Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Man giveth.....the Man taketh away.....or the Man giveth not a shit.

Friends.....this post is more than a week old....from July 4. We had first news of the Battle of Apple Pie Ridge from the residents and some of our people who are graduates. I reserved the post as a draft after even my friend Bennie said that referring to Sheriff Kanalakis as Sheriff Cunnilingus was a little over the top.

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.

Here goes:

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?

Wow.

Dedication. Commitment.

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.

13 Comments:

Blogger Sheyne Murray said...

You earned an "attaboy" for this post! Well done. Sheyne.

10:23 PM  
Blogger santacruzdave said...

Your blog is great! Trying to get info from the mainstream media...what fire? I read the original apple pie post @ surfire and was dismayed when it disappeared. Thanks for speaking up!

12:14 AM  
Blogger John Russo said...

I had similar experience w/ the chp on Sat at the Tassajara/Parrot Ranch roadblock they set up just "prior" to notifying people about the mandatory evac.

The worst of it was today the Sheriff and IC were parading around at the community meeting beating their chests and telling everyone in Cachagua they would get plenty of time if they call a mandatory west of Nason Rd.

Don't count on it. I would have gone today to say my peace, but I am a prisoner of this mandatory evac. Maybe that is the point.

1:30 AM  
Blogger IBMissinCachagua said...

hang in there guys. I know it's rough.

ok, I know I'll get slammed but here it goes......I for one in no way a fan of the "man", but in their defense, these guys are tired too. It's a give and take type of thing. I know y'all back home are humble ppl and don't like the "man" coming up there, trying to run stuff, but if they weren't there, you all would be crying that you pay taxes, thus the "man" should be there

as far as the guy in Big Sur, setting his own back fire.........I think it's frigging stooooopid that his bro got arressted. it is all over Cnn, Fox and MSNBC about that family in Big Sur.

It reminds me of a story here about Hurricane Katrina ( BTW, I am on the Mississippi Gulf Coast)....water is rising, ppl need to be saved, so a guy see's a neighbor's boat, takes the boat, fires it up, saves 23 ppl. 3 weeks later, guy gets a note from neighbor that he is being sued because guy stold neighbor's boat and had a little minor damage

5:59 AM  
Blogger pendoodles said...

I agree with everything you said.

Thanks for saying what I have and had deleted elsewhere (you know where - surfire2008.organ suckers - sorry I couldn't help myself.), only to look back later to find it deleted. Also other notes I had left for offer of a space for someone to stay here at my home with their pets was also deleted.

I left a nice 'Thank You' note there/surfire2008.org to the Curtis family for saving the ridge with not only their houses but several others. If it hadn't been for the Curtis family's stick-with-it attitude, i'm cetain those homes would be gone.

I feel much the same for the families of the Jameburg/Tassahara/Cachagua areas. They need our support!

For a little background on myself: I was born and raised in Monterey county, i'm 57. I am a 4th generation resident (My great grandfather Bert Korf came here in 1896 to settle into a Spanish landgrant purchased for $1 an acre [he was also one of the first fish/game/wildlife marshalls for this county] that area became known later when the Works family bought it from him, as the 17 Mile Drive Village Travel Court), my children are 5th generation and my grandchildren 6th. My husband like the Nason family is a native California indian from the Esslan/Olone/Coastanoan tribe (The feds reconize him and make him carry an ID card) his tribe goes back 6000yrs in this area. I have lived at one time or another all over this county. I made lots of friends and still feel very close to them, even though I haven't seen them because hiding out in Pacific Grove the past 20yrs or so. LOL

I adore this area, used to call it 'God's country', just ask Mona Fretia/Nason about that. LOL

We have seen many fires, floods, land slides, droughts and man-made diasters in this area.

Remember... 'Chaos always comes before a Rebirth'.

7:57 AM  
Blogger azazl said...

So....considering that 4 folks get shot every saturday night in Salinas, dont you think the DA has better things to do than prosecute somebody who successfully saved their own home and give a hand-job to the sherif? Lets hope the DA throws out the case.

9:02 AM  
Blogger kathy said...

I talked with the fruit of my loins yesterday evening at the Spike Camp. She and other Cal Fire peeps were just getting back (again) from Tassajara. Just so's ya know, Cal Fire is there too - along with the Cachagua volunteers. And they've been there (and Indians) for days and days and days....

I truly think everyone - including Mike Kanalakis - is doing everything they can. I don't see a slacker among them.

For anyone who wants to offer a bit of thanks to the fire fighters, you can take cookies, firm brownies (not-gooey-get-all-over-the-fire-equipment-kind), prepacked junk food (I know, I know - but it has salt and it's easy to eat) to Carmel Valley Business Service. They deliver the goodies daily at 4:30 to the Spike Camp. Leave your name and address with the goodies so you can get a thank you note. Like WE need a note of thanks.....

9:39 AM  
Blogger kathy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:39 AM  
Blogger South Coast Kate said...

Well, I wrote a long and involved comment, which was lost in cyberspace somewhere, so I'll just say how great your blog is!!

I am from the South Coast of Big Sur, and began my own blog (on which I have posted a link here) on July 4th after hearing nothing but chest pounding from Commander Teeter about the Penal Code section 409.5 notice issued at 6 pm the night before, long after anyone who could help us had gone home for a long three-day weekend.

So, I did what any pissed off Big Surian might do. I contacted the LA Times, who eventually wrote a great article, which as we know, took on a life of its own.

10:14 AM  
Blogger bigsur_dave said...

Well like so many of you here...somehow my posts went awol on surfire2008 so that's why i started my blog...even my posts for a july 4th party for big surians, and listings for a place to stay somehow mysteriously got deleted...so i created www.BIGSURNOW.com and some of you have been posting thanks..
Let's keep this all alive and keep our elected officials on their tippy tippy toes. Like Kate...we both got on our high horses and got media involved, supplies delivered and INFORMATION sent out to let people know how inappropriate the leadership of Mike K was proven to be, including him driving over the water supply pipes of Apple Pie Ridge, damaging them. I also heard a report from someone who works for AT&T that was putting in the T1 lines and phone lines for firecamp was told to stop digging his ditches for it by Mike K, as he was dancing around with his Cowboy Hat on...acting so important...The AT&T guy said that he said: "Hey, I thought there was a fire and you needed phone lines etc." Mike K, felt it was more important to stop work to look good for the Governors visit. I invite you to go visit www.BigSurNow.com and vote on the poll about whether you will stay or go with the next evacuation.

1:15 PM  
Blogger mb in Port Angeles said...

Kathy, Do mean you have ground crew news from inside Tassajara? I read on Sitting with Fire that two crews had gone in yesterday to help with mop-up. But no more information than that.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Avis said...

I live on the south coast of Big Sur. I too was one of the many who posted on surfire2008 and never did see it appear in the comments.
Like Kenny Wright said, I know who I am NOT voting for next election.
As for the Curtis situation, way to go Ross! You did what any of us who stayed behind would have done. They were told Apple Pie was not defendable. Bull! I guess they don't know how to handle people who are used to taking care of themselves and their property. I'll back Ross all they way. And I know the community feels the same. But unfortunatly I think they are going to make an example out of him.
Thanks for saying what all of us are thinking and saying amongst ourselves.
Being treated like a criminal because we chose to stay behind and defend our property is leaving a bad taste in everyones mouth.

5:38 PM  
Blogger pendoodles said...

I tried to privatel contact surfire2008 to find out why comments are dissapearing. No reply. :P

10:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home