- Aigner Resignation
- FB Nuked
- Begging-Bowl Olympics
- FB Rape
- Diver Death
- Slain Parents
- Bond Interest
- Warrant Wednesday
- Eternal Palace
- Darwin's Book
- Asphalt Negotiations
- Yesterday's Catch
- Troy Fletcher
- Moscariello Art
- Future Faith
- Dollar Threat
- Hospice Fundraiser
- Inland Singalong
- Smash Tournament
- Quiz Answers
KZYX PROGRAM DIRECTOR, MARY AIGNER, TO RESIGN
Everyone who has come through the door at KZYX in living memory knows what Mary Aigner looks like. Just about anyone who has ever listened to the station knows what she sounds like. That voice asks questions, tells stories, sells pumpkin-flavored stucco, and reels off Mendocino musical lore like it belongs to a living encyclopedia. There is just a little bit of a slide into a diphthong when its owner says, “You’re listening to kayee-zee-wye-ex;” at which point, you know you’re in good hands, because even if the earth cracks open and the station falls in, the voice at the mic will continue informing you what you are hearing and why it’s so good.
By the end of January, that voice will be replaced by another. As of January 30th, Mary Aigner will resign her position as Program Director at KZYX.
“If the radio’s on, I’m working,” Aigner said, before describing just how much work it was to get a program on the air in 1993, when she started working “very part-time” as underwriting manager. Programmers then had to physically cut recordings that existed in material space, using tools they held in their hands. They had to time things so they happened in real time. According to programmer Jerry Karp, who drifted in while Aigner was being interviewed, the station had “one Mac Plus, but every room had an abacus.”
This led to a detailed discussion of DACS machines, with their tractor feed printers. Karp remembered seeing them in certain chain stores when he was young. “Fascinating!” Aigner exclaimed. Karp looked puzzled. “Are you saying the topic of DACS machines at grocery stores in the 70’s is fascinating?” he verified.
She was. Aigner is interested in everything and everyone. According to former General Manager John Coate, she has an “uncanny ability” to reel in good programmers. She is always recruiting, always keeping an eardrum peeled for a voice that “can do radio that people actually want to listen to.”
She should know. Aigner herself is a professional listener, taking in the nuances of tales about drag queens, acid kings, and “the archetypes within” at every community radio station. She claims “you never know who’s hiding in the hills;” but she knows Captain Clearlight, Mama Bear Scott, and what ‘Lilly-Jack’ means in Boont. If you say the words, “Native American women’s chorus,” Aigner says, “Ulali,” and comes up with a recording.
This expert listener is keeping her plans quiet for now, but she divulged that “I do intend to keep doing my music show and have a project in mind that I’d like to pursue, so I do intend to stay involved.”
We at KZYX are grateful that she has been involved for as long as she has. That voice has guided our chorus for so long, and trained so many of the voices that remain. Thank you for your decades, Mary Aigner. Tune in any time. We hope you’ll keep listening.
Stuart Campbell, Interim Executive Director & General Manager
PO Box 1, Philo CA 95466
by Rex Gressett
The city council met Monday and the city was subjected to a nuclear option power play by Linda Ruffing and the city machine. They played it to a packed house of preordered supporters, mainly social services servitors and functionaries, with a few blind to the facts advocates of authoritarian machine politics.
The place was packed. But lurking in the awareness of all of them was the far greater number of disenfranchised ripped off and pissed off voters, who were not there as a matter of policy and that had against every encumbrance obstruction and obstacle that city hall could throw at them finally gotten their election. A day in the court of the people.
Linda Ruffing was grim, a commander under fire. A woman by the by of keen intelligence who I think understands far better than the dopey city council what she is getting into in this election and what she has done to the city by her outrageous governance, that is to say by skirting the law, shamelessly manipulating the city council, muzzling the (horribly willing) newspaper, stacking the meetings, lying to the council and many other creative and entertaining dirty ticks. She keeps a guy on his feet. Truly she is a polished and professional liar.
Monday Night Linda pushed every power button she had. In an audacious and almost mad, but effective gamble she staked everything on a public demonstration that won very big Monday night. Tuesday morning Linda was asking herself what it would cost.
Her power play was direct and effective. She simply corrupted the city attorney.
Samatha Zutler trotted out her trust me I am a kitten professional best and slammed the law and her job discretion around like an all star wrestler whipping the hell out of a skinny pigmy. (Perhaps not my best metaphor). We are indeed fortunate in Fort Bragg that we have a sharp attorney to tell the people how to vote. She put her points with her own unique syrupy cuteness strangely appropriate to the conveyance of deception.
Point: Discriminates against the homeless, (wrong and wrong at law) it stops Ortner.
Point: waste of money, (wrong) hearing the voice of our community in a profoundly contentious issue by free election is the best money city hall ever spent.
Point: It will be deemed Illegal and unenforceable, (wrong) according to the attorneys for the opposition, dead wrong. But thank you Ms. Zutler if the powerful and those that hold the public trust could get a few lawyers as abject and unethical as you are, we could dispense with courts altogether. No more courts just Zutler. I know Scott Menz would favor a thrifty reform like that. Zutler has a future. But it may be in jail.
And best of all the surprise Nuke. In a surprise interpretation wholly unsuspected by the framers of the initiative or any party so far we were informed that this is not a zoning ordinance that affects only one social services scam. Hey our astute city council told us, if we (the city machine) wanted to, by the power invested in us by imputation in this damnable ordinance we could make life a trifle more difficult for every social service agency. OMG. This creative interpretation of the proposed ordinance is indeed possible if and when a city government wanted to commit suicide by needlessly hassling everybody. They would not have to do it, but they could. Therefore they unanimously concluded, this Initiative is actually a sly and diabolical attack on the very edifice of social service. Horrible.
Linda was doubtless satisfied with the performance of her pet attorney. Not so much, I am suspecting, the attorney general and the bar association and a half dozen other organizations and institutions are the recipients of both Zutler performances by email played to the accompaniment of the rage and outrage of opposition voters in the city.
It is too late for that kind of bare knuckles lawlessness Ms. Zutler the people of the city are hip. What you are dismissing is a public election. What you are pronouncing as law had better come about, If we win the election and the case too, your career will be over. Big surprise, Linda, the career maker you have sold out to, will professionally not care.
Sorry Samantha, for sure the election will occur, and we accept that it will go to court but the part that you got so clearly and logically wrong is that retroactivity is not unknown to the law, but, determined when it is invoked on precisely the kind of voracious overriding of the public interest that your boys are pulling.
But no one thought of any of that in the Monday night power lie and screw the people contest. The contrived crowd was predictably captivated. They believed the city attorney implicitly of course, who would not? so did the city council. Lawsuits discrimination, lions and tigers and bears. The Zutler pronouncements were delivered to the people of the city in oracular solemnity. This she says is the law. A very brazen and actually daring career move. But was it wise? Probably. In the wider world which she understands much better than I do, obsequious misrepresentation is no doubt highly marketable. Of course when the opposition prevails she wont work in Fort Bragg. We will certainly win the election and very likely the court case.
But Monday it was a rout. The opposition voters have long since given up on city council meetings. So they were not there. The social services world and Scott Menz and his Go buddies were.
Suffice to say they triumphed triumphantly. Every city council member caved in like wet cardboard. Lindy and Mike went down in disgrace (on this one issue). Very nice public manipulation Linda, very expert. But crazy. She has to know what the city council momentarily forgot, that absolutely the contrived scene at town hall does not matter. Mike's deluge of phone calls dose not matter electorally. They were every one Go brats. The real people are going to vote and not for not trying clever Linda was just not able to stop that. We forced her to go nuclear. So who is winning? The people of Fort Bragg are going to talk anyway. Can’t stop it. And consequently they are going to find out for themselves in free public discourse that Linda is lying about everything including the intention and proposed application of the law. People have until June (just enough time) to really discover the depth of what she did. Our city manager deliberately skirted the law, made deals and hid the facts from the public. In the heat of debate they will discover that she did indeed brazenly corrupt the ethical practice of governance in Fort Bragg to achieve illicit objectives.
And one word about the people that came to the meeting. I approve of it entirely, and of the expression of their pious views. I hammer the city because I care about it. I do not care about the social services industry as it is called, so I leave it out of my raves. To slightly correct that I note about them that the sometimes vicious, always indifferent manipulation of the poor for profit is what the social services industry does. Sometimes they try to help, rarely, sometimes they do help, more rarely, mostly they just have jobs.
Agencies of public succor grow out of real needs and of course sometimes visionaries and people with insight do manifest clever and useful ideas about social cooperation. Sometimes folks get together and put into practice good ideas. It happens. But in dismal Fort Bragg, down in the trenches, creativity is distinctly of secondary importance to job security. I think it fair to observe it of the weeping saints that came to decry the bigotry of the people of the city, that the exploding money machine of federal dollars and psychotropic drugs does truthfully attract profiteers. In a no-economy economy those schemers with an angle can get cash just as though they were producing something useful. Is that bad? Not really. We need to try things, but the visionaries give inevitable first place to the plodders and then too often to the truly venal. The morally self righteous. But regardless of the earnestness of their intention after a while each and every Sob sister schemer has a need for money. They know it.
I would say of them that generally, if in any situation it becomes possible to help someone in their specific category and if it does not endanger the weekly check, they are all willing to do some good. They do a lot of harm too. But in all candor I do not think that they for all their self interested sanctimony, are any better than the rest of us, and I decline, and I think the city will decline to govern ourselves on the basis of a self interested and questionable morality. They demand that we subvert the law suspend debate, stop making rude remarks about money and cruelty and abuse of the homeless and the venality of government that is after all their ultimate sugar daddy. They demand it.
I am sure that the people of the city will repudiate at the ballot box, the homeless services, tax dodge and disappearing money trick I am very sure that a venal city government in Fort Bragg is commencing to fall. Linda Ruffing’s attempted massive intervention in our election proves it.
We are winning. But I think we have won more than we know. Much more. When we the people of the city discover that we can actually win an election. Then the machine really falls.
It falls when at a gut level we know as a city that at any time, 350 people put an issue to the people that if the people if they want to can change the damn law.
I wonder that Scott Menzie has emerged as the spokesman of the pro machine faction. He does not seem too engaged in the particulars of policy, preferring I guess to trust in the authorities that he so admires to define his agenda for him. Go is a singularly apt name for their organization, they just want Linda to go. To keep on getting grants, for crying out loud. Go Linda go.
Anyway Menzie was there, earlier he had said he is willing to talk things over with me in some public forum. Perhaps on cable. That would be fun. Scott Mayberry was quietly there also.
ANDERSON VALLEY’S ENTRIES in the Begging Bowl Olympics: AV Asks Hamburg For Money
SHELLEY ENGLERT, COMMUNITY PARK:
Amount requested: $9500.
“I am speaking on behalf of Sueno Latino and the Anderson Valley Community Park. Anderson Valley has a population of about 3500 people and this park is for our community — Navarro, Philo, Boonville and Yorkville. The Anderson Valley Community Park is the only gathering spot for families and people, the only playground in the entire Anderson Valley. It's a very vital gathering spot for our community. It's very important. And it's located centrally in Boonville next to the high school and the health center. So it's important that we retain this park. My proposal is to continue the maintenance of the park. I would like to see an ADA wheelchair accessible portable toilet, the maintenance and rental for the toilet for a year. We are in partnership with the Anderson Valley Vintners Association to get them to continue to fund the toilet after the first year. I would like to see some park benches put in. Right now there is one bench so I would like to see two or four more benches put in. There are two picnic areas with structures. I would like some shade over those structures. I would like fabric cloth and some recycled rubber under the picnic tables. We really need to maintain this park. It's a beautiful place and families come and there's a soccer field right next to the park where people from outside the community, and bring their kids and play at the park. I would like to see the maintenance of this park continued. Thank you.”
JOY ANDREWS: AV COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT.
Amount requested: $9,830.
“I'm general manager of the Anderson Valley CSD. The CSD is currently exploring development of water and sewer projects for Boonville. This is in response to long-standing drinking water quality issues in Boonville as well as with funding through Proposition 1. The CSD is currently investigating what it would take to develop these systems. At this time applications for planning grants have been submitted to the state water board for both drinking water and clean water which is known as sewer. The LAFCo process to activate water and sewer powers has been started and two very well attended community meetings have been held in both May and October. The first meeting introduced the project and explained what they could look like. The second meeting last month discussed the effects it might have on future parcel development. The Mendocino Planning department and Health department are aware of the plans and have participated in the community meetings as both presenters and panelists. Engineers with experience developing these systems in both Sonoma and Mendocino County are working on the plans of study. On December 3 the first meeting of an ad hoc citizens advisory group called the Boonville Planners will take place as community members begin to consider options. This group will advise the CSD and inform the community as we go forward. The CSD is asking the county to provide startup funds to support this process. We expect to do some water testing in certain areas for around $2500 and there is an application fee for LAFCo to allow the activation of the water and sewer powers for the CSD for $5000. So if we got partial funding on this I specifically think the $5000 would be a very helpful amount to cover the LAFCo activationfee and the rest of the $9800 that we have requested would be for office staff to put time into the project and incidental expenses such as the fairgrounds room rental for community events.”
STEWART CAMPBELL, KZYX.
Amount requested: $19,445.
“I am the Interim Executive Director and general manager of KZYX. I'm here with my operations manager Rich Culbertson. We are here to make the case for asking for the county's support to upgrade some of our infrastructure with the latest digital technology. We think we deserve county support. We've been working for many years to upgrade our infrastructure to provide better service to our listeners. We also recently within the last year improved the quality of our news coverage. The request for funds before you will upgrade our broadcast tower systems with some of the latest digital technology. I'm going to turn it over to Rich who is in a better position to talk about what this opportunity would be.”
Culbertson: “What this will do will basically be a game changer adding IP technology to our transmitter sites which will allow full remote control capability to analyze and make repairs remotely in the event of a community crisis if we go down. It also allows us to switch a redundant backup system back on and has the potential of working with the Sheriff and the fire departments and whoever to give them access to be able to cut in, to be able to access our transmission signal so they could be broadcasting directly to the community in the event of an emergency. Again, that's down the road, but this is the first thing that you need to be able to do it. You would have the access to the equipment and the IP to the Internet to be able to make this happen. This has all changed recently because of access by the CDF to the towers for Internet access. So now we can purchase equipment which will allow us to take a step forward. Partial payment would be more than helpful.”
KAREN OTTOBONI, AV ELDERHOME.
Amount requested: $9,000.
“I'm having passed out a plot plans of what we have been doing. Actually, we wouldn't be this far if not that many years ago the Board of Supervisors has not given us a large grant to move this project forward. Now we are up and running with seniors. We were approached several months ago by the North Coast Opportunities group about them having a request from Anderson Valley residents about getting a community garden going. There are no community garden places for renters to have gardens in Anderson Valley. Our project, we have a large parcel that's right next to the senior center. We talked to the senior senator seniors, there's not enough infrastructure at that property there for a garden. As you can see a large part of our parcels are leach fields where we have our regular leach field and are reserve leach field. These can be used, we found out, for gardens. We have the water, we have the infrastructure part of it lined out. And we have a lot of community support to put in these community gardens. Since were next to the Senior Center, part of that goal would be to provide food, nice locally grown food, for our senior dinners and lunches that they put on over there now. And across the street from us is the Anderson Valley housing Association where they have rentals but they don't have anywhere for those people to garden. So there is a big collaborative effort now going on in Anderson Valley to get these community gardens going. We have commitments from North Coast Opportunities. Our organization, our nonprofit has stepped up to help supervise and identify property to do it. We've also committed money for the project and we have local volunteers to help make it happen. So it's this kind of seed money that would allow these incredible projects to happen in our community. I know you all know that because you see it in each one of your districts. So any amount of seed money that you could provide to help with this project, we'd be up and running in the spring of this coming year to have food available and plots available for community members and have extra food possibly go to the food bank which is another process we are looking at and working with. And supplying fresh foods to the seniors. It's quite a collaborative effort. Any money available, any money you can provide to help us get this project going would produce some great results. Thank you.”
ANGELA DEWITT. AV HOUSING ASSOCIATION.
Amount requested: $9,300.
“I'm the administrative manager. We have been in continuous operation since 1987. We currently own and operate two properties in Anderson Valley. One in Boonville and one in Philo. We house over 50 people, both families and individuals. This is low income housing, mostly for ag employees. The terms of the original rehab grant for the buildings was from the Housing and Community Development Commission kept us from having to raise rents to market value. This is totally in line with our mission which is to provide affordable housing to the residents of Anderson Valley. But because our rents are very affordable, ongoing fundraising is required to pay for the repairs and maintenance of this property. At the Boonville Apartments in downtown Boonville which if you've ever gone through town you've probably noticed them, they are bright and cheerful with lots of plants. It's really attractive and lovely and we take a lot of pride in them and our tenants do as well. However the hot water heaters there are reaching the end of their lifespan. They are all 20 years old. We have 12 apartments there. They need to be replaced. Obviously, hot water is crucial to providing safe and hygienic housing. So all 12 of them need to be replaced. We have a contractor who is willing to work with us at a discounted labor rate. Our tenants know they can rely on us for clean, safe and affordable housing that they need. So I am here today advocating for them from you. I appreciate your consideration. Any funding would be welcome.”
AV FIRE CHIEF ANDRES AVILA also requested $7800 for two emergency responder multi-gas detectors, but he was unable to attend the meeting to explain it.
* * *
Supervisor Hamburg, who insists he knows the needs of the Fifth District better than his fellow supervisors, is supposed to prepare his recommended short list which will be combined with the short lists from the other four supervisors for final funding decisions at the Board's December 8th meeting. Theoretically Hamburg could recommend upwards of one-fifth of the $186k available ($37k), but if bigger projects from other districts are approved, there would be less available for individual smaller projects.
ON NOVEMBER 23, 2015, at approximately 4pm Officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department contacted a female juvenile in the lobby of the Fort Bragg Police Department who reported she was the victim of a rape during the early morning hours of November 22, 2015. The victim described the incident as taking place inside of a vehicle in the presence of several witnesses. Upon observing the alleged act, these witnesses interceded on the behalf of the victim. During the course of the investigation, Officers established enough probable cause to believe the alleged act occurred, and an Arrest Warrant was secured for the suspect, Dakota Miles, 21, of Louisville, Tennessee.
A Search Warrant for the suspect’s motel room and his person was secured for collection of evidence in the case. On November 24, 2015 at approximately 8:50pm the suspect was arrested for Rape-victim has mental disorder, developmental or physical disability, unable to give legal consent; and sexual penetration while victim is unconscious pursuant to the Warrant. He was interviewed, and subjected to a forensic examination for collection of DNA and other biological evidence that could potentially tie him to the allegations. The suspect is currently being held at the Mendocino County Adult Detention Facility in Ukiah, CA awaiting arraignment. Bail was set at $150,000. This investigation is ongoing.
Fort Bragg Police Department Press Release
THE IDENTITY of a San Francisco man who drowned Sunday in Gualala was confirmed Tuesday morning by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. MCSO Capt. Greg Van Patten said Victor Segundo De Leon, 56, had been feared to have drowned by a friend before deputies responded to Cooks Beach in the 36000 block of South Highway 1 at 1:20 p.m. Sunday. Upon the Sheriff’s Office arrival, the responding deputy confirmed that De Leon had died while diving in a cove off the coast, Van Patten said. The Sheriff’s Office determined that De Leon was diving with the friend, who during the dive, noticed De Leon was floating face down and appeared to be unresponsive, but swam over to him at which time he was alive, but apparently was having a medical emergency of sorts, according to Van Patten. De Leon was swam back to the beach area by his friend at which point “he went lifeless,” Van Patten said. Resuscitation efforts were performed on the beach and medical personnel were called to the area in attempts to save De Leon’s life, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Van Patten said based on the Sheriff’s Office report, he was unaware of the circumstances of why the pair was diving off the Gualala coast Sunday.
POIGNANTLY FAMILIAR HEADLINE in today's Press Democrat reads, "Slain Sebastopol parents struggled to get help for troubled son." And struggled until he came home one day and stabbed them both to death. There's a small army of the untreated mentally ill out there, their demons often exacerbated by street drugs, especially methamphetamine. I can name three who I know here in Mendocino County. One guy roams the Mendocino Coast, the other two in Ukiah, all three in and out of the County Jail.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY the following jive-o press release from Mendocino College and try to do the math. How much did they borrow in the first place and over what period? Without that number the self-serving press release makes no sense.
“The Mendocino-Lake Community College District is refinancing a portion of the voter approved Measure W bonds and will save the taxpayers $36 million in the process. With direction of the Community College Board, the District administration chose to take advantage of historically low interest rates to refinance bonds from its Measure W authorization without extending the term of those bonds. The District was able to reduce the interest rates on the prior bonds from an average of 6.46 percent to 4.72 percent, reducing the community’s tax bill by a total of $36,506,861 over the life of the bond refinancing. ‘I am thrilled that the Mendocino-Lake Community College District trustees’ vision and fiduciary responsibility will save taxpayers millions of dollars in the coming years,’ said Superintendent-President Arturo Reyes. The District’s ability to get these low interest rates and achieve savings was boosted by its credit ratings of ‘A1’ from Moody’s Investors Service and ‘A+’ from Standard & Poor’s, which reflect the District’s 1) large service area with stable enrollment, 2) maintenance of solid available general fund reserves, and 3) good financial management policies and procedures. While the District will not receive any part of the savings, (our emphasis) the District Board and District Administration pursued this opportunity strictly on behalf of local taxpayers.”
ACCORDING TO THE COLLEGE’S Measure W webpage: “On November 7, 2006 under Proposition 39, voters in the Mendocino-Lake Community College District (MLCCD) passed Measure W, authorizing $67.5 million in general obligation facility bond funds. Measure W encompassed 30 construction and renovation projects that included the Ukiah campus, Lake Center and the Willits/North County Center. The first bond issuance in the amount of $30 million took place in March 2007, and the second bond issuance occurred in August 2011 in the amount of $37.5 million. All bond funds were expended by December 2014.”
BUT THE TERM of the bond is still not provided. Nor is what happens to whatever “savings” they seem to have achieved. The college brainiacs claim to have saved almost $37 million in interest with a 2% rate reduction — assuming they started with a ridiculously long 30 year bond (which means they pay more interest because of the length of the term). They must now pay about $162 million to borrow the initial $67 million, about $37 million less than the even more ridiculous $199 million they’d have had to pay to borrow a mere $67 million before refinancing. Will the College actually be lowering the tax rates to the taxpayers of the college district by 15%-20%? We doubt it, because if that were the case they would have said so directly, not simply summarized it with a claim that they “will save the taxpayers $36 million in the process.”
Matthew McTigue is wanted on a no bail warrant for willful cruelty to a child and child battery. Height: 5' 7" Age: 43 years old Hair: Black Eyes: Green Weight: 160 lbs
If you have any information regarding his location, please call MCSO Dispatch at (707) 463-4086
THE ETERNAL MEDIATION, UKIAH'S ETERNAL DISCUSSION
City conditionally agrees to mediation about Palace Hotel
Mediation as an alternative to receivership is a possibility for the Palace Hotel as long as certain things are agreed to by both sides, City Attorney David Rapport said Tuesday.
Rapport said the attorneys representing the City of Ukiah, which includes him and Scott Huber, spoke with attorneys representing the owner of the Palace Hotel last week and both sides at least verbally agreed to a course of action that includes mediation, “as long as they agree to our stipulation,” Rapport said.
Rapport would not go into further detail about what the city requested owner Eladia Laines agree to, except to say that it did not involve more work being done on the building, located at 272 N. State Street in downtown Ukiah.
Rapport said the attorneys spoke with retired, out-of-county Judge Leslie C. Nichols via telephone Friday regarding the possibility of mediation as an alternative to seeking a court-appointed receiver for the long-vacant Palace Hotel, purchased at a tax auction by Laines and her former business partners in 1989.
He said the parties agreed to a potential path suggested by the city, which after the teleconference drew up paperwork and sent it to the attorneys representing Laines. However, as of Tuesday he said he had yet to receive a response, and did not want to explain what the plan was until both sides had officially agreed to it.
He said when the agreement is signed by all parties, it will be presented to Judge Nichols for his approval.
The city filed a petition earlier this year asking the Mendocino County Superior Court to appoint a receiver to take over rehabilitation of the building, and a hearing was held Nov. 2 where Judge Nichols was expected to approve or deny that petition.
Instead, Judge Nichols suggested strongly that both sides consider mediation instead of receivership. Nichols is retired out of Santa Clara County, but sits in on certain cases when an out-of-county judge is requested.
In this case, Palace Hotel owner Eladia Laines had requested a change of venue, but agreed to instead have an out-of-county judge hear the case when the city suggested the compromise.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
ON THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES BY MEANS OF NATURAL SELECTION by Charles Darwin was published on November 25 156 years ago.
ASPHALT PLANT AND COUNTY AIR QUALITY still negotiating — while foul air continues to plague neighbors
by Jane Futcher
The Mendocino County Air Quality Management District MCAQMD) and Grist Creek Aggregates are negotiating a settlement agreement related to the company’s smelly asphalt plant in Longvale.
Air Pollution Control Officer Robert Scaglione said he thought an agreement would be reached some time after Thanksgiving.
After receiving many complaints of foul and noxious air from the plant’s neighbors since asphalt production began in September, the county slapped violations and fines on Grist Creek in October totaling $173,225.
On Nov. 6, Grist Creek Aggregates fired back. The Covelo-based company sued the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District and Air Pollution Control Officer Robert Scaglione. The company petitioned the court to set aside two notices of violations (NOV) and both fines, including one for operating a rubberized asphalt heating and blending unit without a permit.
The Grist Creek lawsuit argues that the company applied for and obtained approval for all the permits Scaglione said they needed at the time.
“They were warned,” Scaglione said. “They brought the machine in and still didn’t apply for a permit.”
Grist Creek applied for and was issued the new permit by MCAQMD and immediately resumed making rubberized asphalt for Caltrans work on Highway 101 near Laytonville. The new permit has provided no relief for the plant’s neighbors, who continued to be impacted when rubberized asphalt production ran all day on Saturday, Nov. 21, resulting in a new flurry of complaints to both MCAQMD and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
“The ultimate goal for the district is to make sure they do operate in compliance and they don’t continue to be a public nuisance,” Scaglione said. “We have the full backing not only of the district regulations but of state law. They are either going to have to comply or not operate.”
Brian Hurt, owner of Grist Creek Aggregates, said he is no longer giving interviews to the press.
Meanwhile, his plant is still producing air that some neighbors say burns their eyes and throats.
One neighbor, fearing reprisals for speaking out, said that Hurt, through a mutual friend, “indirectly threatened to sue everyone near the plant who has complained.”
“I’d like to see him try,” Scaglione said, adding that all complaints are “privileged information” and would never be released unless they were subpoenaed.
Others in Longvale are worried that the asphalt plant, aided by the deep pockets of Mercer-Fraser, the Eureka-based company that owns and operates the asphalt-making equipment at the site, will intimidate the air district and county leadership into backing down and not enforcing existing noise, odor and public nuisance laws.
“Is it a slap on the wrist, or will it be the full force of the law to discourage Grist Creek and other regulated industries in the county from environmental law breaking?” said neighbor Glen Colwell, spokesperson for Friends of Outlet Creek. “If operators of other facilities who are in full compliance with their environmental permits were to see this new asphalt plant have penalties significantly reduced by the county, that would send a bad message and be unfair to the regulated community.”
Colwell recently retired after a 26-year stint as an air-monitoring manager for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “These are serious violations resulting in asphalt smoke and burning rubber odors chasing neighbors from their homes. It’s my opinion that an asphalt plant of this size should never have been issued a permit to operate in this location because the emissions are trapped by the narrow topography of the Outlet Creek canyon.”
Scaglione said he cannot discuss details of the district’s talks with Grist Creek and Mercer-Fraser. But he insisted that the plant violations “have some serious consequences.”
The California Air Resources Board, known as CARB, is also monitoring the asphalt facility and is watching how Mendocino County handles the situation, according to Scaglione. He said that if the county’s actions aren’t enough to deter Grist Creek from operating safely, the state will make sure the facility gets the message that it can’t continue to violate the law.
“They do come in behind us,” Scaglione said. “They watch how we handle it to make sure it is a deterrent. That’s our goal, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Scaglione did not know how much longer Grist Creek would be working on the Highway 101 project, but he encouraged neighbors to come in and talk to him about the plant if they have fears or concerns.
He offered assurances that the air district monitors the plant on an “almost” daily basis. “We do have people driving in the neighborhood to confirm the complaints,” Scaglione said. “I’m hoping we will get this resolved soon.”
(Jane Futcher lives near the asphalt plant and is a member of Friends of Outlet Creek.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 25, 2015
MARK BURLEIGH, Ukiah. Burglary.
LAURIE CIPRIANI, Lakeport/Ukiah. Petty theft.
OMAR FELIX-ZAVALA, Riverside/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
LEON GIBSON, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation, failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)
VERNON KNAPP SR., Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
SKIELA LAIWA, Point Arena. Battery, drunk in public.
DAKOTA MILES, Louisville, Tennessee/Fort Bragg. Rape and sexual penetration while victim is unconscious.
JOSEPH MORK, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
SILVIA RUIZ-SIMON, Ukiah. Honey oil possession for sale, sale-transport-furnish, false ID, DUI-drugs & alcohol, suspended license, failure to appear.
SEAN SESSOMS, Talmage. Possession of assault weapon, loaded firearm, large capacity magazine, DUI.
GERALD SIMPSON, Willits. Arson.
TROY FLETCHER, YUROK TRIBE'S VISIONARY LEADER, PASSES AWAY
by Dan Bacher
I first met Troy nearly 20 years ago at a Fish and Game Commission hearing when he was the director of the Yurok Fisheries Program. From that first time I talked to Troy, I watched him play the key leadership role in building bridges between the Tribe and commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, environmentalists, farmers, other tribes and federal and state government officials who were often in conflict with one another.
Troy, who became the Executive Director of the Tribe, was one of the rare people who could truly see the "big picture" of fishery and environmental restoration - and what was necessary to restore the Klamath Basin and Pacific fisheries.
He told me several times at protests and meetings, "Fishermen will always fight over the fish. Our goal is to see that there are more fish that we can fight over."
He also talked to me a number of times about his vision of the way to accomplish restoration of the Klamath and other fisheries - by forming "blue collar" task forces rather than the "Blue Ribbon Task Forces" dominated by corporate interests and political appointees that oversaw the MLPA Initiative, BDCP and other environmental processes. Troy said these blue collar panels would be comprised only of those whose hands "touch the water" - farmers, recreational anglers, commercial fishermen and tribal gatherers and fishermen.
Troy, along with Ron Reed of the Karuk Tribe, spoke at rallies and meetings in solidarity with recreational anglers and commercial fishermen fighting to bring back salmon on the Klamath, Sacramento and other watersheds - and fighting to defend their fishing rights.
While Troy was a bridge builder, he also stood firm when the Tribe's sovereign rights were being infringed upon by a state or federal government agency. For example, at the Legislature's Fisheries Forum in 2010, he warned the legislators that Yurok Tribe members were willing to engage in civil disobedience if their traditional fishing and gathering rights were violated under the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative.
My condolences go to the Yurok Tribe, Troy Fletcher's family, and everybody whose life Troy touched.
JAYE ALISON MOSCARIELLO'S ART AT HOLIDAY BAZAAR Dec. 5
I am so excited to be doing the Anderson Valley Unity Club - Holiday Bazaar again this year! I will be showing selected works from my Fruit 'n Flowers series, some hand painted prints on canvas, new plein air landscape pieces, watercolors and more! Looking forward to seeing you! Saturday, December 5th, 2015 from 10 am to 5 pm at the Apple Hall, Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Hwy 128, Boonville. Take care and I hope to see you there!
Jaye Alison Moscariello
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
You’ve put your finger on a critical but neglected issue, what I would call the West’s loss of courage. God knows we’re facing immense and complex problems that challenge our ability not only to thrive but to survive.
Yet without the conviction, however impractical or irrational it may appear, that we will somehow, some way, surmount these existential challenges, we will have no chance of making our way through them.
William James talks about a mountain climber who, in the midst of a blizzard, comes to a cliff edge with an abyss below and another cliff edge ahead, barely visible through the snow. It’s a very long jump across that abyss, but to remain stationary is to freeze to death.
James tells us that this is where will and belief can actually determine reality. If you believe you can make that jump, if you cast away doubt and trust in your ability to reach the other side of the chasm, you have a good chance of making the jump of your life and reaching it.
But if you’re filled with doubt, indecision, fear, and pessimism, you will stop in your tracks and become dead as ice, or desperately make a halfhearted jump that will surely come up short, plunging you to your demise.
How do we face up to the terrifying magnitude of the problems facing us and still find the courage, the hope, the belief, the faith, that goddamn it, we’re going to make it, that the human species is not going to self-destruct?
Isn’t it still possible to imagine us on the Enterprise – having endured seemingly endless cataclysms now finally put behind us– seeking out new worlds and new civilizations, boldly going where no one has gone before?
A READER WRITES: “The Struggle for Justice on Tribal Lands.” You've published some information about what Dollar General is up to in Mendocino County. See the editorial at the link below -- apparently they've now set their sights on Indian quasi-sovereignty.
HOSPICE OF UKIAH presents the 3rd Annual Music Event Fundraiser on Friday, December 11 at the Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse in Ukiah. Featured performers are Wil Siegel and Friends and Andy Mattern, Ed Reinhart, & Les Tar trio. Doors open at 5:30 til 10:30. Food and beverages are available, as well as a silent Auction. Donation is $20. in advance and $25. at the door. All proceeds go to support Hospice of Ukiah's end of life and comfort care services in our community. Please join us.
COMMUNITY SING FOR PEACE, Dec. 22
Everyone is invited to join in singing songs of the season and songs of peace, hope, and light, on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 7:00pm. This is the seventeenth annual free community Solstice Sing hosted and led by Inland Valley Women's Chorus. This event will be held at the Mendocino Ballet, 205 S. State Street, in Ukiah. People of all ages, voices, and traditions are invited to sing along. The evening will end with hot cider and cookies. For more information, contact Madge Strong, email@example.com or (707) 459-1493.
SUPER SMASH BROTHERS TOURNAMENT
On Saturday December 12 at 2 p.m. the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting a Super Smash Brothers Tournament.
Kids ages seven to fifteen come join us for our Super Smash Brothers Tournament. It will be an afternoon of fun for all and there will be prizes for the top three placers in the tournament donated by the Friends of the Fort Bragg Lirbary. Be there by 2:30 p.m. if you want to participate in the tournament. Want to practice before hand? Join us for our afterschool gaming on Wednesday December 9th from 3 to 5.
THANKSGIVING QUIZ: Answers.
Squanto's real name was TISQUANTUM.
WILLIAM BRADFORD was considered the leader of the Pilgrim settlers whose ship, originally bound for Jamestown, North Carolina, wound up at Plymouth Rock in Massachussetts.
Thanksgiving was proclaimed a national holiday IN 1863, BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN, AFTER DESCENDANTS OF SETTLERS LOBBIED HIM AND CONGRESS. (There’s no such person as Adam Sussex. Lincoln would have approved just about anything that made the Union seem more patriotic and united in the midst of the Civil War.)
The religious people aboard the Mayflower were called SEPARATISTS. (Puritans wanted to purify the Church of England, while Separatists wanted to separate entirely from it. There was a Puritan church in Leyden, Holland, as well, which the Pilgrim Separatists did not generally associate with because the Puritans thought the Separatists were too extreme.)
35 OF THE 102 people aboard the Mayflower when it arrived at Plymouth Rock were religious Pilgrims. (Most of the non-Pilgrims were economic refugees from England who had hoped to start a new life in the tobacco trade in Jamestown which is where they were told the Mayflower was heading. But by either hijacking, trickery or by accident (historians disagree) the Mayflower ended up in New England.)
The Pilgrims drew up the Mayflower Compact (which provided standards of conduct and gave each person in the party a say in decision making) BECAUSE THEY WERE OUTNUMBERED AND DIDN'T WANT THE NON-PILGRIM MAJORITY TO DETERMINE THEIR FATE. (Fortunately for the Pilgrims, the non-Pilgrims agreed to the Compact, thus assuring their survival as a religious faith in New England.)
Squanto learned English when HE WAS ABDUCTED AS A BOY BY A BRITISH CAPTAIN.
Americans started using the term "pilgrims" for the Plymouth settlers in 1870. (The term was invented by descendents of the Mayflower passengers.)
NONE of the food eaten at the First Thanksgiving was from the supplies brought over from England by the settlers.
POCOHANTAS did NOT assist the Plymouth Rock settlers.
When Squanto escaped from slavery in England and Spain after being abducted and managed to get a boat back to his home village of Patuxet, NONE of the members of his village remained upon his arrival. They had all died of disease (the plague) between the time the first settlers arrived and Squanto was abducted and when Squanto returned from Europe.
The Mayflower voyage taking the Pilgrim passengers to the New World was its only such trip. (After transporting the Pilgrims, the Mayflower returned to commercial shipping.)
AFTER A COUPLE YEARS OF COMMERCIAL SHIPPING, about two years after its final voyage carrying the Pilgrims to New England, the Mayflower WAS TIED UP IN PROBATE AFTER ITS OWNER DIED. (After majority owner Christopher Jones' death, the ship sat in harbor slowly decaying while it was in probate. Jones gave his majority ownership of the ship to his widow, Josian, and in 1624 an inventory of the Mayflower was taken. It was described as being "in ruins" and broken up and sold for wood -- an extremely valuable commodity in England at the time due to deforestation for the ramped up construction of naval vessels.)
After first landing at Provincetown in New England, and sending out a boat to explore possible settlement areas, the Pilgrims chose the town of Plymouth to settle BECAUSE IT WAS ALREADY THE DEVELOPED INDIAN VILLAGE OF PATUXET WHICH HAD BEEN INHABITED BY SQUANTO'S ALGONQUIN TRIBE BEFORE THEY DIED OF DISEASE. (The Pilgrims took the buried corn, abandoned huts and other belongings of the dead Indians to supplement their meager supplies and early failures at growing crops and hunting.)
According to historians, MANY of the settlers in the Plymouth Rock colony married Native Americans.
Of the many colors worn by the New England settlers, the color PURPLE was “taboo.” (Purple was considered the color of English royalty and wealth which the Separatist settlers had left England to get away from.)
The average age of the people on the Mayflower when it arrived at Plymouth Rock was 32. (The oldest Mayflower passenger was 57. Only five of the 104 Mayflower passengers were over 50 -- and only 14 Mayflower passengers were over 40. About 60 passengers were between 20 and 40 years old. At least 30 passengers were under the age of 17.
English biologist Charles Darwin said in 1839 about the European arrival in the New World, “WHEREVER THE EUROPEAN HAD TROD, DEATH SEEMS TO PURSUE THE ABORIGINAL.”
Of the reasons given, the one that was NOT a reason for settlers to settle in a particular place in New England, was: BECAUSE IT HAD NEVER BEEN INHABITED.
Historian Karen Kupperman says the prime reason for the success of the Pilgrims’ early settlements in New England was that THEY SETTLED ON LAND THAT WAS ALREADY CLEARED AND CULTIVATED BY AMERICAN INDIANS WHO HAD DIED FROM DISEASES BROUGHT BY THE EARLIEST SETTLERS.
Historian William McNeil estimated that the population of the Americas in 1492 to be ABOUT 100 MILLION. (About 20 million were estimated to live in what is now the continental United States.)
McNeil estimated the population of Europe in 1492 to be ABOUT 70 MILLION.
Squanto crossed the Atlantic SIX times before he eventually died in England. (Two of the crossings to Europe were as a slave after being abducted, one was just before the end of his life as a free man.)
HALF of the original Mayflower passengers died in the first year of the Plymouth Rock settlement.