- Rays Fire
- Flex Alert
- Uneasy Irmulcans
- Simon Speaks
- Temporary Lines
- Philo Farm
- Gualala Hooligans
- Weed Chat
- Little Dog
- Khadijah Banners
- Shelter Stats
- Foot Found
- Progressive Insurgents
- Sohum Bust
- Empty Houses
- Yesterday's Catch
- Toxic Cannabis
- Inflatable Don
- Crazy News
- Small Bites
- Summer Travels
- Todds Point
- Elbert Howard
- Prez Praise
- Direct Action
- Flying Blind
- KFC Beach
- Election Perspective
A DOWNED POWER LINE ignited a grass fire at 18360 Rays Road, Philo, on Tuesday afternoon on the backside of Steve Farrer’s property, and spotted to at least three other places: a small 1/4 acre by River’s Bend campground and a more significant burn across the river on River’s Bend property.
The blaze was called in at 1:20 pm and was officially declared out less than an hour later, after it had burned about ten acres. The fast, effective response included the Anderson Valley Fire Department, CalFire air, ground and inmate (Chamberlain Creek) crews.
FLEX ALERT issued for Tuesday and Wednesday, July 24 & 25: Due to high temperatures in California and most of the western U.S., the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) has issued a statewide Flex Alert that calls for voluntary electricity conservation from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, and Wednesday, July 25. Consumers are urged to conserve electricity especially during the late afternoon and evening when air conditioners typically are at peak use. Consumers can help avoid power interruptions by turning off all unnecessary lights, using major appliances before 5 p.m. and after 9 p.m., and setting air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher. The ISO has issued the Flex Alerts due to high temperatures across the western U.S., reduced electricity imports, tight natural gas supplies in the Southern California area, and high wildfire risk. The ISO has called on all available resources to be available to serve demand, however, conservation is needed to reduce the risk of further emergency measures, including rotating power outages. The ISO’s service territory serves about 80 percent of California’s electricity consumers.
For more electricity conservation tips, visit the ISO’s Flex Alert website at https://trib.al/Vky5m4O.
A COMMUNITY of long-time residents who live along the Irmulco Road running north off Highway 20 not far from Willits is on high fire alert. These Irmulcans, as they might be called, have been unnerved lately by a series of late night blazes, the most spectacular of which last Saturday night (July 21-22) burned three buildings to the ground at the Skunk Train's Northspur station, a cluster of structures that has served as a rest stop for the Skunk line out of Fort Bragg and Willits. Lately, though, Northspur seems to have become a kind of outback gathering place for lost people addicted to methamphetamine, perhaps invited to Northspur by the couple employed by the Skunk Train as property caretakers.
The most recent fire that took down three of the rest stop buildings was called in at 2am. The two caretakers said they awoke to discover the blaze, which subsequent investigations have revealed seems to have ignited from butane used to manufacture the concentrated marijuana drug called honey oil. CalFire and the Little Lake Fire Department are investigating. Irmulcans complain that Robert Pinoli Jr., president of the Skunk Line, has met with them but defends his two Northspur caretakers, dismissing neighbors' complaints that the round-the-clock, drug-fueled activity at Northspur, and the character of the people involved, imperil the entire area, especially in a time of high fire danger.
MISS SMITH’S FINEST HOUR
by Rex Gressett
The City Council meeting met Monday night in Fort Bragg’s Townhall was packed. I am always amazed at how much is revealed by intention or by omission at City Council meetings. Whatever they intend to do or try to hide, the focus of political pressures in the formality of democratic ritual tends strongly to strip away the veil behind which power maneuvers. It is high drama and it is very real.
A Council meeting in its traditional and formal way always makes Councilmen more or less uncomfortable and provides the greatest check on the abuse of power that the people own. It is the only check other than a free press, which alas even if you include all radio and other media in Fort Bragg, is almost solely limited to a newspaper actually published not in the city but in the county. (I wish someone would correct me on that last point, but they can’t.) In short, we depend as a self-governing city on what reporting we have and the formal meetings of our City Council.
Grave and irresolvable mechanical problems with my beloved and normally highly reliable truck kept me from the meeting. I was at first resigned knowing that Paul (McCarthy) and I would watch it together at home, where at least I could jeer and hoot to my heart's content and eat popcorn.
When the meeting began, Townhall was, as I said, packed. An unusual event in recent months. The controversy about Tucker’s Bar moving to Franklin Street was resolved at the Planning Commission but appealed to the Council by a group of quiet living advocates much concerned that cigarette smoke and excessive cheerfulness would mitigate negatively their repose in apartments proximate to the main drag in Fort Bragg. They came in numbers and spoke with courtesy and eloquence. The Council bore it patiently, with only Mayor Lindy Peters cracking for a moment to point out that NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) was the bane of government generally and predictable in the current instance. As the crowd rotated through their opportunity for three minutes at the podium it became clear that the opponents of bars in general and the anti-cigarette advocates were at least balanced and perhaps outnumbered by citizens dismayed by the many empty properties, deserted and deteriorating for long years in the central business district. The Council listened with attention and then kind of got up and shot back, as the appeal was denied and the City Council one by one, exercised their common sense and stood up to the NIMBYites. It was a refreshing and entertaining moment. A capitulation to the influential Andrea Luna’s (and a few others) desire to abide in the central business district without the annoying distraction of increased commerce and prosperity on Franklin Street would have been a catastrophic mistake. They didn’t make it. The bar including the smoking patio at the rear was approved, the appeal was denied and Tucker’s Bar is coming to Franklin. In pace requiescat.
At that point, virtually everyone left. I should not say, everyone. A small group of regulars remained. But the crowd as such left. When Townhall was emptied out Tabatha Miller, our new and quite wonderful City Manager, gave the Council an update on the most formidable, urgent and potentially destructive issue facing the City. She described to the Council progress on the complete dismantling and formal ending of the Fort Bragg City Council as a functional entity and how we must capitulate to Jacob Patterson's lawsuit to implement districting under the CVRA (California Voting Rights Act) by sheltering under the Safe Harbor provision, which makes Districting precipitous and certain.
Ms. Miller updated the Council on the apparently inevitable with professional restraint and technical precision. She is walking a tightrope. If the new City Manager was to oversee the financial ruin of the city in her first year of office it would not be pleasant for her. The City Council of course bears a more acute responsibility. They chewed over the misery foisted on the City by the cynicism of Jacob Patterson, the young attorney and sole beneficiary of the ploy to divide Fort Bragg into ethnically defined voting districts.
The Council ran through the absurdities and contradictions inherent in the shakedown by attorney Patterson. Ms. Miller described the division of our electorate into 5 arbitrary districts by expert demographers. She released the key information that a district could be contrived where a maximum of 25% of the voters' district will be Hispanic. It was the best they could do. If a Hispanic person runs for office no one in any other district, Hispanic or otherwise, can vote for them. (Councilman Will Lee was described in the demographers' data as Asian.)
It might have been funny but under districting the very heart and substance of self-representation and local government is going to be taken from us. The point of the CVRA is to correct racially polarized voting. It can't do that, if only because polarized voting can be shown to anyone’s satisfaction not to exist in Fort Bragg. Under Districting, the City Council will become a dysfunctional joke along the lines of the current Planning Commission. The loss would be immense and catastrophic for self-governance. I don’t actually blame the crowd for leaving. They don’t understand Districting and can't quite believe it. I don’t. It is complex, absurd, sinister and irrational. The City Council is incrementally and reluctantly being dragged to admit openly that the one man assault by a covetous and immoral baby lawyer in concert with the state of California is driving a stake through the heart of what we know as our City Council. The way the invariably gentlemanly Dave Turner put it, “We’re screwed.”
Mr. Patterson was of course not present to defend the indefensible. One imagines him tucked up in his mommy's house watching the meeting and morosely brooding over his whiskey or whatever it is he drinks. He must be observing his own descent into eternal infamy and consoling himself with anticipated profits as the City Council dumps pretense and becomes sufficiently frustrated to start blaming him personally.
Mr. Patterson has declined numberless times to be interviewed. He won't debate. He won't answer emails. He won't speak intelligibly before the Council. No one knows who is on the committee he claims to represent. If the mysterious committee actually does exist they have exactly no courage or integrity and a great raging fear of exposure. Admirable patriots. Attorney Patterson spends a god awful amount of time with the City Manager but no one knows what he is doing in these extensive discussions. Whatever they discuss, it does not seem to have any practical relation to the lawsuit he is responsible for. One supposes he is hiding at his mommy's house waiting for his mandated payday.
Monday night I really wanted to be there. Instead, I was stuck on the sofa at home. I actually needed to be there even in a comparatively empty hall. I wanted them to know how much it all means to me personally and how vitally important this redistricting issue is to the City. I wanted to defy the capitulation to despair. I wanted to support my councilmen in the death agony of self-government. I wanted to be a participant however bad things were.
To my significant surprise, of all people on God’s great earth, Simon Smith carried the ball. To my immense amazement and real gratitude, Simon Smith said what I would have liked to say and said it better than I would have. Ms. Smith is a vocal proponent of (detested) political correctness and a professional (as she tells it) implementer of codes of “inclusion” (which I also hate). Moreover, I believe she was a provisional (perhaps uncertain) supporter of Districting when the issue was first sprung upon us.
However that may be, Monday night Ms. Smith stood forth in her inimitable style and told the council to fight it. She told the Council to stand up for the principle of democracy, to risk even insolvency and bankruptcy if that must be. To go to court (I assume she meant) even if as seems inevitable we lose. Simon asked the Council if they were ready after leaving office to look themselves in the mirror if on their watch this abomination to democracy is inflicted upon a passionately self-governing City. It was Miss Smith's finest hour.
AT EASE, BOONVILLE!
James Marmon On Wiggly 253 Striping:
IT’S TEMPORARY striping, if you notice there aren’t any fog lines either. May even be getting another layer of asphalt before they’re done. Must be a slow news day for the AVA staff.
THIS WEEK AT BLUE MEADOW FARM
The stand is filling up!
- Heirloom, Early Girl and Cherry Tomatoes
- Corno di Toro, Gypsy & Bell Mild/Sweet Peppers
- Padron, Jalapeno, Anaheim & Poblano Peppers
- Basil, Kale, Cucumbers & Eggplant
- Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash
- Strawberries & last of the Walla Walla Onions
Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo 707-895-2071
WHY THE GUALALA HOTEL CLOSED AT MIDNIGHT LAST SATURDAY
We make it a point of listening to our community and have learned that there is some grumbling about our closing at midnight on Saturday. This decision was made intentionally.
Over the last few months, many of our community members reached out and donated their time & talents to help bring this beautiful, historic building back to her grandeur. Thank you to all for the outpouring of support!
However, on the second day of opening, we experienced guests that sprawled graffitti in the bathroom and started fights in the parking lot. This happened in the later hours of the evening. We will not be a location where this type of behavior is condoned.
Our mission is to create a place that our community can come to relax and enjoy. Our intention is to stay open later, but if the experience is not enjoyable and safe, we will modify our hours to close earlier.
We love this building. We love this community. And we are committed to being a good neighbor to our fellow establishments. Thank you for your support.
(The Gualala Hotel)
UNPRECEDENTED: A REASONABLE RESPONSE to a public comment!
Ron Edwards of Willits offered a couple of simple suggestions to improve the Pot Permit report at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday. Usually, even the most obvious suggestion is ignored by the Supervisors and staff. But on Tuesday there was a dramatic difference.
Edwards: “Since the cannabis program is back in the Ag department and there are new people doing the report, if we could change the report a bit, like add a column at the end which says what changed from the last report, that would be really helpful so that we could know that if last week we had 190 and this week 200, we have improved by 10. Instead of just the raw number. It really doesn't show you at a glance what's going on. Also, at some point, I know it involves some personal information, but if we could get an idea of why permits are being declined or withdrawn that would give the board an idea what's going on in the community.”
Ag Commissioner Harinder Grewal replied: “We will make these changes, yes. The next report will show the difference from this report to the next report and also we will have the information why permits are denied, why we are denying those permits. We will update the reports and we will have information we were asked to provide.”
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A YOUNG MAN named John Phillips, describing himself as “a local cannabis enthusiast,” complained to the Board: “I think another study could be done on how much has been lost during this pot permit implementation process. Where have the tax dollars gone? I can tell you right now that they have gone to illicit activity. I don't even know where to start. I guess I will start at the end. I spoke to Chief Investigator Kevin Bailey yesterday at the DA’s office who told me that they were not going to press charges in a robbery that happened to me on October 16 of last year. The thieves showed up and stole about half a million dollars worth of my crop. It's all documented. I have the Sheriff’s report here. It says an armed robbery was committed. The reason that Kevin Bailey and the DA don't want to press charges is apparently they said that both parties were acting illegally. I have been in the program since early May of last year. I asked Mr. Bailey what he was talking about. I paid my taxes, I'm in the program. I don't know what you guys expect me to do. And he said, You most certainly have not paid your taxes. I assured him that my taxes are right here, paid, filed. Here's the bill, I paid them. All that money is gone. That's another about $10 grand in taxes that it has disappeared.”
Response from Board Chair Dan Hamburg: “Thank you, John.”
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RON EDWARDS also told the Board: “When we look at the county budgets and reports there are just wild distortions in the funds and where they come from. I remember early in this process when a company was doing a proposal of how much cannabis was going to come in, Supervisor McCowen had to correct them on their wildly inflated numbers on how much was coming in. I think the community sees numbers like $35 an hour [in the economic report presented to the board earlier] and they are thinking that these are facts. I don't know how we get a study that will accurately reflect how the downward trend is with cannabis money. A lot of us were optimistic two years ago that this was going to work and bring in money. But what people are seeing is a really slow train wreck of an economic disaster that's coming to the county. People are selling properties, property values are going down, I don't see any way to attract new businesses that are going to replace that. If we could get more realistic, more fact checked numbers that would help the board and the community because when the community sees these $35 an hour jobs — they never existed! But yet it's put out there as this cannabis thing. And the expense of cannabis, I think that we are all working to make the program work. We have spent some money that we could have saved. If the board has some way that we could reduce the cost of the cannabis program for the county and the community I think that would streamline everything. Because if you reduce costs, you reduce the process. I would be very interested to hear how the members of the cannabis community could help on that and any suggestions the board might have to reduce the cost because it's really hard hearing all the time now that while we are suffering, we are creating a cost.”
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “One of these guys asked me if these were ‘the dog days of summer.’ Not quite, I said, and how come us dogs get blamed for hot weather? My advice? Walk slow and drink a lot of water.”
KHADIJAH BRITTON STILL MISSING
ANIMAL SHELTER STATS, June 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018
- 23 Feral cats received
- 39 Owner surrendered animals received
- 75 cats, 59 dogs, two livestock animals, four other stray type Animals received
- 13 owned dogs received Two dogs from law enforcement received
- 10 dead animal disposal requests received
- Two cats & two dogs for rabies specimen testing received
231 total animals received
* * *
Outcome Statistics June 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018
- 24 dogs adopted 35 cats adopted One other animal adopted
- 48 animals transferred to rescue organizations
- 13 feral cats trapped-neutered-released
- 40 animals were returned to owners
- Two owner-surrendered animals euthanized
- Nine shelter cats and nine shelter dogs euthanized
194 total animals outcomed
Live release rate of approximately 91%
ATTEMPTS TO IDENTIFY FOOT FOUND ON MENDOCINO BEACH STILL ONGOING
HUMBOLDT PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS WANT ELECTED OFFICIALS STRIPPED OF DELEGATE CREDENTIALS FOR ENDORSING SUNDBERG
by Ryan Burns
Across the country this primary season, progressive insurgents have been upending establishment Democrats. From the surprise victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic socialist from the Bronx who defeated one of the senior leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives, to the California Democratic Party’s endorsement of lefty state lawmaker Kevin de León over incumbent Senator Dianne Feinstein, there’s “a revolution on the left” taking place in America, according to the New York Times.
The battle rages even here in Humboldt County, where a group of progressive activists have accused our elected representatives of not only missing the progressive boat but also of violating Democratic Party bylaws with their endorsement of a conservative incumbent, Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg, over his Democratic challenger, Steve Madrone, in last month’s primary election.
Members of the Humboldt Progressive Democrats, a chartered club of the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee, submitted a letter to party bosses in Sacramento earlier this month asking that the Credentials Committee strip delegate status from U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman, State Senator Mike McGuire and State Assemblyman Jim Wood.
These same progressive activists previously raged against the Democratic machine last fall when they officially “admonished” Wood for his lack of support for Senate Bill 562, which would have established a single-payer health care system in the state.
Wood, for the record, said he supports a universal health care system but considered SB 562 unrealistic.
In this month’s letter to the California State Democratic Party the Humboldt Progressive Democrats cite two sections of the California Democratic Party State Bylaws.
Article II Section 9(b) reads:
This Committee may remove any member if, during his/her term of membership, such member affiliates with or registers as other than Party Preference Democratic; publicly avows preference for another party; publicly advocates that the voters should not vote for the endorsed candidate of This Committee for any office; or who publicly gives support to or avows a preference for a candidate registered as other than Party Preference Democratic in the Voter nominated top two primary.
As the letter points out, Sundberg was registered Republican until April 2009 — immediately before his first run for county supervisor — when he changed his party affiliation to “Decline to State.” In February of 2010 he changed it again to “No Party Preference.”
Madrone, meanwhile, is a registered Democrat and earned the endorsement of the Humboldt Democratic Central Committee.
The letter says Huffman, McGuire and Wood also violated Article VIII Section 4(a) of the party bylaws, which reads:
County Party Exclusively Responsible: Endorsement of candidates for all local nonpartisan offices (defined here as all nonpartisan offices whose jurisdiction do not extend across county lines) shall be the exclusive responsibility of the relevant Democratic County Central Committee.
So, are the activists right? We at the Outpost are no experts in the particulars of party bylaws, so we’ve reached out to Huffman, McGuire and Wood for their responses to the allegations, and we also asked some questions of the California Democratic Party. We’ll update you when we hear back.
We will note, in case you’re curious, that the process for removing party delegates is pretty complicated and involved, as it’s described in the bylaws. The procedure requires a written statement of charges laying out the grounds for removal, and it allows the accused to demand a hearing before the state Democratic Central Committee.
You can read the full letter from the Humboldt Progressive Democrats, and find a link to the Bylaws and Rules of the California Democratic Party for all you wonks on LostCoastOutpost.com.
BIG POT RAID IN HUMCO
ON July 23, 2018, deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) and wardens with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) served four search warrants to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in Southern Humboldt.
The following agencies assisted in the service of the warrants: CDFW Watershed Enforcement Team, Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit, California State Water Board and Humboldt County Planning and Building Department.
Four parcels were investigated during the service of the warrants. The parcels did not possess nor were in the process of actively obtaining a commercial cannabis permit with the County of Humboldt. One parcel investigated was located on the 1000 block of Kimtu Road in Garberville. Three parcels investigated were located in the Rancho Sequoia area.
During the service of the warrants, deputies eradicated approximately 6,752 growing cannabis plants. Deputies also seized and destroyed approximately 384 pounds of processed cannabis. Deputies seized three firearms, one of which had been reported stolen out of Idaho.
Between the four parcels, assisting agencies found the following violations:
- Five water diversion violations (up to $8,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Six water pollution violations (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Four failure to file a report of discharge into state waters violations (up to $5,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Four commercial cannabis ordinance violations (up to $10,000 fine per day)
- Two dredge or fill waters of the United States violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Two improper storage and removal of solid waste violations (up to $25,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Multiple grading without a permit violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Multiple building code violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Timber conversion violation (up to $8,000 fine per day)
- Failure to label hazardous waste violation (up to $70,000 fine per day)
- Open hazardous waste container violation (up to $70,000 fine per day)
- Three stream management violations
- Junk vehicles violation
No arrests were made during the service of the warrants. Additional violations with civil fines are expected to be filed by the assisting agencies. Anyone with information about these cases or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.
(Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Press release)
SAME HERE IN MENDO
I’ve returned to California after 35 years in Illinois. Maybe I have a different slant on observing your housing shortage. I notice it’s constantly discussed, but nothing really is done. Maybe building a few houses that cost “only” $500,000. Ha!
So I read that San Diego is legislating against short-term rentals for anything but your one own home. Well, hey, now that might just be the thing to solve the problem. No buying up all the houses for short-term profits. All of those extra houses would be available for long-term rentals.
I have a personal interest in this, as I’ve been looking for a rental for more than four months, while more than half the houses out here in Bodega Bay are empty or vacation rentals. It shouldn’t be so hard.
I suppose longtime Californians have adjusted to these conditions, but to the rest of the country, this is insane.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 24, 2018
JOHNATHAN BECKER SR., Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
NICHOLAS BRITTON, Covelo. False personation of another.
WILLIAM COLLEY JR., Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, narcotics for sale, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
KEVIN COTHERN, Ukiah. DUI.
JEREMIAH HEILIG, Willits. Under influence, probation revocation.
JIMMIE ISENHART JR., Ukiah. Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Re pot garden chemicals, in a county absolutely cram full of criminals, and a region absolutely cram full of crazy people attempting to profit from growing crazy amounts of crazy-weed and then pander the same toxic weed on the black market, why wouldn’t the growers use whatever chemical they please?
Your county provides little protection to the grower who grows legally and cleanly, much less incentives, to the grower who grows highly toxic product in an unsafe environment, to operate clean and legal!
The above story clearly indicates why pot is now legal, why grows must be permitted, and why retail marijuana must be tested for illegal toxins!
Protecting the consumer has become the focus, and, it is almost amusing that our formerly illegal product is being grown with illegal and banned chemicals…
Don’t buy black market weed! Don’t smoke toxic product! Don’t promote the export of and trafficking in black market weed! Grow clean, grow responsible, protect the environment surrounding your farm. Support the eradication of black market farms!
Meanwhile, consumers, after 40+ years of smoking, well, whatever they put on it, you might want to rethink your consumption and use of cannabis…
You live in a region with a massive cancer cluster. Hmmmmm, wonder what could have caused that?
FOX News may function as Trumpian state screwball television, but CNN and MSNBC have become Trump-mad dumpster fires in their own right. Their daily, hour-by-hour obsession with the latest breaking Trump-Russia story angle has gone full-on Crazy Train. The climate catastrophe proceeds at an ever-escalating pace with barely a trace of serious media attention. Anthropogenic (really capitalogenic) environmental ruin, the biggest issue of our or any time, is a non-story in the dominant Russia-Trumped media. So is just about everything else that ought to matter to citizens concerned with democracy, social justice, and the common good: the coming economic collapse, hastened by runaway deregulation of the financial sector; mass poverty and inequality at home and abroad; racially disparate mass incarceration; endemic violence, drug addiction, and suicide; under-funded and segregated schools; the already marginalized migrant family separation crisis; the U.S.-backed humanitarian calamity in Yemen; the ongoing and invisible humanitarian crisis in the Congo and other Black African states…the list goes on. It’s Trump-Russia, Trump-Russia, 24/7, the bizarre beat of a mass media gone mad – a media that wants you to care more about the fears and wealth of an absurdly opulent and dodgy expat financial mogul (William Browder) than about the fate of livable ecology or of the tens of thousands of children maimed, sickened, and murdered by the U.S and Saudi war on Yemen.
— Paul Street
JULY SMALL BITES from Word of Mouth Magazine
Intro: Summer is in full swing. In this edition of Small Bites, make lunch cool and sweet with Watermelon Poke. Get some delish international fare at Nit's Café, and take a gander at the exciting local food events happening. We also send out a special thanks to everyone who made the Anderson Valley Olde Time Fourth of July a tasty success this year!
Farmers Markets across Mendocino County are putting the season's bounty on display, including fresh blueberries. Our Summer issue is on shelves now and includes a wonderful recipe for Blueberry Ginger Granita. Just the thing to cool you down on these hot days.
Stay cool out there!
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If you find yourself in Fort Bragg, give Nit's Café a try. This unique restaurant is not much bigger than a shoebox. It accommodates seven tables, and as soon as you enter you can tell that it is different. Named for the owner, Nit does all of the cooking and most of the hosting and serving duties as well.
When my family stopped by over the 4th of July, we squeezed the five of us into one of the tables. Nit greeted us graciously, took our orders from memory, and then popped back into the kitchen to create our meal. Her ingredients are at the peak of freshness, with local halibut and grilled vegetables listed as one of the specials.
My Tom Yum Gai was rich and satisfying. The texture of the tofu, snap peas, and brussel sprouts within the savory coconut broth was a great combination. My niece had fresh spring rolls bursting with swiss chard and other greens. The remaining tables filled quickly, and I was impressed with the multi-tasking efficiency of the chef/proprietor dynamo. Because of the unique set up, be sure to allow time to enjoy the experience. The food is excellent and worth the wait.
* * *
Shared by Jeanne King and adapted from Chef Stefen Janke
The brilliant red cubes of fresh watermelon mimic the color of raw tuna, but that is where the similarities end. Vibrant juicy sweetness combines with savory poke dressing and crunchy quick pickled radish for a flavor explosion. Eat this cool salad with some pita chips and a prosecco cocktail on a hot summer afternoon.
- ½ a watermelon (seedless ok), remove rind and chop into cubes
- 1 avocado, diced in cubes
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup scallions, diced
- 1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
- six radishes, cleaned and thinly sliced
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lime (zest and juice)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp ginger, grated
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp tamarind paste (available in Mariposa Market and well stocked groceries)
- Sriracha to taste
- 1 package buckwheat soba noodles
- Prepare the quick pickle by mixing rice wine vinegar, raw sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved. Add radishes to the liquid. Let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Cook the soba noodles cooking per directions on the package until al dente. Once cooked, drain and rinse the noodles under cold water.
- Combine the ginger, tamarind paste, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice and zest, and hot sauce to your taste. Combine half of the dressing with noodles.
- Peel and dice the watermelon into a large dish. Toss the watermelon with the remaining dressing.
To serve place a nice mound of noodles into a bowl, top with the diced watermelon. Sprinkle on the macadamia nuts and avocado and garnish with the pickled radish. Finish the dish with the black sesame seeds and scallions.
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Anderson Valley's Olde Time Fourth
It was another lovely Fourth of July at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville this year. Individuals and organizations donated food, wine, beer, cakes, and time to bring folks together for an afternoon of home-grown entertainment. The picture above shows Brit and local chicken-clucking judge, Alan Thomas, introducing the next contestant. Other fun included kids parade, balloon toss, relay races, bouncy house, splash chair (kindly loaned by Holly Madrigal), cake auction, tug of war, and wonderful tunes thanks to DJ Marcus (in Uncle Sam costume, flip flops, and blue toenail polish).
The best part? Over $7,000 was raised to help buy fresh food for our school cafeterias. Thanks to all who participated! If you didn't come, keep it in mind for next year!
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Elderflower Earthskills Gathering — July 27-29, Hopland
Reconnect with traditions that have faded in modern society. Learn interesting and vital skills that will last a lifetime. Discover the wonder of experiences shared with others. Realign yourself with simplicity. We invite you to join us for the first Elderflower Earth Skills Gathering, July 27-29th at EcoTerra (formerly the Solar Living Center) in Hopland. Bring your imagination, excitement ,and curiosity to this family friendly event. Demonstrations include friction fire, native plants, bow-making, basket weaving, hide tanning, felting, fermentation, cordage, mushrooms, acorn processing, and much more.
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Art in the Gardens – August 4, Fort Bragg
The day-long event takes place at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens on Saturday, August 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Escape the heat and spend a day roaming the 47-acre botanical garden. More than 70 artists will display their finest work amidst the spectacular background of summer floral displays. The event includes live art demonstrations and performances by 10 musical acts situated throughout the Gardens. Sample an array of wines from around Mendocino County. Wine tasting tickets may be purchased on the Gardens’ website or at the event. Craft brews will be available for purchase with complimentary tastings on the Event Lawn. Culinary vendors will be spread throughout the Gardens — all accented by miles of natural coastal beauty. www.gardenbythesea.org
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Ribs 'n' Reds – August 18, Yorkville
Yorkville Highlands Growers and Vintners are looking for a couple hundred tasters to crown the world’s best rib wine at noon on Saturday August 18, 2018 at Meyer Family Cellars. Each winery will designate one wine as their best wine to be paired with ribs, and attendees can vote for their favorite during the afternoon.
This family-friendly event includes ribs, salad, and potato lunch and access to dozens of wines made here in the Yorkville appellation. Kids and grownups alike can win prizes in the wacky Highlands games, like the crowd favorite barrel roll. Sign-up for the best part of your summer.
Tickets and more information: yorkvillehighlands.org
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Blackberry Festival — August 19, Round Valley
Does summer bring visions of blackberry ice cream dripping down to your elbows? Well it should, and the 36th annual Blackberry Festival in Covelo will make it happen. Every type of delicious berry-based treat as well as games, and crafts will be on offer. This sleepy town comes alive with square dancing in the street and sometimes a more modern dance party after hours. Save time for a swim in the Eel River on the way.
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Summer Word of Mouth is here!
The summer issue of Word of Mouthmagazine came out June 1st! Learn how to grow beautiful roses, read about Irene's Garden in Laytonville and Queenie's Cafe in Elk, chill with a summer cocktail recipe from Patrona or some blueberry ginger granita inspired by Filigreen Farm's exceptional blueberries, find out about the various food trucks in and around our county, and so much more. Find it near you or subscribe today!
by Anne Fashauer
Summer travels – it’s that time of year for many folks to get out and about. Typically Van and I do our traveling in the winter as it’s a slow time for both of our businesses; this year we did do some skiing but we decided to add a trip to Oregon into the mix.
There is a Pinot noir conference each year near Roseburg, OR; Van attended it last year and enjoyed it so he decided to go again. I went along and we made a mini vacation out of it. The conference is held at Steamboat Inn on the North Umpqua River; it’s terrifically beautiful there and I would love to go back.
We were there for four days. The conference ran from 8:30am until 1:30pm or so; I spent the mornings relaxing, riding my bike and reading. We spent the afternoons relaxing, one day heading to the natural hot springs, one day just driving around a little. There are 70+ miles of hiking/biking/riding trails along the North Umpqua and I saw only a small portion, but it was very beautiful.
From there we drove to Portland where we spent two days; one day we bicycled all around, about 11 miles, mostly along the river but some other paths also.
We ate two good meals and just enjoyed being tourists. We headed home via the coast and 101; that was unfortunately very foggy and cold; our last night, our anniversary, we spent at the Benbow Inn, which was fun. We enjoyed the food there and the wine list is outstanding.
I’m heading out again this weekend for New York; the annual gathering of my Fordham U. friends. This time we are meeting in Elmira, where one of the gals lives. I’m excited to see them again and catch up on their lives. I’m sure to have more to tell when I return from these summer travels!
(Photo by Dick Whetstone)
ELBERT ‘BIG MAN’ HOWARD joined the ancestors today - July 23, 2018
At 6:13 AM, Big Man joined the ancestors. Above all else, Elbert "Big Man" Howard loved his comrades and all oppressed people, who he never stopped fighting for. There will be a celebration of life for Big Man in a few weeks and information about this will be shared as soon as details are available. Big Man would say, "All Power Belongs to the People"
Elbert “Big Man” Howard is a community and human rights activist, lecturer, political educator, author and disc jockey. Born in Tennessee 77 years ago, he experienced southern segregation firsthand, witnessing struggles for basic human rights which laid the framework for his social consciousness and political activism.
After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he attended Oakland City College, where he met Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, whom he joined in 1966 as one of the six founding members of the Black Panther Party. He was the first editor of the BPP’s newspaper and traveled the world as a BPP spokesperson.
He moved to Sonoma County in 2005. After the fatal shootings of Jeremiah Chass and Richard DeSantis by law enforcement officers in 2007, Big Man helped found PACH, the Police Accountability Clinic and Helpline of Sonoma County, which records and catalogs complaints of law enforcement misconduct. Big Man is a host on several community radio stations in Sonoma County.
OUR RESIDENT MYSTIC CHECKS IN
Two Wheels on the Cart
Combining the Sanatana Dharma with politics has always been a rare choice. Generally speaking, they do not go together, although one may pursue each separately. The current global socio-political situation makes combining the two a necessity. This also offers a solution to the hopelessness of living in postmodern existentialism. The protests in front of the white house in Washington, D.C. are ongoing, with the present administration as conflicted as is possible. Everyone in the district is feuding with somebody else about something. Harmony is nowhere seen. With the traditional peace protests of Catholic Worker continuing, plus the anti-nuclear peace vigil in Lafayette Park (begun and maintained 24/7 since 1982) functioning as a focal point for just about every dissenting opinion that peace & justice and radical environmental groups have put forth in the last forty years, the addition last week of Occupy Lafayette Park anarchists has significantly enlarged the living theater in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As a result of the bogus J20 trials ending due to prosecutorial misconduct, the low lying IWW and certain Earth First!ers are once more participating in direct actions. With the summer temperatures becoming extreme, and the future of the earth's climate certain to be one of instability, the radical left wing of American politics is behaving with the understanding that the most crucial point for the survival of sane daily living has now been reached. There is no time left to lose! In the dark phase of Kali yuga, which the Vedic astrologers have pinpointed as being right now, the combining of yogic practices with politics is both wise and imminently practical. Reciting Atharva Vedic formulae, chanting mantrams, singing songs to the earth mother, performing tantric rituals, and invoking the deities of your choice are all good examples of spiritual direct action. This is an example of "two wheels on the cart". This approach answers all of the questions, from what to do in response to the current socio-political global situation, to how to leave the earth plane and go back to Godhead. ~Peaceout~
Craig Louis Stehr
by Bruce Brady
Most sensitive lefties, when they think of them at all, claim to regard them with the kind of scorn otherwise directed toward a plate piled with lukewarm liver and onions, congealing in thickening grease well-used, white Corningware plates. Among a number of my friends, noses are immediately wrinkled into aghastness as though the very thought of such a thing were some exotic smell coming from that blob on the back shelf of the refrigerator. The least shadow of a thought back there at the rear of consciousness, very like the pungent aroma of last month's apricots, is as likely to lead quickly to shutting the door so as not to be forced to deal with it. And smiling faintly at this little mini-drama, the corporation that mined and refined and shipped and packaged and then shipped again and finally sold the thing to someone at an Ace Hardware in Galt: the corporation with its name on the door, carefully, even lovingly, enters your purchase — one might say 'this part of your life' — in its ledgers.
This state of affairs is appalling, and it happens unnoticed; the situation exactly analogous to the bazillion permutations of climate change and the blob in the refrigerator. Or the apparently unstoppable degeneration of The Rules of Baseball, at least so it seems to a conservative fan such as me. Vaguely listening to Oakland easily beating a good Cleveland team, I look at my world: rug on oak floor (needs vacuuming), sofa, pants tossed on back, floor lamp, exercise bicycle (used mostly as a clothes-rack these days), chair, oscillating fan, books, easy chair, lamp, i-pod, Bluetooth speaker. This is a very incomplete list. The only object I can immediately see that is not sitting there because of the efforts at cooperation from some corporation is a very ethnic-looking drum that I bought at the Summer Arts Fair in Humboldt a few years ago. Everything but that (presumably) either came from, or was carted somehere, by a corporation. And, strictly speaking, even the drum came to this place in the back of a U-Haul. Nor, come to think of it, was it simply spirited here from its presumed home in West Africa.
I began a list of corporations most profiting from my life before realizing that the job was obviously endless: Amazon, MasterCard, Visa, Comcast, AT&T, Facebook, Doubleday, Prentiss-Hall, Canon, L.L. Bean, Altec-Lansing, British Industries, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Apple. These are only the first to make the list. And this from a person who doesn't fly anymore and doesn't own a car because he's trying to shrink his impact on the earth. In fact, he is not only quixotically working to shrink his carbon footprint (so-called), but with every passing hour finds his previously unquestioned faith in Capitalism itself diminishing as the calendar pages fall.
The first large fact that emerges here is that, whatever one's view of the situation in which we find our collective selves is that our present world, including virtually all of our much-ballyhooed world culure, exists in its present form most by virtue of its having rooted and bloomed since the mid-nineteenth century. More mundanely, and a good deal more surprisingly, it bears a good deal of resemblance to a highly-paid athlete approaching the end of his career. Or, more colorfully yet, a boil bursting with pus. Something approaching the end of its days.
Since the entire capitalist enterprise exists solely to make money for its investors, more resources of whatever sort must continually be found and exploited — this whether those resources consist of iron ore, petroleum, clean water, rare earth minerals, trees, squid, or people. Any sixth grader can wager all his Jacks with confidence that eventually it will all run out.
The complication here for my purpose is that the corporate model, kept going by its incessant goading us to buy, buy, buy — and then buy some more — by now, some corporation lies behind everything material that there is, whether its purchased, rented, or usually, just glanced at unnoticed. So long as somewhere in the often convoluted process of getting that thing into your life, somebody has made money, either from the object itself or, perhaps, from the fact that now, something deep inside you wants it, maybe even needs it.
Even straining to describe the scope of the problem begins to resemble Anna Karenina morphed into a twelve page graphic novel. Let's narrow this idea down to a single industry, promoted to those who might afford it as a 'need' more-or-less on a par with toothpaste or exercise. The travel industry, the industry selected, has not been chosen at random, but it probably could have been. The folks whose income comes from planes and ships obviously have much to gain from convincing consumers, not only that they 'need' to be somewhere else, that unlimited fun exists mainly on some faraway beach (and lately, in the display of a breezy, and always delightful, bright and white-toothed, confident style in getting there) and so on.
Sit back, inhale deeply, and conjure the other industries happily involved in hauling your ass to wherever: airlines, aircraft, transportation generally, luggage, clothing, telecommunications, international computer networks, petroleum, dining, footware, photography . . . the list can become rapidly almost endless. And each one of them exists, at least partly, not only to pick your pocket, as Thomas Jefferson put it in a rather more modest context, but on at least attempting to insinuate itself into your most basic wants, even to the point where they become your most basic needs. Nearly every one of them, even when they are so apparently 'free' as taking the kids to the seashore or bringing up the volume on the radio so you can hear Tom Petty louder, or maybe even swinging by the nearby courts for a pickup basketball game, is a source of income for somebody else. Some corporation is poised to fill your need for the appropriate supplies to do all these things. Not only that, but they'll even help to get you there.
Dating back to at least the construction of the first trans-continental railroad in this country, travel has been an easy sell. The equation is simple and straightforward: Travel will make you happy, and it will even, perhaps, improve your life. And by travelling, you will live it more fully.
And the destinations, of course, are uniformly gorgeous: Paris, Rio, Santorini, Shenandoah, Cancun, Egypt, the South Seas, Arches, the Redwoods, Glacier Bay. That is, unless you look too closely, but that's not coming for a couple of paragraphs. In the meantime, we'll settle in here with the obligatory glass of wine and enjoy the view, inclining strongly toward a second glass.
I remember a few years ago when I cruised with four-thousand others on Holland-America Lines, to Glacier Bay, Alaska, from Seattle. The trip took a week to reach Glacier Bay and return. The group I travelled with was The Skeptics' Society, who peppered their presence wih informative, expert scheduled lectures on the effects of Climate Change on the Alaskan glaciers. The irony actually reeks even more from this five-year perspective. To say that the scenery was spectacular even when it was at its least picturesque is barely to do it justice. Of course, this was also a cruise on a corporate cruise ship, so one's musings were generally likely to be interrupted by, in the case of Holland-America, Indonesian people of slight stature more-or-less constantly inquiring as to the intensity of one's current need for a drink. Like a theater constantly popping popcorn, this is the source of their most predictable corporate profit, just like NASCAR or the average major league ballpark.
Somewhere in the fervent enormity of his writing, John Muir comments on the enormous power tour guide writers. Reading them, we learn what to see. What we thereby miss, of course, in the cruiseworld is everything else except, perhaps, whether to wander into this store or that, or maybe that restaurant over there sporting a facade reminiscent of the Gold Rush. What a person doesn't notice right away in exploring the part of, say, downtown Ketchikan reachable during the three hour or so scheduled stop is that experts somewhere learn to drawn maps locating business close-in. Walking distance for the almost-elderly, for the mostly white. They have been taught over the course of their lives that this is, by God, how you have fun. And Holland-America, Royal Caribbean, Disney, and all the rest, are all the while picking your pocket and offering you drinks as they absorb the return on investment. They own at least a piece of most of these businesses. The entire, complicated mechanism functions so smoothly that one hardly notices so long as enough are willing to limit their experience of living to journeying to lovely places and drinking too much and thereby having a good time, all the time! By God!
Keeping the entire profit machine humming smoothly in all its manifestations leads, perhaps most subtly to the lofty space(s) occupied by 'travel' on most people's so-called 'bucket list'. The destinations are, without exception, lovely, so long as your interior image of 'lovely' has the equivalent of white, sandy beaches, palm trees, fetching maidens, and, in some cases, calving glaciers against the background of ice cubes in clinking glasses.
Of course, for all this to happen, and to continue to happen, the people and the cultures subsumed by all the resorts and associated development have been required to disappear as unobtrusively as possible. Some find themselves punching a timecard in the highrise that looms above where his kids' school used to be; some find themselves stranded in an unfamiliar place wondering what in hell happened. The ugliest part of all this is that people who should know better never see it. Denial being what it is, the entire ghastly phenomenon just disappears as though it never existed.
A few who generally consider themselves to be both on the side of humanity and above it all, mouth reassuring homilies along the well-travelled lines of, 'Well, at least now she has a job.' The sheer ignorance of such an attitude in the face of such stark and repeated patterns of 'development' as truly appalling. It is also nearly universal.
This also illuminates the main reason for believing that there is little but longed-for hope to be found. So far as I know, virtually all of my friends, acquaintances, and family who can afford it appear to be to fly off at a moment's notice. So they do. Often, to be sure, such trips are for family or personal stuff or 'business,' which travel I suppose gets a free moral and ethical pass, even as the airplanes they mainly use spew cubic miles of volatile crap which will effect all life on earth for a practical eternity.
A few years ago, an obscure academic by the name of Garrett Hardin published an essay that quietly and accurately summarized everything. The essay is titled 'The Tradgedy of the Commons,' and its precedent may be dated to an English pamphlet first published in 1833, so the seed has been around for awhile. Hardin clearly and forcefully lays out the language of inevitable doom. He has conveniently left us an simple essence: 'Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.' So far as I can tell, it is not my responsibility here (or anywhere) to furnish a summary of this foundational essay, so anyone who has made it this far is encouraged to do a little research if this is new information to you. 'The Tradgedy of the Commons.'
So . . . we appear to be doomed, but so long as we feed our learned habit of booking fast trips to Paris or Cancun (and so long as we appear to become frantic in our continuous, junkie-like need for fun and amusement, and so long as we keep those tilt-up monstrosities full and the container ships coming) the depleting machine lurches on, and perhaps one of the dumbest backstories a culture ever got takes over our lives while allowing us the anarchic liberty of righteous indignation. It may feel good, but it is a suicidal form of denial, and it must — but seems utterly unlikely — to stop.
Lately, some have applied an unusual term to describe this large process, especially in reference to what is happening to dismiss everything a good many of us have come to know. The term is 'gaslighting' (watch the forties' movie). I mean no shred or trace of whining and complaining here, but having one's deepest knowledge and lived experience dismissed is a dramatically chaotic experience, even for deeply-inhaling optimists.
In the stirring words of Bush Senior, 'This shall not stand.' (Compared to the babbling imbecile we seem doomed to 'follow' now, this rings honed in the ear like Marcus Aurelius.) As Snoopy said even more gracefully, 'Good Grief . . . '
(Bruce Brady is retired from teaching at Laytonville High School)
(Submitted by Susie de Castro)
PERSPECTIVE ON RUSSIA
"For Russian interference to be a threat to our democracy, we would have to have a democracy to begin with. But our elections are already so heavily manipulated by corporations and foreign governments that it’s hard to take seriously anyone who sees Russia as a singular threat to our system of government. The issue needs to be kept in perspective, and seen in the context of both our country’s own actions and the other, even greater, barriers that prevent us from having a true democracy that reflects the will of the people rather than corporate and government interests."