The Man giveth.....the Man taketh away.....or the Man giveth not a shit.
I have made the appropriate changes.....though the beauty of a Sheriff named Cunnilingus strongly backing the illegal actions of his subordinate, Officer Cocksucker....even to the point of defying the County Administrator and the Board of Supervisors..... is really almost too good to pass up.
I am finally posting this in support of my friend at XasuanToday...who expressed much the same sentiments and got hammered for it.
Also....at the time of this post, Cachagua was deserted of Forest Service units. All the attention was on Big Sur. I must admit that their strategy worked. We had no one....now we have a million billion guys. So I am leaving in my criticism of the absence of Cachagua support just to show that I was wrong. My respect for war correspondents like David Halberstam has grown leaps and bounds.....but meanwhile David Halberstam was not cooking 21 hours a day for the troops.
Meanwhile, the Forest Service did pull out of Church Ranch and Tassajara. And then came back with highly technical and insanely expensive coordinated night-time airdrops to extract the monks.
Just a couple of quick news items you may not see so much elsewhere.
It is depressing to me to see the Forest Service running the same game as all the various other governmental outfits these last bunch of years: feed them bullshit, and tell them it is chocolate.
The feds pulled out of Tassajara days ago.....but right there on their big, expensive 32 color map they erect each morning in my parking lot is the "Tassajara Structure Protection Group". Same with the Church Ranch...same with the "Cachagua Structure Protection Group".
You could not find a Forest Service crew, or anyone else that is not a Cachagua Volunteer with a spotting scope.....anywhere in the mountains.
Oh, except the Information Crew. "Heck of a job, Brownie!"
They have blown us off.
Frankly, who cares? From where I sit, they suck anyway. I have spent more time and effort squelching rumors started by out-of-town Forest Service folk than any other activity in the last two weeks.
The weirdly insulting and strange aspect of this is that when the Sheriffs officially abandoned the monks at Tassajara.....they insisted on getting dental records from all the folks that remained.
To more easily identify the bodies.
Or to scare people into leaving?
And why? Creepy behavior from elected officials.
The even creepier behavior involves the mandatory evacuation procedures.
Both the voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders flow from heaven above to the Office of Emergency Services and on to the Sheriff for execution.
The Sheriff's office responds with gusto.....here is a great excuse to descend unannounced on the various citizens with helpful information.....no warrant needed. They typically travel in teams of two. One delivers the news and documents....the other scopes out the property.
Our dozer operator buddies report that after the mandatory evac in Arroyo Seco, the place swarmed with Sheriffs......checking out the empty homesteads. No doubt Officer Cocksucker was on hand to note vehicle and code violations for future action.
Here is the latest satellite pass from the Tassajara perspective. The monastery is the blue dot at the bottom of the screen. The Bruce Church Ranch is at the end of the other feeder road.....much closer to the fire. Alex and I finally figured out how to use the Google for a more 3D view. The newest hotspot is 2.77 miles from Tassajara......and the teeth and the bodies we spoke of above.
Now on to more ridiculous bullshit that makes me mad enough to.......well, nevermind. Vote against Mike Kanalakis forever and ever and ever......and to regard anyone who works for him as a lower life form, until proven otherwise. (Mike is the Sheriff, for you out-of-towners).
Here is the latest satellite shot of Apple Pie Ridge. The cluster of blue dots in the lower left is the River Inn and the first part of Big Sur. Captain Cooper School is the green space at 9 o'clock from the center....the softball field. Captain Cooper is where the FS units have rallied to make a stand.
The SurFire2008 blog originally was open to residents and all and sundry. This morning there was a post from frustrated residents of Apple Pie. A half dozen or so residents had fought through the night on their own.....with no help from anyone. Units were parked nearby....came and went....and did nothing.
The post on that blog has been removed.
The Curtis family.....who own the property.....bought a D4 caterpillar tractor on short notice and had it delivered to do their own protection work. A D4 new runs a hundred grand....a used one can be got for about $60k. Delivery of a reasonably new one on short notice, expensive.....Having one Fed-Ex'd?
Christ, the family has been there for a million billion years......they are risking their lives and dropping huge dough to save the family property......is there a downside?
Apple Pie is and has long been a nursery for artists, free-spirits, free-thinkers.....young people starting out...... I know at least 20 former and current residents.....and they tend to run in the same stream: hardworking, creative, laid-back...but with an edge. Solid gold.
The removed post claimed that there had been no Forest Service presence near the old family homestead.....After the mandatory evacuation, some of the locals stayed to fight it out on their own. The post claimed that the Curtis' and company had saved six dwellings, but the homestead had been lost.
Part of the residents' strategy, besides spending a hundred K on a D4, was to light backfires. Backfires are a whole lot faster than manually cutting brush....even with a D4.
Someone ratted them out......
The Sheriff......the Man himself, Mike Kanalakis (having personally removed the local, live-in deputy from Big Sur so that he himself could garnish press time......apparently made the call to send in troops with automatic weapons to arrest the culprits setting backfires to save their ancestral property after having been abandoned by the powers that be.
Arrest completed. Arson charges waiting to be filed.
Picture Arson charges in the middle of the biggest Big Sur wildfire ever.
Great publicity for Sheriff K.
At all the public meetings, the Forest Service people have proved themselves to be woefully and embarrassingly ignorant of the local terrain....to the point that the locals walk out in disgust. In Cachagua, the Incident Commander was unintelligible. And the locals walking out are not trailer-trash......one of them was a professor at Cornell with 30+ years in the area.
In Cachagua we trust in our Volunteers....who are actually the guys running the dozers, cutting the fire lines all the way to Palo Colorado. At Apple Pie.....no Volunteers. The Big Sur Volunteers had already blown off Apple Pie. Their spokesperson is......a lawyer. Shakespeare was right....what was it? Richard III?
On Apple Pie......the decision all around....Federal, State, local......had clearly been made to blow them off.....just like Tassajara. I don't know if they got the Curtis family's dental records....
How can you arrest the direct descendant of the original settler, who has invested $100k and more in machinery....who is risking his life and those of his kids and his friends to save the family property......a property that the mucky-mucks have already decided it is OK to let burn for the greater good!
And why do you need automatic weapons and a SWAT team? To bust a guy with enough moxie to manifest a D4 on short notice. Sheriff Cunnilingus needs to spend less on his SWAT team and more on Viagra or Cialis. If your State of Emergency lasts more than 24 hours.....call a therapist.
And if the SurFire2008 is so community oriented and open-access......where is the post from Apple Pie?
Jesus....arresting a Curtis for trying to save his heritage is........ like issuing a ticket for littering to the troops at D-Day for dropping C-ration cans, or not picking up their brass.
Our only contact with Sheriff K's troops....beyond the request for dental records from Buddhist monks....was being nearly run off the road by the Sheriff himself in his brand new 4wd.....8 mpg.....SUV as we went in to try to save some records from Apple Pie.
The Sheriff was heading out.....away from the fire.
Your tax dollars at work.
Oh....and did I mention?
The homestead was saved.
Those in the know said that the backfires were perfectly executed.
Believe me folks.....when the flames come my way, and our illegal firebreak fails.....we are backfiring. I hope for some help and expertise from Ross.