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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Jun 11, 2015

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LIGHTNING across the Six Rivers National Forest over the two days has started at least 20 wildfires. At this time, there are 8 fires on the Gasquet Ranger District, the forest’s northernmost district; 1 fire on the Orleans District; 7 fires on the Lower Trinity District; and 4 fires on the Mad River District, on the southern end of the forest.

The largest of these fires is the Devil Fire on the Gasquet District. This fire has burned 19.4 acres and is 100 percent contained, with crews mopping-up and patrolling the perimeter. Most of the other fires are much smaller, many at less than an acre.

“Our fire staff is working hard to get a jump on these fires to keep them small,” said Merv George Jr., Six Rivers National Forest Supervisor. “With the amount of lightning we’ve had, there may be more starts that we just don’t know about yet. Today, we’ll be doing some aerial reconnaissance to pinpoint the location of some of the fires, as well as to see if there are additional fires out there.”

Today’s forecast is calling for above normal temperatures, with thunderstorms developing this afternoon.

Fire restrictions have not yet been implemented on the forest; however, forest visitors should be aware of the fire danger and exercise caution with campfires. A permit is required for any campfire, gas cook stove, or barbeque when outside a developed campground or recreation area. Permits are free and are available at any Six Rivers National Forest office.

Fires are also active on the Klamath, Shasta-Trinity, Modoc and Rogue River-Siskiyou national forests.

(Press Release from Six Rivers National Forest)

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June 4 through 26, Odd Fellows Gallery, Mendocino


A unique exhibit of Spiritual & Social Commentary Art by 15 Mendocino County artists ~ PLUS: a multi-media EXPO presenting hopeful news about momentous events now transforming our world.

Gallery hours: 10:30 - 5 pm (closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays)
Opening Celebration: Saturday, June 13, 5:00 pm.

Transmission Meditation Workshop: Friday, June 19, 7 pm.
Sponsored by: Share International USA
Information: 895-3134

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ON TUESDAY June 9th, 2015, the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, assisted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Cal Fire served a search warrant in the 28000 block of Alderpoint Road in Blocksburg, CA. When agents arrived at the property, no persons were located.

During a search of the property, agents located nineteen (19) large greenhouses. The greenhouses were utilizing indoor cultivation lighting and light deprivation techniques. Many of the marijuana plants being grown inside of the greenhouses were ready for harvest. A total of 4,961 growing marijuana plants were discovered at the property. The estimated street value of the marijuana plants was approximately $7,000,000. Numerous environmental concerns and violations were discovered and are being investigated by the appropriate agencies. The investigation is on-going and agents anticipate arrests in the future.

Anyone with information for the Humboldt County Drug Task Force Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force Office at 707-444-8095.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

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ELBERT "BIG MAN" HOWARD celebrated by Sonoma ACLU, featured speaker was noted Civil Rights attorney John Burris

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"A loyal long term subscriber, from Half Moon Bay, requests the AVA's sage advice on which Anderson Valley wine to purchase as a gift for friends in Fort Bragg. We don't want to patronize a winery that abuses its neighbors with noisy frost fans. Please suggest which vineyards we should make our selection from so as to support your local efforts to finacially penalize grape growers who disregard the health and well being of their neighbors."

Ed reply: As mostly a beer and whiskey drinker (Pabst Blue Ribbon and Evan Williams), I'm the wrong lowbrow to ask about wine. But the ecological practices of the local wineries? I'd say Boonville's beloved community newspaper is the only reliable source of information going. But for a slam dunk fact the Judson Hale winery out of Yorkville, tasting room at the Yorkville Market, is a sure bet every which way. A friend and I recently downed a bottle of Judson Hale pinot that was very, very good. I can also recommend my old friend Al Green's Greenwood Ridge Winery, and Mia Handley's Handley Cellars. Only a minority of Anderson Valley wineries engage in damaging, unneighborly practices, but they are so destructive their practices tend to cast all our wineries in a bad light. You may be amused that a former manager of Roederer Estates told me that he considered Parducci jug red as good as any wine produced anywhere in Mendocino County. A French national, this guy said he always had Parducci on hand at his house and drank it pretty much exclusively.

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(One week later) We are back from an enjoyable visit to Fort Bragg and thank you for your wine selection recommendations. The Parducci information is surprising and I'll give it a go. No need to make light of your tastes in beer and whiskey. Pabst and Williams have been around for a long time and will still be available long after the current wine bubble bursts. While the puffs and swells are whining about the demise of their favorite label, you will still be carrying on with established tradition at a reasonable price.

Clint Miller

Half Moon Bay

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by Hank Sims

Tuesday night’s episode of the PBS Newshour featured a segment on the hot topic of the day — the “medical” marijuana industry in the Humboldt County backwoods, and how it does or doesn’t compound the impact of California’s three-year drought.

In the segment — titled “Are marijuana growers sucking California dry?” — reporter Spencer Michaels tags along with a Department of Fish and Wildlife/North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board raid somewhere in southern Humboldt, where they discover a slightly more egregious than usual illegal water-delivery setup.

Elsewhere in the piece, Michaels talks with many of the most prominent names in the debate over legalization, regulation and the impact of weed on the environment — Fish and Wildlife’s Scott Bauer, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman, Friends of the Eel River Executive Director Scott Greacen, grower Casey O’Neill, Anderson Valley Grape Grower George Lee, and others.

Watch the whole segment:

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MoMulherenMulheren uses this photo a friend took of her strolling through town as the profile photo on her official Facebook page. (Contributed photo)

by Justine Frederiksen

In what was likely a first for a sitting member of the Ukiah City Council, Maureen “Mo” Mulheren moonlighted as a bartender during her first few months in office, serving drinks at The Pub many Saturday nights.

“In my roles as insurance agent, bartender and City Council member, I probably met every person in town,” joked Mulheren, who also knows many people from growing up here and graduating from Ukiah High School in 1997.

Though she stopped needing to moonlight once she started her own insurance agency, Connect Insurance, Mulheren still dresses like she’s ready to slip behind the bar, opting most days for short, colorful dresses that she pairs with either heels or cowboy boots.

Laughing off one observer’s comment during her campaign last fall that she dressed like “a cocktail waitress,” Mulheren said she feels no need to dress more conservatively now that she’s in office.

“I think people voted for me because I’m young, and this is how I dress,” said Mulheren, who turned 36 last week. “People knew who they were voting for, and they knew what they were getting: me. I’m not one of those people that changes when they get into office. I think my authentic self is better, and I don’t think the people who voted for me want me to change, either.”

‘I See That As My Role’

During her campaign, Mulheren maintained an active social media presence, particularly on Facebook. As a council member, she posts regularly on her official page, while keeping her personal and business accounts separate.

“I see that as my role,” Mulheren said of social media, explaining that so many people keep in touch with friends, family and their community through Facebook, typically accessing it on their smartphones while juggling their work and home lives. “A lot of people are too busy to show up for council meetings, but I can post information about an issue to let them know what’s going on. I can be that voice for them.”

Not only do a significant percentage of Ukiah residents get their information from their Facebook feeds, it is also the platform where many share their thoughts and ideas on how the city operates. After a student of Charter Academy of the Redwoods was struck in the crosswalk across North State Street in front of the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds on her way to school in April, city staff began discussing options for making the area safer.

The discussion began with the Traffic Engineering Committee, whose meetings Mulheren has been attending regularly after learning that many of the issues affecting city streets, such as stop signs, parking and crosswalks, are first vetted by the committee.

“That was the biggest eye opener for me,” Mulheren said. Just last month, the committee considered options presented by Public Works staff regarding the crosswalk in front of the fairgrounds, choosing to recommend the least expensive one. Mulheren was there with her laptop ready, but the only other members of the public who were present other than a reporter were employees of the Charter Academy and the director of the fair.

When the UDJ posted an article on the meeting to Facebook, however, there was a robust discussion about how unsafe that crosswalk and many others in the city are, with many people suggesting improvements such as flashing lights, and stating that cost should not be the deciding factor in what changes are implemented.

Mulheren said she is always trying to get more information about city operations and decisions online, and pushed for the city to beef up its “Projects and News” tab, which is where it now posts information on some of the projects that most residents want to know about, such as Costco and the Palace Hotel.

“A lot more stuff is on the website, so I’m urging residents to go there and get the facts,” she said, explaining that she hears many people complaining about projects like the trail along the railroad tracks and the pending “road diet” for State Street, but without really knowing much about them. So if they knew the reasons for the projects, and how they fit into a larger plan for pedestrian safety and access, she said, they might support them.

“Low-Hanging Fruit”

Along with the goals of increasing pedestrian safety and making more information available online, Mulheren hopes to accomplish a deceptively simple task: get rid of most of the abandoned shopping carts cluttering the city’s streets.

Last month, she asked that the topic be put on the City Council agenda and hopes to have an ordinance passed that would be similar to the one banning plastic bags and styrofoam takeout containers.

“People criticized me for that, saying I was going after ‘low-hanging fruit,’ and it was ‘so dumb, so little,’” said Mulheren. “And yes, it is low-hanging fruit, and it’s little. But it’s a little thing that can make a big difference in how people here feel about their town, and how others perceive us. What business will want to move here when they see that we can’t even return our carts?”

Another change Mulheren hopes she and the other council members elected last year, Kevin Doble and Jim Brown, can implement is making city operations much more open, a goal all three said they had during their campaigns. Mulheren said she’s already noticing much more transparency in the budget process this year, and she thinks the “new council” is moving things in the right direction.

That isn’t to say, however, that the council is divided into a new council that’s moving forward, and one that’s being left behind.

“We’re all working together really well,” said Mulheren, describing Mayor Doug Crane, now the veteran council member, as “doing a great job as mayor and helping to guide the new members. Having his input is super important.”

Mulheren hosts a monthly meeting open to anyone called “A Seat at the Table” at Black Oak Coffee at 476 North State Street on the first Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. Though the first Saturday in July is on the Fourth of July, Mulheren said she will be there, then plans to attend the “All American Picnic” in Todd Grove Park later that afternoon.

Until then, you can reach her on Facebook.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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by Adrian Baumann

With the summer roadwork season already in swing, conflicting claims about the asphalt production capacity of the county are being aired, while two proposed plants remain in litigation limbo, and a the managers of the Granite plant outside of Ukiah claim they can cover all the needs of the county. Meanwhile the Grist Creek plant, located on Hwy. 162 near the junction with the 101, and adjacent to Outlet Creek, has been blocked by legal action from an environmental group, and the Harris Quarry plant may be running by this summer.

Glenn Colwell, a representative for the group Friends of Outlet Creek, believes that the Board of Supervisors overstepped their authority by allowing Grist Creek to operate an asphalt plant, and his group is petitioning in court to force a full environmental impact report (EIR). Said Colwell, “The only option for the citizens of Mendocino County who may oppose this plant as a public nuisance or dangerous land use planning is a lawsuit.” Adding latter, “The watershed belongs to everyone...Fast tracking approval of an asphalt plant on Outlet Creek seems like government abdicating its responsibility to represent all constituents, and not just business interests.”

At the March 17 Board of Supervisors meeting the question of whether or not to allow the Grist Creek site to open up was framed as one of necessity for the county. As Colwell contends, “...several of the supervisors repeatedly stated that if this new asphalt plant was not approved, that the County would have to import asphalt from Humboldt and Sonoma Counties. This does NOT [sic] seem to be the case based on our inquiries with local asphalt producers…”

Indeed, at the meeting Supervisor Tom Woodhouse stated, “We absolutely have reached the point where we have to have materials to repair our roads. They’re all falling apart at this point...I just think shipping from Humboldt and Sonoma — having them have the jobs there and taking responsibility for a clean environment — we shouldn’t be afraid to protect ourselves. We have to use our resources, our timber and our rock. That’s all we have here...I’m gonna be here the rest of my life, my kids are going to be here, we have to have an economy based on something real other than marijuana.”

With Supervisor John McCowen adding, “It’s frankly insane that we import asphalt from Humboldt County, Sonoma County, it’s a strain on our economy…”

But Carson DeVinny, manager of construction materials at Granite Construction, stated to both TWN and Colwell that the existing Granite plant is up to the challenge of providing asphalt to Mendocino County. Additionally, DeVinny stated that even if new plants were to come online, Granite would only ever use asphalt from their own plants instead of purchasing from other companies.

But Brian Hurt, owner of the Grist Creek plant and Wylatti Resource Management, disagrees with this contention, stating that he believes construction companies would be willing to buy asphalt from other companies because, “In this business it’s all about logistics and trucking is really expensive.”

It also appears that the Harris Quarry site, south of Willits on the 101, might begin producing asphalt this summer. That plant, owned by Northern Aggregates, which is part of Mendocino Construction Services, has been in limbo due to litigation since 2012. In March 2012 the planning board recommended an approval of the EIR and an “Ordinance Amendment” creating a “Mineral Processing (MP) Combining District.” And by June 2012 the process had gone through various appeals with the Board of Supervisors approving the EIR and the ordinance amendment. However, the project was quickly bottled up in litigation.

But according to Colwell, a Northern Aggregates official Pat Allen, stated that they would be completing the legal process in the next couple months and are planning to begin production this summer. In an email Planning and Building Services Director Steve Dunnicliff said, “I have no information as to when this litigation will end.” County Counsel Doug Losak did not respond to requests for comment.

Colwell opined that with a plant at Harris Quarry, Grist Creek would not be as necessary. Allen declined to comment in response to a request for confirmation. No one else at Northern Aggregates responded after several emails and calls.

To some extent the site of production is beside the point as far as government road work is concerned. Mendocino Department of Transportation Director Howard Dashiell explained that as with most government contracts, the county is required by law to accept the lowest price from contractors bidding for roadwork.

Dashiell added, “My official position is I don’t support individual projects...we support the development of material sources, rock and asphalt in Mendocino...It is hard for us to get material, material is expensive, and frankly there are times when we can really only find one source, and that’s never good for competition.”

Hurt contends that the distances involved are precisely the reason that his Grist Creek site is ideal for delivering asphalt to the northern third of the county.

Among the bigger projects CalTrans has slated for the summer is a $8,387,138 repaving of Hwy. 101 around Laytonville, contracted to Mercer Fraser Company (MFC), a Humboldt based construction company. MFC currently delivers asphalt from plants in Humboldt County, however, Hurt stated that Grist Creek has a contract with MFC, and even specific purchase orders, to provide asphalt on the job. This contract could not be confirmed.

Hurt also insists that he has been in discussions with county officials for several years about the need for another plant, naming former planning director Nash Gonzalez and former supervisor John Pinches. And that the site has already gone through an extensive review process, stating that, “The important thing was that it was fully public noticed, there was not one single comment from the public for this plant being rezoned.” Adding that he’s spent a minimum of $150,000 to address environmental concerns, and that he has complied and cooperated with the various state environmental regulation agencies in upgrading his plant.

Hurt also worries that an abundance of lawsuits over environmental concerns could hamper business in the county, “If [business owners] can’t feel comfortable buying the property that they are going to be able to do with it was the law says they can do, they’re not going to come here, or they’re not going to expand their business.”

Most of the road work in the county is paid for by the county department of transportation or by CalTrans. Dashiell reported that the county does patching with its own crews, sending out asphalt purchases to bid, but that for major work it contracts out. In the past two years only Mendocino Construction Service (which owns the Harris Quarry) and Granite Construction (which owns the plant near Ukiah) have been awarded contracts.

As for Caltrans they also contract out their projects, recently the Oil Well Hill project, north of Willits, was contracted to Granite; the project north and south of Laytonville, slated for this summer, is contracted to MFC. CalTrans spokesman Phil Frisbie stated that, “Contractors from all over California bid on Mendocino County projects. Some contractors have their own portable asphalt plants that they bring in, others purchase from local plants.”

(Courtesy, the Willits News)

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When I was in grad school at Cal in the early '90's there was a tall thin guy in his 30's with very clear skin, clear eyes, and his hair pulled back neatly and he stood outside the Bank of America on Telegraph staring straight ahead for hours on end every school day holding a coffee cup for money. He stood up straight and he never said a word to anyone. He was calm and collected and wore a long well-worn raincoat. He had the 1,000 yard stare down pat. Some of you may remember him. Well, one early evening in the fall, I was bicycling home south of Campus on Dana, I think...It was dusk and people were coming home from work and a very nice white Volvo station wagon pulled up to a beautiful two-story craftsman home and that same guy stepped out of the car. I slowed and watched him walk upstairs to the second floor apartment (the kind of place I never could find when I was in school) and he unlocked the door and went inside. The light came on. (His dog probably came to greet him) I pedaled home on my beat up Schwinn Varsity to my humble studio at 61st and Telegraph which I could barely afford. It was then that I realized that, for many, homelessness is an industry, and there is really no great desire for those who profit from it to end it. Sorry for the long story.

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In a major setback, the City of Ukiah failed to convince the Sonoma County Superior Court to dismiss portions of the First Amended Complaint filed against them on December 14, 2014, by the Ukiah Sanitation District.

In agreeing with the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District’s right to seek the requested relief, the Sonoma County Superior Court found that neither challenged cause of action arose from the City's engagement in protected activity and that the District has demonstrated "an adequate likelihood of success."

At one time, the District provided sewer services only to customers outside the Ukiah City limits and the City provided service only to customers within the City limits. However, the City annexed thirteen areas outside its original boundaries that were in the District without detaching, or taking over sewer service in, the annexed area from the District. The last annexation occurred in the 1980's. As a result of the annexations, approximately half of the District ratepayers are currently in the City.

On November 5, 2014, the Ukiah City Council voted to detach that District territory, compromising [probably comprising, ed] nearly one-half of the District’s territory, and file an application with Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) to include it in the City. LAFCo is a quasi-legislative body with the authority to decide on local government annexations and detachments. The District argued City did not give District proper notice of the application, which was also defective for failing to meet certain application requirements and that City’s action to detach constituted a breach of several contracts between the parties.

In its motion to dismiss portions of the complaint, the City argued that its constitutional right to petition or free speech had been violated based on the District seeking an injunction and declaration from the Superior Court that the City application to LAFCo for detachment was a material breach of various contracts that exist between the City and the District to operate the joint sewer system that serves both City and District. The City also claimed District will be unable to prevail on the merits.

The City is attempting to justify its application by claiming that City residents living outside the District are paying "different" rates than City residents living inside the District. However, while City and District rates are "different," the District's base rate is currently lower.

According to the District’s attorney Duncan James, "if the detachment from the District occurred and this area is served by the City, the residents living within that area would pay higher sewer base rates to accommodate a costly City government. In the District the residential base rate is $53.47, per unit whereas the City residential base rate per unit is $64.99 per unit for the same service. In addition, if the City is successful in its attempt to detach the area, the monthly cost to the remaining District rate payers may significantly increase."

In response to the City's motion, the District argued that the portions of the First Amended Complaint that the City sought to dismiss do not arise from City’s lawfully protected constitutional rights, but rather, the sections arise from District’s need to protect its own contractual rights and the rights of its rate-payers. The District believes that detaching the overlap area would cause substantial, irreparable, harm to the District and impair its various contracts by reducing District revenue to a point where it could not meet its financial obligation without a significant increase in the monthly charge to its rate payers.

Duncan James went on to state that "Detachment is only one portion of the lawsuit. By detachment, the City is not only trying to cut the District’s size in half, it is trying to keep more than half of the $7.2 million the City admittedly holds in reserve for the benefit of the District which City refuses to release to the District even though a request has been made for the money’s return. In addition, the City of Ukiah has accounted for or overcharged the District more than $20 million since 1965 which District is seeking to recover in the lawsuit as damages."

(Press Release from the Law Offices of Duncan James, attorney for the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District.)

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AS A GENERAL RULE, fraud is possible in any set of circumstances that are unusual in nature or vary from normal activity. Problems arise when these warning signs are ignored or not adequately investigated. Such warning signs may include: a single vendor receiving a majority of contracts, refusal to produce records and files, significant lifestyle change of people involved in bond program, refusal to take vacations (for fear someone else will look at the books), turning down promotions or transfers, no exceptions or errors (reports are "too clean"), lack of separation of duties (minimal checks and balances), successful bidders subcontracting to losing bidders, winning bidder always bids last, losing bidder cannot be located in business directories, numerous or large dollar change orders, and invoices without addresses and phone numbers for vendors, and costs billed not consistent with progress of construction. Change orders are a big deal. Contractors will bid low, then add change orders sometimes the day after they get the contracts.

— Don Mullinax, certified fraud investigator

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(and silly you probably thought the County was “broke” and had “flat revenue” and couldn’t pay deputies any more…)

Board of Supervisors Agenda Item, June 9, 2015 Agenda Title: Noticed Public Hearing – Possible Adoption of Resolution Confirming Acceptance of the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Mendocino County Lodging Business Improvement District (BID) Annual Report Thereby Levying an Annual Assessment for the BID in Fiscal Year 2015-2016 (Continued from May 19, 2015)

Previous Board/Board Committee Actions: The BID was established on May 16, 2006, through Ordinance 4170, which added Chapter 5.140 to the Mendocino County Code (MCC). On May 5, 2015, the Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution 15-073, approving the Annual Report as submitted by the BID Advisory Board, and declaring the County’s intention to again levy an annual assessment in the District. The FY 2015-16 Public Hearing was continued by the Board from May 19, 2015.

Summary Of Request: To complete the BID renewal process for Fiscal Year 2015-2016, the Board is asked to adopt a Resolution confirming acceptance of the BID Annual Report. Confirming acceptance of the BID Annual Report will levy a 1% gross rent assessment from lodging businesses within the District (within the boundaries of the unincorporated portion of the County of Mendocino and the incorporated area of the City of Fort Bragg, the City of Point Arena, the City of Ukiah, and the City of Willits) to be utilized in accordance with the Annual Report. As stipulated in Section 36534 & 36535 of the California Streets and Highways Code, this confirmation is to occur after a public hearing in which protests can be heard. MCC 5.140.250 requires that “the County and the Mendocino County Lodging Association (MCLA) shall enter into a contract prior to the expenditure of such (BID) funds… this contract shall provide for a fifty percent (50%) County match of the assessment collected and expended pursuant to this Chapter for the purpose of countywide promotion.” It is expected that this contract will come before the Board in June, 2015; estimated cost of the required County match is $402,600. A copy of the accepted Annual Report (and budget) is on file at the Executive Office.

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Dear Editor:

The biggest concern for all farmers in California right now is, of course, water. It seems that everyone is looking for someone else to blame. Clearly each of us in the exploding human population shares the responsibility. Since 1970, the population of California has doubled. Today there are 38 million people in our beautiful state, 26 times the 1.45 million residents in 1900. More people simply use more water.

Nonetheless, many want to point the finger at cannabis growers. There have been many estimates of the amount of water cannabis cultivation requires. Who would know better than the growers themselves? But we never get asked.

The Mendocino Cannabis Policy Council, along with the Emerald Growers Association, has polled numerous cannabis cultivators about their water usage. From these results we derived, with great help from Casey O’Neill, a formula which is: 1 gallon per 1 day to produce 1 pound of cured cannabis flower buds (1:1:1).

So how much water does cannabis really use?

Our canvassing indicates that most cannabis farmers grow plants that average between 2 and 4 pounds. One eighth acre (50 ft x 100 ft with 50 cannabis plants) would use 24,000 gal per season ( 8 months = 240 days) to produce fifty 2 pound plants (2 gal per day x 240 days x 50 plants) or 480 gal per plant. A two pound plant divided into 1/8ths of an oz. yields 256 eighths. Thus the whole garden with 50 plants would produce 12,800 eighths of an ounce. (An eighth ounce is a standard retail unit like 1 pound of beef or 1 bottle of wine or 1 can of almonds.)

Each 1/8th ounce then requires 1.875 gallons (24,000 gal/12,800). It has been widely reported that to produce a pound of beef requires at least 1500 gal of water. Wine uses between 180 to 400 gal per bottle*. Almonds need one gallon per nut or about 100 gal per can, broccoli takes about 5 gal per head, avocados about 75 gal per pound.

But, wait! The same plant that produces 2 pounds of cured finished flower buds also produces at least 1/2 pound of little bud or smalls which farmers and dispensaries often donate to needy patients, sell at a steep discount or consume themselves as everyday smoke. It will also produce at least 1/2 pound of trim shake. The leftover smalls and the shake can then be processed to make concentrates, edibles, tinctures, salves, oils, etc. All that additional product, all that value added, with no additional water required.

The Calif Dept. of Fish and Wildlife published a report on cannabis growing in Mendocino and Humboldt, highlighting 3 typical valleys. They concluded that there were about 26,000 plants in Outlet Creek Valley. The implied conclusion, based on an assumption of 6 gal of water per day per plant, was that cannabis was drying up the creeks.

A closer analysis points at a different result. Using Fish and Wildlife numbers, which most farmers consider too high, 6 gallons a day for the peak growing season of 150 days of summer means 900 gal per plant, which is the same as a 3.75 pound plant for 240 days in our formula (1:1:1), which would require about 2 gallons per one eighth. If there were 400 sungrown plants in an acre (each with 10’ x 10’ canopy in a 200’ x 200’ area), 26,000 plants need 65 acres.

At 900 gal per plant per season, 26,000 plants use 23,400,000 gal per season, or 3,128,342 cubic feet of water Twenty three million gallons equals 71 acre feet of water, which means that 12 inches of water falling on 71 acres would provide enough water for the entire 65 acre cannabis crop of Outlet Creek Valley, as long as it is properly captured and stored in the rainy season to then be used in the dry months. Even in dry years Mendocino receives about 40 inches of rain, and Outlet Creek Valley covers 103,616 acres, according to Fish and Wildlife.

A questionable assumption in the report is that green house plants, with a canopy of 5’x5’, would use the same amount of water as sungrown plants. Nor does the report address the possibility that some greenhouse crops are light dep grows, which would be harvested in August and so use no water at all in the driest months. Missing entirely in the report is any identification of an individual garden’s actual source of water. There is no mention of storage tanks, ponds, springs, wells, or the possibility that water was captured in the rainy months and stored for use in July and August. The unsubstantiated assumption is that all the water came only from Outlet Creek, but the report does not mention the discharge flow of Outlet Creek at all. To demonstrate the effect of increased cannabis acreage they would have to show tables of water discharge at Outlet Creek over a period of 10 to 15 years. I doubt such data exists.

The Fish and Wildlife report references only the monthly discharge of the Van Duzen River at Bridgeton in Humboldt County. Nevertheless, using their numbers, the flow at Bridgeton at the lowest rate in September (when most growers are actually cutting back on watering, as harvest begins for some strains in September), is 7 cu ft /sec or 4,502,960 gal per day. The 26 thousand plants at Outlet Creek use 4,680,000 gal for the whole month! At the driest time, one day’s flow would water all the plants for 30 days, that is 3% of the discharge, not 20%. The smart farmer knows the creeks always have low flow in August and accordingly captures and stores water for the dry season.

If there are 100 valleys in Mendocino County growing 30,000 plants, there would be a total of 3,000,000 plants in the county on 7500 acres needing 7844 acre feet of water which is 2,556,000,000 gal per season. In March, Van Duzen Creek discharges 1,286,560,000 per day; in June, it puts out 321,776,320 per day. Thus, in March, 2 days of flow would water Outlet Creek Valley for the season. In June it would take 8 days flow for the whole crop.

If one were allowed to grow 400 plants per acre using 900 gal per plant it would need 360,000 gal per acre per season or 1.1 acre feet water per acre per season.

Mendocino County has approximately 16,500 acres of vineyards, using 25,000 gallons of water per acre per week over a 24 week season. This is 600,000 gal x 16,500 acres = 9,900,000,000 gallons or 30,381 acre feet of water, while Mendocino’s entire cannabis crop uses 7844 acre feet, if there are 100 valleys growing.

The MCPC and the EGA promote responsible organic cultivation in harmony with our environment and work to educate farmers about best practices. The Mendocino Cannabis Policy Council has written a ballot initiative for the 2015 county election to have cannabis cultivation classified as agriculture and regulated as such and to establish an advisory board of cannabis issues to be selected by the Board of Supervisors.

Farmers who cultivate this magnificent healing herb conscientiously with love need to be protected as they work to sustain the environment and bring people pure medicine.

We love our mountains as much as the next person.


Swami Chaitanya

Member: MCPC and EGA


*(Vineyards produce about 2 to 10 tons per acre. 2 tons of grapes produces about 4 barrels of wine which is about 1440 bottles. Water use: I acre grapes (about 2400 plants) uses 25,000-35,000 gallons a week. 6 months = 24 weeks total x 25,000 gal = 600,000 gal/per season / per acre. Vineyard acreage in Calif. has increased by 63% since 1985, from 350,000 acres to 570,000. Which means that their water use has likewise expanded by 63%.)

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It is 4004 B.C., and the Lord has just created the Universe. He and His Original Angels celebrate the Lord's great achievement (Glory Train). Lucifer, the Lord's favorite, and the best looking angel by far, makes a little mistake, as will happen at parties, and is banished from Heaven forthwith and forever.

The centuries fly by. Lucifer, the Devil, now reigns in Hell where to the surprise of many, he has proven to be an effective administrator -- harsh to be sure, vicious, even sadistic, ruthless when necessary but always fair. His life has not been an easy one however, and he longs to return to Heaven where they now have golf, roller coasters and Hawaiian music. He promises revenge (Can't Keep A Good Man Down).

The Devil visits the Lord in Heaven. He notices the Lord seems bored, and even for Him, a little irritable (note unfortunate reference to Buddhists and lack of modesty in How Great Our Lord). He senses that the Lord may have lost a step or two, and decides to take advantage of it. The Devil contends that the Lord made a mistake when He created Mankind. The Lord says he doesn't make mistakes. Knowing Him and His little, not weaknesses exactly, idiosyncrasies perhaps, better than anyone, the Devil goads the Lord into making a bet -- a representative specimen of Human life on Earth is to be selected, the Devil will try to corrupt the selectee. After negotiating a bit, even at one point considering a Canadian (Northern Boy), they agree on Henry Faust, a schizophrenic student from Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana (Bless The Children). Should the Devil win, he would be permitted to move back up to Heaven. If the Lord wins, he would get Faust's soul which proves to be so tiny as to be almost invisible, but it is important to the Lord as are we all. The two old adversaries part amicably and get on with the rest of the show.

The Devil makes himself known to the boy and proffers a contract which Henry signs without reading. The Devil is astonished. Henry explains he doesn't like to read on his own time. The Devil dislikes Henry at sight; he's a bad boy alright, but in such an unimaginative, ill-mannered, uncultured way (The Man) that the Devil, though sure of victory, is disheartened by the company he must keep. In any case, the Devil is certain that Henry will come through for him, and that he will once again abide with the Lord in Heaven. Right next door if possible. In addition, the Devil happens to know that an important member of the Lord's staff, an English Angel, is angry about the Lord's inexplicably cavalier treatment of his country, which did, after all, win those two Big Wars thereby saving the world (Little Island).

After spending some hard time with Henry, the Devil zips up to Heaven to pass a few quiet hours in the best place he knows. He unexpectedly encounters the Lord and some Angel Children. The Devil complains about having to deal with a barbarian like Henry. The Lord sympathizes, not liking the kid any better than the Devil does, and incidentally, genuinely worried about the viability of his bet -- the Devil in Heaven would be intolerable.

He'd ruin everything and probably would want to come over all the time and "do things" like they did as boys. The Lord loads up and with the help of the children, fires off an inspirational song at the Devil (Relax, Enjoy Yourself).

—Randy Newman

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Jun 10, 2015

Carver, Chapman, Frease, Hopkins
Carver, Chapman, Frease, Hopkins

ANTHONY CARVER SR., Ukiah. Drunk in public.

SCOTT CHAPMAN, Ukiah. Possession of paraphernalia, trespassing.

AUGUSTINE FREASE, Ukiah. DUI, no license.

BRUCE HOPKINS, Kelseyville. DUI.

Kirchner, Knapp, Parks
Kirchner, Knapp, Parks

KAREY KIRCHNER, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public.

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

LAWANDA PARKS, Corning/Laytonville. Receiving stolen property, conspiracy and “possessing, receiving or littering forged notes etc.”

Powell, Rutherford, Schoenahl, Spring
Powell, Rutherford, Schoenahl, Spring

DONALD POWELL, Cottonwood/Laytonville. Burglary, receiving stolen property, forgery, possession of controlled substance, conspiracy, conspiracy, probation revocation, and “possessing, receiving or littering forged notes etc.”

FLOYD RUTHERFORD III, Willits. Possession of honey oil.

ROGER SCHOENAHL, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

ERIC SPRING, Ukiah. Addict with stun-gun, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Stiles, Valadez, Zaste
Stiles, Valadez, Zaste

REBECCA STILES, Laytonville. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

ROBERT VALADEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

ERNEST ZASTE III, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

* * *


Love is funny, or it's sad

Or it's quiet, or it's mad

It's a good thing or it's bad

But beautiful

Beautiful to take a chance

And if you fall you fall

And I'm thinking I wouldn't mind at all

Love is tearful, or it's gay

It's a problem or it's play

It's a heartache either way

But beautiful

And I'm thinking if you were mine

I'd never let you go

And that would be but beautiful I know

But beautiful

And I'm thinking if you were mine

I'd never let you go

And that would be but beautiful I know

Johnny Burke, James Van Heusen

* * *


* * *

TWO ROADS: The Politics of David Blatt and the Passion of Steve Kerr’s Father

by Dave Zirin

The 2015 NBA Finals coaches, Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors and David Blatt of the Cleveland Cavaliers, have both reached this summit in their first year on the job, but that’s not all they share. The two rookies are also bonded by histories intimately tied to the conflicts that plague the Middle East. In an NBA Finals where children at press conferences have generated endless hot takes, this history has been discussed, if at all, in a remarkably shallow fashion.

David Blatt, born in Framingham, Massachusetts, holds dual citizenship in Israel by virtue of being of the Jewish faith. His Israeli citizenship (which I could also claim by virtue of my own familial Judaism) gives him a set of political and civil rights that non-Jews born on this land 5,500 miles from Framingham do not possess. After playing and coaching in Israel following a Princeton education, Blatt became in his own words, “much more Jewish and much more Zionist.”

Blatt’s proud Zionism means that he has been a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (the IDF), an experience described in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz as “his most significant bonding experiences with the country.” He is also on a first-name basis with the nation’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu. This friendship, which ABC broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy described at high decibels as “impressive” during Tuesday night’s primetime Finals broadcast, is so intimate, that Blatt boasts of being able to call Netanyahu “Bibi” when they speak. Blatt toldThe Plain Dealer that the prime minister “said all of Israel is behind the Cavaliers. That was great.”

What went unmentioned by Van Gundy, not to mention The Plain Dealer, are the ethical implications of an NBA coach beaming about his friendship with Netanyahu. “Bibi’s” last campaign was so riven with virulent anti-Arab racism, it was condemned across the globe. The aforementioned Israeli newspaper Haaretz printed an editorial about feeling “shame” that their “prime minister was a racist” after Netanyahu’s March election victory. The New York Times editorial page credited his triumph to a “desperate and craven” campaign that relied on a “racist rant” against Arab citizens of Israel to pull out a victory. Time’s Joel Kleinwrote that Netanyahu’s victory represented an “appalling irony” that “brought joy to American neoconservatives and European anti-Semites alike.” I use these examples because they represent how even staunch supporters of Israel were nauseated by Netanyahu’s toxic political platform.

Blatt has evidenced no such concerns, but this should not surprise. Last year, as NBA players were being excoriated for just posting messages about the loss of innocent life during Israel’s war on Gaza, Coach Blatt, without consequence, publicly cheered a venture that, according to the United Nations, killed more than 2,200 people and over 500 children, 1,500 of whom were civilians. Israel lost six civilians in the fighting. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Globes, Blatt said, “In my opinion, this war is Israel’s most justified war I can remember in recent years. I’m really sorry about what’s happening in Gaza, but there’s no doubt that we had to act there, so that Israel will have quiet there once and for all.” He then reprimanded the people of the United States for not supporting Israel’s war more heartily, saying, “There’s support, although sometimes it’s not enough.”

The absence of public criticism or even discussion about Blatt’s politics represents a head-spinning double standard. If another NBA coach had served in another country’s army, boasted about a first-name friendship with a foreign head of state who had just won an election on racist grounds, and said that a war that killed 500 children was “justified” and would “bring quiet,” would they be criticized? If they actually chided the United States for not supporting this government’s bombardment of enemy civilians with sufficient relish, would it at least be commented upon? Most likely, Skip Bayless’s head would explode. Instead, we only get Jeff Van Gundy saying, “Impressive!”

While David Blatt thinks nothing of broadcasting his friendship with someone who has come to power on a crest of “anti-Arab bigotry,” Steve Kerr arrives from much different stock. The basics are widely known: His father, Dr. Malcolm Kerr, was killed in 1984 by two unknown assailants (with responsibility later taken by the group Islamic Jihad) while he was serving as president of The American University of Beirut. Few know, however, that Dr. Malcolm Kerr wrote what is considered a work of genius, the foundational text of Middle East politics in the ’60s, The Arab Cold Waror that he is the author of the celebrated book Islamic Reform, which profiles the most influential Muslim modernists of the early 20th century. Even fewer probably know that the Middle East Studies Association, an academic organization of over 2,700 academics, names its annual award for the best dissertation after Dr. Kerr. This same Middle East Studies Association has voted overwhelmingly to debate the boycotting of Israeli institutions in the aftermath of the Gaza war.

Dr. Kerr was a giant to those who care about the future of peace and justice in the region. This is why, when he was killed, Palestinian academic and activist Edward Said told The New York Times, ”No one could doubt either his perceptiveness and knowledge or his understanding.”

As Middle Eastern professor and author Abdullah Al Arian said to me, “Before his tragic death, Dr. Malcolm Kerr was a preeminent scholar and indeed, a pioneer in the field of Middle East studies. But beyond the groundbreaking studies that he authored, Kerr was exceptional in his desire to give back to the people of the region that he studied, a rarity among many Western scholars of the region. He committed his life to enhancing the level of education for Arab populations at institutions in Egypt and Lebanon and preferred life in a Beirut reeling from civil war and Israeli occupation to the comfortable confines of Southern California. Those of us who continue to research the region in the hopes of heightening the understanding of the Arab world are indebted to him.”

Dr. Malcolm Kerr sought the position as president of The American University of Beirut despite the civil war plaguing the country because he believed that understanding and education could end conflict. This has impacted his son. While one could understand how his murder could have turned Steve Kerr against this way of thinking, the lessons of his father have become embedded in Coach Kerr. Over this last decade of US war in the Middle East, Kerr has made comments such as, “You have to consider the political landscape. The number-one question we should all have, is why do people hate us? Why is there a faction of people in the world so against what we stand for?” He has also likened the idea of blaming all Arabs and Muslims for terrorism to “blaming Americans for Timothy McVeigh.” Suffice it to say, these are not the political views of those currently holding power in the Knesset.

Steve Kerr, without fanfare and without a bullhorn, walks in the path of the late Dr. Malcolm Kerr. It’s a path that sees peace as arriving only through education, empathy, and justice. It honors Dr. Kerr’s towering memory to say, without hesitation, that David Blatt’s political compass is an unapologetic path to more conflict. Using his platform as an NBA coach to steer more people onto this path demands criticism. It’s difficult to imagine that Dr. Kerr would have had nothing to say about it, even if his son is currently dealing with more immediate concerns. David Blatt is entitled to believe whatever he likes about Israel, Netanyahu, and war in Gaza. But it makes no sense whatsoever that these views have to be met with puffery or silence, instead of vigorous debate.

[Dave Zirin is the author of Brazil’s Dance with the Devil. Contact him at]

* * *


* * *



You know, it's hard to decide what to think about the recent passage through the Senate of the USA Freedom Act, which supposedly would ban the bulk collection of everybody's telephone metadata (basic facts like what number you called, how long you were on the line etc.) I mean, when is the last time you ever heard of the government passing ANY law that didn’t end up being a giant piñata filled with tax subsidized goodies for wealthy people and powerful corporations?

It is an unfortunate, though entirely predictable, consequence of the Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United decision, that such parties would inevitably take over the levers of government and steer it towards their interests. That unfortunate 5 to 4 Supreme Court decision, which many believe to be the worst one since Dred Scott, which defined black people as property, to be returned to their rightful owners, should they escape their enslavement. It basically put the entire US government up for auction to the highest bidder, and the bidding has been lively! Nowadays, before any candidate for president even begins any kind of public campaign, he or she must engage in an humiliating and anti-democratic 'wealth primary', where they must seek audiences with the billionaires, where they can bow and curtsy and kiss the ring in hope of being one of the chosen few chosen by the billionaire class to represent their point of view. This is now the way we end up preselecting those candidates approved by the ultrarich and the corporations, whom we eventually get to choose between. Can that really be called democracy? Or do we now live in a literal oligarchy, albeit one dressed up with some of the trappings of democracy?

Consider; in, in the 1992 contest between a Clinton and the Bush, the cost of the presidential election was $331 million. Fast forward to 2012 and that year's presidential election ended up costing $2.6 billion! No wonder we all become inured to a political system in which most observers feel powerless, cynical and fearful of the next government intrusion into our lives, all, of course, in the interest of 'keeping us safe', 'protecting the homeland' and other such Orwellian claptrap excuses for diminishing the freedoms which are guaranteed to all of us by the Constitution's Bill of Rights.

As much as I would like to celebrate the USA Freedom Act's apparent victory over Big Brother, it is really hard to imagine that the national security state is going to walk away from its multibillion-dollar, thousands of employees, data center in Utah, which only recently, after years of construction, opened its doors. This facility, if I understand correctly, vacuums up just about every bit of communication sent or received in this nation, then examines and performs whatever kind of digital hocus-pocus different contractors can con the government into funding before filing everything away for possible future use, perhaps to go back through and find dirt on someone who has sufficiently annoyed some government agency or maybe even just a powerful campaign contributing billionaire or Corporation. What else would one expect when the entire electoral system has been handed over so thoroughly to the billionaires and billionaire Corporations? Such information collection is never benign; it is an inherent feature of governments that where they can abuse the power that comes with that kind of access to private information, they will. This is why the government of Germany, having lived through the Nazi nightmare, made sure to structure their communication systems in such a way as to make such data collection impossible.

Never mind that for the trillions of dollars we have squandered down the bottomless pit of 'National security' snooping, and despite the protestations of those on the receiving end of that lavish funding, it turns out that exactly NO plots of terrorist action were ever stopped by this enormous transgression of our right to free speech and to be secure in our homes and personal effects. The deadliest US terrorist actions in recent years, such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the Fort Hood shooting, would not have been revealed by any of these data mining techniques anyway, but could have, should have, been foiled by plain old police work and rational personnel management on the part of the Army.

It really is shocking just how much influence our political system has handed over to an incredibly tiny elite of political donors; in 2012, the top 32 super-PAC donors contributed as much money as Obama and Romney raised from 3.7 million small donors! Boy, and some of these folks are making some serious investments in their favorite candidates; consider casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who, along with his wife Miriam, contributed $92 million during the 2012 presidential campaign, or the two-person personification of the subversion of democracy through campaign finance excess, the Koch brothers, who have already pledged to contribute 10 times that much in 2016! The people who give this kind of money are not simply citizens of goodwill trying to promote democracy, they are invariably people with major axes to grind, with their pet causes often diametrically opposed to the public good; in the case of Adelson, it is blind and fanatical support for Israel, and for the Koch brothers it is getting carte blanche for their earth destroying extractive industries and out of control risks to the earth like the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would make them billions more to add to their colossal heap of John Birch Society, right wingnut, wealth.

There has got to be a grassroots movement to push our legislators to overturn the disaster of Citizens United if we are ever to reestablish the representative democracy that the founding fathers envisioned; it would be a simple matter to make a constitutional amendment reversing our deranged Supreme Court's incomprehensible decision, but the way things are set up now it's impossible to imagine the momentum for such a move coming from anywhere in the government; it's got to come from below, from We The People.


John Arteaga, Ukiah

* * *


Time for the June Networking Meeting Ukiah Valley Conference Center, 200 S. School St, Ukiah

Join us Tuesday, June 16

Next Tuesday is our lunch time meeting, a great place to meet other ladies, share who you are & what you do & build your business connections!

Date: Tuesday 6/16/15

Location: Ukiah Valley Conference Center

Time: 12 noon- 1pm

(feel free to bring your lunch in)

Topic: Tips & Info on Life that might just be that special thing YOU needed to hear!

Come prepared to share briefly who you are & your tips that other women in business could benefit from. Bring your business cards & any flyer on upcoming events you may have!

PS: A drawing to win a little something from a member

Only $5 to drop in just for the day, members are free!

Membership only $50 for the year & that includes evening events, which we have a few coming up!

* * *


Okay Everybody...Here's the Opportunity for Total Spiritual Emancipation...

Presently, I am at the Hostelling International travelers hostel located at 103rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue in New York City, where I have reserved a dorm room bed through Sunday June 15th. I have no plans beyond that whatsoever. However, if you wish to participate in something incredible with genuine people, then join with me and form an affinity group for the purpose of being fully present at the 36th Annual Earth First! Round River Rendezvous July 1-8, 2015 in the Green Mountains of Vermont (politically corrected: Abenaki indigenous tribal land). Here is a website with details:

Feel free to email me if you are committed to being at the rrr in an affinity group with me.

Craig Louis Stehr



Linkaroo for the Boontling Greeley Sheet

* * *

TWO NORTH COAST NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARIES have formally merged and expanded to include another 2,769 square miles of ocean between Bodega Head to just north of Point Arena, permanently protecting the important stretch of critical habitat from oil drilling.


  1. Dave Smith June 11, 2015

    Parducci Jug Red hasn’t been produced for over 10 years according to the company. A recent purchase of their Sustainable Red did not produce raves at our house.

  2. BB Grace June 11, 2015

    I can’t remember when the princes began arriving this year as it seems to me they never stopped popping up since last year, which was earlier than usual around August.

    If the world was an acre, the princes are now occupying Africa. I have not been able to keep up in processing them as just today a new fellow arose over a foot in hight, gills undeveloped, accompanied by another in 8″ magesty and surrounded by dozens more in various hights, as if they were from the fairy family ala uroboros.

    My favorite part of the prince is the stem roasted within a dry hot cast iron kettle as there is no finer flesh (novice sommoliers take note as you will never miss no matter what vine or mix of vines you suggest).

    My awesome prince of kingly aspiration deserved to be adorned with the dawn’s fruit of my garden, a variety of squash that escaped my passion for same flowers dusted in durum before being tossed into garlicy virgin olive oil rendering them to a crispiness which only enhances the delicate tenderness of their petals.

    A half sweet onion sliced end to end announced to the world the comming of the prince as onion becomes more sweet with a kind scortch. Together they danced exhausting their xylem into a heavenly cloud inviting the squash to make it a party, which was happily accepted, as virgins going to the pyre of Kali, they embraced and danced with the embellished prince. This is true love making my friends.

    Dear basil, always looking for a good time, emanated a desire to join this hot party, which I agreed conditionally, only after the embellished prince is annointed with olive oil, removed from the fire, and a a proper chiffonading.

    By this time the cocks had been crowing for hours announcing the celebration of each hen’s longing for the nest. What better than their oval orbs, cracked and whipped to a liguid sunshine to wrap my embellished prince and his marvelous party?

    An omelette without chesse is like a day without sunshine and this being no day to spoil rather have feta to crumble upon the fate of my embellished prince and his party. It’s a wrap AKA time to stick a fork in it.

    A toast of rye; pass the mimosas!

  3. Jim Updegraff June 11, 2015

    Comment on fraud; years ago when I worked in a bank embezzlement was almost always a result of BBG (booze, broads or gambling). The only thing that has changed is you can add a D for drugs – it is now BBGD.

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