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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, May 30, 2015

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PERMIT BEFORE BREACH

Re the “dam” blocking the Navarro River mouth —

Thank you, Renee Pasquinelli (State Parks Biologist), for this very clear, well-reasoned explanation below for why “citizen” river-breaching of the Navarro River mouth can occur only with a permit: because it "can be lethal to estuary species” by "leaving the highly saline layer.” I will spread your explanation to locals and encourage you to do likewise via an article in these four local papers:

  • Mendocino Beacon <Beacon@mcn.org>
  • Advocate News <advocatenews@mcn.org>
  • Anderson Valley Advertiser <ava@pacific.net>
  • Independent Coast Observer ICO <letters@mendonoma.com>

Tom Wodetzki, Albion

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On May 28th Renee Pasquinelli <Renee.Pasquinelli@Parks.ca.gov> wrote:

Hi Rick,

I appreciate being brought in to the discussion; as you have stated, State Parks is responsible for management of the Navarro property. We too have received questions regarding the closure of the river mouth. This situation has existed for decades; the difference is the previous tenant of the Mill Keepers house artificially breached the mouth (sometimes in the middle of the night) to protect his chemical shed. Below is a recent response that I wrote to Superintendent Loren Rex regarding the Navarro breaching question:

River breaching is subject to regulation by the Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, State Lands Commission, and CA Department of Fish and Wildlife. State Parks does not have the authority to simply breach the mouth.

Also, past studies have concluded that artificial breaching without adequate rainfall can be lethal to estuary species. Estuaries contain salt and fresh water; the heavier salt water sinks to the bottom forming a highly saline lens beneath a somewhat freshwater upper layer. Breaching siphons off the top freshwater layer, leaving the highly saline layer beneath. Organisms that were able to escape the toxic saline layer prior to breaching have been trapped at the bottom and killed by the saline "brine". I have literally seen thousands of dead fish, crabs, and other organisms at the Navarro after an illegal breaching incident several years ago.

Unfortunately, the Navarro discussions escalate only when people see the closed river mouth and want access to the beach. This stimulates a perception that something has to be done now. Ideally, we need a long term management plan for the Navarro estuary. As I recall from my past work in the Russian River area, Sonoma County Water Agency ultimately worked with Army Corps, the public, and the other regulatory agencies to develop a river mouth plan that included breaching -- but the work was justified to prevent flooding of private residences on the lower Russian River. Also, as I recall, the compromise was that the river had to be monitored such that breaching could only occur when certain ecological conditions existed.

I would welcome the opportunity to work with CDFW and the other regulatory agencies to pursue funding for a long term plan. For now, there is little threat to the Navarro facilities from the high water level (the Inn was raised a few years ago), and as I understand, there is a great potential for die off of sensitive species if illegal breaching occurs.

Please do keep me in the loop on the Navarro subject and I'll also continue to send you information that I receive from State Parks.

Regards, Renee

Renee Pasquinelli
Senior Environmental Scientist
California State Parks, Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District
12301 North Highway 1, Box 1
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-5721
(707) 937-2953 fax

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LESS WATER: REDISTRIBUTED DENSITY

Dear Editor,

There has been for many years talk, on and off, of bringing a water and or septic system to various parts of the Anderson Valley. Some twenty years ago, I was told, if there is no water or septic, and the property is zoned for 1 acre and not 10 or 20, etc, only one residence is allowed (one per 40,000 sq ft). With water, a subdivision may be granted for 3-4 residences (one per 12,000 sq ft) and with water and septic it's 5-6 (one per 6000 sq ft). The Planning Department would not automatically grant a request for a subdivision but the possibility of a dramatic change in density should be considered, and a change in property values.

A second issue to consider is the cost of maintenance. Even a leach field doesn't last forever.

At some point, an increase in density results in the need for an enlarged system. In some areas where zoning changes to permit increased density were not forthcoming, granny apartments were added on, some illegally, and some homes had rooms informally turned into rentals for tourists to bring an increase in revenue to the property owner. This put enough stress on the water/septic system to leave little option but to enlarge the water/septic system, at more cost per parcel.

Lastly, any of you remember the kind of funky, artist town Mendocino was before its system was upgraded? Who can afford to live there now?

Because California is in a drought, there is a greater push for water coming from all directions, farm, business, residential, North, South. Next year could be an El Nino year with lots of rain, but the drought will be back. In the last 40 years there has been a dramatic increase in the population density of the Anderson Valley. If there is not enough water, and the septic systems are too close to the wells, maybe a redistribution in density is the direction to go.

Sincerely,

Nancy Mayer

Philo

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CREATIVE USE of an old propane tank on Anderson Valley Way in Boonville:

AVWayPig2

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PUT IT TO A VOTE

Editor,

The following is a response to the editorial printed on the opinion page of the May 14, 2015 issue of the Fort Bragg Advocate News:

As previously stated by many residents and merchants of the City of Fort Bragg, the proposal to use the Old Coast Hotel for mental health services and transitional housing is not in the best interests of either the citizens and merchants of the City of Fort Bragg or the City itself. A major concern is the manner in which a majority of the governing board of our city decided to go forward with the project. Virtually every opponent to the project believes that the process was not transparent and was not done with sufficient input from the residents and citizens who will bear the brunt of an ill-conceived project.

No one is seriously objecting to humanitarian efforts to help those unfortunate enough to be caught in the cycle of poverty, substance abuse, homelessness and mental illness. We simply feel that the objectives can be fulfilled at another location such that the adverse impact on citizens and merchant will be minimized.

Unfortunately, Mayor Dave Turner has taken the position that he knows what is best for the City of Fort Bragg, its residents and merchants. While it is true that our form of government is a republic and most decisions are made by our elected representatives, those representatives do not operate in a vacuum. It is the responsibility of the citizenry to voice their opinion on the issues of the day. It is the obligation of their elected representatives to listen and to consider the opinions of their constituents. If little or no opinions are expressed, we impliedly consent that our elected representatives will act in our best interest. But when the people stand up and express their opinions, we expect our elected representatives to seriously consider that as an important factor in coming to their decisions. We do not believe that occurred in this case. Nor do we believe that it occurs own a consistent basis. We believe that Mayor Turner, for one, had already made up his mind well in advance of notice to the public that the proposal was being considered. Mayor Turner, following the City Council meeting of January 26, 2015, already had a written statement justifying his decision to ignore the overwhelming opposition to the project. Unfortunately, there is only one method that law abiding citizens have to rein in a rogue politician. That method is through the use of the ballot, either by recall or regularly scheduled elecitons.

It is indeed unfortunate that the recall petition of Mayor Turner will result in the expenditure of taxpayer funds. However, a strong argument can be made that the majority of our city council did not seem concerned about the expenditure of perhaps 2-3 times that amount to purchase and install movable window blinds in one or more government buildings, particularly Town Hall where most meetings are held in the evening. This is a waste of our tax dollars. Have our government officials become too lazy to manually adjust the blinds? This is just one example of our city government's willingness to raid public money while our infrastructure crumbles. That money could have been better spent repairing some of the pot holes around town, particularly in our ill-maintained alleys.

The decision to recall Mayor Turner is not based solely on one issue. Any citizen who had the unfortunate experience dealing with the monumental red tape and hurdles placed by the bureaucracy of city government knows that this process is a minefield of regulatory entanglements. However, in this case, every aspect of the project was fast tracked in such a way as to avoid oversight and approval. No other citizens would be given such carte blance treatment at the expense of the residents and merchants.

The issue of whether to approve or reject a project of this scope is one that has engendered a great amount of public concern. In spite of that fact, the city's attorney expressed her opinion that the City Council did not need approval of the residents of Fort Bragg to go forth with the project. The citizens are the ones who pay her fees for such representation, yet get no consideration for what is in their best interest or the best interest of the City of Fort Bragg. One can't help but wonder whether a local attorney hired to advise the board would have taken such a myopic position.

In closing, we do not particularly care whether the Fort Bragg Advocate News is convinced that our position on the issue of the Old Coast Hotel project or the recall of Mayor Turner is appropriate. Fortunately, the ultimate decision to recall Mayor Turner will be in the hands of the voters.

Signed,

Judy Valadao, Marissa Colombi, Annette Reynolds

Fort Bragg

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RHETORIC VS. RECORD

At the city council meeting, May 11 , Mayor Turner presented his response to the recall, a list of his accomplishments in office, a position he has held, for 7 consecutive years, recapping it with my own comments:

"Five months ago," Turner said, "I was honored to be returned to office to continue work on the promises I made when I asked the citizens of Fort Bragg to elect me."

In fact, Turner nearly lost the election; Peters and Cimolino each had more votes. Turner was initially declared as having lost until several days later, with all ballots counted, he squeaked through by about forty votes, a clear vote of no confidence in Turner from the frustrated voting majority, as the Peters-Cimolino vote was an expression of public unhappiness with this mayor.

His nomination, by councilman Deitz on Dec. 8, 2014, is now under scrutiny as a possible violation of the Brown Act.

"Since 2002 I have been committed to bringing a business sense to Fort Bragg." (Government isn't business, it's government supported partly by business taxes.)

Balanced budget? It seems that the budget is balanced.

Jobs.

The only jobs Turner has brought to town are minimum wage, no benefits jobs at the Dollar Tree and the future Taco Bell. The best paying jobs Turner supports are those of his staff, and the San Francisco legal firm he hired because they "knocked his socks off" ' but continue to cost the City a lot of money.

Pudding Creek trestle.

This great idea was actually the brainchild of the late Jim Larsen, but Turner is never above claiming others' ideas as his own if they prove popular.

Smart mill site redevelopment.

Many residents feel far too much city time and money has been spent on grand plans for property the city doesn't own, at the expense of the existing town. The owners of the mill site have recently notified the City that they have no intention of selling their property piecemeal, and the "state of the art" brewery project and all the Turner-driven City plans for the site are on hold, perhaps permanently.

"Affordable high-speed internet."

Still in the planning stage, as Turner concedes.

Clean streets.

With the ever growing homeless population depositing everything from paper plates from Hospitality House's free meals, to canine and human excrement, the downtown streets and alleys, as nearby business owners will confirm, are not what most people would call "clean."

"Downtown revitalization"

The hugely unpopular and unnecessary Franklin Street remodel hurt those businesses, some to extinction, and Turner's proposed Main Street remodel project would have done the same, but was so unpopular with residents it did not go forward, after an estimated $300,000 was spent on the planning process. The Hare Creek Mall, another Turner -backed project, would cause further economic harm to struggling downtown small businesses. The Old Coast Hotel as a facility for the homeless in the center of the business district, has been extremely unpopular with local business owners as well as residents, most of whom understand that the best hope for the town's future lies in tourism. Turners' and his city council allies' emphasis on a tiny 'Old Town' of a few blocks ignores the rest of the town.

The Coastal Trail.

This popular new attraction came about because of the local Land Trust and was in the works long before Turner made it his pet project.

Water solutions.

Unclear what the Mayor is taking credit for here.

Noyo Center.

In the planning stage.

Community College.

A viable community college is desired by everyone. I don't remember city government ever getting involved with this.

C V Starr Center.

It began as a community pool and grew into something else, with construction as well as management difficulties.

Playing fields

See 'ongoing'

Rainy day funds

Based on the 7% kickback the city receives from each grant?

Turner then states that "Many of the things we have accomplished and many are ongoing..."

More are 'ongoing' than 'accomplished'.

Those listed as 'Ongoing' (read 'nonexistent) include:

Smart mill site redevelopment

A reservoir (must provide water to the new mall)

The Noyo Center

The best community college marine science program in California. (Tell it to Scripps Institute… This also seems to be under the auspices of our college administrators, not the city council.)

Scholarships to MCC for local HS grads (Why didn't Turner initiate this many years ago, when he first became mayor?)

Jobs

Playing field

Affordable internet

"These continue to be my priorities." Turner's son, on the Flo Beds web site, states that his dad " "has made helping the homeless a cornerstone" of his 12 year term in office, but this somehow is omitted from his list.

Turner also says, "the great thing about living in the United States is we have a government that is answerable to the citizens." But at the Jan. 26 city council meeting, Turner made a contrary comment. From the minutes of that meeting Turner stated that he was elected to consider the facts and vote what HE thinks is best for the community. "Everyone has heard of politicians who vote by poll results and have no moral compass; that is not HIS style, he has a moral compass."

The rest of us don't?

The grassroots movement to recall Turner has been wrongly portrayed as based on fear and dislike of the homeless; this list offers many sound motives for a change now.

I support a recall of Dave Turner, hoping the next mayor will offer transparency in city governance, and a participatory democratic process.

Alice Chouteau

Fort Bragg

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LIKE, WHATEVER

Editor,

Re: A Specific or Two

Dear Mark Scaramella,

I assume it was you who wrote the Ed Reply to my letter printed in the May 27 Letters to the Editor, primarily because I don't think Bruce attends all the county Board of Supervisors and Fort Bragg City Council meetings.

You'd like a "specific or two"? Recall the brouhaha raised at the City Council meeting over (former) Police Chief Scott Mayberry's name having been removed from the door at the Poilce Department? Remember the buckets of vitriol spewed in the chamber on that — and a subsequent — occasion? Aimed at the Council members and towards the City Manager especially?

I do remember those incidents. After reading about the first one, I drove to the Fort Bragg Police Department to see first hand what all the fuss was about. Approaching the glass front door entrance, on the left-hand side of the glass wall, in gold letters (like the kind of signage one sees at high-end lawyers and investment offices), I read, "Fort Bragg Police Department" and, underneath this in a slightly smaller gold font, "Scott Mayberry, Chief."

Imagine my surprise. Where was the "disrespect" so many at the City Council meeting had so vehemently alluded to? I went inside and spoke to the clerk. I asked her if their was another sign I'd missed. She excused herself and, upon returning, invited me to follow her down the hallway, where she pointed out a small, engraved plastic 2 inch by 6 inch plaque with the name of the (then) Acting Chief. She explained that the Acting Chief had served in that capacity before and so when he resumed the position he brought in his old name plaque and replaced Chief Mayberry's small plastic name plaque by the door. "He also had one for the desk and replaced that one, too." she offered.

That was all there was to it, dear Editor. Later that day, I went on-line and viewed the video of the City Council meeting where the Council and City Manager had been so passionately castigated for their gross disrespect. Sorry, Editor, the two pieces simply did not match.

Another specific? What I've read — in your paper and in the Advocate News — amounts to little more than the Fort Bragg City Council and the city staff simply doing their jobs. Before I became — in your words — an, "infallible, muy cool, hustling, arrogant active Democrat without any visible ability" — I was a pre-law college student with an emphasis in political science, where I learned that a responsible government — at any level — hires qualified, competent personnel to carry out the policies and programs they (the Council) have determined to be in the best interests of the general public they serve. In order to accomplish this, staff has to make decisions and submit recommendations to the governing Board, which then makes a decision. It seems to me that this is precisely what has occurred — even in the case of the old Coast Hotel, which, while perhaps not popular with some, was clearly made in a public meeting and which certainly does not rise to an impeachable offense.

As for my reference to the Koch Brothers' interest in all this, it is no secret Koch Industries owns Georgia Pacific. The disposition of the old mill property — which I recall comprises about a third of the land in the City of Fort Bragg — represents a huge potential financial windfall for them, but, more importantly, could (and should) serve as the basis for the revitalization of Fort Bragg and its economy.

As such, the very last thing the Koch interests want is a government that has the spine and ability to bend the Koch interests towards those which benefit the city as a whole, which is exactly what the Fort Bragg City Council has done thus far and will continue in the future — maybe. The vital elements necessary to accomplish this adaptive re-use of the GP land are 1) a local government with vision and spine and, 2) a City staff with the knowledge and expertise to carry that vision out.

Fortunately, Fort Bragg currently has both. Before serving as Fort Bragg's City Manager, she served as the city's Director of Planning. Before that, she was Mendocino County's Chief Coastal Planner. Before that, she was a county Planning Commissioner. Her knowledge, experience and expertise in coastal planning matters is unparallelled. As such, she is an obstacle to those — like the Koch Brothers and other real estate interests in the Fort Bragg area — who would follow a get-rich-fast approach to the future disposition of the development of this property.

If you cannot appreciate that the real fight is not about Dave Turner — with whom I do not always agree (the proposed Transfer Station being one) — but who has evinced over his years on the Council a genuine care and concern for the future of the City. The real fight is over who the City Manager is, whose knowledge and backbone is matched by her dedication to the welfare and genuine progress of the people and the city.

That's why I wish Roanne Withers were still here, so she could enlighten you to how grotesquely Fort Bragg was misgoverned during the bad-old-days. Believe me, the folks who are orchestrating Dave Turner's recall are after the City Manager's job. The "people" are being manipulated by the same interests that ruled prior to the clean-sweep City Council campaign Roanne organized.

As for your paper's swirling in other tangential issues, they only obfuscate and fail to elucidate the core issues in play here.

On a personal note, I know you spent your early career in the military. I spent my high school years in a southern military academy. So I appreciate we have an approximately similar background and, perhaps, training. Nevertheless, I'd like to clear up a few erroneous assumptions you've made — and continue to make — about me. Your characterization of my being an "active Mendo Democrat" translating to "not only infallible but muy cool" is not only a gratuitous slur but bone-headed wrong. I am a Democrat because, being fallible, I recognize that others are too. I've never been an "insider", more of an outlier; "hustler"? — Really? Specifically? "Arrogance"? I am the most humble person I know. "any visible ability"? Did you see the Coast mailer I crafted for Dan Hamburg's 2010 5th District Supervisor campaign? That was my baby. Did the job, eh? (And have you ever seen any of my theatre lighting designs?).

Finally, I don't drink white wine and am supporting Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination.

Go Figure.

Regards,

Lee Edmundson, Mendocino

ED REPLY: It seems, Lee, you've forgotten the second part of Hem's dictum: Write drunk, edit sober.

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HOW DAVE TURNER BECAME MAYOR OF FORT BRAGG. (15 minutes into the video.)

http://livestream.com/accounts/62078/events/3645697

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WARRIORS GUARD KLAY THOMPSON has been officially diagnosed with a concussion, the team announced in a release Friday morning:

Thompson exited Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals after Houston’s Trevor Ariza inadvertently kneed him in the side of the head.

Thompson later returned to the bench, but suffered bleeding from his right ear. After participating in postgame celebrations, Thompson began to feel unwell and exhibited some concussion-like symptoms, prompting speculation Wednesday night and throughout the day Thursday that he’d sustained a concussion.

The release said that Thompson will not return to the court until he’s symptom-free.

The Warriors play the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday at 6 p.m.

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FAMILY AND CHILDREN’S SERVICES

(Grand Jury Press Release)

The Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services Agency is one of the lowest-scoring child protective services agencies in the State of California. In spite of a dedicated, caring, hardworking staff, the agency appears to be falling further behind. Every performance indicator points to understaffing as the main culprit. The understaffing has many causes: noncompetitive compensation, work overload, poor management, and low morale. Senior management is aware of the issues and their consequences but has failed to address them.

A number of the interviewees expressed the grave concern, that because of the current state of affairs in Family and Children’s Services Agency, “a disaster is waiting to happen.” The purpose of this investigation is to find out why and to publish the facts.

The Grand Jury reminds the reader that beyond the dry recitation of facts, beneath the numbers and statistics, behind the charts and graphs, there are real human lives involved. There are children in harm’s way. If the reader thinks this is sensationalism then he/she is referred to a front page article in the Ukiah Daily Journal under “Police Roundup” dated Saturday, January 30, 2015.

ED NOTE: Readers can find the whole works on our website at:

https://www.theava.com/archives/43922#2

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 29, 2015

Ackerman, Anderson, Boyce
Ackerman, Anderson, Boyce

CHRISTOPHER ACKERMAN, Possession of controlled substance, vandalism, probation revocation.

KEITH ANDERSON, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

COLE BOYCE, Ukiah. Vandalism, resisting arrest.

Elliott, Flores, Gottsimmons
Elliott, Flores, Gottsimmons

LONNY ELLIOTT, Ukiah. Court order violation, probation revocation.

BERNABE FLORES, Possession & Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

CHADLEY GOTTSIMMONS, Redwood Valley. Rape, oral copulation by force, threat or fear, false imprisonment.

Grinsell, Guevara, Jeffers, Rogers
Grinsell, Guevara, Jeffers, Rogers

MANDY GRINSELL, Willits. Pot possession for sale, sale-transport-furnish pot, sale of meth, possession of meth for sale, probation revocation.

MIGUEL GUEVARA, Willits. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.

JEREMY JEFFERS, Talmage. Probation revocation.

TIFFANY ROGERS, Ukiah. Possession of drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.

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Hopper3

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RUM AND COCA COLA

Since the Yankees came to Trinidad

They have the young girls going mad

The young girls say they treat them nice

And they give them a better price

 

They buy rum and Coca-Cola

Go down Point Cumana

Both mother and daughter

Working for the Yankee dollar

 

I had a little mopsy the other day

Her mother came and took her away

Then her mother and her sisters

Went in a car with some soldiers

 

There are some aristos in Port-of-Spain

I know them well, but I won't call names

In the day they wouldn't give you a right

But you can see them with the foreigners late at night

 

A couple got married one afternoon

And was to go Mayaro on a honeymoon

The very night the wife went with a Yankee lad

And the stupid husband went staring mad

 

Inspector Jory did a good job

At St. James he raid a recreation club

They was carrying on the club as a brothel

The condition in which he found the girls I cannot tell

 

— Rupert Grant (Lord Invader)

The story behind the song...

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BAY AREA TELEVISION is reporting that lots of Bolinas people are fed up with the graffiti plaguing the public areas of town while the graffiti vandals, natch, claim spray painting blobs of toxic paint all over the place is art.

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IF WALLS COULD TALK

Some thoughts on graffiti, or "street art"

by Steve Heilig

The beautiful black mushroom stood alone for many years there on the white Airplane House seawall, it even marked a gathering spot — "I'll meet you on the beach, at the mushroom," we would say, and that was enough. A bunch of us even stayed there all night at least once. Some said it was by a famed graffiti artiste, but nobody seemed to know for sure. And it didn't really matter — it was striking, and cool, and again, was the only "street art" on that wall for a long time.

After some years there was more graffiti on other parts of the beach too. Down the beach "to the right" from the Brighton ramp there was a fair bit of paint on the lower parts up the wall. But it too was relatively low key. Some of it was even fairly accomplished and cool — surfing dragons, other creatures, etc. (Raquel Welch and her prehistoric fur bikini with a surfboard was nice enough too). Some of this other stuff was said to be by "name" artists too, but who knew, and who really cared?

Eventually this all changed, of course. Bolinas was "discovered" online as a hotspot for graffiti. In retrospect it seems like almost overnight the paint spread, on the ramp itself, on the sea walls over by the groin and Wharf ramp and beach, and on the Airplane House wall itself. Then it hit the big fallen beach tree and even the cliff itself, and spread up the rest. Eventually even the original mushroom was covered over.

Now, no need to get all academic here, but this whole scenario recalls at least two landmark intellectual theories. The first is the "broken window" concept which originated in the 1980s and is, according to wikipedia, "a criminological theory of the norm setting and signaling effect of urban disorder and vandalism on additional crime and antisocial behavior. The theory states that maintaining and monitoring urban environments in a well ordered condition may stop further vandalism and escalation into more serious crime." More specifically, a broken window in a building leads to more breaking of windows and worse, whereas if all windows are in tact, they tend to stay that way.

This is controversial stuff and has been used to justify repressive policies, but it is still a popular concept. The parallel with beach graffiti seems valid, at least — when there was no graffiti or even just one mushroom, it stayed that way, but once more was added, it, well, mushroomed.

The other relevant theory is the "Tragedy of the Commons," the title of a paperby biologist Garrett Hardin of UC Santa Barbara (he was my undergraduate advisor so his ideas kinda lodged in my head). This theory has also been controversial ever since — Hardin applied it to overpopulation and questioned the "right" to reproduce, for example — but it certainly applies in places. The commons concept is that a resource "owned" by everybody — or nobody — tends to be overused, exploited, even ruined, unless managed to avoid that. Water supplies are one very relevant example. Clean air is a commons, as is open space, etc. The Medicare program is a commons. And public streets, parks and beaches are commons.

Blank space on walls seemed to be a commons in many places. So, once the "window" of graffiti gets breached, it tends to spread. Is this a problem? For some people it is. One can take a position that there should be none allowed at all or that anything goes, or something in between. But if any "street art" is allowed, then what are the limits?

BolinasBeachArt2

I don't know much about art, but I know what I like, or don't like, or — well, sometimes. "Tagging" graffiti, the kind where just a kind of signature is written, often illegibly but known to the tagger and his colleagues or competition, I don't much like. It has always struck me as really a form of adolescent acting out — but does that mean I'm turning into a COP (cranky old person)? Gawd, I hope not — but that's happened to better people than me.

But what about what more people might call "art"? — skilled painting of all manner of realistic or surrealistic or whatever images? Bolinas has had a bunch of it. Other parts of the world have had, say, Banksy, whose "pieces" are now worth piles of money (and thus often stolen as soon as they appear). Barry McGee is justly famed for his art and has been rumored to have done public work in Bolinas (although he has privately denied this). But most graffiti is neither Banksy or Barry.

What the "canvas" of the seawalls and ramps and such have become is an ever evolving "gallery" of public work. Right now I think the overall "quality" is relatively low — lots of plain old initials and urban looking tagging there. But it's colorful at a minimum, it changes, and who am I to say? Or anybody? Who decides what is allowed? How to enforce whatever rules? Is painting over what we don't like okay? Maybe even another form of "art" or tagging? Don't taggers do that to each other? Is the paint toxic to any creature? Is this much ado about nothing? What limits are okay on what right now — on the Brighton ramp — is called "free speech"?

Below one beach house the signs reading "Please limit painting to lower vertical concrete wall" seemed to have worked (surprisingly?). Hardin proposed that only "mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon" would work in a commons to preserve things. But who agrees on what? Maybe I just miss my mushroom?

End of sermon — with more questions than answers, as usual. But consider this wisdom from the great American cultural critic, Bart Simpson: "One man's art is another man's fart, man!"

* * *

FROM SIT IN TO KNIT IN

The Ukiah Library will be hosting: Knit-In for Worldwide Knit in Public Day! Saturday, June 13th 10 am-5pm

We invite the entire community to a knit-in at the Ukiah Library. All ages and styles of fiber artists are welcome to bring their portable fiber crafts to the library for a community knit-in (or sew-in, crochet-in…) We will also be collecting yarn squares to help adorn our library’s bike rack at a later date. Hope to see you there! Please contact the library at 467-6434 or 463-4490 for more information. 105 N Main St. Ukiah CA

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ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Back many decades ago when I was in high school, I had a friend whose father was a chemist working for duPont. I remember once while having dinner at my friend’s house, his father remarked that if we realized what could be made from oil, we would also realize that using it as a fuel is criminal.

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HERO STORIES

The Ukiah Library celebrates literacy and learning with Every Hero Has a Story: our first All-Ages Summer Reading Program from June 16th-August 15th.

We invite the entire community to participate in our first ever all-ages summer reading program & especially encourage parents of youth of all ages to help their child beat the summer slide by participating & reading books over the summer. According to the National Summer Learning Association, research over the years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of a summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. Moreover, a 2010 report released by Dominican University shows that students who participate in library summer reading programs score higher on standardized reading tests than those who do not participate in them.
Through its Summer Reading Program, the Ukiah Library aims to foster positive learning habits and long-term literacy skills among youth.

Parents of children & teens are highly encouraged to discuss the benefits of participating in the Ukiah Library Summer Reading Program with their kids and young adults. Some event highlights include:

Children’s Events

  • June 17th-Summer Reading Kickoff 11am-noon
  • June 18th Live Bats At The Library 11am-noon
  • June 20th Film: Incredible Journey Of The Butterflies 1pm-2pm
  • June 24th Toddlers- Bring Your Grownup For Zumba Dancercising! 11am-noon
  • June 27th Celebrate Family Heroes With Fireworks Art! 1pm – 2pm
  • July 1st Mythological Hero Tales With Linda Pack 11am-noon
  • July 8th Mendo Musician/Hero Story Teller Richard Jeske 11:00-noon
  • July 11th Lego Robotics For Kids 1pm.-3 pm Sign Up 7/1: 463-4153
  • July 15th Stories And Snacks For Superheroes 11am-Noon
  • July 18th Film: Super Heroes 6 11am-1pm
  • July 22nd Origami Heroes Age 8 Up. 11a.m.-Noon
  • July 29th Canine Heroes 11am-Noon
  • August 6th Storyteller John Weaver Tells Tall Tales! 11am-Noon
  • August 12th Summer Reading Program Finale Celebration! 11am-Noon

Teen Events

  • June 16th – Summer Reading Kickoff-Noon-6pm
  • June 18th – Live Bats At The Library 11am
  • June 23rd –Stephanie Kuehn (Charm & Strange, Complicit) Reading & Book Signing 4:30pm
  • July 8th – Guardians Of The Galaxy & Duct-Tape Costumes 4:30-7:30pm July 22nd – Samurai Origami With Kathy Silva 11:00 Am
  • July 31st – Teen Lock-In 7pm-Midnight
  • Aug. 5th- Attack On Titan & Fuse Bead Kits 2pm
  • Aug. 8th – I Am Malala Book Chat 11am
  • Aug. 15th – Cosplay Heroes Teen Summer Reading Finale (4:30-7:30)
  • Wii-U Gaming For Teens Every Thursday 3:30-5
  • Snak & Yak Every Friday 3:30-4:30

Adult Events

  • Aug. 6th – Party With Ukiah’s Everyday Community Heroes - Adult Summer Reading Finale & Raffle 8-10pm
  • Aug. 8thI Am Malala Book Chat 11am

For more information about the Ukiah Library Summer Reading Program, please contact: Melissa Eleftherion Carr (Teens & Adults) at 707-467-4634 or carrm@co.mendocino.ca.us Judith Kayser (Children’s) at 707-463-4153 or kayserj@co.mendocino.ca.us

* * *

GROUPS URGE GOVERNOR BROWN TO STOP IRRIGATING CROPS WITH OIL FIELD WASTEWATER

by Dan Bacher

Oil industry representatives, in response to criticism over their use of water for fracking and steam injection oil drilling operations during the drought, have claimed that oil field wastewater can be used beneficially by farmers to irrigate crop in California.

In a recent blog post, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, touted the use of oil field wastewater for irrigating crops in Kern County in the southern San Joaquin Valley. (https://www.wspa.org/blog/post/california-energy-producers-and-drought-managing-water-scarcity)

"Bringing crude oil to the surface from deep underground so it can be refined into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel is a process that also produces water – lots of water," gushed Reheis-Boyd.

"For every barrel of oil produced in California, many more barrels of water are also brought to the surface," she said. "According to the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the average barrel of oil in California results in the production of 15 barrels of water."

She acknowledged that much of this water is "unsuitable for use above ground" but claimed, "Fortunately, there are still uses for this water."

"Most of it is injected into oil fields as steam or water to help produce more energy for Californians.  Some of it is treated and provided to farmers who use it to irrigate their crops," she said.

Reheis-Boyd claimed Kern County producers currently provide more than 31,000 acre feet of water annually to irrigate 45,000 acres of productive farmland. "That’s more than 10 billion gallons of water for farmers who are facing severe cuts in the water they receive from other sources, such as state and federal water projects," she said.

However, earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times revealed that testing by Water Defense had found toxic industrial chemicals present in the recycled oil field wastewater used to irrigate crops in California’s Central Valley, effectively challenging the oil industry claims that oil industry wastewater could be safely used for irrigating food crops. (http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-83440384/)

The Times quoted Blake Sanden, an agriculture extension agent and irrigation water expert with UC Davis, who said "everyone smells the petrochemicals in the irrigation water" in the Cawelo district. "When I talk to growers, and they smell the oil field crap in that water, they assume the soil is taking care of this.

"Microorganisms in soils can consume and process some impurities, Sanden said, but it's not clear whether oil field waste is making its way into the roots or leaves of irrigated plants, and then into the food chain," the Times reported.

Two national advocacy organizations, Food & Water Watch and Water Defense, are now calling on California Governor Jerry Brown to protect Americans who consume California produce by ending the practice of using toxic oil field wastewater for irrigation.

Scott Smith, Chief Scientist of Water Defense, collected the samples from treated wastewater sold by the oil and gas industry to the Cawelo Water District in Kern County, according to a joint statement from the two groups.

An alarming video released on May 26 shows Smith, who has tested water across the country, encountering tar balls and oil slicks, conditions he compared to those he witnessed during the Gulf oil spill in 2010. (http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/exclusive-water-defense-video-shows-tar-balls-oil-slicks-near-kern-county-irrigation-site/)

“I always viewed California as a leader in protecting the environment,” said Smith. “I was absolutely shocked when I found myself surrounded by food crops with the smell of oil coming off the irrigation water. It was worse than what I smelled during the BP Gulf oil spill.”

But the trouble doesn’t end with the smell.  “When the test results came back we found dangerous and toxic chemicals in the irrigation canal system,” said Smith. “The levels of these toxic chemicals exceeded what I have tested in official oil spill disasters.”

Water Defense reported that its tests found industrial solvents, including acetone and methylene chloride, as well as oil.

“California grows the lion’s share of the fruits and vegetables we eat in the United States,” said Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch Executive Director. “It is inexcusable that the oil and gas industry is allowed to use American families’ dinner plates as a disposal site for toxic oil field wastewater. Governor Jerry Brown must take immediate action to protect our food by ending the use of this industrial waste for irrigation.”

To learn more about Water Defense’s testing methods, read the interview with Scott Smith and view the video at their blog: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/exclusive-water-defense-video-shows-tar-balls-oil-slicks-near-kern-county-irrigation-site/

For more information, go to: foodandwaterwatch.org and waterdefense.org.

* * *

JUST IN FROM CRAIG

Where do we go from here?

Today marks the final day of protest of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington DC. Here is the latest update at:

http://www.dcindymedia.org/node/708

Please know that I have paid Hostelling International at 11th & K in Washington DC for three more nights. I have no plan, no appointments, no debt nor any other obligation of any kind whatsoever on the earth plane. "Following spirit" is my path (dualistically speaking). If you want anything from me, now is a good time to make contact. I will be checking emails randomly until my checkout time on Monday at 11am.

Craig Louis Stehr

Email: CraigStehr@inbox.com

Blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com

Friday May 29th, 2015, 8:38 PM Eastern Time

3 Comments

  1. Paul McCarthy May 30, 2015

    Can you forward the letter from Tom Wodetzki, Albion, regarding the Navarro River breaching to me here at MSP ? Someone already dug the canal through to the ocean. Photos posted Friday on Mendocinosportsplus

  2. Elizabeth Mitchell May 30, 2015

    People who are discussing the state of representative democracy as conducted by the Fort Bragg City Council may have noticed that membership on the Council consists exclusively of older, white, affluent men. The City’s top staff consists of a cadre of professional women whose role is usually described as “serving” the elected Council. However, the City of Fort Bragg’s demographics include roughly half women (from all walks of life) and one-third Latinos. Therefore it appears that most of the citizenry isn’t being represented by anybody currently serving on the Council. Unless the current Council members and their challengers would like to articulate how they are representing the majority of the population, including women and Latinos, it seems that no one is being represented.

  3. Alice chouteau May 30, 2015

    Excellent comments, Elizabeth
    We definitely should have more varied makeup of the council. Latinos, rowdy females, and younger people could all add so much.
    There has been some discussion of changing our city gov to a charter city form. I dont know enough about charter cities, but do know it could enable everyone in the Fort Bragg zip code to vote on city ballots and to run for office.
    Alice Chouteau
    Fort Bragg

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