- ENE Winds
- Variety Show
- Scofflaw MRC
- Fixing B
- Boon Moon
- Where's Asha
- Low Scores
- Safe Valentines
- School Money
- Job Hunter
- Walter Liggett
- Beetle Bar
- Ed Notes
- Forgot Toddler
- Yesterday's Catch
- Safely Green
- Bee Weeds
- Ali Statement
- Wildlife Lawsuit
- Ultimate Truth
- Status Crooner
- Two Poems
- Waking Up
- Thistle Removal
- Rush Judgment
- Electrical Checks
- Farmers Convergence
- Found Object
EAST-NORTHEAST WINDS are expected today through Tuesday, with locally gusty conditions possible across exposed ridges. Otherwise, warm dry weather will occur through mid week. The next chance of rain will occur with a weak frontal system on Thursday and Friday, with additional rainfall possible over the weekend. (NWS)
VARIETY SHOW 2020
It's happening folks! Come be a part of The 2020 Vision at the AV Philo Solar Grange Variety Show! Fri & Sat, March 6 and 7.
Different shows each night! Pre-show Tickets Go On Sale at Lemon's Philo Market and the AV Market in Boonville, March 2-6. Tickets Will Also Be Sold At The Door. We cooperate fully with the AVFD regarding maximum legal capacity, so if we reach "standing room only," we will monitor folks who leave after an act and will let more people in, so if you get a ticket you will get in! So come join in on the fun!
TERRY D’SELKIE POSTING ON SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS’ FACEBOOK PAGE:
So, this thing happened and I filed a complaint with Mendocino County enforcement.
A law was broken by Mendocino Redwood Company, many, many times. I can see one of these stands and it is ugly and sad.
I have heard nothing from enforcement about what they plan to do. They called me one time and wanted to come out and see what I can see from my deck, when I look across the river at MRC land. They never came. They never called back.
What is happening with the enforcement of the law, Ted Williams? If I break the law, I get a ticket or I am arrested. What happens when MRC breaks the law? NOTHING! They get to be involved in an ADhoc meeting to see how they can get around breaking the law. They are not held accountable. Democracy is broken when the voices of the people are drowned out by the corporations breaking the laws.
Pitiful! I expect better and so do my neighbors!
If any of my facebook friends can see any of these dead standing trees from their land, PLEASE I implore you to file a complaint with county enforcement. This is not going away, according to MRC for at least 20 more years! Devastating our forests!
MAUREEN MULHEREN, also on Ted Williams facebook page in regards to Measure B:
We should not move forward with any project we can’t afford to operate with today’s dollars. There needs to be collaboration between the County and the service providers to create the call to action for the Measure B Board to follow. Ted Williams: have you tried to have a joint meeting of the Supes and Measure B? It seems like that will stop the tennis match of back and forth. Get everyone in the room at the same time with the report from RQMC as at least one agenda item so everyone can understand where the money is being spent. Some of the metrics are listed in the BHAB meetings agendas but if we aren’t getting the data we need then there needs to be adjustments. I also like the idea of making sure that all of the subcontractors are using the same data system and metrics. I’ve read the Kemper report backward and forward but it seems like things have changed rapidly since then. I’d like to see the Adventist partnership pursued as I believe it will end up in a net cost savings to the community.
SNOW MOON OVER BOONVILLE
COLD CASE MENDOCINO: It's Going On 5 Years For Woman Who Went Missing From Point Arena
The background to the story is covered in a Wikipedia entry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Asha_Kreimer
STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES for Anderson Valley are embarrassingly low in English and math, so low that they are statistically in the same range as the chronically failed schools in Point Arena and Round Valley. California's high school grade standards have gone up a bit in recent years, and lots of schools report poor test results, especially "rural" schools like those in Mendocino County. The raised statewide standards were supposed to be an incentive to raise performance levels, but all they've done is show that more and more students are doing worse and worse. Even at Mendocino High School where test results have been historically the best in Mendocino County we see that only 50% of high schoolers there "exceed standard" in English, and a mere 16% "exceed standard" in math, the highest percentages of any school in Mendo. Let that sink in: In Mendocino County's best high school, only 16% of students "exceed standard" in basic high school math.
BASIC MATH — algebra, geometry, arithmetric — is a fundamental skill in many trades, not to mention white collar professions. If Mendo schools can't produce graduates who meet minimum requirements for trade schools, trade unions, or community colleges….
POOR TEST RESULTS fly in the face of the techno-gadget crowd who promised us that if we put lots of computers and other high-tech gadgetry in classrooms we'd produce more "job-ready" graduates. That wasn't true then and it's even less true now.
PS. You won't find any mention of these low scores or what to do about them on any school board agenda in Mendocino County.
ANDERSON VALLEY UNIFIED JR/SR HIGH SCHOOL
Standardized test results for 2018-2019
Grades 7, 8 and 11 combined had 13% above standard in English and 8% above standard in math.
English language literacy:
- Above standard: 13%
- Met standard: 45%
- Below standard: 42%
- Above standard: 8%
- Met standard: 21%
- Below standard: 71%
(Note: AV’s 11th grade had 0% (zero) “above standard,” and only 17% met standard. 83% of 11th graders were below standard.)
Point Arena had 9% above standard in English and 0% above standard in math in all three grades combined.
Round Valley/Covelo had 13% above standard in English and 4% above standard in math.
Mendocino High had 50% above standard in English and 16% above standard in math.
Willits High had 42% above standard in English and 4% above standard in math.
Fort Bragg High had 29% above standard in English and 7% above standard in math.
Ukiah High had 20% above standard in English and 10% above standard in math.
BIGGER, HIGHER TAXES? COUNT ME IN!
Red Alert! Red Alert! Red Alert!
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
Ukiah School District needs more money! Fast! Now! Get out your checkbook, start working nights at the Kwikee Mart, borrow what you can from your brother-in-law and, most importantly, make sure you’re registered to vote in the upcoming election in which we all get the opportunity to give more money to the Ukiah School District.
Public schools today are the Pentagon of the 1980s: Bottomless pits where tax money disappears on products and programs so ridiculous that when we learn of the corruption and deceit we laugh, cry and ask each other if it could possibly be true.
Schools need more money? Why of course they do. Schools always need more money. Currently a hundred different math research teams spread out across the nation are studying a single hypothetical question: Exactly how much money do public schools need? Latest word: Experts are now contemplating a dollar figure just beyond the outskirts of infinity.
Now our local district comes yet again, hand out, palm up, asking homeowners to take scant earnings they were hoping to spend on frivolities like rent, food, tires, clothing for the kids, a vacation, dental work, a new roof, college (fill in the blank) and instead give it to the school district.
Why? Well, for repairs and modernizing, that’s why. Does that mean school officials for 40-plus years have been unaware that in the future a building might require a new roof or a heating system?
Did local administrators simply not know buildings ever deteriorate or need repairs? Or does it mean that the money budgeted for school maintenance and repairs during the past 40 years has instead been spent on other, more pressing needs? Such as, say, higher salaries for school administrators, fatter pensions for everyone and extra money for bogus programs.
QUESTION: Where did all the money go?
ANSWER: Well, not to maintenance and facility upgrades, obviously. But when it comes to school budgets there are lots of things money doesn’t get spent on. We needn’t fret funds will be squandered on astronomy classes, opera, hieroglyphic studies or classic literature. But what about arts, a school newspaper or a marching band?
Let’s be sure to ask school officials how much big shot administrators are paid per year and about their bloated lifetime pensions. Why are $200,000 salaries approved by the school board when roofs are leaking?
Bear in mind there are huge streams of funding constantly washing through the school district. All California Lottery earnings go to schools. There are property tax monies, bond measures, surcharges and special levies sent to schools.
If Ukiah Schools lack money for repairs, maintenance and upgrades, where did the district find the many millions of dollars for palatial administrative offices on South Orchard Avenue a couple years ago? How much is spent on free laptops and free meals?
Dear Taxpayer, this is the same stunt local governments pull in order to squeeze ever-more money out of citizens. The city takes in huge revenues via taxes, spends them on various programs, agencies, expansions, new hiring and other stuff most of us would be unwilling to pay for. Then, when it’s time to address the priorities we all assume are covered, the city insists it needs special extra bonus tax increases.
To pave the streets, for example. Or to hire another police officer. Or to keep the library open. Those are extra, chump. We spent your other money on salary increases, scores of new employees, new office furniture and January flights to Florida seminars.
Schools do the same: Oh, you want books and pencils for students? A leaking roof repaired? Give us more money.
Another little secret to spending school money: Official policy is to spend the most money on kids who demonstrate the least likelihood of success. Ukiah schools spend disproportionately on the worst, least deserving students and reduce funding for motivated, ambitious kids who are the best targets for society to invest in.
Lots of school funding goes for drug programs, pregnancy awareness classes, special schools for the most violent and disruptive, along with extra teachers, counselors and programs. And you thought $120 coffee cups and $1,000 hammers were wasteful at the Pentagon.
Dept. Of fine print
-- Those who don’t pay property taxes are encouraged to vote and raise taxes on those who do.
-- The price tag isn’t the advertised $75 million; interest must also be paid, putting the actual cost, according to UUSD, at $149.5 million.
-- Final payments are due in 2056, and by then schools will need new repairs. Your grandkids will be saddled with taxes from before they were even born.
(Tom Hine notes Measure A taxes $50 for every $100,000 assessed value on your home, as if you need another burden hung around your neck when you struggle to buy your first (or third) home. TWK is not permitted to vote.)
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
JOB HUNTING IN THE 1930S.
‘STOPPING THE PRESSES: The Murder Of Walter W. Liggett’
by Marda Liggett Woodbury
published by University of Minnesota Press
reviewed by Bruce Anderson
Walter Liggett was a newspaperman who told the truth but didn’t run, to turn the famous phrase of another great newspaperman, George Seldes, half on its head. Liggett’s steadfastness got him shot dead in front of his ten-year-old daughter whose meticulously-researched little book 60 years later should help retrieve her remarkable father’s memory from beneath the great heaps of lingering lies that didn’t die with his assassination in 1936.
Homer Cummings, the US Attorney General, described the Minneapolis and St. Paul of the 1920s and 30s as “breeding places for crime and sanctuaries for criminals.” Walter Liggett provided the confirming evidence.
Crime’s northwest incubator was Prohibition, the earliest of America’s failed efforts to regulate mind-altering substances. Mix in the idealism of the Farmer-Labor Party, the factionalized American left preoccupied with infighting, then the Great Depression, and a few great journalists with plenty in the way of critical input for all of it, and we get Walter Liggett, born in the arcadian America of the last century, dead in the first wave of urban political cynicism of this one.
Newspapers were the media at the beginning of that multi-media 20th Century. Every little town had one, many organizations also had theirs. Labor unions and political groups unhappy with the coverage they were getting went out and created their own coverage. The old hot lead technology was cheap, plenty of printers were looking for work, and many more than a hundred flowers bloomed. Newspapers were the only way for people to keep up with events in the first half of the century.
An uncompromising man, Liggett carefully documented the betrayal of the great prairie populist uprising of the early 1920s — that unlikely alliance of labor and small farmers — destroyed by an even unlikelier alliance of Republicans, Democrats, naive liberals, and opportunistic communists. He took it all personally and his impressively diverse roster of enemies took him personally.
A man of the left himself, Liggett fought the left, the right and the two major political parties as they coalesced around the leadership of Floyd Olson, a talented politician of Clintonian elasticity. Liggett’s stinging prose focused on the treacheries of Minnesota’s faux-populist governor, the master manipulator Olson. Liggett was outraged that Olson had been elected to the controls of the Farmer-Labor Party whose idealistic but inexperienced founders were no match for Olson’s consummate political skills. The Minnesota governor was a big tent kind of guy, and not too overly particular about who he let through the flaps. With Olson taking tickets, in came many of the professional criminals already thriving in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and in rushed those Democrats and the Republicans closely allied with the economic forces squeezing the farmers and working people of the Farmer-Labor Party whom Olson rhetorically claimed to represent.
Liggett’s papers aroused fundamental passions in his enemies who fundamentally set out to get him. Not that the man was the type of zealot whose obsessions and righteousness make him socially unacceptable. He was much sought after by some of the most powerful men in the state and had functioned as aide de camp to Lindbergh senior and the great populist Bob LaFollette. Minnesota offered him a job overseeing immigration, an offer Liggett saw as an attempt to buy him off. But Liggett valued his independence over personal fortune and, as the Farmer-Labor Party was taken over by the forces of business as usual sponsored by the talk left, act right Olson, Liggett stepped up his attacks on the men he thought were stealing as much principle as they were public money.
And they stepped up their attacks on him. Liggett refused bribes, fought off conjured libel suits, ignored serious threats to his life, survived a serious beating, and fought off a transparently false morals charge which alleged fifteen months after the fact that he was in on the “abduction” of a sixteen- year-old strumpet simply because he’d happened to pass a night in the same Minneapolis hotel as the aspiring tart.
Walter Liggett was born on a comfortable Minnesota farm in 1886. He was an autodidact and idealist of a type as extinct as the hot lead presses many of the self-taught newspapermen mastered to be assured their own voices would be heard in the emergent hand-type din. Liggett left the farm college founded by his father at age 19 to go to work for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He moved restlessly from one large paper to another where radical views were tolerated but not in print.
Liggett soon took off for the frontier town of Seattle from where he was lured north to the Skagway Alaskan which, at the time, billed itself as the “smallest daily paper in the world.” In Skagway, Liggett, still only a kid, waded into the malefactors armed only with his pen.
Surviving that experience with his first death threats as memories, he became an itinerant, radical newspaperman. Liggett worked for a variety of papers and started several of his own. Blessed with a natural energy his multitude of enemies came to view as fiendish, Liggett also found time to write adventure pieces for the great American magazines of the 1920s, turn out a highly admired biography of Herbert Hoover, write and print Farm-Labor’s populist newspapers and polemics, electioneer for the good guys defending farmers from “wholesale foreclosures and tax evictions,” and he even found time to run Lindbergh senior’s campaign for governor of Minnesota as the candidate of the Non- Partisan League, a burgeoning third party effort with wide support among farmers, labor, radicals, and unaffiliated reformers.
Liggett also worked in a tour as editor of the socialist newspaper The Call where he met his wife and the mother of his biographer.
When the Call succumbed to the usual left in-fighting which has plagued progressive American politics ever since, Liggett moved back to Minnesota with his new wife, a feminist and radical who stood by her man at great risk to both herself and the author of this book, all the while insisting on equality for women in a prose as clear and inspiring as that of her husbands. Mom, who kept Liggett’s various journalistic enterprises limping along among circling creditors and death threats, deserves her own biographer.
The Non-Partisan League had evolved into the even more capital-hostile Farmer-Labor Party of 1920, the most radical political movement in the country and the next chapter in the ongoing war between ordinary people and the old robber barons who’d honed their thuggish techniques on Eugene Debs’ socialists and Bill Haywood’s Wobblies. Odd as it seems in these days of capitalists as heroes and media stars, conservatives of the Lindbergh type ran for office as opponents of what Lindbergh called the “Money Trust.”
Liggett admired the father of the famous aviator above all other men. One of the many evocative episodes of Liggett’s life his daughter relates in her own precise prose, was of her father and Lindbergh facing down a mob of “pool hall patriots” who’d been falsely informed by Lindbergh’s political enemies that Lindbergh was “pro Hun.” Lindbergh had spoken out against the folly of looming American involvement in World War One. He argued the war was simply a quarrel among bankers and therefore not worthy of “American blood.”
Liggett’s insertion of himself into potentially lethal politics was characteristic of him. But he wasn’t suicidal. He was a tall and athletic man said to be an adept fist fighter, and he always carried a pistol with him to the more volatile political venues.
As an independent radical of an uniquely American type — a non-Marxist leftist — Liggett put in thousands of hours promoting the Farmer-Labor Party, the Minnesota-based populist reform movement begun in 1920. It was Farmer-Labor that contained all the little versus-big principles Liggett lived by. But with Governor Olson at its head, Liggett described the Farmer-Labor Party under Olson as causing the “Tammanyization of Minnesota” and tagged Olson himself as “damned sight more of a racketeer than he is a radical.”
By December of 1934, as The Depression deepened, the Liggetts, now publishing the Midwest American, lamented the inability of government at all levels to reverse the immiseration of nearly half the American population.
Edith Liggett wrote columns urging parents, “The only thing we know we can give our children are strong bodies and happy childhood memories. And we must not let even a world collapse or our own griefs and worries rob a child of celebration which he can help create.”
Walter Liggett kept a steady fire burning under Governor Olson against whom Liggett had worked up a solidly-documented bill of impeachment beginning with a charge of “notorious immorality” and ending with “the sale of public office to persons who are both morally unfit and wholly unqualified.”
The many forms of retaliation against Walter Liggett from the powerful Olson machine (of which every cog seemed to read every word Liggett wrote, storing them up like the real bullets they’d use to kill him) could never be specifically linked to the Governor’s office, but the many beneficiaries of an extensive patronage system were deployed to stop Liggett’s newspaper.
They did everything from interfering with the mail deliveries of the Midwest American to assaulting Liggett on the street.
Ironically, the anti-Liggett forces, often described in the 1930s as “middle of the road,” were those which later gave us that “middle of the road extremist,” in the old 60’s joke, Hubert Humphrey. These same “moderate” forces combined against Liggett, had shotgunned to death the unshakeable Howard Guilford, a man the Olson regime had previously indicted 19 times on phony charges only to see him acquitted each time, when they were unable to silence Guilford’s one-man newspaper crusade against the odiferous Olson regime.
Liggett thought they wouldn’t kill two critics in two years.
After spending his last hours of life on February 24th, 1936 working on his case for impeaching governor Olson, Liggett was shot dead in front of his home. His last act was to motion his wife and daughter to stay in the car to allow the assassin’s sedan to pass by. As it did, a hand holding a pistol thrust itself out the window virtually at point blank range and pumped five shots into the newspaperman. He was finally silenced.
A grudging police investigation and a fundamentally flawed trial of the likely killer — a hoodlum named Isadore “Kid Cann” Blumenfield — conveniently failed to find the justice Liggett had devoted his life to.
But we all should have children so devoted to the honor of their departed parents as Marda Liggett Woodbury, a resident of Berkeley, who has managed, in telling the story of her father, to rehabilitate an honest man maligned before and after his death by people who claim to be making the world a better place.
Marda Liggett Woodbury
1925 - 2008 Resident of Oakland, CA
Marda Liggett Woodbury, inveterate researcher, librarian, writer, long-time Bay Area activist, early folk music scene enthusiast, and devoted mother and grandmother, died peacefully Tuesday, July 8th in her home. Born 1925 in New York City, Marda had a peripatetic childhood in the tow of her crusading journalist parents. Her father Walter Liggett was murdered in 1935 while investigating Twin Cities corruption. In the 1940s, Marda earned degrees at Bard College and Columbia University and moved to the Bay Area where she worked as a librarian, education researcher and journalist. She wrote and published two books on educational research as well as a book about her father's life, "Stopping the Presses" which she spent ten years researching. She is survived by her brother, three children and three grandchildren. A memorial service will be held Sunday, July 13th at 1pm at Montclair Presbyterian Church, 5701 Thornhill Dr., Montclair, CA 94611. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a worthy charity or cause. http://www.heatherwoodbury.com
GENTLEMAN JOE. Increasingly ga-ga, Joe Biden launched a confusing insult at a female voter during a town hall in Hampton, New Hampshire Sunday, denouncing her as "a lying, dog-faced pony soldier." The young woman from Mercer University had asked Biden why voters should believe he could win in New Hampshire after his losing performance in Iowa where he'd finished fourth.
NOT TO BE a look-sist about appearances, but if Biden and Pelosi get one more face-lift their eyeballs will be on the back of their heads.
IF ELECTED OFFICIALS were video-taped during work hours then performance-evaluated like professional athletes are, how many of the Northcoast's elected reps would survive the scrutiny?
CHILDREN'S PROTECTIVE SERVICES units are America's clearest example of class warfare. In Mendocino County, as everywhere else, decisions to break up under-class families occur behind closed doors "for the protection of the child," authorities claim. Typically, though, the children do in fact need protecting, but in practice bouncing them from foster home to foster home until they're 18 then booting them out the door as funding for them ceases is nearly as psychologically damaging to state-raised children as the hellish homes they're extracted from. The Mendo helping pros inspire zero confidence generally, and the CPS apparatuses' ability to make intelligent, humane decisions inspire (in me) even less confidence. But our judges simply sign off on whatever this dubious apparat puts in front of them and on and on it goes. I'd like to see custody hearings opened up to the public and have juries make the final decision.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Two excellent Netflix documentary films, one on the sad case of Aaron Hernandez, the brain-damaged NFL star turned gangster. It's called "Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez." The second is a six-parter I binge-watched Saturday afternoon, called, "Who Killed Malcom X?" Not two of the young men who went to jail for doing it, a fact known to the authorities at the time, and a fact verified by one of the actual killers. Malcolm was murdered out of a nexus of police and FBI malice with the jealousy Malcolm inspired in the corrupt leadership of the Black Muslims. Fascinating history of those murderous times, and a touching story of a man who'd grown past the crude racism preached by the Black Muslims of America.
EVEN BY LOWLIFE STANDARDS…..
On Thursday, January 30, 2020 at approximately 2:59 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported burglary at a residence in the 2400 block of Road B in Redwood Valley. On arrival, Deputies contacted the adult male homeowner, who advised them he had returned home and found a two year-old female child inside the residence. The homeowner had no knowledge of the two year-old child or where her parents were. The homeowner called the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office for assistance. After summoning help, the homeowner noticed items missing from his residence. While en-route to the above location, a Deputy was flagged down by citizens in the 3000 block of Road B. The citizens complained that a vehicle had been stolen from the location and a red vehicle had been left at the location. The citizens had no knowledge of who the red vehicle belonged to. California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers responded to the residence and took a report for vehicle theft. During their investigation they found several indicators leading them to believe the red vehicle left at the location belonged to Rusti Vassar, 28, a resident of Ukiah.
Contemporaneously, Deputies investigating the incident occurring in the 2400 block of Road B, identified the two year-old female child as Vassar's daughter. Through their investigation, Deputies developed probable cause that Vassar committed burglary. The Deputies issued a stop and arrest broadcast for Vassar.
Later that day at approximately 5:36 P.M., a CHP Officer observed the stolen vehicle traveling on Road B. The CHP Officer requested back up, so Sheriff's Deputies responded to the 2700 block of Road B where they assisted CHP with a high risk traffic stop. The Deputies, along with the CHP Officer, removed four subjects from the vehicle. The stolen vehicle was found to be driven by Vassar and occupied by three adult male passengers. Vassar was arrested for Willful Cruelty to child, Burglary and Child Neglect. The CHP Officer arrested Vassar for the vehicle theft additionally. Vassar was ultimately booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $150,000 bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 9, 2020
JUAN AGUILAR-DOMINGO, Clearlake/Willits. Unspecified offense, resisting.
MICHAEL BACCHI, Covelo. Felon-addict with firearm, failure to appear.
DANIEL BATTEN, Covelo. Failure to appear.
ERIC BURTLESON, Fort Bragg. Fugitive from justice, failure to appear.
EZEQUIEL CEJA-GUZMAN, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
EMMY FINE, Fort Bragg. Petty theft with priors.
ROBERT HANRAHAN, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
EDWIN JOHNSON, Willits. Sell-give-transport pot, under influence, paraphernalia.
KAULUWEH KAOHI, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, transportation, DUI-alcohol-drugs.
ANDREW KING, Redwood Valley. DUI.
JAVIER MENDEZ, Ukiah/Navarro. Burglary, robbery, domestic abuse, vandalism, protective order violation.
JOSE NIETO, Ukiah. Suspended license, disobeying court order.
JUAN PEREZ, Ukiah. DUI.
JOHN ROLEN, Caspar. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
TYLER ROWE, Willits. Probation revocation.
PHILLIP SCARLETT, Ukiah. Domestic battery, kidnapping.
KIERA SHED, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
DON’T ALLOW PG&E WOES TO THREATEN CLIMATE GOALS
Gavin Newsom’s demand that PG&E put safety before profits must not undermine California’s green energy goals.
The financial impacts of the utility’s bankruptcy threatens the state’s ambitious climate policy. No matter what becomes of PG&E, it’s imperative that the governor treat progress on safety and green energy efforts as co-equals.
Unfortunately, to make it all work, he will probably need to tap the state budget to supplement inevitable utility rate hikes.
Newsom took a big step on the safety front when he warned that PG&E would not get state wildfire bailout money without strengthening its protections against conflagrations.
PG&E is desperate to access the $21 billion fund created by the Legislature to alleviate wildfire costs. The beauty of the law, AB 1054, is that it requires PG&E to meet four separate safety standards to be eligible for the funds.
The governor says that PG&E’s $13.5 billion settlement agreement with victims of California’s deadly 2017 and 2018 wildfires doesn’t meet AB 1054’s requirements. Newsom said the utility’s plan relies so heavily on new debt that it won’t allow it to invest in wildfire safety goals. He’s right.
The governor further used the leverage of AB 1054 to demand that PG&E appoint a new state-approved board of directors focused on safety before profits, and give him the right to seize control of the utility if it doesn’t follow through on its safety promises.
But the governor does not have the same type of leverage to force PG&E to continue its clean energy efforts. And every ratepayer dollar that PG&E spends on dealing with the risk of wildfires is a dollar less to spend on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The reality is that the current ratepayer-funded approach is no longer adequate.
Substantial rate increases are already in ratepayers’ future. PG&E received tentative approval Friday to increase electricity customers’ bills $4.90 a month, up 4% from the current monthly average of $121.12. And that’s just for starters.
We can’t boundlessly raise rates. The average electricity price in California is already 16.7 cents per kilowatt hour, one of the highest in the nation. The reality is that if California raises its rates to 20 or 30 cents per kilowatt hour, it would be devastating for the state’s clean energy program. The benefits of many clean-energy alternatives would be undermined by the costs. Even the effort to shift to electric vehicles wouldn’t pencil out.
Californians are united in their support of clean energy programs. Polls show that 80% of residents support the state’s effort to draw more energy from renewable sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The governor should incorporate the idea of providing subsidies for clean energy programs in the state budget, preventing California from having to choose between reducing use of fossil fuels and wildfire safety.
(K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
WANT TO HELP BEES? Leave the Dandelions Alone This Spring
If you ever wanted to help dwindling honeybee populations, ecologists are encouraging that you “learn to love weeds” and leave the dandelions alone this coming spring.
WILDLIFE LAWSUIT EXPLAINED
On Monday, Feb. 3, Mendocino Non-lethal Wildlife Alliance and Project Coyote served Mendocino County with a lawsuit that challenges the County’s 1) recent certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for its wildlife management program; and 2) its decision to renew its brutal, ineffective and unnecessary Integrated Wildlife Damage Management (IWDM) Program, to be operated by USDA Wildlife Services (WS).
Based on advice from legal counsel with decades of expertise in environmental law, the plaintiffs determined that the County’s FEIR is fundamentally flawed and does not meet the minimum standards required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Plaintiffs reached this decision to sue cautiously, only after on a 3-2 vote in December, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors chose to ignore the abundance of scientific evidence and dozens of comments submitted by many people in favor of non-lethal alternative programs, and despite the FEIR’s conclusion that a non-lethal program was the environmentally superior option.
This narrow Board majority reaffirmed the County’s inhumane and outmoded IWDM Program, which relies heavily on lethal and indiscriminate tools for killing native carnivores, including utterly cruel strangulation and neck snares.
Throughout the entire EIR process, Mendocino Non-lethal Wildlife Alliance and Project Coyote presented the County with locally-administered models and methods from other counties in California, Oregon and elsewhere that are not only more humane, but that also work much better to protect human health and property and are more cost-effective than the WS IWDM Program.
WHY THE BUTTIGIEG CAMPAIGN TRIED TO HAVE ME ARRESTED FOR HANDING OUT INFORMATION ABOUT MEDICARE FOR ALL
by Norman Solomon
You’d think that a presidential campaign backed by 40 billionaires and untold numbers of bundled rich people wouldn’t worry about just one leaflet on Medicare for All.
But minutes after Pete Buttigieg finished speaking in an auditorium at Keene State College in New Hampshire on Saturday, a Pete for America official confronted me outside the building while I was handing out a flier with the headline “Medicare for All. Not Healthcare Profiteering for the Few.”
“You can’t pass that out,” the man told me. I did a double take, glancing at the small “Pete” metal badge on his lapel while being told that he spoke on behalf of the Buttigieg campaign.
We were standing on the campus of a public college. I said that I understood the First Amendment. When I continued to pass out the flier, the Buttigieg campaign official (who repeatedly refused to give his name) disappeared and then quickly returned with a campus policeman, who told me to stop distributing the leaflet. Two Keene city police soon arrived.
The Buttigieg official stood a few feet behind them as the police officers threatened me with arrest for trespassing. Ordered to get off the campus within minutes or be arrested, I was handed an official written order (“Criminal Trespass Notice”) not to set foot on “Keene State College entire campus” for a year.
So much for freedom of speech and open election discourse in public places.
Why would a representative of the mighty Buttigieg campaign resort to such a move? A big clue can be found in a deception that Buttigieg engaged in during the debate on Friday night.
Buttigieg’s dishonesty arose when Amy Klobuchar, a vehement foe of Medicare for All, attacked Bernie Sanders for allegedly seeking to “kick 149 million Americans off their current health insurance in four years.” Klobuchar was reciting a key insurance-industry distortion that neglects to mention how a single-payer system would provide more complete health coverage, at less cost -- by eliminating wasteful bureaucracy and corporate profiteering.
But Klobuchar then pivoted to attack Buttigieg: “And Pete, while you have a different plan now, you sent out a tweet just a few years ago that said henceforth, forthwith, indubitably, affirmatively, you are for Medicare for All for the ages, and so I would like to point out that what leadership is about is taking a position, looking at things, and sticking with them.”
Buttigieg was far from candid in his response: “Just to be clear, the truth is that I have been consistent throughout in my position on delivering healthcare for every American.”
That answer directly contradicted an early 2018 tweet from Buttigieg: “Gosh! Okay. . . I, Pete Buttigieg, politician, do henceforth and forthwith declare, most affirmatively and indubitably, unto the ages, that I do favor Medicare for All, as I do favor any measure that would help get all Americans covered.”
No doubt if the flier I was handing out at Keene State College had praised Buttigieg, his campaign would not have called the police to have me ejected. But the Buttigieg for President staffer recognized that Buttigieg’s spin on healthcare was undermined by facts in the flier (produced and financed by RootsAction.org, which is completely independent of the official Sanders campaign).
“Buttigieg is claiming that Medicare for All would dump people off of health coverage and deprive them of ‘choice’,” our flier pointed out. “Those are insurance-industry talking points. He is deliberately confusing the current ‘choice’ of predatory for-profit insurance plans with the genuine full choice of healthcare providers that enhanced Medicare for everyone would offer.”
Apparently, for the Buttigieg campaign, such truthful words are dangerous.
JUST IN FROM CRAIG STEHR
The Great Way has no gate;
There are a thousand paths to it.
If you pass through the barrier,
You walk the universe alone.
—Wu-Men, 1183–1260 (via Craig Stehr)
The chewed gum has no sugar;
A thousand chaws foul a thousand sidewalks
Except in Singapore where possession
Earns Juicy Fruit rattan on your bare back.
If you chew it anyway,
You get hit again, this time
With the Straits of Malacca.
— Bruce Anderson (1939-Soon)
SMART MONEY'S ON THE THISTLE
Navarro Point thistle removing this Thursday
We will be thistle removing at Navarro Point this Thursday, February 13th, from 10am til noon.
Sunday’s weather forecast for Thursday is for it to be sunny after the morning marine layer burns off with the temperature in the low 50s and slightly windy.
Navarro Point Preserve is located on Highway 1 about a half mile south of the Navarro Ridge Road. Meet there in the little parking lot on the left/west of Hwy 1.
Join us in eliminating the final 5% of this invasive plant,
Tom Wodetski, Albion
ASK MR. WIZARD
No Electricians Responding!
Richard Karch (Coast Listserve) wrote:
Help. We have had an intermittent electrical problems for the last three weeks. Circuits blowing and causing appliances to be intermittent.
Marco McClean replied:
Richard, before all electrical work, switch off the main breaker and leave it off until you're completely finished, and still don't trust anything while you're working.
Tighten all the screw terminals in the breaker box using a screwdriver the same width as the screw heads. If the appliances you're talking about are on a circuit with a ground-fault interrupter outlet in it, like for the bathroom or the kitchen, and the ground wire for that circuit in the breaker box is loose, there's your problem and you're done for free.
Old house, old breaker box, old-style breakers. Replace the problem-related breakers, and while at it, look for burned/corroded places where the breaker clips in. Pop out a knockout and insert the replacement breaker in a new place on the power rails. This is very likely to solve it if the appliance you're talking about is in the laundry room, where the breaker you replace will be dual (fat, two switches on it, clips on both rails) and probably cost $75 or more from Two Short Sales in Fort Bragg. Electric washers and dryers use a huge amount of current and the way old-style breakers clip in eventually corrodes both the rail there and the breaker, and in five-to-thirty years you'll have to do this again.
If it's other stuff elsewhere than the laundry, and if the breakers and clips and rails are okay, unplug everything on the bad circuit (everything at goes off when that circuit breaker pops) and turn the house back on and see if the breaker still pops. Plug things in one at a time until it breaks. Maybe you'll learn something. Maybe you're plugging too much in (two heat-making things on one circuit is never right); maybe it's just a bad toaster or space heater or a bad refrigerator… And maybe it's a bad outlet connection:
Turn the house back off. Buy two-more-than-enough standard duplex outlets and two more than enough simple switches. (Whatever part that's less than $5 for electricity or plumbing, always get two more than you think you need.) Replace all outlets and switches on the bad circuit, cutting wires back and stripping insulation to where the wire is clean. Bend all stripped ends into U-shapes, hook them on the screws and screw them on tight; never push wires straight into the push-in ports. If you come to any two-way circuits that need two-way switches (where more than one switch to control a light each has three places to put wires and not just two), skip those; the terminals aren't always in the same place on them and it's too easy to get confused. Similarly, if you come to a little box and behind the switch or outlet it's stuffed with a bunch of wires and connections that make you go, What the fuck is all this for?, leave that alone; you will never figure out how to get it all back together the way it came apart even if you label everything with colored label tape and take a hundred pictures before you take it apart; in fact, that makes it worse. You will go crazy.
Maybe some of this fixed your problem, and you did it yourself for the cost of the parts. If it didn't fix it, the problem to be concerned with now is the fire hazard of rats having ruined wiring in the walls or attic or under the floor, and it'll be more hundreds of dollars for a real electrician to replace those. You can't just bypass a place where you see charred Romex; it's probably ruined somewhere else too where you can't see, where the real danger is because it's inside the wall. While you wait for a real electrician, agressively kill the rats and exclude new rats from access and just leave all erratic circuits' breakers off, and you'll be fine.
Join us next week for the 8th Annual Farmers' Convergence (2/16) at Ridgewood Ranch.
We are honored to have the Seed Librarians from our the Mendocino County libraries (Jen Lyon and Tobin Steiskal from Ukiah Library, and Pat Sobrero from Covelo's Round Valley Library) leading an afternoon workshop on ‘Planting the Seeds of Sustainability, Security, and Sovereignty’. They will explore the history and social science of seed saving with basic seed saving topics to encouraging attendees to take easy-to-save seeds home to grow out for the seed libraries.
More Info on Convergence – ncoinc.org/convergence/
Get Your Tickets Today – convergence2020.brownpapertickets.com/