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



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.


When CHP reinforcements arrived, Sgt A. Mesa ordered protesters to leave the site and immediately grabbed Sara Grusky as she was complying with the order. Her daughter Thea Grusky-Foley and Naomi Wagner allowed themselves to be arrested in solidarity. Matt Caldwell, who had attempted to attach buckets to the line, was also arrested.


The evening ended at Willits Police Station, where Sara and Thea, who had walked away after being handcuffed, talked by phone to press and Sheriff Tom Allman amidst a crowd of supporters. They surrendered to an angry Sgt. Mesa after calling in their whereabouts to the CHP.

Talkin to Tom

All four arrestees are currently at Mendocino County Jail, awaiting booking.  Red-Tailed Hawk is still without water and food and needs all the support we can give him.



As a Willits business man, I want our community resources protected and our money well spent. The Caltrans bypass does neither. It is an extremely costly solution to a simple problem to improve traffic in Willits. There is a better way to get traffic around the downtown and solutions have been proposed for years by people and businesses in and around Willits. But Caltrans, like many mega-corporations, has its own agenda and insists on a 4 lane freeway through the ecologically sensitive Little Lake Valley. It would destroy land and resources that our community desperately needs–land, water, trees, fish.

Will Parrish and the community people who support him are doing us all a great service by standing up for the rights of the people, the land, and the animals. Some say that the rights of people driving motor vehicles to save a few precious minutes going through Willits is more important than the needs of our local community. I’m with Will and his supporters.

Let’s get down to business and work out a solution that truly meets the needs of our community, not just the needs of the Caltrans mega-corporation. Most of us don’t see the massive bureaucracy behind the local trucks and workers. But this will give you a taste:

Caltrans annual budget: $13.9 billion (2011), nearly $14,000,000,000 for those like me who had to look up how many zeros in a billion.

Permanent employees: 22,277

If Caltrans was a country, its budget would be larger than 116 countries in the world (Wikipedia).

I’d say that qualifies as a mega-corporation.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is an executive department within the U.S. state of California. Its purpose is to improve mobility across the state. Their proposed Willits Bypass is not the best way “to improve mobility across the state.” There is a better way. Let’s come together, stop this Caltrans non-sense, and put a real solution into practice.

Would someone, or better many someones, go to a hobby store and buy some remote control helicopters for resupply?