- Wrestling Rocky
- Victims ID'd
- Structure Abatement
- PO Hotline
- Forestry Discussion
- HHSA Coverup
- Kelisha OMG
- Yesterday's Catch
- McCowen's Truck
- Interstellar Travel
- Friday Film Nights
- Sea Ranch Photographer
- Clementine Sings
- Save Salmon
- Diving Danger
WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE (7 am): 68,300 acres burned, 20% contained; 6,959 structures threatened, 39 residences destroyed, 52 outbuildings destroyed, 4 structures damaged.
IT’S OFFICIAL: The giant Rocky Fire in Lake County (and now surrounding counties) has been declared California's Largest Wildfire. It continued to grow Tuesday, with winds changing directions, from blowing toward the northeast to blowing toward the northwest. The wind change will help in some ways because part of the fire is being blown back onto itself, but they also endanger Clearlake and Lower Lake. Fire lines were in place on the western edge of the fire against that direction a few days ago, but now those small towns are threatened again with the new wind direction. The blaze is now estimated to have burned over 68,000 acres (well over 100 square miles; about 8% of Lake County’s 1300 plus square miles.) while improved containment is estimated at around 20% contained. CalFire officials have described the fire’s behavior as “erratic” because of changing temperature and wind conditions on top of extremely dry brush and fuel in the huge burn area which has caused firefighters to constantly change their plans of attack. Evacuations have been “ordered” for almost 2,000 people and total evacuation “advisories” now affect over 13,000 people.
As of Tuesday evening, CalFire assessed the situation with cautious but momentary, marginal overall improvement:
“The fire has crossed Hwy 20 in multiple locations and crews are working diligently to control the fire’s progression. Firefighters are working aggressively to build control lines and sustain perimeter control. Terrain is steep and rugged with limited access. The likelihood of hotter drier conditions will return Wednesday increasing the potential of extreme fire behavior. Structure loss assessment numbers may rise as damage assessment teams are able to access the previously burned areas. RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO STAY VIGILANT AND ADHERE TO ANY CHANGES IN EVACUATIONS AND ROAD CLOSURES. Fire activity and direction can change at any time, be prepared and stay informed. With the elevated fire danger, we are asking everyone to use extreme caution, “Ready, Set, Go”. For more information on how to prepare for wildfires, go to www.readyforwildfire.org.”
All the evacuations orders and advisories, however, remain in effect:
Mandatory: Jerusalem Valley area east and west of Soda Creek, Bonham Rd, Double Eagle Ranch, Quarter Horse Ln, New Long Valley Road, homes along Highway 20 corridor between New Long Valley Road and east of the county line, Mustang Court, Bronco Court, Sunset Court, Morgan Valley east of Bonham Rd, Canyon Rd, June Bug Rd, Cantwell Ranch Rd, Sloan Ranch Rd, Sky High Ranch Rd, Rocky Creek Rd, Dam Rd from the gate to the dam, Grizzly Canyon, Long Branch Drive, Lance Rd, Cougar Rd, Red Rocks, Meridian Rd, Antelope Rd, Mule Skinner Rd, Flint Look Place, Moccasin Rd, Roundball Rd, Watertrough Rd, Grigsby Canyon, Lucky Canyon, Remington Canyon, Walker Ridge, Walker Ridge Rd, No Guns Rd, Meriann Drive, Bear Valley Rd from Highway 20 to Wilbur Springs Rd, Wilbur Springs Rd and Morgan Valley Rd X Butte Creek Rd, Ogulin County Rd and Spring Valley, Paradise Canyon, New Long Valley Rd, Old Long Valley Rd, Salt Canyon, Indian Hill Rd, Flaming Hills Ln, Benmore Canyon, Red Rock Rd, Red Rock Court, Round Mountain Rd North West of Highway 22, Fern Way, Juniper Way, Holly Way, Golden Red Way, Shasta Rd, Cougar Rd, Jeep Trail, Smith Ln, Pueblo Trail, Quail Trail, Ogulin Canyon Rd, Meadow Creek Rd, Cache Creek Rd, Wolf Creek Rd, Spring Valley Rd, Riverview Rd, Rocky Ridge, Chalk Mountain Rd, Lakeview Campground, Cache Creek Winery, Noggle Winery, Elm Way, Dogwood, Cedar, Blue Berry, Acacia Way, Acacia Street, Doe Trail, Madrone Way, Peach Way, Quince Way, Redwood Way, Sequoia Way, Tamarack Way, Weeping Willow Way, Yucca Way, Coyote Way, Elk Way and Fox Way.
Advisory: All areas including east of Hwy 29 @ Raita Rd east of Hwy 53 north to Hwy 20, Clearlake area east of Highway 53 from Dam Rd to Highway 20, Spruce Grove Rd, Noble Ranch Rd, Black Bass Pass, Spruce Grove Rd to intersection of Jerusalem Grade, Lake Ridge, Highway 53 west to Sulphur Bank Rd along Highway 20.
Evacuation Centers: Middletown High School, Kelseyville High School
Road Closures: Jerusalem Valley Road is closed to all traffic at Spruce Grove Road, Highway 20 corridor will be closed from New Long Valley Road to Highway 53, both directions of Ogulin County Road and Highway 16 is closed from Highway 20 to County Road 41 in Yolo County.
Animal Evacuation Centers: Lake Evacuation and Animal Protection 707-263-0278
NAVARRO RIDGE MURDER-SUICIDE VICTIMS IDENTIFIED
Original Press Release on Saturday, August 1, 2015:
At 10:57 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a welfare check at a residence located in the 32000 block of Navarro Ridge Road in Albion, California. At the location, a neighbor concerned for the two residents tried to contact them and was unable to do so. The neighbor peered through windows and observed what they believed to be the two residents deceased. Deputies arrived and gained entry into the residence due to the circumstances of the situation. A 77-year-old white female adult was found to be deceased and an 80-year-old white male adult was found to be suffering from life threatening injuries. The 80-year-old white male adult was treated by medical personnel and subsequently transported by air ambulance to an out of county hospital. Sheriff's Detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Investigative Services Bureau responded and assumed control of the investigation of the incident. The name of the 77-year-old white female adult is being withheld pending contact with her legal the next of kin. On Sunday, August 2, 2015 the 80-year-old white male adult died as a resulted of his injuries and his name is being withheld pending contact with his legal next of kin. Sheriff's Detectives are continuing investigations but initial evidence at the scene suggests this incident was a murder suicide.
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE: On Tuesday, August 4. 2015 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division released the identities of the persons involved in this incident. They were identified as being Valerie Ann Morales, 77, of Albion, and Martin Charles Morales, 80, of Albion, a married couple who resided together in Albion. Preliminary autopsy findings showed both died as the result of a gunshot wound. Sheriff's Detectives are continuing investigations into the incident which is still believed to be a murder-suicide.
(Sheriff's Press Release)
CHRIS SMITH WRITES in today's Press Democrat: "The nightmare on Santa Rosa’s historic Wheeler Street, near Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, at last abates. For well more than a decade, neighbors of a sickeningly decrepit, moldy, varmint-infested house pleaded with City Hall to do something about it. One problem: the elderly woman who inherited the house from her mother and abandoned it for a motel room wouldn’t answer the door for officials hoping to discuss the problem…"
GOOD FOR THE ELDERLY WOMAN. Put Alongside Boonville's odiferous and long-abandoned Ricard fire trap, the old lady's place looks like the White House.
Boonville people have complained for years about Ricard's property but nothing gets done about it. Ricard himself is a wealthy old coot holed up in a nice, fire-safe home in Little River. He also owns property in downtown Mendocino where no way would he get away with fouling that prissy-precious community while all the while he refuses to rehab or sell his Boonville dump.
WE GOT A CALL recently from a very pleasant post office lady who said she was giving me a hotline number to call to report delivery problems. We called that number three days later to say that the Sonoma County bundle, as of Monday, had not reached Sonoma County's info-starved readers. So far, no call back. If someone in the mysterious post office bureaucracy had called back, we would have said, and will say if we ever get that coveted call-back, that lately delivery service has improved somewhat. We assume that it took the postal system a while to recover from the closure of the big Petaluma distribution facility, which had handled our precious cargo efficiently for decades. So far this year we are not getting the number of delivery complaints that we got last year. Although out-of-state deliveries, for which we pay a much higher price per piece, are still quite slow. Our experience with incoming deliveries of other local local papers has improved lately, too. In general we notice a continual slow decline in out of state print edition subscriptions and a comparable increase in on-line subscriptions, a trend that’s only going to increase as those of us in the reading generation die off.
TALKIN’ HACK&SQUIRT: Linda Perkins, Bill Heil & Fire Chief Ted Williams will lead a discussion of Hack & Squirt and other forestry practices on Second Tuesday: Tuesday, August 11 at 6pm at the Fort Bragg Town Hall, corner of Main & Laurel.
JAMES MARMON WRITES: Just watched the BOS meeting; what a cover up. The Grand Jury foreman was extremely upset with the manner the the Grand Jury report on Health and Human Services Agency was received. They keep making reference to their filing for a staffing qualification's waiver in January, but never actually address the California Department of Social Services’s terms and conditions regarding that waiver. I’m sure that there was correspondence from the State regarding this issue. Stacy Cryer also lied about the Agency being out of compliance with state educational standards since 2007. She stated something to the effect that in some of those years they were in compliance and that is why they did not request a waiver. Not true.
I guess it’s all going to boil down to what Judge Nelson thinks now. Under-qualified social workers are still under-qualified by court standards, I would assume. If I was one of the parent’s attorneys I would call every social worker to the stand and question their credentials and experience and whether they meet state standards for their position.
I do not believe that sending a trainee out to investigate child abuse is better that nothing, waiver or not. They could be hurt. Social workers walk into some pretty dangerous situations at times.
I was told that because the Agency historically had difficulty with recruitment and retention of qualified social workers they were forced to use under-qualified staff. So they developed this unwritten policy and practice in order to protect their under-qualified social workers and keep them through the court process. Unfortunately, the policy went too far and inhibited qualified social workers from doing what they were trained for, making recommendation and testifying in court. I could go on and on about how many of my recommendations were ordered changed by an under-qualified supervisor or program manager. It always baffled me as to why the dependency attorneys didn't jump on this. They are not serving their clients very well.
WHY ISN'T this woman being cared for by the Ortner Management Group? OMG is gets $7 million a year from the County of Mendocino to take care of the County's mentally ill. Kelisha Alvarez was arrested again. A very frequent flier out of Ukiah, Kelisha is large, agile and volatile.
And she's crazy.
Kelisha's latest arrest occurred when she lay down on the floor of the Adventist hospital's emergency room and refused to leave. How the Ukiah PD got her off the floor and into the County Jail is not known, but I'm sure the logistics were, uh, strenuous.
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 4, 2015
KELISHA ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Resisting, probation revocation.
ROBERT BROTHERTON SR., Covelo. Ex-felon with firearm, court order violation.
RYAN CRANFORD, Willits. Under influence of controlled substance, possession of same and paraphernalia, probation revocation.
THOMAS FREY, Redwood Valley. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, vandalism.
ERIC HUEY-LEON, Boonville. Child abuse/endangerment, criminal threats.
CHRISTOPHER KOVELESKI, Caspar. DUI.
VICTOR LUCAS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
SCOTT MYERS, Redwood Valley. Under influence of controlled substance, possession of same and paraphernalia.
TY SIMPSON, Ukiah. Court order violation.
NICHOLAS SWEATLAND, Nevada City/Willits. Possession of counterfeit money.
SHELDON THERIAULT, Sanford, Maine/Willits. Possession of counterfeit money.
VINCENT TORRES, Willits. Under influence of controlled substance, vandalism.
PETER WINSOR, Willits. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.
A READER WRITES: I disagree that none of the County supervisors work even half time. I work in law enforcement and I can tell you many times McCowen’s truck is parked in front of the county admin building late into the night. I don’t know where he finds the time to clean up the river and paint out the graffiti, but he does. Everyone who watches the meetings says he is best prepared. He used to call us or UPD fairly often to report homeless camps but when our staffing dropped he started confronting more of them himself. I’m pretty sure he knows the risk but he seems determined to protect the river from getting trashed. You could ask Walker about it. Name anyone else doing that without getting paid for it. From what I can tell Carre Brown is also on the job, especially on water issues which are critical in case you haven’t noticed. The rest I don’t know about except Hamburg who is anti-law enforcement and seems content to mouth his liberal whine without every doing something. —from the night shift.
EARTH: THE LONELY GUY OF THE UNIVERSE
There's something pathetic about our frantic quest for extra-terrestrial life and the whining question, "Are we all alone?"
From the NY Times today (The Flip Side of Optimism About Life on Other Planets):
“It goes back to a lunch in 1950 in Los Alamos, N.M., the birthplace of the atomic bomb. The subject was flying saucers and interstellar travel. The physicist Enrico Fermi blurted out a question that has become famous among astronomers: “Where is everybody?” The fact that there was no evidence outside supermarket tabloids that aliens had ever visited Earth convinced Fermi that interstellar travel was impossible. It would simply take too long to get anywhere.”
Exactly. Check out the NASA graphic below on the New Horizons spacecraft:
Traveling at 51,000 miles an hour it took more than nine years to get to the edge of our solar system! A great technical feat, but to what end?
When I read about how excited the folks are who are involved in this sort of enterprise, I think, “Sure, it's their field, it's how they make a living.” But I also wonder how they get all that money from Congress for these projects, which only seem to end up with some fun Nova documentaries that feature pictures of one dead planet after another. But maybe there's life below the surface! Send another spacecraft to dig up some soil samples!
Nick Bostrom, whose ideas are featured in the Times story, wrote an amusing paper on this subject:
“Now, it is possible to concoct scenarios in which the universe is swarming with advanced civilizations every one of which chooses to keep itself well hidden from our view. Maybe there is a secret society of advanced civilizations that know about us but have decided not to contact us until we’re mature enough to be admitted into their club. Perhaps they’re observing us, like animals in a zoo. I don’t see how we can conclusively rule out this possibility.”
That's what I've often thought — that flying saucers are manned by alien grad students doing field work on this primitive planet with its amusing inhabitants. The students are warned not to do any harm to the planet or its inhabitants, though they can abduct us and stick probes up our butts, all in the interests of alien science, you understand.
But Bostrom is a serious guy, so he isn't interested in that kind of speculation. Instead, he discusses what he calls The Great Filter — whatever it is that prevents intelligent life from evolving on other planets, considering the long and unlikely evolution of our own species. Is it behind us or before us? If The Great Filter is still before us — climate change, epidemics, a meteor? — the human experiment is in peril.
(Courtesy Rob Anderson, District 5 Diary)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Please do not bother to dignify the sham presidential election process by analyzing and comparing candidates, because this is merely a well-financed exhibition intended to reinforce the public misconception that the U.S. is a representative democracy. Actually, control over policies is exerted from behind the scenes by a consortium of powerful corporate-business tycoons, so it doesn’t matter who sits in the WH. All of the important decisions by the corporate state are prioritized by short-term profit potential and the maintenance of global economic hegemony. Public health and even infrastructure integrity are only important so long as they don’t threaten the power structure. As neo-feudalism becomes the norm, a security state is essential to the continuation of exploitation of the masses and despoliation of the environment. The only thing that will stop this juggernaut is collapse, and I am convinced this will be globally catastrophic and will happen during my lifetime.
AV GRANGE & AV FILM CLUB Join Together in Cultural Community Contributions at the First Friday Film Nite August 7th. The Anderson Valley Film Club and the Anderson Valley Solar Grange #669 are offering high quality films to the local community. The First Friday Film Nights will occur monthly with a social gathering at 6PM and films commencing at 7PM. Although this is free to the public. A donation is appreciated to handle occasional film royalties, and projection maintenance. Potluck snacks will kick of the social event. Featured are FISH FRIENDLY WINE (20 min) A 2014 Documentary filmed and produced by local filmmakers about vineyard farming methods that are ecologically sound for fish habitat in the Navarro river. This film will be followed by the fine documentary: The Russian River: All Rivers–The Value Of An American Watershed (123 min. www.therussianriverallriver.com)
PHOTOGRAPHER SUSIE de CASTRO WRITES: The World's BEST Photographer lives on our very coast at Sea Ranch. https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/paulkozal/14308156905/
STARS TURN HER ON!
Clementine Writes: My original project, Stars Turn Me On, will be performing at The Caspar Inn this Friday night. In Stars Turn Me On, I step out from behind the drumkit and front the band. I'm a lyricist, and this is the project where I get to stand up and sing my own words. Terrifying? Yes. I'm not used to not having things to hit between me and the audience!
More info: www.starsturnmeon.com.
Friday, August 7, The Caspar Inn, 14957 Caspar Rd, Caspar, (707) 964-5565 http://casparinn.biz/
Doors: 7 PM, Show: 9:30 PM. $12 Cover
REDWOOD COAST SENIORS' KITCHEN GARDEN, Fort Bragg
(Photo by Susie de Castro)
CSPA CHARGES WATER BOARD, FEDS WITH VIOLATIONS OF LAWS PROTECTING SALMON
by Dan Bacher
A prominent sportfishing group today formally charged the state and federal governments with violating numerous laws protecting salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other fish species during the California drought.
The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) filed a formal complaint against the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) for violations of the Water Quality Control Plan for the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River Basins (Basin Plan), violations of WR Order 90-05 and Sacramento River temperature requirements and for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Public Trust Doctrine and the California Constitution.
"Given the extreme risk of extinction to winter-run Chinook salmon and possibly several other species, we request the SWRCB to act expeditiously in responding and requiring USBR to respond to the allegations and to immediately comply with criteria established for the protection of fish and wildlife," said Bill Jennings, CSPA Executive Director, in a cover letter to the complaint.
The failure of the Board and Reclamation to follow the laws protecting salmon and other fish is a classic case of the capture of the regulatory apparatus by the regulated. Rather than doing the right thing and following the law, the state and federal agencies have become servants of corporate agribusiness interests including Stewart Resnick of Paramount Farms and the Westlands Water District, the State Water Contractors and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
The complaint states, "Specifically, CSPA alleges that the SWRCB has failed to implement crucial Basin Plan water temperature criteria and CWA requirements protecting water quality and fish and wildlife beneficial uses with respect to USBR’s water rights permits and licenses and has failed to take enforcement actions against USBR’s habitual violations of the Basin Plan, CWA and WR Order 90-05 temperature criteria and requirements. CSPA alleges that USBR has failed to comply with explicit temperature criteria protecting fish and wildlife beneficial uses contained in the Basin Plan, CWA and WR Order 90-05. CSPA additionally alleges that the SWRCB and USBR have failed to comply with their respective responsibilities and obligations under the ESA, Public Trust Doctrine and Article X of the California Constitution."
The complaint points out the "poor natural production" of the 2013 brood year of Sacramento River winter-run, spring-run and fall-run Chinook salmon and the "destruction of" the 2014 year classes of salmon.
"Given the presence of lethal temperatures in the Sacramento River this year that threaten a repeat of last year’s disaster, CSPA asks the SWRCB to act expeditiously in responding and in requiring USBR to respond to the allegations herein," according to the complaint. "CSPA requests that the SWRCB immediately re-establish protective, non-lethal temperature criteria at the Clear Creek compliance point and that the SWRCB require USBR to reduce water deliveries in order to preserve what’s left of cold water reserves in Shasta Reservoir. CSPA further requests the SWRCB to issue sanctions against USBR for failure to comply with the Basin Plan, CWA and ESA."
The complaint concludes, "We request that the SWRCB immediately use its public trust, constitutional and water rights authorities to reduce water deliveries to low valued crops that are further depleting already inadequate cold water reserves, to require USBR to modify operations to ensure that sufficient carryover reserves of cold water necessary to comply with CWA and Basin Plan temperature criteria remain in Shasta Reservoir, and to issue sanctions against USBR for its willful disregard for public trust resources and beneficial uses. We also request that the SWRCB accelerate the present review of Bay-Delta standards, including a comprehensive balancing of the public trust with competing uses, and provide us a response to our 13 August 2014 complaint regarding illegal diversion by DWR and USBR and petition to adjudicate Central Valley waters."
Jennings emphasized the significance of the complaint in light of the potential extinction of several species of fish. "Should winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and potentially several other species that have evolved and thrived over millennia go extinct, it will not be because of drought. It will be because the SWRCB and USBR have refused to comply with the law," said Jennings.
In the current drought, California growers have expanded their almond acreage by 150,000 acres while the Brown administration has mandated that urban families slash their water usage by 25 percent. At the same time, the state and federal governments' failure to obey our laws has driven winter and spring Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, Sacramento splittail and other species closer and closer to extinction (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2015/05/15/californias-thirsty-almond-acreage-grows-by-150000-acres-during-record-drought)
The complaint is available at: http://calsport.org/news/wp-content/uploads/CSPA-Complaint-Temperature.pdf
The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Water Impact Network and AquAlliance today also filed a Protest, Objection, Petition for Reconsideration and Petition for Hearing (Protest) regarding the 21 May 2015 Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP) submitted by the Department of Water Resources and U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and the 3 July 2015 responding Order by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).
"These documents cumulatively demonstrate that the TUCP Order are not within the SWRCB’s jurisdiction, will not best serve the public interest, are contrary to law and will have an adverse environmental impact," said Jennings.
DANGERS OF DIVING — Susie de Castro writes: It is estimated that 800 spinal injuries occur per year from diving head first into a body of water. There are a number of regulations in place to avoid diving into shallow ends of pools and lakes, but it still begs the question: Why is diving head-first taught at all? There is no apparent benefit to the average child taking swimming lessons, but the risks associated with this technique are quite high. If the technique is not taught at all, and is discouraged during training (along with reminders about jumping into ANY shallow water) people will be much less inclined to use it while casually swimming. (Susie de Castro)
NOT IN FORT BRAGG
(downloaded photo, from Susie de Castro)