- Help Wanted
- Dinner & Dance
- Cannabis Tourism
- Mendo Tour
- Pot Regs
- Wanda Tinasky
- Little Dog
- Gold Nugget
- Yesterday's Catch
- Quiz Dates
- Cannabis Hour
- AV Library
- Art Quilts
- Memorial Days
- Mendo Democrats
- War Industry
- Tunnels Testimony
HELP WANTED: AV SENIOR CENTER
Part time Dishwasher/Janitor needed Anderson Valley Senior Center must be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Call 707-895-3609 or stop by the Senior Center for an application and job description.
BIG BAND BOONVILLE @ LAUREN'S THIS SATURDAY NIGHT!
This Saturday, June 3, The Swingin' Boonville Big Band is playing at Lauren's in Boonville. Dinner served 5-9 PM band plays 9-11 PM. Dance floor bigger than one would expect; tables are moved around after dinner. Tickets $5, all proceeds benefit the A.V. Adult Education Department. Friendly door dragon. Beer\wine bar open late.
WHAT DO YOU THINK About Cannabis Tourism?
If You Have an Opinion, a Humboldt State Professor Would Like to Hear It (Humboldt residents only, please.)
by Hank Sims
What do you think about tourism in Humboldt County? In particular, what do you think about the possibility of a new cannabis-related tourism sector in Humboldt County?
Does tourism negatively affect your community’s way of life? Do you think it increases the amount of crime in your community? Does it contribute substantially to the county’s tax base? Does it make the local arts scene more lively? Does it better your quality of life?
Now, what do you think will happen if we develop a marijuana-related tourism sector here in Humboldt — bud ‘n’ breakfasts and the like? Would you stand to benefit? Would it scare away some families who would otherwise visit? Would it be a net positive for Humboldt County’s economy, or would it be a net negative?
Have opinions? Then why not take the quick survey put up today by Dr. Ara Pachmayer, a professor in Humboldt State’s Kinesiology and Recreation Administration department? She’s looking for as many opinions as she can get.
Pachmayer, who came to Humboldt about a year ago, told the Outpost this morning that she’s been studying the tourism sector, and opinions about it, for quite a while, and that when it came time to dive deep into research on Humboldt County, the prospect of legal marijuana tourism seemed a natural subtopic.
“I just look at residents’ attitudes, and this is just something that came up that I thought could be really interesting because of our location,” she said.
An earlier version of the survey — conducted by students with pen and paper — didn’t gather enough responses from a diverse enough selection of the county to be very useful for analysis, Pachmayer said. So she’s hoping for a lot of response to this new online version. She’s planning to leave it up through most of the summer, after which she’ll collate the data, conduct some follow-up interviews and start to sort through what she has found.
After that, she said, she’ll be sharing her conclusions with local policymakers, industry insiders and basically whoever else might have a use for it.
So take the survey. It’s fun!
(Hank Sims Notes: Professor Pachmayer is looking for Humboldt residents only.)
NEW YORK DISCOVERS MENDO:
LOOKING BACK over some of the recently issued Mendo pot regs as summarized a few weeks ago by Ukiah Daily Journal reporter Ashley Tressel, we found several individual rules that on their face are just plain unenforceable, and absurd even by Mendo standards.
Ms. Tressel quotes Supervisor John McCowen saying, “Anyone growing medical marijuana for sale without a permit will face greatly increased odds of code enforcement and abatement.” The Mafia couldn't have said it better. Pay us or here come Hoyle and Hendry.
It also begs the question, What if you’re growing with a permit but not complying with its terms? And just to be sure there’s plenty of wiggle room for pot growers with (expensive) permits (which nicely buttress the County’s General Fund), Tressel adds that “the county employees that have been tasked with enforcement are said to be flexible and will work amicably with cultivators who want to abide by the rules.” Mafia again. You don't have the money this week, we'll see you next week.
Take this rule: Maximum of 100 feet of pot canopy “per patient.”
We all know how carefully regulated the definition of “patient” is. And, hell yes, the county will be out there with a tape measure. "Yo! Stoner Dude. Yer ten feet long here."
Or: Cultivation is not allowed “at all” within 1,000 feet of a youth-oriented facility (school, church, etc.).
O yes, Virginal youth, most of whom… Well, no need to get all wound up here. But really, the county will be out there, this time with their extra-long tape measures? “All distances are measured from the nearest point of the fence (outside) or the nearest exterior wall (inside) to the nearest boundary line of a youth-oriented facility or the nearest exterior wall of a residence. Applicants may seek reductions when they receive their permits.”
Har de har. Very funny, Mendo.
Or: “Any cultivation activity should not produce an odor that causes as little as an annoyance or exceed the county’s noise level standards (as in running a generator). Enforcement for this issue is complaint-based and will be carried out by the Cannabis Compliance Unit.”
”Should not”? Excuse me, but if the county refused to enforce its alleged noise ordinance when the whine industry had its wind machines going every night for a month, they're unlikely to enforce nasal assaults or pot noise. (PS. The county’s “noise level standards” are only for zoning purposes as we discovered with the Major’s wind machine lawsuit. They have no legally enforceable bearing on actual noise.)
“Oak trees and other commercial species cannot be removed to make way for cultivation.”
But what if they are? What’s the “enforcement”? And as we meet here today, whole groves of trees are being bulldozed by, among others, the Adanac ranch, Laytonville. Wanna bet on how much “enforcement” Mr. Bewley will experience?
“All prospective members must sign a written membership application and cannot sell to non-members or possess more cannabis than meets the needs of their patients.”
Dude, got yer membership card? "Needs of their patients?" Talk about a cosmos-size loophole...
“Indoor cultivation cannot include the use or conversion of a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room or hallway.”
“Oh no, officer; this wasn’t a bedroom. This was a workshop! I sewed Barbie clothes in there.”
“The Agricultural Commissioner must complete an on-site inspection before a permit can be issued and at least one per year after that, giving at least 24 hours notice.”
“Move those plants, hon. The inspector’s coming tomorrow.”
Never happen. Pure fantasy. Only the mega-grows, the corporados will be signing up.
And that’s just a small sample. This is all beyond laughable.
LOOKING BACK AT WANDA
by Mark Scaramella (October 2000)
Professor Don Foster's 1999 book "Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous" solves what the editor of "The Letters of Wanda Tinasky" grandly called "The Literary Mystery of the Decade" (the 1990s). It's also an interesting chapter in the nether life of Fort Bragg.
Someone calling himself "Wanda Tinasky" (Wanda didn't sound like a woman) wrote dozens of erudite, funny and ascerbic letters to several Mendocino County newspapers from 1983 to 1988. Some close observers thought Wanda was the reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon whose novel "Vineland" is set on the Northcoast. It appeared soon after Wanda stopped writing letters to newspapers. Lawrence Ferlinghetti told the Chronicle, "I'm pretty sure this is the work of Bruce Anderson."
Everyone guessed wrong.
Professor Foster's Wanda chapter explains how he figured out that the person who called himself "Wanda Tinasky" was a Fort Bragg man named Tom Hawkins, and Foster's irrefutable attribution is the final word on the question.
In the process of identifying Hawkins as Wanda, Foster provides a mini-biography of the man which is far more interesting than anything Pynchon has written.
Like many Mendo arrivestes, the eccentric Hawkins, a seminal beatnik, moved to Mendocino County in the early 80s to escape city life. He was as much of a recluse as Pynchon and went mostly unnoticed by his neighbors in the Fort Bragg area.
As Wanda Tinasky, Hawkins created quite a stir with her sharp, witty criticisms of the County's artists, writers and poets. Hawkins/Wanda Tinasky found the Mendocino Coast a target-rich environment for his/her critical commentary.
Foster reports that for reasons unknown in September, 1988, Hawkins "bludgeoned his wife Kathy (a talented sculptress) crushing her skull," three weeks after mailing what would be his last Wanda letter.
"Amazed, perhaps," Foster writes, "at his own ghastly violence, Tom carried Kathy's body inside, into the living room, where he mourned over the corpse for several days until it became infested. On Friday, September 23, he arose and set the house on fire. As a column of smoke rose to the sky over Beal Lane, Thomas Donald Hawkins drove north on Route 1 in Kathy's orange Honda at top speed, soaring into space over the cliffs at Bell Point, crashing onto the rocks 90 feet below. His decomposed corpse was found in the surf on October 6 near Ten Mile River Bridge, five miles from Chadburn Gulch, where Kathy's Honda lay smashed and sunk."
But Foster's focus is on finding the author and the occasionally obscure literary clues in the text, not on the content of the letters themselves.
The Letters of Wanda Tinasky take on a whole new meaning when we know something about the real author.
For example, in late July of 1988, about two months before Tom Hawkins and his wife Kathy's lives came to a tragic end, Hawkins/Wanda wrote:
"Little do I care what vulgar-though-educated fanfarons may yell at me in passing, but I would hate to think that you might suspect me of lifting material from a 500-year old wop or anyone else; of course I read the Cusan like everyone at the appropriate time in my youth, but that wasn't last week & my memory is not all it once was; in fact I go around with my fly open about 1/2 the time, & so I have been doing some re-reading, & as well as I can tell the passage to which your auditors refer is one concerning the cardinal's docta ignorantia, which runs as follows (my own translation, of course): 'The place wherein Thou are found unveiled is girt round with the coincidence of contradictoris, and this is the wall of paradise wherein Thou dost abide, the door whereof is guarded by the most proud spirit of Reason, and unless he be vanquished, the way in will not lie open. Therefore I observe how needful it is for me to enter into the darkness, and to admit the coincidence of opposites, beyond all grasp of reason, here to seek the truth, where impossibility meeteth me'."
Nicholas of Cusa was a pre-Enlightenent, polymath Italian bishop who wrote about astronomy, physics, and mathematics. and asserted that "the infinity of God is that in which all opposites are combined" — the logical, if contradictory, end of what philosopher Hegel later called the dialectic.
Pretty heady stuff for Mendocino County.
After criticizing some Coast poets, Wanda was challenged to produce a poem of her own, and in May of 1984 Hawkins/Wanda responded with:
"The look I'll have at the end
will be the smile I give to people I don't really know.
Albert's not come home,
he's the sad ant on the end of my finger.
Howcome you didn't wrap yourself in the dancer's spins and dips,
wear black, flared pants?
Howcome you didn't remember the old grannie lady, naked by the river,
beating on herself with a stick, getting ready, hands,
talons of anger,
ready to beat the brown rushing flood?
She got nailed by a log right after the bell.
Howcome you didn't listen to your grandfather's voice
singing the songs of his grandfather?
All dogs are comedians, they just want to be laughed at.
Howcome you drove out onto the St. Clair River in a 48 Chevy, towards Detroit?
I watched the bubbles pop through the surface.
I thought of you under there.
I thought, howcome you know to dance,
to sing the songs of our roots
and you start driving to America across a river,
through the setting yellow haze?
I shot and buried in the Alder swamp
a wounded roadkill I found today
pissed off you aren't here to help me with the dying."
* * *
"The Letters of Wanda Tinasky" is still available on-line via Amazon. Professor Foster's book is even more widely available in bookstores. Perhaps, now, someone who knew the real Tom Hawkins can re-connect his life with his letters.
Ed note: Foster, considered one of America's foremost attributionist scholars, has also written a convincing deconstruction of the famous "Lord's Avenger Letter" confessing to the 1990 bombing of Judi Bari. Foster says Mendocino County's recently retired garbage bureaucrat, Mike Sweeney, Bari's ex-husband at the time of the bombing, wrote it.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Darndest thing the other day. All of a sudden one of the lunkhead pits from next door, Bruno we call him, comes sprinting through with a baby pig! The pig is following him everywhere. Don't get me wrong here. I'm no bigot. I approve of intra-species relationships, but this little porker has a very bad role model in Bruno. I hope someone does an intervention.”
NOTES FROM a failing mind: That roadside whimsy on the Cloverdale end of 128 is most welcome, and I'll bet you already know what I'm referring to — the gold-painted boulder, as if a giant nugget had fallen from Gold Rush skies.
AMONG the many minor irritations of modern life, add Google graphics, not to mention Google itself, another subject. Every day there's a fresh provocation every time you turn on your computer — cartoon figures waving, tumbling, bouncing.... And muted gongs, mysterious atonal tinklings and other intrusive cutesy-isms. (Not hard to tell that Silicon Valley was raised by TV sets.) The new American brain seems to require constant noise, subliminal image-flits, context-free "news" blips. Yes, I could live without computers, but for now the confounded things are necessary to The Mission.
TODAY, Google says we're "celebrating Zaha Hadid." Can I salute from the sitting position?
OF COURSE I have no idea who this person is, no curiosity about who she is, but if I were I'd have to hit Google and that's probably the point so I can be converted to a thousand algorithms.
* * *
WE OFTEN hear from passo-aggressos that "We'd really like to stop by and talk to you about...."
TRANSLATION: We want to explain to you face-to-face why you're soooooo wrong about everything, and how we're so gol durn cool and so irresistibly charming how could any rational person resist "sitting down with us."
WE SAY, "Put it in a letter."
THE PASSO-POSSE comes back with "It would be soooooo much better if we talked in person so you'll understand what an unreasonable shitheel you are."
JUST SAYIN', but if you can't make your argument in writing you have no confidence in it, and if you have no confidence in it it's probably because it's even falser than you.
KINDA of a case in point: This guy I've never seen before walks in and says, "I'm going to send you a great book on the slave trade, but you've got to return the book and you have to promise me to write about it."
I TRY NOT to be rude, ever, so, on the safe assumption he's not listening because he's been here for five minutes and he's still monologuing me, I say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. And yeah."
I'VE READ BOOKS on the slave trade. I'm pretty sure I could pass a snap quiz on the subject. In fact, I'm current on the entire left catechism. My opinions would pass the most strenuous lib-lab litmus! (Check that: the results would depend on the lib-lab administering the test.)
ON THE OFF CHANCE Señor Chronophage sends me the slavery book, I'll do what I do with most books — if it grabs me after two pages, I'll read it all; if it doesn't, back it goes COD.
* * *
HEALDSBURG'S leadership is discussing how to avoid being overwhelmed by the tourist tides which, because of the town's proximity to the Bay Area's millions, rolls in every day with tsunami-like force. Healdsburg is a well-managed little place reminiscent of a time when most American towns were coherent and attractive, even Ukiah and Willits, the exact counterpoints in every respect to Healdsburg. But precious little H is bearable only in the early morning hours. By noon, it's a mob scene. And there's so much money there now that Healdsburg is just about finito.
IF AMERICANS were good at being rich, they might at least be bearable, maybe even magnanimous enough to give us some nice buildings, an attractive park or two, but these animals we've got going in this country? I dream of Robespierre, guillotines and acres of severed heads rolling south down 101.
CATCH OF THE DAY, MAY 31, 2017
SAMUEL GIBNEY, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
DANIEL GRIFFITH, Eureka/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JUSTIN JUSTICE, Lakeport/Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
JEREMIAH LUNA, Ukiah. Attempted murder.
JUAN SANCHEZ-GIL, Ukiah. Domestic assault, kidnapping-forcibly or by fear/unlawful detention, false imprisonment.
TONY STEPHENS, Failure to appear, probation revocation.
PATRICIA STONE, Boonville. Under influence, probation revocation.
JOSE TADEO-RUVALCABA, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, pot possession for sale, probation revocation.
NICOLE WILLIAMS, Arcata/Ukiah. Suspended license.
QUIZ QUICKIE — 'Just a quickie, if you don't mind' — as the Bishop once said to the Actress… No General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz tomorrow, June 1. This is the 1st Thursday and the event takes place on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays. Upcoming Quiz dates for your calendar: 8th and 22nd June. Best wishes, The Quiz Master/Steve Sparks, Boonville
NATIONAL CANNABIS BUSINESS and networking conferences, Thursday, 9 a.m.
Thursday morning Cannabis Hour: Summer's a great time to expand your mind. So tune into The Cannabis Hour, Thursday, at 9 a.m. on KZYX. I'll be talking to organizers of two major national cannabis business conventions coming up soon and featuring a host of amazing speakers: the National Cannabis Industry Association Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in Oakland June 12 to 14, featuring keynote speaker and former Mexican President Vincente Fox; and the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition "Cannabis Means Business" show (NYC: June 14 to 16; Los Angeles, Sept. 13 to 15, and Boston Oct. 4 to 6). We'll be offering passes to the NCIA Oakland conference and the CWC&BE LA conferences during Pledge Drive next week. If you're interested, meet me tomorrow at 9 a.m. on KZYX/County Public Broadcasting. If you can't stream on the Web or listen on your radio, go to jukebox.kzyx.org to hear the archived version.
AV LIBRARY LINES
The AV Community Library will be closed Saturday June 10th through Tuesday June 20th, for the Sierra Nevada Music Festival. We will reopen on Saturday June 24th. Our hours are Tuesday from 1:30-4:30 and Saturday from 2-4, located in the Home Arts Bldg. at the Fairgrounds. Starting Tuesday June 27th, we will start the $4 a bag book sale, and the sale will continue until the end of July. Our last open day will be Tuesday, August 1st, when we close for the Fair. Thank you for your patronage and we hope to see you soon.
— Liz Dusenberry
OUT OF THE TRUNK AND ONTO THE WALL: First Friday event features traveling mini-art quilts
by Roberta Werdinger
On Friday, June 2, from 5 to 8 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will host an opening reception for an exhibited array of mini-art quilts from the 2017 SAQA Trunk Show, a limited-time companion exhibit to the Museum's current "Wild Fabrications" art quilt display. This is a First Friday Art Walk event, and refreshments will be served. The event is free and all are warmly invited.
SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) is an international group of artists, collectors, and gallery owners dedicating to supporting and promoting the art quilt and those who make them. Each year SAQA puts together a number of trunk shows, sending hundreds of small art quilts (7 by 10 inches) out to different sections of the country, where they will be viewed for short periods of time. The quilts run the gamut from realistic to abstract and feature a wide variety of subject matter, styles, techniques, and fibers.
In general, a trunk show is an event in which wares are shown directly to potential customers. It is widely seen as a way for interested buyers to get a "sneak peek" at interesting items before they become generally available. What does this mean in the world of quilts, which in many cases are made (and viewed) for love more than money (the mini quilts won¹t be for sale at the Museum)? It means intimacy, a chance for visitors to view work made by accomplished textile artists throughout the country, for a limited time and in more diverse spaces than is usually the case for art exhibits.
The SAQA trunk show will be on view from June 1 through 10. Meanwhile, the Museum's main current exhibit, "Wild Fabrications," will remain on display through June 25. A juried larger-scale art quilt exhibit also created by SAQA, "Wild Fabrications" showcases artists employing a wide variety of conventional and unconventional materials and techniques to portray animals that exist both in nature and in the wilds of their imagination.
The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wed. through Sat. from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m.
For more information please go to http://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org/ or call 467-2836.
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE DAY
(1) I’m not exactly sure what Memorial Day is all about; the honor of those who have died in battle? Such actions are certainly noteworthy, but is that what a nation “under God” should be celebrating? Now, I’m not saying the nation is not worthy to be defended in violent battle, just like home and family should be protected from marauders. But these actions simply arise from reason and common sense. To position young men (almost all of them, men) in times and places of exposure to violent death for questionable purposes, does not strike me as a defense of the homeland. Should we not take time today to question the reason for war, any war, and renew the idea that America does not engage others in battle that do not bear on the defense of American soil.
(2) The purpose of Memorial Day is to memorialize the idea of war itself. I wonder if anyone has ever considered that we should stop? An eye for an eye until we’re all blind is just as stupid now as it’s ever been. Wouldn’t it be grand if the only ones permitted to fight wars were the actual politicians (no paid proxies) who voted for them, and further, no high tech allowed. Swords, knives, axes, and bats only, fought in groups of no more than two per side, and of course televised for the world to see. Must kill your opponent up close and personal and then must take trophies afterward (ears, scalps, heads, hearts, etc.) and present them to immediate family members, who would be required to attend and observe the fighting.
CHRIST SAVE US ALL!
Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee Agenda
Co-Chairs: Kenny Jowers, Jim Mastin
Coast Vice Chair: Ric Martin
Inland Vice Chair: Helen Sizemore
Secretary: Jeff Tyrrell
Treasurer: Sally Webster
Ex Officio: U.S. Congressman Huffman, Heather Gurewitz, State Senator McGuire, Kerry Randall
Assemblymember Wood, Jeff Tyrrell
1st District: Kerry Randall
2nd District: Judy Popowski, Helen Sizemore, Mike Webster, Sally Webster
3rd District: John Haschak, Perri Kaller, Ruthanne Volz, Kathryn Cavness,
4th District: Ric Martin
5th District: Rachel Binah, Kenny Jowers, Jim Mastin, Val Muchowski, Jeff Tyrrell, Jonathan Torrez,
DATE: June 6, 2017
PLACE: Old Mission Pizza, 1708 South Main Street, Willits, CA
Call to order
Revision and approval of agenda
(Non-agenda items, 3 minutes max)
Consider May Minutes
State Convention Discussion
Standing committees and assignments
State Senator McGuire
Coast Democratic Club
Redwood Coast Democrats
Inland Mendocino Democratic Club
Good of the order
July 11th, 2017
Fort Bragg, TBD
WHO STARTED IT?
John Redding wrote:
[Howard] Zinn writes as if we started all these wars. We didn't and we should spend money on defense. Or else we will have a Manchester bombing in New York City.
John, we actually spend more money on so-called defense than the next dozen countries all put together, with hundreds of military bases all over the world, and needless wars everywhere just to keep a handful of obscenely rich American monsters obscenely rich. We interfere in and wreck democracies wherever they pop up and we prop up apartheid states and draconian dark age theocracies. No amount of military spending can stop the real enemies; it only benefits them further and makes them more dangerous and unstoppable and buys them better access to the levers of power.
Why mention only the Manchester bombing? Why not include the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City_bombing and the thousands of hate crimes and other violent crimes committed by people who believe as you do that the real America, however you define that, can do no wrong and no evil, and must be preemptively "defended" with blood.
It's just Here, I'll hold your coats (and empty the pockets) while you guys go at each other, go on, make us proud. You've complained about what's really a relatively piddling amount spent on feeding the poor and healing the sick and educating the uneducated, when a vast torrent of money and treasure is constantly filling the fuel tanks and rocket launchers and missile silos and weapons magazines of a terrible giant war machine. As if the loss of treasure were the worst of it; just the materials and fuel wasted on military endeavors and over 700 military bases we maintain all over the globe is the single greatest driver of the human component of climate disruption, not to mention the nightmare of actively killing and killing and killing on a mass scale, often by remote control, for Chrissake, like an apocalyptic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massively_multiplayer_online_role-playing_game where the warlords and their families are never in the slightest danger, miles or thousands of miles away from the hell they're responsible for. A constant stream of bombs and rockets, leveling cities and towns and poisoning the land and water and air both at the production and the receiving end.
The Manchester bombing is a drop in the bucket. Millions of incidents of domestic violence are down to the brutalization of young Americans sent to fight and kill in needless stupid wars because their other life opportunities no longer exist, because of the plundering of America and the world in order to maintain a permanent war footing in the first place. The average young person who enters a four year college now will spend twenty years paying off college debt.
Can you really argue that the US didn't start or at least sow the seeds of at least every war we've been involved in since World War 2? Can you really justify millionaires and billionaires jetting around and living in palaces with literal armies of personal servants and remaining unaccountable, like the warlords they are, on the proceeds of a war industry that broke the world?
DELTA COUNCIL MUST NOT MAKE 'DUAL CONVEYANCE'
AKA twin tunnels - preferred alternative in Delta Plan
by Dan Bacher
Below is my three-minute testimony before the Delta Stewardship Council on May 25. I was the last one to make public comment at the meeting. Unfortunately, many residents of the South Delta community of Discovery Bay were unable to speak during the public comment period because their chartered bus had to leave at around 5:00 pm. In addition, many people there said DSC Chairman Randy Fiorini was rude and condescending in his treatment of several speakers:
After covering fish, water, and environmental justice issues in California and the West for over 30 years as an investigative journalist, I’ve concluded that the California Water Fix, AKA “dual conveyance,” is the most environmentally devastating public works project I've ever encountered. I urge the Delta Stewardship Council to reject making “dual conveyance” the preferred conveyance alternative in the amendments to the Delta Plan.
In my reporting, I’ve covered many aspects of the controversial plan. These include:
- How the project won’t create one drop of new water while spending up to $67 billion of taxpayer and ratepayer’s money.
- How the project’s former point man Jerry Meral, in a moment of candor in 2013, claimed the Delta “cannot be saved,” after years of promoting the peripheral canal and tunnels as the solution to the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem “restoration.”
- How scientific reviews, ranging from those of the Delta Independence Science Board, to those of federal EPA scientists, to the latest report on the California WaterFix EIS by NOAA scientists, have given the alleged “science” of the tunnels project a failing grade.
- How the project won’t help Californians fund innovative water conservation, storm water capture, or water recycling projects that are desperately needed.
- How the plan will push endangered fish species, such as Delta and longfin smelt, winter Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead and green sturgeon, over the abyss of extinction, while failing to address the state's long-term water supply needs.
- How the project will devastate not only San Francisco Bay and Delta fisheries, but recreational, commercial and subsistence fisheries up and down the West Coast; the salmon fishery alone is worth $1.5 billion annually.
- How the tunnels will also imperil the salmon, steelhead and other fish populations on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers that are an integral part of the culture and livelihoods of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley tribes, now facing the devastating prospect of the lowest estimated fall run chinook run in history.
- How the tunnels would devastate the Delta’s $5.2 billion agricultural economy and $750 million recreation and tourism economy.
- How the Winnemem Wintu Tribe and other California Indian Tribes have been excluded or marginalized in the Delta Tunnels process.
- How the current petition before the State Water Resources Control Board and all of the previous plans, EIRs and documents of the plan have failed to address other alternatives, such as the Environmental Water Caucus’ Sustainable Water Plan for California, for achieving the dual goals of ecosystem restoration and water supply.
I’ve also covered the lack of scoping meetings for the new plan; failure of state officials to translate project documents into other languages; lack of details regarding financing, addition of 8,000 new pages for public comment on top of the existing 40,000 pages that were previously submitted by the state and federal governments last year; and the lack of a cost-benefits analysis.
But in the many hours I’ve spent covering the California WaterFix and its predecessors, there’s one terminal flaw with the project that stands out among all others: the false assumption the project is based upon.
The Water Fix is based on the absurd contention that taking up to 9,000 cubic feet per second of water from the Sacramento River at the new points of diversion will restore the ecosystem.
I am not aware of a single project in US or world history where the construction of a project that takes more water out of a river or estuary has resulted in the restoration of that river or estuary.
Based on this untenable premise and all of the flaws that thousands of Californians have uncovered about the project, I am urging the Delta Stewardship Council to not make “dual conveyance” – a thinly veiled term for the Delta Tunnels – the preferred alternative.