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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, May 7, 2015

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The Anderson Valley Red Eyes will be handing out information to grape growers as they enter the Pinot Noir Festival Technical event on Friday, May 15th at 8:30am at the Fairgrounds. We also have a small surprise in store for them. Please join us, as the more bodies they see, the more we will get our point across. Contact me for more info.

Wendy Read, Boonville (

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A READER defends Ukiah's decision to spend several mil for site prep for big box CostCo: “The City needs the sales tax money —- not even "Red" Phil Baldwin was willing to buck that trend. And in relative terms, CostCo is one of the better big boxes out there with decent entry level pay and benefits instead of coaching their employees on how to show up at the ER to get "free" health care and how to apply for food stamps. My guess is that Judge Jeannine Nadel will issue a hometown ruling and it will then be up to the retail clerks union to decide if they want to spend more money on an appeal. The real question might be, Why does CostCo want to come here? They must be projecting they will sell lots of marijuana soil amendments, turkey bags, and trimming scissors.”

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SLUG 'EM! A reader advises: "I highly recommend this little book, which managed to convert me to an admirer of these creatures. Their sex lives are inspiring! Yes, I fought them for years as a gardener for hire, but since my conversion, we have found a way to co exist. Sluggo is the best product available, but other techniques are worth practicing, like copper strips around raised beds, sharp sand or prickly hay mulch. I have an extensive garden, and choose ornamentals that don’t attract snails or slugs. Edibles, their main target, are grown from seed elsewhere, not directly in beds, and sluggo protects tender seedlings. Because no poisons are used here, a healthy population of voracious salamanders and frogs take care of the worst predators, small brown slugs. Big hefty banana slugs, not too interested in my plant selections, are exiled to outer areas where they clean up doggy poo…"

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by Shepherd Bliss

In the heart of what corporate wine industry lobbyists have re-branded “Wine Country,” activists from four North Coast California counties gathered in early May for their third monthly meeting. They created a regional network of groups from Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino counties.

Participants came to the attractive resort town of Calistoga in Napa to discuss how to contain the rampant, sprawling growth of corporate vineyards and wineries as commercial, industrial event centers. They pave over agricultural land, damage the quality of rural life, and create multiple negative impacts upon the environment with respect to water, land, noise, traffic, wildlife habitat, and air quality.

Members of various national, state, regional, and local groups attended, including the following: Sierra Club, Napa County Farm Bureau, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Greenbelt Alliance, the Grange, Napa Vision 2050, Sonoma County Water Coalition, Sonoma County Conservation Action, and Preserve Rural Sonoma County. Various grape growers and wine makers attended and spoke up. A former planning commissioner, organic farmers, environmentalists, and a professional planner spoke.

“What we have in common is respect for rural life,” co-host Donald Williams welcomed the by-invitation-only crowd. “The reasons for this meeting include becoming acquainted with each other and hearing our stories. Another goal is to encourage and inspire each other.”

Don’t Let Wineries Pave Over Ag Land

“Things have changed dramatically since I moved here in 1965, when we had diverse agriculture,” said Bob Dwyer, one of a dozen featured speakers. He was the Executive Director of the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, the Napa County Farm Bureau, and the Napa Valley Vintner’s Association.

“Now we have little here other than a wine grape mono-culture. A ten-mile stretch of the Silverado Trail has eighteen wineries. They hire a chef before a wine-maker. This has to stop. We cannot let them pave over more of our ag land. The event centers have nothing to do with agriculture,” added Dwyer.

Current Napa Farm Bureau President Norma Tofanelli--a fourth-generation farmer and grape grower--read from that group’s mission statement, which is “to preserve agricultural land and natural resources.”

“Napa County--the leader with the nation's first agricultural preserve--faces fundamental questions on how to protect ag lands and resources,” Tofanelli said. “Planning Commissioner Matt Pope has asked ‘Do we want to maintain an agricultural economy that benefits from tourism or do we want to transfer into a tourist economy that capitalizes on agriculture?" according to Tofanelli.

“Ag-washing is when you say a winery with hospitality events is agriculture. It is not. We have an Agricultural Preserve here in Napa,” observed Geoff Ellsworth of St. Helena, which he said needs to be supported.

“Wineries as event centers are being put on ag lands in rural areas, rather than in municipalities. When they are put into towns or cities, they should still adhere to the codes of that municipality and address community and environmental impacts in order for balance to be maintained,” Ellsworth added.

“We need to have a state-wide movement,” declared Sonoma County’s Janus Matthes of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. “Rules need to be set for the wine industry, so that everyone knows what they can and cannot do. Neighbors report that real estate prices go down when wineries as event centers move in,” Matthes noted.

Napa Vision 2050 And Lake County Threats

“We need a valley-wide voice,” commented David Hallett of the Napa Vision 2050, a coalition of 15 groups, including the Sierra Club. He recommended that people “go find your commonality and get organized.”

“A big vintner wanted to put in a winery in the hills behind my back yard in a known water-deprived area,” explained Dan Mufson of Napa Vision 2050. “They would cut down 28,000 trees.” He was able to rally neighbors to raise community awareness of this and then other projects.

“Lake County is in a different cycle of winery development,” said Julie Kreis of Lake County’s Hidden Valley Lake Watershed (HVL) group. They focus on new vineyards wanting to move in, as land and water become scarcer in Sonoma and Napa counties. Kreis owns eleven acres bordering a 6,000-person subdivision, which makes it the second largest population concentration in the small county of 63,860 people in 2013.

“The Wild Diamond Vineyard has an application to plant 108 acres of vines on a steep mountainside parcel with moderate to severe erosion and run-off that goes into Hidden Valley Lake,” noted Kreis. “HVL Watershed is concerned about depletion of wells and spring recharge. It's critical to address corporate vineyard development that clear cuts the land of trees, negatively impacts water resources, pollutes water and air, and destroys natural habitat,” added Kreis.

“We’ve felt isolated and lonely fighting Big Wine,” commented Greg Stratmann, who co-owns Stonehouse Cellars winery in Lake County. He represented the Old Long Valley Road community of some 50 households, “two of which were pumping air from their wells a week after a nearby winery started irrigating this year.”

Stratmann reported on a struggle with Shannon Ranches, which put in a large reservoir without a permit. “The county does not enforce its laws, so vineyards can do what they want and then pay minimal fines. Shannon waters its grapes beyond industry standards and then adds concentrates,” according to Stratmann.

“We are concerned with all the event centers at wineries in the Sonoma Valley,” reported Kathy Pons of Valley of the Moon Alliance.

“They are no longer merely ag., having become hospitality centers. I want true agriculture to survive, which is cultivating the soil.”

“In 2002 we challenged a giant resort. They had to do an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which we challenged in court,” Pons said. Though the court eventually denied the group’s lawsuit, they slowed down the project, which the worsened economic situation in 2008 stalled.

That resort, which includes a winery with events, was recently bought by a Chinese holding company for $41 million. Another Chinese corporation has also bought property in the Sonoma Valley. With the rise of its middle class, the huge Chinese market for California wines is expanding. Most of Big Wine on California’s North Coast is owned by outside investors.

“Chainsaw Wine” Signs And Bumper Stickers

“We are science-based,” reported Chris Poehlmann of Friends of the Gualala River, which extends from Mendocino into Sonoma County. “We approach things through legislation, including dealing with general plans and zoning. We’ve been successful with legal challenges, forcing EIRs. Our major concern has been the conversion of forests into vineyards.”

With respect to the media, Poehlmann suggested, “Be creative. For example, make ‘chainsaw wine’ signs and bumper stickers.” They have been fighting an 18,000-acre Preservation Ranch project.

“Big Wine is a Big Problem,” reported Warren Watkins, who arrived directly from a celebration of the Russian River. Groups throughout the North Coast have been showing the acclaimed new documentary “The Russian River: All Rivers” to sell-out audiences. It includes substantial footage and interviews about the damage that wineries do to watersheds.

Watkins spoke for Healdsburg Citizens for Sustainable Solutions, which has helped mobilized hundreds of residents to attend various governmental meetings. He noted that wine tourism creates extra demands for water. “Healdsburg and Sonoma have been ordered by the state to cut their water use more than any other city in Sonoma County. These are the two biggest tourist towns in the County.”

“This is a regional issue,” commented Greenbelt Alliance’s Teri Shore. “Our groups must look at community separators, to preserve the open spaces and greenbelts between our cities. Right now I'm focused on renewing community separators policies in Sonoma. We need to examine the bigger picture and work together.”

Calistoga Meeting Ends, The Struggle Continues

The six-hour gathering concluded with an evening session on issues such as a mission statement and the group’s name. Members of Preserve Rural Sonoma County were present. Its mission statement includes the following: “Our mission is to promote limits on the encroachment of large wine and spirits processing complexes/events centers and their negative impacts upon residential neighborhoods and inappropriate rural areas.”

Four Counties Network (FCN) was the tentative name agreed upon to identify the collaboration of these diverse groups in distinct counties. It is a working name that may change. It signifies the desire to mobilize a mass movement into a united struggle to ensure the preservation of the rural nature of these neighboring North Coast California counties, which includes their historic agrarian cultures.

“Four County Network members have common concerns regarding impact,” noted Napa’s former winery executive Robert Dwyer. “We are united by out-of-control negative impacts upon our regional resources. We are not going away. Network member organizations plan to monitor, challenge, and participate in future land use policy decisions in the region.”

Since it takes about 30 gallons of water to produce one glass of wine, extensive water use by wineries as events centers was a major concern of the gathering. After reading a report on the meeting, geologist Jane Nielson, Ph.D., of the Sonoma County Water Coalition wrote the following in an email:

“The US Geological Survey’s 8-year study of groundwater under the Santa Rosa Plain showed an annual deficit of 3,300 acre-ft (just over a billion gallons) per year, due mostly to agricultural and rural residential pumping from wells, which the County has permitted with no limitation. The County permits more and more and more water extraction by new wineries, distilleries, and event centers by large wine-making concerns.”

“How many wineries and wine-based entertainment centers does one firm really need?” asked geologist Dr. Nielson.

For Further Information: county and

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

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Re-Coast Hotel deal:

Mr. Malcolm Macdonald,

I am a concerned citizen of Fort Bragg. I am also backing a recall of Dave Turner based on the arrogance he has displayed during this sham process. The Old Coast Hotel has been for sale at $2,900,000 since the peak of the real estate boom.The price was ridiculous even then. Now 9 years later a conspiracy has happened enabling the owners of the Old Coast Hotel to get their $2.9m. Dave Turner has stated that it is the Carines property and they should be able to sell it to who they want at what price they want for it, if it was yours wouldn’t you feel the same? Well Dave, the money the Carines will get is not just the CBGB grant funds but also a HUGE federal tax break, close to $1.7 million as they are “donating” the balance of the property’s UNREAL value of $2.9m to the Hospitality Center for a project you were handed 1400 petition signatures to stop. This is Public money including a State of California Grant and a Federal tax break being used to buy this historically iconic property and take it away from its potential of becoming a tourist attraction. Good job Dave. Good Job Anna Shaw.

Recall Dave Turner

Charles Brandenburg, Fort Bragg

PS. Mr. Macdonald, we are mad, mad people say things to each other online and don’t expect you to act like thats reporting. its not, it’s tattling, OK?

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The Muse In Willits, 30 E. San Francisco Street, Willits

Sanford Dorbin died May 27, 2014, and the program “Sanford Fare Well” on Wednesday this May 27th, will commemorate his life as Mendocino County resident, activist, long-distance runner, and especially as lifelong jazz poet and aficionado. The poetry-to-jazz format honors his love for and contributions to the medium. It represented in his time the power of art to defy and overcome institutionalized racial prejudice.

Noted musicians Jon Solow on piano and Les Tarr on bass will back WJ Ray reading or reciting to a set of eight jazz standards by Coltrane, Mingus, Jobim, Benny Golson, and Bill Evans. The music interplays with Dorbin’s bebop tropes, as well as poems by Kenneth Patchen, Theodore Roethke, James Joyce, A.E. Housman, and Ray.

“Sanford Fare Well” takes place Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 7 P.M., at The Muse, the colorful business complex East of the Chinese ribs house on Main St. in Willits. (30 E. San Francisco Ave.) Parking is limited by the hall but ample in the vicinity. Admission: $5 donation. The program lasts an hour and a half.

In response to the understandable question, why attend the “memorial” of someone I did not know?––the producer and poet Ray said, "This performance does not commemorate a death but affirms a life and life itself. We celebrate in the language of two art-forms dear to Sanford Dorbin, jazz and poetry. In addition to which, May is high Spring. We would love to send music drifting out the doors and down the streets."

Sanford’s last wish, a book of poetry by his friends, was fulfilled December 8, 2014, what would have been his 82nd birthday. His poems in that volume will be featured in the program. A few copies are available for sale.

While living in the mountains West of Willits in the 1980’s, Sanford Dorbin took active parts in building, cord-wood gathering, teaching, and the humanist counterculture that characterized local life in back-to-the-land Northern California. He was a noted long-distance runner who ran 50 kilometers to celebrate his 50th birthday here, the equivalent of thirty miles. He finished numerous marathons and often won in the seniors age-group. He ran competitively until his seventies.

Originally a scholar, editor, and skilled librarian at UCLA and Santa Barbara, noted for his bibliography of Charles Bukowski’s literary works, he moved with his wife Sue and young son Shelley to Willits in the early 1980’s. This was the period of time during which a nuclear build-up threatened the entire basis of civilization in Europe and the U.S. He was twice arrested, at Diablo Canyon and Livermore, protesting the Reagan administration’s war-drumming. Over five million American petitioners opposed this use of nuclear weapons and energy, alongside some 30,000 churches and organizations and untold millions of citizens in Europe. Historians have attributed the populist uprising as significant in muting the rhetoric and withdrawing the nuclear-armed Cruise missiles.

After remarrying, to Rosalind Allen another faithful jogger, he moved with her to Vallejo so that she could take care of her aging mother. Ruth Allen died at 99. They moved again to Chico to be near Rose’s children and grandchildren and also the huge city park replete with running trails. As here, Sanford connected with culture, poets, and jazz. He was known for producing commercial quality jazz tapes and discs, reprising the exciting music of his early adulthood. The personal poetry has a jazz lilt and subtlety, with his distinctive quality of cool bemused rhythmic quipping.

His last years were occupied with the younger generations and very late with editing his friend Barry Powell’s translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey. The books were published and dedicated to Sanford just before he died. To the end he was fearless, conscious, and witty. Ray’s last words to him were “We’re keeping an eye on you.” He came back with “Just one?”

Orphaned at five when his mother died of cancer in 1938, Sanford could seriously say in reply to a jest his wife made (“You’re on your own now!”): “I know, always have been.” He and his sister and brother were passed among relatives and boarding schools, and like many artists who have experienced inexplicable and unacceptable loss, Nature and all humanity became his abiding comforts. While in college in Southern California, he witnessed the flourishing of West Coast Jazz in dark L.A. nightclubs after driving cab until midnight. He knew all the players by name and work, and shared their underground sense, that Jazz as a subculture rejected the inequity and hypocrisy so imbued into ‘30’s-‘50’s American life. He found spiritual sustenance which he never abandoned, and he passed on to a younger generation its artistic and philosophical powers. Jazz at one time was the heartbeat to Existential survival.

Jon Solow, formerly of the Ukiah Symphony, Rootstock, and The Flying Karamazov Brothers, is a musician and composer widely known for hosting “Jazz from the Wharf” on KZYX-Z FM going on seventeen years. Les Tarr comes out of an artistic lineage dating from the heyday of San Francisco jazz and has performed on electric and stand-up bass in Mendocino County for forty years. He also hosts music programs at KSAV and KTDE. William J. Ray has produced events for or read his poetry in programs with Gary Snyder, Miriam Patchen, Sharon Doubiago, Mary Norbert Korte, ruth weiss, Linda Noel, and Jack Hirschman. He is a Shakespeare scholar, co-authoring a book, and is frequently quoted in others.

“Sanford Fare Well”, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, The Muse, 30 E. San Francisco Ave., Willits. Admission: $5 donation.

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Here's my story, it's sad but true

It's about a girl that I once knew

She took my love then ran around

With every single guy in town


Yeah I should have known it from the very start

This girl will leave me with a broken heart

Now listen people what I'm telling you

A-keep away from-a Runaround Sue


I might miss her lips and the smile on her face

The touch of her hair and this girl's warm embrace

So if you don't want to cry like I do

A-keep away from-a Runaround Sue


Ah, she likes to travel around

She'll love you and she'll put you down

Now people let me put you wise

Sue goes out with other guys


Here's the moral and the story from the guy who knows

I fell in love and my love still grows

Ask any fool that she ever knew, they'll say

Keep away from-a Runaround Sue

— Dion DiMucci, Ernie Maresca

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ON MAY 3, 2015 at approximately 2:00 AM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were patrolling in Willits, California. Deputies observed a tan Ford pickup traveling northbound on Meadowbrook Drive from Kawi Place. The vehicle’s license plate did not have any registration tags on it, and the truck abruptly pulled into a driveway without signaling.

FranceJewellDeputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, observing Christopher France, 18, of Willits as the driver and a passenger being Amanda Jewell, 23, of Willits. After a brief conversation the Deputies believed the pair had no justified reason for stopping in the driveway. France did not have a valid license and it was determined his driving privileges were suspended. Deputies observed Jewell showing signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance and learned through admissions that a methamphetamine smoking pipe was inside the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed two dagger style blades concealed next to where France had been sitting. Also located was a methamphetamine smoking pipe and a machete. Located in the driver's door panel were a pair of rubber gloves and a long chain of keys. The keys were residential, padlock, and car keys of many different types. Further investigation revealed the license plate on the vehicle was listed as stolen from a different type of vehicle. Upon further investigation the Deputies learned the vehicle was reported stolen from Santa Rosa, California. Deputies completed an evaluation on Jewell finding she was under the influence of methamphetamine. France was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of burglary tools, Possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a dagger. Jewell was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were booked into the Mendocino County Jail where France is being held in lieu of $15,000 bail and Jewell was released on a signed promise to appear in court.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 6, 2015

Adams, Bettencourt, Collins, Fackrell
Adams, Bettencourt, Collins, Fackrell

KELLI ADAMS, Boonville. Suspended license, failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

CURTIS BETTENCOURT, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)

ANTONIO COLLINS, Fort Bragg. Trespassing, probation revocation.

ROBERT FACKRELL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Knapp, Mateos, Renfer, Sallee
Knapp, Mateos, Renfer, Sallee

VERNON KNAPP SR., Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MARIN MATEOS, Laytonville. DUI.

SCOTT RENFER, Boulder Creek, pot cultivation, possession for sale.

REBECCA SALLEE, Miranda/Willits. Vehicle theft.

Salo, Vantreese, Vigil
Salo, Vantreese, Vigil

TIMOTHY SALO, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

WILLIAM VANTREESE, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance. (Frequent flyer.)

LOUIE VIGIL, Redwood Valley. Possession of drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.

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A Reply to Marco McClean


Thank you for your information and support. Yes, under current FCC regulations, public radio is to refrain from profanity, indecency and obscenity. Low power stations are permitted profanity after 10p at night, but KZYX doesn't fall into this category.

The larger idea here: Double Standard. Two women retained, (still with KZYX) three men thrown off the air. The two women aired CANNED content, the men, in the case of Doug and John S, were not in control of what was broadcast. Unless someone can prove emphatically that Norman DeVall wasn't thrown off the air after he complained of profanity in prime time, (January 21, 2014) I stand by my comment that he was axed by Aigner because he rightfully shared observations and facts as they were presented before him, but that management didn't want to deal with. Losing all three men was a loss for the station.

The FCC profanity clause is one to live with for now.

Please, be aware of the axing of some and not the all with no ethical grievance procedure in place at the time that was/is neutral, fair, and satisfactory to all parties. All grievances go to the GM. The GM won't even speak to Mr. Sakowicz. How was/is John S going to have a fair grievance hearing?

He won't.

The Members for Change, Face Book is growing everyday. I was happy to see members in attendance last Monday's Annual Membership Meeting. Many in attendance jeered and found a paid staff person's shunning a board member completely unacceptable. Any other non-profit board would have removed the GM immediately! This recalcitrant behavior from John Coate is grounds for dismissal. It has nothing to do with me or any other community member, but everything to do with the Secretary of State's office, which permits the station to raise funds, your dollars, for the station. To shun a board member is a violation. Done and Done.

Never underestimate the power of one conversation- one person to another.

Talk about these issues with people in your community, your classes, at work, your churches, your neighborhood, and your families. Make people aware of not only your personal experience with KZYX staff, (we all have them,) but let people know that station management feels immune to repercussions from being out of compliance. The station will not be on the best footing until these people are removed and a new and open staff and board are functioning as they can and should.

Funding and underwriting will only continue to shrink as the same pool of people give to the station. This phenomenon has nothing to do with individual volunteers, programmers and community members who have brought this fact to Management and in most cases, were turned away by management. I can find no place on the station's web site that indicates programmers are regularly or systematically reviewed/evaluated for content, on-air delivery, program relevance, or Arbitron ratings. The lack of dollars is tangible feedback about what the station airs and how it is managed.

Thirteen years ago, 2100 people were registered as members (2002.) The 2002-2006 Strategic Plan had a goal of 20% sustainable increase in membership. Membership has been flat for 13 years. The strategic plan and the goals set out by the Board in 2002 did not position the station to realize this 20% goal. It hasn't and won't happen. What's more, the Strategic Plan voted on and accepted in 2005, is 10 years old with no checks and balances, no evaluation for the money spent on a Board Retreat to build and vote on such a plan, and no public information about how the community would know if such a plan was/is being utilized.


Mary Massey, KZYX, Members for Change


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Subject: Re: Mary Massey's FCC complaint about Mary Aigner's having allowed some swear words to reach the air and the obvious double standard.

I was living in Mendocino at the time. There was never ever a Programmers' meeting held at my home. Those heavy-handed meetings were all at the station. Nor would I have ever said, "I'm afraid of losing my show." Around that time Judi Bari was bombed and the FBI came to the station and told Donovan or Johnny they could not broadcast any announcement or whatever they received from any group or person that countered their narrative that Judi and Darryl Cherney blew up themselves. The programmer who was on the air when such a notice was put up on the window called me at home and asked me what they should do and I told them to tear down the Notice, that it was "prior restraint" (a term I had just learned). Clearly I was not frightened of reprecussions from the FBI and aired the updates from the hospital on my show each week, as well as reading excerpts from an interview I had recorded and published in New Settler with Judi Bari earlier that month. At no time was I afraid of losing my show. It was a great shock to my system that I did. Becoming your champion just wasn't very high on my agenda of things to do at the time, so involved was I in the practicalities of forestland defense. But you have mis-remembered that particular event. I remember intervening when Shawn indicated he would have you arrested, but it truly is not in my nature to have whispered to you afterwards a fear of losing 4th Gate Gazette. It was the only public affairs programming the station offered at the time in addition to being two consecutive hours of an Open Line, gloriously used.

Beth Bosk, Mendocino

ED REPLY: Yup, Beth is right about what happened at the station at that fraught time. She stood her ground, and was absolutely correct in defying the feds. The prob subsequently, as I see it, is that Bari got a free pass, as did the FBI. They never seriously investigated the bombing, and Bari's version of events was accepted at face value. (I was the lead dupe, I'm sad to confess, and didn't begin to un-dupe myself until I met Steve Talbot, the great PBS reporter whose investigation and subsequent film pointed us all in the direction of what really happened. (Don't tell anyone, but the ex-husband did it and the ex got waived on by by the FBI. Why did the ex get that pass? is the remaining question in the so-called mystery.) I think the feds didn't investigate because they knew exactly what happened, and those implications ought to give all the great speakers-of-truth-to-power a very long pause. Beth, like a lot of people, put their critical faculties on hold, where they remain today in a purple fog of pure bullshit.

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To the Editor:

I frequently go to bed and leave my radio on quietly. During the early hours of May 1st 2015, my radio was tuned to KZYX. And I woke up to hear a male voice shouting profanity one foul word after another. One “F” bomb after another. “GD” this and “GD” that. “MF” this and “MF” that. Every other word was a word I wasn’t aware that NPR, it’s sponsors or local advertisers condoned. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Thank God my grand kids weren’t in the room. KZYX seems to be constantly defending itself these days while at the same time boasting of it’s high quality and diverse programming. I think something is seriously wrong down at KZYX. I used to tune my clock radio to KZYX so I could wake up to morning news but that stopped when twice I was late to work because of dead air. I called the radio station the following morning and asked what was going on. The person I spoke with said that what I heard was the fault of the DJ and not the radio station. Evidently KZYX does not take responsibility for it’s DJs or what it chooses to air. It seems like KZYX has become a ‘run away radio station’ with no one at the helm. No one who takes responsibility anyway. No longer listening to KZYX.

Marc Parsley, Ukiah

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ALL YOU HAVE TO DO to see your compatriots is to get into the car after work and go into the Floridita Bar in Havana. There are people from all of the states and from many places where you have lived. There are also Navy ships in, cruise ships, Customs and Immigration agents you have known for years, gamblers who are opening up or have just closed or are doing well or badly, embassy characters, aspirant writers, firmly or poorly established writers, senators on the town, the physicians and surgeons who come for conventions, Lions, Elks, Moose, Shriners, American Legion members, Knights of Columbus, beauty contest winners, characters who have gotten into a little trouble and pass a note in by the doorman, characters who get killed next week, characters who will be killed next year, the FBI, former FBI, occasionally your bank manager and two other guys, not to mention your Cuban friends. There are also the usual phonies who help you keep your hand in on the language.

— “A Situation Report,” 1956, By-Line, Ernest Hemmingway

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by Dan Bacher

California growers continue to expand their almond acreage in the state during the current drought while the Brown administration has mandated that urban families slash their water usage by 25%. (

California’s 2014 almond acreage is estimated at 1,020,000 acres, up 50,000 acres from the 2013 acreage of 970,000, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. That is an increase of 5% in one year (

At the beginning of our current drought, almond acreage was 870,000 acres, reported the "On the Public Record" blog. (

When you subtract the 870,000 acres from 1,020,000 acres, you get an increase of 150,000 acres - again, all during a record drought.

Of the total acreage for 2014, 870,000 acres were bearing and 150,000 acres were nonbearing, the Service reported. The preliminary bearing acreage for 2015 is estimated at 890,000 acres, according to the service.

The survey also revealed that Nonpareil continued to be the leading variety of almonds, followed by Monterey, Butte, Carmel and Padre.

Kern, Fresno, Stanislaus, Merced and Madera were the leading counties These five counties had 73% of the total bearing acreage, the Service reported.

So how would the amount of increased almond acreage translate into increased water usage during the current drought?

Using a number of 3.5 AF of water per acre of almonds at ULTIMATE demand with mature trees, the new acreage of 150,000 acres X 3.5 af/Acre = 525,000 AF of water ultimate demand. In other words, over 500,000 acre feet, or half of Folsom Lake when full, would be necessary to irrigate the new almond acreage once the trees become mature!

This new almond acreage when mature will also use more water than the average annual yield of all the proposed CALFED storage projects put together, according to Steve Evans, Wild Rivers Consultant. The PPIC estimates the CALFED projects will have a combined average annual yield of 410,000 AF.

Representatives of fishing groups, environmental groups and Indian Tribes have criticized the expansion of water acreage for almonds, a water intensive crop, at a time when salmon, Delta smelt and other fish populations are imperiled by poor water management by the state and federal governments - and when urban users are now mandated to cut back on water use by 25%.

“It’s a good thing for urban users to conserve water, but since agriculture uses 80% of water, the Governor's emergency drought declaration missed the mark by not including agriculture,” said Tom Stokely, Water Policy Analyst for the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN) “A lot of people feel their efforts to conserve water are so that a wealthy almond farmer can plant more trees and make greater profit. These statistics on increased almond plantings actually PROVE that we are conserving water in urban areas so that more almonds can be planted."

In response to those who argue that if the acreage wasn't planted with almonds, it would be planted with cotton or other crops, Stokely noted, "Cotton is not a permanent crop and you can fallow it any year. You cannot fallow permanent crops like almonds and pistachios."

"It's inexcusable to increase the demand for California water by 500,000 AF in the midst of a historic drought," Stokely emphasized.

As urban users are mandated to slash their water use, Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick, owner of Paramount Farms and the largest tree fruit grower in the world, revealed his current efforts to expand pistachio, almond and walnut acreage during a record drought at this year’s annual pistachio conference hosted by Paramount Farms. (

During the event covered by the Western Farm Press, Resnick bragged about the increase in his nut acreage over the past ten years, including an 118% increase for pistachios, 47% increase for almonds and 30% increase for walnuts.

For more information about the California Water Impact Network, go to:

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Illustrated lecture on Inuit art and culture links to current concerns

On Sunday, May 17, from 2 to 4 pm, Mendocino College professor Leslie Saxon West will present an illustrated lecture titled "Sustainability, Subsistence, Survival and the Sacred: Through the Eyes of Inuit Artists of the Arctic" at Ukiah's Grace Hudson Museum. The event is free with Museum admission. Saxon West's presentation will take place on the last day of the Museum's current exhibit, "Ignite! The Art of Sustainability." The exhibit features multidisciplinary works by twelve artists representing six different regions of California that respond to the state's environmental challenges in refreshing and provocative ways. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm, and Sunday from noon to 4:30 pm. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please go to or call (707) 467-2836.

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Warmest spiritual greetings to Beyond Extreme Energy. Please know that I have signed up for the May 21-29 FERC actions in Washington D.C., and donated online $150, and will need housing, etcetera. I still await an appointment with my tax preparer here, after which I am free to head toward Washington D.C. Please assume that I will arrive at the appropriate time...for further information, I suggest that you consult the Yi Jing! That's what I'm doing today, ;-) Craig

Craig Louis Stehr May 6, 2015 Berkeley, CA 10:40 A.M.

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On Wednesday, June 17th , 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, The Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting: Summer Reading Program Kick-Off, a family event for all ages. Launch into our summer theme, “Every Hero has a Story” and get registered to soar with your super reading powers through the summer! We’ll celebrate with some awesome drum music and learn some fancy footwork while moving to the beat!

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Ginny Rorby's new YA novel.

Print order so far--225,000.

Sunday, June 7th, 4 pm

Little River Inn's Abalone Room

I will be doing a power point and reading from my new novel,

How to Speak Dolphin.

No snakes this time. Sorry.

Cake and refreshments only!

Ginny Rorby



  1. Bill Pilgrim May 7, 2015

    RE: ‘Four Counties Network.’ Anyone know who was there from Mendo. County?
    Anderson Valley?
    Seems like the EIR challenge approach, especially amid a drought, is effective.

  2. Jim Updegraff May 7, 2015

    As a follow up on Costco wages paid. There is a trial period for new employees – seasonal work at $11.50/hr. If a worker is accepted as a permanent employee wages vary but hourly workers make an average of $20/hr or about $43,000 a year for a 40 hour week, or a 30 hour week of about $31,000. Supervisory pay scales, of course, are higher. About 88% (including part-time)of emplyees are covered by a company sponsored health care plan. There is also dental and pharmacy plans as well as a 401(k) plan.

    Turnover of employees over 1 year is 5%. Very low for the retail business. It should be noted Costco has performance standards employees must meet.

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