.

About the four unanswered questions -- three questions are from Matt Hoh, and one question is from Bill Binney. I never got the chance to ask the questions, because they would have interrupted the flow of our interview which was conversational, meaning that our interview was structured, but not standardized or scripted.

Because I want to honor Hoh's and Binney's input, please at your earliest convenience answer the four questions. The questions are highly relevant to our interview this morning. We'll take your answers and fold them into our final work product as voice-overs. It will take a little fancy footwork from the production team, but we can do it.

The questions are found below.

Again, Tom, thank you.

A final word. Hear me out. The irony of the timing of today's interview was not lost on me. I'll explain.

In your July 2014 interview at Der Spiegel with Jesselyn Radack, you stated that," National security has become a state religion." Well, today is Holy Thursday. On this day in the Catholic Church, the private celebration of Mass is forbidden. Apart from the Chrism Mass for the blessing of the Holy Oils that the diocesan bishop may celebrate on the morning of Holy Thursday, the only other Mass on this day is the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, which inaugurates the period of three days known as the Easter Triduum (Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and the Easter Vigil). These are three days of silence, fasting, and mourning, as Christ lies symbolically in repose in the Tomb.

Think of these three days as a "blackout" period.

My prayer during this Easter season is that our country observe a similar blackout with regard to our state religion.



Hi John,

Make sure you ask him about how the government made up charges against him, including retroactively classifying documents.

Also, ask him to explain what it means for everyone listening for the government to demand that industry build back doors into software and hardware.

Finally, I'd ask him to talk about what freedom and liberty now mean to him compared to before he spoke his mind and challenged the government.


Matthew Hoh Senior Fellow Center for International Policy 703-999-8075

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Tom ran the Thinthread program against the NSA data base in early 2002. You should ask him what evidence he found in that data base (prior to Sep 11) that would have prevented the 9/11 attack. Bill

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Dear AVA,

My name is Michael Jay Overholt. I want my story to be posted in your paper because both I and a lot of other people all love to read it. If you like it please send me a copy. I have no money considering I'm currently incarcerated within the confines of Mendocino County Jail.

One night I was chillin' with my best friend Elaine in Willits on Northbrook Way. Elaine and I were taking some shots in her garage when an old acquaintance I hadn't seen in years stopped by with a bottle of tequila. His name was Tim. Tim had just recently got out of prison. (I'm not sure for what.) So we drank the bottle. Then Tim came up with the bright idea of, "Hey Mike. Let's go to the bar." I said, "No — I'd rather stay here where I'm safe because I'm already drunk." Tim begged and nagged me until I finally gave in. I changed my clothes and we headed across the street to a bar called The Redwood Room. After a few drinks we headed across the street to another bar called Diggers. After we left Diggers I was completely smashed. So Tim (I think) wanted to walk towards the Chevron. At this point I was so drunk that I blacked out.

But apparently the following went down: According to what Tim told me a few days later in court, we ran into three 18- or 19-year-old kids. The kids apparently asked me to buy them some beer. So I took the money and we all proceeded to walk to the Chevron. Then I went into the gas station and bought a sandwich and I think a milk or something. When I came out the three kids asked, "Where's our beer?" To which I replied, "It's right here — in sandwich form." I proceeded to laugh in their face. Which, if that is what I really did, I was of course in the wrong. Then the three kids tried to jump me. I started fighting with them when Tim came out of the store and helped me win the fight.

When I came to we were down at the north end of town and my retarded drunk ass was throwing rocks through windows. My bad. Very stupid.

We made it almost all the way to Elaine's when Jake Donahue, a Willits cop, pulled us over. He said that we had committed a robbery. The kids said that when we were in the fight that Tim demanded their money and reached his hand into their pocket and stole their pack of cigarettes. The cops in fact found a pack of cigarettes into Tim's pocket. Then the kids identified us and we were sent to jail for strong-armed robbery over the cigarettes.

I was charged with accessory to the robbery. The court date arrived and I still couldn't remember the details of what happened that night. To this day all I know is what Tim told me.

Two weeks later I had been asking my dump truck Public Defender to give me the evidence brought against me, the witness statements, etc. This dumptruck's name was Lewis Finch. He said he would do that every week but he never did.

Finally the District Attorney offered me a deal: plead guilty to accessory to robbery and do 45 days in county jail and be released on 36 months of felony probation with a suspended sentence of three years (high), two years (mid), or 16 months (low).

So not knowing what the supposed victim and witness statements about the situation were, I pled guilty so I could get out of jail and try to save my job.

Afterwards Mr. Finch gave finally me the statements. Every one of the kids I was in a fight with had a different story of what happened that night. They didn't add up at all. I could have won my case. Seeing as how I didn't actually commit the crime in the first place, I was literally TRUCKED by my Public Pretender because I didn't have the money to afford a real lawyer to defend me. My bad — my bad for not being rich enough for the justice system of Mendocino County. I guess they have to make their money somehow, right?

So here I was living from couch to couch performing odd jobs, just to feed myself and to obviously be an alcoholic. Felony probation actually helped me. I stopped drinking because they tested me regularly. I went from a homeless alcoholic in the streets to working a full-time construction job and remaining sober. I rented a three-bedroom apartment which I kept for over a year, found a girlfriend, and supported her and her child and four of her friends for the whole duration. I pulled my life together effectively. Curtis Laybus (my probation officer) told me he was proud of how far I'd come since the probation.

One day I made an appointment with the head of probation (I don't remember his name). I asked him about maybe getting let off of probation early. He said after looking through my files that I had a $400 fine to pay and after that it was up to Curtis Laybus, the probation officer, to let me go. I paid the fine. Then I went to Curtis to ask him. Curtis said I was doing really good and all he needed to do was go over my file and that releasing me from probation early was a real possibility due to the fact that I had come so far.

Each month Curtis told me he was too busy and had no time to go over my files. He promised to do so in the next month, over and over and over. But he never kept his word.

Then the next thing I knew he was switched and no longer was my probation officer. So after getting to know me on a personal level he left me to a new probation officer who did not know how far I'd come and how hard I tried and, for that matter, didn't even care!

Then I was cited for driving on a suspended license (which I didn't know my license was suspended). I lived in Laytonville at that time. The CHP officer took my car.

I tried to hitchhike to Ukiah to go to court but I couldn't make it. So a warrant was issued. Well, having a warrant I decided not to report to probation because I wanted to keep my apartment which I was late on rent for because the people I was supporting were not helping me with the rent at all. And with a warrant my new probation officer would just throw me in jail and I would have lost everything not to mention my girlfriend cheated on me and left me with superhigh bills. So I eventually lost everything anyway.

After I was picked up in Willits on the outstanding warrant I spent 12 hours in jail before bailing myself out. I went to court and the judge sentenced me to 90 days in jail which is 45 days with halftime.

This was in September of 2014. I had just lost everything I had worked so hard to accomplish and I was deeply depressed. I was homeless, broke, alone and once again drinking. I was supposed to turn myself in on November 5.

But one night I was drinking red wine at the bar and I met a woman from France named Vally. We spent every moment together. She would walk 2 miles in the rain to get to my friend's house knowing there was no electricity. She was the most down to earth woman I've ever met. She was going back to France in January of 2015 so I only had two months to be with her. She helped me come out of my dark depression and she really liked me.

So instead of cutting our time short and turning myself in on November 5, I decided to turn myself in on January 23, 2015 so that I could be with her until the day she went back to her country. After all she did for me it was the least I could do.

January came around and I turned myself in. I waved down Officer Donahue, the same cop who arrested me in the first place, and I booked myself into the Mendocino County Jail.

When I went to court, probation through the towel at me. They gave me my mid-term suspended sentence of two years prison time (to be served in the County jail) with half time. So I had to spend a year straight in Mendocino County Jail. I asked for a rehabilitation program and they said there was no supporting evidence that I was an alcoholic.

But honestly, this could have all been avoided if I had money for a lawyer in the first place. Instead, I had a Public Pretender!

So that's the story of how the Public Pretender and Probation trucked my life.

I get out on December 7, 2015. Somehow I don't feel I deserve to do this much time. I've come a long way in my life. Everybody who knows me would say the same. At least when I get out there is no more probation. But I still have to walk on eggshells being an ex-felon now.

Some justice system, huh? Like I said, They have to make their money somehow. They make money on every inmate in jail for each day they're in jail. It's the sad truth. It's not justice, it's just a business like any other business. It's all about the money. Thanks for listening.


Michael Jay Overholt



One Comment

  1. Harvey Reading April 3, 2015


    How awful. Driving through it periodically was gruesome enough.

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