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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Nov 29, 2015

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ACCORDING TO A PRESS RELEASE published Saturday in the Ukiah Daily Journal, the “typical vineyard in Mendocino County is only about 14 acres.” This suspicious statistic derives from “a census by the Mendocino Winegrowers, Inc.” There are “570 vineyard properties” owned by 404 owners in Mendocino County, they note. 14 times 570 is about 8,000 acres.

THERE are some 17,000 acres of grapes in Mendocino County according to the County's 2014 Crop Report, a number conveniently missing from the Mendocino Winegrowers, Inc. census. That leaves about 9,000 acres unaccounted for in the Winegrowers’ “we’re just a bunch of little guys” census.

USING the standard 80-20 rule of thumb for statistical breakdowns, we can estimate that 20% of the 420 owners own 80% of the vineyard acreage. Or just 84 people/corporations own about 13,600 acres and 336 own the remaining 3,400 acres. 3400/336 is about 10 acres each for 80% of the acreage.

THE WINEGROWERS INC. also claims that Mendocino leads the state in “certified biodynamic vineyards at 4%” and that “more than 20% of the vineyards are CCOF certified.” Here, interestingly, the Winegrowers Inc. fail to say how many acres those CCOF vineyards represent. Since the entire press release is propaganda meant to fudge as many numbers as possible to paint the wine industry as neo-enviromentalists, we can assume that here they mean 4% of 10-14 acre vineyards are certified biodynamic and 20% of the 10-14 acre vineyards are organic. Since those 4% and 20% are probably not among the Big 84, the good guy grape growers are really only about 250-300 acres of biodynamic and 1300-1500 acres of organic.


HOW were these skewed numbers calculated and who wrote the press release? “‘Mendocino’s wine growers are a dedicated group who truly care about environmentally friendly farming. Our growers have a long term vision so that their land is sustainable for generations to come,’ Mendocino County Ag Advisor Glenn McGourty was quoted as saying.”

MCGOURTY is the tax-paid wine industry flak who draws pay as the UC Ag Extension Grape Advisor. The shameless McGourty, who of course has a vineyard of his own, has absolutely zero objective views of the industry he promotes and defends with every breath. So it’s no surprise that McGourty wants people to think that most Mendo grape growers are just little guys scraping by, and that the small fraction of grape growers who don’t spray their grapes with poisons are representative of the other 15,000-plus acres owned by growers who do.

McGOURTY ALSO CLAIMS that lots of local vineyard owners practice “fish-friendly farming.” Which is interesting, seeing that the few remaining fish they’re allegedly friendly to are on the endangered species list in large part due to the wine industry’s unregulated draw on local streams and rivers.

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NormVroman2DISTRICT ATTORNEY DAVID EYSTER WRITES: Placed in courthouse cement from years past can be found the initials NLV ("Norman L. Vroman") and the year 2005. While some folks disagreed with his unconventional ways, Norm was a straight shooter who nevertheless worked to enhance public safety throughout the county during his two-term tenure as Mendocino County's chief law enforcement officer.


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California State Senate will be conducting a meeting concerning this years crab season on Thursday at 3pm in Santa Rosa.

"One main topic to address to legislators will be whether to open recreational crabbing by management area, in a piecemeal fashion. The commercial fleet and the Dungeness Crab Task Force oppose that plan, given that toxic crabs, ignorant of boundary lines may migrate into open management areas, and because of the potential that the recreational fleet has access to fishing grounds several months before the commercial fleet. Please contact PCFFA/IFR if you would like to get involved in the efforts to support a statewide opener for all sectors."

This year is unlike any season we've seen before. Typically recreational fishermen get a week head start to catch these delicious crab for family and friends. This year sport as well as commercial has been delayed.

Commercial has agreed to have a state wide opener meaning no crab will be harvested until every crab in the state tests clean. Some recreational fishermen want to open crab season as soon as a harbor tests clean. For example San Francisco would be open to fishing because of clean tests but Bodega would be closed. Crab can move up to 5 miles a day so it may become confusing to just open sections of California with imaginary lines in the ocean.

We've all waited this long, it might be worth waiting a little longer so the state is a 100% sure nobody consumes a crab with high levels of Domoic Acid. 
Once the entire state tests clean recreational fishermen should be give a normal week head start.

The meetings at Steele Lane Community Center in Santa Rosa at 3pm. You can also contact to let them know your views. Or you can leave them here and I'll be sure to relay the information. Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving! Happy Holidays!

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AT THE MONDAY NIGHT CITY COUNCIL MEETING Malcolm MacDonald describes, I made the following comment he omitted.
 If you look at a municipal map of Fort Bragg, the Central Business District is defined as four blocks long, and three blocks wide. It was designated by city government for economic development and tourism. This leaves hundreds of blocks of the core city between the Noyo River and Pudding Creek available to social services and nonprofit groups.

Douglas Chouteau

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Tamir Rice was executed. End of story.

Law Enforcement training has gone from emphasis on police work to survival. The ethos indoctrinated now at academies and continuing training is “survival.” Survival at all costs. “No matter what, get home alive,” and, “I’d rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6.” Sure about that? Because with police work abandoned for street survival (tells you about the state of our streets… are we ready for an honest discussion about that Baltimore, Chicago, DC?) you are going to have your career, your finances, and your freedom on the line. And don’t forget your conscience, knowing that you executed a kid with a toy gun.

What makes police work so incredibly difficult is the fact that you’re dealing with people who don’t follow the rules, while you have to follow every letter of the rulebook. You are in a reactionary situation. You must make the correct decision all the time.

Rice was executed because of shitty police work. They engaged a threat and neutralized it. They did not do POLICE work. They did not study or weigh the situation. They rushed the scene and REACTED. They drove-up on him and executed him within seconds. No plan, just immediately engage and neutralize.

Police these days are routinely reacting to non-compliant and assaultive indicators and behavior. The job is more difficult, but the mission and rules are the same. What we need are smarter and steadier cops.

At the same time we are not allowed to discuss what was happening in Brown’s mind. Why did he think the cop was up on him? Did the cop know that he just assaulted a clerk and robbed a store? Assuredly, that’s what he was thinking; the cop had caught him, he was on to him. But no, we are told he reacted to the officer the way he did because the officer was harassing him in a city where police harass blacks. You see, even when beaten into an inch of your life, even when you do make the right decision… the jury (the loudest people in the room and the media that lap it up) is still out.

People forget the incredible difficulty of police work, now including the police. The war zone is on our streets, but we need brains even more than bullets these days.

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SPOTLIGHT, the movie, is very good and very good as a re-creation of how large circulation newspapers put together an investigation of a powerful interest, in this case the Catholic Church in Boston circa 2001-2, as powerful an interest as there is in a largely Catholic city. As we now know thanks to the Boston Globe, the Church had for years covered up its thriving population of cho-mo priests, going so far as to reassign priests who complained about their evil colleagues, in one case a reassignment from Boston to South America. And there were lots of twisted men in those cassocks, and there were lots of their victims, many of whom were destroyed by these protected perverts. The Globe's revelations sparked a virtual revolution inside the Church as newspapers throughout the world uncovered nests of privileged pervs darn near everywhere, including nearby Santa Rosa and even one here in Mendocino County that came to light when a pair of Coast teenage boys assaulted the priest as he attempted to interfere with them, as the chaste term from a more chaste time described child molestation. Most refreshing about this film is its lack of piety about the nobility of a free press and so on, the kind of thing you get from the media themselves.

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RECOMMENDED READING: Deep South by Paul Theroux, an honest account by a talented writer of his journey through the Southern United States, which he frequently describes as America's Third World and repeats throughout the book his shock at the economic conditions that rival the poverty Theroux has famously described in his travels in Africa, Asia and India. Of course the book is not all Klan menace and Pacifica-style speeches by safe, comfortable people about inequity. Theroux, who is also a very good fiction writer who abhors cant, engages a large number of memorable individuals.

ESPECIALLY GRATIFYING are several passages damning the Clintons' conveniently and ostentatiously distant good works, not a dime of whose two billion dollar non-profit reach any part of the South, including Clinton's home state of Arkansas.

IN AN INTERVIEW with black farmers who've made a success of it by themselves, a farmer says, "But we're still struggling with the banks," Andre said. "We're still struggling with the good ole boys. After all these years we still have to prove ourselves."

“I SAID, Bill Clinton spends a lot of time in Africa and India. Couldn't he do something here to help?”

"‘IF Clinton came here,’ Andre said, ‘the good old boys would say, “Why you coming here? Why you want to change things?” He looked around the room for approval, and got the nods he expected. ‘That's why he doesn't do it’."

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Dear Friends,

FEMA registration period for Valley Fire survivors ended November 23. Recommended web sites for disaster management resources and long-term recovery from Lake County's 2015 fires:

1. Lake County Recovery Task Force (multiple county departments, lead by Carol Huchingson, director of County Department of Social Services, and official “Recovery Coordinator): [minutes of public meetings are found on drop-down menu under “News”]

2. Team Lake County (multiple non-governmental organization leaders, chaired by Shelly Mascari, director of wellness programs at Adventist Health Corporation, St. Helena Hospital - Clearlake): [just created, but hang in there; see especially the link to “National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster” — which is the source for our guidelines:]

3. Lake County Rising (Lake County Winegrape Commission):

4.Lake County (Sheriff’s Department) Alert Sign-Up:

5. Friends of Cobb Mountain:

6. And for a rainy day treat, read this report by California’s Little Hoover Commission, circa 2002, “Be Prepared: Getting Ready for New and Uncertain Dangers”:

Amazing how relevant it is today.

Meanwhile, tomorrow afternoon* we’ll have a bit of fun with Alan Fletcher on the board, surprise call-in guests, and plenty of Thanksgiving stories. We appreciate the dedication of Lake County’s public servants, the patience of federal and state technical assistance providers, and volunteers way too numerous to list.


Betsy Cawn, Lake County

See you on the Radio!

  1. This article is quite touching, and might fit with some of the other stuff, if you like:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 28, 2015

Gardiner, Larson-Furlani, Taylor, Whetstone
Gardiner, Larson-Furlani, Taylor, Whetstone

MATHEW GARDINER, Ukiah. Under influence, vandalism, probation revocation.

TAMERA LARSON-FURLANI, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

ASHLEY TAYLOR, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

CONRAD WHETSTONE, Fort Bragg. Ex-felon with firearm.

* * *


by Hector Hugh Munro

"You are not really dying, are you?" asked Amanda.

"I have a doctor's permission to live till Tuesday," said Laura.

"But today is Saturday; this is serious!" gasped Amanda.

"I don't know about it being serious; it is certainly Saturday," said Laura.

"Death is always serious," said Amanda.

"I never said I was going to die. I am presumably going to leave off being Laura, but I shall go on being something. An animal of some kind, I suppose. You see, when one hasn't been very good in the life one has just lived, one reincarnates in some lower organism. And I haven't been very good, when one comes to think of it. I've been petty and mean and vindictive and all that sort of thing when circumstances have seemed to warrant it.

"Circumstances never warrant that sort of thing," said Amanda hastily.

"If you don't mind my saying so," observed Laura, "Egbert is a circumstance that would warrant any amount of that sort of thing. You are married to him — that's different; you've sworn to love, honor and endure him: I haven't."

"I don't see what's wrong with Egbert," protested Amanda.

"Oh, I daresay the wrongness has been on my part," admitted Laura dispassionately. "He has merely been the extenuating circumstance. He made a thin, peevish kind of fuss, for instance, when I took the collie puppies from the farm out for a run the other day."

"They chased his young broods of speckled Sussex and drove two sitting hens off their nests, besides running all over the flower beds. You know how devoted he is to his poultry and garden."

"Anyhow, he needn't have gone on about it for the entire evening, and then have said, ‘Let's say no more about it,’ just when I was beginning to enjoy the discussion. That's where one of my petty vindictive revenges came in," added Laura with an unrepentant chuckle. “I turned the entire family of speckled Sussex into his seedling shed the day after the puppy episode."

"How could you?" exclaimed Amanda.

"It came quite easy," said Laura, "two of the hens pretended to be laying at the time, but I was firm."

"And we thought it was an accident!"

"You see," resumed Laura, "I really have some grounds for supposing that my next incarnation will be in a lower organism. I shall be an animal of some kind. On the other hand, I haven't been a bad sort in my way, so I think I may count on being a nice animal, something elegant and lively with a love of fun. An otter, perhaps."

"I can't imagine you as an otter," said Amanda.

"Well, I don't suppose you can imagine me as an angel, if it comes to that," said Laura.

Amanda was silent. She couldn't.

"Personally I think an otter life would be rather enjoyable," continued Laura. "Salmon to eat all the year round, and the satisfaction of being able to fetch the trout in their own homes without having to wait for hours until they condescend to rise to the fly you've been dangling before them; and an elegant svelte figure—."

"Think of the otter hounds," interposed Amanda. "How dreadful to be hunted and harried and finally worried to death!"

"Rather fun with half the neighborhood looking on, and anyhow not worse than this Saturday to Tuesday business of dying by inches. And then I should go on into something else. If I had been a moderately good otter, I suppose I should get back into human shape of some sort, probably something rather primitive — a little brown, unclothed Nubian boy, I should think."

"I wish you would be serious," sighed Amanda. "You really ought to be if you're only going to live until Tuesday."

As a matter of fact Laura died on Monday.

"So dreadfully upsetting," Amanda complained to her uncle-in-law, Sir Lulworth Quayne. "I've asked quite a few people down for golf and fishing and the rhododendrons are just looking their best."

"Laura was always inconsiderate," said Sir Lulworth. "She was born during Goodwood Week with an ambassador staying in the house who hated babies."

"She had the maddest kind of ideas," said Amanda. "Do you know if there was any insanity in her family?"

"Insanity? No, I never heard of any. Her father lives in West Kensington, but I believe he's sane on all other subjects."

"She had an idea that she was going to be reincarnated as an otter," said Amanda.

"One meets with those ideas of reincarnation so frequently even in the West," said Sir Lulworth, "that one can hardly set them down as being mad. And Laura was such an unaccountable person in this life that I should not like to lay down definite rules as to what she might be doing in an after state."

"You think she really might have passed into some animal form?" asked Amanda. "She was one of those who shape their opinions rather readily from the standpoint of those around them."

Just then Egbert entered the breakfast room, wearing an air of bereavement that Laura's demise would have been insufficient in itself to account for.

"Four of my speckled Sussex have been killed," he explained. "The very four that were to go to the show on Friday. One of them was dragged away and eaten right in the middle of that new carnation bed that I've been to such trouble and expense over. My best flowerbed and my best fowls singled out for destruction. It almost seems as if the brute that did the deed had special knowledge how to be as devastating as possible in a short space of time."

"Was it a fox, do you think?" asked Amanda.

"Sounds more like a polecat," said Sir Lulworth.

"No, said Egbert, there were marks of webbed feet all over the place and we followed the tracks down to the stream at the bottom of the garden. Evidently an otter."

Amanda looked quickly and furtively across at Sir Lulworth.

Egbert was too agitated to eat any breakfast and went out to superintend the strengthening of the poultry yard defenses.

"I think she might at least have waited until the funeral was over," said Amanda in a scandalized voice.

"It's her own funeral, you know," said Sir Lulworth. "It's a nice point in etiquette how far one ought to go to show respect to one's mortal remains."

Disregard for mortuary convention was carried to further lengths the next day. During the absence of the family at the funeral ceremony the remaining survivors of the speckled Sussex were massacred. The marauder's line of retreat seemed to have embraced most of the flowerbeds left on the lawn, but the strawberry beds in the lower garden had also suffered.

"I shall get the otter hounds to come here at the earliest possible moment," said Egbert savagely.

"On no account! You can't dream of such a thing!," exclaimed Amanda. "I mean, it wouldn't do, so soon after a funeral in the house."

"It's a case of necessity," said Egbert. "Once an otter takes to that sort of thing it won't stop."

"Perhaps it will go elsewhere now that there are no more fowls left," suggested Amanda.

"One would think you wanted to shield the beast," said Egbert.

"There's been so little water in the stream lately," objected Amanda. "It seems hardly sporting to hunt an animal when it has so little chance of taking refuge anywhere."

"Good gracious!" fumed Egbert, "I'm not thinking about sport. I want to have the animal killed as soon as possible."

Even Amanda's opposition weakened when, during church time on the following Sunday, the otter made its way into the house, raided half a salmon from the larder and worried it into scaly fragments on the Persian rug in Egbert's studio.

"We shall have it hiding under our beds and biting pieces out of our feet before long," said Egbert, and from what Amanda knew of this particular otter she felt that the possibility was not a remote one.

On the evening preceding the day fixed for the hunt, Amanda spent a solitary hour walking by the banks of the stream, making what she imagined to be hound noises. It was charitably supposed by those who overheard her performance that she was practicing her farmyard imitations at the forthcoming village entertainment.

It was her friend and neighbor, Aurora Burret, who brought her news of the day's sport.

"Pity you weren't out. We had quite a good day. We found it at once in the pool just below your garden."

"Did you… kill it?" asked Amanda.

"Rather. A fine she-otter. Your husband got rather badly bitten in trying to ‘tail it.’ Poor beast, I felt quite sorry for it, it had such a human look in its eyes when it was killed. You'll call me silly, but do you know who the look reminded me of? … My dear woman, what is the matter?"

When Amanda had recovered to a certain extent from her attack of nervous frustration, Egbert took her to the Nile Valley to recuperate. The change of scenery speedily brought about the desired recovery of health and mental balance. The escapades of an adventurous otter in search of a variation in diet were viewed in their proper light. Amanda's normally placid temperament reasserted itself. Even a hurricane of shouted curses coming from her husband's dressing room in her husband's voice but hardly in his usual vocabulary failed to disturb her serenity as she made a leisurely toilet one evening in a Cairo hotel.

"What is the matter? What has happened?" she asked in amused curiosity.

"The little beast has thrown all my clean shirts into the bath! Wait till I catch you, you little—."

"What little beast?" asked Amanda, suppressing a desire to laugh. Egbert's language was so hopelessly inadequate to express his outraged feelings.

"A little beast of a naked brown Nubian boy," spluttered Egbert.

And now, Amanda was seriously ill.

* * *


* * *


It's not unusual to be loved by anyone

It's not unusual to have fun with anyone

But when I see you hanging about with anyone

It's not unusual to see me cry, I wanna die

It's not unusual to go out at any time

But when I see you out and about it's such a crime

If you should ever want to be loved by anyone

It's not unusual it happens every day

no matter what you say

You'll find it happens all the time

Love will never do what you want it to

Why can't this crazy love be mine?

It's not unusual to be mad with anyone

It's not unusual to be sad with anyone

But if I ever find that you've changed at anytime

It's not unusual to find out I'm in love with you

— Les Reed and Gordon Mills

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Hi, Marco here. The recording of last night's (2015-11-27) KNYO (and KMEC) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download and keep or just play with one click at

Stuart Cohen came by to play a few of his new songs. I put up a link, too, just to that part, in case that's your focus. In fact, why don't I put that here-- it's fifteen minutes long; it's a much quicker download than the whole seven-hour show. He has a very nice voice.

Also at you'll find thousands and thousands of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless interesting things to see and do and learn about, such as:

Tony Zhou on Buster Keaton.

William Shatner on the terror of the turkey deep-fryer fire.

How homeopathy, “energy work”, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, so-called essential oil, color therapy, reflexology, feng shui, hypnosis, and so on, work. And why you still need a real doctor who has studied real medicine when something is really wrong with you or your child.

The sky green and yellow with parakeets.

How we get wood.

And how the US goes to war. Every single time.

Marco McClean


  1. Betsy Cawn November 29, 2015

    *KPFZ, 88.1 FM (Lakeport) brings weekly news and views on the Valley Fire’s long-term recovery group (TEAM LAKE COUNTY) followed by an hour of county-wide disaster preparedness and emergency response updates (WHAT’S NEXT?), from 2 pm to 4 pm every Sunday. TEAM LAKE COUNTY is the nascent organization formed by “Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters,” brand new here but long-established in Mendocino County thanks to your Sheriff’s Department and support from North Coast Opportunities.

    KPFZ volunteers and community supporters continue to provide coverage of the disaster management and “recovery” from a multitude of impacts attendant to the apocalyptic fire season that tore up Lake County’s southern-most watershed, the Upper Putah Creek drainage, with some north-facing slopes of Cobb Mountain destined to shed miles of ash and debris into Clear Lake in the predicted (with fingers crossed) winter rains. Home owners with little to return to are calculating the worth of reconstruction in what looks like a war zone, and those with homes remaining are stuck with hard choices. Clean up and debris removal is slow going. Call in to 707-263-3435 to tell us how it’s going — so many great and generous folk from Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, and more have come to help, and there is plenty more work to do!

  2. Craig Stehr November 29, 2015

    Daily Zen

    Calm yourself, quiet yourself,
    Master your senses.
    Look right into the source of mind,
    Always keep it shining bright,
    Clear and pure,
    Do not give rise to an indifferent mind.

    ~Daman Hongren (601-674)

  3. Lazarus November 29, 2015

    “Norm was a straight shooter who nevertheless worked to enhance public safety throughout the county during his two-term tenure as Mendocino County’s chief law enforcement officer.”

    On this we can agree, I knew him from the day he came to the Mendo, worts and all he was a good guy.

  4. Al Krauss November 29, 2015

    Hector Hugh Munro’s reincarnation story seized me by my funny bone and chewed down into it with increasingly rapid chomps, causing real laughter to emanate from whatever passes for my reading psyche

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