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Mendocino County Today: Friday, July 31, 2015

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ROCKY FIRE UPDATE. Late Thursday evening, CalFire reported that the large Lake County “Rocky Fire” (about 15 miles west of Lower Lake) was up to 14,000 acres with only about 5% containment. Almost 1,000 firefighters are on scene. “The primary focus for Thursday, for both air resource and ground crews, is working on containment lines. Last night firefighters were heavily committed to evacuations and structure defense. Mandatory evacuations are in place for residents in the Morgan Valley area. The terrain is rugged, steep, with difficult access, in heavy brush and timberland. The fire has entered into the Cache Creek Wilderness Area and BLM Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Area. Additional resources are arriving. There are an estimated 700 evacuees. Two evacuation centers are opened — Highland Senior Center, 3245 Bowers Road, Clearlake and Middletown High School, 20932 Big Canyon Road, Middletown. An animal evacuation center is opened at the Lower Lake Social Services parking lot, 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway, Lower Lake. The fire has destroyed multiple outbuildings and three structures. Incident damage inspection is continuing. Resources will continue to work thoughout the night to take advantage of cooler temperatures while additional resources continue to respond from around the State.”

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FIRE THREATENED HOMES in the 600 block of Pinoleville north of Ukiah near Orr Springs Road Thursday afternoon. Initially a warning of possible evacuation went out. But by Thursday evening an effective response by Cal Fire and local fire agencies brought the fire under control and evacuation plans were canceled and roads were reopened. Sheriff Allman congratulated emergency responders on a job well done.

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WILLOWS, Calif. - The Mendocino National Forest is currently locating and
taking actions to suppress fires started by lightning yesterday.

The Forest received more than 100 lightning strikes Thursday afternoon and
evening across the forest.

An aerial view of the 2-acre Blue Fire last night on the Upper Lake and Covelo Ranger Districts on the Mendocino National Forest. (courtesy U.S. Forest Service)
An aerial view of the 2-acre Blue Fire last night on the
Upper Lake and Covelo Ranger Districts on the Mendocino National Forest (courtesy U.S. Forest Service).

Since yesterday, the Forest has identified 10 fires, with most of them on
the west side on the Upper Lake and Covelo Ranger Districts.  The
Grindstone Ranger District currently has one fire estimated to be a half

Eight of the remaining fires are small - ranging in size from a single
tree to 2 acres.  Progress towards containment is being made on the fires.

The Etsel Fire on the Upper Lake Ranger District is the largest fire,
estimated to be between 35 and 40 acres.  It is located in the Yuki
Wilderness and is burning in heavy timber and brush.

As dry conditions and hot temperatures continue, firefighters anticipate
discovering more lightning fires in coming days.  There is also a chance
of thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.

Forest visitors are asked to be aware of their surroundings and be
prepared for changing conditions.  This includes reporting visible smoke
that could be from a wildfire.

The Soldier Fire last night in the Yolla Bolly Wilderness on the Covelo Ranger District of the Mendocino National Forest. The fire is currently 1 acre (courtesy U.S. Forest Service).
The Soldier Fire last night in the Yolla Bolly
Wilderness on the Covelo Ranger District of the Mendocino National Forest.
The fire is currently 1 acre (courtesy U.S. Forest Service).

To report a fire, please call 911.

As a reminder, the Mendocino National Forest is currently under fire
restrictions.  Visitors are asked to follow regulations and be careful
with anything with a flame or that can throw a spark in the forest.  For
more information, please visit

For more information, please contact the Mendocino National Forest at
530-934-3316 or visit Updates are
also available on Twitter @MendocinoNF.

(U.S. Forest Service)

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SOHUM FIRES (from Southern Humboldt Fire Chiefs Association)

(yesterday) "There are/were about 32 known fires in eastern southern Humboldt today. Some of them have been controlled and some have not. Resources will be working through the night to locate and control these fires as safely as possible. Tomorrow aircraft will be back in the air looking at progress from tonight."

(today) "Update on yesterday's SoHum lightning complex: 38 separate fires located so far with an expectation to find more today. The largest fire was three acres, at least one structure was lost, & 4 fires are yet to be worked on. Aircraft will be seen overhead throughout the day."

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A meteor shower is reaching the height of its activity this week, but a blue moon will wash out some of the shooting stars.

by Andrew Fazekas

The annual Delta Aquarids meteor shower is at its peak. The night of July 30 into the pre-dawn hours on July 31 will be a great time to watch for shooting stars, and the Aquarids are something of a pre-game show to the iconic and much bigger Perseid meteor shower that will arrive in mid-August.

But another celestial phenomenon may make catching the show a bit tough. On Friday, July 31 the second full moon of the month will rise into Earth’s skies — the first was July 2. The near-full moon at the time of the meteor shower’s peak will make viewing challenging as the fainter shooting stars will be washed out by the lunar glare.

The second full moon in a month is called a blue moon. As commonly defined, that name doesn't refer to a color change, but only to the rarity of the event, which is related to the saying "once in a blue moon." By this definition, the last Blue Moon occurred back in August 2012. The next will be January 2018.

The best time to see the beauty of this silvery orb is when it rises above the eastern horizon just after local sunset this Friday. Like all full moonrises, it should offer some pretty photo opportunities for sky-hounds.

Despite the moon putting a bit of a damper on the meteor shower, it's expected that from a viewing location away from cities and their light pollution, observers may be able to catch as many as a dozen meteors per hour. And, as with other showers, a few brighter, more impressive meteors — called fireballs or bolides — should be in the offing too.

The Delta Aquarids favor observers in southern latitudes in the northern hemisphere and all of the southern hemisphere, as the meteors appear to radiate out from its namesake constellation, Aquarius the water bearer.

No need for any telescopes or binoculars — your eyes are all that's needed to catch the shooting stars race across the overhead skies. To maximize your views, face Aquarius, which is rising low in the southeast after local midnight.

While the constellation may be too faint to spot, you’ll know you're looking in the right direction thanks to the nearby bright star Fomalhaut just below Aquarius.

Like most meteor showers, the Delta Aquarids are caused by Earth slamming into clouds of sand-grain-sized particles shed by an orbiting comet. Countless particles are deposited along the path of the comet, forming clumps and streams through which our planet passes regularly each year. Each particle enters the atmosphere at more than 93,000 miles per hour (41,575 kilometers per hour), only to burn up in a momentary streak of light.

The identity of the parent comet to this shower has remained a mystery. However, some experts have pointed to 96P/Machholz, a comet discovered by an amateur astronomer in 1986. Clear Skies!

(Courtesy, National Geographic)

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Lexi Johnson
Lexi Johnson

For the first time in a long time, the Anderson Valley Varsity/JV boys football team has a girl on the team. Lexi Johnson, a senior, decided she no longer wanted to play volleyball and, after unforeseen circumstances, she didn’t want to partake in cheerleading. She wanted to do something in her spare time so the athletic Ms. J decided to become a football player.

The Panthers’ no-nonsense football coach, Danny Kuny, welcomes her to the team with enthusiasm: “I have no problem with having a girl on the team.” He also said that the boys don’t get a choice with their teammate (Lexi). “If they have a problem with her on the team then too bad.”

After speaking with the boys and spending time with the team, it seems as if no one has a problem with a girl on the team. From what I could see they are treating her like one of the guys.

Alejandro Gutierrez, a varsity player, said that he feels that having a girl on the team “…is a good experience for her and the team.” Asked if he thought having a girl on the team is somehow detrimental, he responded, “We do everything together. We are a team.” Another player referred to the team as a "family."

Lexi Johnson herself says her entrance into a traditionally male sport “is intimidating, and I feel like me being a new player will limit my playing time and my ability to get good at this game.” But the confident young woman says she doesn’t feel like her gender will limit her in any way.

Lexi Johnson admits she knows that she won’t be a starter or even have any major playing time. Lexi will be on the JV team if she sticks it out through the season.

The question has come up, can Lexi Johnson stick it out for the entire season? Will she be able to handle it? The game is intense and the boys do not plan on taking it easy on her. But Lexi's a gamer and she's determined to finish what she's started — to be first girl in Anderson Valley football history to last a whole season.

— Sarah Kreienhop

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ENCOUNTER WITH A FREQUENT FLIER: Nick Halvorsen is often seen walking the streets of Fort Bragg, alone, listening to music, headphones on. The first time I ever saw Nick, I was gardening in an alley. To be honest with you, I was terrified. With my usual I'M-TERRIFIED-OF-YOU SMILE, I asked him what headbanger music was he listening to? He offered me his headphones: “Here, listen,” he said. I wanted to scream! I noticed his scent: intoxicating! Then I heard soft, sweet Italian opera music coming from his MP3. Nick said: “What did you expect.”

--Susie de Castro, Fort Bragg

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 30, 2015

Abreu, Bolton, Chavez, Sandoval
Abreu, Bolton, Chavez, Sandoval

BLUE ABREU, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JOHN BOLTON IV, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)


MICHAEL SANDOVAL, Talmage. Drunk in public.

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Anne Marie Cesario
100 Franklin Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Fort Bragg City Councilmember
c/o City of Fort Bragg City Hall
Franklin Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Dear Councilmember:

In our review of the California Elections Code it has come to our attention that City Council has the ability to put the Initiative Prohibiting Social Service Organizations in the Central Business District on the November ballot by Resolution.

You are empowered to do this under the California Elections Code:

Section 9222 reads: The legislative body of the city may submit to the voters, without a petition therefor, a proposition for the repeal, amendment, Or enactment of any ordinance, to be voted upon at any succeeding regular or special city election, and if the proposition submitted receives a majority of the votes cast on it at the election, the ordinance shall be repealed, amended, or enacted accordingly. A proposition may be submitted, or a special election may be called for the purpose of voting on a proposition, by ordinance or resolution. The election shall be held not less than 88 days after the date of the order of election.

Please act on this now and put this measure on the November 2016 ballot.

The petition, which contains 312 valid signatures (many of the disallowed signatures were registered voters who have forgotten to reregister when they moved to another in town address) that were collected in less than 3 weeks, was declared insufficient due to a .4 discrepancy with the “no less than 10%” of 3124 rule. Rather than argue the fairness of this determination based on rules of mathematics taught to children in elementary school that state that a .4 or less decimal is rounded down and a .5 or more decimal is rounded up, we believe it is in the best interests of the community to appeal to you to put an end to this struggle and bring this measure to the voters now. The insufficiency is mainly due to our commitment to submit the measure before the deadline for the November election and not cost the city extra money for this to go to the electorate for a vote in a special election.

We could have continued to collect signatures but chose to submit them in time for the August 7 deadline.

It is not fair to the community to delay the democratic process due to one signature (four tenths of a voter). We hope you agree that the best thing to do for the community is to put this issue to rest as soon as possible. We have submitted the paperwork and fee to start the initiative process again; however, do you really want Fort Bragg to have to spend $20-50,000 on a special election to repeat this process? It appears that this waste of resources is not necessary and that you, as the “legislative body of the city” are empowered by the law to make this right.

It is our hope that your commitment to your constituents and the democratic process will lead you to arrange for a special council meeting and order this measure be put on the ballot by the August 7 deadline for the November election as soon as possible. We are presenting you with the opportunity to be reasonable and do the right thing; unite the community and support the People’s Right to Vote.


Anne Marie Cesario

Initiative Measure Proponent

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(Photo of a photo of an old Fort Bragg trestle train bridge with train. (Photo of photo by Susie de Castro)

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Lots of information from last meeting, including 2015/16 budget,* [while you are resting, check out the line items for contract work, several different ones, no explanation of why needed] minutes of June Board meeting, some of the committee June minutes, were posted yesterday on the health center web site. Thanks Heidi, thanks Ivan!

We look forward to getting agendas and all reports timely from now on, so that participants and observers at meetings may know what has happened in the intervening month and what is involved in the actions now being considered.

For example we find that late last month the executive director received word from former ED Diane Agee that a federal grant application for expanded services for which we should be eligible was due July 13, but that AVHC had not gotten any information regarding that grant from HRSA. We had previously been assured that all contacts from HRSA had been brought up to date and none were still going through Diane Agee. So, why are we not getting timely grant information? Lest we be too critical, please see

which gives us a June 26 date for the announcement and a July 20 due date for the application. We hope that someone is making sure that we are getting HRSA information correctly,and that there are no glitches in determining what staff person is responsible for retrieving and dissemination of that information.

And then, we see there was a special board meeting on July 16th to discuss an application for a HRSA grant for ??, due July 20th. Is this the expanded services grant? Then we learn that Jessica and Logan have attended conferences on integrating behavioural health and Primary Care in case study meetings, and that Chloe will report on an expanded vineyard worker program. It would be entirely sensible if these two areas of needed expanded care were both the subject of a grant. One hopes that may be the case.

The revised financial policies will be considered tonight for Board approval. What are the main changes? Why are they recommended for action?

Will the Board Development Committee have more discussion or recommendation on additional Board members? There are now ten members, with Maxence Weyrich, the one remaining student member, having one month left on his term. How's the review of personnel policies going?

Does Heidi have anything new on plans for paying down the mortgage and developing an endowment fund?

How did Chloe's first month go?

Come and find out.


Gene Herr, Philo

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ON PAPER it appears that the Anderson Valley Health Center is in the black. Their May 2015 “Company Snapshot” for June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015 shows that they had $70k more revenue than expenses. Slightly over 50% of the Center’s revenue comes from government grants and a few private donations. They expect to get almost $970k in federal medical grants for the current fiscal year. The rest of their revenue comes from patients either directly or via one kind of insurance or other — mostly MediCal and Medicare. Only about one-fourth of their “patient revenue” comes from private insurance or private payers. (Unfortunately, we couldn’t make their revenue estimates for the current fiscal year and offsets add-up so we hesitate giving actual numbers and percentages. Suffice it to say that they’re patient revenue estimate is between $1.2 million and $1.6 million — but we don’t know what they mean by “provision for bad debt” with a negative revenue balance of about $162k or how they calculate “new patient revenue. Maybe someone in the know can enlighten us on these numbers.) For the current fiscal year they expect to write off about $80k worth of expenses for non-payment or underpayment. Most of their expenses — almost two-thirds — are for staff, of course, with the rest going for facility payments, computer equipment and services, medical equipment and supplies and consultants.


Consultant costs are down lately since they no longer pay for outside management since the hiring new executive director Chloë Guazzone-Rugebregt who was hired in April but didn’t start work until July. Ms. Guazzone-Rugebregt has a master’s in public health, so maybe she’ll be able to clarify some of the budget questions. Having almost 50% of your total revenue dependent on federal grants these days does not seem like a solid financial model. Only $70k of the Health Center’s revenue for this fiscal year is from donations, which means that the vineyards and wineries of the Valley are obviously not anywhere near picking up their fair share of the costs of medical care for their uninsured and underinsured workers.

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ONE OF THE LEAD STORIES in Thursday's UDJ, this one was nicely done by Sarah Reith, a new name to us. The volunteers referred to in the hed included Supervisor McCowen and Mendo trash bureaucrat Mike Sweeney, the latter a model of civic commitment for many years now. Mike would be here to help, even if he wasn't paid over $100 grand a year to tidy up after us.

McCOWEN has been a committed environmentalist for many years. There's nothing self-aggrandizing about his unheralded hours spent trying, against the tide of post-industrial detritus and the ever larger population of neo-vagabonds, many of them self-medicators, who live outdoors doing great damage to the natural world as they go.

BUT THE 2nd District Supervisor seems content with his Sisyphean task, and we wonder why he won't at least raise the subject of practical help for the homeless from his bully pulpit as supervisor?

HERE WE ARE in the beating heart of rural creativity and all-round political grooviness, but we allow drunks, drug heads and crazy people to suffer and die on our streets. Why doesn't McCowen beat the drums for a county farm or mini-housing or some other long-term strategy for dealing with the homeless? Presently, the Supes simply appear for their meetings, their CEO hands them an agenda, they mostly engage in pointless, no-follow-up discussions of whatever they're handed, then they go home. There's zero leadership from any of them on any issue facing Mendocino County. None. It's business as usual. Squared.

WE THINK Fort Bragg is being cynically hustled by the for-profit Ortner Management Group out of Yuba City. OMG wants to convert FB's Old Coast Hotel to an extension of Hospitality House, which OMG also now dominates and profits from. Everyone knows all this now by now, but at least Fort Bragg has been forced to think about the homeless and what to do about them, not that a humane solution beyond OMG's cash and carry policies appears to be among the options so long as the halt and the blind dominate the city council.

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Photo by Annie Kalantarian
Photo by Annie Kalantarian

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Subject: Well Permit Applications & Permits

Dear Director Jensen and Mendocino County Environmental Health Dept.,

I am a Ukiah resident and freelance journalist. I contribute to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, East Bay Express, North Bay Bohemian, and other publications. Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, I'm interested in receiving information on how many well permit applications Mendocino County has received, by year, from August 1st, 2005 to July 30th, 2015, how many permits (again, by year) have been granted, and the locations of each of these wells. With respect to the location, I would like to know the GPS coordinates of each well to the extent that you have that information. I would like to know the most exact information you have available on each well's location, including watershed information. If it is possible for me to come to the Environmental Health office and personally review this information, I'd be happy to do so. As you can see, I am performing a study on trends in groundwater use in Mendocino County, as have journalists in several other California counties recently. I greatly appreciate any assistance you provide. Thank you in advance.

Best wishes,

Will Parrish, Ukiah

(707) 513-8070

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UPDATE: AVHS Class Reunion Update - September 19, 2015

A reunion invitation page has been created on Facebook to assist us with the expected number of alumni to attend. Attached below is the link. If you are not a member of Facebook, I have copied the verbiage for you below as well. ALL types of volunteers are needed, if you can help, please reach out to us! We are now only 7 weeks away from another gathering and hope all of you will be there to celebrate!

All are invited to another All Year Reunion. We are asking for $20/person, payable at the door, which will include a wonderful spaghetti dinner prepared by Marti Titus and Dot (Crawford) Gialdini. Bring your own drinks. Coolers, ice and water will be provided. The event begins at 1:00 PM. Class pictures will be taken between 1:30 and 4, so if you want to be in your class photo, be there during that time. There will again be a yearbook corner.

Parking: Those with handicap placards can park at the Senior Center (first come/first served). Loading/unloading will also be available at the Senior Center. The AV Senior Center bus will be a shuttling attendees from 12:30-2:30 and 4:30-6:30. It will run from the High School to the Senior Center to Gravel Pit flats, with in between pickups at the Drive-In, Rancheria Realty and Hwy 253. Donations to cover driver expense will be appreciated - donation jar on the bus.

Volunteers Needed!

If you can help at the GATE, contact Anna Avery at

If you can help with DINNER PREP, SERVING OR CLEANUP, please contact Marti at or Dot at

If you can help with GROUNDS SETUP, DECORATING, CLEANUP, please contact David & Sandra Knight at

Have a popup canopy? Please bring along. Shade is good!

If you can TAKE CLASS PHOTOS, please contact We would like to have several photographers this year. Not necessary to be professional, just necessary to devote some your time to this popular part of the reunion.

Need more information? Contact Sheri Hansen at , Marti Tucker Titus at , or Jimmy Short at


Any proceeds and donations benefit the Anderson Valley Senior Center


AVHS CLASS REUNION UPDATE - September 19, 2015

Hello AVHS Alumni ! We are now less than 2 months away from our next all-classes reunion for Anderson Valley High! The date will be Saturday, September 19, the Saturday of the Mendocino County Fair - _Boonville Fair_ ( . Our reunion chairperson is Sheri Mathias Hansen, with Marti Tucker Titus and myself assisting. The reunion will be held at the Anderson Valley Senior Center, formerly the Veteran's Hall, in downtown Boonville. Due to the 2012 reunion being so successful (250+ attended), we gave everyone a full year-in-advance notice, and now we are down to less than 2 months. Much help will be needed so please feel free to reach out if you can assist us. Also, please help us out by forwarding this to anyone you may know who is not on this email list to ensure ALL alumni are invited. Let the good times roll !

Sheri Mathias Hansen

Marti Tucker Titus

Jimmy Short

Facebook page for all updates:

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To the Editor:

In response to John Artega:

I am afraid I was taken aback by Mr. Artega’s piece published in the UDJ on July 10 entitled “KZYX Listeners Should Oust Disruptors,” and feel compelled to write a response as, frankly, I am tired of the consistent, outrageous personal attacks hoisted upon the large minority of the KZYX membership who seek control over the station’s “programming and operational philosophy” as required by the Mission Statement of MCPB. He calls us “followers” of Mr. Sakowicz and makes the claim that the 37% of the membership who voted for me were “low information voters.” Low information?

I ask Mr. Arteaga if he has spent the time to read the by-laws of KZYX? Has he read the Financial Policy Paper? The Station Handbook? The Elections Policy and Procedures? Has he read the board policy paper concerning how programming choices are supposed to be made at KZYX? Has he spent the thousands of hours at the radio station that John Sakowicz and myself have observing staff and comparing their actions to the job descriptions outlined by the board in this documentation? Has he spent the hundreds of hours that I, King Collins and John Sakowicz have volunteering as a board member for MCPB, learning the intricacies of how a membership based non-profit is supposed to work and comparing that to the realities of the way KZYX has operated for the last ten years? Has he studied the station’s financial documents going back to 2006 and wondered, as I have, why the station received $100,000 less from our community last year than it did nine years ago? Has he wondered, as I have, why the station has lost nearly 20% of its membership in that time? Has he noted, as I have, that what he calls “meager grants our miserly government sometimes gives to support local radio stations” amounted in the last five years to an extra $180,000 above historic levels. The CPB grant represented over 30% of the station’s total budget during this time period. Did he notice, as I have, that without this influx of extra federal dollars KZYX would have gone out of business, leaving the board of directors personally liable for the leftover debt? Did Mr. Arteaga notice, as I did, that the Community Advisory Board which the CPB requires to hold two public meetings a year in order to qualify for the “meager grant” that saved the station financially, only held one meeting in 2012, putting the station’s very existence at risk?

Perhaps if he did, he would be as concerned about the precarious state of affairs at KZYX as I, and many others are. If he loves the station as much as he claims, you would think he would be helping the current board bring about the much needed change required to get MCPB back into good standing with this community and the FCC. Instead, he chooses to live in denial of reality, and calls those of us who have dedicated hundreds of hours attempting to improve the situation, “liars and slanderers.”

Rather than publishing yet another hit piece designed to avoid the real issues and oust minority voices at KZYX, Mr. Arteaga, maybe you should think about volunteering along with us to help the current board clean up this mess.

Doug McKenty, MCPB Volunteer 2006-2013


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FORMER MAJOR LEAGUE home run basher Jose Canseco announced Thursday he's showing "support" for Bruce Jenner's transformation to Caitlin Jenner by living as a female for seven days. "Once it's completely done, I will be dressing up and living as a woman for a week," Canseco told the New York Daily News. "I'm talking about full everything.

"In the very beginning, I didn't understand (Jenner's decision), so I was kind of like, against it. Once I watched it more and more, and realized what it really entailed, what he was going through, I started supporting him."

Of course, Canseco's tribute doesn't come without a catch — or more publicity for him. He said his week as a woman will be documented on his upcoming Internet show called “Spend a Day with Jose.”

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Obama, Percy Shelley, Louis Armstrong, Helen Thomas. These are the people with the same birthday as mine, the ones I choose to claim. Not Sheldon Adelson, who fits perfectly in Las Vegas and hopefully will stay there, or several cute young TV actors I never heard of.

Obama, yes, President of the United States, a title with many negative aspects attached. But by simple comparison with his predecessor the man is a genius, or failing that, knows how to speak intelligently. I could admire Obama simply because of who hates and opposes him. They all appear to be either thoroughly dishonest - hustlers of one kind or another, or idiots, certainly not clever enough to disguise their racism by use of common American bogeyman euphemisms....socialist, communist, muslim, terrorist... when word on the street in white working-class circles is plain-spoken: "We gotta get the nigger out of the White House" (overheard in Denver).

I was pleased to see Helen Thomas on the list. She "talked back" to W Bush and his lackeys, calling them on their bullshit and making them squirm. Thomas once said that if Dick Cheney ran for president, "I would kill myself."

Louis Armstrong. Yes! Jazz musicians all say that without him, their music wouldn't be what it is today. And while I didn't really "get" him when I was a kid, the older I get the better he sounds.

But Shelley is the most intriguing of the lot. He was a poet, widely revered but unrecognized in his life, a political radical and a boatman who died in his sailboat in the Mediterranean at age 29. And he was married to the author of Frankenstein, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - who wrote the book at age 19. He and his social circle all came from money, and how many radical poets can say that now?

— Jeff Costello

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At the Fort Bragg Library (Photo by Susie de Castro)
At the Fort Bragg Library
(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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Dear Editor:

Re: The Greenland Ice sheet

A recent study published in Nature Geoscience did not receive much attention except in the Guardian. Dr. Samuel Doyle and an international team reported on the effects of a week of warm, wet weather in late summer of 2011 on the Greenland sheet. This combination of ice melt and rain resulted in an increase flow over the entire western sector of the ice sheet. Dr. Doyle said "It wasn't just rainfall. We saw 10 to 15% of the total annual surface melt occur in this event in late summer 2011. When this water reached the bed, the ice sheet lifted up and moved faster towards the sea." Dr. Doyle told the Guardian reporter "The late summer timing was critical.. The event occurred after the end of the melt season and the ice-sheet's drainage system had started to close down. In this state the ice-sheet's drainage system just couldn't cope" Professor Alan Hubbard added comments about how it is like an urban sewerage system that has been temporarily overwhelmed by an intense rain-storm which results in flooding and high water pressures which lifts the ice sheet up off its bed and sends it on its way. He pointed out how difficult it is to determine if this will be a continuing event. Professor Jason Box summed it up "We're seeing that warm wet weather that is increasing with climate change is driving more melt of the Greenland ice-sheet than we thought. And worryingly, this melt is reaching higher elevations on the ice sheet." If this melting continues it will have an effect on sea levels and future forecasts may will be underestimated. Future research may confirm that global warming is causing rain to melt the Greenland ice sheet.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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by Shepherd Bliss

(An excerpt follows from the keynote speech at the kickoff rally for Bernie Sanders on July 29 at the Grange in small town Sebastopol, attended by 180 people.

Half a dozen other house gatherings occurred elsewhere in Sonoma County, Northern California, with the one in Graton village drawing 55 people. Over 3,000 such gatherings for Bernie happened that night, drawing over 100,000 people.)

In l961 Republican President and General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in his historic Farewell Address against the rise of what he described as the “military-industrial complex.”

At that time I was a high school student born into the Southern fighting family that gave its name to Ft. Bliss, Texas. I was later commissioned an officer in the U.S. Army. My father was Air Force, my brother Marine, and my sister married Coast Guard.

A major reason that I support Bernie Sanders to be President of the United States is that he voted against the American War on Iraq.

He heeded President Eisenhower’s warning.

In a recent letter to supporters Bernie pledged that he would “vigorously oppose an endless war in the Middle East.” This commitment alone is enough reason to vote your conscience.

Bernie added, “The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. The U.S. spends more on the military than the next 9 biggest-spending countries combined.”

The US lost its wars against Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan—all small, weak nations. Now it’s threatening Iran and Pakistan, both large nations with powerful militaries. The U.S. also rattles its sabers against Russia and China.

Back in the sixties my girl friend, Marilyn Yeo, took me to a rally that Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at. He stirred me to eventually resign my military commission. I joined the peace movement.

The last National Democratic Convention that I attended was in Chicago, l968, while still in the army. I was one of the many activists who protested the American War on Vietnam. Many of us were jailed. We were eventually found innocent, since we merely exercised our Constitutional rights, which are rapidly disappearing.

Bernie has a long history of opposing war and advocating peace. This is not something that his rival Hillary the Hawk can claim.

In his email a few days ago Bernie wrote, “This campaign is about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: ‘Enough is enough!’ This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.”

The Right To A Roof March

Let me use an example of the kinds of local grass roots direct actions that Bernie would support. As we gather here, the Right to a Roof March is happening in the streets of the mainly Latino community of Roseland nearby in Santa Rosa.

Tenants, workers, and allies from around the county are marching.

They would find an ally in Bernie. “Sonoma County is becoming a playground for the rich,” the marchers contend.

Working people and immigrants are being pushed aside. The marchers demand tenant protections, like rent stabilization and just cause eviction policies. They demand shared prosperity for all, not just those who can pay to play.

“Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” is at the top of Bernie’s agenda. The official unemployment figures are 5.4%. He writes, “Real unemployment is almost 11%. Real unemployment for white & Hispanic youth is over 30%, while for African-American youth it is over 50%.”

“Raising Wages” is part of the solution. Bernie writes that the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 needs to be doubled to $15 an hour.

Bernie supports pay equity for women. “There is no rational reasons why women should be earning 78 cents on the dollar compared to men who perform the same work.”

When I moved to the Sebastopol countryside 24 years ago, I bought rural property at a reasonable rate, and transformed it into a working farm. Today it is even hard to find a place to live here, especially for younger people, in towns such as Healdsburg, Sebastopol, and Sonoma.

That is why in-the-streets actions such as The Right to a Roof March deserve our support. If I were not here, I would be there.

We have engaged in such direct action against Big Wine, especially against bad apples such as Paul Hobbs. We dogged him, turned him in for environmental violations, and forced him to pay a $100,000 settlement with the county. We picketed one of his tastings, which caused him to shut it down.

The Huge College Student Debt

I apologize to my college students for the world that my generation has left them. The debt of college students today is greater than the entire credit card debt in America.

When many students graduate, they cannot find jobs and have to move back with their parents, with a debt of 20, 30 or more thousands of dollars.

“College for All” Bernie wrote his supporters last week. “The U.S. must join Germany and many other countries in understanding that investing in our young people’s education is investing in the future of our nation.”

He has introduced legislation to make tuition in public colleges and universities free, as well as substantially lowering interest rates on student loans.

“The U.S. once led the world in terms of the percentage of our young people who had college degrees,” writes Bernie. “Today, in a highly competitive global economy, we are now in 12th place. Hundreds of thousands of bright young people have given up the dream of higher education.”

Why have we gotten into this mess? “Corporate greed is rampant,” Bernie writes. “The very rich keep growing richer, while everyone else grows poorer. 45 million Americans live in poverty.”

“Meanwhile 99% of all new income goes to the top 1%. The top one-tenth of 1% own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. The richest 400 Americans own over $2.2 trillion, more than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.”

Last night in this Grange Hall we had our monthly free potluck. I encouraged my Granger friends to vote for Bernie. “He doesn’t have a chance” some responded.

They must not be reading news reports and columnists, such as in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

On July 11 the local daily Press Democrat published a Los Angeles Times Doyle McManus’ column “How Far Can Sanders Really Go?”

It reports on “2500 people in Council Bluffs, Iowa, 7,500 in Portland, Maine, 10,000 in Madison, Iowa.”

Those are all small towns. At that time Bernie had already raised $15 million for his campaign, most in small amounts, averaging $35 a person.

McManus concludes his column by writing, “His speech at the Democratic National Convention will be worth staying up for.”

Bernie is stirring Americans across the U.S. The July 14 New York Times notes that “Sanders has surged in the polls against Hillary Clinton.” Why? Americans “want a fighter,” Bernie contends.

The July 25 New York Times article adds that Bernie “draws large crowds on the campaign trail.”

Bernie’s Main Issues

Following are 11 of the main issues that Bernie addresses.

  1. Climate change. Bernie’s writes. “If we do not act boldly on climate change, the planet we leave to our grandchildren may be uninhabitable.

 We must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels And into energy efficiency and sustainable energies.”
  2. “Our infrastructure—roads, bridges, rail, airports, water system, wastewater plants, levees, dams—is crumbling.”
  3. “Our tax system is wildly unfair, rigged to benefit the very rich.”
  4. “Growing poverty among seniors.”
  5. “Reforming Wall Street. In my view, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.”
  6. Campaign finance reform.
  7. Health care for all. “The U.S. remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care for all as a right.”
  8. Protecting our most vulnerable.
  9. Reform our criminal justice system, end racial profiling, and implement a comprehensive immigration reform.
  10. Dismantle structural racism. “We have more people locked up in jail than any other country on earth.
  11. Label GMO foods.

Our Broken Corporate Food System

I have farmed for the last 24 years and want to say why this farmer supports Bernie. The U.S. has a factory farm system run by corporations. The largest super-market in America is Wal-Mart. They get many of their products from China.

Bernie writes, “It is absurd that the top one-tenth of 1% own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%, and that one family (the Waltons of Walmart) has more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans.


As someone who used to have a flock of 80 chickens on my small farm, a letter to the Press Democrat editor published July 28 under the headline “factory farming” struck me.

“The U.S. egg industry is reeling from a colossal outbreak of avian flu.

48 millions birds, accounting for 11 percent of the nation’s egg-laying hens, have been slaughtered for fear of infection during the past few months. The effects are far-reaching.”

“The horrendous conditions in today’s factory farms make egg and chicken production extremely vulnerable to disease outbreaks, and therefore, not sustainable.”

Big Ag in Sonoma County means the Wine Empire. They run this county. Groups such as Preserve Rural Sonoma County and the Four County Network have been challenging them in recent months.

Thanks for coming this evening. You may be a Democrat, an independent, a green, a libertarian, radical, liberal, or progressive.

Or even an old-fashioned Eisenhower Republican, like I was.

I appeal to you--vote for the American populist from Vermont—Bernie Sanders.

(Dr. Shepherd Bliss {} teaches college, farms, and has contributed to 24 books.)

* * *


by Joshua Frank

A few weeks back I wrote a piece that was pretty rough on Bernie Sanders. I admit it. I pulled him through the mud by his loafers and smeared his good name. I had the audacity to point out his rubber-stamping of various wars, his silent support for Israel’s assault on Palestine, and his crude vote during Bill Clinton’s presidency that peeled away the rights granted by habeas corpus. I even called his campaign a dead end. I mean, I was rough on the old comrade.

A slew of emails soon flooded my inbox from Bernie-fanatics. They chastised me for claiming Bernie wasn’t worth the effort (“How dare you, you fucking ass-wipe!”). They openly proclaimed their admiration for Sanders (“It’s like Noam Chomsky is running for the White House!”) and begged me to abandon my criticisms and jump on the latest freight train to change (“You’ll be forced to come around, he’s going to cream Clinton in the primaries, you watch!”). Fact is, I’m not sorry in the least that I wrote the truth about his misdirected campaign. In fact, the Bernie-bots are exactly the reason Democrats don’t give a shit about progressive politics. Let me explain.

The Bernie run, even though many like to view it as such, is not a movement builder. If we’re being generous, we could say Bernie is raising serious issues about class politics and the eroding status of working Americans. Right on Bernie. We could also say his stump speeches deprecating Wall Street’s dominance of our political system are justified. Certainly, Bernie’s got a good thing going there. We could even go so far as to note that Bernie’s blazing rhetoric isn’t the type of message Hillary Clinton wants to hear. But that’s pretty much where Bernie’s campaign ends, as he’s promised he would never challenge Hillary if she manages to win the primaries, and her well-oiled machine is well on its way with a hefty 40% lead (and that’s with polls including Joe Biden in the race, without Biden, her poll numbers are even higher.)

In an ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos on May 3, Bernie had this to say:

STEPHANOPOULOS: So if you lose in this nomination fight, will you support the Democratic nominee?

SANDERS: Yes. I have in the past.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not going to run as an independent?

SANDERS: No, absolutely not. I’ve been very clear about that.

That’s some straight-forward talk, if you ask me. Bernie is exactly what the Hillary campaign wants and needs. The more progressive voters Bernie can bring into the Democratic fold, the less likely a left-leaning independent candidate will have an impact on the elections.

Let’s put it in perspective: if Hillary calls for continuing the War on Terror, more free-trade agreements, more IMF loans, more bank bailouts, more attacks on Social Security – Bernie will support her candidacy anyway. In fact, he’ll likely ask you to do the same. What would you expect? Bernie even told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that “…Bill Clinton did a very good job,” for crying out loud. That’s exactly why the Democratic National Committee is sending out emails that look like Sanders campaign ads. Bernie is the DNC’s dupe, and by association, so are his unwitting supporters.

See, the Bernie campaign isn’t really about spearheading a social movement that will challenge the neoliberal agenda of the Democratic Party. Bernie refuses to take on Hillary Clinton’s corporate allegiance when it matters most – in the general election. In fact, Bernie, who has pledged not to run attack ads, will not even address her neoliberalism in the primaries. Any direct challenges need to be built outside the party, but that’s not what his campaign is all about. Instead, Bernie is helping to elect a Democrat to the White House in 2016, no matter the cost it will have on working people.

This is where the wheels on the Bernie bandwagon fall off. Despite the issues I may have with his wishy-washy foreign policy record (and they are ample), those qualms are beside the point. Sanders must break from the Democrats, pure and simple. They can’t be fixed. He must run as an independent candidate and hold Hillary accountable until the bitter end. He must work to break through the Commission on Presidential Debates and force his way onto the stage, knowing full well unless he does so, neither major party candidate will even talk about real income inequality or the corporate takeover of our democratic process. He needs to embrace the spoiler moniker, fallout be damned.

Alas, Bernie isn’t going to do any of this no matter how bad you want him to. He’s promised as much on national television. He won’t be there with his legions of supporters, tackling the barriers the two corrupt parties have set up in order to deny independent candidates access to voters. He won’t call on Hillary Clinton and her Republican opponent to drop their support for the Wall Street crooks that are fleecing America. He won’t put pressure on them at all, because his platform and ideas won’t even be in the conversation.

That’s the reality of the Bernie Sanders campaign and all those who believe he’s in it to win it. He’s not going to make the rich panic. Not for a second.

(JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. He is author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland and Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, both published by AK Press. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter @brickburner. Courtesy,

* * *


To the Editor:

Perhaps Deborah Meek was misquoted by the UDJ (letter Tuesday July 21), when she is quoted as saying; “As a Christian, I just want to underscore that Jesus never said one thing against homosexuality.” It is true that Jesus never said one thing against a homosexual (the person) — Jesus loves everyone, as do all true Christians. But, Jesus was very clear that it is the activity of every person (homosexuality in this case — fornication, as well as adultery), which is abhorrent to God (Matthew 15:16-20). Jesus included both gay and straight in his condemnation of sexual acts outside marriage instituted by God to be between one man and one woman. We live in a free nation, and if the majority of people decide to accept deviant lifestyles, it is their right, and it certainly won’t change the fact that I love every person. However, I would rather see my gay friends in Heaven one day, and therefore I pray they will follow Jesus’ teachings. We are all sinners — we are all condemned — and we all need Jesus. And, if we truly love people, we must share the truths of God’s Word with them. For those interested, I wrote an entire chapter in the book “God’s Plan/Satan’s Plan” exploring God’s purpose in Marriage and Divorce, and how God’s plan relates to gay, straight, and polygamous relationships. Bless you all.

Pastor Gerry Burney, Ukiah

* * *


I also voted for what was advertised as “change/hope” in 2008, and by 2012 realized I had voted for a heartless corporate fraud.

(Somewhat ironic that a few days ago Oblahblah was explaining how the award given to Bill Cosby for his service as a great American of some kind of another could not be taken back. When I heard that, I thought ‘hey pal, expanding the war in Afghanistan, drones here, drones there, and who cares if we’re spying on you day and night with everything we’ve got – you want to think about giving back the Nobel Prize – or are you and Kissinger just going to do lunch?’)

The moral of the story is unless some candidate says ‘I am going to break away from this mindless policy of endless, eternal, infinite growth’ – I will not vote for them. That’s why I also voted for Jill Stein in 2012, and intend to do so again in 2016 good Lord willing.

The great fraud of our times is that somehow endless war creates jobs, which is what a Corporate Globalized Empire must have to survive and stay in power. Actually, aside from the blatant immorality of the whole thing, and the ruining of any shred of a Republic, the endless war thing, and its offspring of austerity, is now used as a wealth pump to suck out what’s left in the hands of the ‘wrong people’ – i.e., those who are not part of the CGE.

These used to be viewed as citizens of the US in times gone by. No more. Now they are as much fair game for exploiting as the ‘sand niggers’ of the Middle East and the displaced peasants in South America or Asia.

A vote for either the R’s or the D’s at this point is a vote for extinction.

I prefer to cast my vote elsewhere.

* * *

CITY OF POINT ARENA SPECIAL MEETING Agenda's for August 1st and 2nd 2015


  1. Dave Smith July 31, 2015

    Question? What is that photo of by Annie Kalantarian? i think it is a photoshopped version of blues great Robert Johnson’s fingers. You could look it up…

    • Annie Kalantarian July 31, 2015

      Dave- Thank you for your question. And no, this is a picture of my own fingers in motion. I am honored that my fingers slightly resemble blues great Robert Johnson’s. :)

    • Jeff Costello July 31, 2015

      Maybe, if the photo is reversed. It appears to be a right hand, which would make only sense if Johnson had played left-handed, but he didn’t. The fingers are clearly positioned for fingering on the guitar neck (the left hand).

  2. Dave Smith July 31, 2015

    My response to Pastor Gerry Burney’s Letter to UDJ…


    I would like to respond to Pastor Gerry Burney’s letter/sermon of July 30th, and, tangentially, Mark Rohloff’s sermon of July 29th. Mr. Burney’s sermon was aimed at Gays, but he made general statements about all of us that I’m sure Mr. Rohloff shares. I whole-heartedly disagree with their opinions. No, we are not sinners. No, we are not condemned. No, we do not need the leftover superstitions of iron age authors. What we do need is a lot less fear and trembling and a lot more openness and acceptance of how we live now.

    Dave Smith
    Redwood Valley

  3. Mike Jamieson July 31, 2015

    Glad to see the question raised over a lack of addressing possible solutions to homelessness in this county.

    I think the reason for this might be that everyone who settled here four to five decades ago saw this county as a private preserve so don’t look for an emphasis on adequate affordable housing or any accommodating of “eyesores” of the type that are abundantly evident in urban cores.

  4. debrakeipp July 31, 2015

    Christ, the City of Point Arena changes mayors so often, their letterhead is continually out of date. And why even send out an agenda if it doesn’t state what the f-ing meeting is ABOUT??

  5. Jim Updegraff July 31, 2015

    Pastor Gerry Burney is an excellent example of what is wrong with Christianity today and one of the reasons the country is becoming more secular, His fire, brimstone and damnation is reflective of the bigotry he has for same gender relationship. My Jesus was a man of love and compassion.

    what is wrong

  6. John Sakowicz July 31, 2015

    Wonderful letter, Doug McKenty.

  7. Harvey Reading July 31, 2015

    GOD v. SATAN

    Nothing but bigotry justified by hokum … which is all the Bible is. How would one know that this Jesus fellow, if he even existed, said any of what he supposedly said?

    I simply cannot believe that people fall for the authoritarian garbage peddled by religion — other than their inability to come to terms with their own mortality, unable to accept that when they die, that’s it, nothing afterward; life may go on but not the individuals that comprise it. To paraphrase George Carlin, how come an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present-everywhere god is always in need of money? It’s all hokum, used to enslave people.

  8. mkathrynmassey July 31, 2015

    Good questions, Doug! Mr Arteaga feels pretty confident to spout and attack others who are aware of the challenges of the station, but as you rightly point out, he has NOT been involved with the station on a daily basis.

    I fully expect Mr Arteaga to be signed up on one or two of the many committees that KZYX is reactivating to distribute the workload among the community’s members, volunteers and listeners.

    For instance, on August 6, 6p.m., in Ukiah, there will be a committee meeting to explore the workload and responsibilities of the new General Manager. This is the top paying position for our non-profit station. It’s vital that the Board establish clear policies and procedures to help the new GM be an active and visible staffer in the community and one who is talking about and promoting KZYX. The most important activity for the new GM is to connect people to people, and retain and attract new businesses to support programming at KZYX.

    Mr Arteaga-I’ll see you there!

    Mary K Massey
    KZYX, Members for Change

  9. Craig Stehr July 31, 2015

    I recently advocated supporting a Jill Stein/Bernie Sanders alliance. I was unaware of the information provided by Joshua Frank. I now advocate voting for the Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and whomever her Green Party running mate will be. Of course, this is American politics, and so my advocation of this moment is subject to revision, depending upon whom the Green Party running mate is.
    Craig Louis Stehr Email:

  10. armando williams August 1, 2015

    Nick Halvorsen is an awesome cat! he actually was in line to be a pro skateboard champ. just a little about his life. frequent flyer do have stories some tragic and some are blessed. thanks for taking the time to listen to the music. maybe next time you see him ask for some helping hand in the garden.He might surprise you. Namesta people.

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