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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Nov 5, 2015

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WE'D PREDICTED that the Supervisors would vote against the Dollar Store proposed for Redwood Valley, then reverse themselves before Dollar sued. But at their Tuesday meeting, the Supes voted 3-2 to approve the chain store, Supervisors McCowen and Brown voting not to approve.

OBJECTIVELY, the Supervisors had no choice but to either approve now or approve later. Why? Because Dollar bought a lot that is commercially zoned. The Supervisors can't re-zone them outta there retroactively.


THERE IS HUGE opposition to Dollar, but the only option left to Redwood Valley at this point is to avoid shopping with the outside mega-corp. Too bad, but the fault lies with the elected reps of yesteryear who zoned downtown Redwood Valley to commercial.

VOTING TO APPROVE were Dan Gjerde, Tom Woodhouse, Dan Hamburg. Hamburg, a lifelong scofflaw, slathered his Yes vote in some startlingly hypocritical rhetoric (even for him) about how we all have to abide by the law, even citing founding father, John Adams.

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Made rubberized asphalt without a permit

by Jane Futcher

The Mendocino County Air Quality Management District has served Grist Creek Aggregates in Longvale with a Notice of Violation for: operating without a permit; fugitive emissions, and a diesel airborne toxic control measure violation. The county fined the company $21,953.

The most serious violation, operating without a permit, refers to the fact that the Grist Creek/Mercer-Fraser was manufacturing rubberized asphalt with a Crumb Rubber Heating and Blending Unit that was not permitted.

Neighbors say the smell of burning rubber fills the Longvale Valley with noxious fumes every day the plant makes asphalt.

County Air Quality Management District Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Scaglione was out of the office this week and was not available for comment on the Grist Creek Aggregates violations.

Brian Hurt, owner of Grist Creek Aggregates, said he had no comment on the complaints against his company.

Third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse, who in March urged the board to fast track the plant without requiring a full environmental review, said the county would shut the plant down if the owners cannot “make their product and keep the environment clean.”

Woodhouse believes the system is working.

“I think our air quality and Bob in particular have done a very good job of being responsive to the community and their complaints. And that’s what we had hoped,” Woodhouse said. “When you approve any project like this, it is subject to people obeying all the county and state laws that are applicable.”

One neighbor, Lyn Talkovsky, a member of Friends of Outlet Creek, a neighborhood group that opposed the asphalt plant from the start, said she isn’t sure the system is working. She is skeptical about the county’s commitment to residents, many of whose lives have been profoundly impacted by the plant’s fumes since Grist Creek/Mercer-Fraser begin making rubberized asphalt in September.

She thinks Caltrans should be held accountable for contracting with a company that is in violation of its permit.

“For six weeks Grist Creek has been producing rubberized asphalt, and now the project for Caltrans is done. Is it okay with Caltrans that the company that got the contract with them has been in violation the whole time? Is that the way Caltrans does business? I’m very, very skeptical.”

Talkovsky said Friends of Outlet Creek will continue to fight the plant in court but that the pressure placed on residents near the plant is enormous.

“The system isn’t working,” Talkovsky said. “The level of pollution that people are experiencing is unbelievable. There still hasn’t been a visit by the county air district or a supervisor to a neighbor’s home. We have pictures and videos of dense clouds of emissions in the valley, and it’s all been given to the county and the state and the supervisors. What does it take?”

Kirk Lumpkin is also active in the fight to stop the plant and questioned the value to the neighbors of the $21,953 fine.

“Where does the money go?” Lumpkin said. “It is not going to compensate the neighbors or test the water in the creek or further enhance the environment. It will go to the county which allowed this in the first place.”

Friends of Outlet Creek member and neighboring property owner to the asphalt plant, Glen Colwell, who recently retired from the Bay Area Air Quality District in San Francisco, noted that it is sometimes possible for industry attorneys to negotiate with regulators and request that penalties such as this one be decreased.

“In my opinion, if the county attorneys allow any negotiations to lower penalty costs for Grist Creek Aggregates, which may have willfully violated their permit conditions, it would be inexcusable and add additional insult to the injury already perpetrated on the asphalt plant’s neighbors.” Colwell said.

Another neighbor, Douglas Kerseg, said an attorney advised him that using equipment that is not permitted is fraud.

“We were disturbed that when they were given a notice of violation that they continued to operate,” Kerseg said, referring to the fact that the violation was issued Oct. 21 and the plant continued making rubberized asphalt until Oct. 31. “I tried to get Mr. Scaglione to say why, and he told me they were powerless to stop him. It’s amazing to me that they can have a process that uses equipment that’s not on their permit and they can continue to do so.”

Kerseg said neighbors will continue to fight on despite the high legal fees Friends of Outlet Creek is paying.

“One of our very significant problems is that we have raised and spent huge amounts of money which has gone to legal work, and we have significant liabilities to continue that effort. The toughest part of the equation is not just to spread the word but to be able to continue our legal battle to stop these people from operation.”

Friends of Outlet Creek will hold a community meeting on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m., to get to know neighbors and discuss what can be done to stop the negative impacts of the asphalt plant. Location is the large pullout off Highway 162 just east of Highway 101.

Jane Futcher lives in Longvale and is a member of Friends of Outlet Creek.

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LIVING CONFIRMATION of the old saw that no good deed goes unpunished, Supervisor McCowen found himself as the living confirmation last week.

MOST LOCALS are aware that McCowen spends much of his free time cleaning up after Ukiah's ever expanding population of homeless, many of whom prefer the bucolic banks of the Russian River and its feeder streams. McCowen's is a thankless and Sisyphean task. It's also an in lieu of task that rightly belongs to the City of Ukiah.

TAKE THE TIME to read the following for the full impact of the kind of buck passing and dithering by the City of Ukiah. The remarks of the town's $400,000-a-year city manager are especially irritating.

"Business gets dumped on," is the title of the following story by "Ukiah Daily Journal Staff"

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Kerry Vau and John Lazaro got to the Coldwell Banker real estate office they own on Mason Street Monday morning to find that someone had dumped a huge load of trash in their business’s driveway.

How it got there and why yesterday has got them scratching their heads.

The story started about a month ago when Vau and Lazaro called the city police department to let them know that they were seeing increasing sheets of cardboard and signs of a homeless camp in a Gibson Creek culvert with homeless people coming and going through their property on Mason Street near East Perkins Street. Vau said the UPD came by, had a look and told her and Lazaro that the city would get it cleaned up but it would take time — about a week — since the city public works department had to get the county hazardous materials team out there first to dispose of syringes and other dangerous items before city workers could move in.

A week went by with no action says Vau, and then the city police sent its business liaison officer, Nancy Sawyer, to meet again with Vau and Lazaro and apologize for the delay. By that time, the two business owners said they were seeing blankets and other evidence of people living in the creek bed but also on their business’s deck during the night.

They said they urged the city to do something before it began to rain, when the homeless debris would be more difficult to move and much of it would likely start to drift down the stream bed.

Another week went by. Then Vau and Lazaro talked to city public works director Tim Erickson who assured them action was imminent. They had still seen no evidence of a hazardous materials team.

On last Friday the UPD identified the man who had set up the camp and told him he had to clear out. Lazaro says at that point one homeless woman piled her belongings in the Coldwell Banker driveway. Still no action from the city crews.

By 4 p.m. that day, Lazaro called the city and said he was going to load all the homeless debris piled in their parking lot and move it to the nearby city parking lot, which he did. (By Sunday that debris was gone he notes.)

On Saturday the UPD cited the homeless man for camping and warned him that all the debris was about to be removed. They also called Lazaro and urged him not to move any more homeless debris because the homeless man was going to go through it and pick out what he wanted to save and then the city would come and get the rest this week.

Instead, apparently, 1st District County Supervisor John McCowen went into the creek Sunday and cleaned it out, leaving the garbage piled, once again, in the Coldwell Banker parking lot.

McCowen was not available Monday so there is no confirmation that he was responsible although two people the UDJ talked to said it was his doing and that he did alert the city that the pile was there. McCowen has over the years often taken it upon himself to clean up homeless camps in Ukiah creeks and rivers and is generally congratulated for doing so.

After another frustrated phone call from Vau and Lazaro, the city on Monday went to the business and hauled the debris away.

Lazaro and Vau are dumbfounded by the whole experience.

They can’t understand why it took so long to get anything done, and especially why it was thought that dumping the debris from a homeless camp onto a local businesses property was OK.

They said not only was there another pile of garbage on Monday, but their recycle dumpster had also been filled up, largely with non-recyclable materials from the creek.

“We’re disappointed that the city and hazmat didn’t react faster,” Vau said.

“Or have a plan for hauling it away,” added Lazaro.

While both appreciate that McCowen may have acted in desperation to clean up the creek bed as it was raining on Sunday, they say dumping all the garbage in their front yard was not the right decision.

“He could at least have come here this morning or called us to say ‘I’ll get it cleaned up,’” Vau said.

Ukiah City Manager Sage Sangiacomo said Monday that cleaning up homeless camps is a complex problem and can only be done under certain legal procedures including giving advance notice to the homeless, determining what’s trash and what’s belongings and making sure the clean up is safe for workers.

In this case the city decided it was not safe, and asked the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority, which operates hazmat disposal, to do the clean up, which was scheduled for this week.

He added, however, that the city realizes the response time for the business on the cleanup could have been better and the city has put into place new procedures that allow the UPD’s Sawyer, who had been working with Vau and Lazaro, to make the phone call directly to MSWMA rather than going through city department staff first.

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SUPERVISOR MCCOWEN RESPONDED: "Yes, the story is true. It was a mess. I called the property owners to apologize for not at least leaving them a note. A friend and I spent several hours Sunday cleaning up trash at several hot spots in the creekbeds. We were trying to get things cleaned up before the creeks started flowing. It was very nasty, tedious work, especially in the rain. We concentrated on spots that I already knew were trashed, but I wanted to go by the Mason Street culvert because I had just read a newspaper report that campers were cited there. We got to Mason Street just as darkness was setting in and the rain was picking up.

Gibson Creek Culvert
Gibson Creek Culvert

The amount of trash in the culvert under the street was incredible. I did not see how we were going to get it all out of there but we did. Bear in mind we had to work using flashlights and bent over at the waist all the time because there is only about four feet of clearance. I intended from the beginning to load the trash up and haul it away, but by the time we finished hauling it out of the culvert and out of the creek bed we literally ran out of gas. We were soaking wet, dead tired and it was still raining. I decided to notify the City because the street and culvert belong to them. Under the circumstances I thought it was reasonable to ask the City to haul the trash away. I was up late getting ready for a LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) meeting Monday morning. I went by Mason Street after LAFCO with the intention to clean it up if it was still there. What I don't get is why the campers were not cited for leaving all that trash in the creek bed. There is a specific state code that prohibits depositing trash within 100 feet of a stream, not to mention right in the streambed itself. The pallets and all the trash could easily have blocked the next culvert that goes under Perkins Street which would have been a real mess. My experience in dealing with homeless camps is that it is easier to prevent them from getting established than it is to clean up after them. The Mason Street camp proves my point."

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THE REAL QUESTION is why it fell to McCowen to haul the trash out of the creek. The neighboring property owners began calling the City four weeks ago but the Police Department and Public Works were more interested in handing the prob off than in dealing with it themselves. If not for McCowen the trash would have been swept down the creek, into the river, and would be passing through Sonoma County just about now. Or it would have clogged up the culvert creating a dam and backing up water on to who knows what. The basic prob is that privileged judges who inhabit the upper echelons of society and rarely encounter a homeless person have recognized the right of drop fall drunks and crazy people to die on the streets. The rest of us are left to marvel at the public spectacle of watching our fellow human beings commit a form of slo-mo suicide. Before America lost its way such a thing would not have been tolerated.

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On October 29, 2015 at 9:25 PM a Deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office began an investigation into a suspicious situation reported by a parent of a 15 year-old female juvenile in Point Arena. During investigations the Deputy learned the female juvenile had established contact with Thessalonian Catrell Love (25 years-old) of Apple Valley by means of a social networking internet website.


During this time, Love obtained nude photographs of the female juvenile and sent her sexually related messages while reportedly being aware of her age. The Deputy discovered Love had travelled to Point Arena and had made overt attempts on 10-29-2015 to meet with the female juvenile with the intention of the pair leaving the area together. On 10-30-2015 at 1:14 AM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office located Love walking on Port Road in Point Arena. During the contact, Deputies discovered Love was in possession of bus tickets to Southern California supporting the belief that he was attempting to persuade the female juvenile to leave the area with him. Love was arrested for the Penal Code violations of 288.2 PC (Distribution of Lewd Material), 288.3 PC (Intent to Commit Lewd Act with Minor), 288.4 PC (Contact with Minor for Sexual Offense), 311.2 PC (Child Pornography) and 647.6 PC (Annoy or Molest of a Minor). At the time of Love's arrest he was determined to be on active formal probation in San Bernardino County for an arson related offense. Love was booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $200,000 bail. Investigations into this incident are on-going at this time.

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Nov 3, 2015 — The Santa Rosa City Council on Tuesday agreed to spend more than $87,000 to give homeless people a place to use the bathroom and take a shower three days a week.

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On November 4, 2015 at 1:29 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a shooting at an apartment complex located in the 3100 block of North State Street in Ukiah, California. Upon arrival Deputies discovered unknown individual(s) had shot into a specific apartment several times from a location in front of the apartment complex. The apartment was occupied by two adults and two young children at the time of the shooting. None of the occupants were struck by the bullets but the potential for injury was present. Deputies processed the crime scene and are continuing investigations into the incident. At this time a specific motivate for the shooting is undetermined but Deputies believed the shooting to be gang related at this time. Anyone with information that could assist in this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100.

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(Photo submitted by Susie de Castro)

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Ukiah Library is proud to announce a new special collection of Grateful Dead materials, donated to the library by former resident and music aficionado, Rod Moseanko.

The Grateful Dead collection will be on display in Ukiah Library beginning on November 13th and can be borrowed from the display.

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The Mendocino County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission has developed a “Statement on Marijuana and Youth” which we would like to share. Commission members are available to discuss this paper in more detail at your request. If you have any questions, please contact the Mendocino County Juvenile Justice Commission at (707) 467-8257 or by emailing the Commission at

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I teach science in a high school setting. One thing I insist on is using good grammar. However, when I correct a student who uses bad grammar, the response I often get is, “Hey, man, this is science. Why do you care about grammar?” I try to explain that when making an argument from any standpoint, be it science or otherwise, those that have a credible command of the language will be taken more seriously and will be better understood by those in whatever academic area they are addressing. I further state that using good grammar also applies to trade areas, where communication may be exacting for folks that are addressing various safety issues and building codes. There is no room for slang or dialects that do not precisely describe the requirements of the job to be done. It is an uphill battle, especially when educational experts seem to work against such things by minimizing the need to use proper grammar.

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(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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NOVEMBER 3, 2015 – Aaron Peskin was in thank-you mode long before all the ballots were counted. At a little before 10pm, he was thanking his campaign team, his volunteers, his supporters, his wife, his parents … and reminding a crowd at Club Fugazi so packed that the line ran well out the door that “this isn’t about putting me back in City Hall, it’s about putting you back in City Hall.”

Already, with just the absentees and a few election-day votes counted, it was clear: Mayor Ed Lee’s appointee was losing, badly.

An hour later, with all the precincts counted, Peskin had 53 percent of the vote, with Christensen at 43 percent. Wilma Pang had about 4 percent.

That means the city’s Ranked Choice Voting program won’t matter: Peskin has more than the majority he needs to win the election.

It was a stunning defeat for Mayor Ed Lee and his allies, who spent immense amounts of time and money trying to keep Christensen in office.

And it wasn’t the only shocker for the mayor: Lee, as expected, won the election – but with only 56 percent of the vote. Lee’s opponents had essentially no money; none had ever run for political office before, and they were unknown to most of the voters. But together, they got 44 percent of the vote.

That’s incredible. When Tom Ammiano – a School Board member and president of the Board of Supervisors – took on Willie Brown in a serious campaign that forced the incumbent to work hard, Brown did better than Lee did tonight.

The fact that a group of candidates who frankly came out of nowhere kept Lee below that number – and close to the level where RCV would have come in to play – shows the deep discontent this city has with its leader.

The anybody-but-Lee vote was enough to indicate that if a major contender had challenged the mayor, he or she might have won. So even though the Chron had already announced – before the votes were counted – that Lee had a mandate, the voters told a very different story.

“If a sitting mayor with no serious opposition can’t get above 60 percent, it’s a sign of very serious weakness,” one longtime political observer at the Peskin event told me.

The D3 result is also a sign that the city is sick of having tech lords like Ron Conway call the shots.

The mayor, it’s now clear, made a big mistake by appointing Christensen to the board seat instead of Cindy Wu, a planning commissioner and community activist who would have easily won re-election. There are lots of theories about why the mayor went back on what many say had been a promise and refused to appoint Wu, but the one that makes the most sense to me is that Conway didn’t want her. Wu voted on the Planning Commission to more tightly regulate Airbnb, one of Conway’s companies.

That led to a major rift in the mayor’s political alliance, with Rose Pak, who had long been Lee’s biggest cheerleader, siding with Peskin.

In fact, Chinatown – where Lee is said to be immensely popular – was a major factor in Peskin’s win. “We could not have done this without Chinatown,” he said.

The mayor will take credit, as he should, for the victory of Prop. A, the affordable housing bond. It’s hard to get 66 percent for any bond measure, and this one won easily.

But he will now face a Board of Supervisors five members of which supported Peskin, who will be the sixth vote to change the majority on the board.

That’s critical, because the other progressive measures, particularly Props. F and I, went down in a tsunami of Airbnb and developer money.

That’s not a surprise – when Airbnb threw more than $8 million into the No on F campaign, everyone figured it would be hard to beat. And the real-estate industry spent a vast amount to try to stop a temporary moratorium on market-rate housing in the Mission.

But now everything is different.

The neighborhood and tenant groups who want to better regulate Airbnb will now be able to bring the essence of their measure – enforcement – to the supervisors and get six votes. Land use in the Mission will no longer be a hopeless cause at City Hall.

So the mayor lost big tonight. And if he wants to have any success in his next term, he has to recognize that a sizable percentage of the city, probably a majority, is deeply unhappy with what he has done to San Francisco.

(Tim Redmond, 48 Hills)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 4, 2015

Alcantor-Silva, Byrne, Cevallos, Fowler
Alcantor-Silva, Byrne, Cevallos, Fowler

LORENZO ALCANTOR-SILVA, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, sale-transport-furnish, conspiracy, no license.

PATRICK BYRNE, Ukiah. Vandalism.

JOSE CEVALLOS, San Diego/Calpella. Pot possession for sale, armed with firearm, possession of money for drug transaction, conspiracy.

TIMOTHY FOWLER, Healdsburg/Calpella. Conspiracy.

Gray, Jimenez, Kahaulelio
Gray, Jimenez, Kahaulelio

ROBERT GRAY, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

BRANDON JIMENEZ, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, sale-transport-furnish, suspended license, proceeds of drug transactions, conspiracy.

KAYLA KAHAULELIO, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Check forgery, failure to appear.

Pierce, Rosillo, Sanders, Sandoval
Pierce, Rosillo, Sanders, Sandoval

NICHOLAS PIERCE, San Diego/Calpella. Pot possession for sale, armed with firearm, possession of money for drug transaction, conspiracy.

ALBERTO ROSILLO, Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, resisting.

KEVIN SANDERS, Serman-Grayson, Texas/Calpella. Conspiracy.

MARIO SANDOVAL, San Francisco/Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, resisting.

Torres, Wilcox, Young
Torres, Wilcox, Young

RAMIRO TORRES, Redwood Valley. Pot possession for sale, sale-transport-furnish, proceeds of drug transactions, conspiracy probtion revocation.

AMBER WILCOX, Covelo/Willits. Drunk in public.

ELIZABETH YOUNG, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

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by Dan Bacher

As the public comment period for the California Water Fix came a close on Halloween Eve, Governor Jerry Brown issued a three-sentence statement praising the plan to build the massive Delta Tunnels, referring to them as "the Delta pipeline."

“The Delta pipeline is essential to completing the California Water Project and protecting fish and water quality. Without this fix, San Joaquin farms, Silicon Valley and other vital centers of the California economy will suffer devastating losses in their water supply," Brown claimed.

He then slammed opponents of the controversial tunnels plan by stating, "Claims to the contrary are false, shameful and do a profound disservice to California’s future.”

As the Governor's Office was sending out the statement, a coalition of conservation, fishing and environmental justice groups and elected leaders gave their “closing argument” against the proposed Delta Tunnels at a press conference held on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento. They said controversy over the project, which could cost upwards of $68 billion, has only grown since the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers issued scathing comments blasting the draft EIR for the project in October 2014.

To refresh your memory, a "Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (RDEIR/ SDEIS)" was released on July 10, 2015 and a new round of public comments began.

The coalition announced that 30,000 comments were submitted by California individuals and organizations AGAINST the re-proposed Delta Tunnels plan.

This is 18,000 more than the 12,000 letters of support for the California Water Fix that the corporate agribusiness-backed "coalition" called the "Californians for Retirement Security" announced the day before they had gathered from tunnels proponents.

Delta Tunnels will violate an array of laws

The speakers explained how the new Recirculated EIR will violate an array of laws, including the Delta Reform Act of 2009, the federal Clean Water Act, the federal Endangered Species Act, the California Constitution, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) and numerous administrative codes under CEQA and NEPA. They said the environmental report is once again incomplete and inadequate after nine years and one-quarter of a billion dollars has been spent.

Speakers asked Governor Brown to listen to Californians and end his push for the Delta Tunnels, once and for all. Speakers also explained how the Delta Tunnels will continue the trend towards centralization of the state’s water supply, at a time when regional resilience should be the goal.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, kicked off the press conference by announcing, “Today we are proud to announce that 30,000 Californians, from every background, have submitted public comments against the Delta Tunnels! Governor Brown, the people of California are not convinced."

"We have done our homework and read the 48,000 pages you asked us to when you told us to 'Shut Up.' We have decided we do not want to spend $60 billion to export more water from the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary to the top one-percent of big industrial growers and special interest water districts," she explained.

"We do not want a project that does not meet Clean Water Act or Endangered Species Act standards. We do not want a project that will decimate our regional economy. What we do want is sustainable solutions to California's water challenges based on recycling, conservation, stormwater capture, groundwater recharge, and local water projects that create jobs," she said.

She also discussed a new document that exposes the real goals of the Kern County Water Agency (KCWA) — "unlimited water, on demand, with few environmental restrictions."

"In their drafted public comments letter on the Recirculated EIR/S for the Delta Tunnels, the Kern County Water Agency reveals the true goals of agricultural water exporters -- unlimited water supplies, even if it violates the federal Endangered Species and Clean Water Acts," she noted.

In the letter KWCA declares appreciation for this revised draft because they believe it is “an important” first step toward creating a workable solution for their agency. Yet, they still want more; otherwise, the project is not “economically feasible," according to Barrigan Parrilla. ( )

State Senator Cathleen Galgiani followed Barrigan-Parrilla, affirming her opposition to the Delta Tunnels Plan.

“Notwithstanding the recent changes to the tunnel plan, I must remain opposed to it for both economic and environmental reasons," she emphasized. "The research has convincingly demonstrated how the tunnel plan is not economically justified and is financially infeasible without a substantial taxpayer subsidy. Many of the reported benefits of the “WaterFix” project include unrealistic and inaccurate comparisons of conditions without the tunnels."

"It is imperative that we look at many options with regards to long- term water policy. Any long-term plan including Delta tunnels will need to provide much more compelling economic, environmental and increased water supply arguments in order to be beneficial to the Delta and the State," Senator Galgiani concluded.

Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman then noted that the "tunnels do nothing to increase water supply. They do nothing but cause further conflict in California."

The Delta is in peril — extinction is forever

Robert Wright, Senior Counsel for Friends of the River, emphasized the extreme ecological crisis that the San Francisco Bay-Delta is in now, with winter Run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, Central Valley steelhead, green sturgeon and other species nearing extinction.

“This is an emergency," said Wright. "The San Francisco Bay-Delta is in peril. Extinction is forever. This Tunnels project must either be dropped, or the ‘Water Fix’ agencies must issue new, honest documents under the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Policy Act that will disclose the cons of the Water Tunnels as well as tout the claimed pros and thus serve as a basis for meaningful review and consideration by the public. The lying has to stop.”

Tim Sloane, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, stated, "It's not rocket science: our salmon and our Delta Estuary need fresh water to survive. The Tunnels would hijack that water and deprive all but a fraction of Californians of its benefits. It's just a big straw with public trust resources on the Delta end, and industrial agribusiness sucking on the other."

"This is our water," said Mike Hudson, commercial salmon fishermen and a director of the Small Boat Commercial Fishermens' Association, referring to the water in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River watershed. "The current administration of the water by the state and federal governments doesn't work for us. My industry is at the edge of collapse because of the way the water is managed. Every year, even in good years, we need to fight for water for salmon."

People of color and non-English speakers excluded from process

Espe Vielma, from Environmental Justice Advisory Group for the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District, said the California Water Fix and Bay Delta Conservation Plan processes have been excluded many people of color and non-English speakers.

“It's sad that there were few public comments from the Environmental Justice community," she stated. "Forty percent of Californians speak languages other than English at home; twenty percent of Californians speak Spanish at home. Our communities cannot comment on what they cannot read."

"Did the Delta Tunnels agencies refuse to translate the plan because too many Spanish speakers would join the fight to stop the tunnels?” she asked.

Rogene Reynolds, the President of the Restore the Delta Board of Directors and Delta landowner, ended the press conference by stating, "We are reaching out to Governor Brown. We are not telling him to 'shut up' like he told us to several months ago — we are asking him to listen."

On the day before, Californians for Water Security, touted the alleged benefits of the California Water Fix in a press release.

“The broad and diverse coalition supporting the Governor’s plan to fix our aging water distribution system represents strong majorities of Californians who want to secure our state’s water supply,” said Cesar Diaz, Legislative Director of the State Building and Construction Trades of California. “Working families and all Californians need reliable access to water whether we are in a historic drought or saving water during wet times for the future.”

Californians for Water Security — not a "broad and diverse coalition

However, this "broad and diverse coalition" included only one "environmental" NGO, the Natural Heritage Institute, no environmental justice organizations, no fishing groups and not one single California Indian Tribe. In a classic case of institutional racism against Indigenous Peoples, both federally recognized and non-recognized Tribes have marginalized and excluded in both the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and California Water Fix processes. The 150 organizations in the pro-tunnels coalition did include agribusiness groups, water agencies, Chambers of Commerce, business organizations, construction unions and some community organizations.

The Governor and his allies are pushing the Delta Tunnels Plan at a time when Sacramento winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other imperiled fish species are getting closer and closer to the dark abyss of extinction. If preliminary figures released by the National Marine Fisheries Service this week are confirmed, this would be the second year in a row that nearly all of the juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon perished in lethally warm water conditions on the Sacramento River, due to the over- appropriation of water to agribusiness.

“The bottom line is they (the state and federal regulators) ignored the law,” Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Projection Alliance told the Sacramento Bee. “We’ve over- appropriated and over-promised, and this is the result.” ( )

Everybody who cares about West Coast salmon fisheries, the Bay-Delta Estuary and ocean ecosystem, the public trust, Delta and Sacramento Valley farming, environmental justice, Tribal water rights, fair water rates for Southern California ratepayers and the future of California must oppose Jerry Brown's Delta Death Tunnels! For more information, go to:

Finally, check out the great Rage Against the Tunnels music video, "Get Fracked," about the tunnels scheme:

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Long distance runner, what you standin' there for?

Get up, get out, get out of the door

Your playin' cold music on the barroom floor

Drowned in your laughter and dead to the core.

There's a dragon with matches that's loose on the town

Takes a whole pail of water just to cool him down.


Fire! Fire on the mountain!


Almost ablaze still you don't feel the heat

It takes all you got just to stay on the beat.

You say it's a livin', we all gotta eat

But you're here alone, there's no one to compete.

If Mercy's a bus'ness, I wish it for you

More than just ashes when your dreams come true.


Fire! Fire on the mountain!


Long distance runner, what you holdin' out for?

Caught in slow motion in a dash for the door.

The flame from your stage has now spread to the floor

You gave all you had. Why you wanna give more?

The more that you give, the more it will take

To the thin line beyond which you really can't fake.


Fire! Fire on the mountain!

— The Grateful Dead

* * *


I spend a lot of time on the road with Hillary, so I can tell you firsthand -- nothing makes her face light up like getting to spend time with her supporters. People like you who are giving your time and energy to this campaign mean so much to her, and I know she wishes she could tell you that in person.

 She’s really excited for a little dinner party we have coming up. The campaign is flying out a few members of this team to meet Hillary for dinner on the campaign trail. You should be there. 

Add your name before midnight for a chance to win a free trip to have dinner with Hillary!


Huma Abedin

Vice Chair, Hillary for America

* * *


Subject: Jesus, David Steffen, where to start?

David Steffen wrote to

Marco, it would be useful if you would spend a little time fact-checking. To begin, start with facts.

First, you suggest that KZYX salaries are unknown. The GM's salary is (and has been) known for years. It's been published on the KZYX website and continues to be published on the KZYX website: $54,000 (look at the IRS form 990).

Second, you state (as if there's a basis for it) that "a good guess for what David Steffen, the "business underwriting coordinator", was paid is in the $40,000 to $50,000 range."


As usual you fail to report that, as I announced at a board meeting last spring, I'm paid a salary equivalent to $15.00 per hour, the oft-cited "living wage" in Northern California. Do the math. That puts my income at $31,200. That's assuming I worked only 40 hours per week. I wish. The reality is that I work more like 60 hours per week. If you doubt that this was announced publicly, feel free to check with the AVA's reporter who was in attendance.

Third, as for "vilifying … people," perhaps you're referring to the KZYX board meeting in Willits where I asked one board member to apologize for his unprovoked personal attacks. He would not. I asked that same board member to apologize to a contributing member of the station for telling that member to "go fuck yourself." He offered no apology for that either.

* * *

Marco McLean here. Okay, David, facts. John Coate was paid $60,000 a year since he demanded a ten-plus-percent raise in 2013. That's the equivalent of 1200 yearly $50 memberships. Adding just your cut, and Mary Aigner's cut, brings the amount paid to the bosses in the bunker to more money than contributed by the entire membership list. John Coate is gone now, but the problem is still there.

You are a big fat liar, lying like a rug when you tell members and the public that they're supporting the station and "keeping the great shows on the air" when they give money. None of the membership's money helps the station in any way. All of our money goes directly into your pockets.

Second, David, if in fact you personally are getting $31,200, what are you doing in return for that? Honestly, if you were to take a month or two off and not tell anyone, would the sky fall? Would the gears of the world grind to a halt? Would anyone even notice? Does your entire job of being "business underwriting coordinator" raise even enough money to pay you? What is the point of you?

I said that airpeople should be paid as much per hour as the oppressive and superfluous bosses. You replied that you're being paid $15 an hour. The airpeople are currently getting nothing. Wouldn't it be better to give your $15/hour to the person on the air, the one who's actually doing radio? Paying the airpeople is not a daunting task. The bookkeeper has a program in her computer that can do it handily with a little nudging once a month and a spare toner cartridge to print checks when the one in the printer runs out in three years. It's not as though you haven't got an air schedule showing when everyone is there and for how long. Little local theater companies have no trouble paying stipends to actors and directors and crew that change like a kaleidoscope.

That goes for Mary, too. And John Campbell. Fact: every office task, every form that needs to be filled out, every FCC report and music publisher's report and maintenance and business task required of KZYX is also required of KNYO and KMEC. Let's compare: KNYO's Bob Young does the job of everyone in your entire office, David, and he does it for no pay, and he accomplishes this in an hour or two per week. The entire operating budgets (including management) of KNYO and KMEC put together don't add up to $25,000 a year. The people paying for memberships in KZYX are being ripped off. The taxpayers, who've supported KZYX to the tune of FOUR MILLION DOLLARS over the last quarter century, are being ripped off.

I've been told that comparing KZYX to other little stations is comparing apples and oranges, but it's just not. The main difference between KZYX and KNYO is that KZYX has a bigger transmitter, so it costs KZYX about $500 per month for electricity. Another big difference is, and allow me to repeat this fact: the operation of KZYX is entirely paid for at least twice over by the annual Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant, and KNYO and KMEC get nothing and must fend for themselves, and we manage to do it and stay in the black.

David, when yez all apologize to the public for the bollocks you've made of what should be the public resource of MCPB's county-spanning three noncommercial educational band frequencies, then I'll get around to consoling you for being all butt-hurt because people your gang has been bullying for years point it out in print and swear back at you.

PS. I see that Liz points out that the job of a program director is to keep the flow of programming going. A fair point. Maybe such a functionary was necessary in the days when people rode horses to Washington to vote, and coordinating the washtub-and-Jew's-harp bands' entrances on stage and wrangling the jumping poodle show was a full time job. But here in the future what keeps the flow of programming going is the airpeople showing up to do their shows, and the computer — no more complicated to set a timer on than your phone — switching on the distant and recorded shows, and switching automatically to a time-appropriate Plan B show on the extremely rare occasion of an airperson getting a flat tire and being a little late or falling asleep drunk, or whatever. Paying Mary Aigner $50,000 a year, if that's what she's getting, to sit there and watch the computer blink is phenomenally stupid. $50,000 would easily maintain the entire station and cover everything. Everything. Including paying for the NPR shows.

PPS. I see that Jim Heid feels that Mary Aigner is worth every penny she sucks out of KZYX because when she's present she presses the print button when disaster reports come in on the fax machine.

If for legal or fax-machine-tending reasons there needs to be continuous human occupation at the station, that human should be an old retired radio engineer. KMFB used to provide trailer space, electricity and a septic hookup for the engineer, who lived and kept his shop there, maintained his hobby and personal business of building and fixing things, and whenever something went wrong with the broadcast booth's electronics or a computer or the transmitter itself he was right on it. And if something came up in the way of a natural disaster or local emergency, he would answer the phone and get on the mic and deal with that too. There were several of that type over the years, all of them more knowledgeable, useful and valuable than any of you in the office of KZYX. And that's a fact.

Bob Woelfel managed KMFB for most of those years. He's still around. He should be managing KZYX. If anyone on the board of MCPB had a brain in his or her head, Bob would be there tomorrow.

* * *


Below please find the job description for Program Director that was recently posted for another NPR affiliate station that is not KZYX.

Kindly note that KZYX Program Director, Mary Aigner, doesn't perform even half of the duties described in the post. When I had a show at KZYX, Aigner didn't help me pick topics, schedule guests, produce content, or thank guests. She didn't even know how to archive shows.

Add to that incompetence that Aigner really reports to no one, and this has been the case for the last 20 years.

Why? Because she has every KZYX General Manager and MCPB Executive Director either intimidated or fooled. And because Aigner interferes with Board elections by recruiting candidates, making endorsements, and getting out the vote, the Board is handpicked by her. The Board's only true function is fundraising.

Also, Aigner keeps no work logs. No time logs. She comes and goes as she pleases. She submits to no formal job performance evaluation -- an annual job review. KZYX doesn't even have a formal job description like that found below to measure Aigner's performance.

A typical day? Aigner comes in late. She comes in at 10 a.m. or later. She spends ma lot of time on personal email. Spends a lot of time Internet surfing. She a lot of time on the phone on personal calls. Spends a lot of time disparaging those who want to reform the station and return it to a true public radio model. She spends a lot of time strategizing against those very same public radio activists. She chain smokes throughout the day at picnic table at patio where staff have their lunch and takes frequent breaks. She thwarts any effort to form a vital and strong Community Advisory Board and Program Advisory Committee. She intimidates programmers with sanctions and the loss of their shows, thereby keeping them compliant and docile. She purges her critics who are programmers.

When listeners give their hard-earned dollars to become members, they don't support KZYX. They support the staff who work there. They support Aigner. Aigner gets paid first. She gets paid before the light bill gets paid.

What's the solution?

KMEC's business model is all-volunteer. KZYX can do it, too.

If not all-volunteer, then at least KZYX should pay the news staff and technical staff for hours actually worked. KZYX does not need a highly paid, salaried General Manager and Executive Director. We do not need a highly paid, salaried Program Director.

Remember, half of KZYX's annual budget of $550,000 goes to salaries and benefits.

That's obscene for a small market like us.

Withhold your pledge to KZYX until we get meaningful change. Support true public radio by supporting KMEC, KNYO, and KMUD.

Thank you.

John Sakowicz

MCPB Board of Trustees, 2013--2016, Board Treasurer, 2014

* * *

Position Summary:

Program Director-Content Manager for NPR member station will be responsible for all programming produced, acquired, & distributed, as well as content created for (2) web sites, & the programming of Radio Reading Service. Keeps station's programming and content services compliant with all rules and regulations as stipulated by all regulatory agencies as required.

Main areas of responsibility:

Audience- -


Supervision of Staff.

Follows national, regional, and local trends in public radio broadcasting to assist with successfully programming the radio services. Determines which forms of traditional and new media are being used and how they are used by audiences. Implements strategies to best target desired audiences. Responsible for overseeing broadcast and digital media content and programming of both radio services. Duties:

  1. Evaluate new & existing programs for suitability. .
  2. Responsible for all air shifts. Fills in when needed for any air shift on any program on both services.
  3. Plan and schedule programming and event coverage.
  4. Seek out and select programming for broadcast from vendors.
  5. Maintains contracts for broadcast rights.
  6. Develops ideas for programs & features.
  7. Develops promotions.
  8. Monitors network advisories.
  9. Monitors & reviews programming.
  10. Responsible web site content- current and updated.
  11. Maintaining and increasing effectiveness of various social media platforms, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  12. Gathers web site and digital platform analytical data.
  13. Develops & adheres to budgets
  14. Representative in industry organizations such as Public Radio Program Directors ( PRPD).
  15. Compiles Issues & Programs list, quarterly, for FCC public file.
  16. Creates & submits reports to Sound Exchange, BMI, ASCAP, and others.
  17. Oversees annual inventory of compact discs for audits.
  18. Works w/ NPR Digital to maintain and up-date web site functions.
  19. The PD-CM supervises programming department heads and oversees supporting staff.
  20. Manages: News Director, Operations Director, Music Director, Music Hosts (all genres).
  21. Manages part-time staff: fill-in and weekend on-air hosts, Radio Reading Service manager, contract producers creating proprietary programming.
  22. Confers with direct reports.
  23. Works with News Director regarding news and information content. News Director (ND) is responsible for the day-to-day news.
  24. Works with Music Director regarding music content Music Director is responsible for the day-to-day music content.
  25. Works with Music Director to ensure that the music library and database program are properly maintained and kept up-to-date.
  26. Works with Operations Director and/or Chief Engineer to ensure that the traffic & scheduling software program is properly maintained and kept up-to-date.
  27. Co-ordinates activities between departments.
  28. Acts as a liaison between departments.
  29. Performs personnel duties such as hiring, staff evaluations, etc.
  30. Performs or oversees training of on-air staff.
  31. Oversees work schedules and on-air scheduling in co-ordination with news/music directors.
  32. Participates in all on-air fund-raising activities, either live and/or recorded, such as:
  33. Producing on-air pitch spots.
  34. Producing on-air pitching.
  35. Performing On-air pitching, live and recorded.
  36. Co-ordination of air staff for on-air pitching.
  37. Acquiring pitch spots and content from national hosts, reporters, and personalities. Includes NPR, APM, PRI, independents, etc.
  38. Represents the station at public events when and where needed
  39. Works with Chief Engineer and Operations Director to maintain the station's Radio Reading Service programming and sub-carrier broadcasts.

Required Qualifications: 
* Exceptional interpersonal leadership and communication skills

* Extensive experience and success in public radio programming and public media content management.

* Network level on-air skills and ability to fill in as needed on any hosting or reporting shift, including news, music, and entertainment

* Understanding of audience research tools and data, and practical application of such.

* Network level production skills.

* Supervisory experience of both personnel and resources.

* Budget creation and budget management experience.

* Excellent writing and editing skills for broadcast, print, and electronic media platforms.

* Computer literate with well-rounded knowledge of basic essential software programs, i.e. Word, Excel, etc.

* Working knowledge of and understanding of new and emerging digital and other new media content distribution platforms.

* Must be able to work within a state university structure.

* Ability to work in a varied schedule environment.

* Bachelor's degree or equivalent level training/experience.

Preferred Qualifications: 
Experience in on-air fundraising planning and production.


  1. Jim Updegraff November 5, 2015

    Grist Creek Aggregates fine: In reading Stupidvisor Woodhouse’s comments and actions on this issue one can only conclude this clown is a real piece of work. He should be recalled from the Board.

    • Lazarus November 5, 2015

      You must be pals with Billy G…?

  2. Harvey Reading November 5, 2015

    Given the troubles I’ve had in my dealings with the overworshiped “small businesses” over the years, I can’t help laughing at the approval of the dollar store or whatever chain it is.

    There are reasons that people shop at Wal-Marts and Costcos that have nothing to do with slightly lower prices: they grew up in areas with nothing but small businesses and got fed up with peddlers — and their self-entitled, snot-nosed kids — who looked down their noses at customers from the “wrong” class. And, guess what? They do NOT create jobs. Demand creates jobs. Peddlers just set up shop where demand exists, or where they think it might exist, and most, about 99 percent, go under during the first three years, mostly because they guessed wrong about demand, or they were incompetent.

  3. Harvey Reading November 5, 2015

    A fifteen-year-old who sends nude pictures of herself to a guy is NOT a kid. We need to revamp our out-of-date, one-size-fits-all laws regarding age of consent. And, Christofascists need to butt out of the process.

  4. Harvey Reading November 5, 2015


    Do people really fall for this BS? Remember Libya, where she bellowed, “We came, we saw, he died,” or some such, in the wake of turning the most progressive African state into just another chaotic, dangerous mess? Hillary is a war criminal who should be in prison for life, or awaiting execution.

  5. Pam Partee November 5, 2015

    I would think that the Redwood Valley folks opposed to Dollar General would have put their energy into convincing Dollar General to change their store facade and downsize their signage to blend with the rural environs rather than oppose them altogether after the fact of commercial building site approval.

    • Lazarus November 5, 2015

      Exactly Ms. Partee, but RV folk seem to feel the town center has a certain ambiance? That comment by a resident I found very odd…Ambiance you say…what ambiance?
      Regardless, the market place will dictate the commerce Dollar General receives or does not. Personal prediction is, (if the store really opens) success, straight up.
      Franchises do studies on this stuff way before they ever approach the governing bodies, bottom-line is, they know it’s going to work.
      As always,

  6. Stephen Rosenthal November 5, 2015

    Re: Online Comment of the Day

    I once asked a friend of mine, a high school teacher certified in numerous science disciplines and thrice voted Teacher of the Year in his district, what he was teaching next year. “Morons,” was his immediate response. ‘Nuf said.

  7. Jim Updegraff November 5, 2015

    Comment of the Day: when my grandchildren and great grand children talk to me about school. I tell them to be successful in what ever career they may pursue they must be good communicators – take all the courses offered in English and effective speaking – and an absolute must – get on the school’s debating team. Also, read the classic novels. I also suggest 4 years of Latin would be very helpful.

  8. james marmon November 5, 2015

    One Thing Leads to Another

    By The Fixx

    The deception with tact, just what are you trying to say?
    You’ve got a blank face, which irritates
    Communicate, pull out your party piece
    You see dimensions in two
    State your case with black or white
    But when one little cross leads to shots, grit your teeth
    You run for cover so discreet, why don’t they:

    Do what they say, say what you mean
    One thing leads to another
    You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long
    But then one thing leads to another.

    The impression that you sell
    Passes in and out like a scent
    But the long face that you see comes from living close
    To your fears
    If this is up then I’m up but you’re running out of sight
    You’ve seen your name on the walls
    And when one little bump leads to shock miss a beat
    You run for cover and there’s heat, why don’t they:

    Do what they say, say what they mean
    One thing leads to another
    You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long
    But then one thing leads to another
    One thing leads to another

    Then it’s easy to believe
    Somebody’s been lying to me
    But when the wrong word goes in the right ear
    I know you’ve been lying to me
    It’s getting rough, off the cuff I’ve got to say enough’s enough

    Bigger the harder he falls
    But when the wrong antidote is like a bulge on the throat
    You runs for cover in the heat why don’t they

    Do what they say, say what they mean
    One thing leads to another
    You tell me something wrong, I know I listen too long
    But then one thing leads to another
    One thing leads to another
    One thing leads to another

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