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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, July 8, 2015

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ZAC ZACHARY, 70, long-time Coast resident and active in various liberal causes, has died of cancer.

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A READER WRITES: "FORT BRAGG is unhappy with the City's management of the 4th of July celebrations. Much angry buzz around town about the city's crack down and the heavy FBPD presence. The city charged $20 to park and had an inmate crew remove every stick of driftwood to prohibit bonfires. There is some dispute of whether this is a legal action, and there was the question of who actually owns that beach I heard the cops handed out tickets for open container violations, someone mentioned $150, that's unverified, then allowed violators to keep their beers. Inconsistent ticketing... About 1/3 of the beach goers left in disgust, probably heading for more remote spots, like Blues Beach, which really created more hazards, as Noyo at least had a fires truck and EMT vehicle available."

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The good news is that the city moved the “official” fireworks closer to Noyo beach so they were much more impressive this year.

The bad news is that less than a third of “the people” who used to go to Noyo beach on the 4th of July celebration showed up this year due to the illegal actions of the city claiming authority where they have none, below the mean high water mark. Two thirds of the people had their traditional 7/4 celebration rights violated illegally.

The bad news is that a beach that used to be full of campfires on the fourth of July had not one, because the city had prisoners come in to remove all the firewood. This is illegal. No one, including a governmental agency, can remove more than 50 pounds of driftwood at a time, and then only for personal use.

The bad news is that everyone who had fireworks to set off, who would have done it in the safest legal environment, on the beach, where a fire engine was standing by and emergency medical assistance was available, set off their fireworks in other places where no such assistance was available, greatly increasing the chance of a wildfire.

The sad news is that the chief of police went on air to say they are enforcing existing laws when their laws don’t apply, nor do county laws, below the mean high water mark.

Either the Chief of Police doesn’t know the state constitution and the limits of his authority, or he deliberately lied to justify the city actions, which are illegal. Either way, he does not have the qualifications to be a police chief and violated Federal law, illegally denying people their rights.

Fortunately some of the benefactors who used to set off their fireworks legally on the beach chartered boats this year to avoid the illegal police actions and the boat show was very good this year, rivaling the “official” fireworks. Thanks to you, patriotic folks!

Unfortunately, because the city moved the official fireworks closer to Noyo beach, the smoke from the patriots’ fireworks on the boats, who had been pushed offshore by the city’s illegal actions, obscured the official fireworks.

City Hall is illegally denying people their rights “under color of law”, which is a federal offense investigated by the FBI. They are destroying tradition and eroding our freedoms. They are creating a more dangerous situation by dispersing people who want to set off their fireworks legally and safely. Please file a complaint with the FBI. These “petty tyrants”, who have no respect for the law or the limits of their power, need to be humbled and put back in their place.

Capt. Cass Forrington

Fort Bragg

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Rural residents decry water restrictions at Occidental meeting

by Guy Kovner

A feisty crowd of west Sonoma County residents peppered state regulators Monday night with questions about why new water conservation rules aimed at saving endangered coho salmon do not apply to vineyards.

The rules, which took effect Monday, apply to the owners of about 3,750 parcels that rely primarily on private wells in four watersheds, including the areas around Dutch Bill and Green Valley creeks in west Sonoma County.

“It’s so obvious who’s sucking the water out of the ground,” shouted one man in an audience of about 100 residents, asserting that there are dozens of vineyards in the Green Valley watershed.

Another man said the rural water-conservation measures approved by the state Water Resources Control Board last month are “doomed to fail because the main culprits are not included.”

“We’re dealing with the low-hanging fruit here,” a woman called out, referring to prohibitions on watering lawns and washing vehicles with no limits on irrigation of commercial agriculture.

The meeting at Salmon Creek School near Occidental was the first of five public sessions scheduled by the water board after it officially adopted the emergency regulations on June 17.

State officials said the drought has reduced summer flows in four coho-rearing creeks — including Mark West Creek north of Santa Rosa and Mill Creek west of Healdsburg — by 90% or more from 2010 levels.

Gail Seymour, an environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said that 2,800 juvenile fish had been rescued and relocated from the four creeks in May and June.

The crowd applauded a woman who said conditions for the salmon and steelhead were “critical; it’s a tragedy.”

Seymour did not directly answer a man who asked if rural residents conserved water, as required, whether the fish would survive.

“It’s been pretty rough,” she said. “I’m not going to give up hope.”

The meeting got off to a rocky start when the seats in one room at the school filled up with about 100 people, prompting noisy complaints, and state officials quickly made arrangements to do a simultaneous presentation in an adjacent room with about 120 more residents.

Dorene D’Adamo, a water board member, said she understood the sentiment in the first room.

“I hear your frustration,” she said, identifying herself as the board member representing agriculture and a resident of the San Joaquin Valley, where “we have these conflicts.”

The rural water rules, unique to the four Sonoma County watersheds, are aimed at restricting use of water on “ornamental turf,” meaning lawns, D’Adamo said, with the intention of avoiding a “big economic impact.”

If the conservation measures — similar to what city residents statewide have been under for months — don’t work, the water board will implement curtailments, which would apply to wineries and vineyards, D’Adamo said.

Curtailments last year suspended water rights for seven months for about 650 permit holders on the Russian River north of its confluence with Dry Creek near Healdsburg, forcing some growers to haul in thousands of gallons of water to irrigate crops.

“We take this conversation very seriously,” D’Adamo told the audience.

Terry Kraus of Occidental said he attended the meeting because the rules represent “the government’s telling you how to live on your own property.” Kraus said it rankled him that a neighbor “who grows grapes is pretty much exempted” from the rules.

Erin Ragazzi, environmental program manager for the water board, said the agency has received calls from people “wondering how they can report their neighbor.” There will be an area on the board’s website to allow that, she said.

Dan Holtman, an Occidental area resident who lives on Purrington Creek, said that waterway, a tributary of Green Valley Creek, is “losing water like crazy” while some of his neighbors are “still watering their lawns with sprinklers.”

There are six-inch juvenile salmon in pools along the creek, he said.

Holtman said he filled a 10,000-gallon storage tank with creek water during the winter and will get by on it with no further diversions this summer. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years,” he said.

Mike Loftus of Graton, who also lives along Purrington Creek, said the application of urban water restrictions on rural areas is “somewhat misplaced.”

Some of the water that rural residents sprinkle on their landscape sinks back “into the aquifer it came from,” as does household wastewater that flows through a septic system, he said.

None of the water used in cities returns to its source, Loftus said.

The water board will hold four more meetings this week: at 6pm Tuesday at the Healdsburg City Council Chambers, 401 Grove St.; at 6pm Wednesday at the Forestville Fire Department, 6554 Mirabel Road; and at 1pm and 6pm Thursday at the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, 5550 Skylane Blvd., Suite A, in Santa Rosa.

A map-based tool for landowners and water users to determine if they are in one of the watersheds is available by clicking here.

Information on the water-use regulations can be obtained by calling 916-322-8422.

(Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)


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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 7, 2015

Bennett, Boettcher, Castorena, Czapkey
Bennett, Boettcher, Castorena, Czapkey

NANNETTE BENNETT, San Rafael. Trespassing.

THOMAS BOETTCHER, Fort Bragg. Parole violation.


JOHN CZAPKAY, Boonville. Grossly negligent discharge of firearm with risk of injury or death, criminal threats of great bodily injury or death.

Dickerson, Heath, Koberstein, Mosher
Dickerson, Heath, Koberstein, Mosher

RYAN DICKERSON, Covelo. Perjury, failure to appear, probation revocation.

DANIEL HEATH, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

GABRIEL KOBERSTEIN, Corvallis, Oregon/Comptche. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.

TERRI MOSHER, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

Neumeyer, Rojas, Vargas
Neumeyer, Rojas, Vargas

JONATHAN NEUMEYER, Willits. Rape with force/violence, penetration by foreign object by force/violence.

RICARDO ROJAS, Willits. Drunk in public.

JUDITH VARGAS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

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(Photo by Annie Kalantarian)
(Photo by Annie Kalantarian)

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IN THE HUMANIZATION OF ANIMALS is concealed one of the most clever resources of the Absolute Fake industry, and for this reason the Marinelands must be compared with the wax museums that reconstruct the last day of Marie Antoinette. In the latter, all is sign but aspires to seem reality. In the Marinelands, all is reality but aspires to appear sign. The killer whales perform a square dance and answer the trainers' questions not because they have acquired linguistic ability, but because they have been trained through conditioned reflexes, and we interpret the stimulus-response relationship as a relationship of meaning. Thus in the entertainment industry when there is a sign it seems there isn't one, and when there isn't one we believe that there is. The condition of pleasure is that something be faked. And the Marinelands are more disturbing than other amusement places because here Nature has almost been regained, and yet it is erased by artifice precisely so that it can be presented as uncontaminated nature.

— Umberto Eco, 1975; from "Travels in Hyperreality"

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Those driving vehicles enter a time-warp – and God help anyone who causes any disruption of even the smallest time loss. Potentially losing less than five seconds is cause for road rage with varying outcomes. Oil is a teaser of God-like powers with which many are corrupted. With oil, we transcend meekness.

I bike commute frequently, and on one day on an otherwise empty street, some asshole landscaping company truck driver hauling a trailer of lawnmowers could not bear to wait for me to pass the house they were about to visit but instead, accelerated, and dove into the parking spot right in front of me nearly forcing me off the road. Just to save less than five seconds – all the dumb-fuck had to do is wait for me to pass the house – so little time it would have taken as I had already begun to cross the property line!

It’s that kind of shit that goes on. I bought myself a huge Diesel pickup so I could enjoy Oil’s last hurrah – why not – when it goes we’re all fucked anyway and at least I can start helping out with the local farms – try that in a Prius. The higher vantage point is revealing – girls with tight skirts and stick-shifts for example – but appallingly, a new trend I’ve noticed is how people now race to the next light hoping for it to be RED so they can again pick up their phone and text/browse some more. It is AMAZING how important whatever little tidbit could be on that phone is – smart phones are the ultimate distraction – even time loss is mitigated!

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Mendocino County Youth Project and Mendocino Family and Youth Services have chosen the 2015 Jim Levine Legacy Scholarship Award winners. The 2015 Jim Levine Legacy Scholarship awardees are: Cristal Tapia of Ukiah High School, Julia Moore of Mendocino High School, Kathya Orozco-Medina of Anderson Valley High School, Emma Lee Smith of Point Arena High School, Rebecca Sanchez of Fort Bragg High School and Jessica Portillo of Fort Bragg High School. Each graduating senior receives a $500 scholarship, to be paid directly to the university, college or trade school the student enters in the Fall of 2015, to be used for fees, books, and other school items.

The annual scholarship program, keeps the spirit that Mr. Levine brought to the Youth Project by selecting the ideal applicant who; has overcome personal difficulties, reached out to help others, is graduated in June 2015, and is focused on building a future and a career through education and or advanced technical training. The Scholarship Committee considered carefully the attributes and essays of the many high school applicants from different schools around Mendocino County. While it was felt all applicants were worthy of recognition, the committee members expressed their admiration for the hard work and dedication the award winners and their references shared in the applications.

If you are interested in making a tax deductible donation to the Jim Levine Legacy Scholarship please contact MCYP at 707-463-4915 or email

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"I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride.” – Varoufakis


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by Fred Gardner

How many times have you seen TV news reports of people stranded in airports, and thought, “Thank God that’s not me?” Usually the delay is attributed to the weather forcing cancellations. In our case it was a wildcat strike by the workers who refuel the planes at Pearson Airport in Toronto.

We had attended the 25th annual meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, held June 28-July 2 at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. On the morning of Friday July 3 we drove to Halifax (90 km), returned the Chevy to Avis, and presented our pre-printed boarding passes to an Air Canada agent. She said that our flight to Toronto had been delayed 20 minutes — which meant we'd have exactly an hour to make the connecting flight to San Francisco. It was do-able, she said, and our plane leaving Toronto might take off a little late because of “fueling issues.”

On the flight from Halifax, heading for the Bay Area, too, were Constance Finley, a producer of medicinal extracts, and her lab director, Haley Poole. As our plane started descending a flight attendant said the four of us had been bumped off the 4:30 to SFO because Air Canada assumed we couldn't make it. They’d booked us on a flight the next morning and would be put up at a hotel, we were told.

We decided to sprint anyway and try to catch the 4:30 as per our tickets. The flight attendant disapproved, and said we hadn’t left enough time between landing in Toronto and taking off for SF. I said that an hour and 20 minutes seemed adequate, and how come Air Canada lists that connection as an option on its website, and accepted our payment? Constance was getting spicey, too.

We sprinted to no avail. The flight had been canceled and we were told to report to Air Canada's "Connections window,” which meant a long retracing of our steps. (The airport is vast, and Air Canada dominates.)

As we were wending our way slowly forward on the Connections window line, Constance got the attention of a competent manager and explained that she had a serious autoimmune disorder that is only held in check by her medicine, which was in her bag ticketed for San Francisco. The manager said she would get Constance on a plane ASAP, and since we were in her entourage, we were put on the 8:55 p.m. flight and felt relatively lucky.

Returning US citizens go through customs in Toronto. ("This part of the airport is technically the United States.," it was explained by an attendant.)

It took 20 minutes just to get on line for Customs. Three days earlier the airport had installed a new system in preparation for the Pan American games. You create a second boarding pass by inserting your passport into a computer/printer, which produces a piece of slick paper with toxic ink that you leave with the guard at the start of the Customs line.

Then you inch your way "forward" for another hour in a roped-off, zig-zag configuration that enables more than 100 people (schlepping carry-on bags) to take up a space of about 15 square yards. To the left and right of our large human square were two single-file lines, one for passengers who might miss their flights, one for customers who had paid for the privilege of line avoidance.

Although there were booths for about 20 Customs agents, we could see there were only three on duty reviewing documents. At one point your correspondent started addressing the throng: "Genuflect to the state, everybody! Genuflect to the state! Don't you feel a lot safer now? Let's all genuflect to the state." The huddled masses averted their eyes except for one big, curly-haired Caucasian with an Asian wife and two beautiful kids. He grinned and nodded enthusiastically. Better fewer but better, right?

At last we made it to a Customs agent. In response to his questions I said that I'm a journalist. I'd been covering a scientific conference. The International Cannabinoid Research Society is made up of scientists studying why marijuana works as medicine. He said his wife was interested in that subject. I gave him a preview edition of the next O'Shaughnessy's and some extra copies in case his wife had any friends who were interested.

Around 9:15 we boarded the 8:55 plane and proceeded to wait another hour in our seats. There was no air circulating because, as the apologetic steward said, "it hasn't been delivered yet." Around 10 pm he announced that the flight had been canceled and everybody had to get off.

We had to clear customs again (re-entering Canada, technically, not a long process), then wait for our bags to be unloaded from the plane. And wait. And wait… We'd been watching the carousel go round for about an hour when I checked the Air Canada website on my laptop and realized that we wouldn't get a flight out the next day unless we left the baggage claim area immediately and hastened to the Connections window to re-book. But you can't leave without your co-ticket-holder and the missus didn't want to give up the hope of her bag emerging. I almost had to drag her. Good thing, too, because while we were re-booking (Connections was like a half mile away) a hundred other bedraggled, strandees began getting on line behind us. The bags had finally arrived. We felt lucky getting tickets on the 10:15 a.m. July 4 flight — Business class seats! — and a voucher for a hotel. Our bags, we were told, would “automatically” be put on our plane.

"How could this happen?" my friend Brent had asked about the situation in Toronto. From the ticket agents I got the answer. Air Canada had reneged on its contract with the company that fuels the planes and made a deal with a company that will do it cheaper. Some 300 workers are going to lose their jobs Oct. 1. They might get rehired by the new company at lower pay and without benefits and pension rights. In a futile, desperate gesture of protest, a majority of the crew members called in sick. Rosie and I have total sympathy for them, and so did the ticket agents we talked to. We blame the owners and directors of Air Canada.

The airlines made $13 billion last year. A millionaire who deprives a worker of his hard-earned security in old age deserves the business end of a pitchfork.

Cut back to Toronto, 1 a.m., July 4. We're in a hotel called the International Plaza watching the TV news and they're showing the crowd of passengers who missed their flights. The report was focused only on the inconvenience to passengers. With no context or explanation of why the men who fuel the planes called in sick, they were, implicitly, the cause of the problem. The airline came off looking like a victim.

Air Canada (which has been wringing every penny out of their ground crews and ticket agents, too) not only drove the refuelers to strike, but made things much harder on us passengers with a barrage of disinformation. We’d been told repeatedly that “for security reasons, you have to fly on the plane your bags are on,” and that our bags would “automatically” be put on the flight for which we were ticketed (10:15 a.m. to SFO). As we were checking in that morning, I said to the agent “And our bags have been put on board?” She said no, our bags were in a room with many others to be identified by the owners and re-tagged. Fortunately, we had time to do that, and were spared another wait by a carousel at SFO.

When we finally got home to the smoggy East Bay, I went online and found a semi-informative story about the work stoppage in the Toronto Sun.

Reporter Allison Martell did not mention that men who had worked 20 years at the airport would lose their benefits and pensions and have their wages cut from $24 to $14 an hour if they took jobs with the new fueling company. She had not gone to the trouble of finding a worker who had called in sick to get his point of view. She quoted a union spokesman, who emphasized that it was a wildcat strike, not union-authorized.

Martell gave ample space to the Air Canada flack, who misleadingly said that the strike was "affecting all airlines at Pearson." On July 3 it was affecting only Air Canada. Martell noted the airline’s gracious offer to waive "change fees" for affected customers.

The Sun piece ended with a quote from some dudes who missed out on a week-end in Vegas. Too bad the reporter didn't encounter our friend Constance, who couldn't get to the medicine in her luggage. For her it was a painful and terrifying ordeal. For us it was a drag that cost 18 hours — a day's work lost, a lot of bad air drawn into the lungs. Rosie came down with a wicked sore throat — first time in 20 years, she estimates.

Flying home in business class was like flying coach back in the day. Ample leg room. Padded seats that don't leave your butt corrugated after five hours. A warm, tasty little tenderloin with vino. I drank enough to think that The Breakfast Club was a really good flick.

This is how it ended for Constance: “We went to the hotel at 1:30 a.m., slept till 4:30, were back at the airport by 5:30. Stood in lines until we were told at 7 that contrary to what the fellow had said and written down at 1 a.m.., we had no reservations to get out of dodge at all. I had then been separated from my medicine for 36 hours, freezing, in cold sweats, shaky and in unbearable pain. I began crying uncontrollably and couldn’t stop. Never happened to me before in my life, but that got two managers from Air Canada involved, and still, we almost missed getting onto the flight they booked because no one was paying attention. I had to actually start yelling our flight was boarding before they got us there from customs in time. They then charged me $7 for a blanket, because my two jackets were not enough to keep me from shivering and drenched in cold sweat. Paid $20 for the first food we’d had in about 16 hours. Made it home by 1 in the afternoon on Saturday. My relatives had arrived for a visit the day before.”

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A fine appreciation of Robert Frank in Sunday's NY Times (The Man Who Saw America):


“In 1947 family friends who lived in Queens met the boat that carried Frank to the United States. The next day, they showed him Times Square: “The crowd! The crowd! I never was used to such a big crowd, and they were so enthusiastic about being there. It was America! Those big signs!” At a coffee shop, Frank encountered a waitress who flung everyone’s silverware onto the table. In that moment of democratic informality, Frank knew New York was where he wanted to be. “In Paris you’d see African people on the subway, and they were African. Here in America they are Americans. There is no other place like this.’’

…Since there “weren’t so many artists in photography to meet,” Frank says, he became interested in the work of only one photographer: Walker Evans. Evans’s images of battered roadside prewar America were, as the photographer Tod Papageorge writes, Frank’s “sourcebook” for his own rendition of the American scene. Frank sought Evans out, and soon the older man was inviting Frank to his Upper East Side apartment to help him photograph objects like tools arranged on a table. “If I put a piece of cheese on the table and said, ‘Photograph it’,” Frank says, “his would be different from my piece of cheese. His pictures were more careful. I was fast. Hurry! Hurry! Life goes fast.”

Evans wore English shoes and patrician airs. Frank had become close to raffish Beats like the poet Allen Ginsberg, and when Evans was hospitalized, he asked Frank not to bring “any of those friends of yours up here.” Frank believed that despite the humanity in his pictures, Evans “felt he was better than other people. That was something I couldn’t stand.”

…He found [Jack] Kerouac “at a New York party where poets and Beatniks were. Some painters. Everything happened downtown.” When Frank showed the writer his pictures, Frank says he was empathetic. “Kerouac personified what I hoped I’d find here in America. He was interested in outsiders. He wasn’t interested in walking the middle of the road.” Seizing the moment, Frank asked if Kerouac would introduce “The Americans.” “Sure,” Kerouac said. “I’ll write something.’’

…When Frank raised his camera and shot, the process was blurry quick, meaning he could capture what he saw as he perceived it. People, Frank says, “don’t like to be caught in private moments. I think private moments make the interesting picture.” It says something about Frank that his favorite “Americans” photograph shows the only people who caught him in the act. A black couple resting on the grass in a San Francisco park looks toward the lens in outrage. Beyond them are white city buildings. What is conveyed is how it feels to be violated wherever you go…

Frank says he was most drawn to blacks: the bare-chested boy in the back of a convertible; the woman relaxing beside a field in sunny Carolina cotton country; the dignified men outside the funeral of a South Carolina undertaker, who uncannily bring to mind the day President Obama eulogized Clementa Pinckney. Then, in November 1955, Frank was traversing the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River when a patrol car pulled him over outside McGehee. The policemen's report noted that Frank needed a bath and that "subject talked with a foreign accent." Also suspicious were the contents of the car: cameras, foreign liquor. Frank was on his way to photograph oil refineries in Louisiana. “Are you a Commie?” he was asked…

— Rob Anderson, District 5 Diary

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TOM McDERMOTT is coming in 2 Saturdays, July 18th at 7:30 at the Grange and if you love piano and almost any form of music, he will please. He plays Chopin, Ragtime, New Orleans Jazz and Brazilian. Want to sample? Eric Labowitz will interview Tom on his popular NO Show (New Orleans that is, Monday July 13 at 7 PM, KZYX.) Here’s the real treat, Eric’s love for NO music brings a diverse library of vinyl and CDs and he has lots of McDermott’s sideman productions over many years. Oh a ya! Tickets are at All that Good Stuff and Lemon’s. — Greg Krouse

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The Ukiah Library is hosting: Summer Reading Club for Teens & Adults: A discussion of I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai Saturday, August 8th at 11am. Join us for a discussion of I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai on August 8th at 11am. Pick up a copy at the Ukiah Library any time before August 8th & attend the discussion. This event can be counted toward the summer reading raffle for teens and adults. Refreshments will also be made available. For more information – please contact 467-6434 or

One Comment

  1. Jim Updegraff July 8, 2015

    In regard to Air Canada join the crows that has gotten screwed over by Air Canada A number of years ago we were going hiking in northern Newfoundland and booked a flight on Air Canada to Montreal with connection on the daily flight to northern Newfoundland.(we could have booked on United but in fit of temporary insanity we booked on Air Canada,) The plane left S F. hours late (no pilots available) and missed our connecting. There were about 30 of us who had missed connecting flights so they loaded on a bus and took us to a fleabag motel where the only rooms available were smoking rooms. We went over to the restaurant but they had closed early. When we complained to the reception desk we got a shrug in answer.

    Then coming home Air Canada managed to lose my wife’s bag. It showed up days later all chewed up.

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