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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015

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A Mendocino County man whose body was found in the trunk of his car near the Southern California city of Santa Clarita was the victim of a homicide, authorities confirmed Tuesday. Jose David Flores, 28, was found dead inside the trunk of his 2005 blue Honda Accord that was parked illegally on a street in Canyon Country, in the northwestern Los Angeles County. A Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputy discovered the body after stopping at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday to check on the vehicle. Flores was a resident of Leggett. An autopsy was scheduled to determine his cause of death. (courtesy The Press Democrat)

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THE MEDIAN rent in San Francisco is now $4,225 per month.

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SHEILA DAWN covers Mendocino Public Radio for the mighty AVA. "… [Stuart] Campbell also refused by email to give me requested information on the frequency of announcements, stating he wasn't going to use staff time to provide information that was only of interest to myself."

Seems that Campbell doesn't quite understand Ms. Dawn's reportorial function. Let's spell it out. Got your pencil and notebook, Stu? Ready, go! The reporter asks the public entity's rep the question on behalf of all the people who aren't present. The reporter writes the public rep's answer down, and when it's published the rest of us are informed. It's been done this way for years, outside of Philo anyway.

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RECOMMENDED READING. The Killing of Bin Laden by Seymour M. Hersh, London Review of Books, 21st May. Hersh confirms what a lot of us suspected — that Bin Laden, rendered globally inoperable because of his notoriety, was under a kind of house arrest by the Pakistani military. He'd been holed up a mile from a Pakistani military base for some time. His whereabouts were not discovered via ace sleuthing by the CIA. Nope, the Pakistanis gave Bin Laden up, allowed the Seals to fly in and do him up while the Pakistanis did a lot of post-assassination harrumphing about violated air space and the rest of it. Hersh is a great reporter, and has been a great reporter for many years. This story was turned down by The New Yorker on the grounds that Hersh's "sourcing" was dubious. I wonder how The New Yorker would go about a hyper-sensitive story like this where everyone involved has taken great risks to reveal any information at all? You can probably find it on-line some place. BTW, the LBO often runs stories about the Middle East our wimpo, government-handout-dependent media back off from.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY is spending between $7-8 million a year to a private business based in Yuba City called Ortner Management Group. In return, Ortner is supposedly taking care of this county's unattended mentally ill. How many people does he treat, maybe even rehab? Nobody knows or can know because a former employee of Ortner, an oleaginous little fellow called Tom Pinizzotto, reports to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on what Ortner is doing, and these reports do not include much if anything in the way of statistics.


MEANWHILE, as all of us know from the evidence presented to our own eyes, every community of any size in the county has a floating population of seriously disturbed, free range individuals who wander around until, inevitably, they are arrested and briefly housed in the County Jail. An Hawaiian woman named Janie Kaaihue, about 55-60 years old, has been on the streets of Ukiah for at least a month. She is visibly deranged, and has been arrested at least twice. So, where's Ortner? Where's the unprivatized part of Mendo Mental Health?

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THIS HELP WANTED AD appeared in last week's Independent Coast Observer on the Coast: "Caregiver needed for male intellectual with Parkinson's Disease in Sea Ranch. $200 per 24-hour shift, 2-3 days a week. Bring positive energy, be able to lift a heavy man, light house-cleaning, cooking. email"

WHENEVER I HEAR a Mendo person referred to as an "intellectual," I think of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge definition of the term as they went about murdering anybody who wore glasses.

ER, AH, UH, any intellectual who can write "Bring positive energy" in a non-ironic context is first in line for a credentials check. "Come on fat boy," the attendant laughed, "put the book down and let's brush your teeth."

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Law enforcement raided a state-legal medical cannabis cooperative in the Lake Tahoe area Monday, in a chilling reminder that the four year-old joint federal-state attack on medical marijuana continues despite widespread opposition.

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MASSIVE SEISMIC ACTIVITY worldwide has scientists very worried about "The Big Ones"

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Linda Ruffing is a very smart woman and you can’t fault her because the Mayor’s head is always looking to the left for guidance. Watching the Council meetings makes one think of the “bobble head dolls” people used to have in their rear windows. All heads shaking in agreement with whatever. They seem to have lost sight of the fact they answer to the community and Management answers to them. Again, you can’t fault Ms. Ruffing for that. Meeting with Management and the board of the Hospitality Center and giving “100%” support 2 months before the public was even aware of what was going on is in the view of many no different than closed door deals. People attended meeting after meeting and all the while the decision had all ready been made. Once more I’ll ask, how many other decisions have been made this way and how many more are on their way to being made in the same way? The recall isn’t about the vote, it’s about how the vote came about. It was the straw that broke the camels back. With all the credit Turner gives himself for everything done around Fort Bragg why do we have 4 other council people when only one is needed, after all “he” did it all. Even during the recall process he is “Turning on the Turner Tactics” and even poor Doug is out trying to express himself about why there shouldn’t be a recall.

— Judy Valadao

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WHEN ASKED OF MEN what do you fear most about women? The men replied, being laughed at. When asked of women what do you fear most about men? The women replied, being killed. (unattributed)

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FBI behind mysterious surveillance aircraft over US cities

by Jack Gillum, Eileen Sullivan & Eric Tucker

The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The planes' surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge's approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. The FBI said it uses front companies to protect the safety of the pilots and aircraft. It also shields the identity of the aircraft so that suspects on the ground don't know they're being watched by the FBI.

In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool in criminal, terrorism or intelligence probes. But the program raises questions about whether there should be updated policies protecting civil liberties as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.

U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed for the first time the wide-scale use of the aircraft, which the AP traced to at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services.

Even basic aspects of the program are withheld from the public in censored versions of official reports from the Justice Department's inspector general.

The FBI also has been careful not to reveal its surveillance flights in court documents.

"The FBI's aviation program is not secret," spokesman Christopher Allen said in a statement. "Specific aircraft and their capabilities are protected for operational security purposes." Allen added that the FBI's planes "are not equipped, designed or used for bulk collection activities or mass surveillance."

But the planes can capture video of unrelated criminal activity on the ground that could be handed over for prosecutions.

Some of the aircraft can also be equipped with technology that can identify thousands of people below through the cellphones they carry, even if they're not making a call or in public. Officials said that practice, which mimics cell towers and gets phones to reveal basic subscriber information, is rare.

Details confirmed by the FBI track closely with published reports since at least 2003 that a government surveillance program might be behind suspicious-looking planes slowly circling neighborhoods. The AP traced at least 50 aircraft back to the FBI, and identified more than 100 flights since late April orbiting both major cities and rural areas.

One of the planes, photographed in flight last week by the AP in northern Virginia, bristled with unusual antennas under its fuselage and a camera on its left side. A federal budget document from 2010 mentioned at least 115 planes, including 90 Cessna aircraft, in the FBI's surveillance fleet.

The FBI also occasionally helps local police with aerial support, such as during the recent disturbance in Baltimore that followed the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who sustained grievous injuries while in police custody. Those types of requests are reviewed by senior FBI officials.

The surveillance flights comply with agency rules, an FBI spokesman said. Those rules, which are heavily redacted in publicly available documents, limit the types of equipment the agency can use, as well as the justifications and duration of the surveillance.

Details about the flights come as the Justice Department seeks to navigate privacy concerns arising from aerial surveillance by unmanned aircrafts, or drones. President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance, and has called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified programs.

"These are not your grandparents' surveillance aircraft," said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union, calling the flights significant "if the federal government is maintaining a fleet of aircraft whose purpose is to circle over American cities, especially with the technology we know can be attached to those aircraft."

During the past few weeks, the AP tracked planes from the FBI's fleet on more than 100 flights over at least 11 states plus the District of Columbia, most with Cessna 182T Skylane aircraft. These included parts of Houston, Phoenix, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis and Southern California.

Evolving technology can record higher-quality video from long distances, even at night, and can capture certain identifying information from cellphones using a device known as a "cell-site simulator" — or Stingray, to use one of the product's brand names. These can trick pinpointed cellphones into revealing identification numbers of subscribers, including those not suspected of a crime.

Officials say cellphone surveillance is rare, although the AP found in recent weeks FBI flights orbiting large, enclosed buildings for extended periods where aerial photography would be less effective than electronic signals collection. Those included above Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

After The Washington Post revealed flights by two planes circling over Baltimore in early May, the AP began analyzing detailed flight data and aircraft-ownership registrations that shared similar addresses and flight patterns. That review found some FBI missions circled above at least 40,000 residents during a single flight over Anaheim, California, in late May, according to Census data and records provided by the website

Most flight patterns occurred in counter-clockwise orbits up to several miles wide and roughly one mile above the ground at slow speeds. A 2003 newsletter from the company FLIR Systems Inc., which makes camera technology such as seen on the planes, described flying slowly in left-handed patterns.

"Aircraft surveillance has become an indispensable intelligence collection and investigative technique which serves as a force multiplier to the ground teams," the FBI said in 2009 when it asked Congress for $5.1 million for the program.

Recently, independent journalists and websites have cited companies traced to post office boxes in Virginia, including one shared with the Justice Department. The AP analyzed similar data since early May, while also drawing upon aircraft registration documents, business records and interviews with U.S. officials to understand the scope of the operations.

The FBI asked the AP not to disclose the names of the fake companies it uncovered, saying that would saddle taxpayers with the expense of creating new cover companies to shield the government's involvement, and could endanger the planes and integrity of the surveillance missions. The AP declined the FBI's request because the companies' names — as well as common addresses linked to the Justice Department — are listed on public documents and in government databases.

At least 13 front companies that AP identified being actively used by the FBI are registered to post office boxes in Bristow, Virginia, which is near a regional airport used for private and charter flights. Only one of them appears in state business records.

Included on most aircraft registrations is a mysterious name, Robert Lindley. He is listed as chief executive and has at least three distinct signatures among the companies. Two documents include a signature for Robert Taylor, which is strikingly similar to one of Lindley's three handwriting patterns.

The FBI would not say whether Lindley is a U.S. government employee. The AP unsuccessfully tried to reach Lindley at phone numbers registered to people of the same name in the Washington area since Monday.

Law enforcement officials said Justice Department lawyers approved the decision to create fictitious companies to protect the flights' operational security and that the Federal Aviation Administration was aware of the practice. One of the Lindley-headed companies shares a post office box openly used by the Justice Department.

Such elusive practices have endured for decades. A 1990 report by the then-General Accounting Office noted that, in July 1988, the FBI had moved its "headquarters-operated" aircraft into a company that wasn't publicly linked to the bureau.

The FBI does not generally obtain warrants to record video from its planes of people moving outside in the open, but it also said that under a new policy it has recently begun obtaining court orders to use cell-site simulators. The Obama administration had until recently been directing local authorities through secret agreements not to reveal their own use of the devices, even encouraging prosecutors to drop cases rather than disclose the technology's use in open court.

A Justice Department memo last month also expressly barred its component law enforcement agencies from using unmanned drones "solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment" and said they are to be used only in connection with authorized investigations and activities. A department spokeswoman said the policy applied only to unmanned aircraft systems rather than piloted airplanes.

(Writers Sean Murphy in Oklahoma City; Joan Lowy and Ted Bridis in Washington; Randall Chase in Wilmington, Delaware; and news researchers Monika Mathur in Washington and Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report. Courtesy, the Associated Press.)

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"ON FRIDAY, May 29, at approx. 7:15 pm, UPD officers were dispatched to the area of Wal-Mart regarding a shoplifting that had just occurred. 
The female suspect had fled into the passenger seat of an awaiting vehicle and left the area in a silver SUV with dealer paper plates. A UPD officer quickly located the vehicle behind a large dirt mound at the South end of Airport Park Blvd. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle, however the vehicle sped up and began driving erratically N/B in the dirt lot.
 The vehicle drove over a culvert at a high rate of speed, which appeared to have damaged the vehicle. As the driver attempted to flee at a high rate of speed, the driver attempted to drive through a wire fence (located on the South side of Les Schwab Tires) and got stuck. The vehicle was “boxed in” by the patrol car.
 The driver, Charles Kesselring (age 29), attempted to flee on foot but was quickly apprehended. The passenger, Jennifer Wall (age 36) was taken into custody at the scene. The vehicle was previously reported stolen out of Humboldt County. Officers located suspected methamphetamine in the vehicle.
 Kesselring was wanted out of Humboldt County for carjacking, robbery, and terrorist threats. 
Kesselring was also on active PRCS probation (Post Release Community Supervision) for auto theft. Kesselring and Wall were lodged at the county jail, where Kesselring was additionally held on the Humboldt County charges.


UPD Case # 15-1547
Kesselring, Charles Albert (male, 29, Eureka) 
10851(a) CVC-Vehicle theft-felony 
496(a) PC-Possession of stolen property-felony 
2800.1(a) CVC-Evading-misdemeanor 
11377(a) HS-Possession of a controlled substance-misdemeanor 
148(a)(1) PC-Resist/delay officer-misdemeanor 
12500(a) CVC-Unlicensed driver-misdemeanor


Wall, Jennifer Rebecca (female, 36, Eureka) 
10851(a) CVC-Vehicle theft-felony 
496(a) PC-Possession of stolen property-felony 
11377(a) HS-Possession of a controlled substance-misdemeanor 
484(a) PC-Theft-misdemeanor 
490.5(a) PC-Shoplifting-misdemeanor

— Ukiah Police Sgt. Cedric Crook

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(MendocinoSportsPlus Note: A look at the jail records found the 6'0", 200 pound Charles Kesselring was arrested by the Ukiah PD @ 7:26 pm on May 30th. He was booked on three felony & four misdemeanor charges @ 8:07 pm the same day (bail $15,000) and had this photo taken 3:09 pm May 31st. He is still in custody as of 7:15 am Tuesday morning.
 In regards to the 5'7", 125 pound Jennifer Wall, she was arrested @ 7:26 pm May 29, booked on two felony & three misdemeanor counts @ 12:13 pm May 30 ($15,000 bail) and had this booking photo taken @ 1:34 am May 31st. She is still incarcerated as of Tuesday, 7:15 am.)

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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Judi Bari Day. Only in Mendocino!

This is just more evidence that America is way off the tracks. As if any more were needed. One glance at the Huffington Post and it's easy to see the game is over.

From national to local we see the total debauchery of politics and civil service by the pop culture of idiot narcissism and half baked cool fools lost in an orgy of egomania at cuber speed.

The speakers of truth to power of the Pacifica radio type are little more than paranoid preach to the choir loop tape cultists. Delusional in Birkenstocks!

If the FBI wanted you dead, you'd be well dead and quick. And by the way, Oswald did it. And the idea that our dysfunctional government could pull off an attack on New York is beyond ridiculous.

No conspiracy is even needed when a society is administered by and filled with fools, idiots, morons, and venal greedy assholes. It's a miracle there isn't more mayhem than there is.

The whole Judi Bari story reads like some F. Scott Fitzgerald novel teaming with phony radicals and a wife killer and charlatan carpet baggers lulling the leftover Left into bankrolling a new martyr while putting the Feds in their place. Wow, heavy man!

Smells like a Pentecostal tent revival to me. Looks a lot like a bunch of mock Liberals trying to put our fine county on some map for daring to honor such a radical saint.

What writer could even think up such a twisted plot? The husband walks. Some hippies get rich. And now the rudderless jerks who supervise the ruin of our county latch on to this pathetic circus as if it were some high mark of our collective sanity as no offshore drilling is.

How utterly embarrassing. What blatant self-serving drivel. What an insult to those of us who've not been brainwashed by the Bari-ites.

Good Luck,

Marvin Blake, Elk

PS. In my last letter about Geoengineering I said commercial flights don't fly over Northern California. The truth is they don't fly over Mendocino County, those giant jets are military tanker planes; believe it!

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Park Enhancements Improve Visitors’ Experiences & Increase Accessibility at Hendy Woods State Park

--Grand Reopening June 28: Free Admission

WHO/WHAT: Save the Redwoods League, Hendy Woods Community and California State Parks invite you to celebrate the grand reopening of Hendy Woods State Park Day-Use Area


WHERE: Hendy Woods State Park, less than a three-hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, 8 miles northwest of Boonville, a half-mile south of State Highway 128 on Philo-Greenwood Road in southwestern Mendocino County. Get Google directions to the park. Make a day of it: Learn more about Hendy Woods State Park and things to do nearby.


1-4 p.m.: You can check out the new walkways, interpretive panels, picnic shelters, resurfaced trail and more— all accessible to people with disabilities. Win prizes and get giveaways, too. Enjoy music, appetizers and dessert.

1-1:30 p.m. Join us for speakers and a sing-along. Please visit our website for more details.

2-3 p.m. Take a docent-led walk on the All-Access Trail through the ancient redwood forest.

Day Use Hours: 8 a.m.-sunset

FREE ADMISSION: The event and entry to the park for day use will be free of charge.


CAMP AT HENDY WOODS: For camping reservations, visit

Bring your family and friends to celebrate in this beautiful ancient redwood forest! You’re welcome to bring your own picnic lunch and use the barbecues.

Jennifer Benito, 
Director of Outreach, Save the Redwoods League
p (415) 820-5814
f (415) 362-7017

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To the Editor,

KZYX/Z is in the fourth day of the its fund drive. The goal for the on air drive is $85,000 to be given directly by the community. Much mention is being made by the staff and programmers about the costs of the equipment and infrastructure to entice donors to pledge or increase their pledges.

Instead of generalized talk about how much equipment costs, it would be helpful to know exactly how much money was spent on this expensive equipment last year; and, independent contractors to fix broken equipment, and how much is budgeted for this "expensive equipment" in fiscal year 2015-2016. In other words, what did the Board of Directors approve for new equipment this fiscal year?

This would be a step in helping the community understand how funds are directly put into the station's infrastructure vs general spending.

As I'm listening to the program on emergency responders (June 2) and the importance of KZYX's role in the event of a disaster, I am reminded that the GM wrote in his web blog that the station was off the air completely, broadcasted dead air, web streaming lost, noise over programming, etc. twelve times in the months of January-March 2015, alone.

If we as a community are dependent upon the station to inform us should an emergency happen, how can we be informed if the station is unable to maintain a signal in the difficult weather and fire seasons? The Emergency Broadcast System is a fundamental service of this public radio station. Before anything else, it is here to broadcast in the event of a danger to our communities.

The community needs to know how and for what it's money is being spent, BEFORE they are pressed into supporting the station.

Seems fair.

M Kathryn Massey, Mendocino

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A recent study that compared the average renter's wage in each U.S. state to the wage that would be needed to afford an average 2-bedroom apartment found that low wage workers simply can't afford the rent in many states. The National Low Income Housing Coalition released its Out of Reach study in May and found that the states with the largest gap between the average wage needed for a 2-bedroom and the typical wage earned by renters included Hawaii, Maryland and Vermont. In Hawaii, for instance, the study found that the wage needed to afford the average two-bedroom is $31.61/hour, while the average wage earned in Hawaii comes in well under that at $14.49.

click to see full-size map

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by Debra Keipp

After finding our seats on the shuttle bus back to our hotel, my daughter and I had just begun talking with each other when she said to me, “Why is the driver staring at us through his rear view mirror?” We were the only riders on the bus.

I took notice that he did seem to be examining us in some strange way, scrutinizing us over his shoulder through the mirror. Finally, at our stop he spoke up and asked, “Where are you from?”

My daughter went silent as I said we were from a small town in Mendocino County that he'd probably never heard of before. He pressed, “Where?” still speaking through the mirror.

My girl walked to the front of the bus and addressed him face-to-face. “It's a very small town you probably don't know called,” and he answered in unison with her, “Point Arena.”

We were shocked. We looked at our clothes to see if we were wearing any telltale hometown t-shirts emblazoned with the town's pirate mascot, but we weren't. “Do tell,” I said.

The bus driver told me we “looked like (we) were from Point Arena”; without explanation of what that meant.

Turned out he had lived and worked at the Point Arena United States Air Force Radar Station (“The Radar Base,” as he called it) for eighteen years. He knew how Point Arenans “looked,” he said. He seemed overjoyed to see us as if we were long-lost relatives. Obviously he had fond memories of his Point Arena AFS days.

The Point Arena Air Force Station closed in 1998. A few months after closure of the base, I opened the window of my apartment which sat on a cliff about 100 feet above Mill Street in downtown Point Arena. As I opened the window I saw below what looked like a black triangular-shaped winged Baby Blackbird stealth aircraft hovering over the meadow behind Point Arena Creek. It suspended itself deeply in the ravine, hovering slowly above the meadow, and below my window, flying the distance in a loiter of about ten seconds, soundlessly, without causing much turbulence to the surrounding creekside trees. At the end of the meadow, a high cliff rose, which this “technology” popped over and up at an extreme rate of speed, disappearing on down the Coast of California. When locals would see the “blackbirds” skimming the surface of the ocean off Point Arena Cove, we'd have to look ahead of the sound to catch a quick glimpse of them, they flew so fast. But in this case, there was absolutely no unusual noise from this obviously newly invented flying machine. I didn't want to blink, as to miss it. I stared. Then, in a moment, it was out of sight.

After asking around, I was told that, at that point (1997), most everyone had moved out of the Air Base. However, the USAF was performing last minute maneuvers prior to closure of the base, trying to see if their new soundless flying fighter/bomber/spy plane technologies could evade radar detection hovering at low altitudes within the steep ravines around the remoteness of the Coast near the Point Arena Air Force Station. What I was seeing was either an experimental version of the USAF stealth bomber, finally deployed in October of 2000, or its “Baby B2”, successor to the stealth Blackbird fighter. We were used to seeing the USAF stealth, triangular-shaped, black fighter/bomber jets flying by the mouth of Arena Cove, often skimming along the coast. When hearing them over the Pacific Ocean, we learned to look ahead of the sound, to spot them before they disappeared quickly beyond “The Lefts” at Arena Cove, as they flew South. Viewing time only lasted a second or two from cliff to cliff.

SITE HISTORY: Ron Dzuba, a former caretaker around the time of closure of the Point Arena Air Force Station, keeps an exhaustive website on the PA AFS. Many locals believe the radar facility is still under a 99 year lease, however, Dzuba explains in his website: “Prior to July 2, 1947, the Air Force acquired 97.20 lease acres approximately eight miles east-southeast of Point Arena for use as a radar site. The site was known as Point Arena Comm Fac Annex, and Point Arena Radar Site, CA. Improvements were not listed. On September 30, 1949, the lease was terminated. County Assessor's records indicate that property currently occupied by the Point Arena Air Force Radar Station, totaling approximately 98 acres, was acquired by the Air Force in 1955, 1961, and 1965. This site was currently active at the time of the 1993 report (and continued until closure in 1998). A second site, located app ½ mile west of the City of Point Arena, was used as a submarine/aircraft lookout station during WWII.”

(The previously-rusted metal 25' lookout tower and bluff top property was purchased and has been rebuilt in redwood by a private owner. There now also stands a cell phone and internet tower on the property beneath these towers and can be seen from the parking lot at Arena Cove.)

The Point Arena Air Force Station (NORAD ID: Z-37) was called a, “United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar Station”. The mile marker in front of the closed base shows that it is a ten mile trip up 2200 feet to the Air Base, even though located 3.7 miles from the City of Point Arena, as the Blackbird flies. Anchor Bay is the closest town to the airbase as the crow flies.

After the closure of Point Arena Air Base, the Air Force turned it over to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). According to Wiki, “today the site is part of a Joint Surveillance System (JSS) designated by NORAD as Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) Ground Equipment Facility J-34.” The property on which all this radar equipment sits was originally owned by Dick Holmes, who took Billy Hay (Point Arena Water Works) under his wing as business partner, hence the “H & H” on Hay's old driveway sign, as in “Holmes and Hay”. The roughly 100 acres was originally leased for 99 years to the U.S. government. The base opened November 27, 1950, a few months after onset of the Korean War.

Presently, the Air Base has been stripped of much of the previous housing: some demolished – some removed. “The Air Base” employed civilians as well as service personnel. In fact, after 1980, military personnel were retired from the Radar Station and civilians (civil service) assumed the employable jobs at the Air Base until its closure in 1998. At one time there were as many as 300 families lived on the hill and around Point Arena.

Two of the original eight 1950's pre-fab two bedroom homes from the Air Base were sold for $8,000 each, folded up and moved to Boonville where they are still providing homes for two Anderson Valley families. Point Arena Locals still talk about the fun they had at the bowling alley and swimming pool at the Air Base, and remember sharing an abundance of BBQ's and pool parties there. The swimming pool is now filled in with dirt and the bowling alley is disheveled with the roof falling in on the two-laned alley. A handful of servicemen stayed around Point Arena and Gualala, after retirement from the base. Much of the information collected for this article is from servicemen responding to emails. Ron Dzuba was one of the longest Air Base caretakers on record and serves as honorable pictorial historian with his thoroughly interesting website: [Click on radar sites in the left column, then type in 776 for the unit block where there are photos of before and after the site closed in 1998.]

WHY POINT ARENA? The Northern California Mendocino County Coastal town of Point Arena, is the furthermost point West on the Continental U.S., which makes Point Arena also the clean air standard for the United States. Point Arena is so far West that it sits on the western tectonic plate on the side of the Pacific Ocean at the San Andreas Fault line. Point Arena does not sit on the same tectonic plate as the rest of the Continental U.S., technically speaking. Locals joke about it becoming an island when the next “big one” hits, as it sits on the “other” side of the San Andreas Fault, the epicenter of the 1906 earthquake which largely destroyed San Francisco. Perhaps the Great Earthquake of 1906 should then more accurately be called, the “The Great Point Arena Earthquake of 1906,” which caused practically every brick building in Point Arena to crumble to the ground.

Of interest in Point Arena currently, is that the nightspot, “215 Main”, is one of the few pre-1906 brick buildings remaining in Point Arena. When repaired after the Great Quake of 1906, mortar and brick was made in the back alley behind that address – where the extracted teeth were previously thrown by the local dentist who had worked in the address at 215 Main, pre-quake. On close inspection today, inside 215 Main, “ivories” can be seen glinting in the flood lights which light the brick walls, interspersed among the repaired mortar and brick.

The Great Quake of 1906 also took the Point Arena Lighthouse with it, which was rebuilt in 1908.

Makes sense that the government would slap an airbase on Point Arena – especially during the Cold War. Never mind that the isolated Point Arena Air Force Base sits on sacred Pomo lands.

Records indicate that “Prompted by the Korean War (1950), the Secretary of the Air Force asked the Secretary of Defense for approval to expedite construction of a permanent radar network. The Army Corp of Engineers constructed the base along with twenty-eight stations built as part of the second segment of the Air Defense Command's permanent network.” Curious was the choice for the designated call sign as Point Arena AFS was dubbed, “Madam”; a Lashup-Permanent site LP-37, operating an AN-TPS-1B radar, for those of you with radar know-how.

Even if records show the radar network was prompted by the Korean War (June, 1950 – July,1953), PA AFS was already being built pre-1947. Unofficial records say it was a cluster of UFO's which buzzed the White House during the Truman Administration that caused the need for tracking aircraft by radar, and thus, lease/purchase of the land on the farthest reaches of the West Coast, under PA AFS, at least a few years before the Korean War.

Supplying ground to air communications to aircraft within its operating area (as with the experimental flies in the deep canyons around Point Arena), the radio equipment was located at the GATR (ground air transmitter and receiver) site, located at the crest of Eureka Hill Road, a few miles from the actual radar site. The GATR site was remotely located from the radar site to minimize interference from the radars to radio gear. The AFS property is just short of 100 acres, which meanders for a few miles along the ridge top at Eureka Hill Road, formerly known as Hill Peak Road. Friends now have their horse barn built on the old runway a few miles beyond the old entrance to the AFS.

As I was told by one of the retirees, “It took years longer than necessary to close the PA AFS because it was a great place, and the Air Force guys still stationed there kept finding delays in leaving for good.” He figured that the last 18 years were probably unnecessary, “but you know how the government spends money through the War Department! Took a long time for them to close it down.”

Since the 1990's the Department of Defense has tried to give the property to various local government agencies. However, the cost of environmental cleanup limits interest in the property. The site is so remote, it hurts marketability for commercial purposes. There was some environmental clean-up around '95, with trucks removing tons of debris from buildings and the earth, which was thought to be radioactive, lead-laden or residual asbestos. The dangling, but premier issue of removing toxic debris from the old Air Base site, is currently a topic of review for locals, with open input requested currently at the Coast Community Library in Point Arena. Public comment is requested until June 15th.

All this tells you, is how the mountain was taken over by the U.S. Air Force to create their radar facility. None of the websites talk about the indigenous archeology sites found all over the mountain at the top of Eureka Hill, which became the Air Force Base. There is no mention of reclamation of these archeological sites.

I used to keep my horses on the property of one of my favorite letter writers to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, Don Phillips. Almost daily when caring for my horses, I'd find obsidian chips and arrowheads glinting in the sun, sitting atop the earth. Neighbors around the Eureka Hill site find Native Pomo obsidian arrowheads, grinding tools and metates of all sizes, some reaching a few feet in height, once used for working acorn meal. The wholly intact transparent obsidian fish points I've seen from Eureka Hill are of the finest quality and less than an inch in length. The ridge top along the area of the old Point Arena Air Force Base was obviously home to many indigenous tribes honing stone and obsidian tools, hunting and living. Spring water still percs abundantly in many places, and it is only a short hike to the hot springs from old “Hill Peak.” Many tribes fished on the Coast. It is said that there were 70 different tribes, mostly Pomo, speaking seven different languages only three of which are still spoken.

UFO's TRACKED AT POINT ARENA AIR FORCE BASE? Based on recent reports of neighbors living on Eureka Hill observing strange lights in the sky near the AFS, I began researching claims on the plausibility of tracking UFO's at the Point Arena Air Force Radar Station, after a conspiracy theory debunking friend sent me a copy of an article from an old tabloid called The National Tattler. The article was written by Mark Raymond on December 9, 1973; my friend bought it on eBay. The story was entitled: “UFO's Stalk Our Military Installations On West Coast, Terrorize Nearby Townspeople.” In the full-page story, the caption under the Point Arena Main Street picture at the top of the article says, “If You Enter This Town, Beware...”.

In an interview with Seaman Brad Roddy of the Coast Guard, who had served at the Point Arena Lighthouse for 17 months, he described the weird object he saw on both October 2 and 3, 1973, over the waters of Lighthouse Point. He described red and white lights ten miles out. “It flew back and forth a couple of times and then up and down several times. Later, there was a weird cloud formation around it, but it was a cloudless night. Then, it disappeared.”

Chief William Acklen, a nine-year Coast Guard veteran, shrugs off the regular sightings as nothing special, but describes with more interest an October 5th experience he and his wife had with a UFO following them up the Coast on Highway One. Every time he changed directions on the winding road, the bright light remained on the driver's side of his car. He went into intricate detail describing the lights' appearance, which had followed his car, and which were also witnessed, the article said, by Postmistress Morris, driving on the Coast at that time. The object Acklen reported, recurred, appearing at 7:30 pm. nightly at the Point Arena Lighthouse. “It has been here regularly two or three times a week for the past month or two. All of a sudden, it appears; less than 15 minutes later, it's gone. It moves too fast to be a star. It will be about 80 degrees on the horizon (over the ocean) and then drop to 40 degrees in about 15 minutes. I always know when it is there because the television messes up.”

While the above descriptions were lodged by Coast Guard personnel, rarely will you hear Air Force personnel admit to UFO sightings from the Point Arena Air Force Station. Out of the 32 emails sent to various Air Force personnel and/or civilians working the Base around 1960, who were listed on the 776 Air Squadron's roster for PA AFS, only about a dozen responded – only one of whom admitted to once classified info that there were experimental aircraft flying in the deep ravines performing exercises, attempting to elude radar detection entirely, as was witnessed by locals closer to town over the years.

In an article found on the internet from the March 1998 Air Force Communications Agency publication, “Intercom” entitled, “Last Retreat for Point Arena AFS,” Roger Moore, another former caretaker of the AFS facility, discussed the changes he had seen since he was first assigned to the location in 1966. He said that two items really stuck out in his mind – “the replacement of military scope operators with civil service (employees) in 1980, and the final departure of all military personnel in 1986.” Moore was the Civil Engineering maintenance foreman from 1982 up until the closure in September 1998. The same article says the site was originally built in the late 1940's and was activated on September 18, 1950. At its peak, PA AFS was home to about 300 military families.

Internet search engines on “Point Arena AFS and UFO's”, came up with the name of Fred Bell, who claims to have been transferred to PA AFS when he was 17, which would have put him there around 1960, according to his DOB on Social Security income records. Fred Bell is the self-proclaimed scientist brother of the infamous Art Bell, conspiracy theorist and AM radio host once of Parump, Nevada radio station KNYE 95. Maybe he thought Point Arena, so remote, that no one would ever check his claim to have been stationed there.

For instance, here's Fred Bell (a self-described child genius, scientist, radio host, author, artist and healer), on his supposed time, at the age of 17, working for the Air Force at PA AFS. This video clip can be accessed on the internet under “Fred Bell, Montauk Project, Alchemy Event, 2010”. The five minute video starts with mention of the Montauk project and ends with MK Ultra mind control experiments. Fred Bell claims he played a part in scientifically developing both and in between he was stationed at Point Arena Air Force Radar Station. Fred Bell on Point Arena Air Force Radar Station:

“The biggest thing that we were tracking in those days... We had an altitude range of about 200 miles and a distance of 450 miles which was classified at the time. And what we were seeing mostly then, were thousands of UFO's coming down over Point Arena, which is in California, that's the furthest land mass out to sea on the whole Pacific Coast; ...coming down at a descent speed at 20K mph and then doing a horizontal change and heading down to Mexico at 5K mph. This happened all the time... This was reported on a DDS form 332. And, it's real interesting with all the cover-up that goes on now, that this particular form - you can't access it on the internet any more. I was trying to do it the other day and you can't find it. Anyway, had a lot of happy times in the Air force...”

It doesn't help that Fred Bell is wearing one of his ionizing pyramid-shaped wire cage “hats” on his head that helps him hum at a better frequency. It's not a tin foil hat, but ...close. Fred Bell is a regular conspiracy theory comedian!

Former Minnesota Governor and Conspiracy Theory TV Show Host, Jesse Ventura, interviewed Fred Bell about “The Death Ray Investigation.” Fred Bell also says he was one of the inventors of the Star Wars System during the Reagan Administration. Mr. Bell died (for real) in a motel in Minneapolis, September 25, 2011, the day after his interview with Jesse Ventura. Jesse's YouTube video was ultimately called, “The Mysterious Death of Fred Bell”.

Most telling about Fred Bell at PA AFS, is that he's not found on any of the personnel rosters. Of about a dozen airmen whose names were taken from USAF rosters and were quizzed about the self-styled inventor, and who were actually stationed at the PA AFS during the year or two Fred Bell says he was stationed there around 1960, not one serviceman remembers him.

I found one ghost story about the PA AFS. Seems a radar technician says the radar room was haunted during their duty there. Said a Native American brave, and a man from the 1940's, were seen walking through a wall in the radar room after materializing behind the radar screens. A little girl was also supposedly seen running around the base playing hide and seek after dark when all kids were present and accounted for tucked away in their beds.

Since 1998, the Air Base has gone essentially unused these 17 years since it closed, with only a caretaker who lives there. Not all that long ago, a young man died there, electrocuted trying to “salvage” copper from the site. It's a lonely place, isolated as it is atop Eureka Hill. Yah, threre's talk of ghosts, but if there are ghosts, they would certainly include the crotchety old ghost of a guy from the 1940's wearing a worn out green trench coat who once lived on the property before it was an Air Base. He probably died up there.

There are a few neighbors who love the isolation the base offers, as well as the glorious views for hundreds of miles.

When people tell me that they've worked or partied at the Point Arena Air Base when families lived, bowled, swam, played, or worked there, a fond expression always appears on their faces. They always ask what it's like there today. I ask them what they did there. They don't go into much detail about the air base itself, but usually talk of their excursions out of Point Arena to SF or hitching rides to the base at Petaluma. They speak fondly of the locals they befriended, people they knew who lived on ranches enroute to the air base, like Wayne McMillan who lived on the old McBZ Ranch on Eureka Hill. Mr. Reed Farnsworth lived at the bottom of Eureka Hill at the Garcia River bridge, and kept a can of petrol on his porch for anyone in need in case they found themselves at the bottom of Eureka hill without gas and unable to climb the 2200 foot, saw-toothed incline on... fumes.

Presently, there is a document concerning toxic clean-up and the Point Arena Air Force Base, which is open for public review until June 15th at Coast Community Library in Point Arena. Some clean-up occurred back in the mid-'90's for a few years, as trucks rolled day in/day out, removing toxic substances from the AFS. However, after sitting empty all these years, it's good that the Air Force be held responsible for clean-up of the site, right? Best to read the draft, as comments are requested by June 15, 2015. It looks like the Air Force really is going to sell the property.

* * *


* * *

JOHN SAKOWICZ (of KMEC Radio in Ukiah) writes: Our killer interview with former FBI agent and whistleblower, and 2002 TIME Magazine "Person of the Year", Coleen Rowley, on KMEC Radio, your community radio station, is found below:

* * *


by Dan Bacher

In 1982, Jerry Brown called his unpopular scheme to divert more water to corporate agribusiness and Southern California water agencies the "peripheral canal." The voters of the state overwhelmingly rejected the canal proposal in the November election.

After Brown was inaugurated for his third term as Governor in 2011, he described the reincarnated "conveyance" plan proposed under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) as the Delta "tunnels."

Now the Governor, in his fourth term, wants to change the name of the widely-opposed project to "pipes."

In addressing Sacramento business leaders at the 90th Annual "Sacramento Host Breakfast" on May 28, Governor Jerry Brown said that he is now going to call the Delta tunnels, "pipes," because pipes are more popular.

"Instead of a tunnel, were going to call it a pipe. That seems to be more popular," he said to laughter from the crowd, according to the Sacramento Bee. (

Apparently, Brown has been not watching the media coverage of the massive Santa Barbara oil spill. The disaster is the result of a rupture in one of these “ever-popular” pipes, owned by the Plains All-American Pipeline corporation, on May 19 off Refugio State Beach. The "pipe" concept is so "popular" off Santa Barbara now that a "Stand In The Sand" protest yesterday drew over 500 people!

Whether he calls them "tunnels," "pipes," a "canal" or some other term, we all know that they are in reality a Big Water Grab for Stewart Resnick of Paramount Farms, Westlands Water District, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting steam injection and fracking operations. The Brown administration recently divided the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan into two components - The "California Water Fix" component for the tunnels and the "California Eco Restore" component for the habitat "restoration" component.

Restore the Delta (RTD), a group opposing the Governor's massive twin tunnels plan, noted that Brown's reference to "pipes," and his entire talk touting the alleged "benefits" of the tunnels, echoes the message created by Californians for Water Security — a special interest campaign initiated by Stewart Resnick’s Paramount Farms.

In case you didn't know, Stewart Resnick is the largest orchard fruit and nut grower in the world, and is one of the biggest contributors to candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties every election season. He contributed $150,000 last fall to help pass Jerry Brown's Proposition 1, the water bond. (

The well-connected Beverly Hills billionaire sits on the board of the Conservation International, a controversial corporate "environmental" group, and is an advisor to UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, most well-known around the world for her administration's pepper spraying of students at an Occupy protest in the fall of 2011. (

“The strategy of Californians for Water Security and the new California Water Fix is to take Californians’ real concerns about our need to fix our leaky water mains and aging urban infrastructure in earthquake prone places like Los Angeles and wrap those fears into the Delta project to divert the Sacramento River from the Bay-Delta estuary, depriving the Delta of its primary freshwater source,” said RTD Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla.

“Whether it’s a peripheral canal, twin tunnels, or now pipes, it’s the same old project," she noted. Changing the lipstick shade one puts on a pig, doesn’t make the pig any more attractive. The Delta canals/tunnels/pipes will destroy the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas. They will ruin the environment and economy for the 4 million residents of the Delta counties. They will finish off our salmon runs and other native fish species which are barely hanging on from years of over pumping.”

"The tunnels will become financial burdens for water rate payers and property tax payers in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley. They will leave the 500,000 customers of the Contra Costa Water District with drinking water that will not meet Clean Water Act standards. They will ruin the $5.2 billion annual family farm community," she explained.

“They will not provide urban residents with any additional water, but they will ensure that the mega growers like Stewart Resnick and those in Westlands who can spend millions on lobbyists and misleading messaging campaigns get the water they want to grow almonds on drainage impaired lands in the desert. It’s time for Governor Brown to stop carrying water for special interests and to show leadership in creating water programs that benefit ALL Californians,” Barrigan-Parrilla concluded.

For more information about Restore the Delta (RTD), go to:

The construction of the Delta tunnels would hasten the extinction of Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt and other fish species, as well as threaten the steelhead and salmon populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

The tunnels plan is just one of Jerry Brown's many attacks on fish, water and the environment. Unfortunately, most in the mainstream media continue to falsely portray Brown as a "green" Governor as they fall for his constant grandstanding about his "green energy" and neo-liberal carbon trading policies. For an in-depth analysis of Brown's environmental record, read my article:

* * *


The Great Nations of Europe

Had gathered on the shore

They'd conquered what was behind them

And now they wanted more

So they looked to the mighty ocean

And took to the western sea

The great nations of Europe in the sixteenth century


Hide your wives and daughters

Hide the groceries too

Great nations of Europe coming through


The Grand Canary Islands

First land to which they came

They slaughtered all the canaries

Which gave the land its name

There were natives there called Guanches

Guanches by the score

Bullets, disease, the Portugese, and they weren't there anymore

Now they're gone, they're gone, they're really gone

You've never seen anyone so gone

They're a picture in a museum

Some lines written in a book

But you won't find a live one no matter where you look


Hide your wives and daughters

Hide the groceries too

Great nations of Europe coming through


Columbus sailed for India

Found Salvador instead

He shook hands with some Indians and soon they all were dead

They got TB and typhoid and athlete's foot

Diptheria and the flu

Excuse me - Great nations coming through


Balboa found the pacific

And on the trail one day

He met some friendly Indians

Whom he was told were gay

So he had them torn apart by dogs on religious grounds they say

The great nations of Europe were quite holy in their way


Now they're gone, they're gone, they're really gone

You've never seen anyone so gone

Some bones hidden in a canyon

Some paintings in a cave

There's no use trying to save them

There's nothing left to save


Hide your wives and daughters

Hide your sons as well

With the great nations of Europe you never can tell


From where you and I are standing

At the end of a century

Europes have sprung up everyone as even I can see

But there on the horizon as a possiblity

Some bug from out of Africa might come for you and me

Destroying everything in its path

From sea to shining sea

Like the great nations of Europe

In the sixteenth century

— Randy Newman

* * *


Thursday, June 11th

Presentation of Draft Plan with the project team

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Brutocao Schoolhouse Plaza Banquet Room

13500 S. Highway 101, Hopland

Spanish translation will be provided.

Habrá traducción al español.

Snacks and refreshments provided.

* * *


The Ukiah Library is hosting:

A Reading & Book Signing with Stephanie Kuehn (YA author of Charm & Strange, Complicit, Delicate Monsters & the Pragmatist)

Tuesday, June 23rd 4:30 pm

Meet YA author Stephanie Kuehn & hear her read from her brand-new book Delicate Monsters, a psychological thriller about childhood secrets and heroic acts born from trauma. Light desserts and refreshments will be provided. Sponsored by the Friends of the Ukiah Valley Library. You can also follow District Teens on Facebook: to stay informed about teen events at the library.

About the book: “When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family’s California vineyard estate. Here, she’s meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she’s meant to do a lot of things. But it’s hard. She’s bored. And when Sadie’s bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.” – excerpted from book jacket, Delicate Monsters

Stephanie Kuehn holds degrees in linguistics and sport psychology, and is currently working toward a doctorate in clinical psychology. Her debut young adult novel, CHARM & STRANGE, was the winner of the 2014 William C. Morris Award, and her second novel for teens, COMPLICIT, was named to YALSA’s 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. Stephanie was also awarded the 2015 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship for her forthcoming novel, THE PRAGMATIST, and her most recent book, DELICATE MONSTERS, has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Stephanie lives in Northern California with her husband, their three children, and a joyful abundance of pets. Please visit to learn more.


  1. Craig Stehr June 3, 2015

    Once again concerning the Judi Bari car bombing, (my letter was previously printed in the AVA), I snuck up in a doctor’s elevator and walked into her room soon after she left surgery. We had a conversation, and although she was still anaesthetized, she haltingly told me that she was certain that it was somebody at the anti-abortion clinic protest, who was glaring at her when she and Darryl Cherney performed a pro-choice song. She asked me not to reveal this at the time, because she did not want to take away the public’s focus from Redwood Summer. Then, two friends of hers from Oregon arrived, and they played music and sang with her, as I went back downstairs to the Earth First! support rally outside. The rest of the drama surrounding the attempted murder of she and Darryl followed. Other than who actually created and placed the bomb in her Subaru, nobody knows for certain the identity of the perpetrator. It remains an unsolved crime.

  2. Gary Smith June 3, 2015

    Point Arena is far from the furthest west point of land in the continental US, or even California.
    Point Arena is at 123 degrees, 44.5 minutes longitude.
    Cape Mendocino, in Humboldt County is at 124 degrees, 25 minutes, making it the furthest west point in California.
    Cape Blanco, in Oregon is at 124 degrees 34 minutes, furthest west in Oregon. Cape Alava Washington is at 124 degrees 44 minutes, which makes it the furthest west point in the continental US. It is less than a half mile west of Cape Flattery, The northernmost point of land on the Pacific, at the northwest corner of Washington.

  3. Harvey Reading June 3, 2015


    More proof that not only are women more attractive than men, they’re a hell of alot smarter, too.

  4. Harvey Reading June 3, 2015

    “In 1982, Jerry Brown called … the ‘peripheral canal.'”

    As I recall it was called the peripheral canal long before Brown was even born, certainly before he took power in CA the first time. The scheme has been around since at least the 1940s, and possibly earlier, an offshoot of the Central Valley Project, and later the State Water Project, dreams.

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