Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Friday, Apr 17, 2015

* * *

RURAL REBELLION IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

by Shepherd Bliss

Rural folk from four Northern California counties came in mid-April to a magical juncture where the life-giving Russian River empties into the majestic Pacific Ocean. Though the small, unincorporated village of Jenner is a popular recreational destination, pleasure was not the intention.

Our mission was to preserve agrarian lifestyles and environments from further colonization by industrial wineries. Large corporate wineries--owned mainly by outside investors--were the main target.

Water and California’s worsening drought were discussed. Some reported that wells had gone dry after large wineries dug as much as 1000 feet into the ground to extract precious, limited water for their factories.

It takes about 30 gallons of water to make one glass of wine. “Our water is being exported,” reported one person.

“Save water, drink wine” bumper stickers appear on cars and as signs outside wine tasting rooms. Given the large amount of water it takes to make wine, this advertisement is not true.

From Agriculture To Monoculture

Sonoma County currently has 70,000 acres (and growing) of wine grapes and only 12,000 acres of food crops. As grapegrower Bill Shortridge says, “We've gone from an agriculture that benefitted all, to a monoculture that benefits a few.” Modifying an old statement, “One cannot live by wine alone.”

So what’s the beef? Big Wine controls around 80% of the market in Sonoma County. They take more than their fair share of the water we all need to survive, garden, hydrate our families, pets, plants, and farm animals.

Forty activists from Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties circled up outside that afternoon and began describing their diverse local situations. The grill soon started for the potluck. After an hour and a half, “Let’s eat!” could be heard.

Small sustainable wineries were advocated. Among them were Benzinger, Wild Hog, Preston, and Porter Creek in Sonoma, Frog’s Leap in Napa, and Frey in Mendocino. The problem is mainly with Big Wine. A regional group could compile a current list of sustainable vineyards and wineries. It could also put together a list of the worst corporate wineries and those that neighbors struggle with.

After dinner, our numbers had doubled to around 40 for the public part of our time together. Our host Ken Sund explained why he initiated this gathering, “After seeing our coastal hills get industrialized, I decided to invite people here. Jenner has a history of community activism.”

Six people spoke about their respective struggles, mainly with wineries doing things such as creating event centers, cutting redwood forests, crawling up hills, snarling traffic by tasting rooms on dangerous, narrow rural roads, hording limited water supplies, and a host of other problems.

Mendocino County’s Will Parrish is an investigative reporter, who writes for AVA (Anderson Valley Advertiser). He is featured in the acclaimed new documentary “Russian River: All Rivers.” It reveals how the over-proliferation of the wine industry damages the Russian River watershed. Parrish described the extensive power of the wine industry in our region and the many ways it influences land use and other decisions that directly impact people and the environment.

Preserve Rural Sonoma County

Former Sonoma County Planning Commissioner Rue Furch spoke for the new Preserve Rural Sonoma County. It focuses on the recent application by the Napa Wagner wine family for the Dairyman Winery and Distillery on the fast-moving, two lane Highway 12, a greenbelt community separator between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. “It’s already a commute deadlock on that highway. People back up for miles,” Furch observed.

“We need a cost/benefit analysis,” said Furch. “The drought is a tipping point moment. We know the benefits of agriculture, tourism and tax dollars. We need to fully understand the costs, such as water use, traffic, air quality, and changes in land use. We enjoy the benefits of agriculture and open space, and need to support those while we deal with the expanding impacts of tourism,” Furch added.

“You are not alone,” Furch said, citing community groups from around the region. One of the main accomplishments of this gathering was that participants saw the similarities and differences in our diverse struggles.

A primary objection expressed at the meeting was regarding wineries that become event centers, complete with restaurants. They host all kinds of non-agricultural events in areas zoned for ag. and as rural. As someone said at another meeting, “The right to farm is not the right to party.”

Big Wine Is Out Of Control

“The wine industry is out of control today. It pushes for maximum profit,” explained Geoff Ellsworth of St. Helena, Napa County. He was raised in a wine family. “Our town has become an adult spring break. This is like an invasive species. The big corporations do strip mining.”

“Our issue is an application by Wild Diamond Vineyard by a Miami developer,” explained Karl Giovacchini of the Hidden Valley Lake Watershed group. It wants to border a subdivision of 6000 people. “Water issues are key for us. We are a small, poor county and vineyards represent a lot of money coming in. But they top off mountains and draw water from our limited aquifers.” As wineries run out of land and water in Sonoma and Napa, they move to nearby Lake and Mendocino, buying cheaper land, to further colonize them.

Giovacchini addressed the “burn-out issue.” He reported on a five-year struggle against a vineyard. One of the things that can work against burn-out is the development of friendships, where people support each other as they work against vineyard and winery over-extension. The Jenner gathering contributed to building community and sharing information across county lines, thus making new allies.

"You can make water into wine, but you can’t make wine into water,” is a tag line that Giovacchini’s partner Alicia Lee Farnsworth came up for their website Vineyard Wine Watch.

Audience members asked questions and made comments after the six panelists spoke. “Development in general and its impacts on our natural resources must be attended to,” commented Charlotte Williams of Citizens for Green Community in Calistoga. After meeting in Lake and Sonoma, the third meeting of the group is scheduled for Calistoga in Napa for May 2.

Big Wine Violations

Big Wine regularly violates its permits and other rules, and is seldom held accountable. Dairyman settled for $1 million with Napa in 2013 for bottling 20 times as much as their permit. “Bad apple” Paul Hobbs settled for $100,000 with Sonoma County for three violations, including clear cutting redwood trees and soil erosion, for which he was liable for millions of dollars in fines.

It is illegal to have restaurants in areas zoned for agriculture, yet Big Wine does it regularly. St. Francis even brags about doing so on its website: http://www.stfranciswinery.com/culinary/wine-food-pairing/. They flaunt their excessive power.

As one person at the meeting said, “If it walks like a restaurant and it quacks like a restaurant, it is a restaurant.”

“We favor town-centered development. That is the purpose of small towns. We are losing that,” mentioned one person.

(Shepherd Bliss [3sb@comcast.net] teaches college, farms, and has contributed to 24 books.)

* * *

FindsTheFeather
FindsTheFeather

REMEMBER THIS GUY? The feds are still after him for an old bust deep in the Dos Rios outback. Apparently, Mrs. and Mrs. Feather and their three kids have re-entered the country from a long sojourn south of the border. She's living with the kids in Redding; he's in federal custody somewhere.

* * *

[Sheriff’s Press Release, from Feb 2008] — On Feb 13, 2008, at 7:30am, members of the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication team assisted by DEA, the BNE Redding area task force and the Sonoma County Marijuana Eradication team served a search warrant on a remote ranch in the Eight Mile Bridge area of Dos Rios. Information developed during the investigation revealed a large indoor marijuana cultivation operation. The teams served a search warrant at the location and upon entering the property several suspects fled the location on foot. A jeep was seen fleeing the location on a dirt trail from the residence downhill to the Eel river. A helicopter that was en route to the scene was able to find the jeep abandoned near the river and guided officers to the scene. During a search of this area officers located and detained Suspects Kite Isaac Finds the Feather, 29, and Amanda Lee Wood, 28, along with their three children ages 6, 5 and 2. Further investigation revealed the suspect had fled the residence with the children in the back of the jeep, unrestrained in safety seats. The trail was very rough with the suspect driving through downed trees and rough terrain in an attempt to flee. Suspect Kite Finds the Feather attempted to hide a loaded handgun at the site where he was arrested. The children were provided warm clothing, as it was very cold and they were found wearing T-shirts. They along with the suspects were transported back to the residence via the helicopter. Kite Finds the Feather and Amanda Wood were taken to the Mendocino County Jail and booked on charges of marijuana cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, Child endangerment and armed in the commission of a felony. A bail enhancement was granted with the bail set at $500,000.00. The children were placed with Child Protective Services following the drug endangered children protocol. During the search of the residence two out building were located containing growing marijuana plants. One building was a barn structure containing multiple grow rooms. The other structure was set up as a starter room and processing shed. 271 lights were being used to cultivate the marijuana, powered by a 400 kilowatt generator. 5275 marijuana plants ranging from seedlings to full mature budded plants were seized along with approximately 100 pounds of dried processed marijuana. There was approximately $20,000 found along with two handguns and seven rifles. Another 350 kilowatt generator was located and seized. During the search a Mendocino County Deputy who was leaving the scene located and detained a Hispanic male walking along Highway 162 almost a mile from the scene. He was detained and further investigation revealed that he was one of the suspects who fled. He revealed that there were seven Hispanic males living and working at the location. He was identified as Romero Juan Agudo, 24. On 02/14/2007 four more Hispanics were contacted by deputies and it was determined they were also involved in the operation. One of the suspects was Antonio Alfonso Agudo, 21, who was identified as he had left his wallet at the scene when he fled. The other Hispanics were arrested with Antonio and have yet to be identified. All five suspects have been booked into the Mendocino County Jail on cultivation charges, with United States Immigration holds placed. These five individuals are held in jail on a no bail status. The Mendocino County Environmental Health Department was called to the scene to evaluate a possible hazard as the fuel for the generator was being stored in a plastic tank. There was also approximately 25 gallons of waste oil located at the scene. This is a commercial growing operation that has been conducting illegal activities for some time. The investigation will continue. It was fortunate that this case did not turn out with a tragedy and the suspects were found with the children safe. The way they fled, placed the children in danger had the suspect lost control of the jeep on the road. — Sheriff’s Lt. Rusty Noe.

* * *

ARRESTS IN POT RAID

UKIAH — Seven people were in custody Thursday after drug agents from Mendocino, Sonoma and Shasta counties raided a large indoor marijuana growing operation at a remote ranch along the Eel River near Dos Rios.

Mendocino County Sheriff Lt. Kurt Smallcomb said 5,275 pot plants ranging in size from seedlings to mature plants with buds were found growing in a converted barn at the site in northeast Mendocino County in an area known as Eight Mile Bridge.

Smallcomb said that when the multi-county task force converged on the site early Wednesday morning with search warrants, two suspects grabbed three small children and tried to flee in a Jeep vehicle. They were captured after a chase downhill through rough terrain to the Eel River, he said.

He said agents arrested Kite Isaac Finds the Feather, 29, and Amanda Lee Wood, 28. The three children, ages 2, 5, and 6, were turned over to the county’s child protective services agency, he said.

Smallcomb said Finds the Feather tried to hide a loaded handgun at the spot where he was arrested.

The raid began at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and ended with the arrests of five suspects believed to have been employed by the marijuana growing operation. Smallcomb said the five men were being held today in Mendocino County Jail on U.S. immigration holds.

Find the Feathers and Wood were being held in lieu of $500,000 bail each. Smallcomb said they were booked on charges of suspicion of marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale, child endangerment, and being armed in the commission of a felony.

(Mike Geniella, Courtesy the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

* * *

On May 7, 2008 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was contacted by a family member of Amanda Lee Wood.

During the contact it was reported that on 04-08-2008 Wood had contacted family members indicating she was in Fresno, California with her boyfriend and their three children. This was the last time family had heard from Wood and they decided to report her as a missing person on May 7, 2008.

Wood's boyfriend was identified as being Kite Isaac Findsthefeather and their three children were identified as being Keesha Findsthefeather (7 years-old female at time of disappearance), Isaac Findsthefeather (4 years-old male at time of disappearance) and Justice Findsthefeather (3 years-old male at time of disappearance).

At this time Sheriff's Office Detectives believe Wood and Findsthefeather are fugitives from justice as both are wanted in Mendocino County on felony arrest warrants for cultivation of marijuana. These arrest warrants were issued shortly after their disappearance. Detectives believe Wood and Findsthefeather are still in the company of their three children.

Anyone with information in regards to the possible whereabouts of Wood, Findsthefeather or their three children are asked to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-467-9159. (AP)

* * *

AVA, June 25, 2008: Kite Isaac FindsTheFeather was arrested back in February at an already legendary grow at 8 Mile Bridge near Dos Rios, legendary because there was so much dope ready for sale, some 100 pounds of processed bud, and so much dope under cultivation — 5,275 plants — in a highly sophisticated indoor grow powered by two huge generators, 350 and 400 kilowatts each. Additionally, Mr. Feather had $20,000 in cash on the premises plus two handguns and five rifles. His bail was set at half a mil, which he posted and hasn't been seen since.

* * *

SUSPICIONS CONFIRMED

Law schools, according to jubilant news reports, are being forced to accept students with lower grades as the number of academically gifted high-achievers applying for law school has almost halved in the past five years.

Research has found the number of students achieving the top 165 to 180 grade on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has fallen from 9,400 in 2010 to an estimated 5,400 this year.

In response, law schools are this year expected to enroll 8,700 students who scored less than 150 on the LSAT — compared to fewer than 7,000 in 2010.

* * *

FROM MENDOCINO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY:

"UKIAH, April 15. -- Jury Trial Result: A jury returned from its Tax Day deliberations this afternoon with guilty verdicts against Michael Izell Brown, age 54, generally of Ukiah.

Brown
Brown

The jury convicted Brown of the unlawful possession of cocaine for sale, a felony, as well as the unlawful possession of methamphetamine for sale, also a felony. After the jury was excused, a court trial was held on sentencing allegations that had been withheld from jury determination at the request of the defense.

Known as a bifurcated trial, Judge Ann Moorman convened as the trier of fact and, upon consideration of documentary evidence presented by the prosecutor, found true that the defendant had suffered a prior Strike conviction -- attempted murder -- in Alameda County in 1995.

The Court also found true two allegations flowing from one 2005 conviction from Lake County. It was found true that Brown had served a prior state prison term as punishment for a prior conviction involving the unlawful transportation of cocaine, a felony.

All together, the defendant's state prison exposure following trial rings up at 12 years, 8 months, with reduced eligibility for credits as mandated by the Three Strikes law.

As required, Brown was referred to the adult probation department for a background study and sentencing recommendation. He was ordered back for formal sentencing on May 5th at 9:00 am in Courtroom A. Anyone interested in this case is welcome to attend that hearing.

In an unusual move, Brown was represented at trial by two public defenders -- Assistant Public Defender Carly Dolan and Deputy Public Defender Anthony Adams.

The sole prosecutor who presented the People's evidence and arguments to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Joshua Rosenfeld.

The investigation that lead to the filing of charges against Brown was undertaken by the Ukiah Police Department, with support from the Department of Justice crime laboratory in Eureka."

One person commented to the DA posting (about the convicted man), "I remember him from sixth thru twelve grades. Then he was a very smart and good friend. The wheels fell off thereafter. Very sad."

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 16, 2015

Amador, Amaral, Bollino
Amador, Amaral, Bollino

MANUEL AMADOR, Willits. Probation revocation.

LAWRENCE AMARAL, Nice/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

ROBERT BOLLINO, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Campbell-Crump, Ceja, Clayton
Campbell-Crump, Ceja, Clayton

KENDRA CAMPBELL-CRUMP, Laytonville. Possession of meth for sale, armed with firearm.

ANDREW CEJA, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

JOSEPH CLAYTON, Willits. Drunk in public, battery.

Hopkins, Lincoln, Magiera, Maldonado-Mata
Hopkins, Lincoln, Magiera, Maldonado-Mata

JAY HOPKINS, Branscomb. DUI-drugs.

LOREN LINCOLN, Covelo. Fugitive from justice.

CAMERON MAGIERA, Vacaville/Willits. DUI, suspended license, resisting arrest.

RAFAEL MALDONADO-MATA, Ukiah. Dirk/Dagger, probation revocation.

Ramirez, Sanchez, Shakman
Ramirez, Sanchez, Shakman

JOSE RAMIREZ, Ukiah. Possession of drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

JENNY SHAKMAN, Redwood Valley. Unspecified charges, bail set at $7500.

* * *

PHILO BASED (partially) TIMBER FAMILY BUYS BIG SOUTH COAST STAND

A family with long timber holdings in Sonoma and Mendocino counties and the Bay Area is set to buy nearly 30,000 acres of mixed redwood and Douglas fir in Northern California.

 The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports Thursday that the Roger Burch family is expected to close escrow on the property at the mouth of the Gualala River in June.

 Their interests already include the Redwood Empire sawmills in Philo and Cloverdale, where logs from the sites have been processed for 30 years.

 Some have expressed disappointment that the land will remain in the hands of a commercial timber company rather than conservation interests that made an unsuccessful bid for the property.

 Others say having a family-owned company with a local presence is a good given the rise of timber investment funds and the high-yield pressures that could come into play. (Courtesy, AP)

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/3801941-181/timber-family-buys-30000-acres

* * *

HEARING FRIDAY ON LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST UKIAH COSTCO

by Justine Frederiksen

A hearing on a lawsuit that has stalled movement on a potential Costco store in Ukiah will be held Friday at the Mendocino County Courthouse.

The lawsuit was filed last May by Davis-based attorney William Kopper on behalf of two FoodMaxx employees calling themselves “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First.” It alleges that the Environmental Impact Report for the project, which would add a warehouse and gas station to the southern end of Airport Park Boulevard, should not have been certified.

At the last hearing on Feb. 13, Kopper filed a motion alleging that Judge Richard Henderson should be disqualified from ruling on the case because his wife, Colleen, served on the Ukiah City Council from 1982 to ’84, and was the city’s mayor from 1986 to 1990.

City Attorney David Rapport told the judge the defendants had no desire to argue with Kopper’s motion, explaining further after the hearing that he wanted to remove the possibility of such alleged bias being used as grounds for a future appeal.

Judge Jeanine Nadel was then appointed to hear the lawsuit, and she later spoke with Kopper and Rapport via teleconference.

In the interest of full dislosure, Nadel said she had served as counsel for Mendocino County until 2012, but she had “no involvement whatsoever in the EIR for this project.”

In addition, since the lawsuit was filed in May of 2014, she said she saw no reason why she should recuse herself from deciding the case. Hearing no arguments against that from either side, she set the next hearing for April 17.

Kopper had filed a second lawsuit on behalf of Rachel Land and Patty Hernandez, or “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First,” alleging that an agreement between the city of Ukiah and the city’s former redevelopment agency regarding Costco was invalid. Rapport said that lawsuit has been dismissed.

In a Letter to the Editor published in March, Land and Hernandez wrote that they “think Costco would be a great addition to Ukiah,” but “there are some significant design flaws with the proposed improvements to the interchange (between Highway 101 and Talmage Road), and why would the citizens of Ukiah want a 150,000-square-foot Costco store to open with 16 fueling stations until this interchange can handle the traffic? Getting a Costco is one thing, but it should only be approved if the proper traffic safety measures are required and have been completed.”

The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. April 17 in Courtroom G.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

* * *

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS’ Request to Reduce the Outflow from Lake Mendocino

Stop the dumping of water from Lake Mendocino! NOW! — Lee Howard, Ukiah

Grant/Sean (White, General Manager, Russian River Flood Control District),

I hope all is going well and I know we are all trying to work through the ongoing drought the best we can.

Attached is a memorandum from me [not attached to letter AVA received] — maybe this will help in your coordination with the State on trying to reduce the outflow from Lake Mendocino.

I am very concerned about the current outflow from Lake Mendocino — it is simply not sustainable for even a few more weeks. We really need to do everything possible to reduce the outflow rate that we had the end of 2014 — emergency flows. Without these measures being enacted very soon, Lake Mendocino will literally dry up early this summer. We simply cannot let this occur. Based on the long range weather predictions, the future is not looking in our favor.

I know Mike Dillabough will continue to work with your Teams on the latest updates and I hope that the State will authorize the emergency flow change procedures to occur very, very soon.

Thanks - have a great weekend.

John

V/R, LTC John C. Morrow Commander and District Engineer San Francisco District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
1455 Market Street, Suite 1673 San Francisco, CA 94103
Office: 415-503-6700
Mobile: 415-350-7321
John.C.Morrow@usace.army.mil

* * *

UPCOMING DISCUSSIONS ON RESTRUCTURED LODGING BID

On May 5, 2015, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will consider amending the Mendocino County Lodging Business Improvement District (BID) Ordinance to reform the current governance structure which includes five (5) boards, fifty-six (56) board members and four (4) overlapping contracts. The Boards of Directors of the Mendocino County Lodging Association (MCLA), the Mendocino County Promotional Alliance (MCPA), and Visit Mendocino County (VMC), have voted to endorse a series of changes unanimously recommended by Supervisors John McCowen, Dan Gjerde and five representatives from both MCLA and MCPA. Prior to the Board meeting on May 5, lodging operators and interested parties are invited to learn of the proposed changes at a series of meetings to be held around the county.

The meetings will consist of a brief presentation on a three part implementation plan: 1) annual renewal of the BID at the current 1% assessment rate; 2) reform of the governance structure, to be adopted by the Board of Supervisors; 3) consider increasing the BID assessment rate to 2%, subject to a protest vote of the lodging operators. Ample time will be allowed for questions and answers. The purpose of the changes is to improve transparency and efficiency in the District’s investment of promotion and marketing dollars. Meetings and locations are identified below:

Monday, April 20, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Board of Supervisors Chambers, 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA

Wednesday, April 22, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Willits City Hall - Conference Room, 111 East Commercial Street, Willits, CA

Tuesday, April 28, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. TBD, More Information to Follow, Point Arena, CA

Wednesday, April 29, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Fort Bragg - Town Hall, 363 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA

Thursday, April 30, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Anderson Valley Fairgrounds, Highway 128, Boonville, CA

* * *

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT ON ABUSE OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

Dear Editor:

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday issued a report "Israel Settlement Agriculture Harms Palestinian Children". It concerns Palestinian children young as age 11 who work as farm hands in the Jordan Valley for Israeli settlement farms. These children grow, harvest, and pack agricultural produce, much of it for export.. Wages are low and the children are exposed to dangerous working conditions in violation of international standards. The children pass out and vomit from farming with illegal pesticides on Israeli settlements. HRW commented that Israeli labor laws prohibit young people from carrying heavy loads, working in high temperatures, and working with hazardous pesticides. Israel has not applied these laws to Palestinians children working in its settlements. Many of these children have dropped out of school. These children are hired by Palestinian middlemen working for Israeli settlements, were paid in cash, and did not receive payslips nor have work contracts. In West Bank factories Palestinian workers do get payslips and have work agreements. The US grants preferential treatment to Israeli settlement products under the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement. The US Department of Labor maintains and publishes a list of more than 350 products from foreign countries that are produced with the use of forced labor or child labor.. The list does not include Israeli settlement products. The question is WHY NOT? For myself I will not knowingly purchase any agricultural products from Israel.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff, Sacramento

* * *

Taxes

* * *

‘DANGEROUS SUBCULTURE OF VIOLENCE AND PREDATION’

Eureka Police Department Explains Morning Sweep

Earlier today the Outpost posted some blow-by-blow coverage of what the Eureka Police Department dubbed “Operation Safe Trails,” a multi-agency law enforcement sweep of the greenbelt area behind the Bayshore Mall. In all, close to 50 officers converged on what EPD Captain Steve Watson describes as “criminal predators” who have infiltrated the homeless camps in the area.

Here’s a press release from the Eureka Police Department on this morning’s campaign:

Stockoff
Stockoff

Over the past several months, the Eureka Police Department has observed a significant increase in violent crime, guns, and aggressive theft associated with the illegal encampments in the greenbelt areas surrounding the Bayshore Mall. A more hardened and aggressive criminal street element has moved in creating a dangerous subculture of violence and predation. These criminal predators have sheltered themselves among the more traditional homeless populations along the bay. This group poses not only a much greater threat to overall public safety in the area, but they also victimize the vulnerable among the camps. Most homeless report having been the victim of crime at a rate 50 times that of the general population.

On 4/15/15, at about 8:30 AM, the Eureka Police Department conducted a massive enforcement operation in the greenbelt areas west of Broadway between Truesdale and West Del Norte Streets. EPD was assisted by personnel from the City of Eureka, Arcata Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County Probation Department, Humboldt County Drug Task Force, U.S Marshal’s Office, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Humboldt Bay Fire Department. All told, nearly 50 law enforcement officers were involved in addition to personnel from the City of Eureka’s Public Works, Code Enforcement, and Parks and Rec Departments.

This sweep was a team effort specifically organized to remove the criminal element from among the camps due to the unacceptable level of violence associated with this group. No persons were cited or arrested for camping violations.

During the approximately 5 hour campaign, dubbed “Operation Safe Trails,” officers contacted over 85 persons in and around the illegal encampments. 27 individuals were arrested for a myriad of offenses including 19 warrants (felony and misdemeanor) and 8 new crimes. The fresh arrests include possession of methamphetamine, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of a short-barreled rifle, possession of drug paraphernalia, probation violation, and providing false identification to a peace officer. Over 93 individuals were contacted

Joshua Allen Stockhoff (age 27 of Eureka) was located in a makeshift shelter on a small island in the marshland south of Vigo Street. His camp was surrounded by water and officers had to use a small boat to reach it. During a search of Stockhoff’s camp, officers recovered a loaded sawed-off large caliber rifle, ammunition, and body armor.

Stockhoff was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and for possession of a short-barreled rifle (two counts each). At the time of his arrest, Stockhoff was wanted on identical charges stemming from a search warrant EPD served at another of his camps on 3/17/15. Stockhoff was booked into the Humboldt County Jail where his bail was increased to $150,000.00.

(Ryan Burns, Courtesy, LostCoastOutpost.com)

* * *

VERILY, VERILY

Americans want to believe that we’re a nation of risk-takers, pioneers, people willing to cast comfort and safety aside to achieve a dream, tell the truth, and change the world. Some of us still are those things, too. But in reality, a lot of us have become something else in recent years: narcissistic, overly-cautious, superficial, reality-disconnected, and above all, very, very boring.

Even among those of us who loathe the former Madam Secretary, we have become in so many ways just like her campaign promises to be. We are, in effect, Ready for Hillary.

We have fallen in love with so-called “reality television,” which — surprise! — is often scripted and directed. We freak out about allowing 10-year-olds to play in the park unsupervised. We are obsessed with social media, posting selfies, and racking up followers, friends, and fans.

We frequently reject fully experiencing events and occasions in favor of documenting them, or more accurately documenting ourselves looking hot or cool at or during them. We veer toward what is comfortable and easy, just like Hillary and the Chipotle visit.

We avoid expressing any opinions that could be deemed “controversial” because it could impede our quest for popularity and acceptance. When someone ruffles feathers even just a little, our tendency is toward outrage, boycotts (or buy-ins), public humiliation, and pushing for firings.

We reject substance, preferring to focus on things like the optics of taking a sip of water, or being photographed looking at a smartphone. We wear modern versions of girdles and package-accentuating underwear so we can show off our “best selves.”

Many of us are concerned less with actual learning than just getting a good grade or diploma that we can show off. We think we deserve automatic promotions just for having been around or putting up with some nonsense or other, much as Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters (and perhaps even the candidate herself) seem to think she does. Not for all of us, but for many of us, we are the campaign and the campaign is us.

Not that this will stop the whining.

Just as people like the semblance of getting a “real” glimpse into the Real Housewives of Wherever’s lives, we like the semblance of a genuinely approachable, relatable, human, real-keeping presidential candidate. But when the candidate says something a little too raw or real or sarcastic or even eccentric (as real people might) about abortion, or entitlements, or cronyism, or civil liberties, or foreign policy, we freak out.

When we have a choice between the more open, straight-talking candidate or the one that does everything through self-managed media so that they can control the message to the maximum conceivable degree, we go for the latter.

When we have a choice between uncomfortable substance and truth on the one hand, and reality or feel-good talking points and make-believe on the other, we reject the former.

When we have a choice between airbrushed images in magazines or seeing the way people actually look, we want the Photoshop.

When we have a choice between meeting people in real life, with all the potential awkwardness that might entail, or just sitting around texting and Facebook messaging, more and more, we seem to go for the “virtual.” We don’t want the sacrifices or pain entailed to really achieve; we prefer the comfort of telling ourselves that we are excelling, even when any objective analysis would show that is at best a half-truth. We don’t actually want reality, whether in our entertainment, our jobs, our education, our lives, or our politics. We just want something that kind of looks like it.

Hillary Clinton may appear past her political prime: a constructed, fake and self-obsessed persona; a boring, risk-averse, default option for a party out of touch with many of its would-be constituents and lacking in creativity and ambition.

But given the way many Americans lead our lives now, she may also be exactly what we deserve. (Liz Mair)

* * *

SOUTH COAST FIRE

Crews battling vegetation fire near the Sonoma Coast

A fire that started in a RV trailer at a King Ridge Road property Thursday near the Sonoma Coast spread to a tree, posing a major threat of wildfire with the day’s dry, windy conditions, emergency officials said.

A woman called 911 at about 1:40 p.m. and reported a generator set fire to an RV on the property at 25000 King Ridge and spread to a nearby tree, emergency dispatchers said.

The crew members with the Sonoma County sheriff’s office helicopter unit, Henry 1, reported embers from the blaze were spotting a nearby ridgeline with small fires. The crew was flying above and reporting conditions to dispatchers while Cal Fire air support was on its way.

Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman said the property was in a saddle dip of the ridge, about nine miles north of Cazadero.

Cal Fire, Fort Ross, Cazadero, Timber Cove and Sea Ranch fire crews were being sent to battle the blaze.

(Julie Johnson, Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

* * *

THE KELLEY HOUSE MUSEUM is working with the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department to repair the Kelley House Pond. For downtown Mendocino fire safety, restoration of a piece of history, and the beauty of a pond full of water for ducks, geese and frogs! Please join us for dine-out fund raising event at the MacCallum House Restaurant in Mendocino Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 5:30 — 8:00 pm. All profits from restaurant, bar and café will go toward restoring the pond. Dinner reservations are recommended: 937-0289. See you there! (Wm Lemos)

* * *

THE CHECKERED FLAG

by Amanda Pardini

Last Saturday night at Ukiah Speedway, Furia Motorsports took up donations thru the Kyle Tellstrom racing fund and held a fund raiser for our local driver Mike Peterson’s daughter Brandy. Thank you to our wonderful fans for helping out one of our own in their time of need. “Brandy is doing well and is looking forward to the coming home this weekend as long as she continues to progress. We appreciate prayers and donations to help with Brandy’s recovery.” Mike Peterson Jr (father)

Racing will continue for an open race back at Lakeport Speedway this Saturday Night, April 18, 2015. The line up consists of Taco Bell Bombers, Jr and Pro Jammers, Budweiser Outlaws and Bandoleros.

Congratulations to all our trophy winners and Jr Trophy Presenters last Saturday night at Ukiah Speedway. Racing action this last Saturday night was filled with Mini Stocks, Legends, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Jr Jammers, Pro Jammers and Taco Bell Bombers with results below for up to top five finishes:

Mini Stocks

Fast time: goes to Roy Ingalls Sr with 15.506

Heat race: winner Sean Keown, 2nd Roy Ingalls Sr

Main event: winner Roy Ingalls Sr, 2nd Sean Keown

Due to low car count these two drivers filled in for a night of fun racing. Heat race Sean Keown (filled in for Mike Peterson Jr) and Roy Ingalls Sr (filled in for Roy Ingalls Jr) battle for the win where Sean Keown come out with the win. Main event both battled and this time Roy Ingalls Sr came out with the win.

Legends

Fast time: goes to Bill Kistenmacher with 14.833

Heat race: winner Frankie Pickrell, 2nd Jim Sturges, 3rd Carlee Austin, 4th Bill Kistenmacher, 5th Rosie Togneri

Main event: winner Frankie Pickrell, 2nd Jim Sturges, 3rd Carlee Austin

Frankie Pickrell to the win in both the heat and main event. Frankie took the lead in the main event to lead himself to a victory, leading all 30 laps.

Stahl Racing Modifieds

Fast time: goes to Darrin Knight with 13.116

1st Heat race: winner Sierra Furia, 2nd Andy Vanderveer, 3rd R.J. Randall, 4th Mike Sullivan, 5th Mike Neilsen

2nd Heat race: winner Charlie Collins, 2nd Dustin Knight, 3rd Cameron Austin, 4th Mike Collins, 5th Gary Collins

Slow Dash: winner R.J. Randall, 2nd Sierra Furia, 3rd Mike Neilsen, 4th Brandon Verde

Main event: winner Darrin Knight, 2nd Mike Collins, 3rd Andy Vanderveer, 4th Charlie Collins, 5th Dustin Knight

Due to large car count we ran 2 heat races and a slow dash. Main event was on your seat to the end with a battle between Darrin Knight and Mike Collins.

Jr Jammers

Fast time: goes to Steven Sprague with 18.262

Heat race: winner Steven Sprague, 2nd Elizabeth Ingalls

Main event: winner Elizabeth Ingalls, 2nd Steven Sprague

Heat race Steven Sprague took the checkered flag for the win, he wrecked his car during the main which took him out of the race and giving Elizabeth Ingalls the win for her first main event win of the 2015 season.

Pro Jammers

Fast time: goes to Kody Hubert with 16.225

1st Heat race: winner Gene Odell Sr, 2nd Ryan McGough, 3rd Michelle Odell, 4th Justin Moran, 5th Michael Mates

2nd Heat race: winner Alan Perry, 2nd Gene Odell Jr, 3rd David Rogers, 4th David Rank, 5th Scott Strugnell

Main event: winner Justin Moran, 2nd Ryan McGough, 3rd Kody Huber, 4th Gene Odell Jr, 5th David Rank

Heat race winner Alan Perry got into a wreck with Scott Strugnell on lap 20 to take them out of the race and the winner is Justin Moran.

Taco Bell Bombers

Fast time: goes to Denny Cashada with 14.748

1st Heat race: winner George Abella, 2nd Forrest Kuecker, 3rd Wade Coleman, 4th Casey Blocher, 5th Kolby Berry

2nd Heat race: winner Denny Cashada, 2nd Dustin Kuhl, 3rd Trystan Mucci, 4th Brian White, 5th Bradley Brackett

Main event: winner Denny Cashada, 2nd Casey Blocher, 3rd Bradley Brackett, 4th Forrest Kuecker, 5th George Abella

Heat race winner Denny Cashada was racing against his grandson Kolby Berry, when Kolby Berry lost first place because of a flat tire and grandpa Denny Cashada took the win.

Upcoming events scheduled for Ukiah/Lakeport Speedway (Subject to Change)

4/18 Lakeport Open Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Bandoleros

4/25 Ukiah Point #3 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Budweiser Outlaws, Pro-4

5/2 Lakeport Points #4 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Legends, NSCS

5/9 Ukiah Points #5 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Mini Stocks, PCS Late Models

5/16 Lakeport Points #6 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Legends, Midgets

5/23 Lakeport Points #7 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Budweiser Outlaws, Mini Stock, Legends, Boats

5/30 Ukiah Points #8 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Budweiser Outlaws, Mini Stocks, Bandos

6/5-7 Ukiah Spring Fair Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Legends

6/12-14 Lakeport Spring Fair

6/20 Ukiah Points #9 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Budweiser Outlaws, Legends, Pro-4

6/27 Lakeport Points #10 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Mini Stocks, Bandoleros

7/3 Lakeport Points #11 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Budweiser Outlaws, Legends, Hardtops

7/4 Ukiah Points #12 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Mini Stocks, Midgets, Hardtops

7/18 Ukiah Points #13 Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, PCS Late Models, PRO-4, NSCS

7/25 Lakeport Points #14 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Budweiser Outlaws, Mini Stocks, Legends

8/1 Ukiah Points #15 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Legends, Bandoleros

8/6-9 Ukiah Summer Fair

8/15 Lakeport Points #16 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Budweiser Outlaws, Mini Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros

8/22 Ukiah Open Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Budweiser Outlaws, Legends, Boats

8/29 Lakeport Points #17 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Mini Stocks, Bandoleros, Pro-4

9/3-6 Lakeport Summer Fair

9/12 Ukiah Points #18 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Legends, Bandoleros

9/19 Lakeport Points #19 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Budweiser Outlaws, Legends, Boats

9/26 Ukiah Points #20 Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Budweiser Outlaws, Mini Stocks, Midgets, Pro-4

10/3 Ukiah Final Points Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Modifieds, Legends, PCS Late Modifieds

10/10 Lakeport Open Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Budweiser Outlaws, Mini Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros, Midgets

10/11 Lakeport Open Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Budweiser Outlaws, Mini Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros

10/23-25 Ukiah Open Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Stahl Racing Modifieds, Mini Stocks, Bandoleros, Boats

11/7 Mudd Boggs

Be sure to come on out and join us as we support your local drivers as they compete for the 2015 Ukiah/Lakeport Championship.

For more information please visit our website at www.ukiahspeedway.com, www.lakeportspeedway.com or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ukiahspeedway or www.facebook.com/lakeportspeedway

* * *

RETRO SUNDAY: Flash back to the 1960s with $1 admission Sunday, April 26 Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens Mid-April 2015: Look What We've Got Going! Retro Sunday! Sunday, April 26 9am to 5pm

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 Café. 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! Information at gardenbythesea.org/events/retro-Sunday

* * *

Mark your calendar!

Spring Plant & Store Sale

Saturday, April 25 through Sunday, May 3 9am to 5pm daily Members: 20% off; Public: 10% off

Get ready for summer color with your purchases at Nursery on the Plaza and The Garden Store. Find a new plant or garden decór and give your garden a fresh look for 2015!

Questions? Phone 707 964-4352 ext. 12.

* * *

Members' Only Preview Night (Please show membership card at entrance)

Friday, April 24 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm Members enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres and wine, plus first choice of best plants and store merchandise.

Plus: Meet the Artist and Art in the Gardens Art Unveiling

Members who attend the Preview Night will be the first to see this year's featured artwork by Marian DeGloria. Meet Gloria, enjoy coffee and dessert, and be wowed by the beautiful piece Marian has created as this year's AIG Featured Artist! Unveiling at 6:00pm.

* * *

Drip Irrigation Workshop

Saturday, May 3 Beginning at 9:30am (end time TBD)

Vegetable Garden (check in at front entrance) with Jaime Jensen and DripWorks

Drip tape or drip tubing? Drippers, sprayers, or sprinklers? This hands-on workshop all about drip irrigation for the home gardener will be led by our local authority, DripWorks of Willits. Bring your questions and be ready to learn by doing (physical activity is involved). This day-long workshop is open to Gardens members and Master Gardeners for $20 and the public for $30 (includes garden admission for the day). Please phone 707 964-4352 ext. 16 to reserve your space.

* * *

‘ART FROM REUSED MATERIALS’

Ukiah, California – Three seniors at Ukiah High School will present their senior projects, featuring art made from reused materials, at Ukiah Public Library on Friday, May 1 during the First Friday Art Walk.

Stop by Ukiah Library at 105 N. Main Street between 5pm and 7:30pm to view a collage made from re-purposed disposables by the high school seniors, learn about garbage in America, and create bracelets, origami, and more from items that often end up in the trash. Admission is free. Complementary refreshments will be provided.

* * *

LAW ENFORCEMENT / MEDIA DAY

2015 April 8, Ukiah, CA — Sheriff Thomas D. Allman will host the Law Enforcement/Media Workshop with all the Mendocino County press organizations on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, and invites all local media to attend. Topics of discussion will include suggestions on the continuation of improving communication and cooperation between local media and the Sheriff’s Office, update on the state of the Sheriff’s Office including current challenges. This workshop is not open to the general public. The workshop will be held at the Sheriff’s Training Center located at 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA, between 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. for law enforcement and media. From 10:45 am through 12:00 pm will be a private roundtable for law enforcement only. Members of the media are encouraged to email questions or topics of discussion that they would like to see on the agenda to evanegle@co.mendocino.ca.us. The Sheriff will accommodate as many questions as time will allow. Please RSVP no later than April 20, 2015 by emailing evangele@co.mendocino.ca.us and include the number of people in your group. For more information, contact: Liz Evangelatos, evangele@co.mendocino.ca.us or (707) 463-4085. For those that may want to renew their press cards while they're here, I've attached a blank Press Credentials form. Folks with signed and completed forms will be able to get their photos taken and new cards issued.

Best,

Liz Evangelatos

Mendocino County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff's Executive Coordinator
Social Media Manager
Office of Emergency Services
Social Media Manager
(707) 463-4085
evangele@co.mendocino.ca.us

* * *

UKIAHAIKU FEST ON APRIL 26 — MEETING THE MOMENT:

Ukiahaiku Festival Celebrates Three-Line Art Form

The 13^th Annual ukiaHaiku Festival will take place at 2 pm on Sunday, April 26^th at the SPACE Theater at the corner of Perkins and Dora Streets in Ukiah. An annual tradition, now in its 13^th year, the Festival is a celebration and competition devoted to the haiku form of poetry. Skakuhachi flute player Ron Nadeau will open the event, performing while clothed in traditional Japanese wear. Next, winning authors of all ages will read their poems before an appreciative audience. A reception with refreshments will take place at 3 pm. Haiku poets have perfected the art of expressing emotions, relations, and fleeting impressions in only a few words.//Ukiah Valley residents were inspired to hold a festival celebrating haiku because Ukiah and haiku are palindromes, the same word spelled forward or backward. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the area’s natural beauty. For more information on the art of haiku and on previous festivals, visit the website, ukiaHaiku.org.

* * *

HARRY'S HOUSE/CENTERPIECE

Heatwaves on the runway

As the wheels set down

He takes his baggage off the carousel

He takes a taxi into town

Yellow schools of taxi fishes

Jonah in a ticking whale

Caught up at the light in the fishnet windows

Of Bloomingdale's

Watching those high fashion girls

Skinny black models with raven curls

Beauty parlor blondes with credit card eyes

Looking for the chic and the fancy to buy

 

He opens up his suitcase

In the continental suite

And people twenty stories down

Colored currents in the street

A helicopter lands on the Pan Am roof

Like a dragonfly on a tomb

And business men in button downs

Press into conference rooms

Battalions of paper minded males

Talking commodities and sales

While at home their paper wives

And paper kids

Paper the walls to keep their gut reactions hid

 

Yellow checkers for the kitchen

Climbing ivy for the bath

She is lost in House and Gardens

He's caught up in Chief of Staff

He drifts off into the memory

Of the way she looked in school

With her body oiled and shining

At the public swimming pool

 

Shining hair and shining skin

Shining as she reeled him in

To tell him like she did today

Just what he could do with Harry's House

And Harry's take home pay

— Joni Mitchell

3 Comments

  1. Lazarus April 17, 2015

    I remember when Kite first ran… at a Willits City Council meeting a councilwoman and former classmate of Kite openly wept…she rambled about poor Kite needing to make extra money to pay his mortgage and raise his kids and how hard it was for folks to make ends meet. She continued to gush on how sad it was that he had to run from the Police…Oh!, The Horror, The Horror…!

  2. Harvey Reading April 17, 2015

    That graphic on the budget is BS. Military spending is over half the discretionary budget.

  3. Jim Updegraff April 17, 2015

    Mr Reading is right – when you factor in all the military spending (direct and indirect) it represents about 60% of the discretionary budget. Just another one of the big lies we get from Washington, DC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

-