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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

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LONG-TIME FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCIL CRITIC REX GRESSETT, as always, got to the root of the issue: “I'm not going to read my statement. I was asked to tone it down a little bit. So I'm going to do that. I always feel when I'm talking to the City Council like I am doing whoever I speak for a great disservice. I know how detested I am by the Council. I would like to express a couple of things.

"I believe that I am probably the only person in this room, including Anna Shaw [director of Hospitality House], who can honestly say that I know every homeless person in Fort Bragg on a first name basis. These guys know about me. I have a ship down in the harbor and I live pretty rough. I know these people. The people, except for our one friend here, the homeless people are not represented at this meeting tonight. They are not here. The homeless people, to a man, every single one of them detests the institutionalization of their lives at the Hostility House, as it is universally known. You can get kicked out of Hostility House for not wiping your feet. I know because, through my affiliation with Foursquare Church, I have known people to get kicked out for having a pacemaker, for being pregnant. They are Dickensian in their cruelty. And they have a monopoly on the game. They are the only game in town. They are the only people to whom you can repair to if you choose to go to services. They are bizarrely cruel.

"The people who spoke in favor of this institution — they feel pretty good about themselves if they just think that they are helping homeless people. But homeless people are helped by jobs and they are helped by prosperity. None of those people go to Hostility House except when they are driven to do it, and if they do go there it is very likely that they will come out addicted to pharmaceutical drugs. They are given a streamlined ticket to dependency. What they will do if they do not do that is they will not get on their feet on their own, which is the only way they can get on their feet.

"I spent 10 days at the Hostility House when I came to Fort Bragg and 10 days later I owned a ship, not that that's something everybody can do. But you have to fight your own battles. When you go to Hostility House, and when you submit to institutionalization, you put your life on hold. You stop making progress. You are in a resting period. And that's appropriate to some degree, but just giving Anna Shaw all this extravagant building where they can walk around on hardwood floors — this is a trophy for Anna Shaw.

"I was amazed after Mr. Affinito sent a letter suggesting in concrete financial terms an alternative [to the Old Coast Hotel] that really made sense. If you take this building, which is an economic driver, a foremost property that will raise the level, the economic level, of that part of town -- if you take that and let that happen, then you will help the homeless people. If you institutionalize these people, if you give them to Anna Shaw as slaves, as people that you can make money off of, as people who are part of her real estate acquisition, if you let the poverty pimps, as we call them on the street, people who make money on misery and who want more of it — they are not against homelessness. They think homelessness gives them a reason for existence.

"What we need is to have a viable city. And the homeless people — I agree with compassion, we should have compassion and we should have trust in our institutions — we should trust in institutions; we have to get them jobs and do the work that they need to do to get off the streets, not put them into an institution with one person in control that institution. Nobody else in town has anything to do with homeless people except for Anna Shaw. And she is making a fortune for her company doing it.”

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A LAUGHER from Tuesday's Ukiah Daily Journal begins, "Mendocino County received a Community Recidivism Reduction grant of $25,000 in December, and is in the process of seeking bids to carry it out. Bids are acceptable until May 6, according to the county’s General Services Agency, which manages request for proposals, or RFPs. The goal of the Community Recidivism and Crime Reduction project, according to the RFP, is to engage people coming out of jail or prison or other detention programs that will teach them how to “refrain from engaging in crime, reconnect with family members and contribute to their communities.”

TRANSLATION: A blah-blah person from what's left of the non-privatized sector of the County's mental health apparatus will be told to write up a proposal for what would take a revolution in this country to accomplish and the money will just kinda disappear in the County maw never to be heard from again.

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Dear Editor,

The Wildflower Dance was a dream come true for those that were able to attend. Laura Sloan had her group doing the Texas Two Step round and round in the Apple Hall. The twirling part looked very flashy and ready for the live band. Dean Titus and the BootJack5+ is really seven talented musicians: Rod DeWitt on drums, Chris Rossi on bass, Craig Titus on lead guitar with vocals, Dean Titus on guitar with vocals, Pat Ickes on pedal steel guitar, Sue Marcott on the piano and Susan Clark on vocals. To honor Rod Basehore’s dancing spirit they played a number of his favorite waltzes.

Other tunes had Sheila Leighton teaching the Electric Slide and that sort of looked like a floor show. Laura Sloan thought that Texas Ten Step was a typo so I taught the Texas Ten Step. Every tune that was played seemed polished and bright like the title track of an album. Dean Titus is in the phone book if you want to hire a great country western band.

Colorful giant butterflies and flowers painted by family members decorated the walls. In front of the bandstand Rod Basehore appeared to be riding his appaloosa into the sunset.

For all the fun that we had there is a large number of people to thank, it begins with Jim Devine, the Goat Fest team and the Food Shed folks who invited the Anderson Valley Grange to put on the Wildflower Dance at the fairgrounds. Grangers, Greg Krouse worried a lot, muscle man Dave Norfleet transported and set things up, Laura Baynham handled paper work and etc., Andy Jones kept us from breaking any of the many rules put out by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission we would have been in-compliant with out his strict directions. Pastries and candies were made by AV Grangers , Unity Club members and Judy Nelson. Mike Crutcher set up a four minute video so people could click on the arrow and see Rod Basehore dancing to “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Twenty two local wineries and the AV Brewing Company donated their spirits.

This all might never have happened if two people had not been instantly enthusiastic when I first mentioned my idea for a waltz project, Bev Dutra and Valerie Hanelt cheered me on with great gusto and gave me the courage to take it to fruition.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

Judy Basehore, Philo

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Throughout the history of wildland firefighting, one of the significant causes of fatalities has been snags (4) or dead standing trees. The definition of a snag for firefighting purposes is simply “a dead standing tree that may be hazardous”.

Without going into a lengthy discussion of how a snag is dealt with and the training involved for the personnel assigned to deal with these hazards, it can be simply stated, that in wildland firefighting, each snag or hazard tree is treated as a separate incident. A specially trained and equipped team is assigned to the tree and no other firefighters are allowed into the danger zone of that tree until the tree has been rendered safe by falling and stabilizing. An example of the care taken is the exclusion zone for all personnel except the faller, and sometimes the swamper, is 2 to 2-1/2 tree lengths from the base of the tree(1) (3).

Not only do these trees pose a hazard to persons from falling, but it is common for a burning snag or parts of a snag, to roll downhill after falling down and starting fires along its way down the hill, possibly starting fires below firefighters and putting them in the extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal position of being trapped at the head of the fire. We know that much of the terrain that is encountered in Mendocino County is very rough, steep, and just right for this kind of incident to occur.

This practice and method of killing trees and leaving them standing to rot, virtually guarantees that each and every one of these killed trees will turn into a hazard tree. These trees will remain as hazards for ten years at a minimum and often much longer than that. As the dead tree starts to break down, the branches fall off and make a pile around the base of the tree. Woody debris that piles up against the base of a tree like this does not break down quickly and leaves a pile of kindling around the base of the tree that lasts many years. These piles of branches around each tree, will, during a fire, almost ensure that they burn in such a way that, each and every one of them becomes a burning hazard tree that must be dealt with or avoided by a great distance. Also the hacking of the bark at the base of the tree increases the likelihood, that the rotting interior near the base will be exposed to any fire and increases the hazard.

Having this many hazard trees in close proximity to each other, would make these areas unsafe to enter during a fire.

Attached to this letter are several pictures of an oak-like tree, called Western Chinquapin (Castanopsis Chrysophylla). This particular tree has died of natural causes and is breaking down much as the oaks that are killed intentionally and left standing to rot. It is being used as an example because of its similarity to those trees (2). As you can see the fallen branches that build up around the base will be a perfect fire starter for the trunk, and they almost look like they have been put there for that purpose (they have not). It is probable that every one of the intentionally killed and left standing oaks will look this way.

It is well understood that snag trees have major benefits for wildlife and general forest health but having a majority of the trees dead standing is not generally accepted as beneficial to the forest ecology.

When a forest has been subjected to this treatment to remove the oak and other unwanted species, then replanted with redwood trees, this process may have to be repeated for a period of fifty or more years, as planted redwood trees grow very slowly and are almost always outgrown by various other species.

Not only are these trees a danger to firefighters, but if the firefighters are unable to a fight a fire because of this hazard, the surrounding communities and forest land is at a much elevated risk.

It is important to remember that in times of high fire activity or other disaster, that because of our low population in Mendocino and surrounding counties we are low on the priority list for state and other firefighting resources. At these times we may only have local, ground based firefighting personal available, and as such not be able to attack fires in these areas, possibly causing much greater damage from these fires, and much larger spread of fires.

This lack of resources is a regular occurrence in our area and one we have to be aware of at all times.

Armed with this knowledge of the problem, it would be unwise for any responsible person or entity, from fire chiefs, Cal Fire personnel, legislators such county supervisors, fire district directors, state legislators or any other involved people, including the foresters who prepare the THPs, to accept the liability that this type of forest management brings to those who approve it, or those who can prevent it and fail to do so.

This liability would also apply to those who have this knowledge and would send their personnel into harm's way.

It would be easy to conclude that the intentional killing of trees that we are seeing is creating a situation that, should a fire occur in these areas, we may not be able to fight it.

I also must include, that for a very long time, it has been recognized that a forest with as many dead standing trees or snags of the amount and size that we are seeing in the areas of intentionally killed trees, is an increased fire hazard for that forest and surrounding areas, as well as being an increased insurance liability (5).

If any of this is not readily understandable, please research “wildfire fatalities” and “wildfire snags” or check with your agency's guidelines regarding wildfire snags or hazard trees.

(1) OSHA standard number 1910.266

(2) Forest Trees Of The Pacific Slope SBN 486-21752-3




Information on injuries and fatalities in forest fires, from the National Interagency Fire Center.

Additional relevant information regarding snag hazards.

Yours, Josh Latkin

Retired Fire Fighter/ Fire Chief

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INTERESTING EXCHANGE on the Mendocino Listserve today between Gary Levenson-Palmer, College of the Redwoods Trustee Barbara Rice, and former Superivsor Norman de Vall:

Barabara Rice: For those interested in a college update, below is a link to a resolution passed by College of the Redwoods last month. At the end is the agreement both colleges will sign after accreditation approves, perhaps next month. Then, the real business of officially and permanently transferring the Mendocino Coast portion of the College of the Redwoods district to Mendocino College will begin. That's where state law and public school (K-12) precedence will come in as there is little precedence in community college history to go by. I'll keep you updated as that progresses. —Barbara Rice, CR Trustee

Click to access MendoSubChange4-4-2015.pdf

Gary Levenson-Palmer: Sure wish it included the whole coast — but that would be dealing with another community college district and that isn't going to happen. Manchester, Point Arena, and Gualala are in the Santa Rosa college district — makes no sense at all. Mendocino College has a campus in Point Arena to boot. People from the south coast go to the Fort Bragg campus. Not sure how these lines came to be in the first place.

Norm de Vall: It's a history that should be written up. In the early '70's the idea of Mendocino County having "a community college" was the hot topic. On the coast we'd gone from two private hospitals to founding the community hospital; Mendocino was talking about incorporation (again); local radio was full of civic talk discussion and the three community colleges MCC, Santa Rosa and CR saw their windows of opportunity. The campaigns were as political as any other. MCC was looking for a new home, at the time renting space in Willits, and Ukiah, CR saw a new funding source and had little interest south of Mendocino; Santa Rosa Community College saw their opportunity on the South Coast.

The gum shoes for the college campaigns were professional; campuses and classes promised; jobs offered; community meetings held, speeches given and finally after the vote the boundary and tax lines drawn.

CR plundered the coast community and only after there was a citizen uprising, in the 1980's urging a plebiscite, did CR-Eureka back down and puchase some land that would be served by the City of Ft. Bragg for water (once the property was incorporated into the city boundary).

Few full time instructor jobs were ever offered by CR at the Ft. Bragg campus. Student housing never seriously considered and with the exception of the Fine Wood Working school few out-of-county students attended.

I don't think CR-Ft. Bragg ever offered enough courses to complete lower division units heading for a BA or BS, but I might be wrong.

Hope that helps,

Norman de Vall, CR Instructor - Marine and Maritime Technologies

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Not long after my niece Belle Rodriguez was brutally murdered I had discussions with Belle's mother Debra Lincoln and Belle's younger brother Manny along with many other family members. I felt compelled to inform them that law enforcement may decide to pour fuel on the fire that is already raging in the community. Everyone who knew Belle, native and non-native, is deeply cut to the heart and now that hurt has turned to anger and people want justice for Belle!

I explained to them that some law enforcement (not all) are still biased against me because of a capital case I was acquitted of a 1995. Since Belle was my niece, they may decide not to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. To let Belle's killers walk free would be pouring fuel on the fire. Five people admit to being present when Belle was shot and killed, but only one person, Jeremy, is in jail. I told the family that we must do our own investigation to find out all the facts that we could come up with and get the names of everyone involved and what they did to Belle.

Besides a biased opinion against me, we must also deal with blatant racism against Native Americans by some law enforcement. If we can't get these people prosecuted, the least we can do is expose these killers to the community and expose law enforcement's cover up of what was done to Belle and their racism towards the Round Valley Indian Reservation.

Belle Rodriguez had the right to live but the Briton family and their accomplices ended her life at 21 years of age. Her brutal beating, rape and murder was a revenge killing by Shauna Britton whose father was killed in 1995.

My niece Belle was an innocent victim of the Lincoln-Britton feud. I had no idea who Belle's friends were before she was killed. But as I asked more questions I learned that these younger Brittons were friends that she went to school with since childhood and even stayed overnight at their homes occasionally, all the time unaware of the resentment towards her because she came from the Lincoln family.

We also believe that Nikki Hawkins played a major role in conspiring to have Belle drugged, beaten, gang raped and murdered. Her partner, John Fox Reyes (Chocolate) is also an accomplice. It's well-known throughout the community that he went to several homes announcing that Belle was down the road dead, but not to tell anyone.

Nikki Hawkins' behavior was very bold just hours after Belle's body was discovered. She picked a fight with one of my other nieces who was just walking in front of her home. Hawkins drove by hanging halfway out of her car yelling, "I'm a gangsta bitch" to my niece Sadacia and a crowd of relatives and actually pulled over and started fighting with Sadacia. At one point Hawkins said, "At least I'm not like that dead bitch lying in the road."

Belle's body was still laying where she was dumped when this fight took place. The incident was called into the Sheriff's Office because Hawkins ended up pushing down a ninety-year-old elder, Sylvester Joaquin, so she was charged with elder abuse and was taken into custody and released a short time later. The elder went to the hospital for chest pains.

Similar behavior and remarks were made by the ones we believe are guilty. In my opinion I feel that there should be a charge of conspiracy to commit murder against everyone involved. There are more people who participated in beating and raping Belle and they also will be exposed to the community.

Our investigation has turned up their names besides the five who have already been mentioned and admitted to being present during the murder of Belle. There is more convincing evidence out there but once I have in my possession, do I turn it over to law enforcement who have proven that certain elements in the department are pouring fuel on the fire? What this does is promote more killings so that then the Sheriff's Department can come to Round Valley Reservation and commit their murders. This is what I see as being law-enforcement's agenda. This kind of thinking and planning is clearly conspiracy to commit murder and this is not the solution we need. There are more facts that we know that will prove this deadly agenda by Mendocino County law enforcement.

Bear Lincoln


PS, Jury selection is set for Jeremy's trial on May 4, at 9 AM

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by Debra Keipp

The day he drove over her in his driveway, Bobby Mabery thought he had killed his 3-½ year old daughter, Miranda.

Bobby came home at the end of his day, his three kids happy to see him. The two older boys ran out of the house across the drive to where they knew Bobby would park the truck after ascending the driveway. Far behind them toddled 3 ½ year old Miranda, his youngest... his little girl.

Bobby followed his two sons with his eyes, looking to his left, as they ran across the drive, greeting him.

When the nose of his pick-up climbed to just before the flat parking area at the peak top of the drive, there was a second of blind spot where Bobby couldn't see over the hood of his pick-up truck. It was there where Miranda toddled out in excitement, following some distance behind her brothers, in an attempt to also cross the driveway. Bobby couldn't see what, or who, was beneath the front of his truck in that horrifying moment.

Unaware that he'd just run over his baby girl, Bobby got out of the truck to the screams of his family who could see Miranda had gone under the passenger's side wheels of the truck. The tire had crossed over Miranda's tiny torso, having “caught traction” over her small self, clearly embossing her body with tire tread.

Miranda lay there trying to get up, hitting her head on the undercarriage of the car after being run over by her dad. It was a scene no one wants to experience.

The driveway was pea-graveled, pieces of which were embedded in Miranda's little baby back. The tire marks where Bobby had spun out over her body, gaining traction uphill into the driveway, discolored Miranda's body for the width of the tire, from her crushed left hip and pelvis, to her shattered right shoulder, just barely missing her head. Strong willed and probably in shock, she continued to try to sit up to get up, but her head kept banging into the underside of the carriage of the truck where her Dad had parked.

Miranda related that she was later told that she greeted her grandfather when he came to visit her in the hospital, by saying, “Papa, I'm dyin'!”

I saw a couple of friends for dinner the day Miranda had helped me change a tire on my vehicle – the day she told me her “tire” story. I greeted my friends with, “Did you know Miranda Mabery was run over with a truck by her dad when she was 3 ½?”

In unison they responded, “Speedbump?!” (Smiles and laughs.) Some nicknames are earned. This week, Miranda enters her 21st year on her May 9th birthday.

Miranda popped her phone out of her pocket and showed me a picture of a wild pig she shot at about 80 yards - with both eyes shot out in a through and through. Getting run over didn't hurt her vision any. She was trying to hit it in the right eye, she said, and got both: a crack-shot.

While Bobby Mabery is known as a good musician, he is best known over on the Coast, for his pig hunting days when he lived in Manchester. Most certainly, he is known for his pig hunting dogs. Those days and dogs now gone, Miranda still has one of the dogs from that lineage. Every now and then, she mentions the local cult movie, “PIGHUNT”. A compact, athlete, high-jumping, anti-gravity hound; he is a tree climbing dog. Miranda showed me another shot on her camera phone, of her dog having climbed through a bunch of cottonwoods, going after squirrels in the trees 30 feet above. “He's always huntin'”, says Miranda, “…the last of Dad's dogs”.

The tire treads across her gut long gone and bones knitted, she suffers no noticeable damage from the accident, almost twenty years later. In the accident she also suffered damage to her internal organs: a severed liver, and a punctured lung, all since, completely healed. Miranda came out of her nearly fatal childhood experience without permanent disability.

At nearly six feet tall, Miranda Mabery has grown up to be a substantial woman — and a good hunter. This Mabery didn't fall far from the family tree. Speedbump is a Boonville girl, through and through.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 28, 2015

Abreu, Anderson, Angulo
Abreu, Anderson, Angulo

BLUE ABREU, Ukiah. Loitering/prowling, probation revocation.

JAMES ANDERSON, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

RODRIGO ANGULO, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocaiton.

Hiatt, Marsh-Haas, Miles
Hiatt, Marsh-Haas, Miles

TIMOTHY HIATT, Willits. Probation revocation.

HEATHER MARSH-HAAS, Ukiah. Petty theft, possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia.

CLINTON MILES, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.

Paeyeneers, Walker, Webb
Paeyeneers, Walker, Webb

ZACHARY PAEYENEERS, Willits. DUI, possession of meth, failure to appear.

CLAUD WALKER, Willits. Court order violation.

ANTIONE WEBB, Ukiah. Burglary.

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ALMONDS & THE DROUGHT I love almonds. But recently, as our work here at Food & Water Watch has focused more and more on the drought, I've wondered if I should feel guilty for eating them. Media coverage of the water crisis has focused heavily on these delicious nuts, and many of the solutions have focused on what we can do individually to address the drought. For this week's spotlight, let's look at what's really going on, and how the real solution might not be getting covered in the media.

Protect our limited water: stop supporting the unsustainable almond boom!

California has a history of growing almonds in climates that foster sustainable growth — places like the wetter parts of eastern and northern California, where almonds can grow without being a burden on our water resources. But in the past five years, as overseas markets have exploded with almond fever, the amount of almond trees in the arid, desert climate on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley has doubled. Almonds are now the second most water-hogging crop in California.

What's more, the soil quality in this region does not support such permanent crops. The soil on the west side of the Valley is full of selenium, making it super salty and requiring flood irrigation to flush out the toxin. This means that almonds here often require more than double the amount of water to grow than in more suitable, wetter climates. In the last two years, this region alone has pumped more water than Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco use in a year — combined!

Not only do almond growers use ground water, they also divert water from the San Francisco Bay Delta, disrupting the habitats of fish populations and driving some toward the brink of extinction.

Right now the State Water Board is deciding on whether or not to send even MORE water to this arid region. It's common sense: We shouldn't waste any more water on these toxic soils.

Some people have said that this system of sending water to the west side of the Valley to produce almonds is necessary, because it's good for the economy and provides food for California and the United States. But most of the nuts grown on the west side of the Valley don't feed Californians: the vast majority are exported overseas to markets like China. The almond boom has been a windfall for a handful of corporate farmers, including Paramount Farms, owned by billionaire Stewart Resnick, one of the largest growers and packers of almonds and pistachios in the world.

So, to recap why we're talking so much about almonds during the drought: vast amounts of California's water are being used to grow almonds on toxic soils in desert-like climates so that a handful of corporate billionaire growers can reap record profits through exporting these nuts to foreign markets.

This is not ok. California's water should not be given away to the powerful few!

In the long term, it's time to retire and stop the irrigation of selenium-laced soils on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, but right now, the State Water Board can start to address this problem by not allowing more water to flow from the San Francisco Bay Delta to these areas. Tell the State Water Board to stop enabling this insane profit scheme!

We all need to do our part during the drought and should always be conscious of our own conservation efforts, but don't feel guilty for eating almonds. Instead, we must address California's almond problem at the source.

Thanks for taking action,

Tia Lebherz, California Organizer

Food & Water Watch


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Ukiah Police Looking For Escaped '51-50' Patient

A rather strange call came over the scanner this morning. Ukiah Police were advised to "be on the lookout" for a male "5150" (danger to self & danger to others) who was on the run from the Ukiah Valley Medical Center @ 11:31 am.
 He was described as being "shirtless, wearing blue jeans, with an IV bag and bleeding from the head." Last seen running south on Hospital Drive. 
There might have been a sighting near Walgreen’s...
 Earlier this morning, an ambulance transported another Ukiah "5150" to St Helena Hospital in Vallejo. 
"5150", is, of course, California code for a legal involuntary 72 hour psychiatric hold. Due to being a "danger to property, danger to others, and danger to themselves..."

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus.)

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On Tuesday April 21st and Wednesday April 22nd 2015, law enforcement officers from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (S.A.F.E.) Task Force, Mendocino County Probation Department, California State Parole, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and Napa County Sheriff's Office conducted sex registrant compliance checks throughout the surrounding unincorporated areas of Mendocino County.

The purpose of this operation was to verify the registered addresses of persons required to register as sex offenders (290 PC). The teams of law enforcement officers verified over seventy (70) registered sex offender addresses and found three (3) out of compliance with their registration requirements, three (3) were arrested for parole violations, one (1) for an out of county warrant and two (2) people requiring further follow up investigations.

The County of Mendocino has approximately 300 registered sex offenders within the county. The Megan’s Law website ( allows citizens to search for registered sex offenders by geographic location and by name.

Anyone with information regarding out of compliance sex registrants is urged to contact the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in that area.

Silva Manuel Age: 55 Willits, arrested for 3056 PC-parole violation.

Mack Cudgo Age: 38 Willits, arrested for 3056 PC-parole violation.

Stephen Couthren Age: 56 Willits, arrested for 3056 PC-parole violation.

Austin Duncan Age: 24 Ukiah, arrested for 290.015(a) PC-failure to register.

George Hoaglin Age: 74 Ukiah, arrested for 290.018 PC-failure to register.

Alan Pollick age 35, arrested for 290.018 PC-failure to register.

Jose Madueno Age: 41, Ukiah was arrested for an out of county warrant.

(Sheriff’s Office Press Release)

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THE FOLLOWING PRESS RELEASES were issued by the Fort Bragg Police Department on Tuesday morning:

"On Sunday, April 26, at approximately 11:15 pm, Officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department were flagged down by a pedestrian who advised he had observed a fire under the north end of the Noyo Bridge (1000 Block S. Main Street).

Upon arrival, officers discovered that someone had ignited the foam insulation between the joints of the bridge. The reporting party advised he had extinguished much of the fire with his own drinking water, and then ran to summon assistance.

The fire was completely extinguished with the assistance of the Fort Bragg Fire Department. This area beneath the north footing of the bridge is known to be frequented by transients and is a high foot traffic area.

There did not appear to be serious damage to the bridge or supporting structures.

Currently, there are no suspects or leads in this case. The Fort Bragg Police Department is requesting that anyone with information regarding this incident contact the Fort Bragg Police Department dispatch at 707-964-0200."


"On Sunday, April 26, at approximately 9:05 pm, Officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department were dispatched to 303 North Main Street (The Company Store) for the report of a broken window.

Upon arrival, officers determined that someone had broken into and entered the baking area for the Mendocino Cookie Company, located at the rear of the building. The suspect broke a small glass window in the door and gained entry to the interior of the kitchen. Numerous items were disturbed and/or broken, and after inspection by the proprietors, other items were reported as missing.

During the investigation, officers discovered that the suite next to the Cookie Company kitchen had also had the front doors pried open and portions of the door were obviously damaged.

The second location belonged to the Mendocino Center for Spiritual Living. The second location was also found to have numerous items broken and/or missing.

These commercial burglaries occurred while other businesses were still open in other locations within the building. Officers are currently following up on leads, and are requesting that if anyone has any information or observed any suspicious persons or behavior in and about the Company Store on this date, to contact the Fort Bragg Police Department at 707-964-0200."



There were three men came out of the West

Their fortunes for to try

And these three men made a solemn vow

John Barleycorn must die


They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in

Threw clouds upon his head

And these three men made a solemn vow

John Barleycorn was dead


They've let him lie for a very long time

Till the rains from heaven did fall

And little Sir John sprung up his head

And so amazed them all


They've let him stand till midsummer's day

Till he looked both pale and wan

And little Sir John's grown a long, long beard

And so become a man


They've hired men with the scythes so sharp

To cut him off at the knee

They've rolled him and tied him by the way

Serving him most barbarously


They've hired men with the sharp pitchforks

Who pricked him to the heart

And the loader he has served him worse than that

For he's bound him to the cart


They've wheeled him around and around the field

Till they came unto a barn

And there they made a solemn oath

On poor John Barleycorn


They've hired men with the crab-tree sticks

To cut him skin from bone

And the miller he has served him worse than that

For he's ground him between two stones


And little Sir John and the nut-brown bowl

And his brandy in the glass

And little Sir John and the nut-brown bowl

Proved the strongest man at last


The huntsman, he can't hunt the fox

Nor so loudly to blow his horn

And the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pot

Without a little Barleycorn

— Steve Winwood

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THE TRUE GENIUS of Hillary is that she manages to epitomize every failure of our current political life: the obsessive micro-manipulation of image, the obscene moneygrubbing, the tired cronyism, the entitlement masquerading as sexual equality. Mostly, though, she has no idea where history is taking us, in case you’re wondering at the stupefying platitudes offered up as representative of her thinking. I’m not advocating for this gentleman, but it will at least be interesting to see Martin O’Malley jump into the race and call bullshit on her, which he will do, literally, because he has nothing to lose by doing it. The eunuchs on The New York Times Op Ed page certainly won’t do it.

— James Kunstler

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by Shepherd Bliss

(Sonoma County, in the heart of California’s Redwood Empire)

California Governor Jerry Brown spent this year’s Earth Day at the elite Iron Horse Winery in the Sebastopol countryside. It was a great photo opportunity and promotion for the winery. Iron Horse is known for donations to President Bill Clinton and other politicians, with whom it has cozy relationships, and from whom it receives favors, such as these visits. I operate a small berry and apple farm nearby and teach sustainable agriculture, mainly to college students.

“Hope Amid Drought” headlined the April 20 pro-wine industry daily Press Democrat’s (PD) report on this winery event of some 200 people. “Brown says innovation, efficiency will get state through water shortage,” the article notes. Iron Horse Vineyards CEO Joy Sterling “said the 300-acre winery…epitomized the environmental stewardship honored on Earth Day.” She spoke about their “love of the land.”

But wait. What about water usage, the theme of Gov. Brown’s talk? The previous day the PD published the commentary “Why We Don’t Dry Farm Grapes.” Its author? Iron Horse’s Laurence Sterling.

It’s hypocritical for Gov. Brown to mandate that the rest of us reduce water use by 25%, except for his friends in Big Ag and Big Wine. It’s called “green washing.” Or as we used to say, bluntly, on our Iowa family farms when we went out to clean the cute piglets, “hogwash.”

Five days later the PD published a letter that nailed both Gov. Brown and Mr. Sterling for this contradiction. Under the headline “Time for Sustainable Ag,” it was written by Sebastopol neighbor Donna Diehl. She reports, “Four of our neighbors had to drill new wells since the first of the year.” Nearby wells can go dry when Big Wine drills as deep as 1000 feet into the ground. Excessive pumping from shallow wells can also lead to neighbor’s wells pumping air, reports a Lake County wine maker.

“Let’s not wait until our groundwater is depleted to address the issue of the impact of viticulture on its depletion,” Ms. Diehl concludes.

“Mainly we are not judged by our farming method or our water usage. We are judged on how our wines taste,” alleges Mr. Sterling. He operates not on the basis of ethics but only economics--what is most profitable--regardless of environmental damage. This contrasts with Ms. Sterling’s claim about “environmental stewardship.”

Actually, this food farmer does judge Iron Horse, Gov. Brown, Big Ag, and Big Wine for extensive water usage by a few, at the expense of the rest of us and the environment. Most Californians cannot afford expensive $300 wine bottles by wine barons such as “bad apple” Paul Hobbs, whereas all humans, mammals, and most life forms on Earth depend on water for survival.

“The fierce drought gripping the West — and the imminent prospect of rationing and steep water price increases in California — is sharpening the deep economic divide in this state,” reports the April 27 New York Times article “Drought Widens Economic Divide for Californians.’” It illustrates “parallel worlds in which wealthy communities guzzle water as poorer neighbors conserve by necessity.” That article focuses on Southern California. Sound familiar?

Big Wine is not a good neighbor willing to share common resources, like water, land, and air. Instead, they hoard them and get away with it, partly because of substantial donations to politicians.

Ethical alternatives to Iron Horse and other water guzzlers exist. For example, Emeritus Vineyards is near Iron Horse and dry farms, in the same soil, according to the PD’s April 26 “Debate Over Dry Farming” article.

Most of Sonoma County’s wine production is done by large corporations owned by investors who live outside the region. That wine is sold mainly outside the region, including to the expanding market in China. The water, wine, and profits tend to leave our local region.

Wine Columnists & Grape Growers For Dry Farming

One of the PD’s wine columnists, Dan Berger, fortunately wrote a tribute to dry farming in an April 6 article titled “Weaning Wine Off Water.” He quotes Frog’s Leap Winery owner John Williams, “We (in Napa) are drawing 1.2 billion gallons of water and putting it on vines that don’t really need it…The entire valley was dry-farmed for 100 years until 1976, when the first drip irrigation systems were installed.” All the Napa wines that won the historic 1976 Paris tastings, which put North Coast wines on the map, were dry farmed.

“Since we started using Biodynamic agriculture techniques, we have practically stopped irrigating,” reports Patricia Damery of Harms Vineyards and Lavender Fields in Napa County. “In the last four years of drought, we have irrigated grapes at most twice each year, and our yield has not decreased. Compost drastically increases the soil’s moisture-holding capacity. When growers push production and forget the environment, they start irrigating vines. It is time to stop. If grapes can’t grow in non-irrigated areas, they shouldn’t be planted there.”

Unfortunately, like the gold rush, the recent grape rush to the North Coast drew investors to plant where they should not have. Now they, and we locals, suffer the consequences.

“Wine Banter” columnist John Haggard of Sophies Cellars in the April Sonoma County Gazette notes that now “is an opportunity to re-assess the viability of dry farming.” Haggard reports that “dry farms tend to yield less fruit per acre,” but “the struggle to reach the water table creates character and quality.”

“Dry farming techniques can improve grape and wine quality,” according to the state-wide Community Alliance with Family Farmers website ( “Many growers trade quantity for quality when dry farming.” CAFF provides a list of farms and vineyards that dry farm and engage in other environmentally helpful organic and sustainable practices.

Wine writers for the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonne and Alice Feiring, also have written positively about dry farming. Part of the solution would be to label dry-farmed wines in order to support true water sustainability. It is illegal in some European countries to irrigate vineyards, which preserves quality.

Rules regulating the growing number of winery events in California’s North Coast are weak and seldom enforced. Regulators complain that they do not have the staff to enforce them, especially on weekends. Many European governments do a better job of regulating vineyards and wineries, according to a Lake County winery owner.

Farming Food Crops

I have owned a small berry and apple farm in Sebastopol since l992. With the drought’s arrival, I stopped irrigating. My berries are not as big as they used to be, so I make less money, but my regular customers report that they taste better. Grapes, after all, are a berry.

During the last two-dozen years I have amended the soil by loading tons of mulch and compost on the berry berms and employed various permaculture and organic techniques. This helps keep the water in the ground and the weeds out. As my berries have grown, their roots dig deeper into the enriched soil and reach the water table. I only need to turn on hoses when it gets too hot and would fry the berries.

“Monocrop, regimented, industrial vineyards are a desert and environmental disaster for bees,” my beekeeper reports. “Grapes do not need bees for pollination. Most vineyards use lots of pesticides and herbicides, to which bees become addicted,” he added.

The beekeeper was referring to a study by Swedish scientists. “Bees are not repelled by pesticides and in fact may even prefer pesticide-coated crops,” an Associated Press article published in the April 23 San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere reports. So much for the pesticide-using Sterlings assertion that they epitomize “environmental stewardship.”

An increasing number of North Coast residents and businesses are calling for a moratorium on new vineyards and wineries and expansions of existing vineyards and wineries, especially as event centers. It is unfair to mandate people and other businesses to conserve water and allow Big Ag and Big Wine to consume as much as they want, for free. A four-county group has met in Lake and Sonoma Counties and will meet again in May in Napa County to discuss dealing with the excesses of the wine industry.

“I noted in my research that down in Paso Robles the premium wine growing area is running dry and the county supervisors in that region are putting a moratorium on all new wells while they ponder their next move,” writes one long-time researcher of the wine industry, Dana Smith. Perhaps North Coast supervisors should consider a moratorium on the non-essential wells of Big Wine.

“Bigger battles are ahead,” predicts the PD’s April 26 dry farming article. We are at the beginning of intensified water wars in California. Big Wine is part of the problem by hoarding water and should be reigned in.

(Dr. Shepherd Bliss {} teaches college, farms, has contributed to 24 books, and works with the Apple Roots Group, which challenges Big Wine.)

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by Dan Bacher

The recent admission by the Brown administration that it could use money from Proposition 1, the water bond, to pay for "habitat mitigation" linked to the construction and operation of the massive Delta tunnels is no surprise, especially when you consider the Big Money interests that dumped $21,820,691 into the campaign.

The contributors are a who’s who of Big Money interests in California, including corporate agribusiness groups, billionaires, timber barons, Big Oil, the tobacco industry and the California Chamber of Commerce. There is no doubt that these wealthy corporate interests are expecting a big return for their "investment" in the corrupt "play to pay" politics that rules California today, including the construction of the twin tunnels and new dams.

Richard Stapler, spokesman for the California Department of Natural Resources, "acknowledged that the money [for delta habitat restoration] could conceivably come from Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond that California passed last year,” according to Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle.(

"It is outrageous that the governor would break the promise he made to the people of California that their taxes would not be used to mitigate damage from the tunnels,” said Restore the Delta Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. "Now he is signaling that bond monies will support mega-growers like Stewart Resnick, who plans to expand almond production by 50 percent over the next five years." (

And guess who was one of the contributors to the Prop. 1 campaign? Yes, Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon, owner of Paramount Farms and largest orchard fruit grower in the world, contributed $150,000.

Resnick and his wife, Lynda, have been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations and to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels - and have made millions off reselling environmental water to the public.

Corporate agribusiness interests, the largest users of federal and state water project water exported through the Delta pumping facilities, contributed $850,000 to the campaign, including the $150,000 donated by Resnick.

The California Farm Bureau Federation contributed $250,000, the Western Growers Service Association donated $250,000 and California Cotton Association contributed $200,000.

The largest individual donor in the Yes on Prop. 1 campaign was Sean Parker, who contributed $1 million to the campaign. Parker is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist who cofounded the file-sharing computer service Napster and served as the first president of the social networking website Facebook. He also cofounded Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime.

Four members of the Fisher family, who own the controversial Gap stores, collectively donated $1.5 million to the Yes. on Prop. 1 and Prop. 2 campaign. They also own the Mendocino Redwood Company and Humboldt Redwood Company, formerly the Pacific Lumber Company (PALCO), more than half a million acres of redwood forest lands in total.

Doris F. Fisher contributed $499,000, John J. Fisher $351,000, Robert J. Fisher $400,000 and William S. Fisher $250,000. The Gap become notorious among labor and human rights advocates for employing sweatshop labor in the Third World to produce its clothes.

Aera Energy LLC, a company jointly owned by affiliates of Shell and ExxonMobil, contributed $250,000 to the Yes on Proposition 1 and 2 campaign, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).

Aera Energy LLC is one of California's largest oil and gas producers, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the state's production, according to the company’s website. (

Tobacco giant Philip Morris also donated $100,000 to Governor Brown’s ballot measure committee established to support Propositions 1 and 2. On October 20, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) called on the governor to return that money.

A total of eleven ballot measure campaign committees registered in support Proposition 1 and 2, according to Ballotpedia (,_Water_Bond_(2014))

The committees and money raised are below:

  • California Business Political Action Committee, Sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce: $1,169,500
  • Wetlands Conservation Committee, Sponsored by Ducks Unlimited, Audubon California and The Nature Conservancy, Yes on Prop. 1: $265,000
  • Conservation Action Fund - Yes on Proposition 1 and 2 - Sponsored by Conservation Organizations: $1,042,526
  • Sac. Valley Water & Rice for Prop 1: $72,356
  • Brown; Yes on Props 1 and 2 A Bipartisan Coalition of Business, Labor, Republicans, Democrats and Governor: $17,690,658
  • Think Long Committee, Inc., Sponsored by Nicolas Berggruen Institute Trust, Supporting Propositions 1 & 2 (Non-Profit 501(C)(4)): $250,000
  • Western Plant Health Association, Supporting Propositions 1 and 2 (Non-Profit 501 (C) (6)): $100,000
  • NRDC Action Fund California Ballot Measures Committee - Yes on Prop. 1: $12,653
  • Southern California District Council of Laborers Issues PAC: $203,662
  • Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coaltion Issues PAC - Yes on Props 1 and 2: $842,896
  • The California Conservation Campaign: $171,440

These committees raised a total of $21,820,691 and spent a total of $19,538,153.

In contrast, Proposition 1 opponents raised only $101,149 and spent $86,347 during the campaign. To put that in perspective, note that just one big grower, Stewart Resnick, contributed $150,000 to the Prop. 1 campaign, more than all of the opponents combined. And Resnick wasn’t even one of the top 23 donors, with Sean Parker being the largest individual donor at $1,000,000!

Top 23 Contributors to Prop. 1 and 2 Campaign

Brown for Governor 2014 $5,196,529

Sean Parker $1,000,000

John Doerr $875,000

California Alliance for Jobs - Rebuild California Committee $533,750

The Nature Conservancy $518,624

California Hospitals Committee $500,000

Doris F. Fisher $499,000

Health Net $445,600

Robert Fisher $400,000 351,000 $351,000

Area Energy LLC $250,000

California American Council of Engineering Companies $250,000

California Farm Bureau Federation $250,000

California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems $250,000

Dignity Health $250,000

Kaiser Permamente $250,000

Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Issues PAC $250,000

Reed Hastings $250,000

SW Regional Council Of Carpenters $250,000

Think Long Committee, Inc. $250,000

Western Growers Service Corporation $250,000

William Fisher $250,000

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Mendocino County Library is excited to announce the availability of thousands of movies, TV shows, music albums & audiobooks using mobile and online access through a new technology partnership with hoopla digital, which will be launched May 1st.

Patrons use their library card to download the free hoopla app to their Android or IOS device, or visit, to start enjoying titles from major studios, record labels, and publishers. Because hoopla is a digital service, it is accessible 24/7 for instant streaming or temporary download, there is no waiting period, and automatic returns mean no late fees.

“I was going out of town for several days where I would have no wireless access. I downloaded music [from hoopla] before I left and really enjoyed it,” said Barb Chapman, Senior Library Technician. Other users report finding movies and other items that have eluded them for years, having failed to find the desired items on the most popular paid-for streaming entertainment services.

Mendocino County Library is the fifteenth system in California to partner with hoopla, joining other innovative and forward-thinking libraries like Santa Cruz Public Libraries and Los Angeles Public Library in finding new methods of providing library users with fresh, relevant, appealing content.

“With hoopla digital, it is our mission to empower the evolution of public libraries while helping them to meet the needs of the mobile generation. We’ve worked for years to create a best-in-breed service that is fun, fast, and reliable. And we continue to secure content deals to expand our offering of popular and niche movies, TV shows, music, and audiobooks,” said Jeff Jankowski founder and owner of hoopla digital.

Card-holders will be able to enjoy 5 items per month, a number that may increase with popular demand. The Mendocino County Library is truly excited to offer this new service as part of an ongoing effort to provide an engaging, empowering, enjoyable experience to all its patrons.

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RENAISSANCE ART EXHIBIT painted by 7th grade students at River Oak Charter School.

Ukiah Library is proud to present a Renaissance Art Exhibit, painted by 7th grade students at River Oak Public Charter School, in the Children’s Room from May 3rd through May 30th.

The public is invited to join parents and students for an open house celebration on Friday, May 14th from 3:30 to 6 pm. Refreshments will be served.

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Wii U GAME DEMO & Super Smash Brothers Tournament

Saturday, May 30th

Join us at the Fort Bragg Branch Library for a day of Video Gaming Fun.

From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. we’ll have a game demo session where you can try out the library’s games and get a feel for what we’re offering as well as suggest game titles. Then from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. we’ll be hosting a Super Smash Brothers tournament and offering gift certificates to Blaqk Door as prizes. Sign up for the tournament at the library by May 27th. You will need to be twelve to eighteen years of age and have a library card in good standing to participate.

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