- Valley Fire
- Dan's Story
- Howard's Folly
- Exemption Cutting
- Silent Editing
- Asphalt Plant
- Water Grabbing
- Fiber Sabotage
- Chili Cookoff
- Yesterday's Catch
- Reality Show
- El Niño
- Sudden Oak Death
- Dead Trees
- Humco Questions
- Craft Week
- Sanctuary Naming
- Free Counseling
- Homeless Encampments
- DC Movements
- KZYX Gloating
AS OF 8pm THURSDAY night the historically destructive Valley Fire had expanded again, albeit slower than the first few days. It is now up a few thousand more acres to almost 74,000 acres with 35% containment, about the same percentage as Wednesday night.
CalFire: “Suppression crews made good progress today constructing and improving control lines. Smoke could be seen from burning interior islands, well within the fire’s perimeter. Temperatures rose today, starting a warming trend that will reach in excess of 99 degrees by this weekend. This afternoon, residents in and around the community of Berryessa Estates were allowed to return to their homes. Damage Inspection Teams continue to gather information in the affected areas. As access improves and additional information becomes available, the numbers of damaged or destroyed structures will change. The inspection process is meticulous and ongoing. The cancellation of additional evacuation orders are being evaluated based on a variety of factors including potential fire behavior and re-establishment of critical infrastructure.”
* * *
VALLEY FIRE COMMUNITY MEETING IN NAPA TONIGHT
FOOD VENDORS PITCH IN
FAKE COP IN FIRE ZONE ARRESTED
THE SIX MEN WHO SAVED COBB HOMES
MIDDLETOWN STARTS TO RECOVER
* * *
WILDFIRE DEATHS NOW AT 5 as Evacuees Face Weekend Heat Wave
by Frank Shyong & Paige St. John
The displaced people went from fleeing flames to shivering in tents in the rain. Now, evacuees of the deadly wildfires in Northern California, hundreds of them living in tent camps, will face a heat wave this weekend.
The National Weather Service is warning of weekend temperatures in the mid- to upper 90s in the areas ravaged by the Valley and Butte fires. High pressure building over the West Coast will bring a warming and drying trend -- and increased fire danger, the weather service said.
For evacuees, “weather concerns will change from staying warm and dry to staying cool,” the weather service said. People staying in tents should try to put their tents in shady areas, drink lots of water and use portable, battery-operated fans, the weather service recommended.
“Temperatures will be above normal, but on the bright side, the winds aren’t going to be as strong,” said meteorologist Nathan Owen.
Cooler temperatures and a steady rain Wednesday in the Valley fire area helped firefighters “make good progress because of the rain,” Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said in a morning Periscope briefing.
On Thursday, the Valley fire was 35% contained and had burned 73,700 acres. The 70,760-acre Butte fire was 49% contained.
The death toll in the Valley and Butte fires rose to five Thursday with confirmation that the bodies of two men had been recovered the previous day in the Valley fire in Lake County.
One of the bodies, found in the Anderson Springs area, is presumed to be Leonard Neft, a 69-year-old former reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, who had told his family by telephone that he would try to escape his home by driving to a side road and hiking out. His charred car was found three days later.
The second body was found in the Hidden Valley area. Based on the location, the sheriff’s department reported it was presumed to be Bruce Beven Burns, who was reported missing two days ago.
Those deaths make three attributed to the Valley fire. A disabled woman died Saturday night when the fire swept through her neighborhood.
Two men have been confirmed dead in the Butte fire. Both “were in the evacuation areas and did not heed those warnings,” Berlant said.
The body of Mark McCloud, 66, was discovered Tuesday night outside his home on Baker Riley Road in Mountain Ranch, said Calaveras County Coroner Kevin Raggio. He “refused to leave the scene, and his home was overcome by the fire,” Raggio said.
An 80-year-old man was identified Thursday as the other victim. The body of Owen Goldsmith was found Tuesday in his home on Eagle View Drive in Mountain Ranch, said Calaveras County Coroner Kevin Raggio. Goldsmith was found in his home, which was "completely consumed" by the fire, Raggio said.
Authorities have been urging people to heed evacuation orders and leave even before official orders come if they feel threatened.
“People stay to defend their house and property,” said Capt. Buck Condit, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “Maybe they don’t understand the danger, or if they do, they are just overconfident. Maybe they’ve survived a few close calls.”
At the Jackson Rancheria Hotel and Casino in Jackson, hundreds of people who fled the Butte fire have been sleeping in their cars and cots set up in the hotel conference center, waiting for news about their homes.
Amador County, where the Butte fire has raged, is heavily wooded, hilly country, dotted with close-knit towns of people who learn to distinguish forest fires from brushfires by the color of the smoke. At the emergency shelter set up in the Rancheria casino, displaced residents described a variety of reasons for moving to an area where fire danger looms constantly.
George Gray, 75, from West Point, moved to Amador County to work as a logger and tree climber. He enjoys the solitude and said he moved out here to “be among the trees.” When the fire broke out Sept. 9 down the hill from his house, he didn’t think long about evacuating.
“It looked like a tornado coming up the hill, all wind and black and fire,” he said.
The Butte Fire is one of the most destructive fires in the state's history, destroying 252 residences and 188 outbuildings, as well as 17 structures. But Gray doesn't have any plans to relocate. Fires don't happen all the time out here, he said, and he's survived them before.
When the fire started, he went back in his house and packed important documents, pictures, a change of clothes and his Alfie doll, which he's had for more than 30 years, and drove to a hotel.
“There’s always that fear that everything’s going to go up again,” he said.
Pat Lombardi, 75, of Mokelumne Hill, saw the plume of smoke across a canyon near her house. Everyone told her that her home would be OK, so she went to bed. A few hours later, her house's windows glowed orange with firelight, and sheriff's deputies showed up on her doorstep telling her she needed to evacuate.
Lombardi said it's not unusual for people to stay behind to protect their homes.
"There are some people who want to protect what they have because they know that only they can do it," Lombardi said.
Lombardi — who said that out here, “you learn to live with fire and control it” — has lived in the area for 33 years. She's seen five bad forest fires. Her grandfather died of a heart attack during one.
She's not afraid of fires, but she hates them — "the devil at work," she calls them.
(Courtesy, the LA Times)
* * *
A PORTION OF THE VALLEY FIRE
photo by Michael Hardy
* * *
TAX RELIEF, Local Assistance Available for Taxpayers Affected by Devastating Fires
Sacramento - The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) has announced that taxpayers impacted by the Butte Fire in Amador and Calaveras counties and the Valley Fire in Lake and Napa counties may request an extension to file their returns, relief from penalties and/or interest on some taxes and fees, or to replace copies of records lost to damage. The BOE will also be staffing a Local Assistance Center at the Calaveras County Courthouse September 18 through 21, 2015 at 891 Mountain Ranch Road in San Andreas. There, residents will be able to talk to staff from the BOE and other state and local agencies about available recovery assistance and replacement of government documents that may have been destroyed or lost. BOE staff will be available at the center on Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday through Monday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. An assistance center in Lake County will open on Saturday at a location yet to be determined. BOE will have staff at that location as well. "We're extremely grateful for our many brave firefighters, and our sympathy goes out to those who have lost loved ones, homes or property," said Vice Chair George Runner. "Taxes are the last thing people should have to worry about at a time like this. That's why we want them to know we are here to help."
"My heart goes out to all of the people affected by the fires burning across the state," stated Board Member Fiona Ma. "I am grateful to all our firefighters and volunteers who are putting their lives on the line to protect our friends and neighbors."
Tax and fee payers can go online
to request relief from penalty and/or interest, and an extension of time to file a tax/fee return.
Those without Internet access may call the BOE customer service center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time).
* * *
RELIEF FROM MENDO
Mendocino County Emergency Shelter Announces Closure And Provides Disaster Assistance Information Regarding The Valley Fire
The County of Mendocino’s Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) emergency evacuation shelter that has been located at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah since September 13, 2015, will be closing on September 18, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. Since opening, the shelter has provided assistance with obtaining replacement medication, mental health services, referrals to donations within the community, served meals and provided accommodations for animals. At this time, in coordination with Red Cross, it has been determined to close the Ukiah shelter. Several evacuation notices have been lifted allowing some shelter guests to return home. This has created space within shelters in Lake County and resources are best used in shelters within the county that is experiencing the disaster. We have been honored to serve our neighbors in this capacity. The County will post information at the shelter site for those seeking assistance, including contact information for lodging, food, and Red Cross assistance.
The County will continue to provide information to evacuees through Mendocino County’s 211 emergency system (Dial 211). Additional resources can be accessed at the sources below:
- Lake County’s 211 can be accessed as follows: (707) 565-2108 or (800) 325-9604
- Lake County Emergency Operations Center:
- Mendocino County Facebook Page - County of Mendocino
- Mendocino County Health & Human Services Agency on Facebook
- Mendocino County Health & Human Services Agency (707) 463-2000/(707) 463-7900
Due to the significance of this catastrophic event, it is anticipated that the relief effort will continue for some time. Monetary and other donations are critical and much needed to assist with the disaster relief effort and can be found at the following locations and/or organizations:
Redwood Credit Union is accepting donations online by following this link: www.redwoodcu.org/lakecountyfirevictims. Donations can also be made by visiting any of the bank's branches or by mail with a check payable to Lake County Fire Victims, RCU Lake County Relief c/o Redwood Credit Union, P.O. Box 6104, Santa Rosa, CA 95406.
UPDATE FROM W.DAN'S TREEHOUSE FACEBOOK PAGE…
It was a good day. I had busted ass. The pool sparkled. The Tennis court was swept and the proscribed factory sealed tennis balls were set out ready for use. The 1/2 acre of lawn was groomed and ready for championship croquet, badminton, cartwheeling, general bare-footing or whatever the $3000.00 a night guests wanted. The house was swept for bugs and spiderwebs. The beds were made and the towels were all in place; High Rock Ranch was ready for renters and I was set for a worry free weekend for beer fest. Loretta had dialed the same in at the fairgrounds. Of course hers was an all weekend affair answering questions, coordinating the camping, keeping the ATM stocked with cash and generally being there to keep a major valley event and fund raiser on the rails.
The Anderson Valley Beer fest is the big kick off for our summer. Five or six thousand folks show up to enjoy the start of Spring in the Anderson Valley by camping out and drinking a tanker load of beer. These folks camp out at the Mendocino County fairgrounds in SoBo and various spots in the valley. SoBo is the South end of Boonville, approximately 1/2 a mile from the Northern-most end of NoBo. Loretta kept the crowds, volunteers, staff and all others on the same page at the fairgrounds. Out South East of town in the suburbs, a mile from all the hub bub is the green room. On the 30 acres of creek side oak woodlands of the Anderson Valley Brewing Company the rock stars make their semi-exclusive camp. They start trickling in on Thursday night. Brewers from far and wide come. At a regular beer festival the brewers come in piecemeal and stay in hotel rooms. Sometimes they will coordinate with each other and book a group of rooms much to the detriment of those booked around them. But generally they are cabbing it from fest to party to home room at great expense. The Anderson Valley Beer Festival is a whole different animal. All the breweries, 60 plus at last count, camp out on the the a fore mentioned bucolic 30 acres. And they do set up with a vengeance. A thousand plus brewers and brewery employees kick off their rubber boots and gloves, lay out their tents and grills and relax for a weekend.
Driving is prohibited soon after dark and the gate is locked. Beer Burning Man commences. Camps are pimped out with fully stocked kitchens, laser shows, fifth wheel multi-whole pig bbq's, bonfires, marching bands, lawn games and of course beer taps. The selection of beers at the public beer fest on Saturday is wholly contingent on how much is consumed by the brewery crews on Friday night. I have said too much already as I am a fervent advocate of the "what happens on the AVBC grounds stays there."
Loretta and I have been members of this bacchanal since 2001. We stake out our camp real estate at the furthest reaches from the entrance, and hence away from the meandering hordes, down by the creek in the early days of the festival. Our friends know where to find us every year. Depending on what is headed for the dump that year we outfit our camp with carpets, sofas, rugs, coffee tables, the old blue corner booth from Glads' cafe, a deep frier (fried pot stuffed twinkies anyone?) and a pink leather lazy boy recliner that was an extra in several gay porn videos among other accouterments. No matter the decor there is always a big pot of my wild pig chili on the fire and Loretta's potato salad and deviled eggs for all comers in need of food. Later she brings out her oatmeal cookies and brownies for the kids and their parents that show up on Friday. Sporadically we wander off with our cups in hand, a merry band visiting other camps to taste what they are pouring and to invite them back to our camp. Later in the evening we stoke our fire high with the half cord of madrone and oak I save up for this weekend. Often we end up sitting with fifteen or twenty of us laughing and howling, sometimes well past sun up. If you have ever showed up at the Anderson Valley Beer fest on Saturday and found your favorite breweries' booth there but no one pouring beer it may have been partially Loretta and my fault.
That is what we were looking foreword to that Thursday evening April 30th when we met up at the A.V.B.C. tasting room. Loretta was there with a beer when I arrived. Thursday night was my radio night, I had a show to do. We were headed to Lorens' for dinner after the brewery. Lo would go home and make the potato salad, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. She would listen to my show and pack up all the food in the coolers and have the camping gear ready to go when I got home at 10:20. I would do my "Substance abuse show" in honor of the beer fest. 2 hours of drug, alcohol and such related humor. But first we would hang with friends, decompress and watch the beer fest crowd start to trickle in.
We headed out from the tasting room an hour after we got there. I said I was going down to our camp sight to drop off the rocks for our fire ring. I had collected ten or so cantaloupe sized rocks in the back of my truck. Loretta said she would go with me and I went to the passenger side to clear out the propane tank and weed burner there for getting the fire going. She said "Ah don't bother, I'll ride on the tailgate." as she dropped it down and hopped on. Fal Allen, the head brewer at AVBC and our oldest and best friend, hopped on along side her. I drove out to the dirt road down to our camp and Fal hopped off to get the company truck. He pulled up behind us a hundred yards later and saw what happened.
I have no idea. All I know is I was driving. Initially I thought that I must have accelerated. Many hours after it all happened as I was coming to grips with the situation I thought I must have accelerated hard, jerking Loretta back and causing her to crush the back of her skull on those rocks that had been lined up against the tailgate. Fal told me different and I believe him because he was watching. The truck hit a dip in the dirt road and Loretta bounced up and off. My wife caught the back of her head on the edge of the tailgate on her way down. I slammed on the breaks as soon as I saw Loretta had fallen off. Fal did too and we got to Loretta at the same time. She was laying peacefully on her back with both arms on the ground at her side in the middle of the dirt road beside pond one. Later we would both say we thought she was fucking with us, that she would open her eyes and say "You ass holes, you owe me!" But she didn't open her eyes, not for a very long minute or two. When she finally did open her eyes she had a slow trickle of blood creeping from her left nostril. She told Fal her name, where she was and the year. He is an EMT and knew to ask these questions. If he had not been there I would have let my wife sit up, I probably would have walked her to my truck (clearing out that fucking damned to hell propane tank), and given her some water while I continued to set up our fire ring. Our friend Fal Allen saved Loretta's life.
It was 5:45 and her brain had begun to swell. There was massive inner cranial bleeding. Blood clots had begun to form. 911 was called and by 5:55 an ambulance and a fire truck were on sight. By 6:00 p.m. she had on a neck brace and was on a back board. I was answering questions from my friend Thom or Clay or Antoinette or someone; all of the emergency responders seemed to be good friends of mine. Suddenly another highly competent friend came and told me Loretta wanted to talk to me. I stumbled over to my wife, she was laid out dusty and trussed up with a dog lampshade around her neck and strapped to a back board. She looked up at me and reached up like she was adjusting a necktie and pleaded "Get this off of me I have to pee!" Had I been out there alone when this happened those might have been among the last words my wife ever spoke. As it was I hopped into an ambulance with her for a mile long ride to the Boonville airport where a Life Flight helicopter was waiting. At 6:30 Loretta was airborne and on her way to Santa Rosa Memorial hospital.
As the prop wash and noise faded my many friends hugged and reassured me. We were all certain this was a big dry run for a real injury, Loretta was just taking a spectacular ride for a minor concussion. Fal offered me a ride to Santa Rosa. He had slightly more shit to take care of than Loretta did for the next day so I convinced him it was nothing and called my friend David Lindsey. David was there in five minutes. While waiting I called Mary Aigner at the radio station to let her know I would not be doing my radio show that night. Next I called Jim Brown, Loretta's boss at the fairgrounds to let him know she would not be in to work the next day.
David and I left Boonville ten minutes after the helicopter. I had him stop at our place in Yorkville on the way and we picked up the overnight bag that Loretta had packed for the beer fest. There were sweats, tooth paste and tooth brush, deodorant and several changes of clothes in the bag. We walked in to the Emergency room at the Santa Rosa Memorial hospital at 20:30, hospitals are on a 24 hour clock. After waiting for 30 minutes or so with the twenty or so of us in the "Help me now!!!" crew in the waiting room I sent David home to his second home a few miles away. "Go to bed. I am going to have to convince her to stay overnight for observation. I'll sleep here." He left. 40 minutes later a nurse came and got me. As we were walking down the hall I told her "I have an overnight bag for Loretta with her toothbrush and stuff." The nurse stopped, turned to me and said "Oh she is not leaving here any time soon!" This was my first inkling that it was more than a concussion. Ten feet later I rounded a corner and I walked into hell.
Loretta was laid out naked on a stainless steel rolling table much like the ones dead bodies are wheeled in on in movies. There was a horrifying bouquet of tubes sprouting from her mouth and arms. There were people everywhere rushing about. I imagine I started to hyperventilate and sob much like I am right now as I write this. A stern looking woman in scrubs walked up to me and started telling me about brain swelling and hemorrhaging and blood clots and the need for doing something immediately all while several people were rushing around moving weird machines up close to my wife and stacking obviously important packages pell mell atop my wife's legs and chest.
Suddenly the stern looking woman stopped talking and looked at me. There was a shorter woman, lower in rank I sussed somehow, and they both looked at me, the shorter woman held a piece of paper out in her hands. Obviously they wanted something from me but all I was trying to do was stand, my knees started to buckle, I reached out and grabbed the wall. The stern woman, who I came to know as Loretta's brilliant but bed side tone deaf neurosurgeon, squeaked "get a chair!" I collapsed and a chair was there. Somehow I had the paper in my hands and the two of them were still looking at me expectantly. I knew time was of the essence and also that somehow this stern, very worried looking lady needed me to do something. My mind was stuck trying to jump all the gears between "Honey, I know you want to leave now but we have to stay here over night. We will go to the beer fest tomorrow, no worries" to some strange twilight zone double clutching involving my beautiful best friend having nearly 20 square inches of her skull removed so that the swelling of her brain would not cause a subdural hematoma pressing onto the spinal column causing massive brain damage and death.
The paper was a consent form. Apparently the many many years this woman spent becoming an expert concerning the brain; how to cut into it, how to diagnose the best possible methods for dealing with various problems that may arise: in short all the skills and knowledge necessary for life saving BRAIN SURGERY!!!! came down to one frantic semi conscious panicked husband in a nearly black out state being able to sign his name. I looked at them, bewildered and in shock, and asked for a pen. After an "Oh,.... uh.. yea.... uh" looking about they found one and handed it to me. And as they looked at me holding paper and pen, expectantly waiting for my signature giving them permission to cut into Loretta's brain, I leaned over in the exact posture I would use to puke in a toilet, laid out the consent form on the floor and scrawled my name on the bottom.
I was then hustled out of the way I never wanted to be in and soon after I collapsed into a heaving, sobbing heap. I learned later that Dr. Germain, the brilliant and stolid neurosurgeon, had looked at Loretta's xrays and assumed she had been in some horrific traffic accident. She naturally assumed that I had at least a hint of the terrible damage. The two of us met at the polar opposites of our assumptions.
This story is not done, there is a lot to tell. But I am done for now. I do not like telling this story but I feel like I have to. Many of you ask "How are you?" I tell you "I am o.k." sometimes I add "but just." There are no words for what this is. This fucking sucks. I hate it. But I don't know what else I can do. Loretta is a bit better every time I see her. When I am with her all feels right. She is sassy, snarky, funny and just so Loretta. But she is also radically different. After I said "Well that is normal" about something today she said "What is normal anymore?" It was more a statement than a question but it is still a vertigo inducing wonder. When I am with her all is ok but when I am out here trying to hold it together in the "real world" with out her I do not know what is normal.
As a child I read stories of disembowelment. Horrific tales that kept me up at night about poor souls having their guts opened and their intestines fastened to a tree. The long walk ensued as they were forced to circle the tree until they dropped. That is the only metaphor that seems apt at the moment, please forgive my drama. It just feels like all that trails out of me is fear, sadness, terror, angst, doubt, worry and so may other emotions that should be safely nestled in my gut. God I miss her so much.
APPARENTLY under threat of a lawsuit because it wasn't up to handicap specs (too steep), the County ripped out the ramp at Main & Kasten that eased access up and down a very tall curb — two or three feet to the street. The County then built a barricade and closed the sidewalk on Main Street so peds have to jaywalk Kasten Street to go west on Main and handicapped people have to go way up Kasten and back just to cross the street. The County is planning to grind off crosswalk markings. The barricade has been named Howard's Folly for County transportation chief Howard DeShield. Mendocino Village is, of course, famously sensitive to the smallest revision, and this move by the County has the whole town in an uproar.
* * *
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD ON 'HOWARD'S FOLLY'
MR. DASHIELL promptly explained the problem:
I do not have a copy of the "Old Sacramento" plans referenced... so I can't comment on that.
Jaywalking is defined in the California Vehicle Code (CVC) as crossing midstreet between controlled intersections (intersections with signal lights). While I believe and have said that I think it is best to walk up Kasten and cross at the intersection with Albion Street then back down Kasten to Main there is no law about crossing midstreet on Main or Kasten. Pedestrians must cross the street when safe and yield the motorists per the CVC.
In general the real problem is the existing layout of the site. The entrance floor of the bookstore (Jarvis Nichols) building is 2.5 foot (maybe 3 foot as you state - depending where you measure from in the street grade) higher in elevation than the street. In history when there were no standards a steep ramp. Wood then dirt and asphalt was built to meet the elevation difference. But even with handrails that approach does not meet the present standard (all standards not just Americans with Disabilities Act - ADA).
The adjacent bookstore (Jarvis Nichols) building has a 2.5 foot high legacy patio/porch at their building floor level. So because their access patio/porch (of unknown construction - not road construction but the building access encroachment) is inaccessible to the street; at present standards it is up to the building owner to tear down and rebuild a new system of ramps to get the 2.5 or 3 feet of elevation change done within the footprint of their patio/porch and the street corner. Their patio/porch is old, likely hollow or earth filled so it is likely a tear down re-build because there is not enough room in the roadway alone to build a long enough ramp.
The building owner has to bring a new ramp system forward. Until then pedestrians need to follow the paths around (up Kasten to Albion and back down Kasten) to avoid the elevation change at the corner of Main and Kasten. The vertical grades are the access block. All the Mendocino County Department of Transportation (MCDoT) did is remove the too short ramp which no longer meets standards. I did this to remove a liability and hazard for the county which in turn exposed the legacy vertical elevation barrier of the building's 2.5 foot high patio/porch.
I will work with the building owner or any applicant on a solution that meets current standards— will look at the "Old Sacramento" plans referenced when I get a copy.
Howard N. Dashiell, Director
Mendocino County Department of Transportation
340 Lake Mendocino Drive
Ukiah, CA 95482
SHADES OF L-P AT MRC?
According to a Mendocino logger who attended a bidder’s conference for a recent Mendocino Redwoods “exemption cut,” MRC expects logging crews to bid low on these drought/fire break logging jobs and then make up the difference by cutting down larger trees than are allowed and selling them to MRC’s mill. Technically, no trees over 24-inches in diameter are supposed to be cut. But when several of the bidders asked what would happen if they cut a larger tree, the MRC rep told them the logger would assume all risk of citation from CDF/CalFire, which, our source said, was accompanied by a wink which was interpreted to mean that nobody really expects CDF to go back out to the job and measure the stumps. Or perhaps to simply claim that the former tree was dead anyway. These exemption cuts are a recent phenomenon under a new rule from the Board of Forestry to deal with fire danger in the drought and they are thus exempted from ordinary environmental factors which would accompany a standard Timber Harvest Plan and are minimally reviewed and we are not aware of any opportunity for public comment. We have emailed CalFire to ask about this particular exemption cut but, perhaps because they’re pretty busy these days, they have not replied.
MRC'S SUSPICIOUS EDITS
MRC has a section on their website where they track media articles pertaining to them:
Until now they’ve been fairly open-minded about including material critical of their practices, but today I noticed a posting that not only was three weeks late in going up, but was also heavily edited (without letting the reader know):
Compare to original (and complete) article:
(— Mike Kalantarian)
COUNTY LEADERS FAVOR ASPHALT PLANT OVER ENVIRONMENT
Is an asphalt plant located on the floodplain of Outlet Creek in the best interest of Mendocino County residents? I and Friends of the Earth think not. However, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved the project by a 5-0 vote, and on August 28 the Mendocino Air Quality Management District acquiesced as well. No CEQA review was mandated, although the negative environmental impacts of the plant is huge.
An asphalt plant poses many risks, least of which is noise pollution. Different types of air pollution are inherent in asphalt production and toxic fires are a possibility. The river itself would be liable to contamination. For several years, California Fish and Wildlife has been working to restore Outlet Creek as a salmon spawning habitat and the asphalt plant would jeopardize this work.
Why is the County not mandating a CEQA review of this project? Is asphalt production a higher priority than people's health or protecting our rivers and forests? In whose interest is the County acting? It is sad that Friends of Outlet Creek will now have to file a lawsuit in order to protect what should be cared for by our County government.
If you wish to support this cause, please send a check to: Willits Environmental Center/Friends of Outlet Creek, 650 South Main St., Willits CA 95490
HOLY ACRE-FEET BATMAN!
A Victory for Mendocino County in the Masonite Water Right Litigation
About a year ago you wrote about the efforts of my client Millview Water District [Ukiah Valley] to preserve the 4274 acre foot water right originally obtained by Masonite back in the 1940s and mentioned that the effort was being resisted by the Sonoma County Water Agency. Today, the decision that was announced last month was formally entered as a judgment by the judge. It is interesting that the Sonoma County Water Agency, "Big Water," has been so active in this proceeding attempting to have the Masonite Water Right forfeited so that it would have additional water flow in the Russian River which it "manages." The Sonoma County Water Agency renewed its agreement with Marin Municipal Water Agency in 2015 where SCWA renewed sales of its surplus water, 4300 acre feet. Also attached is a response to a public records request showing how much SCWA makes in sales of "surplus" water to Marin County. It is no wonder that the SCWA has been so active in attempting to suppress water rights in Mendocino County, including its now unsuccessful effort to have the State declare the Masonite 4274 acre ft per year License forfeited. I suggest that the 4300 ac/ft/annually of "surplus water" sold by the SCWA to Marin Municipal is the 4275 acre feet annually (ac/ft/annually) that Millview as the owner of the Masonite right purchased in 2006 could not use due to the court proceedings in the Masonite case which started in 2008. SCWA also attempted to suppress another Russian River right, "the Waldteufel Right," that Millview had purchased. The published court decision regarding that case announced last September (a completely different case than the Masonite Right case) is also attached. The discussion as to the peculiar role of the SCWA is set forth at p. 10 of that case document. In Court proceedings in July SCWA vowed to keep fighting and it is therefore likely that it will attempt to appeal this decision.
Attorney at Law
110 South Main Street, Suite C
Willits, CA 95490
* * *
From: Michael Gossman <Michael.Gossman@scwa.ca.gov>
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 2:51 PM
Subject: Response to Public Records Act Request
Good Afternoon Mr. Neary:
I am writing you in response to your Public Records Act Request dated February 20, 2015. In your letter you requested:
- Total receipts from Water Sales by Sonoma County Water Agency to North Marin Water District for each of the calendar years 2012-2014.
- Total receipts from Water Sales by Sonoma County Water Agency to Marin Municipal Water District for each of the calendar years 2012-2014.
Below is a table indicating the amount invoiced to each of those entities for the calendar years requested. I believe this satisfies your request, but if you have questions or need other documentation, please let me know.
Water Invoices by Customer
For the period January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2014
Customer: North Marin Water District
2012: $ 5,530,515.69
2013: $ 5,325,817.24
2014: $ 5,583,798.95
Customer: Marin Municipal Water District
2012: $ 5,512,651.65
2013: $ 6,307,733.24
2014: $ 7,531,960.14
[Ed note: In effect, Sonoma County got over $35 million in three years for water that mostly originated in Humboldt County and was stored in Mendocino County, passed through a river channel and some pipes in Sonoma County and was then piped to points south, as shown above. Yet Humboldt and Mendocino County got ZERO dollars for their water while Sonoma County got all the money from the sales. When Supervisor John Pinches asked that this grotesque, upside-down financial arrangement be investigated back in 2013, he was voted down 4-1 by his fellow Supervisors.]
Michael Gossman, MBA
Division Manager – Administration & Finance
Sonoma County Water Agency
MORE CABLE CUTS
Although the severed line at Hopland two weeks ago appears to be the work of tweekers, there are people deliberately sabbing communication lines. There were two more in the Bay Area this week, bringing the number of attacks on data lines in California since July 2014 to 16, the FBI said on Wednesday.
The FBI is investigating what AT&T said were fiber cuts at two different manholes in Livermore, just southeast of San Francisco late Monday. Internet service in the region was curtailed until crews repaired the damage Wednesday morning.
AT&T said it is offering a $250,000 reward to capture whoever is responsible for sabotaging a part of the area's Internet infrastructure.
The authorities suspect that the vandals, who operate at night, may be posing as telecom workers. All the while, the sabotage continues unabated.
The affected lines are about as thick as a finger and are covered with flexible conduit. They often carry Internet, television and phone calls. The cuts have been performed in areas where there are no security cameras.
CHILLI COOK OFF at Fort Bragg Hospital, Thursday. Dr. Karan’s mouth is watering as he prepares to judge the three categories: Vegan, Best and Hot&Spicy. Dr. Karan is our new Internal Medicine physician at MCDH.
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 17, 2015
COLE HARBOUR, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
SANDARA KOHL, Patterson/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
RICKY LEWIS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
YOCANA LOPEZ, Boonville. Pot cultivation, processing, pot possession for sale, possession of controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine, failure to appear.
DANIEL MARTINEZ, Hidden Valley Lake. DUI, resisting.
WILLIAM MCPHERSON, Ukiah. Arson of inhabited structure, possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia.
CRAIG MOUNTAIN, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, felony vandalism.
JOSE RAMIREZ, Ukiah. Burglary, possession of meth for sale, possession of paraphernalia.
ANGELA SCARBERRY, Willits. DUI, probation revocation.
ASHLEY SHERMAN, Fort Bragg. Possession of paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.
PATRICK TAYLOR, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Reading the CNN.com headline: “Do Or Die For The Second Tier”, referring to the bottom feeders of the republican party who are gonna tiredly show up to these “debates” tonight & repeat the same sentences amongst each other, if only phrased slightly differently. It’s gotta be great to have all gone to Law School, so the act of bullshitting is somehow becomes legitimized. Anyhow, it strikes me that in this presidential race in particular, it’s almost treated like TV’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ or some other reality TV show. Maybe America should be able to vote off one republican nominee or other, every week. All they need is a “Panel of Judges” to sit there and critique the complete rubbish & brain-glop these wannabe Caesars dump out of their fat mouths.
I also love the caption below the picture at CNN.com, which reads “A Lackluster Performance could Doom these Candidates,” which is also humorous. DOOM. Oh, boy. So, these ex-governors & corporate lawyers are simply gonna retreat back to the 24/7 orgy in which they came. Where is the DOOM ? in that, lol.
Teddy Roosevelt would have pistol whipped these charlatans.
CHANCES OF HISTORIC EL NIÑO growing for California
by Evan Sernoffsky
Hopes for a wet winter and spring for drought-parched California grew Thursday as researchers predicted that there’s at least a 95 percent chance of a historic El Niño on the way.
But the precipitation likely won’t come in time to bail the state out of its fourth year of crippling drought, or provide relief to California’s destructive fire season, according to a monthly climate report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“There is a greater than a 95 percent chance that El Niño will last through the wintertime, and there is good confidence it will last into the spring,” said Dan Collins, a research scientist with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
The stronger the El Niño, the more rain, history shows, and eastern Pacific Ocean temperatures have reached the warmest weekly average since the 1997-98 El Niño — the strongest event in modern history.
Collins said there is a very high probability that this year will be hotter and have more rain than average, but those weather patterns likely won’t start impacting Central and Northern California until December.
Another NOAA report released last week warned California communities about record floods due to rising sea levels and El Niño.
In the meantime, last month was the warmest August on record, and there is a 97 percent chance that, globally, this year will be the hottest ever, said NOAA climate scientist Deke Arndt.
The monthly forecast for October shows hotter-than-average temperatures that will persist along the entire West Coast through December. El Niño-driven rain won’t begin affecting the central and northern parts of California, where a four-year drought continues to intensify, until the end of the year, scientists said.
The drought, which has annihilated the state’s snowpack in the High Sierra to the worst in 500 years and turned the landscape into a tinderbox for wildfire, will get stronger through the end of the year, scientists said.
Destructive wildfires have ravaged the state this fire season. The Valley Fire, which continued to burn Thursday, has destroyed at least 585 homes and charred 73,700 acres in the communities around Middletown in Lake County.
In the Sierra foothills, the Butte Fire has burned 252 homes over the past week.
The Valley Fire and the Butte Fire are the ninth- and 14th-most destructive in the state’s history. Those rankings could rise as surveyors get into the burn areas and more closely assess the damage.
(Courtesy, The San Francisco Chronicle)
EL NIÑO, CITIZEN SCIENCE, & INNOVATION SHAPE UC BERKELEY RESEARCHER’S 2016 SUDDEN OAK DEATH MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS
BERKELEY—While the drought has tempered sudden oak death (SOD; caused by the water-loving invasive plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum) in many areas of California, predictions for El Niño suggest the time for prevention is now. In response, researchers from the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology Lab are offering workshops on new findings to help protect trees from SOD before wet weather gets underway, when pathogen spores will build up and spread.
“Prevention is the best weapon we have against SOD. These workshops will provide people and communities with the information they need to make proactive, positive decisions to help keep their trees healthy,” said Matteo Garbelotto, UC Berkeley faculty who runs the Forest Pathology Lab.
Sessions are intended for professionals and lay people and will provide updated SOD distribution information (from spring citizen scientist SOD Blitzes and researcher surveys) as well as inform communities as to which areas are at greatest risk for disease establishment. Researchers will help assess which trees are good candidates for preventative treatments and share findings on treatments that have proven to be the most effective. Information on how to care for oaks during droughts will also be covered.
What: Sudden Oak Death and Oak Drought Management Workshops:
When: Thursday, September 24, 2015, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Where: Portola Valley Town Center, 765 Portola Rd, Portola Valley
When: Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Sebastopol Center for the Arts (Veterans’ Hall), 282 S. High St., Sebastopol
When: Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: UC Berkeley, 159 Mulford Hall, Berkeley
When: Friday, November 13, 2015, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Dominican University of California , Science Center Room #102; 155 Palm Avenue, San Rafael
SUDDEN OAK DEATH remains a major threat to coast live oak, California black oak, Shreve’s oak, canyon live oak, and tanoak trees in 15 coastal California counties*. During periods of dry weather, the SOD pathogen becomes less active and can go into a dormant state until environmental conditions become more favorable for pathogen/disease spread. However, even during drought periods there are locations in California where environmental conditions remain favorable for the pathogen. SOD is the primary cause of tree mortality in coastal California, with more than three million trees having died since its discovery in the mid-1990s.
These workshops have been made possible thanks to the support of the USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry and the PG&E Foundation.
For more information on Sudden Oak Death and P. ramorum, go to the California Oak Mortality Task Force website at www.suddenoakdeath.org or contact Katie Harrell at (510) 847-5482 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the workshops, go to http://nature.berkeley.edu/garbelottowp/ or contact Katie Harrell.
WILDFIRE IS COMING. IS YOUR HOME READY?
Risk from Bark Beetles
Bark Beetles are killing millions of trees in California. Dead trees become fuel for wildfire. Tiny insect creatures – Bark Beetles – are greatly increasing the risk of wildfire in California. Bark Beetles are attracted to trees weakened by drought and are killing them. These dead trees become ready fuel for wildfires, increasing risk to homes, property and lives in an already dangerous wildfire situation. Bark Beetles have been in California longer than people. The beetles aren’t dangerous under normal circumstances, but when trees are weakened due to lack of water from prolonged drought, they are more susceptible to attacks from Bark Beetles. More than 12 million trees, mostly conifers, have already died from Bark Beetles in California. In some communities up to 85 percent of the forest trees have been killed, becoming dry fuel, just waiting to go up in flames. What can be done? By being proactive you can make a very important difference to help reduce your wildfire risk; first by removing dead trees on your property, especially around your home. Next, homeowners should properly maintain the trees on their property by thinning overgrown trees and watering as necessary. All of these steps will help create a healthy, more resilient forest for generations to come. REMEMBER Dead trees fuel wildfires. Remove your dead trees and reduce your wildfire risk. Protect your family, home, property and community!
See more at:
What To Do
If you think Bark Beetles may be infesting trees on your property, check out this information:
- Signs of Bark Beetle Infestation
- Dead Tree Removal
- About Bark Beetles
- Preventing Bark Beetle Infestation in Healthy Trees
- Assistance for Private Forest Owners
(CalFire Press Release)
QUE PASA HUMCO?
Draft Environmental Impact Report dated October 2014
Date: Thu, September 17, 2015 9:48 am
Dear Southern Humboldt Community Park Board;
I have questions from what was stated below and included in your: "Draft Environmental Impact Report" dated October 2014:
1.1. Project Background
The overall goal of the project is allow to a mix of public, private, and non-profit uses on the 405.7-acre Southern Humboldt Community Park property on Sprowel Creek Road in Garberville, California (Assessor’s Parcel Numbers [APNs] No. 222-241-009 and 222-091-014).
- What projects(s) within this document would allow for "private" uses?
- Please define the differences between "public", "private" and "non-profit" within this document?
- Since August 2010, how many SHCP Board meetings have been open to the public?
- What percentage of your tax exempt public support funding (501c3) are being used for "private" uses in preparation or unrelated business income activities within this project document?
Estate of Patsy J. Voice
PO Box 572
Nice, Ca. 95464
AMERICAN CRAFT WEEK AT THE LIBRARY
First Friday Art Walk
Friday, October 2, 5:00-7:30pm
Join us for a celebration of American Craft Week with a display of hand woven rugs and wall hangings and a loom weaving demonstration by local weaver Stephanie T. Hoppe. Also enjoy hands-on acorn crafting.
Relax with live music with Kim Monroe and yummy treats from Mama’s Café.
The Friends of the Ukiah Library Book Sale will be open from 4:30-7:45pm on Friday and on Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm.
The community is cordially invited to join Sanctuary Forest on Saturday, September 26 to witness and participate in the Naming Ceremony. The Naming Ceremony is an annual ritual held each fall within the ancient redwood forest sanctuary of the Mattole River headwaters. This candlelight ceremony—which features poetry and music—will begin at 6:00 p.m. and end by 7:30, with refreshments served afterwards. The names of all those who have been memorialized and honored during the year, as well as all of our donors, will be read aloud during the ritual. Those recognized at this ceremony will reflect all donations received by September 25th.
Please call Sanctuary Forest at (707) 986-1087, ext. 1# if you would like to attend this very special ceremony. RSVP by September 24th is requested.
FREE DROP-IN COUNSELING
Redwood Empire Chapter of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists is hosting FREE All Day Drop-in Counseling for People/Families Affected by the Valley Fire
When: Saturday, September 19, 2015
Time: 9 AM to 5 PM
Location: Mark West Lodge Event Center
Address: 2520 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa (roughly mid-way between Calistoga and Santa Rosa). Therapeutic games/art for kids while their parents speak to a counselor. Children can also talk to a counselor if they wish. Counselors are Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. Spanish speaking counselors available. After Sept. 19th… We have over 40 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) who are willing to donate 3-5 sessions of counseling at NO COST to members of the community who have been displaced or affected by the fire.
Find out more along with helpful resources on our website:
THE HOMELESS DEFINED
Center for Problem-Oriented Policing
CRAIG AND THE ONE TRUE CHURCH
The water-only fast at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, sponsored by Beyond Extreme Energy, continues, as the entire region awaits the arrival of the Catholic pontiff, who will be leading a climate justice conference. Obviously, it would be appropriate for Pope Francis to make a stop at the hunger strike, but it is nigh on to impossible to contact him and unlikely that such an "unofficial" visit would take place. Regardless, I have been attending mass at the basilica's cryptic church at Catholic University, receiving communion, and praying for victory in the effort to stop new fracking permits from being issued. Also, I went to the Franciscan Monastery nearby and left a message in the visitor's book; perhaps the Franciscan Action Network will notice it. Meanwhile, all of Washington D.C. is preparing for the Pope's visit beginning next Wednesday. The grounds of Catholic University are surrounded by fencing, space reserved for the 25,000 ticket holders for the canonization mass of Fr. Junipero Serra (so-called "founder of California", who established the early missions). And then there is the addressing of a joint session of congress, followed by a public address on the west lawn of the capitol (tickets sold out). And then a climate justice conference. And then Christ's messenger goes on to Philadelphia and New York City, and then back to Rome. How's that for a day job, y'all? Locally, the update is that the president returned from golfing on Cape Cod, went to Alaska to reinstate the correct spiritual name at Denali, and today nobody knows if he's even at the White House. Concepcion, who continues to be at the Peace Vigil she co-founded across the street in Lafayette Park in 1981, thinks that he might be. The secret service cordoned off the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue yesterday, with no announcement as usual. Nobody in the district has any information in regard to the president's schedule, congressional activity on capitol hill, or much else in regard to the Federal Government, as the current crop of political candidates continue trading insults on television. People who actually reside in the District of Columbia just aren't interested anymore in the Federal Government, because they aren't going to get anything from it. Everybody here wants to see the Pope! I might return to California soon, to Berkeley initially, but then again, I really do not know what is going to happen in the next five minutes. Three hours until the next mass at the basilica's downstairs Cryptic Church...maybe I'll just sit silently in the upstairs side chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, fingering my rosary and eternally witnessing the worldly spectacle. After all, that's what God is doing.
Craig Louis Stehr
September 17, 2015, 2:22:38 P.M. ET
Catholic University Library
FCC RENEWS KZYX’S LICENSE: Critics fail to close the station
Contact: Meg Courtney, Board President, or Stuart Campbell, Interim Executive Director & General Manager, @ 707-895-2324
DATE: Sept. 16, 2015
Mendocino County Public Broadcasting announced today that the Federal Communications Commission granted the renewal of its license on Sept. 15, 2015. The FCC stipulated that “MCPB timely filed the Application on July 24, 2013,” and yet delayed its decision to renew for close to two years after receiving complaints from five Mendocino County residents demanding the FCC revoke or delay renewal of the station’s license.
The complaints ranged from the station’s management and employment practices to programming changes and studio staffing. These complaints also often appeared in local newspapers disparaging the reputation of KZYX.
“The board and staff are delighted by the FCC’s vote of confidence,” said Meg Courtney, president of the board of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting. “We never doubted for a minute that the FCC would renew our license. So we are continuing to make KZYX an even stronger community asset than it already is. In fires, floods and other emergencies, our station is there for Mendocino and surrounding counties.” Two members of the news team, Lorraine Dechter and Sheri Quinn, have provided coverage of this summer’s fires to KQED, The Takeaway, and national NPR programming, as well as produced daily, local, high-quality news and information.
The FCC considered each of the numerous objections and denied all but one relating to staffing levels at the station. The FCC expects KZYX to maintain both a full-time staff employee and one full-time management-level employee at the station. “We are a small station operating 24 hours a day with only three current full-time employees,” explained interim General Manager Stuart Campbell. In the end, however, the FCC said the station has “served the public interest, convenience, and necessity during the subject license term. Moreover, we find that there have been no serious violations of the Act or the Rules, nor have there been violations by the Licensee of the Act or the Rules, which, taken together, would constitute a pattern of abuse.” Countering the spurious claims against the station has cost it over $17,000.00 in attorney’s fees over the last 1½ years, money that could have been spent more creatively were it not legally necessary to respond to the unsubstantiated allegations.
KZYX is a community-supported radio station providing community and national news, public affairs programming, and music and entertainment. The station is supported by its members and grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
KZYX can be heard at 90.7 FM, Philo; 91.5 FM, Willits and Ukiah, and 88.1 FM Fort Bragg. KZYX also streams on the Web at KZYX.org. To listen to past programs, go to jukebox.kzyx.org.
(KZYX Press Release)