Another Warm Day | Navarro Ridge Redbeard | Disotelle's PA | Boonville Water Project | Mystery Egg | Produce Exchange | Ed Notes | Old 101 | Miserable Hypocrites | Eureka Productions | Mendocino Trunk Sale | Prehistoric Flunk | Real Consequences | Usal Wharf | Roederer Drought | Yesterday's Catch | Minneapolis Strike | Climate Class Struggle | Unemployed March | Water Wise | Capone Soup Kitchen | America's Defeat | Dangerous Man | Possibly Forever | Zapata 1914 | Embarrassing Prez | Troops Depart
ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES are expected in the interior through mid week followed by some modest cooling toward the end of the week. A band of upper level moisture will bring a slight chance for light showers later today, mainly to Del Norte County and the coast of northern Humboldt County. (NWS)
YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Yorkville 102°, Ukiah 101°, Boonville 100°, Fort Bragg 69°
REDBEARD HARD TO CATCH
(Sheriff’s Presser on Red Beard, Monday morning)
Situational awareness for the area of Middle Ridge Road and Navarro Ridge Road in Albion, CA.
The large police presence in these areas due to a potential sighting of William Evers (aka Red-Bearded Burglar) who is currently wanted (see historical page posts) has been CONCLUDED.
MCSO personnel attempted to apprehend Evers at approximately 4:30 AM when he fled from inside an unoccupied home in the 32000 block of Navarro Ridge Road.
There was a reported potential sighting of Evers at the home as of 12:00 AM (midnight).
All available MCSO sworn personnel were called to the scene (on-duty and off-duty personnel) to assist in apprehending Evers.
Evers was able to elude apprehension by MCSO SWAT Team members and two Sheriff's Office K9 teams due to the darkness and terrain.
One MCSO SWAT Team member and one MCSO SWAT Team K9 handler sustained injuries and are expected to be medically evaluated today to determine the severity of their injures.
Evers was last known to be running toward the Salmon Creek drainage North to Northeast of the home.
Please call 9-1-1 if you see anything suspicious in the areas of Salmon Creek, Middle Ridge Road and Navarro Ridge Road in Albion.
ARMED RED-BEARDED BURGLAR ELUDES MENDOCINO COUNTY DEPUTIES AGAIN
by Phil Barber
All Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office deputies, including a SWAT team and two canine units, early Monday combed a rugged coastal area near Albion for the fugitive dubbed the “red-bearded burglar,” but came away empty-handed.
This is the latest of at least eight dispatches from local authorities pertaining to William Allan Evers, 40, since an initial report of a home burglary near Elk on May 12. Evers has so far eluded capture after many mass searches for him.
Evers is described as 6-foot-1, weighing 180 pounds with brown eyes, brown hair and reddish facial hair. He has a skull or skulls tattooed on his right upper arm and a “demon face” tattoo on his upper left arm. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Over the weekend, sheriff’s deputies responded to a potential sighting of Evers at an unoccupied home on Navarro Ridge Road around midnight Sunday night. He fled the home at about 4:30 a.m. Monday, triggering a manhunt.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office called in all available sworn personnel, on and off duty to assist in the search, according to a county dispatcher. The group that included a SWAT team and two Sheriff’s canine teams couldn’t nab Evers, who was able to escape in the rough topography.
One SWAT team member and one dog handler sustained injuries. Both were being medically evaluated sometime Monday to determine the severity of their injures.
Evers was last seen running toward the Salmon Creek drainage north to northeast of the Navarro Ridge Road home. The local Sheriff’s Office alerted the public through its Facebook page and called for “situational awareness” in the area of Middle Ridge Road and Navarro Ridge Road at about 7 a.m., but concluded the police presence a couple hours later.
The authorities ask anyone to call 911 should they see anything or anyone suspicious in the area of Big Salmon Creek, between the two parallel ridgeline roads.
The California Department of Corrections has issued an arrest warrant for Evers for making criminal threats. The Mendocino County sheriff wants him in connection with several local home burglaries, and for an officer-involved shooting in Elk on May 12.
During that encounter, Evers allegedly discharged a firearm multiple times in the direction of a sheriff’s deputy during a foot pursuit. The deputy returned fire. No one was injured during the exchange.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
THE SHERIFF’S OWN FACEBOOK PAGE predictably lit up with comments, such as:
Good god!! We gotta get this guy!!!
Still have not found this guy how many months now ? this is just mind blowing
The sheriff's and police around here don't have the funds or enough staff to do extensive searches like this. It's not a surprise to me that they haven't found him.
They sure had alot more in the woods for Bassler. But our sheriff then was looking at book and movies careers after. This sheriff seems a lil salty he lost some of his Grant money. They have had plenty of money for years. They are just pissy cause they don't have that war on drugs and camp kinda money.
Was he the guy hiding in the JDSF?
You mean the Rural officers don't know how to perform their jobs in a rural environment? Hmmmm.
They need to make a movie about this guy. The thing is they have found him they just can’t catch him.
Bring in a tracker.
Continuing to make them look like fools.
Why don't you go help them catch him, if you know so much. It's easy to have dumb opinions.
If you lived on Albion Ridge Road like I do, you might think a little more clearly.
You all wanna go eat donuts it's good with me, Running Red is the best entertainment we've had since the rona broke. Don't ruin the fun! I mean be careful and all but if you have to break out the special gear and it breaks and has to be replaced with insurance money, won't hurt my feelings at all.
What about night vision heat sensor technology? Or put some food or tools out for him to find with gpsTrackers in/on them… it seems like low tech is winning here.
Been too long. Gotta get this guy.
So no neighboring agencies can assist with a helicopter?
Pray your SWAT Team are okay.
Bigfoot is real.
Gonna have to give this guy a job when you catch him… looking like you need him on your side my man.
Not surprised the guy is a life long mountain dweller...he can probably outrun more than just them. I wouldn't be surprised if he is making a game out of it now.
Red bearded burglar! Lmfaooooo I have enjoyed following this saga.
Y’all are really making this dude a local folk hero.
He's got a gun, absolutely nothing funny or enjoyable about this!!!!
He will smell the officers from a distance. He will always use the wind to his advantage. He will use the forest to his advantage. The squirrels and jays will inform him of the officers and the direction they travel. He will know the jay and squirrel territory, and use it to his advantage. He will become part of the terrain and use its bounty to his advantage. He will make trails through blackberry patches by removing the thorns and leaving the canes. He will be able to run into and throughout them with ease. He can bed down in them in peace, even bears will leave him alone in his home in the thorns. He will use the trees to get a different perspective. He will always prepare in case he needs to go underground. When all else fails he will go underground. The sheriff comes out in a large force and expends great energy and resources to try and capture him safely. They would have a better chance of finding him with 1 to 3 dedicated officers. But the outcome would most likely end in tragedy. I commend the sheriff department for their patience in this matter, and making an effort to keep the accused and the officers safe during this incident. I fully support my taxpayer dollars going towards a safe resolution. I am so grateful for the work they are doing.
THE BOONVILLE WATER PROJECT
Dear AVA Readers,
This is a response to Joan Burrough’s “Information to Consider: Boonville Sewer/Water” in last week’s AVA.
First, I would like to point out that from the outset of the efforts to develop a plan for the Municipal Water Projects for Boonville, Joan has not attended a single meeting of the Water Projects and Boonville Planners meetings. Not one. Since April, 2015 she has not availed herself of opportunities to speak DIRECTLY and in person or by Zoom with our project managers from the State who are financing this planning and the construction of the projects, the District One Waterboard officials who are signing the permits for the projects, the engineers designing the projects, the Mendocino County Health and Planning Departments participating in the projects and the AVCSD Directors responsible for the projects. Not once. I have talked to Joan directly by phone and I have voluminous emails back and forth attempting to educate her and I even offered to drive to Kelseyville if she wasn’t willing to come to Boonville. (Joan owns the Missouri House so is a parcel owner in Boonville). She could have gotten answers in person but has chosen instead to hunker down with her computer.
Second, I would like to mention what Joan got right: Nothing. Rather than try to refute all the erroneous or misleading statements, I think the most beneficial approach is to explain how individual parcel owners will be affected.
Go up to the Firehouse and look at the boundary maps in the window so that you know if your parcel is in one or both boundaries. Drinking Water runs from Hutsell down 128, takes in the side streets of Haehl and Lambert, turns left on Mt View and includes the high school and the clinic, the housing development by the Airport (Meadow Estates) and then goes down AV Way to the Elementary School. The Sewer system and Waste program overlaps the Drinking Water program but stops at the Clinic.
Both programs are fully funded by grants from various sources by the State (we anticipate it costing $19M for Drinking and $16M for Waste). The State is paying for installing a meter box and laterals to your house for Drinking Water and installing a grinder pump as well as laterals to your house for Sewer. You might have to hook up the last couple of feet for Drinking Water, but the sewer system will directly hook up.
There has been no call for public reaction yet for the Drinking Water project. We did have a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the Waste project when we were considering the Asti field across from the high school, but we did not continue with that site as there was opposition. When we finish planning the components of both projects we will go through the Environmental review, CEQA process, and put out the Notice of Preparation, and, at that time, the parcel owners and “adjacents” will receive notification of that meeting to express concerns and ask questions. That is probably 6 months away.
Most people don’t realize that having municipal infrastructure means that they can develop their parcel and take advantage of changed housing codes. This could be an opportunity for most parcel owners to add ADUs (Additional Dwelling Units) or even another full residence if they have the room. People that have empty lots will have meter boxes and a grinder pump at the property line for future construction. The Planning department sent a letter which was published in the AVA that states that this is NOT an opportunity for the Planning Dept to seek code enforcement. That letter is on our website.
Nor will your property tax be affected according to the Mendocino County Assessor. Their basic position is that you already have water and sewer and will be getting it from a different source, but it doesn’t change the value of your parcel.
What will change is the value of your parcel if you want to sell it. It may be worth more with infrastructure.
A critical piece of information we are all waiting for is how much the monthly rate will be. Once all the components of the projects are in place, the engineers will develop the potential rate structure (for example commercial rates vs residential, etc). The public will be made aware of the proposed rate structures and are welcome (as always) to participate in the discussion. The maintenance and operation of the systems happily does not have a loan to service and we will start out with no indebtedness.
Hooking up to Drinking Water is optional. You can let the main go by. Even if you hook up you can continue to use your well (with a back flow preventer). This is because you probably want to do your outside irrigation with non-metered water. If you have a water meter installed at your property line, however, you will be paying the lowest basic monthly rate. What if you did not opt to have a meter box and want one later? Then you will pay the CSD for installation of the a new meter box from the main. The laterals on your property will also be at your expense. There is no doubt that a service that is free now will be expensive later.
There is no choice, though, about a sewer hook up. If you are within the boundary and the sewer project is approved, we will collect your sewage. There can be no future contamination of Boonville’s groundwater. Your existing septic tank will be permanently decommissioned (but your leach field will not be touched - we are not plowing that up). It will be available for some other purpose! Put a granny unit on it!
You will not start paying a monthly rate until the projects are constructed. Once you can flush a toilet and turn on taps you will pay a basic rate for Waste and a tiered rate for usage of Drinking Water. Obviously the more you conserve the less you will pay for Drinking Water.
Remember, too, that you will have a fire hydrant within 250’ (they are spaced at 500’) of your house. Using pressurized hydrants (with the 270,000 gallons saved in tanks for this purpose) is a much better way to fight fire than transporting water by water tenders. Ask your insurance agent if this will result in a reduction on your homeowner policy.
What if you want to remodel, add a second story, or develop a commercial establishment? Our system will provide enough pressure for whatever sprinkler systems you are required to install.
I want to point out that Boonville is one of the very last little communities in District One Water board (from the Marin county line to the Oregon Border and to the east including the Coastal Range) that has NO infrastructure. There was a proposal for Drinking Water in the 1980’s, but the community turned it down. There has never been a proposal for Sewer. Opportunities for fully funding these type of projects does not come along very often.
I have a hard time understanding why Joan Burroughs is using all these scary, hair on fire arguments. Making authoritative statements does not make them true.
It would be far better for Joan to actually speak directly to us, the engineers and other officials rather than hurl these inflammatory accusations at us through a newspaper article.
One more thought: No wonder we have such a hard time finding members of the community willing to serve on the CSD Board. Many of us have served multiple terms because of the problem of unfilled positions. Who wants to deal with this sort of thing?
ANGELA DEWITT: Found an egg in the woods. I don't know anything about birds but I wonder who layed it and how it got on the ground. Under Tan Oak, Doug Fir, and Redwood. 2" long. No chickens nearby.
FREE PRODUCE EXCHANGE, Today 5-6 PM
Hope you can join us today from 5 to 6 PM at the Community Park, by the Health Center!
Calling all home gardeners, fruit tree enthusiasts, and anyone who enjoys eating local produce!
Do you have extra fruit, herbs or veggies in your garden that you would like to share? Maybe you don't have a garden, but you would love to get your hands on some locally grown food? The AV Wellness Coalition and the Anderson Valley Health Center will be kicking off a free community produce exchange on August 24th, from 5-6 pm. Starting that evening, and then every other Tuesday evening through October 5th, we will be setting up in the Community Park, by the Health Center. We invite you all to bring any extra produce you have and/or bring a bag to fill up on produce you can bring home.
If you have any questions about the produce exchange, if you would like to be involved, or if you just want to let us know you are interested in participating (this will be helpful in setting up tables, etc.), please reach out to Rachel Williams (email@example.com) or 707-303-5950 or Cyd Bernstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 707-367-1831.
Please help spread the word! We look forward to sharing with you all!
THAT WAS AN INTERESTING gathering Saturday in the parking lot of Ukiah's Redwood Health Club, where the county's health officer, Dr. Coren, took questions, plenty of comment and accusations that he represented the mark of the beast if the portly medico wasn't Beelzebub himself. The smallish gathering of small business owners hurt by covid but hanging on, had been organized by John Strangio of the health club who soon asked the 666 guy, living evidence that crazies often dress normal, to leave because Triple Six wouldn't stop shouting out his warnings of eternal doom. No one asked Coren why the county needed two health officers, but much of the questioning and comment rightly criticized the often confusing and contradictory covid messages coming out of the county. (A full account can be found on Matt Lefever's excellent website, Mendofever.com)
SORRY to read that ‘Wire’ Star Michael K. Williams offed himself via a drug overdose. He was very good in The Wire but even better in Boardwalk Empire.
I KNOW I'm old and far beyond keeping up with the trendo-groove-o menus of music and television shows, but this wildly improbable headline grabbed my attention: "The 50 Fall TV Shows You Should Be excited About." "Should be." So judgmental.
FROM THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT this morning: “Evers was last known to be running toward the Salmon Creek drainage North to Northeast of the home.”
“REDBEARD,” as we've dubbed the fugitive William Evers, has moved from the south side of the Navarro to the river's much more thickly settled north side where there are lots more homes from which to appropriate supplies. The Salmon Creek drainage includes everything from Navarro Ridge Road to Albion. In the latest sighting of the man fast becoming myth, the cops apparently ran in the front door while the fleet-footed Redbeard hastened out the back door.
WE'D like to know more about him beyond his criminal history. What's his back story? Parents? Town of origin? Anybody know the guy?
THE MORNING began with a provocation. A guy phoned up to say, “Check your e-mail. You'll be interested.” Click. I sped to email@example.com where I was referred to a website called “Find the Lord's Avenger,” the ref being to the Bari Bombing case of 1990, at the very mention of which people groan and leave the room. But I went to find the Lord's Avenger. Who wasn't there. In fact the site, professionally done and carefully organized, contained nothing new about the case and lots of pure lunacy as it expanded to include everyone except the odds-on perp, Bari's ex-husband, Mike Sweeney.
THE SITE is the work of a conspiracy guy named Bob Martell. I have a vague memory of him in Garberville. I wrote to tell him that he seemed to be living in some alternate universe in which nothing relevant to the Lord's Avenger or Bari is included. He wrote back to say I was welcome to both call him to kick it around and to add my theory to his lonely website. I challenged him to go to our Bari archive where all the relevant material on the case is housed. He said I had to answer him first, and that's where I ceased communications.
THE HILLS of the Northcoast are filled with obsessive old hippies gnawing irrelevantly on grand conspiracies — the JFK assassination; Building 7; the Club of Rome… What's interesting about Martell, and another errant Bari sleuth in Fort Bragg named Josh Morsell, is how committed they are to Not Finding The Bomber.
HIGHWAY 101, THE MENDO STRETCH BACK WHEN
THANKS FOR NOTHING
Letter to the Editor
Well let’s all have a big whoop-de-do about what a toddlin’ town Ukiah was back a million years ago, when horny men could find some relaxation without having to drive to Nevada or worry about some fine looking girl who’s not getting on the bus on Santa Rosa Avenue, asking if he’d like to party and suddenly finding the girl is a cop and the whole setup is a massive shakedown by law enforcement that doesn’t apparently have anything better to do. Yes those certainly were the days, you miserable hypocrites. Yes, huge thanks to Mo, Elias, Shannon and the city of Ukiah for doing nothing at all, not a god damned thing, to ease the lives of today’s sex workers.
Community Center of Mendocino's Trunk Sale!!
Join us at the Community of Mendocino's next TRUNK SALE on September 18th from 9-2pm in the Community of Mendocino's parking lot at 998 School Street.
We are looking for vendors (Trunkers) so if you have knick knacks, jewelry, books or gently used clothing or anything you have created that you want to pass on. If you don't have anything you would like to sell come and join us for a couple of hours of fun in the parking lot!! Last month we had live music, dancing, and yummy food!
Come Sell! If not...come browse!
Contact Peg at 707-937-4133 to reserve your space!
When I moved here in the late '60s, riparian complaints were directed at the sheep and cattle ranchers for allowing their animals direct access to creeks and streams and rivers. Then it became the logging industry that was responsible for the degradation of our waterways. (As an active participant in the Greenwood watershed group, the only difference between private and industrial logging is scale, some private landowners cause more damage than industry.) After the timber industry, agriculture was blamed, usually grapes, for their indiscriminate water use. Now, it is the marijuana growers destructive water habits that are responsible for our water woes.
Obviously, all are to blame. Although the ranchers and timber companies have taken (often forced) steps to protect the watersheds, the wine and marijuana industries have not. This is not to say that there are not ecologically aware wine growers/makers and pot farmers that protect and "steward" the resource, but once money is introduced into the equation, the individual focus, the greed, the lack of concern for the commons or the environment seems to be the "dominant paradigm". The solution, outside of meaningful enforcement, i.e. the penalty being greater than the potential gain, is beyond me. I find it difficult enough to control my own greed, my own selfishness, to say what is best for others.
I do know/believe that there appears to be 70 million+ citizens of these most excellent, in so many ways, United States of America that have little, if any, concern for many of the other occupants of this planet, or their fellow countrymen (and women). Many would allow others to suffer deprivation, even starvation, rather than give up any of their luxuries. If you think that I am referring to many Trump supporters, I am sorry, but that is true. I also believe that, as President, Trump did good things that needed doing, but his selfishness, greed and psychological needs outweighed them all.
When the wine industry draws water, illegally, from streams/rivers, jail the owners and fine them 2 or 3 years gross sales revenue or maybe condemn their property/destroy their vines. When there is a marijuana bust COUPLED TO ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION, confiscate the property (if a participating private land owner), jail the bosses and make the penalties for the trimmers and other workers so harsh that they will refuse to go to work for $40/hour or $1000/pound.
Please understand I drink wine, I smoke pot, but I am sick of all this holier-than-thou, "woke" (not) finger pointing/blaming, It's not me, notmenotmenotmenotme.
HOW ANDERSON VALLEY’S ROEDERER ESTATE IS DEALING WITH THE DROUGHT
by Peg Melnik
With the town of Mendocino trucking in water, we’re seeing the drought at its most dramatic. And it begs the question: Is the grape-growing region of Anderson Valley, just 20 miles southeast as the crow flies, suffering the same water woes?
Arnaud Weyrich, senior vice president and winemaker of Anderson Valley’s Roederer Estate, said while he doesn’t need to truck in water, he is experiencing a water shortage this year. Scrambling to protect his grapes has been “exhausting.”
Sitting on the winery’s patio, in front of a manzanita tree with a blue jay perched on a branch, the winemaker explained his water conundrum. The winery in Philo specializes in sparkling wine, producing bubbly with the traditional methode champenoise.
Weyrich said he deployed most of his water resources in reserve for frost protection, forgoing irrigation for most of his 620 acres of vineyards this growing season. What’s surprising is how much water is used for frost protection.
“Anderson Valley is prone to frost, and overhead sprinklers are the most effective way to protect the vineyards from it,” Weyrich said.
The water coats the vines and turns into ice, protecting the buds and new shoots.
“Between March and May, there were three bad frost events and we used the sprinklers because they work every time,” Weyrich said.
There were six or seven additional “scary frost events,” but Weyrich said the winery didn’t turn on the sprinklers. Instead it relied on mobile wind machines to blow the warmer air down into the vineyards to keep frost from forming.
Asked if he suffered from sleepless nights, Weyrich said “yes” with a wry smile. “I would be lying if I said I’m in full control,” he added.
The 30-year average for rainfall from July 1 through June 30 has been 42 inches. But these last couple of years the drought has taken a toll, Weyrich said. From July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, the area received 19 inches of rainfall and just 17 inches the next year, he said.
Weyrich said the winery used roughly 46 million gallons of water in 2020 for frost protection and irrigation compared to approximately 3 million gallons of water in 2021.
“One way to use less water is to find more tools,” the winemaker said. “The more dedicated you are to finding other tools, the more you’ll find them.”
In addition to his sprinkler system, which covers 455 acres of vines and his four mobile wind machines, Weyrich’s toolbox includes decreasing a type of bacteria that puts plants at increased risk for frost damage.
Weyrich offered his vines to participate in tests focusing on the bacteria with Glenn McGourty at UC Davis Ag extension in Ukiah. “I volunteered to be a guinea pig so I could learn more about it,” he said.
Weyrich also employs:
Dry Farming: Vineyards that are dry-farmed forgo irrigation. Instead, the root systems of these vines are learning how to dig deeper for water.
Composting: Composting vineyards helps transition an irrigated vineyard into a dry-farmed one. The compost retains water, forcing the root system to search for water.
Biochar: Biochar is a carbon-rich dust that can be created from burning fallen limbs and trees on winery properties. This dust, when added to composts, is like a sponge, retaining water. This makes the compost even more effective in transitioning an irrigated vineyard into a dry-farmed one.
In the past, when rain was plentiful, Weyrich didn’t have to be so quick on his feet. A weave of French drains in the sandy and clay soils beneath the vineyards diverted the excess water to the winery’s seven ponds. With permits from the state, the winery can also tap into the water of area creeks. But Weyrich said the winery took very little water this year because the creeks had so little run off and the winery never uses well water for agriculture.
With a finite supply of water, Roederer keeps a keen eye on this precious resource. There are seven weather stations sending communiques every 10 minutes and middle-of-the-night alerts when necessary. Tabs are kept on temperature, humidity, wind, rainfall and intensity of sunshine.
While the drought has made winemaking an increasingly suspenseful game of chess, Weyrich said he’s still upbeat.
“You have to have a plan B and a plan C,” he said. “Nothing is perfect, but you try to hedge your bets.”
Asked if he’s an optimist in combating the drought, Weyrich didn’t hesitate.
“If you’re in agriculture,” he said, “you better be an optimist and you won’t give in without a fight.”
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 6, 2021
MARIA BARRAGAN, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, child endangerment.
TRAVIS HUMPHREY, Redwood Valley. Harboring wanted felon, probation revocation.
PHILLIP RADJKE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CARLOS WHITE, Covelo. Battery with serious injury.
LABOR DAY: SEEING THE FOREST FOR THE TREES
by The Former Mayor And Present Council Person Of Richmond: Gayle Mc Laughlin
On this Labor Day 2021, we need to think long and hard about our unprecedented planetary climate crisis and how it affects working people. While many of us are organizing on important discrete issues and movements, it's important also to look at the big picture, and "see the forest for the trees." Working people have most too lose and most to gain by coming together in these times.
On August 9, 2021, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stated that a recent UN report is "a code red for humanity. The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable.”
Scientists are taking an urgent tone because serious action has not yet materialized.
The reality is that we are heading full-speed into a brick wall if we don’t act swiftly and boldly to prevent a climate catastrophe. Already, we see the consequences. There are hurricanes, tornadoes and massive flooding in the U.S and around the world, as we speak. In California, we are all too familiar with the unprecedented wildfires and of course ongoing droughts. People have lost their loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods. This at a time where we are still feeling the health and economic impacts of a global pandemic. And in many ways, the pandemic has deepened our understanding of a system that no longer serves us — a system that puts profit before human life. We must transfer this knowledge of an inept system that brought us COVID (which continues to haunt us) to the climate crisis which threatens our very survival on this planet.
How did this climate crisis happen? Who is most responsible?
I agree with Jeremy Corbyn (Britain’s Labour Party member of parliament) who stated: “The political and economic system we live in does not produce climate change by accident but by design, rewarding big polluters and resource extractors with superprofits.”
That is why I believe that this climate crisis is indeed a class issue. It is the richest among us who have created it, and it is poorest among us who are suffering the most and will continue to suffer deeply if we don’t stop those most responsible.
What are our choices?
While many talk about the need for stopping this run-away climate crisis, and various policy changes and models of organizing have been suggested and some actions taken, the fact of the matter is that we are not doing enough.
I think the future requires us all to play a role and that means class struggle. Class struggle in the climate crisis means forcing corporations to stop harming our planet.
The choice is up to us. Do we recoil in fear and hope that somehow things will work out? Do we think those profiting most from our society (big corporations, including the fossil fuel industry) will somehow make the right decisions and bring us out of the climate crisis before it’s too late? Or do we chart out a new path, one that is inclusive of all working class people fighting together for a livable planet and a future that puts life and dignity first?
The fact is that we live in a system that has allowed the top 1% of Americans to have about 16 times more wealth than the bottom 50% of us.
But this should not cause us to feel overwhelmed or recoil in fear. There is much we can do. We can make transformative change!
While we are faced with enormous challenges, it is essential that we operate not from fear but from courage. We must not run from the truth. And the truth is that the profit-system will not save us. We can be our own saviors if we act from a place courage, love and solidarity rather than fear. We can push oil companies to start de-commissioning their refining capacity and to make whole cities in which these oil profiteers have made their billions over the past century with exploitation of communities and the environment.
Richmond — a city with a history of working class struggle
In Richmond, we have struggled for decades for health, justice, sustainability, opportunities, peace, and prosperity. We have made some great strides in past years, including in 2021 thus far, but the gravity of the crises we face require much more from us all. These strides must continue and must be ramped up.
Soon we will have a consultant on board the City of Richmond that will be reaching out to the community to discuss a local Green-Blue New Deal and a Just Transition from a fossil fuel based economy.
Connecting the dots — how we move forward
While we need to draw on the experts and consultants in terms of how best to shift our policies, our economy and our lifestyles into a sustainable future, nothing will make a difference unless we organize. It is possible and we have no time to waste to bring together a mass base, a working class coalition. Climate change affects all the material conditions in which we, as working class people, live. It affects housing, energy, food, and transport. Traditional working class demands for a job guarantee, decent wages, good benefits, working conditions, and leisure time intersect fully with the struggle for a sustainable climate.
By focusing working-class power (which is the power of the vast majority of us) on winning the climate struggle, we can and will move forward.
The labor movement needs to connect with the climate movement and visa versa. Our lives and our future are indeed at stake.
On this Labor Day, as we celebrate our successes and we recommit to the ongoing struggle for workers’ rights, let’s hold our heads high as the champions who will ultimately win the battle for a sustainable planet for each and every one of us and our descendants to live healthy and productive lives.
In solidarity, Gayle McLaughlin Richmond City Councilmember, District 5 www.gayleforrichmond.org
WATER, WATER. WHAT TO DO
The drought has everyone concerned and rightly so. Rather than huddle in fear and doom scroll though the crisis, let’s view it as an opportunity. Install rainwater catchment tanks, and gray water systems. Remove the trash littering the bottoms of reservoirs and creeks. Consider wider use of living walls and roofs. Implement more water-wise practices to lower usage. Seek out leaky pipes and mains, which waste this precious liquid.
All ideas should be on the table, including desalinization.
There are lots of sharp minds out there. Let’s harness brain power and ingenuity to improve our water conservation. View the drought as an opportunity not as a crisis.
AL CAPONE'S FREE SOUP KITCHEN feeding unemployed Americans during the Great Depression, 1931.
THIS SATURDAY is the 20th anniversary of 9/11, one of the darkest days in American history. To mark the occasion, President Biden will travel to Ground Zero in New York where the Twin Towers were destroyed, then to Virginia where a plane was flown into the Pentagon, and to a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where United Flight 93 also crashed after an on-air battle between terrorists and hero passengers. This would be a somber enough experience for any American President given that nearly 3,000 people were killed on that infamous day back in 2001 which represented a terrible failure of US intelligence. But now it will also be a moment of bitter shame and humiliation too, thanks to Biden's appalling mishandling of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and abject surrender to the very people who helped commit the attacks by harboring the terrorists who carried them out. America's defeat to just 75,000 murderous medieval thugs is thus complete. And the full scale of that defeat is only slowly becoming depressingly clear.
— Piers Morgan
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Happy Labor Day to all who still have to labor and haven’t found a path to free money. You’re just not trying hard enough!
Speaking of destruction and work, I don’t know how many may have seen the segment on 60 Minutes where self-driving 18 wheelers were being aggressively tested and raising lots of cash investment. AI is used to drive them and they’re being touted as “very safe”. So there goes not only trucking jobs but an entire way of life destroyed all in the name of greater profit. Robots don’t go on strike, stop at coffee shops or need health insurance. Nor will they build any kind of trucking culture or solidarity. And the people (who would be all of us) who rely on goods and food to be delivered will be inadvertently supporting it, like it or not.
When the house of cards falls over or what the precipitating event will be, I don’t know. Kids were out of school for 18 months in a lot of places, health care is a racket on every level and the government has been shocked to discover if you pay people to sit at home then they’ll sit at home especially if rent is free, possibly forever.
DESPITE THE OVERPOWERING ILLUSION of intimacy created by television, citizens do not and cannot know very much about an American president. There is a chronic and overwhelming shortage of first-hand sources of information. An American president plays a symbolic role in our society and may not make a blithering fool of himself in public if anyone can prevent it. Thus almost nothing that the reporter or citizen sees is spontaneous. All public speech is rehearsed. Even gestures are rehearsed. PR techniques are used as a barricade against the prying eyes of the press and the citizens.
Even when a private interview with the president is granted, and a journalist is allowed to pass the public barricade, the reporter hits a private barricade. Questions must be submitted in advance, and only a fool would submit provocative questions. The situation produces self-censorship. The interview itself is monitored by an aid or press secretary, who will terminate a line of questioning curtly if a forbidden subject is broached. What is forbidden? Everything that might conceivably embarrass the president, which in Clinton’s case was almost everything.
— Edith Efron