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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, April 19, 2018

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New Process to Address Over-Excavation Concerns

Rebuilding Mendocino County Strong

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has committed to Mendocino County that it will secure a contractor this week to address over excavation issues that occurred as a result of private property debris removal after the October 2017 wildfires.

Cal OES will work in coordination with the Mendocino County Executive Office Fire Recovery Team to examine sites of concern and determine if over excavation occurred. For properties that meet the criteria for over excavation, the State’s contractor will work quickly to return excess soil that should not have been removed. The express goal of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program has been to remove fire debris and help communities prepare for rebuilding as quickly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, the amount of soil that was over excavated will be returned in a manner that is compliant with Mendocino County building standards.

After a home site is lost to fire, contaminated soil and foundations have to be removed. So, all debris removal leaves some depressions in the soil. However, Cal OES has committed to help the County address and fix those situations where the State or Federal debris removal contractors removed more soil than was necessary to address fire contamination.

If you believe that too much soil has been removed from your home site and you want your site assessed, the County Recovery Team has set up a local number to receive your concerns and coordinate the process for the State to assess your property.

If you have over-excavation concerns, please call: (707) 234-6076

There will also be other speakers at tonight’s meeting to help with rebuilding efforts, including Hope City Crisis Network, which rebuilds homes for families at a reduced cost, along with County Planning & Building Services and Environmental Health Services.

Representatives will also share information about local services and programs that are available through the M-ROC (Rebuilding our Community) Resource Room.

When: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Eagle Peak Middle School Cafeteria, 8601 West Rd, Redwood Valley CA 95470

Agencies attending: Mendocino County Planning and Building Services, Mendocino County Department of Transportation, Mendocino County Environmental Health, M-ROC Resource Room, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cal OES, FEMA

Live Online: This media briefing will be streamed live on the Mendocino County YouTube Channel.

For more information please contact Tammy Moss Chandler, Disaster Recovery Director, at the County Executive Office: (707) 463-4441.

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(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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Tonight, Thursday, April 19th at 6:00 pm, the City of Fort Bragg will conduct a presentation on their highly flawed and totally inadequate Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the controversial "Hare Creek Center" proposed for the west side of Highway One at the junction of Highway 20 that will ruin the gateway to the City, cause traffic nightmares south of the Noyo Bridge, help bring about the further deterioration of the downtown historic district, destroy a wildlife corridor between Jackson Forest and Todd Point, wreck the last significant piece of undeveloped open space in the City, and more.

Concerned citizens are encouraged to attend, and once again voice their concerns regarding this extremely unwise and destructive proposal.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag says, ‘Don't you secretly wanna be a cat?’ Do you secretly wanna be a beer bottle? I answered, and you know what? That shut him up. From now on I'll just Zen him out. Shoulda thought of it sooner.”

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DEL SOL CONCERT to feature AV High compositions

Students in the AVHS Music Production class are having their original compositions performed by a world-class quartet from San Francisco. The Del Sol String Quartet will perform 17 original compositions on Monday, April 30 at 7pm in the AVHS Cafeteria.

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Bail $90,000

  • Pc 1320.5 Failure to Appear Felony Chg On Bail
  • Pc 12022.1 Commission of Crime While Released
  • Pc 11359 Possess Marijuana For Sale
  • Pc 11358 Plant Cultivate Marijuana
  • Pc 1320(B) Failure to Appear Felony Or Agree

Age: 58 years old

Weight: 260 lbs

Heights: 5' 8"

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Red

Last known town/city: Redwood Valley, CA

If you recognize this individual or have information which could lead to their arrest, please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at (707) 463-4086

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A READER WRITES: "Roderick's statement ‘the county has been run for 40 years by people from Albion and Mendocino’ is an odd thing to say. Technically quite false as our current supe (Hamburg) lives just outside Ukiah; before that it was Colfax of Boonville; I don't know where Peterson lived during his four years; and before that was de Vall of Elk. And that takes us back 40 years. The four other district supes had to live elsewhere, in order to represent those districts, so that means over the past forty years no supe, with the possible exception of one-term Peterson, lived in those two towns. In a broader sense, I'd say most of the people running this county are from Ukiah. Now I understand in your subsequent discussion that you are speaking of the lib-dem spirit of Albion & Mendocino which, I guess, is what Roderick was alluding to, but it seems an odd way to put it — until you realize that his two strongest opponents, Williams and Skyhawk, hail from those particular towns. So I suppose it makes sense in a conservative dog-whistle way. Make Mendocino County Great Again."

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"Though the staff were decked out in the trappings of the Wild West, the outlaw, renegade farmers who formed the foundation for today’s multi-billion-dollar industry are the very group that may not make the successful transition into the regulated market.

"It is far too soon to predict the future of FCI or the many other burgeoning cannabis businesses in Mendocino County and beyond. But for a few hours, on that resplendent, celebratory sunny afternoon, cares were forgotten, hard questions were not asked, and pipe dreams, freely encouraged, floated languorously into the Redwood Valley sky."

(Carol Brodsky, Ukiah Daily Journal, "Redwood Valley's Flow Cannabis Institute Celebrates with 'launch party'”)

FLOW KANA'S BUSINESS MODEL is sharecropping. They buy cheap the raw product from small-scale pot farmers and sell at big mark-ups to licensed pot shops. Flow Kana spent a fortune buying up the old Fetzer Winery in Redwood Valley, put another fortune into a retro-fit for packaging dope, must be paying the glibly articulate young people they've got doing the upfront marketing another small fortune.

WILL THEY MAKE IT? Seems from here that the little guy pot person can do better selling his own dope to his long-time customers. Or developing his own markets, cutting out all the people in between him and his labor — the County, the state, entities like Flow Kana. Of course like booze sales, if you make and market your own you risk prison doing business outside what is already an onerous and expensive legal framework. I doubt Flow Kana will be able to pay producers enough to get them to sell to Flow Kana in the volume Flow Kana will need to support the mondo-spiffo neo-sharecrop pot corp they've set up in Redwood Valley.

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AT THE RISK of incurring the wrath of Willits' guy, Laz, the old Howard Hospital seems inevitably suited to the new County psych unit. It's a lot cheaper to re-do part of the hospital than to build a new center from ground up. So what if Marge Handley and her pals make a few bucks from the deal? The old girl is no dummy and has always had a gift for being in the right place at the right cash time. If not her one or another of Willits' free enterprise buccaneers, you get another one. Besides all this, and as a practical fact of modern day psychiatric medicine, the unfortunates confined to the unit will certainly exist in a zombo-izing chemical stew, and be so catatonic they are unlikely to vault the chainlink fence and run screaming through the adjoining neighborhood. Moreover, these patients are not the criminally disposed. The criminally disposed will be housed at the new unit at the County Jail.

WELL, EASY-PEASY for you to say, Mr. AVA, from the safety and comfort of your Boonville bunker. How would you like to have a nut house next door? As it happens, I do have a nut house next door if you, like me, consider sporadic gun fire and window-rattling "music" played at top volume a major expression of aberrant behavior. A nut house next door would be a step forward for me.

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BOB FOWLER, the ava's senior meteorologist, brings our rainfall stats up to date, and we're talking Boonville here: Bob has our total at a little over 25 inches, with 3.1 inches in last week's deluge to get there, but still short of the annual 30 or so inches we've seen over the past few years.

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OOPS. Cindy Wilder writes: If Ron Verdier reads the paper this week he will be surprised to hear he is running for supervisor. The guy's last name is Rodier, I think."

THE CANDIDATE is indeed Rodier. Verdier is the talented architect who makes his headquarters in Boonville.

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by Jonah Raskin

“I’m afraid that Napa is becoming the Valley of the Oligarchs. If it can happen here, where people are reasonably intelligent it can happen anywhere.” — St. Helena city councilman Geoff Ellsworth

Where does one go to glimpse the future? There have always been science fiction novels such as H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange World, as well as more recent films such as The Planet of the Apes. But what if you want to go to a real place on the planet to get a sense of where humanity is headed?

The preeminent California writer, Joan Didion, told me that for years when she wanted to see the future, she looked at Miami and New Orleans. She added that more recently she didn't know where to focus her eyes and her critical intelligence, though she added, “To be a Californian means to be full of contradictions. I think it’s more contradictory than any other place in the country.”

The author, James Conaway, doesn't argue that Napa County has more contradictions than any other place in California. But he has written that Napa is the location where one can see what lies ahead. From his perspective, it’s in the very eye of the cultural and political storm that has been spreading across the U.S. He’s written three non-fiction books about Napa. All of them describe the loss of an Eden and the corrupting power of money and privilege.

Initially, I was dubious of Conaway’s perspective. It’s true that after Disneyland, Napa is a major tourist destination and attraction, and yet it’s a small county. The population of today is about 150,000. It has 789 square miles.

But Napa is world-famous for wine and Napa wines goes almost everywhere in the world.

The more I thought about Conaway’s idea, the less skeptical I became.

Recently, I went to Napa and looked at the place through his eyes. I had been there before, but merely as a tourist who ate in restaurants and drank wine in places like Tra Vigne and Bouchon, famous in the foodie world.

In some ways, my most recent trip to Napa felt like going back in time to the feudal past. After all, Napa has vineyard aristocrats in their mansions and servants and serfs who work directly in the wine industry, or for it in one capacity or another.

From Conaway’s perspective, tourists are a big part of the Napa predicament. Indeed, hordes come by car and overrun the landscape. I saw them on my most recent foray into the dark heart of Napa, which is about thirty minutes away from where I live in Sonoma, California.

Sonoma is much bigger geographically speaking than Napa, less developed commercially and without the glitz associated with its sister county, though its western edge on the Pacific Ocean gives it a distinctive flavor. Napa is landlocked, though a tiny portion borders on San Pablo Bay at its southern-most tip.

I was the guest of two longtime Napa residents who don’t like the way the county has evolved — or devolved — over the past half century. In their company I felt like a pilgrim in a lost Eden.

Geoff Ellsworth was raised in Napa by parents who operated a business that sold equipment to the wine industry.

“My mother and father were living in Berkeley before I was born,” he told me. “They didn’t think it was a good place to raise children so they moved to Napa.”

Ellsworth grew up there just in time to witness a revolution that transformed the place for a sleepy backwater to a thriving economic powerhouse that attracted the super rich, as well as Latinos who have worked the land.

An accomplished artist and a councilman in St. Helena, one of the ritziest towns in the county, Ellsworth said he never thought he would see the kind of environmental destruction that he has seen in Napa for years and still sees everyday.

Indeed, if one wanted to view the impacts of greed unleashed, the power of money and the corruption of the democratic process, Napa is as good a place as any to start.

“It’s beginning to look like clean water for everyone is revolutionary,” Ellsworth told me.

To see Napa raw and naked one has to get away from Main Street and downtown and venture in the hills and mounts where right now woods and trees are being harvested with little if any concern for wild life and endangered species. Then, the land is cleared with heavy machinery to make way for more vineyards.

With Ellsworth was Kellie Anderson who has lived in Napa County for 27 years and who worked for decades in the wine industry and for the county agricultural commissioner.

Feisty and fearless, she knows from her own professional experience, what the rules are, and how they’re routinely broken by the big corporations that have snapped up land, blasted rock with dynamite, privatized watersheds and polluted streams and creeks with harmful herbicides and chemicals.

“It's total insanity what’s happening here,” Anderson told me. “No one enforces the laws and there’s a huge amount of intimidation and fear.”

Ellsworth added, “Word has gotten out that Napa is a place where no one pays attention to rules and so no one in the wine industry is afraid of breaking rules and lying. The newspapers have been co-opted.”

We climbed into the mountains and stopped every half-mile so that Anderson could point to a vineyard or a plot of land where the rules had been broken. In some place, it was shocking. Creeks and streams had been buried under piles of earth and chemicals were stored in unsafe, hazardous locations.

Long-time residents have been forced from their homes to make way for more vineyards. Almost all of them are surrounded by high fences and stonewalls.

“A member of the citizens auxiliary police,” as she calls herself, Anderson raises a hue and cry at public meetings. She also lights a fire under councilman Ellsworth. He appreciates her enthusiasm and her civic concern.

“I’m afraid that Napa is becoming the Valley of the Oligarchs,” Ellsworth told me. “If it can happen here where people are reasonably intelligent it can happen anywhere.”

The problems, Anderson went on to explain, are manifold.

“The vineyard owners and wine makers dispense funds to most of the civic groups and organizations and anytime anyone criticizes them they point to their philanthropic efforts,” she said. “Citizens are told that if the vineyards and the wineries are forced to adhere to environmental regulations people will lose their jobs and won’t be able to pay the rent and put food on the table to feed their children.”

Anderson added, “the women who work in PR for the wineries are some of the worst.”

Ellsworth listened carefully, and then told me that, “On the surface, the grape and wine industry seems much cleaner than the coal industry, but it too is very dirty and very responsible for deforestation and pollution of the environment.”

But all is not lost. Ellsworth, Anderson and hundreds of citizens have banded together to make what might be a last stand against the oligarchs. Indeed, in the spirit of California democracy, they have drafted an initiative that’s on the ballot in Napa June 5.

“The Napa County Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative of 2018” — known as “C” — states that when enacted it will “protect the water quality of Napa County’s streams, watersheds, wetlands and forests and safeguard the public health, safety and welfare of the County’s residents.”

The con “C” forces managed to write false and misleading statements about “C” and then include them in the voter information pamphlet. But a lawyer and a vineyard owner named Yeoryios C. Apallas filed a lawsuit, also in the spirit of California democracy.

The Napa County Superior Court ordered the removal of the false statements from the pamphlet.

Still, the ruling didn’t stop the proliferation of “No on ‘C’” signs that insist that if successful the initiative will lead to higher taxes, the end of individual freedom and a loss of personal income.

“The same issues were around in the 1990s,” Anderson told me. “But back then almost no one paid attention. Now, we’re way beyond the tipping point and people are beginning to wake up and see what’s happening right here and right now.”

Ellsworth added, “The ‘No’ on ‘C’ forces have argued that the initiative will end comfortable life styles, but many people are not buying that view anymore.”

Indeed, it looks as though democracy will triumph on June 5.

“It’s a first step,” Ellsworth said. “The ‘Yes’ on ‘C’ campaign has educated the public and raised awareness about our most valuable resource: water.”

Author James Conaway doesn’t claim credit for the awakening of the citizenry, but his three Napa books, including the most recent, Napa at Last Light: America’s Eden in an Age if Calamity (Simon & Schuster), have played a key role and shown that in the age of the tweet, the book as a medium for information still has a vital role to play in civic life.

Joan Didion, who left her native California and moved to New York many years ago, would look at Napa today and see immense contradictions, not only between oligarchy and democracy, but also between the beauty of the land itself and the rapacity of an industry driven by greed.

Late on a hot, sunny Friday afternoon, I said goodbye to Ellsworth and Anderson, promised to return and went home a sober man. Indeed, we had not had a sip of wine in a place made world famous by wine.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating and Drinking Wine in California.)

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“Did we seriously make this guy the king just because he yells the loudest?”

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The recreational salmon seasons have been set for 2018, and it appears to be a mixture of good news and bad for California anglers. Klamath River fall run Chinook are likely to be one of the better fishing opportunities due to higher returns that will support both ocean and inland salmon seasons. But returns for Sacramento River fall run Chinook – the main stock of salmon supporting California’s ocean and Central Valley river fisheries – have been low for the third consecutive year, pushing them into “overfished” status.

In order to meet conservation goals for Sacramento River fall run Chinook, some ocean salmon seasons have been shortened and the daily bag and possession limits for Central Valley river fisheries have been reduced.

“The goal is to get even more fish back to the spawning grounds this fall than would be required in a normal year,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fisheries Branch Chief Kevin Shaffer.

In an effort to hasten the rebuilding process, the Pacific Fishery Management Council constructed conservative ocean salmon seasons for 2018, in the hopes of producing higher numbers of returning spawners. The California Fish and Game Commission set similar ocean seasons.

The 2018 recreational ocean salmon season for the California coast is as follows:

In the Klamath Management Zone, which is the area between the Oregon/California border and Horse Mountain (40°05’00” N. latitude), the season will open June 1 and continue through Sept. 3.

The Fort Bragg and San Francisco areas, which extend from Horse Mountain to Point Arena (38°57’30” N. latitude) and Point Arena to Pigeon Point (37°11’00” N. latitude), respectively, will open June 17 and continue through Oct. 31.

The Monterey area between Pigeon Point and the U.S./Mexico border opened on April 7 and will continue through July 2.

The minimum size limit is 20 inches total length in all areas north of Pigeon Point and 24 inches in all areas south of Pigeon Point. The daily bag limit is two Chinook salmon per day. No more than two daily bag limits may be possessed when on land. On a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit. Retention of coho salmon (also known as silver salmon) is prohibited in all ocean fisheries off California.

The 2018 recreational inland salmon season for California inland waters is as follows:

Seasons for Central Valley fishery start on traditional dates on all sections of all rivers. Only one salmon per day may be retained and the possession limit is two salmon.

In the Klamath River the season will open Aug. 15 and continue through Dec. 31. The Trinity River season will be open from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. The daily bag limit is two salmon no more than one over 22 inches. The possession limit is six salmon, no more than three over 22 inches.

Regulations approved by the Commission since the 2017 season created a positive effect for the upcoming Central Valley salmon season. The new regulations – including a complete closure of Nimbus Basin on the American River to all fishing due to construction, a reduction in the daily bag and possession limit for the Central Valley, and a shortened leader length regulation intended to reduce snagging – were pivotal in setting seasons on the Sacramento River fall Chinook because they helped reduced potential harvest to meet stock rebuilding goals.

The 2018 sport seasons, dates, locations and bag limits will be published in the 2018-2019 Sport Fishing Regulations Supplement, which will be posted on the CDFW website in May. Additional season information can be found on CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage or by calling CDFW’s ocean salmon hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the Klamath-Trinity River hotline at (800) 564-6479.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 18, 2018

Angenete, Cooper, Fabian

JOSEPH ANGENETE, Clearlake/Ukiah. Controlled substance, controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, felon/addict with firearm, controlled substance for sale, armed with firearm in commission of felony.

TIMMY COOPER, Ukiah. Resisting, offenses while on bail, probation revocation.

FERNANDO FABIAN, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, probation revocation.

Garland, Hoffman, Hunter

WAYNE GARLAND, Willits. Domestic battery, protective order violation, probation revocation.

AUBREY HOFFMAN, Ukiah. DUI-drugs, smuggling drugs or liquor into jail, probation revocation.

NICHOLAS HUNTER, Ukiah. Controlled substance.

Johnson, Matthias, Maxfield

EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance transportation, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

WANA MATTHIAS, Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, burglary, getting credit with someone else’s ID, suspended license, failure to appear.

CHARLES MAXFIELD, Ukiah. Controlled substance, felon/addict with firearm.

Parker, Peters, Ray

DAVID PARKER JR., Willits. Controlled substance, stolen property, failure to appear.

MONIQUE PETERS, Ukiah. County parole violation, probation revocation.

JEREMIAH RAY, Covelo. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Raya, Reynolds, Turnbull

RYAN RAYA, Ukiah. Parole violation.

LINDA REYNOLDS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, possession for sale.

WILLIAM TURNBULL, Antelope/Redwood Valley. DUI-drugs&alcohol

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City's highrise boom: Seismic safety "never a factor"

Sailors arriving in San Francisco in the 19th century used two giant redwood trees perched on a hill to help guide their ships into the bay. The redwoods were felled for their lumber at around the time of the gold rush, but San Francisco now has a new beacon: Salesforce Tower, the tallest office building in the West.

Clustered around the 1,070-foot tower are a collection of high rises built on the soft soil and sand on the edge of the bay. They represent a bold symbol of a new San Francisco, but also a potential danger for a city that sits precariously on unstable, earthquake-prone ground.

San Francisco lives with the certainty that the Big One will come. But the city is also putting up taller and taller buildings clustered closer and closer together because of the state’s severe housing shortage. Now those competing pressures have prompted an anxious rethinking of building regulations. Experts are sending this message: The building code does not protect cities from earthquakes nearly as much as you might think.

It’s been over a century — Wednesday marks the 112th anniversary — since the last devastating earthquake and subsequent inferno razed San Francisco. Witnesses on the morning of April 18, 1906, described the city’s streets as rising and falling like a ribbon carried by the wind.[emphasis added]

The violent shaking ignited a fire that lasted three days, destroying 500 city blocks and 28,000 buildings. Half of the population of around 400,000 was made homeless. Many were forced to flee the city.

After decades of public hostility toward skyscrapers, the city has been advocating a more dense and more vertical downtown. San Francisco now has 160 buildings taller than 240 feet and a dozen more are planned.

California has strict building requirements to protect schools and hospitals from a major earthquake. But not skyscrapers. A five-story building has the same strength requirements as a 50-story building...

How safe are San Francisco’s skyscrapers? Even the engineers who design them can’t provide exact answers. Earthquakes are too unpredictable. And too few major cities have been tested by major temblors...

But until recently, high-rise buildings were not a focus of San Francisco’s seismic safety. Newer high rises across California, which are typically built around a concrete core, are designed using computer modeling. This raises concerns among experts such as Thomas H. Heaton, the director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology and perhaps the most prominent skeptic of building high rises in earthquake zones.

“It’s kind of like getting in a new airplane that’s only been designed on paper but nobody has ever flown in it,” he said.

Last September, San Francisco’s former mayor, Edwin M. Lee, responding to a scandal about a skyscraper that was sinking and leaning, ordered city officials to strengthen building codes for high rises and requested an independent study on their safety.

Known as the Tall Buildings Study, it will for the first time create a detailed database of the more than 160 high rises, classified by building type. Ayse Hortacsu, the structural engineer who is leading the study, has deployed Stanford graduate students to pore over blueprints and records at the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection.

“It would have been great to do this before this building boom in San Francisco,” Ms. Hortacsu said. “But we are going to seize the moment and make the best out of it.”

For years the city restricted building height to 500 feet in most neighborhoods. The objection to high rises was largely cultural and aesthetic — critics deplored “Manhattanization” and said high rises were not in keeping with the ethos of the city.

But by 2004, city officials had put in motion a plan to redevelop a neighborhood of warehouses and vacant lots that today are the heart of downtown. The city pushed for the construction of a tall, iconic building — the future Salesforce Tower, which can be seen in the right half of this photograph, shimmering over its neighbors.

San Francisco, once a low-rise city, is in the middle of a building boom and now home to the tallest office building west of the Mississippi. Jim Wilson/The New York Times (click to enlarge)

“We saw that as a symbol of the new San Francisco and we wanted the building to be at least 1,000 feet in height,” said Dean Macris, a key figure in conceiving the new high-rise San Francisco who led the planning board under four mayors. Now retired, Mr. Macris said the issue of seismic safety of high rises was “never a factor” in the redevelopment plans of the South of Market area, or SoMa, as it’s known.

What shifted the debate on seismic safety was the sinking and tilting of the 58-floor Millennium Tower. When it was completed in 2009, the building won numerous awards for ingenuity from engineering associations, including Outstanding Structural Engineering Project of the Year by the San Francisco office of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The developer and city officials knew of the building’s flaws for years, but kept them confidential until 2016, when news leaked to the public. The latest measurements, taken in December, show that the building has sunk a foot and a half and is leaning 14 inches toward neighboring high rises. It is across the street from Salesforce Tower and right next to a transit hub for buses, trains and eventually high speed rail that is being touted as the Grand Central of the West.

With the Millennium Tower, San Francisco got a foretaste of what it means to have a structurally compromised skyscraper. If the city is hit by a severe earthquake, experts fear there could be many more. The area around Millennium Tower is considered among the most hazardous for earthquakes. The United States Geological Survey rates the ground there — layers of mud and clay — as having a very high risk of acting like quicksand during an earthquake, a process known as liquefaction.

At least 100 buildings taller than 240 feet were built in areas that have a “very high” chance of liquefaction...

Right now the [building]code says a structure must be engineered to have a 90 percent chance of avoiding total collapse. But many experts believe that is not enough.

“Ten percent of buildings will collapse,” said Lucy Jones, the former leader of natural hazards research at the United States Geological Survey who is leading a campaign to make building codes in California stronger. “I don’t understand why that’s acceptable...When I tell people what the current building code gives them, most people are shocked,” Dr. Jones said. “Enough buildings will be so badly damaged that people are going to find it too hard to live in L.A. or San Francisco”...

Driving the push to change the code is the notion that California has so much more to lose than it did in 1906. The billions of dollars of infrastructure, headquarters of global industries and the denser, more vertical downtown make San Francisco a much more interconnected and vulnerable place.

The goal of the code, say proponents of a stronger one, should be the survival of cities — strengthening water systems, electrical grids and cellular networks — not just individual buildings. “We’ve been sitting on our hands for decades about this problem,” said Keith Porter, a seismic engineer at the University of Colorado, who is hoping to spur greater public participation in a debate.

Dr. Porter’s research offers warnings on the economic consequences of a major earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has calculated that one out of every four buildings in the Bay Area might not be usable after a magnitude 7 earthquake, which although severe is not the worst the area could experience...

How much would stronger buildings cost to build? At a time when the average price of a home in San Francisco is above $1.2 million, even a marginal increase in price tag is bound to meet resistance.

“We are already facing the concern of extremely high cost of housing and displacement,” said Brian Strong, the director of the office of resilience in San Francisco’s city government. In recent years the city has been focused on other seismic dangers, including older, low-rise apartment buildings with inadequate ground floor structures that could collapse, known as soft stories.[emphasis added]

Charles Richter, the earthquake pioneer who invented the scale used to measure their power, had strong opinions about skyscrapers. Don’t build them in California, he said.

In the years since Mr. Richter’s death in 1985, construction materials have become stronger and engineering more precise.

Yet Hiroo Kanamori, an emeritus professor of seismology at the California Institute of Technology who developed the earthquake magnitude scale that replaced Dr. Richter’s, says the vast power and mysteries of earthquakes should continue to instill a deep humility.

In recent decades scientists have recorded violent ground motions that were previously thought impossible. A soon-to-be-published paper by Caltech engineers showed that an earthquake with a similar intensity of the one that struck Chichi, Taiwan in 1999 would bring down or render unusable numerous steel frame high rises in Los Angeles.

“People say, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s an outlier,’” Dr. Kanamori said. “This is the problem with earthquakes. By nature of the process there are a lot of unpredictable elements.

“And a single event can be catastrophic,” he said.

–NY Times (San Francisco's Big Seismic Gamble)

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Page 610 – “Oh God, not again.” That was the collective moan that erupted from deep within the crowd at Los Angeles’s Ambassador Hotel on the night of Kennedy’s victory, as he lay mortally wounded on the grimy floor of the hotel pantry. As in Dallas, official reports immediately pinned sole responsibility for the shooting on a troubled loner, a twenty-four-year-old Palestinian immigrant named Sirhan Sirhan. The accused assassin was undeniably involved in the assault on Kennedy as the senator and his entourage made their way through the crowded, dimly-lit hotel pantry on the way to a press briefing room. But numerous eyewitnesses — including one of the men who subdued Sirhan — insisted that the alleged assassin could not have fired the shot that killed Kennedy. Sirhan was several feet in front of Kennedy when he began firing with his revolver. But the fatal shot — which struck RFK at point blank range behind the right ear, penetrating his brain — was fired from behind. Furthermore, evidence indicated that thirteen shots were fired in the pantry that night — five more that the number of bullets that Sirhan’s gun could hold. Dr. Thomas Noguchi, the Los Angeles coroner who conducted the autopsy on Kennedy, thought that all of the evidence pointed to a second gunman. “Thus I have never said that Sirhan Sirhan killed Robert Kennedy,” Noguchi would flatly state in his 1983 memoir.

— David Talbot, “The Devil’s Chessboard”

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NO QUIZ TODAY (Thursday). The Quiz will be back on the 4th Thursday - April 26th. Hope to see you there,

Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

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“Lights. Camera. Fiction!”

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Fissures in the financial system and chasms in the real economy.

Perpetual 600 billion per year trade deficits, perpetual trillion dollar a year federal govt deficits, a 20 trillion dollar federal debt, bankrupt pension funds.

If you don’t put any stock in public stats (and I don’t) just look at the physical state of the nation and its population. That tells the story.

Where do you start, how do you fend off status quo-ists that won’t countenance a clean-up, how do you hobble a Deep State intent on defending the interests of its billionaire patrons and paymasters?

Political turmoil reflects the unworkable and unfixable economy. There’s too many with not enough and a very few with way too much. The crux of the problem is that the very few with way too much bent the system to suit themselves, to the detriment of everyone else. The system may be unworkable but they’ll ride that sucker down to zero.

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18 APRIL 1942 — 76 years ago today, my parents' best man, Joe Manske was flying towards Toyko, Japan as the engineer-gunner on the number 5 plane of James Doolittle's Toyko Raiders - a flight of sixteen B-25 twin engine bombers launched from the aircraft carrier Hornet. As a side note: My mother at the time had more hours on her civilian pilot's license than my father had on his. (Irv Sutley)

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An Exhibit Closing for Main Street: Then & Now

The Mendocino County Museum Announces

On Sunday April 29, 2018 at the Mendocino County Museum

Last chance to view the exhibit, Main Street: Then & Now.

Stroll back into the history of Main Street in Willits with this visually fascinating and historically informative exhibit, with a focus on Main Street architecture, commerce, and culture. The exhibit and accompanying text panels include a history for each site and enlivening commentary from oral histories and interviews that guest curators Kim Bancroft and Judi Berdis researched.

The Main Street: Then & Now exhibit will close on Sunday, April 29, 2018.

The Museum is located at 400 East Commercial Street in Willits, and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 4:30pm. Admission: Adults $4; Students $1; and Children under 6 Free. For more information visit www.mendocinocounty/government/ or call 459-2736.

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Court Extends Deadline To Apply To Serve On The Next Grand Jury

The Honorable Jeanine B. Nadel, Chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee has extended the deadline to submit applications to serve on the 2018/2019 Grand Jury to May 18th, 2018. The 2018/2019 Grand Jury will be sworn in at the end of June, 2018 (date to be announced).

Service on the Civil Grand Jury is an excellent opportunity to learn about the inner workings of government, while providing a valuable service to the community. The 19 members of the Grand Jury serve for one year and are empowered to investigate the operations of county, city and district governments; provide civil oversight of local government departments and agencies; and respond to citizen complaints. The Grand Jury sets its own agenda and meeting schedule. Much of the work is performed in small committees allowing for considerable flexibility in the work schedule and meeting locations.

Grand Jurors are compensated $25 per full panel meeting, $10 per committee meeting and committee attendance at public meetings. Mileage is reimbursed at the current County of Mendocino rate. There is free onsite parking. Prior to being nominated, each qualifying applicant is interviewed by a Superior Court judge. Training for Grand Jurors will be provided.

To serve as a Grand Juror, the following requirements must be met:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • United States citizen
  • Resident of Mendocino County for at least one year
  • Sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English
  • Not currently serving on any other governmental board or commission during the term
  • Not presently holding a public office
  • Not convicted of a felony
  • Not personally active in any campaign of a candidate for elective office

Applications and related information are available on the Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino website. The application may also be obtained in person at the Superior Court, 100 North State Street, Rm. 303, Ukiah or by calling the Grand Jury at (707) 463-4320.

For more information contact:

Kim Weston, Administrative Assistant
Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino
100 N. State Street, Room 303
Ukiah, CA 954825
(707) 467-6437

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WANTED: Tomato Cages

In order to reuse the material already in our community, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is looking for donations of tomato cages. The cages will be used to support our glorious dahlias as they grow and bloom. If you would like to donate tomato cages, please contact Lead Gardener, Jaime Jensen at Thank you for helping us reduce and reuse!


  1. George Hollister April 19, 2018

    The Millennium Tower’s foundation is not resting on the bedrock below, but on fill that will experience liquefaction when there is a major earthquake. I am sure the engineers considered the earthquake-liquefaction scenario, or did they? Of course is appears the foundation, as designed by engineers, is failing even without an earthquake. What a mess now, and a bigger mess to be when the San Andreas makes it’s next move.

    Also imagine what will happen in the Little Lake Valley with the Willits Bypass, that is not resting on bedrock either. There is an active fault there, too.

  2. Betsy Cawn April 19, 2018

    Re: “The Clash of Oligarchy and Democracy” (Jonah Raskin), Mr. Conaway will be visiting us on Sunday, April 22, via the public airwaves — KPFZ (88.1 fm), 2-3 pm, to help us understand how the Napa influence has impacted Lake County, California.

    Horrid groundwater management policies, questionable land use practices, destruction of vast swaths of native vegetation (including oak woodlands), violation of permit limitations, lack of enforcement . . . sounds just like home to me. Tune in via the ‘net at; give us a call at 707-263-3435 while we’re “live” on our regular weekly broadcast for disaster preparedness and response in the County of Lake.

    The Essential Public Information Center, sponsor of KPFZ’s weekly environmental/government status reports, will be open all day Saturday, April 21, for Upper Lake’s “Earth Fest” on Main Street. Stop by and say hello if you’re in town!

  3. james marmon April 19, 2018

    I attended the Ukiah City Council meeting last night and voiced my support for the Marbut Report and Ford Street Project. Like Dr. Marbut said in his presentation last month, “that Ford Street now, they have the secret sauce’. He was very impressed.

    “Ford Street Project, Inc is a drug or alcohol rehabilitation center with a primary focus on substance abuse treatment based at 139 Ford Street in Ukiah, CA.

    The facility provides detoxification services to the public. The treatment center provides residential short-term treatment and residential long-term treatment care. There are special groups and programs for persons with co-occuring mental and substance abuse disorders, women, men, and DUI and DWI offenders.”

    Where’s the money Camille?

    James Marmon MSW

    • james marmon April 19, 2018

      Apparently the church group wanting to open the 5th homeless day center in Ukiah on Luce Are. collected signatures from all over westside Ukiah from folks who believed it was better to keep all the Riff Raff south of Gobbi with the Mexicans. The NIMBY crowd will still have to drive through skid row to get to Costco unless they take the long way around. A petition was circulated among Luce Ave folks in opposition of the faclity and everyone signed it but one, a RCS employee

      Those same westside NIMBY Ukiahians also support the locked facility being located in Willis.

  4. Lazarus April 19, 2018

    Mr. AVA,
    I watched the 5th District candidates mockup of a BOS meeting yesterday as advertised here and on Mendo TV. I was heartened to hear “The Coast” is wondering why the Howard Foundation seems entitled to all that Measure B money for their “White Elephant”, also known as, the old Howard Memorial Hospital…
    It seems “The Coast” wants a unit of their own, and a piece of the money action.
    Then one of the supervisorial hopefuls literally shamed the county laced insider Measure B panel as a sham, or worse yet, an incompetent bunch of ninnies, not capable of handling the job they’re tasked with.
    No Mr. AVA this race for the Measure B money deal has legs, folks from what I hear are waking up, gearing up, and pissed at how it’s being manipulated by the system and people you seem to indorse…
    This nut house is the last thing Willits needs, you want a definition of crazy…? Putting a lockdown mental unit in the middle of town, surrounded by a 15 foot chain linked fence; literally next to two schools, a business area, and a family friendly neighborhood, now that’s crazy! Hang on Bubba…
    As always,

    • james marmon April 19, 2018

      Be careful Laz, the Allmanians are an extremely powerful cult and control most our elected officials and all the local media outlets, especially this one.

      Deja Vu

      “Inside Peoples Temple”

      “Jim Jones is one the state’s most politically potent leaders. But who is he? And what’s going on behind his church’s locked doors?.”

      “Jones’s congregation grew, and he soon became a political force in Mendocino County. In off-year elections, where the total vote was around 2,500, Jones could control 300 to 400 ballots, or nearly 16 percent of the vote. “I could show anybody the tallies by precinct and pick out the Jones vote,” says Al Barbero, county supervisor from Redwood Valley.”


    • james marmon April 19, 2018

      “Putting a lockdown mental unit in the middle of town, surrounded by a 15 foot chain linked fence…”

      Laz your comment brought back one of my oldest memories. People used to be able to drive through the State Hospital in Talmage, all the dorms had chain link fences around them. My grandfather loved to take my brother’s and I for a Sunday drive there to look at the crazies. He would always tell me that if I didn’t straighten up that is where I was going to end up. Anyway I remember one day we watched some poor soul that kept running into the fence head first and bouncing off it hitting the ground, we watched him do that about a dozen times. Finally my grandfather was getting a pain in his side from laughing so hard so we moved on. Think of the entertainment this facility could bring to Willits Laz. Could be big for you guys.

      • james marmon April 19, 2018

        Sometimes the patients would take off their clothes, that was always good for a laugh too.

  5. Brian Wood April 19, 2018

    I read sometime last week in the blog that Ron Verdier was among the 5th district candidates for supervisor, which surprised me until I found out that was an error and it should have named Alan Rodier. I’m surprised that it took several days to be corrected. But I am also concerned that the candidates themselves apparently didn’t notice or care enough to correct you.

    Does that mean none of them read the AVA? It would be hard for me to support any candidate who doesn’t read all major local media.

    • Bruce Anderson April 19, 2018

      Rodier, I’m sure, is the only candidate unfamiliar with the beloved Boonville weekly. I regret the error, certainly, but I agree if candidates aren’t reading the entire county’s media that candidate is unlikely to be much of a supervisor, just one more person showing up and collecting a check but without much interest in the county he or she allegedly supervises. The print media are moving so rapidly to electronic that facebook probably has more influence these days than any single newspaper. Back in print boom time, for instance, the ava enjoyed total market penetration in the Anderson Valley, calculated by assuming 3 readers for every post office box, and we sold twice as many papers at local stores. All media now compete for the fragged attentions of people; we think hyper-local is our survival direction, and I can tell you our website these days is doing better than our paper-paper. Onward!

  6. Arthur Juhl April 19, 2018

    I told Al Rodier about the miss spelling of his name, not knowing who the other person was.
    I am getting a little tire of hearing that the candidate was born and raised here and went to school here also. If that is the case why wait some 20years to make improvements? I was born and raised in San Francisco, second generation and if I saw something I did not like or understand I made it a point to get to the bottom. When I was married I promised my wife I would stay away from politics, but used the connections I had to go after a problem. I was a member of the San Francisco Press club, The Kiwanis club and the Masons. And I hung out at the Bohemian club, waiting to join. Between them I met the right person to get something accomplished. I did not wait some 20years!
    Now studying the budget I can read into it that there is a great need for accountibilty of all departments. The Supervisors should get each and every director to submit a report every month to see where their funds are spent, not the CEO who in my opinion is overwhelmed. If that happened we might even have a surplus to fix our roads! Arthur E. Juhl candidate for the 5th district Supervisor

  7. Arthur Juhl April 19, 2018

    Susan, if you will be so kind to repeat what John asked I will try to answer his question. Arthur E. Juhl candidate for the 5th district Supervisor.

  8. Arthur Juhl April 19, 2018

    In regrads to the cannabis business we should find people who have been in the business even though they might be in jail. The two who propose to know, know nothing. When Roosevelt wanted to fix the stock market, he hired Joe Kennedy, the biggest inside trader, thus the SEC was born. That’s what is needed now. I’m sure the law enforcement fellows can find the right person. Arthur E. Juhl candidate for the 5th district Supervisor

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