Around Mendo Island

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


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From WILL PARRISH
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*

SPEAKERS
:

* 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…


From DOUG FINE

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…


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From MICHAEL FOLEY
Willits

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:  http://www.heritageradionetwork.com/episodes/5866-Greenhorns-Radio-Episode-185-Antonia-Partridge-Farmer-Education

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…


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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:    http://nwtteis.com/

“…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…


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From TheAVA.com

[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

SUBURBAN PROPANE BUYERS CLUB

http://www.arenaorganics.org/membership/propane_club.html

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…


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From 350.org

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…


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From KING COLLINS
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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New Local Blog: TABU — Towards a Better Understanding…


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From JAMES LEE
TABU
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.

Alan York, Biodynamic Pioneer, Has Passed…


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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

Alan Chadwick Website…


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From alan-chadwick.org

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.”
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“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…


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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

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


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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.

Fukushima: Mendocino Response Team…



mMendocino Fukushima Response Campaign

From enenews.com

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…


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Willits Bypass: Will Parrish Needs Your Support…


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From CAL WINSLOW
CounterPunch

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.

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


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From SARA GRUSKY
Green Uprising Farm
Willits

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

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