David and Ellen Drell (center) above the Eel River, in the Snow Mountain Wilderness.
Courtesy of EPIC:
Ellen and David Drell, founding directors of the Willits Environmental Center, will receive the 2014 Sempervirens Lifetime Achievement of Environmental Activism Award at EPIC’s 37th Annual Fall Celebration Friday evening, November 7th. Perhaps best known for their efforts opposing Caltrans’ Willits Bypass, the Drells are lifelong forest protectors and wilderness advocates who successfully campaigned to add more than 140,000 acres of forest into the Federal Wilderness System. Continue reading
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
Click on the Continue Reading link for an overview and updates on Will’s case. Continue reading
ABC’s affiliate in the San Francisco Bay Area, KGO, featured the following six-minute news segment last night:
Photos courtesy of Steve Eberhard and Maria Gilardin:
Despite impending rain, activists returned today for a second day of protest against the bitterly contested Caltrans’ Bypass, after shutting down fill operations on the northern interchange all day yesterday. On Tuesday, two groups of activists held long cloth banners with the messages: ”Caltrans Kills Wetlands” and “Caltrans: Paving the Road to Extinction” stretched across the entrance to two haul roads off highway 101, blocking ingress and egress from the construction zone.
A third group, including Priscilla Hunter, Tribal Representative for the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and other Native Americans of lineal descent to the area’s Pomo ancestors, succeeded in reaching the ancestral cultural site they want to protect, remaining there for some time with the American Indian Movement (AIM) flag, to drum and pray. The activists then blocked a third stream of dirt-filled trucks, effectively stopping work.
Protesters’ numbers have increased lately due to the participation of Native American Pomo Tribes, including those from Coyote Valley, Sherwood Rancheria, Potter and Redwood Valley, all of whom were represented at the protest. Continue reading
[Today, roughly 30 people blockaded dump trucks at both entrance gates to the Willits Bypass northern interchange construction zone, halting nearly all soil dumping for the day. At roughly 11 a.m., the dump trucks went home for the day. The California Highway Patrol took a light approach to policing the demonstration, making no arrests. We are gathering again tomorrow at 7 a.m. at The Tipi! Only serious rain will prevent us from gathering. Check out the KMUD News report filed by Annie Esposito, which begins at 6:00 into the broadcast.]
Native American Tribal members, including direct descendants of the Pomo peoples who once populated the Little Lake Valley where Caltrans is currently building an oversized freeway Bypass, will join environmental groups in a mass protest on the north end of the project today. Protestors will enter the construction zone north of town in the early morning hours, slowing and stopping the fast and furious flow of dirt-filled, double-belly dump trucks working from dawn to dusk to cover the wetlands and archeological sites the activists seek to protect.
Pomo Village to Be Covered
Please come to the Friday SOLLV Coalition meeting at 5pm at the Tipi on John Wagenet’s land across from the wetlands now being covered with fill.
Let’s join with the Tribal members of our Coalition by taking a stand to protect the cultural sites and artifacts now being discovered by bulldozer almost daily in the so-called mitigation lands. Turns out, protecting wetlands and sacred sites goes hand in hand.
This is a crucial meeting to decide on our response and next steps to take in the face of Caltrans’ current onslaught on the wetlands and the many ancestral Pomo cultural sites.
Tipi is located on John Wagenet’s property on north HWY 101 [across from gate 5 about a mile north of the High School]
Date: Friday, 9/12/14
Bring something to sit on if you need such an item
Water is a good idea
Bring some snacks if you want [to share or not]
Donations to SOLLV are GREATLY appreciated
You can make a secure, tax deductible contribution