Around Mendo Island

Poisoning Little Lake at the Liar’s Ball, Hosted by Caltrans.


Mike Sturm: Foreman of Summer Breeze Ranch (Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese), and surrounded by Caltrans’ mitigation lands on three sides:
“If they do any spraying on the ditch fence there,” Sturm said, “I’m going to get overdrift. And it’s going to pollute the water. I never thought I would be an environmentalist,” he added. “Our farm has been certified by the state as being organic, and if they do that, it’s going to mess up our organic status bigtime. And as a former user – I’ve used all these chemicals – they stay in the ground, they don’t go away, and they all cause cancer. I don’t want to see them out there, and if there’s some way we can stop it, I’d sure appreciate it.” Willits Weekly, Thursday, March 19, 2015

Caltrans’s industrial scale poisoning campaign is coming to Little Lake starting this summer and there is nothing you can do about it. It is a brand new component of the $50,000,000 mitigation package. Caltrans broke the news last year during Thanksgiving. Yeah.

For the first stage, almost 70 acres of poison will be applied, three times a month for five months for several years, a.k.a. fifteen times a year. The Valley has never been subjected to this amount of poison ever! Compared to the usages of poisons in other valleys in the county, Little Lake can be regarded as a virgin. And it is going to happen just in time for Football practice, rodeos and the Kinetic Carnival.

Co-opted: The Fall Of The Natural Foods Cooperative And What We Can Do About It…


From Bob St.Peter

Nearly forty years ago small groups of eaters who were tired of crappy, industrial food began organizing into buying clubs and cooperatives to bring whole, organic, and local foods into their communities. But like the organic food movement generally, the food coops that were born out of resistance and a progressive vision have been co-opted by Big Food, industrial capitalism’s need for the consolidation of wealth and power, and the American consumer’s unceasing desire for fast food. Walk through any retail food co-op in the country and if you know what to look for you’ll find shelves and coolers full of food from companies owned by General Mills, Kraft, Coke, Cargill, the colonial empire of Dole, and other top players in the global food industry. These transnational food corporations disguise their own organic brands with clever marketing or just simply buy up existing natural or organic food companies to add to their stables.

The True Origins of Christmas…


The Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun,
in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun,
and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun.
-Thomas Paine


Christmas Day, The Once Again Reborn Sun of God

There is another very interesting phenomenon that occurs around December 25th, or the winter solstice. From the summer solstice to the winter solstice, the days become shorter and colder.

And from the perspective of the northern hemisphere, the sun appears to move south and get smaller and more scarce. The shortening of the days and the expiration of the crops when approaching the winter solstice symbolized the process of death to the ancients.

It was the death of the sun…

Complete article from Jamie Lee’s Anderson Valley TABU Blog here

Los Angeles, City of Water…


From Janie Sheppard
Mendocino County

[If Los Angeles can hugely reduce its water consumption it’s worth a few minutes to consider the claims of Claude Lewenz that MendoVito could indeed further show us the way forward.  Surely if Los Angeles can reduce its water usage, a new community that doesn’t have to retrofit can reduce per capita water use hugely as well.  It’s at least worth considering.  I recommend reading the article in the New York Times via the link below.

“One sign of Los Angeles’s earnestness is its success in conservation: The city now consumes less water than it did in 1970, while its population has grown by more than a third, to 3.9 million people from 2.8 million. Two projects — a nine-acre water-treating wetland constructed in a former bus maintenance yard and a water management plan devised for a flood-prone district of 80,000 people — won awards this year from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. The city itself won one of the first water sustainability awards given by the U.S. Water Alliance, in 2011.” -JS]

LOS ANGELES is the nation’s water archvillain, according to public perception, notorious for its usurpation of water hundreds of miles away to slake the thirst of its ever-expanding population. As a character in “Chinatown,” the noirish 1974 film starring Jack Nicholson that churns through the city’s water history, puts it, “Either you bring the water to L.A., or you bring L.A. to the water.”

Recently, however, Los Angeles has reduced its reliance on outside sources of water. It has become, of all things, a leader in sustainable water management, a pioneer in big-city use of cost-effective, environmentally beneficial water conservation, collection and reuse technologies. Some combination of these techniques is the most plausible path to survival for all the cities of the water-depleted West.

Claude Lewenz of MendoVito interview now posted at Mendocino Talking…


(Claude Lewenz proposes to build a self-contained “VillageTown” of 5,000 to 10,000 people to be located in McDowell Valley, Southeast of Hopland on 423 acres. 

The purpose of my interview was not to learn more about the project — which was well-presented at the recent forum in Hopland, and in his book How To Build a Village, and on the website — but rather to find out who he is. He says that he is not a “developer” looking to make a profit, but rather a “social entrepreneur” defined on the website as “individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems.”

On the website… “A VillageTown is a set of organizational principles designed to enable people and communities to regain control over their own economies and lives. It is used to design and build a self-created, self-funded, self-governing settlement, an archetypal country town that is made of villages, and that does not use a developer. Car-free within its urban core, its people work within walking distance of home… Based on common sense, not utopian ideals, it is what happens when timeless “patterns” proven to work are integrated with the best potential of new technology. Environmentally, socially and culturally, it focuses on balancing life to be sustainable, so present generations leave the earth and its people in better condition than what they inherited from those who came before.”

Here is Claude’s personal story…)


Doug Mosel Interview Now Posted at Mendocino Talking…


(Since landing in Mendocino County, Doug Mosel has involved himself in several worthwhile community projects: running the successful Measure H campaign against GMOs; co-founding the Agriculture & Ecology Hour on KZYX; and most recently creating the Mendocino Grain Project where he farms, mills and distributes locally-grown grains and flour to CSA members of the project and local stores. —DS)

Interview available here

Breakfast for Acorn Gatherers…


Laughing Frog Farm

I’ve just finished my morning bowl of acorn mush, and is it ever way better than it sounds or looks – you do not want to see its photo, trust me on that. Here’s the method I used…

First I put my harvest in a pail of water to sort out floaters. I’d skip this step next time, as there was only one. Then I dried them in the sun a few days. I cracked the shells with a hammer – lots of acorns ricocheting around the kitchen – then switched to a regular nutcracker, which works fine. There were a few worms, and a few more that had begun to mold (perhaps due to the unnecessary immersion in water).

I put the shelled acorn meats through the blender with water – one cup acorns / three cups water. Then I poured the mixture into a quart jar and set it in the refrigerator. The next morning, the acorn meal had settled to the bottom, and the water was dark orange with tannin. I poured off the water and added more, screwed the lid back on, shook the jar, and replaced it in the frig. I did this daily for a week, by which time the water was only barely discolored. This is really easy, and takes no more time than it does to read about it.

I’ve used the resulting glop as a thickener for soup and pudding as well as a breakfast. The taste is mildly nutty, like chestnuts. Today I added raisins, pecan bits, cacao nibs, and just a taste of maple syrup and coconut oil, and heated it until it bulked up into the consistency of oatmeal. I poured it over fresh pear chunks. Satisfying. Warming. Divine.
Please also see Acorns and Eat ‘Em PDF

KZYX needs a major attitude adjustment…


From Dennis O’Brien
Ukiah, California

Legal/Policy Analysis of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (KZYX&Z)


In March 2006, the Board of Directors of MCPB/KZYX transferred all hiring/firing authority to the General Manager. In 2009, the current GM used that authority to eliminate the News Director position, along with the five most popular NPR shows, without public discussion. The current Board now forbids any Director from overseeing any work of the GM or Staff, even though such oversight is each Director’s responsibility.

The Program Director and Staff are thus one more step removed from the Members and the Community. The Board no longer responds to questions, and has declared it will not intervene in Management/Staff decisions. Written requests for information have also been ignored.

Mendocino County Makes History and Passes Law Establishing Local Self-Governance…

Anderson Valley

Mendocino County, in the pristine northern lands of California, where the magnificent ancient coastal Redwood trees meet the inland California Oaks, has voted itself into the constitution writing (righting) business.

Yesterday, by a significant margin, they became the first county in California, and only the second county in the country to pass into law a very powerful local ordinance that declares local self-governing rights in their communities over state and federal jurisdiction. Over 67% of the votes cast were in favor of the measure.

The ordinance provides for waters free from toxic trespass; preemptively bans all fracking activities countywide with heavy fines and penalties for violation of the ordinance; and establishes a Community Bill of Rights to, for, and by the residents of Mendocino County while checking corporate powers as well.

In addition, the newly created law gives the Rights of Nature to exist and flourish without toxic trespass whereas previously Nature had no standing in the court of law.

Here is some of the powerful language in the proposed ordinance which you can read…

Complete article here

James Houle: Costco Needs Another Look…

cBefore and After Costco
Northbound entry to Ukiah

Redwood Valley

This letter was presented to the Ukiah City Council meeting Wednesday October 15th.
Dear Council-members:  Re: DEIR for Talmage Road Interchange Modification

During the five-year history of the Costco Project, no local government entity has seriously considered and reported upon the economic impact of the project nor upon its financial viability. The City’s purchase of 15.3 acres of land for $2.34 million under the Redevelopment Program assumed further build-out of the Redwood Industrial Park made good sense although no examination of the expected new tax revenues, nor of the prospect of significant taxes lost as a result from shuttered enterprises was ever reported to the citizens. As originally planned, the $2.34 million land acquisition would be paid back to the City by Costco and used for the Talmage Interchange project. Any addition funds for traffic improvements and the like could be obtained under the same Redevelopment Account.

Herb Ruhs Comments…


From Herb Ruhs

[Responding to What Shall We Do?]

Psychopaths, people with brain anomaly that prevents identifying with the suffering of others. Intelligent psychopaths use this deficiency to overwhelm normals who tend to restrain themselves morally. This makes them superior competitors. For the past few thousand years this tiny minority has progressively dominated normal, feeling people up to the point now where covert and overt control of large institutions can be described as a final triumph of heartless psychopaths over normal people. This is what makes everything seem so upside down. Institutions that traditionally helped people are now savaging us. The less “developed” world is in in agony, facing violent death, starvation and dispossession in virtually every country, while ordinary people in “developed” countries are beginning to also not be able to meet basic needs. Youth are being denied adequate education, “democratic” institutions ignore the wishes of a large majorities, medical care is becoming unaffordable, and everything folks put their confidence in has betrayed them. While all this has been going on massive degrees of inequality have developed that end up making core concepts of human and/or civil rights meaningless, a cruel joke really.

Introducing ‘Mendocino Talking’…


Redwood Valley

I recently began a series of interviews with locals who are engaged in the communities of Mendocino County for the Anderson Valley Advertiser. We now have a website for them: “Mendocino Talking” located here.

So far, I’ve posted several interviews with more to come every week or so, several days after they first appear in the AVA. You will meet and get to know community stalwarts such as Els Cooperrider, Margaret Fox, Tom Hine, Will Parrish, Scott Cratty, Pat Ford and others.

I hope you are as delighted as I am with who they are and what they have to say…




Take Action: Will Parrish’s Restitution Hearing October 10th…


From Save Little Lake Valley

After all this time, CalTrans still insists on seeking criminal restitution fees from Will Parrish for his occupation of the “wick drain stitcher” in Little Lake Valley, which occurred in the early summer of 2013! After countless delays, the restitution hearing is scheduled for Friday, October 10th at 9:30 a.m. at Mendocino County Courtroom “B” in Ukiah.

CalTrans seeks $154,733 in restitution fees from Will, down from their original claim of $490,002. This is in spite of the fact that Will already settled the criminal charges related to his non-violent action in Jan. 2014, with the Mendocino County DA agreeing to two misdemeanors, which become infractions on Will’s record in Jan. 2016, and 100 hours of community service (which Will has already completed).

Your presence at the hearing helps make a powerful statement. This case provides a measuring stick for the validity of CalTrans’ utterly absurd claims that protesters caused $12 million in taxpayer burden by delaying the project in 2013.  Let’s stand behind someone who has stood up for all of us! Let’s put CalTrans’ greed on trial!

– Live in Willits? Carpool by meeting at Bountiful Gardens in Evergreen Shopping Plaza at 8:30
– Restitution Hearing at 9:30
– Rally at noon on the courthouse steps

My Favorite Four Letter Word…


From Els Cooperrider

Okay, you Nattering Nabobs of Negativism, listen up. I know you’re tired, disgusted, and thoroughly pissed off by the Gigolos running this country. You and I know almost all politicians are for sale to the highest bidder and we know the highest bidders are getting richer every day on the backs of us wage slaves. And, it seems there’s nothing we can do about it. Or is there?

Yes, there is actually. And it doesn’t just mean lifting our sharpened pencil and voting the bums out of office. There is hope even beyond that. Sometimes a bunch of common folks get so fed up that they decide to get it together, even here in Mendoland, to put something on the ballot that will knock your socks off. Something that will benefit us, our kids, and their kids, for a long time to come.

If you do nothing else this fall, at least peruse your election ballot and go to the very end where you’ll see Measure S. Then take your pencil or pen and fill in the box that says YES. What have you done? You may prevent your tap water from catching fire. Not only is such tap water not fit to drink for you or your kids. It’s not fit to drink for your cats and dogs and it will probably kill any plants you’re trying to grow.

Measure S is a citizens initiative, like Measure H, the GMO ban was, seeking to prevent something bad from happening in our county. That ‘bad’ would be fracking. Measure S puts the people’s will before the will and greed of the corporate giants who want to make still more money, even it means contaminating your water source. Measure S, if passed, won’t let them do that.

Sure, it isn’t perfect and there will probably be a battle with the Big Boys when it is passed. However, ‘Bring them on’, I say. Let’s get this fight and the disparities between the Haves, and Have Nots out in the open. If the People have spoken, is anyone listening? You bet! There is Hope. It’s my favorite four letter word (in spite of Bill Clinton). You can have it too, It will bring a bounce to your step. Try it.

YES on Measure S: Water and Fracking Initiative Establishing a Mendocino Community Bill of Rights…


From Jamie Lee

In less than six weeks, Mendocino County has a chance to make significant history.

This November 4th, if passed into ordinance, Measure S will become the first county in California, and only the 2nd county in the country, to establish a  Community Bill of Rights asserting our inherent right to clean water through banning the banning of any and all fracking activities in the county. (You can read about Measure S at

For over a decade now there has been a fast growing grass roots movement across the country where counties, communities and cities are exercising their rights to local self-governance.  Over 160 communities across the United States have now passed local ordinances declaring their rights. The ordinances have included the banning of fracking, disallowing toxic corporate sludge waste dumping on private and community lands, halting continued toxification of local ecosystems and water streams and denying corporations the same rights as human beings, also known as corporate personhood.

Prayer for Gluten…


From TheAVA

Heavenly Father, in your infinite goodness you created the earth and blessed us with its clear, abundant waters and fertile lands yielding plenteous harvests of fruits and vegetables and grains, some of which happen to contain gluten. We praise you, Lord, for creating gluten, an important yet humble source of protein enjoyed for centuries by the peoples of many nations, the great majority of whom didn’t even know it existed until recently. God, you sent gluten into this world as you sent your own Son, to save us, not to torment us with vague and possibly imaginary physical symptoms. So please help certain people to remember, gracious Lord, even as they shun and revile gluten, that it is still a creation of your own Almighty hand, and that, being God, you probably knew what you were doing when you created it. Enlighten those of us in your flock, O Lord, who go about slandering gluten with great authority and volume, even though they never heard of gluten until last year. Gently remind the fearmongering gluten slanderers to study Wikipedia — which you also created, Lord, so that we might come to know your wisdom more instantaneously — for they might be surprised to learn that gluten was discovered in the seventh century by Buddhist monks who used it as a substitute for meat, thus sparing from slaughter many of your beloved cows, chickens, pigs, and sheep, all of whom might be totally extinct by now were it not for gluten. Also help us to be mindful, O merciful God, of how gluten itself must feel — for who are we to say that gluten does not have feelings? (We imagine gluten is appalled, to put it mildly.) As you yourself opined in Romans 14:3, “Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.” Gluten certainly takes no umbrage at the estimated one out of every 135 people who actually suffers from celiac disease or the euphemistically yet still hatefully named “gluten intolerance.” Gluten has been around long enough to know that you can’t please everyone. No, gluten has no problem with these people. Gluten will tell you who it has a problem with, Lord, and that’s the shameless opportunists who have turned “gluten-free” from a legitimate health mandate into a “lifestyle choice” for no reason other than their own personal gain, preying upon the fear and ignorance of the hitherto gluten-tolerant masses with websites such as (“on a mission to Make Gluten-Free Fabulous “for everyone, everywhere”) and the sudden proliferation of such glossy publications as Gluten-Free Living, Simply Gluten-Free, and Living Without Magazine (a self-defeating title if ever we’ve heard one, as presumably the publishers do not want readers to live without the magazine itself). Gluten knows perfectly well that Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent,” but gluten has been silent for centuries, God, and guess what: it’s not working. Therefore, gracious Lord, gluten would like you to know that it has recently met with an attorney regarding a potential defamation claim. And gluten will tell you something else right now, Lord: it was here long before these gluten haters were born, and it will be here long after they’re gone. Not unlike yourself, O Lord, gluten is here to stay.

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


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

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

New Mendocino County Food Action Plan Announced…

From The Ukiah Daily Journal

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

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

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

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

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


[Hearing Postponed]

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

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

Let’s Train the Next Generation of Farmers…


From Grange Farm School

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

You know the bad news:

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

Here’s the good news:

CalTrans Ordered to Stop Work on Willits Bypass…

Thanks to Pat Sobrero

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

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

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


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

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

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



Official Statement Regarding Covered California Anthem Blue Cross Pathways PPO

Good afternoon,

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

R.I.P. Willits? 



[What to do?: Please contact…

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

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

From Ukiah Daily Journal

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

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

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

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

The Continuing Criminality of the Willits Bypass…

From Save Little Lake Valley

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

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



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

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

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


* Chief Caleen Sisk, Winnemem Wintu Tribe

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

Hemp Returns To Humanity…


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

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

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

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

News From California State Grange Ag School at Ridgewood Ranch…



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

Radio interview here:

The School will be located on beautiful Ridgewood Ranch

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


Redwood Valley

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

U.S. Navy Website:

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

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



[Let’s get this expanded to the rest of the county… DS]

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

Tom Wodetzki, Albion


Propane Buyers Club Info PDF (same info as below)

Tank Owners Customer Application PDF

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

From  Josh Harkinson
Mother Jones

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

See photos from the rally here and speaking list here.

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

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

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

KZYX Common Ground…


Mendocino County

Dear Inland folks,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Local Blog: TABU — Towards a Better Understanding…

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…

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