Inspiring! Living simple really is simple. Everyone can surely embrace some part of this philosophy, simply not buying water in plastic bottles would be a nice start. Take a good look at the amount of packaging waste in the grocery store and you might consider buying from the bulk bins. Great article.
This week’s cover article “Calling for a Shutdown” is must reading. I appreciate the divergent perspectives of the Willits residents on this matter, but there is a much bigger picture here.
I was drawn into the article because of the evocation of the feds’ shutdown. But the article is about the Willits Bypass tree-sitting by reporter Will Parish and others in Mendocino County. We North Bay readers in Sonoma County, where I live, Marin, where I teach, and Napa, would be wise to read this article. It helps us understand why we are likely to see more such “direct action” here as conditions in the U.S. worsen.
Some “background,” as they say in journalism. Parrish writes for the Anderson Valley Advocate (AVA). He has done some of the best research and writing about the bloated Sonoma County wine industry and how it rules our county.
Rachel Dovey’s article appropriately compares Parrish to 350.org’s Bill McKibben and the “Guardian’s” Glenn Greenwald reporting on whistle-blower Edward Snowden exposing the National Security Administration (NSA). Let's also not forget that another journalist, Tom Paine, was key in starting the American Revolution with his pamphleteering. There is a long history of advocacy journalism and direct action by courageous writers.
Why might one risk eight-years-in-jail, as Parrish has? Because “the Willits Bypass destroys wetlands, kills coho salmon and forever changes a valley,” the cover reads.
As an activist in the Sebastopol Grange, I appreciate Dovey mentioning the “thriving Grange” in Willits. Last year’s 140th Annual California State Grange Conference happened in Willits, and this year’s happens in Sebastopol, Oct. 9-13. Please join us Oct. 9, Wed., 7 p.m. for a free screening of “Symphony of the Soil,” an incredibly beautiful musical documentary about the ground that holds us up.
Parrish has laid his life on the line, high up in those trees, and now faces a sentence of up to eight years in jail. He has been charged with 16 misdemeanors. This is the non-violent way that Gandhi, King, and others have pursued. This young man deserves our support for his courageous direct action and in his trial, scheduled to begin in November.
Shepherd Bliss, Sebastopol
Sorry to see people re-post themselves in the above: not just that, but a few who Always travel-together, Online (but where are they in person?). There are some who are speaking publicly on this major harm to the environment, and some who do not care about it. I put in my time So Far, others need to just get started, Still, good luck!
Will Parrish is no more a legitimate reporter than Bill Clinton is a faithful husband.
To Kate: The majority of the people who are in favor of the bypass know the protesters are fighting a losing battle, so why put up with abuse? There have been many reports of protesters harassing people at work because they are in favor of the bypass.
Thank you Will Parrish and all of the people who have put their lives on the line in Willits against this unnecessary bypass! My heart is with you all.
Caltrans began by telling Willits government and businesses that the freeway would aid them by diverting excessive thru-traffic and Highway 20 volumes. Then it made no turn-offs in Willits. Then it narrowed the two-lane north route in 1993 to one, to create the bottle-neck that clogs the Highway 101/city-street and said it would solve this 'indigenous problem'. Then it insisted only four-lane freeways were its charge and solution, rejecting an at-grade, in-scale truck-route. Then it falsified data by including 2,000 vehicles that are local in the "8,000 inter-regional" figures, a miniscule amount. Then it insisted traffic volumes would go up in twenty years, even though they have gone down in those twenty years. Now they have compromised a sensitive ecological area, bought up a quarter of the valley farm-land, and over-run four archaeological Pomo sites. How could these foul deeds and lies occur?--because the big fish eat the small in the ocean of gigantic tax-payer robbery. Sorry Randi Coven, you will lose too, although you and the Caltrans construction workers (working for a company that built Hitler's bunkers) drive the same model pick-ups.
P.S. Richard, The ACE does not like this project and rejected it twice until political pressure from Mike Thompson and the Washington ACE beat them down.....
Several of the pro-bypass people commenting here are a small group of known capitulators in support of whatever Caltrans would ram down their collective throats. The Save Our Little Lake Valley Group collected thousands of local signatures against the bypass and over 90% of the businesses in town oppose it as planned. It is a failed project and needs to be scaled down to a reasonable footprint.
I have split my life between Marin and Mendocino Counties for over 20 years. The investigation, reporting and actions of Will Parish have my respect and support. Something is very wrong with the Willits Bypass project. They have plowed through regulatory processes with barely a nod. They have ignored environmental restrictions, they have filled with materials from questionable sites, and covered over Native American historic areas with impunity. Their own statistics do not support their arguments. They are overbuilding, wasting taxpayer money, and destroying valuable natural resources. I think the Erin Brochovich connection is fateful.
"But when regulatory, electoral politics fail and special interests control politicians and you have all these alliances that have been dramatically at play with the bypass, then the system isn't going to do the sane or reasonable thing. Then direct action is the only sane or reasonable thing to do. In this case, writing isn't enough."
The highway is not just for the locals but everyone who drives on 101. I live in Santa Rosa now, but I use to live in Willits and grew up in Eureka. There can be a real bottleneck on 101 in Willits, especially in the summer on Fridays. Willits is the first set of lights on 101 north of the Golden Gate. That needs to change. I also remember 101 being closed on the north end of Willits due to flooding. I hope the bypass fixes that.
With all the years of looking at options, I assume the current plan is the one that made the most sense and the "activists" had their chance to give their input. The Army Corp of Engineers takes wetlands seriously and would not allow Caltrans to just destroy the Little Lake Valley. It will be nice to visit Main Street without having to deal with all the traffic.
To the commenters above: where were you at the Board of Supervisors meeting when, "Fifty-nine speakers voiced opposition to the bypass. Only one spoke up to defend it?" The "majority of Willits" hardly approves of the Caltrans land grab. Draining and filling in 86 acres of wetlands — the largest wetlands fill permit in Northern California in 50 years- at the cost of $300 million in taxpayer money for a town of 5000 makes no sense whatsoever, especially when less costly alternatives are clearly possible. Hats off to the activists for highlighting the absurdity of this project.
Wow what ever happened to investigated reporting? What a one sided story full of misleading facts and a couple straight up lies. Did Will write this for you? Take the time to actualy do your research, before you put it in print and call it a story.
I totally agree with you Randi, as I’m sure the majority of Willits does. There are so many untruths in this article. I wish that journalists would do more research and weren’t so one sided. Hopefully Will and all the other protesters that break the law will get the punishment they deserve. They have cost us tax payers millions of unnecessary dollars. What I found quite hilarious is that he asked the CHP to carry him out for a more dramatic appearance.
It is disappointing to see this very one-sided article about the Willits bypass. Many of us here in Willits are just thrilled that we are finally getting relief from all the through traffic on our Main Street. We are astonished and disgusted that Will Parrish and a handful of other extremists continue to fight the project, which is already 25% completed. The bypass will occupy just two hundred acres out of a 7500 acre valley. Another 2000 acres will be restored and preserved. Thousands of acres will still be available for the modest agricultural enterprises that exist in Little Lake Valley. The protesters have accomplished nothing other than adding millions in totally unnecessary costs to this project and turning a sweet, peaceful town into a battleground. Parrish probably neglected to mention that he was only charged with an infraction initially. It was he who raised the stakes by demanding a jury trial, available only for misdemeanors and felonies. He got what he wanted - a bigger soapbox. But the evidence might not make him look like the hero he claims to be - one of the police officers who arrested him testified at a recent hearing that Parrish asked the officers to carry him because "it's more dramatic that way." Too bad the Bohemian didn't take the time to actually investigate this story instead of just printing what Parrish and the other protesters gave them.
Nice article about Remy and Paul with Fogbelt looking forward having them as neighbors at @Santa Rosa Vintners Square soon! Cleveland Avenue is Happening place just uptown from Downtown SR. where everything is happening.
Jess Jackson on GlennEllen spent how many millions of dollars for hops?....And two others?..Good luck...but the price per ton and harvested tonnage on grapes per acre vs. lbs. of hops @ "X" price is what?....Where is the money? Or is this a luxury?....
Hops grow on bines not vines.
Good article on the local Stony Point Rd., Sonoma Highway, Occidental Rd./ Mill Station Rd., rollovers and deaths....Oh, alcohol was going down but you failed to mention how these people fill up our E.R. services while trying a local buzz....
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