Around Mendo Island

Help Fund a Local Mendocino Treasure: Investigative Reporter Will Parrish…


I’ve “put myself out there,” as the young folk like to say nowadays, by launching a public fundraising campaign via the site Indiegogo. Being that I am not in a position to make a full living as a journalist otherwise, I’ve turned to The People to support me financially. Overall, I’ve been really happy about the results! As of this writing, I’ve received $3,297 in donations.

I’ve just learned that someone will give me $1,000 within the next day or two! That will bring me to just $1,200 shy of my goal of $5,500. My deadline is this Saturday. If I receive an average of $300 in donations in the next four days, I’ll be all the way there.

New Mendocino County Food Action Plan Announced…

From The Ukiah Daily Journal

The goal: ‘to enhance individual health, economic well-being, community resiliency and ecological sustainability.’

The Mendocino County Food Action Plan, a comprehensive document authored by Ukiah resident Carole Brodsky, is the output of the Food Policy Council, an organization created and endorsed in 2011 by the Board of Supervisors at the behest of the county health department.

Quoting directly from the plan, it “is a comprehensive, integrated series of goals and actions designed to address the complex issues that face all of us as we assume increasing responsibility for creation, protection and enhancement of our local food systems. The aim of the plan is to enhance individual health, economic well being, community resiliency, and ecological sustainability ( ) and ( ) aims to educate, inspire, and empower Mendocino County to become a world leader in the sustainable food movement.”

Update: Hearing Postponed… Support Willits Bypass Activist Will Parrish in Court Thursday Morning 7/17/14…

wWill Parrish and his attorney, Omar Figueroa. [Photo courtesy of Michael Hardy, Posterity Productions]


[Hearing Postponed]

New details have come to light regarding the US Army Corps of Engineers’ June 20th decision to suspend the Willits Bypass’ US Clean Water Act permit (404 permit): the first time the Corps has ever suspended a northern California project on Clean Water Act grounds.

The timing of the suspension was linked to CalTrans’ efforts to resume importing soil from the Mendocino Forest Products (ie, Mendocino Redwood Company) mill site north of Willits, which is Big Orange’s preferred source of fill to create the massive berm on which the freeway would be perched north of its roughly one-mile viaduct past Hearst-Willits Road.

Let’s Train the Next Generation of Farmers…


From Grange Farm School

The crucially important purpose of the Grange Farm School is to help aspiring farmers learn the skills they need to pursue their dreams as small farmers and to provide healthy local food to their communities.

You know the bad news:

America’s farmers are aging, and their children are not replacing them on the farm. American commercial agriculture is good at producing huge quantities of mono-crops laden with GMOs and chemicals; but wholesome, healthy food is hard to come by. And conventional agriculture gulps fossil fuels and water and depletes the topsoil at alarming rates.

Here’s the good news:

CalTrans Ordered to Stop Work on Willits Bypass…

Thanks to Pat Sobrero

WILLITS, Calif. (KGO) –The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended the permit for the controversial Willits Bypass project which has been plagued by environmental and financial issues.

The construction project is on Highway 101 in Mendocino County where Caltrans is building a freeway bypass around the town of Willits. It is six miles long and will cost at least $210 million.

Will Parrish: California’s Water Lords vs. The Winnemem Wintu Tribe


When it comes to California’s gargantuan system of dams, reservoirs, power plants, pumping plants, canals, aqueducts, siphons, tunnels, gates, and other infrastructure for capturing and exporting water to agribusiness, industry, and people, Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu tribe has pretty much seen and been through it all. California’s largest reservoir, Shasta Lake, inundates a vast stretch of the Winnemem’s aboriginal territory. The reservoir is formed by Shasta Dam, one of the world’s largest dams, which the US Bureau of Reclamation constructed during World War II to hold back the waters of the McCloud, Pit, and upper Sacramento Rivers.

Despite promises from the federal government, the Winnemem have never received compensation for the flooding and dislocation. In the years immediately following construction of the 602-foot-tall, 3,460-foot-wide concrete plug that is the Shasta Dam, hundreds of thousands of salmon died at its foot, repeatedly battering themselves against it while trying to reach their ancient spawning grounds. The salmon have been the cultural foundation of the Winnemem and other Indigenous people of the area for countless generations.

This is Bullshit: Local Adventist doctors refusing Obamacare patients… [Updated]



Official Statement Regarding Covered California Anthem Blue Cross Pathways PPO

Good afternoon,

An article was published in today’s Ukiah Daily Journal (see below) about Covered California Blue Cross Individual Pathway PPO insurance plans and its impact on patients in our clinics and hospital. Many of the facts included in the article were inaccurate. So, it is our intent to clarify the facts and make you are aware of our next steps. The attached statement helps to provide answers to many of the questions being asked by patients.

R.I.P. Willits? 



[What to do?: Please contact...

So Willits, what is going to happen after the bypass is complete? The CalTrans operations are underway for the second year and barely a peep. The majority on the City Council who support it seem happy. Heck, they’re busy with secret dealings about obtaining the 300,000 gallons of local water per day for CalTrans’ clients. And by the way, why does the huge overkill of a northern intersection look like it’s going to be a gas-station and quickie-mart extravaganza?

Ukiah: Mendocino Book Company to celebrate Bookstore Day Today, Saturday, 5/3/14

From Ukiah Daily Journal

Ann Kilkenny, in her uniquely laid-back style, has captained the ship and kept The Mendocino Book Company afloat these many years. The original bookstore run by Jerry and Suzanne Cox and located between Wildbergers and Ukiah Tour and Travel on School Street, came into existence in 1978. She, a lover of books and a bit at loose ends, encouraged emotionally and financially by her brother and mother, bought the place in 1983.

“I didn’t know how to run a cash register and fortunately I inherited JoAnn Schneiter with the store who knew not only how to do that but also how to run a business,” she says.

Renting from the Palace Bar and Grill, which seemed to be thriving at the time but was soon to go under, they were forced out. She remembers sewage leaking through the ceilings. “We had to go.

“A representative from the Masonic Temple approached me. The space had been empty for quite awhile previously rented by Ben Franklin Five and Dime; they had gone out of business. He talked me into it and it has been a great thing; they have been fabulous landlords. We took over in the spring of ’88, renovated and opened in July,” says Kilkenny.

The Continuing Criminality of the Willits Bypass…

From Save Little Lake Valley

How our community is trying to save our water and wetlands and reduce the impact of an unnecessary freeway. Save Little Lake Valley members request that the CA. Water Quality Control Board order Caltrans, the Department of Transportation in CA., to Cease and Desist construction on the Willits Bypass. In March 2014 Caltrans is, and has been, in violation of the Water Board permits that are needed to proceed with construction…

Salmon and Sovereignty: Indigenous perspectives on water and cultural survival in California this Saturday 4/19/14 Ukiah…



“We were born from water, we are of the water, and we fight to protect it.”
—Chief Caleen Sisk

Retaining a concept of sovereignty based on deep ancestral ties with place, indigenous people are on the front lines of critical environmental battles everywhere. Their voices and actions are leading the way forward.

Saturday, April 19th
Start: 4:30pm
Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse
107 S. Oak St., Ukiah
$5-20 donation; no one turned away
Proceeds will benefit the Winnemem Wintu tribe
*Dinner will be provided*


* Chief Caleen Sisk, Winnemem Wintu Tribe

Strongly rooted in their traditional practices, the Winnemem Wintu of Northern California are engaged in ecological, cultural, and spiritual restoration, including bringing salmon back to their home river, the McCloud. Chief Sisk will speak about the tribe’s struggle for survival and their current work of restoring natural water systems and stopping disastrous proposed megaprojects such as the Delta Twin Tunnels and the Shasta Dam raise that would flood large portions of sacred Winnemem land—for the second time.  Sisk is also an outspoken opponent of fracking.

Hemp Returns To Humanity…


I’m writing these words ten minutes after President Obama has legalized hemp. (If you’re not yet among the throngs pausing for collective pinching of self and recitation of, “God Bless America,” you will be, pretty soon.) He did this by signing the 2014 Farm Bill, which included a tucked-in bi-partisan amendment that allows university research of the crop.

I’m happy for real world reasons that go far beyond the fact that the President of the United States, together with the U.S. Congress, is now, albeit inadvertently, part of the marketing team for my new book. They in fact made the dream expressed in its first paragraph one big step closer to reality.

It goes, “my plan the day hemp becomes legal is to begin cultivating ten acres of the plant so that my Sweetheart no longer has to import from China the material she already uses to make the shirts I wear in media interviews to discuss the fairly massive economic value of hemp. In a cynical age, we can use one less irony.”

Imagine the government doing something that affects your life, at all, let alone positively and significantly. Hearing my three-year-old son belting out Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon on the kazoo outside my office reminds me that soon the four grand my family already spends on hemp products every year – including the seed oil in our morning shake

News From California State Grange Ag School at Ridgewood Ranch…



Antonia Partridge is Director for the newly formed California State Grange School of Agricultural Arts. She began teaching agriculture at Mendocino College in 2001, and from 2008-2012 Antonia managed 4 acre Willits High School Farm and 1 acre Brookside School Farm. She led students in farm production of diverse crops and livestock as well as linking the farm to practical business and marketing experience. School garden curriculum also included nutrition education classes linking gardens and kitchens. Antonia Partridge’s education includes a BS in sustainable agriculture from the University of California at Davis. In 2001 she started a homestead scale farm of her own, Living Hills Homestead, where she hosted WWOOFers for 10 years. Antonia now lives in Willits, CA, with her husband, Josh, and daughter, Flora, in the 100 year old Craftsman Bungalow the family is restoring.

Radio interview here:

The School will be located on beautiful Ridgewood Ranch

ALERT! U.S. Navy Escalates Warfare Testing in the Pacific, Atlantic & Gulf of Mexico in 2014 — PUBLIC COMMENT DEADLINE APRIL 15, 2014 – Action Items from Rosalind Peterson…


Redwood Valley

Public Comment Due by April 15, 2014, on U.S. Navy NWTT Website for Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho & Alaska.  Read the Northwest Training & Testing EIS/OEIS Draft EIS/OEIS on the U.S. Navy Website & Make Your Public Comments or Ask Questions:

U.S. Navy Website:

“…In many regions, the Navy plans to increase the number of its exercises or expand the areas in which they may occur, and virtually every coastal state will be affected. Some exercises may occur in the nation’s most biologically sensitive marine habitats, including National Marine Sanctuaries and breeding habitat for the endangered North Atlantic right whale. In all, the Navy anticipates more than 2.3 million takes (significant disruptions in marine mammal foraging, breeding

Local: Better Propane Service with Propane Buyers Co-op…



[Let's get this expanded to the rest of the county... DS]

Last week’s propane delivery cost me $2.20 a gallon, much cheaper than from my previous propane dealer. I’m getting this lower price because I joined the Propane Buyers Club based at the Point Arena Market Co-op for $50 and then applied to Suburban Propane, who now sells me propane at more than $1 less per gallon than they did when I was an individual customer. The Co-op’s Propane Buyers Club gives us the strength of numbers to get lower prices, which by contract can only be raised when the wholesale prices rise, and not just when they think they can squeeze more out of us. If you want to lock in lower rates, read the following and join the club.

Tom Wodetzki, Albion


Propane Buyers Club Info PDF (same info as below)

Tank Owners Customer Application PDF

The Landscape-Scarring, Energy-Sucking, Wildlife-Killing Reality of Pot Farming…

From  Josh Harkinson
Mother Jones

STARTING ABOUT 90 MILES northwest of Sacramento, an unbroken swath of national forestland follows the spine of California’s rugged coastal mountains all the way to the Oregon border. Near the center of this vast wilderness, along the grassy banks of the Trinity River’s south fork, lies the remote enclave of Hyampom (pop. 241), where, on a crisp November morning, I climb into a four-wheel-drive government pickup and bounce up a dirt logging road deep into the Six Rivers National Forest. I’ve come to visit what’s known in cannabis country as a “trespass grow.”

“This one probably has the most plants I’ve seen,” says my driver, a young Forest Service cop who spends his summers lugging an AR-15 through the backcountry of the Emerald Triangle—the triad of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties that is to pot what the Central Valley is to almonds and tomatoes. Fearing retaliation from growers, the officer asks that I not use his name. Back in August he was hiking through the bush, trying to locate the grow from an aerial photo, when he surprised a guy carrying an iPod, gardening tools, and a 9 mm pistol on his hip. He arrested the man and alerted his tactical team, which found about 5,500 plants growing nearby, with a potential street yield approaching $16 million.

Today, a work crew is hauling away the detritus by helicopter. Our little group, which includes a second federal officer and a Forest Service flack, hikes down an old skid trail lined with mossy oaks and madrones, passing the scat of a mountain lion, and a few minutes later, fresh black bear droppings. We follow what looks like a game trail to the lip of a wooded slope, a site known as Bear Camp.

Thousands of Californians Confront Gov. Brown at Anti-Fracking Protest…


Farmers, Health Advocates, Environmentalists From Across State Converge on Sacramento Today to Urge End to Oil Industry’s Toxic Technique

Driven by growing concerns about earthquakes, air and water pollution, and climate change, thousands of Californians from across the state are protesting today in Sacramento to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to stop fracking.

Organized by the statewide coalition Californians Against Fracking and more than 80 individual environmental and public health organizations, the protest and march feature speakers from around California who are forced to live with fracking in their communities and are organizing to end the use of this toxic way of producing oil and gas.

See photos from the rally here and speaking list here.

“People need to know what fracking looks like,” said Rodrigo Romo, a former farmworker and activist in heavily fracked Shafter, CA who will be speaking at the rally.

“In the Central Valley there is no buffer between fracking sites and our community; there are wells next-door to schools and agricultural land. It is time for our decision makers to listen to us and stop fracking.”

Gov. Brown’s administration recently issued oil industry-friendly rules that give a green light to the harmful practice. Farmers, health professionals, environmental experts, residents from impacted communities and activists from throughout the state are urging the governor to end fracking to protect the state’s air, water, health and climate from fracking pollution.

KZYX Common Ground…


Mendocino County

Dear Inland folks,

I think I got it (beaten into my head): KZYX, our community radio station, is financially good, and technically good and getting better in so many ways. And folks, I believe it.

Yet somehow there is a lot of dissatisfaction out there and ideas about how things could change, like programming and how programming decisions are made, and other ways of getting local news, or maybe we should just get the FCC to kick ass. All kinds of ideas.

Some of these things are really important issues, hot issues, and probably won’t be resolved quickly.

But there is common ground and a foundation to build on, because what most people want DOES NOT THREATEN the financial or technical stability of the station, and does not require going to the FCC.

Most people understand they can’t have their way in everything. BUT…

WE THE REASONABLE want our questions answered and our ideas heard. Adding that to the mix at KZYX won’t diminish our financial and technical stability, will it? In fact it should help in every way, because it taps the skills and knowledge of a lot of valuable human beings.

How about you folks out there, the listeners, the members, the readers of this blog: What do you think?

But specifically I ask each of the candidates for the board:

Do you agree that after you are elected you will find a way to communicate directly to us members? You know, like you cared about us, the suckers who elected you?


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