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Comment Archives: stories: News & Features

Re: “Coho vs. Pinot


It's true that your statement was in response to my question concerning your views on the Water Board's emergency order in the Russian River tributaries, but you were positing a general view on the effectiveness of regulations. You repeat and defend that view here. So, I'm not sure what you mean when you say I “misquoted” you.

You also say I'm “throwing bombs” at wine-grape growers by writing this article. That's an interesting analogy, and I'm afraid reflects a viewpoint that sees criticism as a violent threat.

The main point of my article is to examine the history and context behind the outrage against the wine industry that surfaced at the State Water Board's five community meetings in July. Many of these residents perceive that winegrowers, winery owners, and their lawyers, politicians, and experts are setting the terms within which policy struggles are waged, leading (among other things) to continued degradation of fish habitat and unfair regulatory double-standards.

I didn't criticize you for working with winegrape growers, nor did I criticize Keith Horn. I did point out aspects of the role you and he are playing, though, in helping set the terms of said regulatory and policy struggles. If you believe in the role you are playing, as it seems you do, that's understandable. I invite you to defend your position, as you did here (and I believe I gave you space in the article to do that also). If you're proud of your work, then the fact that eight of the nine people on your board of directors (according to the most recent tax statement I looked at) are wine-grape growers shouldn't feel like a criticism.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Will Parrish 1 on 09/11/2015 at 1:19 PM

Re: “Debriefer: September 9, 2015

Who told you SWMC would open soon? The same guy who's said it so many times in the past year? Doesn't sound like a very reliable source to me.

Posted by Dick Fritter on 09/11/2015 at 5:24 AM

Re: “Right Thinking

RE: Phyllis Schlafly She is a liar, delivering diatribes against girls and women who are JUST TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING BY WORKING, something Phyllis Has Never Done. She is buys The Other Party (you know, the vicious, manipulative, cheating, law-disregarding One) and works with them to wage the War on Women--example: 963 bills against women, families in just 3 months! She has refused to debate me as I tell her as we see her.
WHO could be so stupid as to deny this nation the 9% boost in GDP that Other nations had when they codified ERA-like wording AT THE MANDATE OF THE USA, which then refused the Equal Rights Amendment to ITS OWN LADIES AND GIRLS? Besides ERA Requires NO funding, unlike most legislation!

What patriot would be behind Stopping sex discrimination, male and female? Or against the democratic (small d) American principle of equal treatment for ALL?

Wouldn't denial of gender-equal treatment TO THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS be shameful??

Let's put Phyllis in her place by passing the ERA into US Constitution. Call your state and Congressional legislators to ask...AND WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON CODIFYING GENDER-EQUAL TREATMENT in our Constitution, and putting women and girls IN THE Nation's contract with its People now?! Then email me at the address at page-bottom of our www, ...while there, check out our ERA Rebuts (Schlafly's) Lies. Point-counterpoint. Knock your socks off. Also scroll down homepage until you see the pic of faculty and students turning their backs on Schlafly at her own Alma Mater. yikes!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by sandyo on 09/09/2015 at 4:33 PM

Re: “Notes on that Napa Trainwreck: Not a Laughing Matter

Seems like you are building an affirmative action argument here. Racial discrimination has wronged black people for generations. Clearly. But, are we then to conclude that our attitude toward a group of rowdy women being loud and annoying others around them must be conditioned on their race? If they are black, then doing anything about their rowdy behavior must be racist? If they are white, then kick their asses off the train, no problem?

Frankly, I'd like someone in the media to talk to others who where in that train car. Were they upset that their costly special experience was being ruined by a rowdy group of women? Did the Wine Train offer to move them to another car where they could have a conversation and not have their experience dominated by loud and annoying people?

Are one class of people above reproach regardless of their behavior?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Prep on 09/07/2015 at 8:34 AM

Re: “Coho vs. Pinot

Will - You misquoted me. You asked me about the State Board's regulation of rural residential water uses and my answer was that regulations cause conflict which is very clearly occurring in Sonoma.

As for my testimony before the State Board on the Russian River frost regulation I presented information on the surface-groundwater interactions that dominate the Russian River system and make it very difficult to find one responsible party for fish standings that are the result of cumulative effects of numerous changes in the river system. When the National Marine Fisheries Service tried to blame a grower 1 mile upstream from the Felta Creek fish stranding they ended up dropping the enforcement action because they could not show one entity was the cause and concluded it was the cumulative effects of river channel incision from gravel mining and dams, low water and nearby and upstream diversions of water that caused the stranding. While you criticize me for working with growers it was my organization in response to the 2008 frost that wrote the grant for the $5.3 million in federal funds that helped to build all the off stream ponds in Mendocino and Sonoma counties that addressed the one stranding on the upper Russian river and the other stranding on Felta creek.

I choose to collaborate with farmers and ranchers to change their land and water management practices and build the projects that benefit salmon and trout. You chose to throw bombs at the people you blame for the scarcity of fish in the Russian River. I choose to work with the people I do not necessarily agree with but who will make the changes needed to benefit the fish. Regulations have very limited effect and collaborative programs are also needed. This fact is recognized by the regulators themselves which is why the National Marine Fisheries Service which oversee the recovery of salmon and trout and the Regional Water Quality Control Board which is responsible for water quality serve as the certifiers of farm and ranch lands under our Fish Friendly Farming program. Your criticism of Keith Horn and Constellation is without merit. Constellation’s lands in Sonoma County have been certified and recertified twice by the regulators demonstrating a very high level of environmental stewardship. You need to develop a broader view of what is needed to recover these fish. Laurel Marcus

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Laurel Marcus on 09/06/2015 at 10:55 AM

Re: “Coho vs. Pinot

DHnomad, I appreciate your comment. I agree that it's wrong to say in a strict sense that there are no meters on water diversions. What I should have written is that the state does not meter water use. Rather, water use is self-reported via statements of diversion and use (which only a minority of water rights holders in the Russian River watershed were actually providing as of 2013). By contrast, other states with riparian water rights systems use widespread meters and remote sensors to measure consumption. California is an anomaly in this regard, and the agribusiness lobby has been a major reason for that. The chairman of the state's Division of Water Rights, Thomas Howard, has publicly expressed frustration about his agency's inability to meter agricultural and rural water diversions, since it makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to measure water use -- or cut-backs in water use -- accurately. So, I think we're both partly right and regret that I didn't provide a more nuanced description of this issue.

Otherwise, it seems that you missed a lot of important aspects of my story. I didn't claim that the water diversions I saw are escaping the notice of authority. I noted in the piece that most of the pipes I encountered appear to conform to the legal requirements of California water rights system, quoted a Water Rights staffer who said the small dams and channel diversions appear to him to be lawful (this sentence got muddled, unfortunately, and does needs a correction), and referred to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Fish and Game Code Section 1600 permitting of lake and streambed alterations.

My piece provided context regarding the outpouring of resentment residents expressed toward the wine industry at the State Water Board's July community meetings. The wine industry's opposition to regulation is a key part of that story, so I quoted Laurel Marcus and referred to Fish Friendly Farming in a section describing said opposition. Ms. Marcus has herself spoken publicly before the State Water Board and advocated against stricter regulation of the wine industry's frost protection pumping. Also, since I wanted to characterize Ms. Marcus' organization accurately, I noted that all of its directors are grape growers other than Ms. Marcus herself. I wasn't attacking her. Instead, I was presenting the role she and her organization have played vis-a-vis an important aspect of my story.

14 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Will Parrish on 09/04/2015 at 9:45 PM

Re: “Coho vs. Pinot

I have many points of contention with this article but one in particular must be made with enthusiasm. Pumping from surface water, legally, is absolutely metered and reported. Moreover, it's done in accordance with a Water Right, requires a DFW permit and Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement. Mr Parrish is not the only one with a kayak, to believe the infrastructure in the photo plaguing my FB feed is part of an unregulated, unmetered diversion and has somehow gone unnoticed by anyone with authority is beyond foolish!
I'm sure Mr Parrish is a good guy. I bet we'd get along quite well. I'm sure we share many common visions for this place. I'm a SC lifer and I've also been farming grapes for 14 years. I find his reporting to be biased and also short sighted. I know for a fact much of what he has reported here is false. But I'm not even going to use my full name. I'm not speaking on the record or representing my employer. It's not in my interest to open either of us up to the ridiculous kind of protest that would surely follow. It's of no benefit. While that may seem like the cowards way out I need only reference this poorly reported article. I know Laurel Marcus very well, I have known her for a decade now. I've worked closely on habitat restoration and management plans. I guarantee she had much more to say than Mr Parrish quoted here. He painted her organization as crooked and unfairly so.
It's a shame so many good people will eat this up as fact and me my colleagues will suffer for it when so many of us work so hard every day to earn a living without ruining the land we farm. To do otherwise would be quite foolish.

2 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by DHnomad on 09/03/2015 at 6:56 PM

Re: “Coho vs. Pinot

Time to remove all pumps along the creeks and rivers.
Absolute greed and damage to the river has occurred due to pumping for grapes.
Withdraw all grape pump stations now!
Not printed was the number of residential developments demanding water from wells located with thirty feet of Green Valley Creek.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brad Pipal on 09/02/2015 at 11:29 PM

Re: “Coho vs. Pinot

It's time for responsible local growers who truly care about the long term viability of Sonoma County's wine industry to part ways with reactionaries like Tito Sasaki and others who still defend a status quo that has led us to this point of crisis.

Millennials won't buy wine that was paid for in fish blood.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Wine Party Patriot on 09/02/2015 at 3:01 PM

Re: “Patience!

They didn't pass the pharmacy test on Monday. Not sure where you got your information. Apparently it will be rescheduled soon.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by just wondering on 09/02/2015 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Patience!

Did you do any research besides what Hino fed to you?
Conflicts of interest are not "academic" discussions...

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dick Fritter on 09/02/2015 at 1:20 PM

Re: “Coho vs. Pinot

Another excellent article by Will Parrish. Thanks for the kind of in-depth reporting that the Press Democrat can't seem to manage due to it's ties to the wine industry.

18 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Daisy on 09/02/2015 at 10:12 AM

Re: “2015 Fall Arts

Uh, oh. The schedule printed for the Redwood Arts Council is from LAST YEAR. No concert until 2016 for our new season.

Posted by Redwood Arts Council on 09/01/2015 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Debriefer: April 1, 2015

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1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Patrick Munro on 08/27/2015 at 7:32 AM

Re: “We need news writers; RIP George Houser; and more

The New Haven Advocate was very good then. I always looked forward to the Fishing Report. Sometimes he did write about fishing, and that was great. Tune in!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by New Haven on 08/20/2015 at 6:43 PM

Re: “Taking It to the Streets

Just for the record it is not hard to evict a person on section 8 ... They are simply being given 60 or 90 orders to move and because thy are no fault ... The person on section 8 has no way of fighting them ... And this has become the trend in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County ... Property owners are displacing people on section 8 at a alarming rate .... So units can be modified and rents increased beyond what HUD permits .... I know cause it is happing where I live .... Over the last year my complex has gone from around 20+ HUD to just 2 of us left .... The third got a 90 noticed last month ...This is now the norm both City and County HUD offices state " There are no availabilities of any HUD units " but yet they continue to give out housing certificates no one is able to use and after 90 days they lose they're ability to use and lose teyre HUD adding to he problem ....

Posted by Mikeal ( OZZY) O'Toole on 08/20/2015 at 7:43 AM

Re: “The Anchor-Outs

The Boise court case mentioned above is back in court again. Here's a link to the story.

Posted by armido on 08/19/2015 at 4:35 PM

Re: “The Anchor-Outs

Anchor outs should know the RBRA recommended to the Sausalito City Council on May 19, 2015 an anchorage plan that excludes long-term anchoring as an option. Although an "anchorage" is not addressed specifically in the RBRA documentation, this comment is worth noting: "...all vessels in the anchorage will be either short-term visitors or required to be on a ball." We'll see... Presently the recommended plan is for a mooring field only. How many moorings will be in the field has not been revealed. The cost however for "...the program to develop a mooring field and bring it online in a three-year period is estimated to cost approximately $650,000. Of that total, RBRA staff is hopeful that the approximately $150,000 expense of installing the mooring field could be defrayed with grant funding...."

What will happen to live aboard "anchor outs" who's boat cannot satisfy "seaworthy requirements" and, or cannot afford mooring fees? I recommend those of you in this category familiarize yourself with the recent Boise, Idaho court decision that renders unconstitutional bans on the homeless sleeping in public places. It's an 8th Amendment to the Constitution thing... Authorities can only prevent you from sleeping in a public place (or on a public waterway?) if they provide an alternate location. And, a jail does not qualify.

I read somewhere, but can't relocate the comment at the moment, that an allowance for existing liveaboards be made in the plan. Clearly though, the ultimate goal is to have none. So, $650,000 will be spent to build what will eventually amount to another "parking place" for boats.

I wonder how Sausalito's marina owners and operators are going to feel about that? I also wonder once the mooring field opens how many boats presently in marinas are going to move onto a mooring?

We'll see...

Posted by armido on 08/19/2015 at 4:23 PM

Re: “Hidden Agenda

From the article, a "Santa Rosa Based Post Carbon Institute" is mentioned. California Secretary of State ( says actually, it's "METAFOUNDATION doing business in california as Post Carbon Institute" and its jurisdiction (versus mailing address) is actually Oregon. Formed in 2006, like what I guess at the time of this article was "Post Sustainability Institute" but on formation was (per the same source) and as late as 2009, was called "Concerned Citizens of Santa Rosa Against Redevelopment Law Abuse" (EIN#, searchable, 68-0637955). This group has very little funding showing.

The following public info will display as a chart if searched on the above website:

Entity Number: C2929676
Date Filed: 09/25/2006
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: OREGON
Entity Address: 613 4TH ST. #208
Entity City, State, Zip: SANTA ROSA CA 95404
Agent for Service of Process: ASHER MILLER
Agent Address: 613 4TH ST. #208
Agent City, State, Zip: SANTA ROSA CA 95404

"Post Carbon Institute" a dba as it says above, is EIN# 651208462, has more funding than Post Sustainability ever did, but is also delinquent as a charity and hasn't sent in a tax return with their required annual "RRF" (to California Office of Attorney General, which regulates charities) since 2011.

The Edward Charles Foundation I mentioned above (fiscal agent for Freedom Advocates of Aptos, which is FTB Suspended and never registered as a Charity) is located in Beverly Hills.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Entity Number: C3191148
Date Filed: 03/05/2009
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: DELAWARE
Entity Address: 269 S BEVERLY DRIVE STE 338
Entity City, State, Zip: BEVERLY HILLS CA 90212
Agent for Service of Process: KENT E SETON
Agent Address: 269 S BEVERLY DRIVE STE 338
Agent City, State, Zip: BEVERLY HILLS CA 90212

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Let's Get Honest 2015 on 08/18/2015 at 8:55 PM

Re: “Hidden Agenda

I just wanted to make a (belated) note that while I'm very well aware of regionalization, centralization and coordination of public/private partnership from a different direction, I question whether suing ABAG and the MTC is going to get far. I also question why the group suing alongside Koire & Tokerud, "Freedom Advocates" never registered as a charity in California, has had its corporate status suspended ( Post Sustainability Institute is only "Delinquent" -- they formed in 2006, filed as a charity ca. 2008 and after that went "down" for 2008,09,10, 11 (financially) and again filed in 2012. I can understand being broke, but I do not understanding refusing to send in a few pieces of paper and a small fee to the state in compliance with its codes.

SIMILARLY, Freedom Advocates is using "Edward Charles Foundation" (formed ca. 2009?) as their fiscal agent. I question why an anti-Globalization, Agenda 21 organization (As Freedom Advocates would seem to be) would choose -- out of ALL groups to be their fiscal agent, a philanthropy which is nothing but. As you can tell, I read tax returns and corporate registrations. It doesn't take long looking at the ECF and its hankering for entertainment stars (Forest Whitaker) and other wealth (such as Anthony Melikhov, whose Form 990PF (Private foundation) "Bright Future International" out of Libertyville, IL is a place to put some of the wealth from pharmaceutical corporation SAGAMEL, Inc. (still in operation, but parts sold off to Bayer, helping the German Bayer get into Russia and other places for the OTC sales), is about as UN as it gets. Melikhov is also on the board of The Lourdes Foundation (or so the website says), also a recent group, alongside an oil heiress from a very troubled, though rich, oil family (Aileen Getty) and persuasive, "let's be positive" Peter Diamandis (If I read the corp. paper right). .....The Lourdes wealth (3rd generation) is from a publishing empire.

I've lived in the SF Bay Area since 1988, quickly becoming after marriage and childbirth, a battered wife. It took many years to get free, after which I had to face the family court gauntlet. On seeing my children (raised 14 years) stolen overnight, without cause, without remedy, and destroying a livelihood at the time, as well as ripping one's guts out for the shock itself, and on discovering the federalization of the (created entity), "Family courts" I started ignoring the (mis-leading) advocacy groups (in that category), who refused to follow through on this, and have been "following the money" which is to say, following the federal (Particularly HHS, which handles welfare and social services), and blogging it, too (Http:// while fighting to stay above water, and if possible regain sight of my own flesh and blood. I have been recruited, it seems, a little too often for my own comfort, by right-wing groups, but I cannot deal with people who prefer narratives and slogans, to getting a personal education on the ECONOMIC and GOVERNMENT ENTITY (in combo with Philanthropic Wealth -- i.e., "Private," so-called). It's the tax system itself (add in there religious-exemption from taxation for accumulation of assets and political clout) which set this up. Anyhow, a comment doesn't communicate this well, but I can lay it out and will be connecting soon, I hope, to some local groups I know are protesting PLan Bay Area. However I have a problem when they themselves refuse to stay properly incorporated. Both left and right know how to play shell games with funding, and dodge transparency, so it's up to those inbetween (and off their behinds) to develop a way to tell one from the other. It's also fascinating and a good history lesson. I've seen this in other states, and others before us saw it coming They didn't call it all "Agenda 21," but it was reported.

I have personally been under constant economic duress from family members for over 15 years post-separation from DV, in this area. My kids, after being stolen, were abandoned by their father; it was really nasty. One family member is a lawyer. My mother's obituary was re-written to imply I was still happily married, and all grand-daughters' last names were omitted (no grandsons) to conceal that two of them shared a last name with me. To date, 5 years after her death and cremation, no one will tell me if or where my mother (a widow of many years, but married when my father died) is or is not interred, or her ashes scattered. It has taken a few years in probate to get my older (childless) sister OFF a probate trust treating me like a child, which she had no business being on This was done while holding me on food stamps despite the existence of an inheritance, and dangling it as "bait" for whichever professional (legal or otherwise) might with to take a chunk out of it. Currently after about six months with new "trustees' (NOT "Conservators"), we have identified a pattern of lying and violation of professional ethics. On finally just telling them to "stop," I find the assets have been moved -- I've not been informed where -- probably because the initial place being at a sound, and reliable institution, helped me fact-check claims about what was or wasn't sent. They are controlling my housing, something I became aware of from years ago -- people who wish to control a population can do well by starting with control of the housing (See HUD) and from the threat of homelessness at any point hammer away through one institution or another, at what's left, or was left, of income-producing activities.

I never thought to see this in this country, but no denying it's here.

I saw my own mother ware-housed and medicated, and now am old enough to have serious concern about when, or in what manner, this may be applied to myself (although I'm the youngest of the siblings). In years of handling this (sociopath) environment, one also learns to pay attention to language of control, limitation and censorship of conversation, force-feeding, encouraging people who to hate, who to blame (and all that). I have one statement: If the group is a nonprofit, locate and read the tax return and corporate filings. Pay attention to what moves where, and just do a little lookup. As to the Governmental money, after 3 years of tracking grants and grantees (and realizing there were so many dead ends and dropped trails that most didn't know seriously how the faucet was turned on "high" through HHS, and it was sensed, correctly, that the public wasn't paying attention) I ran across the concept of "CAFR" (Walter Burien,, and it's laid out (the man who laid it out died in 2004 and was a federal auditor). Once key concepts are understood, and it's realized that federal taxation is less than necessary at this point, but is maintained through constant talk of "budget" and conditioning people not to read the financial statements of the various entities.... in any given situation, it's easier to sort the labels and see the larger picture.

By the way, I go as Let's Get Honest and am the third daughter of William G. Pfann. People in the semiconductor industry who may have heard of Bell Labs, William Shockley (he worked under), transistors (he designed one of the earlier ones) zone refining (his process and a book describing it) and in short understand how Silicon Valley got its startup, will run across this name. His name is on 65 patents (not owned, but the name is on them), National Academy of Sciences, sent three daughters through college (one artist, one attorney, I'm the musician), and a few more things. My mother, having and raising children made this possible. He died shortly after retirement (within a week of retirement). Meanwhile, a continent away and within two decades of the 1970s, women of spunk and intelligence who also are mothers, and simply said "No!" to assault and battery and other forms of in-home violence, have been, being treated as simply unnecessary to the futures of our own kids, under "marriage/fatherhood/family values" programming. The DV industry (SF has some significant players in Futures without Violence, the State of Minnesota has others) basically maintained a professional silence, when writing about this violence, as to the federal incentives to it. Our children are being grabbed overnight, and essentially sold on the social service marketplace, which all taxpayers support. EVERYONE is involved in this situation some way or another.

In case this is actually posted (well after publication date) I apologize for the length, adding personal information, and format. It's been a very long haul, and at times I lose the concept that a different future is possible. I have several blogs in various states of development ; but and will lay out some critical matters. Take care, and teach your neighbor to FIRST, identify a group's Secretary of State registration, status as a nonprofit (in California, more information is available than most on groups that register) and "grow a pair" when it comes to looking these basics up. A lot of insight is available, for free (except the time) on the tax returns. I use (also a SF group).

Posted by Let's Get Honest 2015 on 08/18/2015 at 8:29 PM

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