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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015

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OF COURSE YOU KNEW that Mendocino County ranks 4th and Humboldt County ranks 2nd in “natural amenities index” of all counties in U.S.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/08/17/every-county-in-america-ranked-by-natural-beauty/?tid=pm_business_pop_b

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JEFF BLAUFELD WRITES: Saw this fellow crossing Whipple Ridge headed towards Philo last week.

BlaufeldSnake

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LEAD STORY for two days now in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Sharon Stone filming movie in Santa Rosa; Santa Rosa is abuzz over movie filming. A crew that includes actress Sharon Stone is in town shooting the film 'Running Wild,' about the plight of wild horses in the drought-stricken American West. …

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KMUD REPORTS: KMUD News received word from people living in the Piercy area that helicopters were "dropping people into the woods" Monday morning. Today, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office confirms, "Personnel from COMMET assisted by CAMP were operating in the BLM area of Red Mountain yesterday in the area of Piercy. They eradicated approximately 6,700 marijuana plants."

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IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN IN THE ANDERSON VALLEY

Well folks, it's here...HARVEST...it all started bright and early this morning with Chardonnay grapes. If it is anything like last year, it will be non-stop until all the grapes are in.

Husch3

A very exciting time of year and we'll be sure to keep you in the loop! (Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus; Photos from Husch Vineyards facebook page.)

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ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

America is seeing the collapse of many of our cultural myths. As America’s culture has become dominant globally, everyone gets to share in the disillusionment.

It’s not just that technology won’t save us. Technology may indeed save us, but not in the way the Cargo Cultists envision. They see technology as allowing us to keep on doing what we have been doing, without consequences. That’s fantasy; magical thinking; a Cargo Cult. What may happen is that technology allows us to survive the collapse of our current way of doing things, living long enough to come up with new approaches that don’t foreclose the future for present-day short-term profit and comfort.

The same process is happening with Finance. The American system of finance capitalism, using debt at interest as money, is falling apart as has been widely foreseen and explained since its inception. Our system creates debt first, which is abstract, but is then made concrete when repaid with something of actual value, which has to be created to realize and repay the debt. That can only work if the economy expands. There has to be more money, more of value, tomorrow and next year to pay off the debts of today and yesterday.

A system that begins with abstract debt relies entirely on faith in the future, and in the system. If I don’t have ironclad faith I will have more money next year than I do today, I won’t take out a loan (with any intention to repay it). We see today a decline in demand among people who have any ability or intention to repay debt. The only debt that is growing is among those who cannot and do not intend to pay it back.

Meanwhile, we have the absurdity of people claiming we cannot and must not take reasonable steps to head off, ameliorate, or just survive the crisis that looms larger and more immediate; we cannot do what needs to be done because it will be “too expensive,” or will “kill jobs,” or whatever fantastical argument can be made. This is like saying we mustn’t launch the lifeboats off the Titanic because we might scratch the paint on the hull of the ship.

Solar and wind power are already competitive in price with electricity produced from coal or natural gas. We all understand those sources cannot replace the quantity of power from carbon-based sources, but to not even try is absurd. To not even try because it costs too many contemporary notional debt-coupons is one of the most insane Cargo-Cult rationalizes possible.

Our Finance system is abstract, not concrete. To use abstract values that have already been shown to be false as arguments against taking concrete actions is insanity. To refer to the “rules” of the current, collapsing financial system as if they were Natural Laws is supremely idiotic. Natural Laws have affected everything on Earth since Creation. Our financial systems change every several hundred years.

Fracking and the Bond Market have in common that they are absurd responses to physical reality, they’re both collapsing in front of our eyes, and they won’t be the basis of anyone’s survival in what’s developing all around us.

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STARTLING DETAILED POLICE REVIEW OF JULY 2014 STOCKTON BANK HEIST “GONE BAD.” (Very bad...)

http://www.policefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/A-Heist-Gone-Bad-Critical-Incident-Review.pdf

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WHY ARE THE LOGS GOING NORTH?

Letter to the Editor,

I am very disturbed that numerous logging trucks are coming out of the woods loaded with Redwoods, large ones, from the area up the Noyo River watershed at the end of Sherwood Road, and are going on to Hwy 1, headed North. What area are they actively logging at such a prodigious rate, and which lumber mill up North are they heading toward? If you go to Hwy 1 (Main St) in Fort Bragg and stand there for a couple of hours, you can see 6-9 trucks full of wood coming from Sherwood, down Oak St and then up to Hwy 1 headed North. I live in the Redwoods on Sherwood, and am disturbed by the amount of tree loss since the Mill closed, and even now in the drought. I tried to google THPs in the Noyo watershed and could not decipher what is going on.

Branscomb mill is closed.

Ann Rennacker

Fort Bragg

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THE SHERIFF’S NEW HIRES & a promotion

SOhires

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office conducted a swearing in of new deputies and employees Monday. (Left to right) Sheriff Tom Allman, financial officer Kyra Studer, promoted Sgt. Joey Demarco, dispatcher Brandon Tripp, Reserve Deputy Corey Bender, Reserve Deputy Jeffrey Evans, corrections deputies Nicholas Tarabini and Clinton Williams.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman presided over the swearing in of two correctional deputies, two reserve deputy sheriff’s, and one sheriff’s communications dispatcher Monday morning during a ceremony in the Board of Supervisors Chambers in Ukiah.

Nicholas Tarabini and Clinton Williams were the new correctional deputies, Corey Bender and Jeffrey Evans entered the reserves, while Brandon Tripp became a new sheriff’s dispatcher.

Additionally, deputy sheriff and K9 handler Joey Demarco was sworn in as an acting sergeant. Demarco will apparently be assigned to the Fort Bragg sheriff’s substation.

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Tyler, Dungan
Tyler, Dungan

ON SATURDAY, August 8, 2015 at approximately 10:24 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies on foot patrol observed two subjects in the bushes near the intersection of Sherwood Hills Drive and Kawi Place, Willits. As the Deputies approached, the female subject tried to hide a marijuana cigarette. A consent search of the female and her male companion was conducted. A small quantity of suspected methamphetamine was located near the male subject, identified as Raymond Tyler, age 30 of Willits. A search of Tyler's bag revealed an addition baggie of suspected methamphetamine and a clear glass pipe which exhibited dark residue, evidence of being used to smoke methamphetamine. Also located in the bag was a home-made throwing star and a 12 inch metal rod with the end ground into a stabbing instrument. Both are prohibited weapons. The female subject provided a false name. When the false name provided did not check out, Deputies investigated further. A search of her vehicle revealed another plastic container which held a usable quantity of suspected methamphetamine. The still unidentified female suspect was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. Raymond Tyler was arrested for possession of a dirk or dagger, possession of a throwing star, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both suspects were transported to the Mendocino County Jail. The female was identified by jail personnel as Pauline Dungan, age 32 of Covelo. She was wanted on a Mendocino County felony warrant for assault with a deadly weapon. She was arrested and bail was set at $85,000. Tyler's bail is set at $30,000.

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Geurts
Geurts

ON SATURDAY, August 8, 2015 at 10:19 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were requested at the Red Mountain Camp (located in the BLM South Cow Mountain Off Highway Vehicle Area) regarding a physical assault that was in progress. The caller stated that the victim was leaving in a white pickup from the area and that the suspect in the case was driving a white Ford pickup. While responding to the location Deputies located a white Dodge pickup with broken windows and a smashed windshield stopped on Mill Creek Rd., Talmage, which is an access road to the OHV area. The driver, Phillip Bacon, 33, of North Highland, got out of his vehicle and deputies saw that his eye was swelling shut and he indicated that he was assaulted by his friend's brother, Nathanyal Geurts, 30, of Upper Lake. Bacon indicated that after he was assaulted that the suspect Geurts threw large rocks through his windows and then as he was leaving backed into the passenger side of his vehicle. Bacon also indicated that as Geurts was throwing rocks at him that he indicated he wanted to kill him. Bacon was on his way to the hospital for medical attention. A "Be on the Lookout" was issued to Lake County Sheriff's Office as the suspect Geurts lived in Upper Lake. A short time later Geurts was stopped by Lake County Sheriff's Deputies and later questioned by Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies regarding the assault. Geurts was subsequently placed under arrest for criminal threats, Battery with Serious Bodily Injury, Assault with Deadly Weapon and Vandalism, and transported to the Mendocino County Jail with bail set at $30,000.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 18, 2015

Alvarez, Ault, Avilla
Alvarez, Ault, Avilla

OSCAR ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, child endangerment.

RICHARD AULT, Ringgold, Georgia/Willits. Sale to/consumption of alcohol by a minor.

JOHN AVILLA III, Ukiah. Failure to appear, suspended license, probation revocation.

Brew, Brown, DeGroot
Brew, Brown, DeGroot

DARREN BREW, Ukiah. Domestic assault, preventing a person from reporting, drunk in public.

BRANDON BROWN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JENNIFER DEGROOT, Ukiah. Camping, probation revocation.

Dolstead, Iversen, Johnson
Dolstead, Iversen, Johnson

CRAIG DOLSTEAD SR., Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

STEVEN IVERSEN, Fort Bragg. Violation of court order.

DAVID JOHNSON, Covelo. Drunk in public.

Kepler, McElmore, Murillo
Kepler, McElmore, Murillo

RYAN KEPLER, Ukiah. Vandalism, battery on peace officer, resisting.

TYRONE MCELMORE, San Francisco/Ukiah. Parole violation.

CASSI MURILLO, Ukiah. Disturbing the peace.

Peters, Wright, Zeglinski
Peters, Wright, Zeglinski

BYRON PETERS, Covelo. Ex-felon with firearm.

ERIC WRIGHT, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public.

DAVID ZEGLINSKI, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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BOONVILLE REUNION JUST AHEAD

AVHS Class Reunion Update - August 18

Our next all-classes reunion is now only one month away! I'm being told many of the valley bed & breakfasts and resorts are already full, so for those of you who will hopefully spend the weekend, here are a number of hotel accommodations in Ukiah via the Internet:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/SmartDeals-g33203-Ukiah_California-Hotel-Deals.html

For anyone who may be flying in for the reunion, the Sacramento International Airport

(http://www.sacramento.aero/m/)

is very convenient and has easy access to reach both Ukiah and Boonville. Upon leaving the airport, it's a one hour drive north on I-5 to Williams, CA and highway 20, then an additional 1.5 hours west to Ukiah.

And just a reminder, for those of you on Facebook, there is a page dedicated to Anderson Valley

(http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/183035555097749/)

and many of the reunion festivities are posted and updated here. We are expecting an even bigger crowd than we had for the 2012 reunion.

Also, if we have left anyone off of the initial email list above, it is simply because we do not have their address. If you have it, please pass it on to us, or forward this email to them, as our goal is to reach as many classmates as we can. We are also hoping to capture many of those who attended school with us other the years, yet did not graduate with our class. We have also posted information on the reunion to the Memory Lane / Classmates Internet site:

http://www.classmates.com/places/school/Anderson-Valley-High-School/22213?startYear=1971&endYear=1974&miscj=CMHeader&

The response thus far has been overwhelming, with so many reaching out to us when they heard the reunion news. We hope this finds all of you well and sincerely hope you will be able to join us on September 19!

Marti Tucker Titus marti@mctitus.com (707)-895-3424

Jimmy Short _JSAnnMargretFan@aol.com_ (916)-419-9975

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ForestWalk

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HEROIN ISN’T THE PROBLEM. PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS ARE

The White House’s new multimillion-dollar plan to tackle heroin is missing the point of America’s opioid epidemic.

In response to the quadrupling of heroin overdose deaths from 2002-2013, the White House unveiled a multi-million dollar plan Monday that will, among other things, target the black market where it is sold.

It’s a great start to curbing America’s heroin epidemic, but as a plan to address the opioid epidemic as a whole, it may be missing the point.

According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, twice as many people are addicted to prescription painkillers (1.2 million) as heroin (roughly 500,000), and twice as many die from them each year. From 1997-2011 alone, there was a 900 percent increase in people requesting treatment for opioid addiction, and it’s now the second most abused drug among teens.

Legal and proven to have medical benefits, painkillers are seen as safe and effective. Yet they kill 46 people per day in the U.S.—more than two an hour. Those who can no longer afford or obtain painkillers, which run $40/a pop on the black market, turn to heroin—often $5 a bag.

Until medicine finds a solution to chronic pain, crackdowns on one drug will likely serve only to increase the use of the other.

In a statement released Monday, the Office of National Drug Control Policy outlined the $5 million dollar plan to target the “trafficking, distribution and use of heroin” —$2.5 million of which it will use to create a “Heroin Response Team.” The program is a part of a $13.4 million dollar fund given to a division of the Drug Enforcement Administration known as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA).

HIDTA was launched by Congress as a part of the 1988 amendment to Ronald Reagan’s Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, with the goal of stopping the influx of illegal drugs. On its website, the DEAsays the program “provides assistance to Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the U.S.”

The mission of the heroin intervention follows that model. Combining state, local, and federal law enforcement in 15 states, it aims to forge public safety and public health partnerships across 15 states. The money will be used to educate, provide medicine to prevent overdoses, and offer tools to infiltrate drug networks. If effective, the rise in heroin use nationwide may very well come to a halt. But winning that battle won’t win the war. Missing from the plans are additional programs to address not only the continued abuse of prescription pain pills, but the larger problem of chronic pain.

With pictures of dirty syringes and bubbling brown liquid, heroin has long been cast as a dirty and extremely lethal drug. Prescription painkillers, prescribed by doctors and delivered in small plastic bottles, have not. But under the guise of medical safety, they kill twice the amount of people as heroin. In 2013 alone, 16,000 people died from a prescription painkiller overdose.

According to the latest SAMSHAsurvey, the vast majority of pain pills are obtained legally. In 2010 (the most recent year for which there is data) 54 percent of the 5.1 million people who abused prescription painkillers were given them by friend or relative who was prescribed, 18 percent were prescribed themselves, and nearly 17 percent bought them from someone they knew. Just 3.9 percent obtained them from a drug dealer.

The numbers cast doubt on statements from ONDCP President Michael Botticelli claiming that the drug trafficking program will also address the over prescription of pain pills. “The new Heroin Response Strategy demonstrates a strong commitment to address the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic as both a public health and a public safety issue,” Botticelli said Monday.

(Courtesy the Daily Beast)

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"PARTY CRIES" IN IRELAND

by Mark Twain (~1870)

Belfast is a peculiarly religious community. This may be said of the whole of the North of Ireland. About one-half of the people are Protestants and the other half Catholics. Each party does all it can to make its own doctrines popular and draw the affections of the irreligious toward them. One hears constantly of the most touching instances of this zeal. A week ago, a vast concourse of Catholics assembled at Armagh to dedicate a new Cathedral; and when they started home again the roadways were lined with groups of meek and lowly Protestants who stoned them until all the region round about was marked with blood. I thought that only Catholics argued in that way, but this seems to be a mistake.

Every man in the community is a missionary and carries a brick to admonish the erring with. The law has tried to break this up, but not with perfect success. It has decreed that irritating "party cries" shall not be indulged in, and that persons uttering them shall be fined forty shillings and costs. And so, in the police court reports every day, one sees these fines recorded. Last week a girl of twelve years old was fined the usual forty shillings and costs for proclaiming in the public streets that she was "a Protestant." The usual cry is, "To hell with the Pope!" or "To hell with the Protestants!" according to the utterer's system of salvation.

One of Belfast's local jokes was very good. It referred to the uniform and inevitable fine of forty shillings and costs for uttering a party cry --- and it is no economical fine for a poor man, either, by the way. They say that a policeman found a drunken man lying on the ground, up a dark alley, entertaining himself with shouting, "To hell with!" "To hell with!" The officer smelled a fine --- informers get half.

"What's that you say?"

"To hell with!"

"To hell with who? To hell with what?"

"Ah, bedad, ye can finish it yerself --- it's too expinsive fer me!"

I think the seditious disposition, restrained by the economical instinct, is finely put in that.

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WHY THE FUTURE DOESN’T NEED US, Revisited

by Ralph Nader

When the stunning article “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us” by Bill Joy, chief scientist for Sun Microsystems, made the cover of Wired Magazine in April 2000, it created quite a rumble in high-tech circles. Its argument was that “our most powerful 21st century technologies — robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech — are threatening to make humans an endangered species.”

Bill Joy was writing about out of control, self-replicating technologies that, once the stuff of science fiction, were now on the way in decades if not years. Tens of thousands of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and systems analysts are working in countries all over the world churning out theories and specialized applications without much consideration of their overall impacts.

The funding has been coming from various governments’ military budgets, heavily contracted out to industrial corporations and, now increasingly, from the commercial pursuits of global corporations. The rate of knowledge production has been exponential as computers become faster and are programmed to become more self-reliant.

Seventy percent of the volume of stock trading in the U.S. is now driven by computers and their algorithms — a mere glimmer of the future pictured by Mr. Joy.

The worries among sensitive futurists are both the intended and unintended consequences. Autonomous weaponry, for example, may be intended for certain purposes by government militaries, but then emerge as more dreaded unintended consequences where, for example, these weapons decide themselves when and whom to strike.

Last month, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Elon Musk of Tesla Motors were some of many specialists who signed an open letter that called for a ban on autonomous weapons. The letter says, “If any major military power pushes ahead with artificial intelligence weapons, a global arms race is virtually inevitable,” adding that “unlike nuclear weapons, they require no costly or hard-to-obtain raw materials, so they will become ubiquitous and cheap for all significant military powers to mass-produce.”

Artificial intelligence (AI) or “thinking machines” are worrying far more of the serious scientists/technologists than those few who speak out publically.

Last December, in an interview with the BBC, Stephen Hawking, through his computer-generated voice, warned that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race… It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate.” Hawking, a big thinker, noted that “humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

Self-restraint is not a characteristic of the companies developing robotics for businesses that want to replace tens of millions of both white collar and blue collar jobs. Look at the latest factories, refineries and warehouses to illustrate what is coming fast. Even the work of lawyers is being automated.

But the warnings coming from people like Nassim Taleb, author of the runaway best-seller Black Swan and Stuart Russell, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, co-author of the textbook on artificial intelligence who writes about “risks that could lead to human extinction,” need to reach wider audiences.

Complex systems can be very fragile in ways not foreseen until they happen! That is why Bill Joy saw all three of these technologies — nanotechnology, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence — as interwoven systems expanding over the globe beyond human control.

In a recent interview (July 17, 2015) by Science magazine, Professor Russell was asked “what do you see as a likely path from artificial intelligence (AI) to disaster?” He replied: “the routes could be varied and complex—corporations seeking a super-technological advantage, countries trying to build AI systems before their enemies, or a slow-boiled frog kind of evolution leading to dependence and enfeeblement not unlike E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops.”

He told Science that he “is not aware of any large movement calling for regulation either inside or outside AI, because we don’t know how to write such regulation.” Such, he noted, is the “bewildering variety of software.”

In the meantime, Congress is oblivious to these grim scenarios. The Republicans in charge have no interest in holding educational public hearings, because the corporations who own them have no such interest. Meanwhile, the myopic Democrats are too busy dialing for commercial campaign dollars to grease their campaigns so as to retake the Congress in 2016.

Some of these Democrats know better. They championed the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), an arm of Congress established to research and advise members of Congress about such matters. When Congressman Newt Gingrich toppled the Democrats in 1994, one of his first acts was to defund and shut down OTA.

Congress has played ostrich ever since. The American people will surely pay the price unless a tiny few, including leaders of the scientific community, organize and demand that Congress reinstate this technical warning system that OTA provided. With a tiny annual budget of $22 million, OTA saved far more in prevented boondoggles that were circulating on Capitol Hill.

None of this domestic inaction should preclude international efforts to expand the Geneva Conventions against chemical and biological warfare to cover these latest mass destruction weapons against humanity. This initiative would constitute an updated declaration of profound human rights.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

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DOCUMENTS REVEAL STATE PLANS FOR SEIZURE OF DELTA FARMS TO BUILD TUNNELS

by Dan Bacher

Governor Jerry Brown's Delta tunnels plan hasn't been approved yet by the permitting agencies, but documents obtained from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California reveal that the state and tunnels proponents have identified 300 parcels in the Delta they intend to take through eminent domain.

The newly released documents obtained through Public Records actions demonstrate that water exporters and the "Delta Design Construction Enterprise," housed within the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), have already developed plans to “acquire” family farms and "right of way" in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta through eminent domain, according to a joint statement from Restore the Delta, Delta landowners and the Southern California Watershed Alliance.

I challenge anybody who doesn't believe that the "fix is in" on the Delta Tunnels plan to review the two “Acquisition Management Plan" documents, obtained from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The process to "acquire" Delta land is spelled out in minute detail, showing that the Brown administration and supporting agencies believe the approval of construction of the two massive tunnels under the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas is a foregone conclusion.

You can read the documents by going here: http://restorethedelta.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/DCE-Cm1-Property-Acquisition-Plan-2-Fr-MWD-PRA-2015.pdf http://restorethedelta.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/DCE-Cm1-Property-Acquisition-Plan-1-Fr-MWD-PRA-2015.pdf

Delta family farmers, who for more than six years have successfully litigated against DWR on eminent domain issues, said they are "shaken" by the 160—page property acquisition plan.

“It is wrong and premature that the Department of Water Resources has a unit creating a secret land acquisition plan to take 150 year-old farms, like ours, through condemnation,” said Richard Elliot, whose family has farmed pears, cherries and other food crops in Courtland for more than 150 years and has never sold any of their land in the Delta.

Elliot pointed out how some of the most fertile land in the West, Delta farmland, is being condemned in order to keep irrigating toxic, drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, land that many believe should have never been irrigated.

“Now it is going to be condemned by thirsty water agencies working with DWR," Elliot said. "It does not make good policy sense to forsake prime Delta farmland with access to water and moderate weather conditions to farm in a dry desert that is filled with salt and selenium in its soils and that is not sustainable. The entire plan doesn’t make for sustainable food policies, smart land use practices, or even common sense."

The documents include maps of targeted farm parcels in the Delta - and envision groundbreaking ceremonies for the controversial tunnels as early as July 2016.

“While Delta and good-government activists are busy mobilizing comments in a democratic process, we discover state agencies view public oversight as simply a distraction,” said Barbara Barrigan- Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. “These documents arrogantly envision groundbreaking ceremonies as early as July 2016.

“Bulldozers and cement trucks are ready to roll! Red ribbons are budgeted! All for a $60 billion boondoggle without even one permit. Clearly, water officials under the Brown Administration view the Delta as a colony," she emphasized.

Officials from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), one of the districts that has been promoting the construction of the tunnels, defended the targeting of Delta farmers as part of a "normal planning process."

"Planning for right-of-way needs, that is the key part of your normal planning process," said Roger Patterson, assistant general manager for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, told the Associated Press. (http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2015/08/17/records-california-plans-taking-land-for-huge-water-tunnels )

In addition to identification of 300 parcels to be "acquired" through eminent domain, the tunnels opponents also noted that released documents reveal that DWR and the tunnel promoters will "cease all outreach to the Delta as a cost saving measure while issuing multi- million dollar no-bid contracts to oversee the construction of a project that will dewater the estuary."

In an apparent attempt to avoid public comment and scrutiny, the property plan states: “All transactions are conducted, reviewed and approved internally by DCE staff and managers to maintain control and avoid unnecessary delays to schedule. DCE shall seek to minimize external review and approval requirements."

“The most disturbing aspect of the documents are that the Brown Administration and water exporters don’t trust Californians,” said Conner Everts with the Southern California Watershed Alliance. “Why do they feel the need to “fool” Californians? To advance their deeply flawed multi-billion-dollar tunneling experimental export plan.”

“Plus, Metropolitan Water District this coming Monday is once again moving forward with a continuing parcel tax to burden property tax payers. What will these new taxes be used for--this massive tunneling experiment?” Everts asked.

A letter from the San Diego County Water Authority to the Metropolitan Water District discussing this parcel tax can be found here: http://restorethedelta.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2015_08_15-Board-Item-5G-2-Ad-Valorem-Tax-Final.pdf

Attorney Thomas H. Keeling, who has represented landowners in this litigation, said this confidential draft "confirms my concerns about the magnitude of the assault on private property interests in the Delta and disruption to Delta life as a result of the proposed project."

“Like every other aspect of the tunnels scheme, taxpayers, landowners, and Delta communities in general will pay the heavy price for a project that will line the pockets of a few private interests south of the Delta without delivering anything of value to California,” stated Keeling.

Recent documents received in a separate Public Records Act request also shed a light on Delta Design Construction Enterprise (DCE) created by DWR. The agency awarded an $11.4 million no-bid contract to the Hallmark Group, headed by Chuck Gardner, to direct the DCE that was signed in 2013, according to the tunnels opponents.

The DCE is housed within the Department. “Claiming, but not specifying the loophole through which they awarded the contract, DWR gave this contract to a contractor who heads a small water policy firm, rather than an engineering firm, with no listed experience in managing large water construction contracts or large experimental tunneling projects specifically," said Barrigan-Parrilla.

She said the Hallmark Group, under the banner of the DCE, is now the group “creating, planning and executing this secret land acquisition plan in the Delta.”

According to the Hallmark Group website, "Mr. Gardner has over 30 years of program management, organizational leadership and strategic planning experience. As a project turnaround specialist, Mr. Gardner has been brought in to direct capital projects struggling with funding, scheduling, and leadership challenges. His projects include a wide range of complex and politically sensitive programs that require creative collaboration with local and national government entities including influential public stakeholders.

Mr. Gardner’s most recent project is the Delta Habitat Conservation Conveyance Program; a program to provide a more reliable water supply to over 25 million California residents and restore vast areas of natural habitat located in the California Delta.” (http://hgcpm.com/leadership/ )

Barrigan-Parrilla commented, "This is the second largest public works project in California history and yet Gardner is not an engineer. There seems to be a real lackof qualifications in the private contractors that are embedded with the Department of Water Resources on this project."

She noted that DWR's mission is: "to manage the water resources of California in cooperation with other agencies, to benefit the State's people, and to protect, restore, and enhance the natural and human environments."

"These 'confidential' documents' reveal that DWR is not fulfilling the mission of the agency - they are working solely for the interests of the water contractors,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.

In the big picture, these documents expose the complete capture of the regulatory apparatus - DWR - by the regulated - corporate agribusiness, MWD and the water contractors. This regulatory capture is precisely what has led to the dramatic of Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other fish species in recent years, due to massive water exports from the Delta and declining water quality.

For the complete news release with links to the documents, go to: http://restorethedelta.org/blog/delta-tunnels-confidential-documents-reveal-state-plans-take-delta-farms/#background

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/08/15/1412408/-Big-Oil-spent-over-6-2-million-lobbying-CA-officials-in-year-s-first-six-months

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A UKIAH NIGHT IN JAPAN

"East Meets West" benefits Grace Hudson Museum

A major fundraising event for Ukiah's Grace Hudson Museum & Sun House will take place on the evening of Saturday, August 29 at the Museum. Centered on the theme of "East Meets West," this evening celebrates local culture gone global, with cocktails, dinner, music, silent and live auctions and more. The evening begins at 5:30 pm with servings of the Tokyo Sunset, the Sun House Guild's signature cocktail, along with sushi from Oco Time, Ukiah's landmark California-Japanese restaurant. At 6:30 pm, a delicious dinner created by Garbocci Gourmet Catering will be served. On the menu is Beef Nikujaka, Teriyaki "Grilled with Shine" Chicken, steamed white rice, stir-fried vegetables, and Asian slaw, along with a trio of mini cupcakes in flavors of green tea, mango, and coconut for dessert. Noted Bay Area musicians Naoko and Elliott Kallen will provide musical entertainment, with Elliott playing the shakuhachi flute and Naoko on koto, shamisen, and vocals.

EastWest

Sheriff Tom Allman will then preside as auctioneer, with 10 live and 35 silent auction items, including a one-week stay at the Marriott Desert Springs Villa in Palm Desert, a balloon ride above Napa Valley, and a tasting tour for four at Campovida Vineyards in Hopland. Visitors will also be able to view the Museum's current exhibit, "Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art," which closes the next day. "Modern Twist" features 38 works by 17 contemporary Japanese artists exploring the innovative shapes bamboo art has taken since the mid-twentieth century, along with Pomo baskets that highlight similarities and differences in the two traditions. Tickets for "East Meets West" are $75 per person and are available online at www.gracehudsonmuseum.org, at Ukiah’s Mendocino Book Company, or by calling the Museum at (707) 467-2836. All proceeds will benefit the Grace Hudson Museum & Sun House, whose many exhibits and events enliven Ukiah's cultural landscape and preserve its history. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 Main St. in Ukiah.

Roberta Werdinger
Writer, Publicist, Editor
RWerdinger@Yahoo.com
(707) 354-1374
http://www.FlyingFishWordWorks.com

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HAVANA NIGHTS

The Cloverdale Arts Alliance is pleased to announce its inaugural benefit gala, Havana Nights, will take place on Saturday, September 26, 2015. Mark Tharrington, Executive Director of the Arts Alliance states “we are planning on magically transforming the Cloverdale Citrus Fair into a 1950’s era Tropicana Club & Casino for the evening.” In addition to Casino Games, the Cuban themed gala will feature Caribbean food, Mojito and Sangria Bar, and super-premium wines. There will be a live and silent auction, and also salsa dancing to Son Chévere, a quintet playing Cuban style Son, Timba, Bolero and Cha Cha Cha. General admission tickets are $55 (7-10pm) and include $50 in casino chips, 2 drink tickets, appetizers, live music and dancing, plus live and silent auction. VIP Tickets are $125 and include all of the above, plus early admission (5:30pm), catered dinner from El Coqui, reserved seating, $100 in casino chips, open wine & sangria bar. VIP Tables for 8 are available for $900. Havana Nights is a benefit for the Cloverdale Arts Alliance (CAA), the folks that bring you Friday Night Live at the Plaza. Other CAA programs include the CAA Gallery, Music in the Schools initiative, monthly Jazz, Blues and Americana performances, art and ceramics classes, music workshops, writers’ workshop, art appreciation classes, wine courses and more. Tickets and more information are available online at www.cloverdaleartsalliance

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TEEN LOUNGE OPEN HOUSE

On Friday, August 28, 2015, at 5:00 PM, the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting a Teen Lounge Open House.

Join us as we kick off our new Teen Lounge at the library from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be door prizes, contests, a chance to check out our new Teen Lounge, and find out about our upcoming teen programs and joining the Teen Advisory Board. We’ll also be launching our Battle of the Books, an epic contest to see which teen novel is Fort Bragg’s favorite. We hope to see you there.

2 Comments

  1. Bill Pilgrim August 19, 2015

    RE: ‘Online Comment of the Day.’
    Humanity has the “habit of crisis.” No matter how many red lights are flashing and klaxons klaxing, most people will not realize there’s a crisis until it smashes them in the face.
    Distraction and denial are powerful opiates.

  2. Randy Burke August 19, 2015

    It think the logs going north are going to MRC in Scotia.

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