Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018

* * *

A STORMY SUNDAY for NW California. Windy along the coast, rain elsewhere, and snow above 3000 feet. Dry on Monday, with some rain chance on Tuesday. Next major system will be in store on Wednesday, then continued wet weather after that. (National Weather Service)

* * *


(Click to view/enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

* * *

DRIVING TO THE COAST yesterday, I was pleased to see Lake Navarro had, once again, found its way back to the ocean:

(Click to enlarge)

(Mike Kalantarian)

* * *

AND IF the National Weather Service’s predictions for the Navarro are any indication of the rain amounts, we’re finally in for some serious downfalls next week, particularly Sunday morning and Wednesday morning.

* * *

IT TURNS OUT, Mendo is wasting a lot more than $50k on their pot regulation planning/zoning consultant. And it’s more of a waste than we thought. The County is paying $142,000 to Michael Baker International (you can double your rate if you put “international” after your name). Below is an annotated summary of the alleged “services” Baker International is providing mere Mendo.

BUT FIRST, the entire idea for paying this guy lots and lots is to create pot friendly zones in areas and neighborhoods (basically Laytonville and Westport) that would otherwise be zoned for no pot growing. (In theory, it’s supposed to work the other way, too, with some neighborhoods prohibiting pot growing where it would otherwise be allowed. But that’s a much tougher nut to crack because unpermitted pot growers don’t care about “overlay zones,” and existing permitted grows in areas where zoning allows for it will be hard to remove under the permit system, and restrictions on the size of grows in non-pot-friendly neighborhoods will be nearly impossible to monitor, much less enforce.)

IN OTHER WORDS, the entire “overlay zone” idea is an unfunny joke that will do nothing but further complicate an already overly complicated regulatory scheme that has so many loopholes it’s more like the bogus “fish friendly farming” volunteer paper-only guidelines the wine people pretend to follow.

PREDICTABLY, Baker International is way behind in coming up with a plan. There’s a decent chance the whole thing will collapse of its own unwieldy weight before he does anything but submit a preliminary bill for services rendered.

SO WHAT DO WE GET for our $145k?

Task 1 “deliverables/outcomes” are:

ID the Cannabis Regulations Working Group (whoever they are, probably very difficult to do taking hours and hours).

Outline a community outreach program. (I.e., ask some people if they like pot nearby or not.)

GIS base mapping approach (using data supplied by County). (I.e., circle some places on the map where more pot can be grown than currently allowed.)

Refine project scope and schedule including establishment of overlay exemptions and exceptions (as necessary). (I.e., draw a few smaller circles.)

Hold a few (“biweekly”) meetings with “stakeholders.”

“Coordination call [sic] meeting agenda and notes.”

Then do the community outreach program outlined above. (Website, emails, social media, events, memos).

Then hold stakeholder group interviews/workshops.

Develop a “Facilitation plan” plus supporting materials, memos and notes for each meeting and a summary of each meeting. (I.e., get the markers and easels ready for hippies to write stuff down. Then type it up and put it in a powerpoint presentation.)

Then prepare “Analysis and Options.” (I.e., suggest that for another $150k the overlay zones can be postponed for another year of analysis and options.)

Review current regs etc., and summarize “barriers to participation” that might limit growers from participating. (But be sure not to mention the overlay zones themselves as “barriers to participation.”)

Plus more mapping of areas with dense pot grows that are not allowed in current zoning. (More circles but with a different color.)

More meetings and maps and options.

Then prepare a first draft of an overlay ordinance under county direction, followed by more meetings, updates, hearings, updates, workshops, updates. And second draft.

Then enviromental review of proposed amendments.

Then more meetings and workshops and final drafts.

Then present the final draft to the Supes where Supervisor McCowen will point out what’s wrong with it, line by tedious line.

Then back to the maps and laptops and start all over.

* * *


RETIRED UKIAH COP Trent Taylor’s consulting contract as Chief Code Enforcement Officer for pot permits is increasing from $150k to $500k. The reason for the proposed increase is not clear. It could be for keeping him on longer, but there’s no info in his contract amendment (on the consent calendar for approval this week) about duration of service. Mr. Taylor’s primary method of “code enforcement” is what he has frequently called “self-abatement,” where the pot grower harvests his crop and sells it, thus “abating” it, as opposed to doing the same thing but without “code enforcement” or “abatement” added to the description.

WHICH BRINGS US again to the question of how all of this is supposed to benefit anybody, particularly the county itself. They seem to be spending money like stoners in Bali on pot legalization and regulation without any idea how much it’s taking in, while at the same time producing regulations that make it harder and harder for pot growers to enter the permit process. When is somebody going to ask for some revenue and expense charts for the pot permit program? Reportedly they just hired a new pot czar under the Ag Commissioner, but we haven’t heard a word about or from the person since. (A discussion of the subject is on Tuesday’s Supes agenda; maybe we’ll Meet The Pot Czar.) The new Pot Czar’s first job should be looking at how much this is all going to end up costing the County. At this point, especially after all the additional money they’re spending on Baker International and Trent Taylor, it looks like like the County is running a significant deficit.

* * *


To the Editor:

As a physician, I have dedicated my career to helping people live healthier lives. Many factors contribute to health—diet, exercise, heredity, stress levels, environment, and more.

Throughout my decades of practice, people have sought quick, easy remedies to feel better. While modern medicine offers some amazing cures, we still haven’t found the perfect cure for everything.

With the legalization of recreational marijuana going into effect this month, I see people turning to cannabis as a miracle cure for everything and this concerns me.

While there are legitimate uses for cannabis, it is not a cure-all. Cannabis can help reduce pain and nausea, and it’s proven especially effective for some patients undergoing chemotherapy or receiving palliative treatment for terminal illnesses. However, marijuana is not the wonder drug some people would have you believe.

There is a sense that because cannabis is a plant, because it is natural and not derived in a lab, that it must be healthy. Not so! Nature creates some potent toxins, and man has modified these plants to make their effects even stronger.

Unlike alcohol, which does not contain any chemicals produced by our brains, cannabis contains THC, a chemical that mirrors a naturally occurring substance in the brain. This allows THC to alter brain activity profoundly.

This effect on the brain is what leads to a decrease in productivity and ambition. Used sparingly as a distraction by adults, cannabis does not appear to do long-term damage. Used regularly by adolescents or pregnant women, the effects can be disastrous and irreversible.

Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that the use of marijuana among pregnant women is increasing. In California, among pregnant women 24 years of age and younger, the rate of marijuana usage is about 14 percent. Among pregnant women of all ages, marijuana usage is about 7 percent.

My concern that legalizing marijuana makes people believe it is safe when it isn’t. I have other concerns about the effects of marijuana on our community — the increased violence and crime, the pollution of our forests and streams, and the hard feelings between neighbors. But my biggest concern is for the welfare of our children, including the unborn.

If you choose to use marijuana, please protect your children from the negative effects of this drug. The brain only develops once. If that development is impeded by cannabis, there is no fixing it.

Dale Morrison, M.D., Ukiah

* * *


A “C” market is a mechanism to trade large quantities of relatively similar products. Cannabis isn’t as diverse as you might like to think, especially to a trader. I traded coffee for a large importer for 25 years, there is a dizzying array of diversity in the marketplace, yet somehow we found a way to create a C market that trades hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

Cannabis is no different than tea, coffee or cocoa when viewed through the lens of a trader. The utter diversity in each of those three products covers any spread cannabis could hope to cover. All three are globally farmed with vastly different internal standards/methods of production.

You have piles of rotting triage coffee being sold for (-.75) off the “C” market and you have 100 pound lots of Panama going at auction for $640-$750 a pound. Those are the exceptions, about 2-3% on either side which leaves 94-96% as ostensibly the same thing. The fact that the “C” market settled at $1.2225/lb yesterday and 22,500 contracts traded hands has very little bearing on the specialty auction price. Most of the “C” trades were entirely speculative and very few were for actual delivery of products.

Coffee, Tea and Cocoa have been traded as a commodity for hundreds of years. Cannabis will join them, no one will have to invent the wheel to come up with a set of standards and once you have standards it is easy to create positive and negative differentials to increase or lower value of a product based on quality (or lack of).

In the case of coffee you have a “C” market price that is the basis point for negotiating a contract. You could buy a container of “C” market or you could negotiate with a producer to pay them a sum +/- the C market price based on mutually agreed upon standards. If two sides can’t agree you have a binding arbitration clause in the contract.

You can see it in action on a small scale right now at your local cannabis retailer. They likely have top shelf and bargain bags. In the middle you have 20 jars of flowers that aren’t distinctive enough to be top shelf but are too nice to be bargain. That is your commodity market. The speculator doesn’t care if it is green crack or blue dream. He cares that the opening price for a contract was $550 and the closing price was $547. He is taking profits on the $3 swing. The store operator can order C-grade Blue Dream and fix it at $547 a unit from their seller.

The top end of the cannabis market will eventually find its way to an auction system. You’ll see good prices paid for directly traded lots but the 1% of the 1% will be sold at auction for prices well beyond the commodity market price.

* * *


To the Editor:

It is not a mystery that our supervisors have voted to raise their own salaries. With three set to retire, this guarantees them a nice retirement package. We can at least feel safe knowing that there was one supervisor with the integrity to vote against this raise. The same supervisors have easily forgotten the many, many broken campaign promises to their constituents. However, they are not forgetting to pad their own pockets. However, all that “glad handing” is exhausting. Of course, we know, this raise is only to guarantee new and better candidates for the job.

MJ Wilson

Potter Valley

* * *


(Photos by Rod Coots)

* * *


by Malcolm Macdonald

By a 4-0 vote in December the California Fish and Game Commission decided to close the 2018 recreational abalone season because of “ongoing environmental conditions that have significantly impacted the abalone resource.” The closure affects this year’s recreational season, which would have been scheduled to open on April 1st. The Commission's vote was based on the findings of the “Abalone Recovery and Management Plan” adopted by Fish and Game a dozen years ago. In the interim Fish and Game has taken actions that both shortened the season and lessened the number of abalone an individual could take. As part of the December 2017 decision the Fish and Game Commission has asked the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to work up a new fishery management plan.

Nearly a century ago the attitude concerning abalone procurement was much different. This report from a local newspaper, in March of 1925, describes the entrepreneurial spirit of two Little River residents typical of the era: “Capt. Ambrose Babcock and Clarence Pritchard departed early Monday morning in Pritchard's car for Lake county, going via Boonville, Ukiah and Blue Lakes. They carried a heavy load of abalones and mussels for which they expected to find ready sale. They will be gone about four days. The fame of our abalones and shell fish has spread through Lake county and quite a number of people who are more or less acquainted with this section, drive over occasionally for a mess of shell fish. Last Sunday two auto loads of people from over in the valley arrived here and managed to find their way down to the beach where they camped for several days.”

Obviously the auto loads full of people continued to expand exponentially over the ensuing decades, providing a boon to local businesses. The rules and regulations regarding abalone were less stringent in the 1920s, as shown in the following account that involves the same Captain Babcock a little over a year later (June, 1926): “Last Saturday morning Capt. Babcock and Bun Pritchard, taking advantage of an extra low tide, proceeded seaward in the captain's dory with the intention of replenishing their larder with a supply of succulent abalones. The day was propitious with a calm sea and soon they were pulling shoreward with 78 of the finest abalones you ever saw. But— here comes the sad sequel of the tale. As the bow of their boat grated on the sand, they were greeted by a stern minion of the law in the person of Ovid Holmes, game warden, who proceeded to measure each and every one of the 78 abalones and to his horror found two that measured a fraction of an inch less than the required seven inches. He was about to arrest both the transgressors, but the gallant old skipper valiantly shouldered the blame and became goat and refusing to plead guilty and pay a fine was placed under arrest and charged to be present in the local Justice Court… to stand trial before a jury of his peers...”

“At best they can't hang him until after the trial. In the meantime the captain is released on his own recognizance, whatever that means, and has lost his appetite for abalone soup. Next time he goes out he will take a pair of calipers and a tape measure along and painstakingly measure each as taken.”

Captain Babcock received a relatively small fine. In today's court system 78 abalone would land you a prison sentence. The article and the attitude of its author, newspaper editor Auggie Heeser, describe a time when the taking of six and a half dozen abalone of a morning was regarded with nonchalance. In some ways it was comparable to the view of one-two generations prior about the killing of buffalo on the plains.

Ovid Holmes was a respected game warden of his time. I ran across a field correspondence he sent to his superiors in early November, 1937, in which he states, “Hump Backs were first noticed this year in the Ten Mile River and the Garcia River about October first. Relative to the Garcia River I couldn't say as to just how far these fish migrated up the stream. However, in the Ten Mile River they were seen spawning about five miles up the stream, from its mouth. I might also say there was quite a run of them, ranging in size from 5 to 6 pounds. Also many people were interested to know what kind of fish they were, and whether they all took my explanation as to the species, I couldn't say. Though I haven't heard of any one sending one in for identification, though I asked several to do so. I might say this also; seven years ago (1930), I caught a male of the same species in the Ten Mile River, November 7th. and the following year on February 6th; I have not seen or heard of them since those two years in these streams along the Mendocino Coast, until this fall. Also there seems to be a much larger run of them this year than in the previous years mentioned. Whether this is true or not I couldn't say for sure as in the years previous the water was riley [sic – most likely he meant roily] as we had had several freshets and the fish could not be seen. However, this year the water was clear and many quite large schools of them were seen causing quite a lot of talk around here. There is no doubt the fish hit this section every so often and spawn here. Further than that I cannot tell you any more about them.”

Most likely, what Warden Holmes described was a pink salmon, the smallest of Pacific salmon, usually weighing in between four to five pounds with a length around two feet. When males approach their spawning stream their backs turn dark brown to black, contrasting sharply with their white bellies. By the time these males head up their spawning stream they often have developed a large humped back appearance as well as hooked jaws called a kype. On this part of the Albion we called them hook-bills, and today are even rarer than an abalone.

(Big and small fish tales can be found at

* * *


Biologists believe that removing the ocean phase in their lifecycle is essential for rejuvenating populations.

“The biggest source of death for salmon is the ocean,” Darren Fong, an aquatic ecologist with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, said.

“They have a less than 1 percent survival rate, while this method has over 80 percent survivorship.”

(George Hollister)

* * *



As a Healdsburg native, I am shocked that the City Council needs 45 days to think over a ban on gun shops. Or maybe not — because I guess this isn’t a high-end hotel, restaurant or wine-tasting room or another boondoggle traffic circle.

It appears to me that if a new business doesn’t fit the tourist image, it isn’t welcome in Healdsburg.

I know that things change, but when things change it should be for the better and not just for the tax dollars. And I hope that members of the council know that a lot of hunters live in Healdsburg, and it would be nice to be able to purchase a firearm or ammo without having to leave town.

And, as stated in the article, a gun shop is allowed with a use permit. So what is the problem?

Donald R. Henderson


* * *


RECOMMENDED VIEWING, another great film by Ken Loach, this one called "Daniel Blake." Loach has been called the Charles Dickens of film, an honorific he's earned in film after film for his sympathetic portrayals of British working class people. Blake's movies aren't for The Sound of Music types. "Life is depressing enough. Do I have to pay to be depressed?" This one certainly makes for painful watching, but for anyone who has ever been jerked around by a government bureaucracy, and who hasn't, you will definitely relate. It also includes the best denunciation of the ruling classes you will ever see at the movies.

I RECALLED several of my own Daniel Blake-like experiences with the Mendo Department of Social Services, as it was then called. I accompanied a guy whose functioning intelligence was marginal, to put it gently, to help him apply for MediCal benefits. He was warned to be exactly on time for his appointment or he'd have to make another appointment for himself, a feat he was unable to accomplish, let alone make his way from Boonville to the DSS bunker in Ukiah. We were there ten minutes ahead of time. Our appointment time came and went. I approached the woman at the counter. "Excuse me, Miss. You told Mr. Jones to be here precisely at 2pm. It's ten minutes past." She told me to sit down, that Mr. Jones' name would be called. Another ten minutes went by. I again approached the appointment troll. This time she told me to either sit down and stop bothering her or she'd "re-schedule" us for another day. I wondered aloud at her authority to do that and, as she simultaneously murdered me with alternating death glares, she rattled off about twenty names, and all of us in the fascist room — not even a motel-quality seascape or the careful oil of gamboling chipmunks you'd find in a Mendocino gallery, but a room with metal chairs and utterly without adornment and, of course, not even a greasy People magazine to thumb during an endless wait — were all ushered into another totalitarian chamber. "We" were about 20 defeated-looking women, the one male supplicant and me. With no explanation, the lights were turned out and the appointments desk martinet turned the switch on a slide show and left the room. The show was called something like, "Your Obligation to the Medi-Cal System." And the slides commenced. Upside down. I opened the door. "Excuse me, Miss, the slides are upside down." She cut me right off. "This is our process, sir. You either watch it or leave." She told me if I disturbed her again I'd be leaving anyway. I advised the ladies in the room that they didn't have to put up with this, but I instantly realized that of course they had to put up with it and a thousand more humiliations like it because they needed the help and this was the system. We watched the upside down show and were then herded on to the next step in the process.

ALSO HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and I think all Loach's films are available from Netflicks, is "Land and Freedom," a controversial film, at least on the doctrinaire left, about the Spanish Civil War, and the only movie I know of where the whys and the what-fors are made clear. There's one scene I still vividly recall, and still seems to me to symbolize the difference between the Stalinist left and the humane left. A young fascist officer from the Franco insurgent army is captured by the Loyalist forces, There ensues a long argument about whether or not to shoot the kid, who is shouting a highly annoying stream of fascist slogans, asking for it big time. The Stalinists want to execute him, the anarchists and, presumably, Trotskyists, insist he's just a dumb kid and should allowed to live as a prisoner. The Stalinists prevail and the boy is put up against the wall. I thought Loach was fair to the basic Stalinist argument at the time which was, We have to not only kill fascists because we're in a war for our lives here, but we also have to shoot our own dissidents because we need discipline, unity, not constant debates. (Old commies will disagree with my characterization here, but you might want to do your own investigations about these things given the resurgence of fascist thinking in this country. Orwell's Homage To Catalonia is the go-to book on the subject, a second assertion that causes old commies to flip out.)

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I made the mistake of asking Skrag what he thinks of the government shutdown. He says, ‘What government? Who cares? Who could possibly care?’ he says and walks off. I should have known.”

* * *


Betsy Cawn: Come one, come all — unique attractions in little old Nice, California, include the defunct marina across the highway from Clarke’s Collectibles, which was just sold (according to verbal reports from our Board of Supervisors, seldom trustworthy) at a loss of over a million bucks. Just up the road you’ll find the best selection of charming bat houses where Francis Ford Coppola cooled his heels one lovely summer day, during a visit to consider using Lake County’s landscape for a filmic foray (nah, never mind). Say, and don’t forget the true center of “town” — the Hog Pen!

James Marmon: Rod and Katie at the “Hog Pen” are long time friends of mine, and the store lives up to its name, I buy most my Harley parts there.

As for the “bat house” Francis Ford Coppola filmed a movie there in 2011, “Twixt” a experimental horror thriller staring Val Kilmer and Bruce Dern.

Up the street two blocks from the “bat House” lives my brother Steve Marmon, another must see attraction.

Visit Nice. PS. Bruce Dern played the sheriff, and his office was in the “bat house”. There were also several shots filmed in the towns of Clearlake and Kelseyville. Great movie, thought provoking.

* * *


A version of the map filed in November shows almost the entire North Coast at elevated risk. Parts of Sonoma County, including areas in the east and northeast, are shown at extreme risk.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, January 20, 2018

Britton, Hagan, Knight, Koski

TALON BRITTON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, more than an ounce of pot, resisting.

JOHN HAGAN, Leggett. Domestic battery.

KEEGAN KNIGHT, Willits. Obtaining controlled substance by fraud, possession of controlled substance.

AARON KOSKI SR., Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

Marshall, Martinez-Lopez, Ramsing, Shannon

WILLIAM MARSHALL, Willits. Burglary.


RUSTY RAMSING, Willits. Failure to appear.

MEGAN SHANNON, Willits. Battery.

* * *

GOVERNMENTS AT ALL LEVELS are supposed to pay into pension funds, but for years they have been stinting on contributions. Faced with an unpleasant choice between raising taxes or cutting services to meet budgetary restrictions — or in some cases to finance tax cuts — elected officials often decide to skimp on pension pay ins. For politicians, it's an easy can to kick down the road as most won't be in office when the next pension crisis hits. To get the books to balance, public officials assume that markets will essentially boom forever, providing an effortless gusher of cash for retirees. The problem is that the markets do not cooperate, and now that the baby boomers are retiring in large numbers, long deferred bills are coming due. Worse, the pursuit of unrealistic returns has led union pension managers to invest heavily in hedge funds and private equity, sectors with a viciously anti-worker agenda. This practice forces workers to bet against fellow workers. Longtime labor organizer Stephen Lerner calls this dynamic the labor movement’s "assisted suicide."

— Doug Henwood

* * *


In case you haven’t noticed, there has been quite a show on C-span and other media. A dozen or so Dems take the podium to pledge not to accept their salary during the shutdown. Why pretend that the poor government workers who are being furloughed will be suffering. During all previous government shut down the CR or the final budget includes their back-pay. So we taxpayers are left holding the bag as usual. I’m happy for the federal workers. They will receive a bonus another week or two of paid vacation. Little known fact: Those who were on annual leave or sick leave will have those days restored to their ledger.

* * *


CUTENESS ALERT! Charmer really is charming. She’s a 2 year old, spayed female Chihuahua mix who weighs 11 pounds. Charmer is housetrained, likes to get picked up to see the world, and enjoys being held. She's lots of fun, and easily transportable, so she can see the world with her new guardians. We think Charmer would do best in a home where she is the only canine getting all the love and attention.

MEOW! Meet Bella, an 11 year old, spayed female, medium hair cat. Bella is very affectionate and a bit of a socialite — she loves people. If you’re keen for a mature friend who is active and social, she's the cat for you!

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday till 6:30 pm. To view photos and bios of our adoptable dogs and cats, please visit us online at or at the shelter. Join us the 2nd Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for some exercise! For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

* * *


Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) paid property taxes of more than $230 million this fall to the 50 counties where the energy company owns property and operates gas and electric infrastructure that serves 16 million Californians. The tax payments help support essential public services like education and public safety.

The semi-annual property tax payments made recently cover the period from July 1 to December 31, 2017.

First installment property taxes recently paid to counties included in PG&E’s Humboldt Division are:

Humboldt County – $3,432,207

Lake County – $862,779

Mendocino County – $1,632,858

“Property tax payments provide crucial resources to the many communities where we live and work, supporting everything from education to public safety. By continuing to make local investments in gas and electric infrastructure, we are not only creating one of the safest and most reliable energy systems in the country, we’re investing in the local economy and helping our communities thrive,” said Jason Wells, senior vice president and chief financial officer for PG&E.

Total payments for the full tax year of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 are estimated to total more than $461 million—an increase of $50 million, or 12 percent, compared with the prior fiscal year.

PG&E supports the communities it serves in a variety of ways. In 2016, PG&E provided more than $28 million in charitable contributions to enrich local educational opportunities, preserve the environment, and support economic vitality and emergency preparedness and safety. PG&E employees provide thousands of hours of volunteer service in their local communities. The company also offers a broad spectrum of economic development services to help local businesses grow.

Note: Trinity County received $135,508.

(PG&E Press Release)

* * *


Mendocino High School First Friday Opening at Edgewater Gallery CANCELED

Edgewater Gallery will not be exhibiting Mendocino High School students' art work for the month of February. The show will be rescheduled for later in the year.

— Margaret Paul

* * *


(Photos by Leigh Martinez, SF Chronicle)

* * *


(Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) issued the following statement after the United States Congress failed to pass a bill to fund the government, resulting in a shutdown of the federal government:)

“Today, I am disgusted and dismayed that Republican congressional ‘leaders’ and President Trump have brought us to a government shutdown — the very outcome President Trump said he wanted a few months ago. In our country’s long history, this has never happened when one party controlled both branches of Congress and the Presidency. But we’ve never before seen the toxic combination of a dysfunctional, incompetent majority in Congress, and a President that is completely uninformed, unprincipled, and uninterested in the hard work of governing.

“President Trump is wrong in claiming we need a ‘good shutdown.’ There is no such thing. While the impacts of this lapse in funding are hard to quantify at this point, they will certainly not be ‘good.’ Not only will it directly impact federal employees, it will harm millions of people who depend on government services, families who want to visit National Parks, small business owners seeking SBA assistance, homebuyers applying for FHA or VA loans, food producers working with the FDA, and more.

“When Republicans shutdown government in 2013 as part of their obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act, it cost our economy billions of dollars. Now they are stubbornly taking us down the same path because of their hardline anti-immigrant agenda and their unwillingness to work with Democrats on a compromise.

“Despite controlling every branch of government, Republicans have been unable to do the most basic part of their job: pass legislation that funds the government. We have already had three short-term “continuing resolutions” in this fiscal year, and now they are seeking a fourth CR. This chaos and uncertainty is hurting our country — undermining our national security, frustrating those who are trying to build infrastructure projects, and leaving states and local health clinics in limbo as to how they are going to provide healthcare to millions of vulnerable children, among other things.

“Enough is enough. Governing by chaos, crisis, insults and hyperpartisan posturing doesn’t work. And no country ever became great by operating under endless short-term government funding deals.

“There is a bipartisan path forward here. A majority of both houses in Congress would support a compromise that funds defense and non-defense programs for the rest of the year, protects the Dreamers while enhancing border security, funds children’s health insurance and community clinics, provides critical disaster relief for communities reeling from the recent wildfires and hurricanes, and helps fight the opioid epidemic. Let’s bring this bipartisan solution to the floor and vote, instead of continuing the reckless partisanship that has brought us another shameful government shutdown.

“I won’t be flying off to Mar-a-Lago for a swanky black tie fundraiser tonight, or jetting off to Davos while our government shuts down. I’m going to stay ready to work, and I call on Republican leaders in Congress to stay in Washington, start working with Democrats, and do their jobs.”

(Press release from Representative Jared Huffman)

* * *


* * *


by Dan Bacher

On January 19, the California Department of Water Resources responded to the motions by Delta Tunnels opponents that charge DWR and State Water Resources Control Board staff with "unlawful exparte communications” and call for a 90-day stay in the California WaterFix hearing.

DWR requests the State Board Hearing Officers to deny the pending motions to stay or continue the Part 2 hearings that were scheduled to begin on January 18.

The Department of Water Resources submitted its “Consolidated Opposition to Save the California Delta Alliance et al. and County of Sacramento et al” to State Water Board Hearing Officers Doduc and Marcus

DWR claims that these communications were not illegal and the hearing should go forward as planned. The water board Thursday delayed the hearing until February 2.

“None of the alleged communications by Petitioners cited by protestants constitute a substantive issue or controversial matter of practice and procedure within the scope of the proceeding, in violation of Government Code Sections 11430.10 et seq,” wrote James “Tripp” Mizell, the Office of Chief Counsel for DWR, argued today.

“Instead, the alleged communications by Petitioners fall into one or more of the following categories: (1) communications between DWR staff and State Water Resources Control Board (“WaterBoard”) staff prior to the issuance of the October 30, 2015 Notice of Public Hearing andPrehearing Conference; (2) communications with Water Board staff on non-substantive or non-controversial procedural issues within the scope of the proceeding; and (3) communications with Water Board staff on issues related to the California WaterFixEnvironmental Impact Report through its role as a CEQA Responsible Agency,” wrote Mizell.

After reading DWR’s response to the motions, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, said, “their response is a non denial, denial. They said the motions should be dismissed because they didn’t do anything wrong, but yet they don’t present any evidence to support their claim.”

The Delta Tunnels project, also called the California Water Fix, is Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two massive tunnels under the Delta to divert Sacramento River water to agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California Water agencies.

If built, the project would likely hasten the extinction of Sacramento River winter and spring-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other species. The WaterFix would also imperil the salmon steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers, where the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley Tribes have fished for thousands of years.

Read DWR’s response here on Maven’s Notebook website: DWR Consolidated Opposition to Motions re Ex Parte

* * *


by Manuel Vicent

Drawing by Fernando Vicente

Translated by Louis S. Bedrock.


* * *

* * *


Thanks to Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost, the recording of last night's (2018-01-19) KNYO and KMEC Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available with a single click. Here:

Everything promised came to pass: Sherry Glaser came by with her Brooklynean entourage; they talked about animal rescue and animal habitats, and Sherry read from her book of techniques to master madness. Dennis O’Brien called to talk about his book on the subject of international cooperation in the development of opportunities in space. Zeke called to read his story and relate a little known fact of homelessness: the black market in broken cell phones. Kay Rudin came in with a poster for the Bob Ayres' Big Band event that’s at Eagles Hall tonight (Saturday night). Thomas arrived but vanished mysteriously. Flynn Washburne's tale of the Collateral Juvenile. Scott Peterson's /The Harder They Fall/, Mark Scaramella on the elusive grading ordinance, /Candy Matson, Girl Detective/, and more; a full eight-hour show. All the various gizmos worked as they should, and all’s right with the world except, even as I speak, two houses are on fire within a couple of blocks of the radio station, and when I stopped in Caspar to pick up some work at five a.m. some loon was yodeling lustily like an angry Tarzan in the shrubs across the street. It reminded me of when Juanita and I used to live in Caspar and George, who lived a little north and west of us, in back, who collected a labyrinth of dead Karmann Ghias around his shack, used to go out at night and scream incoherently and fire his gun in the air, and Michael would go over and yank the gun away from him and tell him to go to bed and shut up, and that same George ended up psychically intuiting a bad water pump in my then-Toyota and he generously forced a fifty on me to get it fixed. He tried to give me a hundred, but when I wouldn't take it he put a fifty in my hand, closed my hand around it, whirled around and strode away. I think that was 1994 or thereabouts. You know what? I would like to see David Attenborough do this place as a special. Not Ken Burns; Sir David Attenborough.

IN OTHER NEWS, as usual at you'll find a fresh batch of links to educational activities and amusements, such as:

Free, white and 21.

Some people from the shithole countries. My, that is a very red dress. Try to look away and see how your eyes resist your control.

Why blue is so rare in creatures of color, notwithstanding the Blue Fugates, who I wouldn't really say are all that blue.

Kitchen demolition stop-o-mation.

And when you feel like this, what are you doing? What activity in your life makes you feel like this ecstatic little architect?

–Marco McClean

* * *


Paging Bill Gates

Please know that because I did attempt to check email messages for <>, my account was "temporarily suspended" because I attempted to log in from an unknown device; i.e. other than my personal lap top computer. Secondly, because I have no recollection what telephone number I provided when I opened the account, it is not possible to obtain a code number via that telephone number, which I could then use to unblock the account. Contacting Microsoft support services, I am advised that I may use an alternative email address to get a code number. However, the Microsoft system does not provide any way to give their system an alternative email address, so this is not possible! Continuing to ask questions of a service provider, results in receiving copies of messages from account holders who have a similar situation, and then the question is asked: "Does this help?". Of course, this does not help at all. It is irrelevant. Going to the Microsoft store at the Ala Moana shopping center in Honolulu, resulted in the staff trying to get the account unblocked. Although the Microsoft system says that any phone number may be used to get the code, in fact the employee's number was not accepted. An attempt to call the Microsoft service center 1-800 number on a shopping center payphone was unsuccessful, because the phone system reports that the number dialed is not good. I have just mailed a letter of explanation to Bill Gates c/o the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, WA, asking him to either unblock the account, or else close it. I am awaiting his response at this time. If you the reader can help with this, please contact me at: <>, and if you know Bill Gates, please call him. Thank you very much.

Craig Louis Stehr

Honolulu, Hawaii



  1. james marmon January 21, 2018

    “Mendocino County history starts all over again every day”

    Troubles deepen for co-founder of Mendocino County’s only cannabis distribution business

    “Lucas Seymour hoped his legal troubles as a cannabis businessman were largely behind him in early December after he and his partner secured a Mendocino County license to run their Ukiah-based distribution business.

    But in the span of three weeks, Seymour and his firm, Old Kai, have become the target of a high-profile crackdown by local law enforcement that has ultimately forced Seymour to step down as co-owner of a company he helped create in 2016, in the runup to the state’s historic vote legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

    The trouble for Old Kai began three days before Christmas with a reportedly routine CHP traffic stop and the seizure by local authorities of nearly 1,900 pounds of cannabis from a company truck just blocks from Old Kai’s warehouse. Seventeen days later, local officers, acting on a probation search linked to a 2015 misdemeanor conviction for Seymour, entered the firm’s place of business and removed boxloads of financial documents.”

    • james marmon January 21, 2018

      If marijuana distribution regulations are’t solved, dispensaries may not be able to acquire legal product.

      “California passed a statewide law for governing medical marijuana in September 2015. Since then it had to reconcile its elements with Proposition 64, which voters passed in November to legalize recreational pot. One of the important conflicts between the two laws has to do with distribution, a behind-the-scenes function that could have a significant effect on whether small cannabis businesses will be able to thrive in California.”

      I bet Carmel Angelo is shitting her drawers about right now. She was looking forward to those tax dollars.

      • Harvey Reading January 21, 2018

        Oh, James, your anal references are sooooo clever! And so very manly, too.

      • james marmon January 21, 2018

        Word on the street is that Old Kai has suspended all operations until further notice, they’re not moving anything.

      • james marmon January 21, 2018


        “Old Kai is a logistics company, offering supply-chain solutions to cultivators, manufacturers and retailers; including sourcing and transportation, packaging and tracking, as well as sales and marketing. We work exclusively with regulatory-compliant partners interested in providing the highest quality medicine to patients.

        Old Kai’s success is measured in the success of our partners. We’ve built our staff, fleet, and logistics platform so that you don’t have to. Grow your passion, we’ll handle the rest.”


        • james marmon January 21, 2018

          Tuesday’s BOS meeting should be interesting, they haven’t had a meeting since the Old Kai raid on January 9th. Everyone is sitting on their stash.

          • james marmon January 21, 2018

            I bet Seymour bought that misdemeanor (via Mendocino shakedown) from Eyster and Allman and then violated his probation.

            • james marmon January 21, 2018

              Oops, I was right, he did buy a misdemeanor in 2015 from Eyster and the good sheriff, I didn’t read all the PD article earlier, but its there towards the bottom. Most likely that business license is Null and Void. I wonder how he passed the background check with an active warrant for his arrest during the licensing process. Those financial records seized by the task force may become a bigger issue, for a lot of people.

          • Mark Scaramella January 21, 2018

            Your timing is a bit off, Mr. Marmon. The Old Kai incident was in late December and it was discussed during public expression at the January 2 BOS meeting.

            But you’re right, it will be interesting.

            • james marmon January 21, 2018

              I hate to disagree with you Mr. ScaraMella, but

              “The trouble for Old Kai began three days before Christmas with a reportedly routine CHP traffic stop and the seizure by local authorities of nearly 1,900 pounds of cannabis from a company truck just blocks from Old Kai’s warehouse. Seventeen days later, local officers, acting on a probation search linked to a 2015 misdemeanor conviction for Seymour, entered the firm’s place of business and removed boxloads of financial documents.”

              Seventeen days from the December 22nd would have been January 9th 2018. The last BOS meeting was on the 9th.

              James Marmon MSW

              • james marmon January 21, 2018

                I bet people are more worried about those boxloads of seized financial records than they are the ton of seized shake taken from the van.

      • Randy Burke January 21, 2018

        You paint a pretty picture of the County CEO and her drawers. I hope she wasn’t sitting down.

  2. Harvey Reading January 21, 2018


    Another outstanding picture. The contrast between raging anger and peaceful serenity is striking. And the range of colors between sunlight and shadows, oh my! Thank you, Judy Valadao.

    The shots of the local march and the one in The City were great, too. I do believe that people may be, finally, getting angry. That’s a good thing. Hope it’s not just my own wishful thinking. Whatever, I feel good now.

    • Lazarus January 21, 2018

      Totally unrelated but, I happened to be in Bragg yesterday. On the northern end of town I saw blackish smoke, which is never a good sign. So being a news whore I wondered toward the smoke and found a two story old house totally engulfed in fire, it was directly behind a rundown look’n car wash.
      Talk’n to a local he said, this was the second fire this morning, in this area.
      Then this morning I read the Advocate online, they claim the FD called both fires suspicious…
      In the same article they say, a planned Woman’s March was scheduled in the same area at the same time…but when I was there I never saw any signs of a march, or an excess of women in pink hats…
      As always,

      • Harvey Reading January 21, 2018

        Maybe they decided to go to the Ukiah march instead?

        There was a small march in Casper, with reportedly about 350 people participating. That’s not bad, for Wyoming. Usually, Casper, Cheyenne, and Laramie get the biggest turnouts for similar events, which generally aren’t all that big considering it’s a state that went for Trump by over 70 percent; the usual voting results ratio is about two-to-one in favor of republican candidates statewide. Still, it’s not a bad place for old men, at least as long as they can get around on their own.

  3. Harvey Reading January 21, 2018


    The babies gotta GET to the ocean, George.

    • George Hollister January 21, 2018

      In this case getting to the ocean isn’t an issue.

      “accelerated by recent periods of poor ocean survival combined with the prolonged California drought.”

      Poor ocean conditions and drought are the key factors. On this creek, these are conditions people have no control over. On other water courses, where there is enough water storage, drought can be mitigated. But no one can control ocean conditions.

      What the Redwood Creek biologists are doing is saying, “We want our fish to have an advantage over other fish, and this is how we are going to do it.” I wonder how long this program will continue? It looks like the adult fish released will spawn, most of their fingerlings will go to sea, and a few will be retained to be raised at Warm Springs Dam to be released to spawn?

      The primary factor in “ocean conditions” is food supply for salmon, and everything else in the sea. The level of predation is the other factor. The ocean has a carrying capacity that ,one way or the other, gets met. Salmon are not the only seat at the table, and Redwood Creek wants to make sure their salmon have a place. They also want to have their salmon in their creek. Neat, and selfish at the same time.

      • Harvey Reading January 21, 2018

        Do you know the difference between water-diverter and pro-ocean-ranching political propaganda, and truth, George?

        Most of the salmon catch is spawned in Central Valley streams. Been that way for a long, long time, thanks to poor land management in other coastal streams north of the Golden Gate. The young Central Valley salmon on their way to the ocean are killed by water diversions that send ever-increasing volumes of water south. Ever hear of Frank Fisher’s description of the pumping plants in the south Delta? They’ve been known collectively as the Black Hole of Death ever since.

        Releasing hatchery smolts downstream from the influence of the pumps increased survival, the closer to the ocean the better. From what I’ve read here at AVA, I don’t know if smolts are still trucked around the Delta, or barged to the ocean, or not.

        At one time, supposedly competent biologists were blaming striped bass for the decline of winter-run salmon, completely ignoring the reality that increased water diversion was the cause. Things had gotten so bad because of excessive water diversion that a point had been reached – after over one hundred years, during which striped bass and salmon coexisted, at which striper predation had become a measurable factor.

        At this point of my life I’m not interested in the least in getting back to the political turmoil and associated lies and propaganda associated with the salmon problem, one that is entirely the result of greed on the part of welfare agricultural interests and human populations that have far exceeded carrying capacity.

        But the fact remains: you can’t get good returns of adults from the ocean unless you have good escapement of smolts to the ocean.

        • George Hollister January 21, 2018

          These fish are coho, not chinook. The stream is Redwood Creek in Marin County, and not the Sacramento River. Redwood Creek flows directly into the Pacific Ocean, and is not influenced by changes in freshwater habitat in the Sacramento River, the Delta, or the Bay.

          • Harvey Reading January 21, 2018

            And if I’m not mistaken, coho are an endangered species and have been for years. In coastal streams, habitat destruction from poor past land use is a major culprit.

            • George Hollister January 21, 2018

              The primary habitat issue is the result of CDFW removing “woody debris” from stream channels. Redwood Creek has had this problem, and work has been done to restore the coho habitat that woody debris provides. Most coho streams in California have this same problem. Greed has had nothing to do with degraded freshwater coho habitat, ignorance has.

              • Harvey Reading January 21, 2018

                The primary problem is clearcutting and the resultant erosion that ended up, and continues to end up, in streambeds. Greed has everything to do with it. The logging companies knew exactly what they were doing, and they did not give a damn, because they were greedy, George. And the poor loggers simply worked themselves out of jobs, and then they were discarded. I wonder how many former loggers are among the homeless of Mendocino County, a rhetorical question of sorts?

                The timber companies also got another bonus from the state, the Timber Harvest Plan (or Review, I forget the exact title) program, which is the functional equivalent of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process. Without that gift from state government, the compamies would have had to hire expensive consultants to prepare Environmental Impact Reports under CEQA for each and every clearcut they wanted to undertake.

                Under the program, timber companies got a sort of environmental review, courtesy of the departments of Forestry and Fish and Game, who prepared politically supported, greed-driven timber-harvest “plans” to let them do essentially as they wished. In other words, it was a sham. Instead of having to hire consultants, they let general state taxpayers provide the equivalent in the form of public servants. I repeat, George, greed had everything to do with it.

                  • George Hollister January 21, 2018

                    “Historic hydrological changes and habitat loss that have affected anadromous fish migration, increased sedimentation, and reduced the number of pools and other critical habitats”

                    The web page does not say what caused the habitat loss, because it is an embarrassment. The habitat loss was due to CDFW removing heavy woody debris from the creek. This was done along the California coast back in the 1970s, and 80s. The concern was that log jams were hindering fish migration. Much of what was in the log jams was put there by loggers, and farmers. The log jams were not considered to be “natural” so they had to go. It turned out, the log jams provided essential rearing habitat for Coho on the down side, and essential spawning habitat on the upside. The log jams didn’t block migration after all. So now there is an expensive effort to recreate what was removed. It will take a while. What uncaring loggers and farmers provided in just a few years will take decades longer to replace.

                    The lesson? There can be good unintended consequences from uncaring human enterprise. The same can be said for every other living organism on Earth.

                  • Harvey Reading January 21, 2018

                    Thanks, Louis.

                    There are several citizen organizations on the coast doing somewhat similar work. I no longer keep track of their numbers but assume that the instream habitat restoration effort continues. I also assume that Fish and Game (now Fish and Wildlife) continues to oversee grant funds for restoration of habitat in streams where anadromous fish spawn. The problem is real.

                • George Hollister January 21, 2018

                  Popular fantasy that pays scant virtue to science.

                  • Harvey Reading January 21, 2018

                    I must assume, George that you are referring to your own statements when you say, “…popular fantasy…”, since that is what they are.

                    Fish and Game was placing large woody debris, where appropriate and feasible and budgetarily realistic, into streams during the first half of the 1990s, NOT removing it. And grants were let to grassroots groups for such projects.

                  • Harvey Reading January 21, 2018

                    Log JAMS, George, caused by clearcutting, or cutting trees right down to the banks of streams, are quite another story. That problem was somewhat remedied by regulations (perhaps statutory laws) that mandated a 50-foot, no-cut buffer zone back from stream banks, if I recall correctly.

                    Look, I’m retired and getting damned sick and tired of responding to your utter nonsense.

                  • james marmon January 21, 2018

                    I love it when you get angry Harv

                    James Marmon
                    Master of Disaster

                  • LouisBedrock January 21, 2018

                    “I’m retired and getting damned sick and tired of responding to your utter nonsense.”

                    Yes–I couldn’t agree more strongly. I used to be a teacher but I’m retired too.

                    It was easier to explain photosynthesis to ten year olds than it is to explain hydrological changes–or anything else to Hollister.

                    He is an excellent example of the flagrant imbecile:

                    “He doesn’t know much about anything, but argues stridently about everything—and when he’s not arguing, he stirs up his audience with scrambled balderdash about his train of thought, which is feeble because he is an idiot.”

                  • George Hollister January 21, 2018

                    CAFW was replacing woody debris they had removed, ironically, at times, with the same citizens who worked taking the woody debris out. Got to love it. There is a writer for the AVA who knows this history better than I do.

                  • Harvey Reading January 21, 2018

                    Well, George, then let your writer speak. And let that writer provide the documentation, real documentation, not hearsay. I don’t believe your tale. In fact, I never heard such a tale in my entire life. So, George, the documentation, please.

                  • George Hollister January 21, 2018

                    It is worthy to note that the Redwood Creek folks are running into what everyone else is running into, they have the freshwater coho habitat, but not the coho. Like building a nice big nursery at a hospital, but few show up to have babies. So Redwood Creek has decided to foster their own pregnant moms to provide babies to fill their nursery. It will be interesting to see how that works. Can’t hurt.

                  • Harvey Reading January 21, 2018

                    Now, you’re changing the subject, George. Still peddling your ignorance, but changing the subject. For what it’s worth, I believe your story about logs in-and-out of streams about as much as I believe your slurs against the Canadian health system. C’mon, now, be a man, and ‘fess up, on both counts.

                    Babble away, but I’m going to shut down now, before I turn really nasty. There are limits.

                • Randy Burke January 21, 2018

                  And in one watershed in Mendo County there is a watershed council that goes and gets grants to repair the damage done by the logging company that owns the lands. Grants: funded by taxpayers to clean up and restore the mess of others….a never ending circle of profit and greed, no other names for it. I think Will Parrish mentioned this effort in one of his past articles.

  4. Alice Chouteau January 21, 2018

    Outstanding photo, Judy!

  5. Bill Pilgrim January 21, 2018

    RE: The ‘Shut Down.’

    “The so called government shutdown in the U.S. is no shutdown. It is political theater that pretends a political divide between the two parties that simply is not there. All the bad stuff – the military operations, the spying on you and me, and of course the payments to Congress and the White House are designated as “essential” and will continue. Only the nicer stuff, services for the common people, will be restricted. Adam H. Johnson wrote about this split the last time a ‘government shutdown’ happened: It’s Not a Government Shutdown. It’s a Right-Wing Coup.”

  6. Eric Sunswheat January 21, 2018

    “We can at least feel safe knowing that there was one supervisor with the integrity to vote against this raise.”

    Such cynicism. The one supervisor that tells us to go ahead and waste his time, and whose campaign re-election strategy is to decline a portion of the pay raise, is he himself equated with integrity for the effort. Puppeteers in Mendocino, courtesy of administration oversight from Marin.

  7. Michael Slaughter January 21, 2018

    In the ’60s Doug Dowd used to point out that marching is fine, but it’s what you do the day(s) after that make the difference. For this call to commitment, he became known as “TDA Dowd.”

  8. Alice Chouteau January 21, 2018

    The primary cause of destruction to the Noyo watershed is, and has long been, the City of Fort Bragg relying on it as the one and only source of city water. There are many contributing factors, as noted in other comments, but this is the biggie. Gualala had the same problem, and was placed under a moratorium some years ago, for destruction of habitats of endangered species. The same thing could, and probably should, happen to FB.

    • Randy Burke January 21, 2018

      It all relates to offstream storage. Gualala has been under order to provide offstream storage facilities and the balking by the water company has gone on for some time.

  9. james marmon January 21, 2018

    Guess who’s going back to the Super Bowl? LOL

    THE PATRIOTS !!!!!!

    James Marmon
    Master of Disaster

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *