Mendo Island Journal — Timely. Useful. Sometimes Cranky.

Archive for the ‘Around Mendo Island’ Category

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

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Will Parrish on April 17, 2014 at 9:27 am



“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. More…

Hemp Returns To Humanity…

In Around Mendo Island on April 16, 2014 at 8:00 am


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 More…

News From California State Grange Ag School at Ridgewood Ranch…

In Around Mendo Island on April 12, 2014 at 5:30 am



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 More…

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…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on April 10, 2014 at 8:30 am


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 More…

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

In Around Mendo Island on April 1, 2014 at 8:49 am



[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…

In Around Mendo Island on March 17, 2014 at 8:30 am

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. More…

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

In Around Mendo Island on March 17, 2014 at 8:22 am


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. More…

KZYX Common Ground…

In Around Mendo Island on February 26, 2014 at 9:28 am


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?

New Local Blog: TABU — Towards a Better Understanding…

In Around Mendo Island on February 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

Anderson Valley

[Jamie Lee, an occasional contributor to Ukiah Blog over the  years, has created a new blog, TABU, well worth your visits. Also, the Anderson Valley Advertiser has upgraded its handsome website, TheAVAcom, to make it more accessible. -DS]

Why this Blog?

This blog has been set up to provide all with relevant, timely information that affects us all.

To subscribe to Daily Breaking News, once a week essays and, when necessary, a “Head’s UP” announcements (like a Fukushima event) please subscribe to receive emails in the right hand column..

I ask nothing for this service other than you share information you find relevant, or this blog itself, with your list serve, family and friends.

The first step towards needed change is education. We must know what is going on, how it happened, what has been successful, what has failed and what options are available to us to design a much better future. Only through us all educating each other can we be better informed and help raise all to higher forms of consciousness. I believe this is why the internet was created. More…

Alan York, Biodynamic Pioneer, Has Passed…

In Around Mendo Island on February 15, 2014 at 7:29 am

From Organic Wine Journal

Alan York, a leading consultant for biodynamic viniculture, has passed away at 62. He worked extensively with Mike Benziger at Benzinger Family Winery, and other wineries around the world. Fellow grape grower Phil Coturri had this to say:

“Alan was a horticulturist at heart. Loved plants, gardens and the teachings of Steiner. His passion and understanding of biodynamics helped spread the word internationally. I will always cherish the time I spent with him walking vineyards, talking about balance. Talking about healing the earth by understanding our soils and the environment in which our plants grow. Celebrating balance in life, wines and earth.”

Benziger Winery sent us the following about Alan’s life:

Alan Lynn York was born January 18, 1952 in Whitehouse, Texas and grew up in Morgan City, Louisiana. He told vivid stories of pirogue trips into the swamps and marshes nearby. He loved visits to Granny York, Aunt Willie and Uncle Lloyd on their farm in the pine forests of East Texas. Alan hated school and ran away to California at age 16. He returned home, finished high school, then moved permanently to Santa Barbara, California where he met his first love: horticulture.

Alan never willingly read anything until he began to garden. Then he read voraciously More…

Alan Chadwick Website…

In Around Mendo Island on February 15, 2014 at 7:00 am



E.F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful, called Alan Chadwick “the greatest horticulturist of the 20th century.” Using the Biodynamic French Intensive Method, which he developed, Alan led the movement that pioneered organic gardening and farming in North America. But Alan Chadwick was far more than an accomplished horticulturist. He taught, prodded, cajoled, and berated his many students until they became competent, authentic, and creative human beings; or at least that was his goal for them, as he would settle for nothing less. As Allen Kalpin, a long-time Chadwick apprentice, once said, “He was a gardener of souls.”

“It is all a mystery. The grass is grass. It’s a secret. It’s a mystery. You can’t know it. You can’t understand it, and you mustn’t try. Because the moment you try you can’t perceive it. When you stop trying to understand it in words, you will begin to perceive it. You do begin to perceive it.”

“There is one rule in the garden that is above all others. You must give to nature more than you take. Obey it, and the earth will provide you in glorious abundance.”

“We are the living links in a life force that moves and plays around and through us, binding the deepest soils with the farthest stars.”

Willits Council Member Madge Strong to Gov. Brown: Delay Further Water-Using Construction on Bypass…

In Around Mendo Island on January 31, 2014 at 8:36 am

From Save Little Lake Valley

January 28, 2014
Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Drought & Implications for the Caltrans Willits Freeway Bypass

Dear Governor Brown:

You recently declared a drought emergency in the State of California. The week before, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the Willits City Council had both declared a state of emergency in our area. Our county and its residents are experiencing water rationing.

Even with severe restrictions, there is uncertainty, if we do not receive substantial amounts of rainfall to fill our reservoirs and recharge our groundwater aquifers, that we can make it through 2014 with water for basic human needs. Under these circumstances, it would be unconscionable to proceed with extremely water-intensive construction on the Willits Bypass project this year.

In 2013, Caltrans reports having used at least four million gallons from local wells for dust control and compaction on the project. Activities during the coming 2014 season would far exceed that amount, with continued earth-moving, dust control, compaction and adding cement mixing for construction of bridges and a one-mile long aqueduct. Those local wells and those millions of gallons of water are essential for the survival of 13,000 people living in the Willits area!

At the same time that the bypass project plans to use large amounts of water, it also plans to pave over nearly 90 acres of wetlands in our small valley. Those wetlands are critically important in recharging our aquifers, not to mention their role in flood control, cleansing water going into salmon-spawning creeks and supporting other wildlife. In your declaration about our water crisis, you also wisely mentioned the importance of protecting and restoring wetlands.

Even if or when the current drought eases, there is a way to substantially reduce the wetlands impact of the Willits Bypass project. Some of the damage has already been done More…

For one year, two women exclusively ate food produced within Mendocino County… Now, they will write a book about their adventures…

In Around Mendo Island on January 31, 2014 at 8:30 am


From Sarah & Gowan
Eat Mendocino Kickstarter Project

How Eat Mendocino was born…

The Eat Mendocino project was created from a belief that healthy, fresh local food can be accessible to all and that local farms are critical to addressing food insecurity in our communities.

We embarked upon a year of eating exclusively local food because we believe that the key to healthier people and vibrant communities lies in creating strong local food systems. So, we put our bodies to the test. We decided to embody the local food web by becoming entirely dependent upon it.

How this project is different than what Barbara Kingsolver or Michael Pollan did…

“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver changed the way that many people thought about food. Her efforts to produce her own veggies and meats and support local farms were laudable we love her writing. Here on the Mendocino Coast, the Noyo Hill Farm said that they had more people sign up for their CSA program the year that her book was published than ever before. Which is awesome. But, when people compare our project to her endeavor, we have to clarify that what we did was far more intense, consuming, and geographically bound. She purchased staples such as grains, oil and spices from the store. Their family was allowed exception foods such as coffee or chocolate and they ate out at restaurants. Our “rules” were more unforgiving. We ate only local grains, oils, and spices, made our own sea salt from sea water, and removed all imports from our lives. More…

Fukushima: Mendocino Response Team…

In Around Mendo Island on January 30, 2014 at 6:54 am

mMendocino Fukushima Response Campaign


Mendocino County Board of Supervisors action minutes, Oct. 22, 2013: [...] Board Action: Upon motion by Supervisor McCowen, seconded by Supervisor Pinches, and carried unanimously; IT IS ORDERED that Consent Calendar items 4(a – t) are approved/rejected as follows: [...] Approval of Letter to President Obama Calling for International Assistance to Address the Continuing Fukushima Crisis – [Sponsors:] Supervisors McCowen and Gjerde — Approved

Draft of Mendocino County’s Letter to President Obama: Deteriorating conditions at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear complex clearly constitute an international crisis of epic proportions that requires the highest level of international scientific and technological assistance in an effort to minimize the continuing damage to international health and safety. [...]  We therefore call upon you to issue an Executive Order directing all appropriate federal agencies to assist in leading an international effort to avert what appears to be a looming catastrophe of unprecedented dimensions. [...] the reactor cores from units 1, 2, and 3 have melted down and are widely believed to have penetrated the floor of the reactor buildings. [...] Groundwater also flows freely through the site resulting in the uncontrolled discharge of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. [...] In addition to the requested Executive Order, we also call upon you to assure that the federal government is conducting all appropriate monitoring and testing to assess the level and impacts of radioactive contamination to west coast communities and the near shore marine environment. [...]  >> View the County’s letter to President Obama here


Will Parrish Hearing Today 1/23/14 10:30 am Ukiah… Press Conference 12 noon…

In Around Mendo Island on January 23, 2014 at 7:59 am


Willits Bypass: Will Parrish Needs Your Support…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on January 14, 2014 at 9:56 am



Will Parrish needs your support. He now faces eight years in prison; in addition, $490,000 in fines, “restitution”.  And for what? For delaying a freeway, the “Redwood Highway” – the California 101.

Parrish is a journalist here in Willits, in Mendocino County. He is also an activist and a teacher. His trial is scheduled for the County Courthouse in Ukiah, at 8:30 AM, on January 28th.

Will’s crime must be peculiarly Californian, a crime against a freeway. It must, from the grave, be raising Ronald Reagan’s hackles, jolting his memory. We’re told, incessantly in the media, this delay also enrages our ordinary travelers; drivers, it seems, now delayed five minutes (or so) along the main street of Willits on the trip to Eureka.

Willits, Eureka, Mendocino, Humboldt, why here? In this wildest corner of the state? “California’s transportation infrastructure – once the freeway wonder of the world – now lags hopelessly behind…”, Mike Davis tells us this, and quite rightly, but you can’t say they’re not trying. The issue here is a bypass.

Mike’s down south, where the people are. Things are different here. More…

Sara Grusky: Pricing the Priceless — Willits Bypass and the Willits Wetlands…

In Around Mendo Island on December 17, 2013 at 7:50 am

Green Uprising Farm

Caltrans says that Mr.  Will Parrish owes them about a half  million dollars ($481,588 to be exact) to cover the “direct and indirect costs” of the delays in the construction of the Willits Hwy 101 freeway bypass.   These costs were incurred, according to Caltrans, during Will Parrish’s 11 day occupation of the contractor’s wick drain machine in his attempt to stop the largest wetlands fill operation in northern California in half a century.  Caltrans seeks to bill Mr. Parrish for this half million dollars.  They have informed the District Attorney’s office that they wish to include these claims for “restitution” in connection with Mr. Parrish’s prosecution for unlawful entry onto Caltrans’ project site in the case of  People v. Parrish.  Mr. Parrish’s case is currently scheduled to be heard in Mendocino Superior Court onJanuary 27, 2014 at 8:30 am.  Please attend this important event.

I requested a copy of Caltrans’ half a million dollar itemized budget through the California Public Records Act and received it a couple of days ago.  It is quite an extraordinary piece of accounting by the entity that is now the landowner of one-third of Little Lake Valley.  On behalf of More…

Right To Democracy: Stop The Slaughterhouse Now…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on December 9, 2013 at 9:56 am


Redwood Valley

We need to call out the planners of the Ukiah Valley slaughterhouse group on their true, long-range plans… which are, in my opinion, to expand and supply large amounts of meat to the Bay Area after getting approval of a small local operation right here in our Ukiah population center. And they are going to use the so-called “Right To Industry” County ordinance proposal to help force it on us.

Right To Industry? What’s next, “Right To Retail” so we can’t protest Walmart expansion? There is hardly precedence for this type of ordinance anywhere in the country. Why Mendocino County? Why now? This is nothing but a Chamber of Commerce / Employers Council / Realtors / Builders Exchange sucker punch.

Rather, as citizens, we need to maintain our own “Right to Democracy” that this would destroy. Becoming the Harris Ranch North meat processing center for the Bay Area is not what local citizens will accept. The slaughterhouse long-range plan to grow big is obvious because they want it near the Russian River, with sewer hookups for water and waste management, and close to 101 for shipping to the Bay Area.

Rather, to supply meat to our local, northern California region, we need appropriate, decentralized, small-scale, USDA inspected, mobile slaughter… on the ranches themselves. This approach is successful in several areas of the country. More…

Let’s hear it for the NIMBY’s and the Do-Gooders…

In Around Mendo Island on December 9, 2013 at 9:19 am

Redwood Valley

The ‘Right To Industry’ bullshit and Slaughterhouse plans are forcing themselves on Mendocino communities. Some will shrug their shoulders in passive resignation, others will nod in welcome to a colonial economy; some will smile in anticipation of self-interested benefit, others will nod off in a non-caring stupor.

Wendell Berry:

There’s  a lot of scorn now toward people who say, “Not in my backyard,” but the not-in-my-backyard sentiment is one of the most valuable that we have. If enough people said, “Not in my backyard,” these bad innovations wouldn’t be in anybody’s backyard. It’s your own backyard you’re required to protect because in doing so you’re defending everybody’s backyard. It is altogether healthy and salutary.

The environmental movement was founded and built by so-called NIMBYs, and Do-Gooders. They responded to the poisoning and destruction of our shared natural environment, first revealed by Rachel Carson in her book Silent Spring, by opposing it in their own backyards, neighborhoods, watersheds, and communities. They took personal responsibility, as good citizens and their elected representatives do in a democracy. I say good for them, good for us. If we don’t take responsibility for our own backyards and communities, who will? There are some things that should not be in any one’s backyard or neighborhood, and those who are most motivated to stop them are those who are immediately and locally affected. And when someone says that government should just get out of the way, they are saying democracy should just get out of the way.

Citizens throughout America are mourning the loss of uniqueness, identity, and community in the places they live. A “sense of place” is built on cultural and economic diversity with appropriate and sustainable scale and technologies. When misguided leaders in our community try to impose their will on local citizens, who is there to challenge them? Without strong local voices opposing the harmful out-dated practices of the past, we wouldn’t have the many positive alternatives available to us now. More…

Why the ‘Right To Industry’ Ordinance Must Be Stopped…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on December 8, 2013 at 9:33 am


Redwood Valley
[Further to her previous letter]

It has come to my attention that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors intends to vote on a Mendocino County “Right to Industry” Ordinance on December 10, 2013. This ordinance has now been revised by “County Staff” and will be presented to the Board for a vote on December 10th.

The Mendocino County CEO just initiated a 6-Day Public Comment Period which ends on December 10, 2013. The CEO lists various “Stakeholders” forgetting to include Mendocino County Residents, the major stakeholders, in his quest for public comments.

This “Right to Industry” Ordinance (which reads like an “Industry Protection Racket), would protect current and future industrial operations from complaints by neighbors for a wide variety of problems that should be addressed on the local level by our supervisors who are elected to represent the interests of all the people of Mendocino County. In addition there is no definition for many terms within the ordinance including the word “nuisance”. Thus, many interpretations may be used due to lack of clear definitions.

This “ordinance” unleashes all current and future industrial operations to pollute our air, water, soil, negatively impact our roads, sewage treatment plant, local wells, and would increase noise, night lights, chemical releases, excessive use of ever-larger billboards, lower property values without county compensation, lower quality of Russian River Water (along with tributaries), and also impact neighboring industries who may not appreciate having a dusty, dirty, noisy, polluting neighbor.

This “ordinance” has the potential to reduce the quality of life throughout Mendocino County. And it could impact future businesses and residential properties in the Ukiah Valley and other areas by undermining the quality of life and health of the residents of Mendocino County. It should be noted that changes take place in zoning areas in Mendocino County from time-to-time which could impact more and more residents of our county as these changes occur. More…

Take Action! Are you a Mendocino “Stakeholder”? — “Right To Industry” vs. “Right To Democracy”…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on December 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm


[This is how they will try and prevent us from opposing the population-center slaughterhouse... What's next, "Right To Retail" so we can't protest Walmart expansion? Hardly any precedence for this anywhere in the country. Why us? Why now? This is nothing but a Chamber of Commerce / Employers Council / Realtors / Builders Exchange sucker punch. -DS]

Redwood Valley

It has come to my attention that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors intends to vote on a Mendocino County “Right to Industry” Ordinance on December 10, 2013.  This ordinance has now been revised by “County Staff” and will be presented to the Board for a vote on December 10th.

The Mendocino County CEO just initiated a 6-Day Public Comment Period which ends on December 10, 2013.  The CEO lists various “Stakeholders” forgetting to include Mendocino County Residents, the major stakeholders, in its quest for public comments.

This “Right to Industry” Ordinance (which reads like an “Industry Protection Racket”), would protect current and future industrial operations from complaints by neighbors for a wide variety of problems that should be addressed on the local level by our supervisors who are elected to represent the interests of all the people of Mendocino County.

The information below was forwarded to me on December 4, 2013.  I am making the assumption from the information below that the “Public” is not considered a “Stakeholder” by the Mendocino County Executive Office or the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

Please note that your feedback or public comments should also be directed to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. More…

Take Action! Ukiah Valley Slaughterhouse Update…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Mendo Slaughterhouse on December 4, 2013 at 8:35 am

sHorse Slaughterhouses


If you are genuinely concerned about the prospect of a slaughterhouse in the Ukiah valley, and have time and energy to devote, please come to our meeting Saturday, December 7, at 3:00 p.m. at the MEC.

As you may know, there’s a very active ongoing effort to build a slaughterhouse in Ukiah. The Economic Development Corporation (EDFC) is spearheading the effort, and we’ve heard that at least one wealthy investor has expressed an interest in financing the facility. We’d like to update you on what we know and what we’ve heard—you’ll find the details below.

Also, we’re planning a meeting of people who have concerns about this effort—those who do not want any slaughterhouse in the Ukiah valley, as well as those who want to put restrictions on its location, size, economic, environmental, public health, and social impacts. If you are one of those people, and have time and energy to contribute over the coming months—or longer—please consider attending. If you can’t attend, please contact us by return email to let us know how you’d like to be involved. More…

Jim Houle: The Fantasy World of Costco…

In Around Mendo Island, James Houle on December 3, 2013 at 10:25 am

Redwood Valley

To The Ukiah City Council

Our City Manager fantasizes that a Big Costco Box will bring in great sales tax receipts and that the city will be able to pay off its indebtedness from the RDA fiasco, as well as new loans to build $6.2 million worth of access roads to Costco. This, they hope, will put the City on a sound financial footing. But there are a few problems with living in such a fantasy world:

There is no need for Costco: Ukiah people are not under-dressed nor poorly fed for lack of another big box discount store. We already have plenty of clothing stores, food emporiums, gasoline stations, and drug stores to meet our needs.

There is no money to build the new highway 101 interchange: The State Finance Department has said that the City Council cannot use revenue from the 2011 RDA bond nor from the expected sale of 15 acres to Costco to develop roads and interchanges needed to funnel shoppers into Big Box parking lots. Show us the money!

There is no adequate plan for the proposed interchange: More…

Take Action! Ukiah Share Space…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on November 25, 2013 at 9:30 am


The Vision

To create a thriving, community-centered cowork space and business incubator that supports Ukiah and Mendocino County entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The Ukiah Share Space will be a place for people to:
* share space, resources and skills,
* incubate new businesses and projects,
* foster and celebrate our entrepreneurial spirit, and
* create new local jobs.

The Need

Communities across the country are in need of a new type of economic revitalization — a type that is based on delocalization of basic needs and essential goods.

Localizing food production, reviving local manufacturing and reintroducing cooperatives are all pieces of this puzzle. The Share Space is a central location where these things can happen under one roof. It is a hub for sharing resources, learning new skills, finding sustainable solutions and incubating the new local economy.

The Ukiah Share Space Cowork and Local Economy Center will be organized as a public-private partnership between the City of Ukiah, EDFC and its partners.

Elements of the Center will include:
* Cowork Space
* Start-up Office Space
* Incubation Services
* Local Investment Opportunities
* Green Design Lab
* North Bay Made
* Reuse, Repair & Share Resources

Benefits to the community include:
* Incubation of new businesses and jobs
* A gathering place to support the local economy More…

Herb Ruhs Responds To ‘Are We Cooperative or Competitive?’…

In Around Mendo Island on November 20, 2013 at 9:57 am



The trauma I experienced when I found a post here on UkiahBlog supporting the bombing of Syria (I have a similar trauma whenever I encounter heartlessness, being actually bombed does wonders for one’s consciousness on that level) is beginning to heal. Let’s hope something like that does not happen again here.

I am compelled to comment here now because the question that Slate attempts to dredge up from more than one hundred years ago (Are We Cooperative or Competitive?), in a short biography of the sainted scientist Kropotkin, is actually no longer a question in active scientific debate. This sort of sophistry, seems to me, to be the love child of American Anti-intellectualism and the new Corporate Feudalism, so I seldom read anything from Slate unless it comes to me by a trusted aggregator like ICH or The Smirking Chimp. Scientifically educated and open minded people around the world know the answer to the question More…

Mendo Island: Buying Books and eBooks Online Locally…

In Around Mendo Island, Dave Smith on November 18, 2013 at 8:48 am

MBC400Mendocino Book Company, Ukiah

Redwood Valley

These three Mendocino County independent, locally-owned bookstores sell new books and ebooks online…

GalleryGallery Bookshop, Mendocino

Four-EyedFour-Eyed Frog, Gualala 


    For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 stays in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the city’s and county’s tax base. For every $100 spent at a national chain or franchise store, only $14 remains in the community.
    Where we shop, where we eat and hang out—all of it makes our village home. Chain and franchise stores are growing more aggressive and threatening to change the unique character of our town. One-of-a-kind, locally owned, independent businesses are an integral part of what makes Mendocino County a great place to live.
    Studies show that locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than national chains.
    Local business owners tend to set up shop downtown and in walkable neighborhood business districts, rather than developing on the city’s fringe or in suburban strip malls accessible only by automobile. More…

Will Parrish: Valley Oak, Tree of Life…

In Around Mendo Island, Will Parrish on November 12, 2013 at 7:30 am

w(inspired by Polaris, a mighty valley oak that stood at the northern end of Little Lake Valley)

Save Little Lake Valley

Valley oaks grow precisely in areas where the dominant society insists on erecting its cities and industrial empires, and its freeways: in valley bottom lands, where these long, flowing, almost vine-like oaks thrive in moist loamy soil ranging between the Inner Coast Ranges and across the Transverse Ranges, in much of Central Valley, and in various other pockets of California.

It is said that valley oaks never grow without a wild water source within 70 feet. Some Indigenous people have called them “Water Oak.”

As with coast redwoods, it is likely that 97-98 percent of old growth valley oaks have been destroyed in the past two hundred years throughout their native range.  They have often met this fate in a manner even less dignified than the redwoods.  Millions of them have been hacked to the ground like trash, often merely because they stood in the way, not even to be milled or used for any specific purpose.

But valley oaks are nothing if not dignified.  These regal trees are thought to be the largest and longest-lived oaks in the world.

For thousands of years, they have been a “tree of life” for Indigenous people who dwell in California interior valleys.

Their leaves have provided tinder, earth oven lining, and fodder for stock.

Their galls have provided material for hair dyes, medicines, and basketry.

Their burls have provided bowls, cups, dippers, ladles, and mortars.

Their sprouts have provided material for basketry, digging sticks, arrows, boats, traps, fire drills, cooking tongs, stirring sticks, clothing and games. More…

Madge Strong: Bypass Update…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on November 12, 2013 at 7:00 am

There's a better than fair chance the US Army Corps of Engineers might end up agreeing with us on this point: No Caltrans Bypass of Willits.

Willits City Councilwoman
Save Little Lake Valley

There’s a better than fair chance the US Army Corps of Engineers might end up agreeing with us on this point: No Caltrans Bypass of Willits.

Willits City Councilwoman Madge Strong wrote the following for the Willits Economic LocaLization Newsletter.  She wrote it before the Army Corps of Engineers’ chief regulator for the North Bay/North Coast, Laura Monarres, announced that ACE is close to shutting down Bypass construction.

Many people think the bypass is a “done deal” given the amount of construction already completed. Maybe so; maybe not…

The latest obstacle or opportunity is that the lowest bid for constructing the mitigation infrastructure (grading, fencing, planting) came in at $39 million – three times the Caltrans estimate of $$13 million. Caltrans does not have funding for this shortfall.The $39 million is only part of the price tag. Once “constructed,” the wetland mitigation lands also require monitoring and corrective measures (estimated at another $13 million), and then long-term management in perpetuity (under-estimated by Caltrans at $11 million).

Mitigation is a requirement of both the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) and Water Board permits, due to the 68+ acres of wetlands being destroyed in Phase 1 of the project. More…

Take Action! Mendocino County school gardens need your help!

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on November 6, 2013 at 8:12 am

Garden Based Nutrition Education
Ukiah Unified School District and
Mendocino County Schools

On October 1, Mendocino County’s 32 public school gardens - operated by the Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE) program – lost funding.

There are so many proven benefits of garden-based education, and if a significant community interest in school gardens and nutrition education is demonstrated to each school board, GENE has a very real chance of thriving once again.

Until then, most students will miss out, and unattended gardens run the risk of being plowed over. The cost to fully fund the GENE program is about $25 per student per year, or $500 per classroom. We hope that in the years to come the schools will prioritize funding for the program, but for this year we need community donations to keep the gardens alive.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Watch the video, share it with your friends, and post it on any social media sites you use.
  2. Make a donation to your favorite school garden through the Community Foundation.
  3. Urge your school board to fully fund the Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education program.
  4. Volunteer in your local school garden: e-mail Terry D’Selkie at


California State Grange Passes Resolution Calling to Downsize Willits Bypass…

In Around Mendo Island on October 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm


From Save Little Lake Valley

At its recent statewide convention, The California Sate Grange (CSG) passed the resolution below calling for immediate action by the California State Grange to lobby Governor Jerry Brown to call a halt to construction of the northern interchange and require Caltrans to design a two-lane alternative to achieve significant savings in impact on wetlands and farm land.

Scale Back Caltrans Willits Bypass Project

Proposed by: Michael Foley, Little Lake Grange #670

Whereas: The Willits Bypass Project currently under construction is one of the most expensive highway projects per mile in recent memory, costing four times the state and national average for comparable projects; and

Whereas: Thirty-four percent of California highways are in serious need of repair, starved for funds while Caltrans pursues expensive new projects such as this bypass; and

Whereas: Caltrans has consistently misrepresented the need for the project, claiming to regulatory agencies that the Federal Highway Administration requires a four-lane freeway when it in fact does not; and More…

Doug McKenty: A KZYX Manifesto…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on October 15, 2013 at 6:32 am



[It's time. The KZYX house needs a clean sweep... DS]

My name is Doug McKenty and I have been volunteering at KZYX for the last seven years. I began as an engineer for my Tai Chi teacher on a program called “Mind, Body, Health,” which was an alternative health program alternating with Richard Miller on Tuesday mornings. I continued engineering long after my teacher was replaced by Marvin Trotter, and the show took a less alternative bent. Soon after I started work on that program, I was offered the job of moderating the Open Lines show. At the time, it seemed like a great opportunity to promote free and open dialogue around the county about, well, anything, but I also felt like it was a great opportunity to facilitate discussion about the station and its policies in a way that guaranteed transparency and provided “access to all points of view,” as stipulated by the station’s Mission Statement. Eventually, I ended up hosting an interview show called “The Thursday Morning Report” and also did a stint as the Programmer-Elected member of the Board of Directors of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, a tenure which ended a few months ago in May of 2013. More…

Scott Cratty: Introducing ‘North Bay Made’ — Taking localization to the next level…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on October 4, 2013 at 9:30 am

Westside Renaissance Market
Ukiah Farmers Market
North Bay Made

How do we take localization to the next level?  One important step it to be able to readily identify what really is local.  Certainly another important part of the picture is tapping the power of a wider neighborliness, i.e., regionalization.  Great as it is to have things being made in Ukiah, it is also true that many producers will never be able to make a living selling only to people in the Ukiah area.

Creating the linkage between what is really made in this area and a wider, regional market is the focus of North Bay Made, a recently launched initiative to help make our local economy as strong as it can be.  North Bay Made works on several levels.

It starts with set of beautiful county-specific product brands created by Local Works in Santa Rosa.  You can view the brands at the project’s homepage, which is

North Bay Made is also working to create a network of brick and mortar retail locations throughout the North Bay that will all use this same shelf branding so that customers throughout the North Bay will have an easy way to identify products that are truly local to their region.

In Mendocino County the roll-out of the project is being coordinated by me, Scott Cratty of the Westside Renaissance Market, 1003 W. Clay Street in Ukiah ( and Sarah Bodnar of the Eat Mendocino project and Social Media Sisters You can already look for North Bay Made logos on the Westside Renaissance Market shelves.  Other early adopters of the program in Mendocino are Harvest Markets in Fort Bragg and Mendocino, Mariposa Market in Willits and Surf Market in Gualala … in another month or so you should soon be able to look for the North Bay Made brands at those locations to find locally-made, local economy boosting everyday groceries, processed foods, as well as More…

Will Parrish: CalTrans, A Rogue Agency…

In Around Mendo Island, Will Parrish on October 4, 2013 at 9:23 am



My piece below describes how Caltrans has appeared to violate Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, consistently and repeatedly, in its dealing with the Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Willits, leading to the grading, wick draining, and filling in of a village complex in the wetlands of northern Little Lake Valley. Caltrans’ legal failures in this case fit with consistent patterns.

One of those is the long-standing pattern of US government abrogation of its legal commitments to First Nations people in general. The US federal government enacted more than 400 treaties with American Indian nations between 1787 and 1871 but has meaningfully observed none of them. Here in California, federal agents negotiated 18 treaties with California’s native nations that would have encompassed roughly 10 percent of state in 1851, only for the US Congress to claim to have “lost” the treaties, even going to the extraordinary length of placing the treaties under seal.

Not until 1905, when First Nations activist recovered these treaties, did the US government acknowledge their existence, which set the stage for the development of what is called the Rancheria System. Eleven rancherias, which typically consist of only about fifty acres of land, exist here in Mendo. Sherwood Valley Rancheria is one.

Another of those patterns is Caltrans’ failure to abide by many of its own basic agreements with other government agencies in the process of constructing the Willits Bypass. For more than two decades, Big Orange worked intensively to secure approval of all regulatory agency permits that establish the protocol they are to follow in constructing the Willits Bypass. So, you might think Big Orange would now actually be in compliance with the law now that construction is well underway.

Yet, on the very first day of construction of the Willits Bypass — February 25, 2013 — Caltrans and its contractor were forced to call off the work they had planned More…

Industry Lobbyists Oppose Gigabit Community Race to the Top Proposal…

In Around Mendo Island on October 3, 2013 at 10:06 am


[See also Mendocino Broadband]

This is Part 1 in a two-part series discussing comments submitted to the FCC in response to a petition filed by Fiber-To-The-Home Council proposing a new Gigabit Community Race to the Top program.

The Fiber-To-The-Home Council (FTTHC) recently submitted a proposal to the FCC to create a Gigabit Communities “Race to the Top” program. The proposal suggests granting unclaimed portions of universal service funds (USF) to qualifying entities in small and rural markets willing to build gigabit networks. While the proposal may need some adjustments, the idea holds potential for encouraging community owned networks and we hope the FCC takes the next step by opening an official rulemaking proceeding.

What makes this proposal so promising for community networks is that it may not require grantees to qualify as “eligible telecommunications carriers” (ETCs), a technical requirement placed by the FCC on USF recipients. This requirement virtually assures that USF funds go to already established telcos and not to upstart community networks.

Instead, Race to the Top lays out its own qualifying criteria which opens the door for a broader variety of recipients, including co-ops, nonprofits and municipalities, taking a similar approach as the federal stimulus BTOP program. Furthermore, Race to the Top has the potential to improve on BTOP in one major aspect by focusing on last-mile networks, which BTOP grants largely shied away from.

The FCC comment period for this initial proposal has closed and the majority of submitted comments are supportive. But I want to highlight some of the misleading comments submitted by a few industry lobby groups – National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), Rural Broadband Association (NTCA) and USTelecom. This post will focus More…

James Lee: Big Ag is completely circumventing GMO concerns…

In Around Mendo Island, James Lee on September 24, 2013 at 11:33 am

Andeson Valley

It is critical now to localize our food supplies. Support and promote our local producers and grow your own. This is the only way we can be sure of what we are eating since the sociopaths in power will not change no matter who you write or how many petitions you sign.

This information is just for this week and if we look forward it means Big Ag food supplies will only get more contaminated.


Big Ag is completely circumventing GMO concerns and labeling demands by creating a new synthetic that does will not fall under GMO labeling guidelines or radar. This is a classic way they stay way ahead of any movements to ban, regulate or provide oversight on their engineered food stuffs.

The USDA announced this week that the agency has changed the process for exempting otherwise prohibited substances (such as synthetics) in food that carries the “organic or “made with organic” label. More…

Dave Smith: Frogs Know

In Around Mendo Island on September 19, 2013 at 7:40 am

Redwood Valley
(Excerpt and art: Deward Drollinger 1969)

I have had the privilege recently to take advantage of our excellent county bus service, Mendocino Transit Authority. There is a community of our neighbors that ride regularly, and for many, it is their sole means of transportation: students and the elderly, and the financially- and physically-constrained, depend on our buses for college classes, the library, doctor appointments, social services, visiting friends, and community involvement.

The drivers are unfailingly polite and helpful, the buses consistently clean. Racks for bicycles, secure mechanized ramps and floor clamps for wheelchairs, are provided.

I have not ridden a bus since high school, but I moved to Redwood Valley More…

Chris Hardaker: Willits Bypass — Killing The Whistleblower…

In Around Mendo Island on September 14, 2013 at 9:36 am

Journalist/whistleblower Will Parrish, at the office…

Photos: Steve Eberhard, Willits News

A Post-911 Tradition Comes to Willits, Ca, (or,  “Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?”)

“A whistleblower is a person who exposes misconduct, alleged dishonest or illegal activity occurring in an organization. The alleged misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health and safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).” Wikipedia


Whistleblowing has been a grand American pastime for a long time, one of the few really populist joys this country had to offer. It used to have a TV show: 60 Minutes. Things have changed, though, since 9/11 because now it is the messengers who are in court while the criminals are vacationing in Bermuda. The numbers are very bad, and whistleblowers across the country who feel they are doing their duty suddenly discover themselves in a game of Whack-a-Mole. More…

Fukushima: Radiation on Mendocino Pacific Coast?

In Around Mendo Island on September 12, 2013 at 8:46 am

Ocean Harvest Sea Vegetable Company

Ocean Harvest Sea Vegetable Company just received our last radiation sample test results for seaweed harvested Sept. 3, 2013.  The seaweed is free of radiation for our 2013 harvest year! There is no detectable radiation in the seaweed, so as far as any report that says the radiation is in the ocean on the north coast- IT IS NOT!  We cannot live in fear, we have to take action and anyone concerned should do so as well.

Since we are in the ocean 50 days a year, we take our health very seriously and for selfish reasons (along with peace of mind when selling to customers) we believe in taking action and spreading truth- not questionable scientific charts or projections of what could be- when it is NOT.

I am not sure about where the radiation is coming from in the air on the charts in this article, or if they are projections as well.  If people are concerned, they should band together and test the food products they question.  The tests are expensive $100- $300 per item), but they provide peace of mind.  EMSL Labs is a reliable food testing lab.  I would like to see people NOT spread rumors, but find out for themselves before trying to scare everyone about radiation (either by air or sea).

Turn your concerns into actions and have more peace of mind!

Dave Smith: Willits Bypass Letter Exchange…

In Around Mendo Island, Dave Smith on September 1, 2013 at 9:51 am

Letters to the Editor Exchange



I would like to make one simple request of my friends in the anti-Willits bypass community; would you guys please get a life?  I mean, the deal is done; contracts have been let, ground has been broken, millions of dollars worth of equipment has been assembled to carry out the democratically expressed will of the people of California. Whatever shortcomings there may be in our democratic process, it is, in the end, the government under which we live; if you find it intolerable, try moving More…

The Mega Canner: Every serious canner needs one…

In Around Mendo Island on July 24, 2013 at 7:28 am

smiley underdog firing up the bark boiler full of shredded tan oak bark for tanning goat skins.

Mendocino County

Canning season is upon us.  If you ever find yourself having a long day of boiling batch after batch of jars on the stove top, you need a bigger canner!

Many years ago in my blacksmithing obsessed days I was often found cruising metal scrap yards for treasures and steel stock.  Every time I’ve moved, my accumulated scrap pile has come with me.  One day I spotted a large stainless pool filter, complete with lid, at my favorite scrap yard.  I knew right away that I wanted if for boiling large batches of oak bark for tanning hides.  I figured it could be useful for other stuff too, so I bought it for a mere 20.00.

It took me many years and quite a few moves with the scrap metal pile in tow to finally get my bark boiler running.  I put a scrounged copper pipe and a gate valve on the bottom outlet More…

Religion: ‘God’ according to Buddhist teachings…

In Around Mendo Island, Religion on July 21, 2013 at 10:40 am


According to Buddhist teachings, the God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is not the One God, the Creator, nor is he omnipotent and omniscient. However, Buddhism does not deny his existence or the existence of his heaven.

There is no creator and there are no creations.
It is only from karma and thoughts that things are produced.
How can we know it is that way?
Because other than that there isn’t anything at all. More…

It’s Peaches at the Ukiah Saturday Farmers’ Market…

In Around Mendo Island on July 19, 2013 at 6:35 am



To: Friends of the Farmers’ Market,

Nice job last week.  Let’s repeat!   In case you missed them, Elmer’s Orchard has joined us with fresh picked local peaches!  The first good crop in a couple of years.  Anyone for grilled peach salad?  Get them while you can.  As if they could feel that fruit coming, the UC Master Gardeners have planned a demonstration on making a fruit picker, for use with tree fruits, out of recycled materials. It is lightweight and easy to make. (They can also answer whatever general lawn and garden queries are on your mind.)

Need more?  Lazy RO Cattle will be joining us for the 1st time this season.  The Fish Peddler promises lots of fresh salmon … and maybe even samplers of the smoked salmon.  New for Lovin’ Mama this week…cucumbers!  Divas (mini Persian), lemons, and Armenians.   Also, make your own bouquet…flowers by the stem.  $0.50 each or 12 for $5.  Lots of other flowers at the market this time of year.  And Cinnamon Bear Farm should have their available-for-a-limited-time (really, really good) avocados from family in Santa Barbara County.

That is just a taste … last weekend we had 41 vendors, each loaded with cool local stuff.  Should be as abundant this week

NOW GO MAKE THAT PLEDGE: At the moment Ukiah IS STILL #1 in the I Love My Farmers Market contest.  But, Aptos is gaining.  So, PLEAZZZZ make it a habit to go to every week and make that pledge to spend $10 at the Ukiah Farmers’ Market. More…

‘Fukushima Never Again’ Film, Ukiah Monday 7/22/13 7pm…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island on July 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm


“Fukushima, Never Again” tells the story of the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdowns in north east Japan in March of 2011 and exposes the cover-up by Tepco and the Japanese government.

This is the first film that interviews the Mothers Of Fukushima, nuclear power experts and trade unionists who are fighting for justice and the protection of the children and the people of Japan and the world. The residents and citizens were forced to buy their own geiger counters and radiation dosimeters in order to test their communities to find out if they were in danger.

The government said contaminated soil in children’s school grounds was safe and then when the people found out it was contaminated and removed the top soil, the government and TEPCO refused to remove it from the school grounds.

It also relays how the nuclear energy program for “peaceful atoms” was brought to Japan under the auspices of the US military occupation and also the criminal cover-up of the safety dangers of the plant by TEPCO and GE management which built the plant in Fukushima. It also interviews Kei Sugaoka, the GE nulcear plant inspector from the bay area who exposed cover-ups More…

Sara Grusky: What I learned in the County Jail…

In Around Mendo Island on July 12, 2013 at 8:47 am



I would like to share some information regarding the treatment of those who have been arrested while protesting Caltrans’ bypass construction. The Willits News on June 28 stated that criminal charges have been filed in two cases and that I received a traffic ticket for being a pedestrian on a roadway during a protest action. While this information is entirely correct, it does fail to include the fact that some of those arrested spent quite a few days in jail. In the example mentioned above, when I was arrested for being a pedestrian on a roadway during a protest, I was kept in jail for three days before I was arraigned for a traffic violation. When four citizens, myself included, were arrested while trying to deliver food and water to Will Parrish in the wick drain derrick we spent another four days in jail. More…

Mendocino County School Gardens in Crisis…

In Around Mendo Island on July 9, 2013 at 6:20 am


Anderson Valley Advertiser

With summer just starting, students are hardly thinking about next year’s classes. But unless a handful of dedicated educators can pull a rabbit out of their hat, students might find one of their favorite programs missing in the fall.

Twelve years ago, the Network for a Healthy California (NHC) paved the way for Mendocino County’s Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE) program. Thanks to this funding, Mendocino now has a unique claim to fame: every single public school in the county has a vegetable garden.

For the past decade, garden coordinators have worked with local organizations such as The Gardens Project of North Coast Opportunities Community Action, as well as other organizations and volunteers, to get these gardens up and running. Teachers have incorporated the gardens into their lessons, and the food services staff at some of the schools use what’s grown in the meals they serve. More…

Mulligan Mail Now Open…

In Around Mendo Island on July 1, 2013 at 7:38 am



Mulligan Books Closed For Good on May 31, 2013…

I have transferred the downtown “Mini Post Office” only, to inside Mendocino Book Company, and reopening it today, July 1st…

World’s Most Evil and Lawless Institution? The Executive Branch of the U.S. Government [Updated]…

In Around Mendo Island on June 30, 2013 at 7:15 am



[Highly recommended for today's reading, the Anderson Valley Advertiser blog (here): Includes an update on Will Parrish (above) and Sara Grusky of Save Little Lake Valley; "Marijuana's March Toward Mainstream Confounds Feds"; and a superb article revealing the horror that our Executive Branch has visited on the rest of the world over the past 50 years, soon to be exercised on our own country trying to save itself from the repercussions of its own deeds... -DS]

America’s Secret Shame: Executive Branch leaders have killed, wounded and made homeless well over 20 million human beings in the last 50 years, mostly civilians. More…

Will Parrish Sit Day Three: Supporters Make Dramatic Bid to Resupply…

In Around Mendo Island on June 24, 2013 at 6:04 am



Saturday evening around 45 supporters of Red-Tailed Hawk’s (Will Parrish) occupation of a wick drain “stitching machine” converged on the site in what was precious wetlands in the path of CalTrans’ freeway project. Supporters walked onto the site unopposed until they reached CHP squad cars, when two officers emerged and tried to call a halt to the march. Supporters from Willits, Ukiah and beyond proceeded on the the stitcher in which Red-Tailed Hawk is perched. When he lowered a supply rope, they tried to attach bundles of food and water. CHP officers repelled the attempt three times, cutting the rope in the process.


With press on hand protestors quietly sat and reasoned with the officers to allow resupply to Red-Tailed Hawk, who has no food and very little water left. The officers refused and refused as well to reveal whether they were under orders to starve him until he descends. More…

Stop The Willits Bypass: Will Parrish (Red-Tailed Hawk) High Up In Stitcher for Second Day…

In Around Mendo Island on June 22, 2013 at 9:18 am


From Save Little Lake Valley

Red-Tailed Hawk spent a second day aboard the contraption called a “wick drain stitcher,” perched about half-way up the crane on which the stitching mechanism is hung. At one point, operators moved the stitcher several feet, letting the crane come to rest on a steel plate. The intent seemed to be to make way for the second stitcher, which was in operation all day. To their credit contractors notified Hawk and onlookers in advance of the move.

The night was illuminated by generator-driven floodlights, and the toplights and floods of the CHP cars surrounding Red-Tailed Hawk’s perch. Loud sounds broadcast from the cars and honking in the early hours of the morning were evidently the CHP’s version of the strategy used by U.S. troops surrounding the Vatican Embassy in Panama when Manuel Noriega took refuge there. In that instance, blaring rock ‘n roll at deafening levels was employed to persuade Vatican personnel to dis-invite Noriega. More…

Will Parrish: Once A Lawyer, Now A Tree Sitter…

In Around Mendo Island, Will Parrish on June 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm

tTanya Ridino


The Clean Water Act lawsuit that aims to halt construction of the California Department of Transportation’s current version of the Willits Bypass will be heard in a San Francisco federal court on June 21st. Filed by the Willits Environmental Center, the Redwood chapter of the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Environmental Protection Information Center against CalTrans, the Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the suit aims to compel these agencies to examine less damaging and costly ways of addressing regional traffic problems and traffic problems in Willits, and to examine the legitimacy of CalTrans’ mitigation plan.

Federal Judge Jeffrey White denied a preliminary injunction last September that would have halted work on the project, which constituted a kind of preliminary ruling on the case. White has left open the possibility of ruling otherwise if the plaintiffs provide new evidence that he finds convincing. Following the hearing, he has up to 90 days to render a decision. The ruling appears likely to go in CalTrans’ favor.

Meanwhile, the Bypass can now lay claim to having inspired perhaps the first-ever lawyer-turned-tree-sitter.



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