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Mendocino County Today: August 20, 2013


SUPERVISOR JOHN PINCHES said Monday that he won't run again for Third District supervisor. “I never considered myself a politician, never mind a career politician. I've been in the job 12 years and that's enough,” the popular Laytonville rancher explained. He also intimated that poor health, “heart problems” as he described it, has persuaded him to retire, as have the difficulties of trying to manage his Eel River Canyon ranch from a temporary home in Willits while traveling to Ukiah almost every day to carry out his supervisor's responsibilities. Pinches said his one big fear is that the County will resume “spending money we don't have.”

WE'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT Pinches was the best kind of supervisor, in that he consistently questioned dubious expenditures and raised issues that otherwise would not get a public airing. When the County was on the brink of buying an expensive communications system for department heads, Pinches said, “Since most of them are in the same building why don't they just walk down the hall if they have something to say to the other guy.” He always brought a commonsense clarity to the foggy proceedings of local government. Conservative to libertarian on most issues, Pinches enjoyed a solid bipartisan support, much of it attributed to his generous personality. He was never mean-spirited, never refused to talk to people who disagreed with him or didn't support him. We hope Cowboy John will decide to run again.

AN EXAMPLE of why Pinches will be missed was last week's Supes meeting in Fort Bragg. He was the only supervisor to point out that a new trash transfer station on Highway 20 is not needed “for two trucks of garbage a day.” The transfer station is presently located at the inconvenient end of Road 409, East Caspar, meaning neighbors of the site, and all the people living along 409, would like to see an end to it rather than an upgrade of it. So, Pinches wondered, why not have Waste Management expand their existing Pudding Creek facility? Or simply make the two-trucks-a-day trash transfers at a wide spot in the road?

NOPE. PINCHES' obvious alternatives to a multi-million dollar new facility were ignored, although they're alternatives that would spare ratepayers the inevitable trash fee rate increases to recover (partially) the cost of a new transfer station.



COUNTY TRASH CZAR Mike Sweeney did a good job lobbying the supervisors and the Fort Bragg City Council to buy into a new transfer station for the Fort Bragg area, a scheme Sweeney attempted about ten years ago when he teamed up with then-supervisor Richard Shoemaker to place a transfer station in the Forks neighborhood of North State Street, Ukiah. One of its Sweeney-alleged selling points was proximity to the non-existent but, Sweeney claimed, imminent rail line on which Mendo's trash would be hauled outtahere. North Ukiah rose up and that was the end of that. Highway 20, Fort Bragg, doesn't seem to be aware yet that they're getting a garbage plant in their neighborhood, a transfer station Mendocino County does not need but all of Mendocino County will be on the hook for.


THE SMALL GROUP of Democratic Party insiders who decide which flabby liberal will represent the Northcoast at all levels of government, has picked an Arcata man to succeed state senator Noreen Evans. Evans has decided not to run for re-election after her relentlessly grasping tour of Sacramento.


ARCATA'S CHRIS LEHMAN is the man we're told will be our next Noreen Evans. He's been working as an aide in Sacramento for a while and is heralded by none other than Wes Chesbro as, well, Wes-like, a sure sign that Lehman is not for you and me, brothers and sisters. Patty Berg also thinks the boy is the cat's pj's, a second sign that he's to be avoided by any person who retains even the faintest hope for a working democracy.

CHESBRO SEZ: “I’m endorsing Chris Lehman because I know first-hand that he will be a powerful voice for the people of this community and an unwavering defender of our region’s magnificent natural resources and environmental beauty.” Just like Wes hasn't been.

THAT THESE TIME SERVERS and career officeholders can force feed us our candidates totally outside so much as a semblance of a democratic process is insulting enough, but for mediocrities like Chesbro and Berg to think of themselves as the public service standard is, is, is… one more sign that the End Times are upon us.


DAN HAMBURG formally announced Monday he is running for a second term as 5th District supervisor. We hope he is not re-installed unopposed. He's been a poor supervisor — the weakest, least responsible of the five presently sitting and, we would say, could only have been elected in the first place in the wacky 5th where Hamburg, an Adi Da cult guy himself, enjoys a cult-like following. Hamburg's manufactured controversy over the burial of his wife should, all by itself, unseat him. In that one, knowing full well the County could not legally issue a burial permit, Hamburg threatened to sue the county he allegedly represents simply because the County wouldn't roll over for him. As that one turned out Hamburg got his burial permit from a judge, an option he could have exercised months earlier.

HAMBURG BACKED without demur or apology former supervisor Kendall Smith in Smith's lengthy efforts to swindle the County out of thousands of dollars in falsified travel reimbursements. Smith only partially paid the money back when DA Eyster threatened to arrest her.


HAMBURG probably used the County Counsel's office and Mental Health administrators to get his troubled son out of the County Jail and into a private facility that costs County taxpayers $825 a day. I say “probably” because all I have is the end result as reported in two odd court proceedings by Bruce McEwen that make it clear there was an extra-legal intervention by County officials who wouldn't even consider such an intervention for anybody else.

WHEREVER you stand on the marijuana issue, Hamburg, a proponent and, from the dazed, inattentive persona he often presents at public meetings, a regular user, he was compelled to settle a claim by a Ukiah man that Hamburg had shorted him for his work on the pot garden on the Hamburg property south of Ukiah. Probably half of his constituents are opposed to marijuana, especially its easy availability among young people. The supervisor, however, in apparent tandem with his daughter, tried to open a pot dispensary in downtown Boonville.

HAMBURG claims the now meaningless mantle of “progressive,” but whether he happens to be registered Green — in Mendocino County the Greens are simply a front for Democrats and otherwise non-existent — or as a Democrat, you will find him at the big shot table with local Democratic officeholders.

AS A SUPERVISOR, Hamburg has accomplished exactly zero for the 5th District, even rudely chastizing Boonville critics who complained about road closures for a movie company filming a moronic epic featuring car chases. Hamburg claimed the film would bring lots of money to the County, which it didn't. The movie company even brought its own food, spending very little for County amenities, and the filming was given permission to begin before public hearings were held. What the car chase movie brought was a lot of inconvenience to the residents of Anderson Valley and the Mendocino Coast

AS MALCOLM MACDONALD pointed out in a recent edition of the AVA, Hamburg's political concerns are far, far from Mendocino County. He's a big think guy, a guy who really isn't interested in the everyday concerns of his constituents.

HAMBURG'S involvement with the sinister Adi Da cult alone should get him the boot. That group, especially when Adi Da was alive and Hamburg was an active member, was and remains a sort of Manson Family for trust funders led by a rapist and all-purpose psychopath. Hamburg says he learned big things from this nut.

HAMBURG voted to eliminate funding for Anderson Valley's popular deputy, Craig Walker, and maintains a childish hostility for local law enforcement, any law enforcement, which probably stems from the pot raid on his own property several years ago.

WHEN THE STATE pointed out there were irregularities in Hamburg's campaign finances — he hadn't reported some $9,000 in in-kind contributions — Hamburg blamed it on his treasurer.

HAMBURG promised that as supervisor he would ensure that the County purchased more from local vendors. Never happened.

HAMBURG approved an expensive study of County ambulance services that told us nothing we didn't already know.

HAMBURG still thinks the Sheriff mishandled the Bassler matter.


THE SMOKE drifting into Mendocino County, mostly on Sunday, heavily on Monday, is assumed to be coming from large-scale fires burning in Butte County and three fires well north of the Mendocino County line. 5,000 firefighters are battling a total of ten wildfires in California. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for coastal counties from Mendocino to Monterey due to the possibility that the combination of dry lightning and gusty winds could create dangerous fire conditions up and down the state. A fire weather watch begins Monday for the Northern California mountains and foothills. The National Weather Service’s Ryan Aylward, said Monday that “We have an upper low set up off the coast south of San Francisco, and that switched our winds around to out of the east. And there are multiple fires now in the Sierras, and then additionally there are fires nearby in our area up in northeast Humboldt County and southwest Siskiyou county… all that smoke is now drifting our way and it’s created some really hazy conditions out there.”


A FEDERAL JUDGE approved a request from California and federal officials on Monday to force-feed inmates if necessary as a statewide prison hunger strike entered its seventh week.

Officials say they fear for the welfare of nearly 70 inmates who have refused all prison-issued meals since the strike began July 8 over the holding of gang leaders and other violent inmates in solitary confinement that can last for decades.

They are among nearly 130 inmates in six prisons who were refusing meals. When the strike began it included nearly 30,000 of the 133,000 inmates in California prisons.

Prison policy is to let inmates starve to death if they have signed legally binding do-not-resuscitate requests.

But state corrections officials and a federal receiver who controls inmate medical care received blanket authority from U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco to feed inmates who may be in failing health.

The order includes those who recently signed requests that they not be revived.

Henderson oversees the ongoing lawsuit over inmates' medical care. The filing Monday came as prison officials and inmates' attorneys argued over whether strikers should be allowed to voluntarily begin a liquid diet.

“Patients have a right to refuse medical treatment. They also have a right to refuse food,” said Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the receiver's office.

However, “If an inmate gets to the point where he can't tell us what his wishes are, for instance if he's found unresponsive in his cell, and we don't have a DNR, we're going to get nourishment into him. That's what doctors do. They're going to follow their medical ethics,” Hayhoe said. “We'd take any and all measures to sustain their life.”

The process, which prison officials call “refeeding,” could include starting intravenous fluids or snaking feeding tubes through inmates' noses and into their stomachs.

Prison officials already can seek a court order forcing an individual inmate to take food, though they have not done so. Now they and the receiver's office are jointly asking for blanket permission to take that step without seeking orders on a case-by-case basis.

The federal and state officials were joined in the request by the Prison Law Office, a Berkeley-based nonprofit that represents inmates' welfare in ongoing lawsuits that led to a federal takeover of the prison health care system and a requirement that the state sharply reduce its inmate population to improve conditions.

They want Henderson to let the chief medical executive at each prison act if a hunger striker is at risk of “near-term death or great bodily injury” or is no longer deemed competent to give consent or make medical decisions.

Moreover, do-not-resuscitate directives would not be honored if the medical executive reasonably believes the inmate was coerced into signing the request or if an attorney representing the inmate revokes the request.

Do-not-resuscitate orders signed by a hunger striker at or near the beginning of the strike or during the hunger strike would automatically be deemed invalid. (Courtesy, the Associated Press)


COMMENT OF THE DAY: Most people have figured out what’s going on by now. Our charismatic hologram president has led us down the primrose path. All the promises of hope and change were pure malarkey, not a word of truth to any of it. Ten million workers still can’t find a job, 47 million people are on foodstamps, five million borrowers are in some stage of default on their mortgages, the share of productivity gains going to workers is smaller now than anytime on record, “four out of five US adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives” (Associated Press), and according to the Fed’s 80-page tri-annual Survey of Consumer Finances, the median net worth of middle class families in the US fell by 38.9% between 2007 and 2010 — while “the median value of a US home dropped by 42%.”

ObamaFace it, Obama has been a disaster. Discretionary federal spending is lower than it’s been in a half-century, while the budget deficits are falling faster than anytime since WWII. What does that mean? It means Obama is sucking the stimulus out of the economy to put more pressure on wages and to reduce working people to grinding third-world poverty. It’s a stealth version of starve the beast, and it’s working like a charm. The middle class is taking it in the stern-sheets while Obama’s moneybags buddies laugh all the way to the bank. (— Mike Whitney)



'Petro Princess’ oversaw creation of marine protected areas

by Dan Bacher

The California Coastal Commission, under intense pressure from legislators and environmental activists, pledged Thursday, August 15 at its meeting in Santa Cruz to investigate reports of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) for oil in ocean waters in the Santa Barbara Channel.

“Blindsided by revelations of fracking in waters off the coast of California, the state's Coastal Commission on Thursday vowed an investigation into the controversial practice, including what powers the agency has to regulate it, “ according to Jason Hoppin, Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter. (

"We do not yet understand the extent of fracking in federal or state waters, nor fully understand its risks,” said Coastal Commission Deputy Director Allison Dettmer, who will lead the investigation.

"Blindsided” by “relevations” of fracking? How can that be possible when the Coastal Commission, Fish and Game Commission and other state regulators failed to question the leadership role of a big oil lobbyist, nicknamed the “Petro Princess” by anti-fracking activists, in the corrupt Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create alleged “marine protected areas?”

State officials and representatives of corporate “environmental” NGOs shamelessly embraced Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), as a “marine guardian.”

Reheis-Boyd, who lobbies relentlessly for increased fracking in California, the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and the evisceration of environmental laws, served as the CHAIR of the MLPA Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called “marine protected areas” in Southern California. She also served on the MLPA task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

She oversaw the creation of questionable “marine protected areas” that fail to protect the ocean from fracking and oil drilling, pollution, military testing, wind and wave energy projects and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

I'm glad that the Commission is calling for an investigation of offshore fracking now - and I support that investigation.

However, I must ask where were they when grassroots environmentalists, recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, Tribal members and advocates of transparency in government were calling for an investigation of conflicts of interest, corruption and the violation of state, federal and international laws under the privately-funded MLPA Initiative?

"We take our obligation to protect the marine environment very seriously and we will be looking at this very carefully,” claimed Charles Lester, executive director of the Coastal Commission.

If the Commission wants to really show that they take their obligation “very seriously,” they should include in their fracking investigation a probe of Reheis-Boyd’s role in creating so-called “marine reserves” that fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution and all other human impacts on our coastal waters than sustainable fishing and gathering.

After that probe is conducted, they should call for a independent and thorough investigation of the conflicts of interest, corruption and violation of laws under the MLPA Initiative.

In 2009, then California Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter) had planned to conduct a Senate Oversight Hearing about conflicts of interest and “mission creep” in the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative process. (

He said that the funding of the MLPA Initiative by a private entity, the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, “really has to be looked at,” along with other potential conflicts of interest.

“We have to look at all of the relationships,” said Florez. “Nobody thought the MLPA would become a process where the coast is closed first and the science is done later. Politics, not policy, have led this issue.”

However, Florez' attempt to investigate the tainted process was apparently squashed by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, according to political insiders.

After the long-needed investigation was squashed, Tribal Leaders, environmentalists and fishermen continued to challenge the role of Reheis-Boyd and other corporate operatives in creating alleged “marine protected areas.”

At the peaceful takeover of an MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) meeting by North Coast Tribes and their allies in Fort Bragg on July 21, 2010, Yurok Tribal Elder Susan Burdick pointedly asked Reheis-Boyd and the task force, “What is your real purpose: to start drilling for oil off our coastline? Be honest with us!”

Burdick’s concerns over the push by the oil industry and others to industrialize the California coast were echoed by environmentalists including Judith Vidaver, then Chair of the Ocean Protection Coalition (OPC). (

“For over 25 years OPC, with our fisher and seaweed harvester allies, has protected our ocean from threats such as aquaculture projects, nuclear waste dumping, offshore oil development and recently, wave power plants,” Vidaver stated. “We are requesting that final Marine Protected Area (MPA) designations include language prohibiting these industrial-scale commercial activities.”

She also shocked the panel by asking that task force member Catherine Reheis-Boyd voluntarily step down from her position on the BRTF.

“Oil and water do not mix—as we are being reminded daily by the disaster spewing in the Gulf,” she stated. “Mrs. Reheis-Boyd’s position as President of the Western States Petroleum Association and her lobbying efforts to expand offshore oil drilling off the coast of California are a patent conflict of interest for which she should recuse herself from the BRTF proceedings which are ostensibly meant to protect the marine ecosystem.”

Unfortunately, the calls of Tribal members, grassroots environmentalists and fishermen to include strong protections from oil drilling, fracking, pollution and ocean industrialization in “marine protected areas” and their repeated challenges of the role of a big oil industry lobbyist in the process went unheeded.

Now the Coastal Commission and other state officials express “surprise” after they read an Associated Press report documenting that at least 12 fracking operations have been conducted in the Santa Barbara Channel in recent years.

At the same time, Governor Jerry Brown, a strong supporter of the oil industry, is fast-tracking the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The tunnels will be used to export massive quantities of water to corporate agribusiness interests and oil companies seeking to expand fracking operations in Kern County and coastal areas. The construction of the tunnels will hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon and steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species.

Reheis-Boyd apparently used her role as a state marine “protection” official to increase her network of influence in California politics to the point where the Western States Petroleum Association has become the most powerful corporate lobby in California. The association now has enormous influence over both state and federal regulators – and MLPA Initiative advocates helped facilitate her rise to power. (

Oil and gas companies spend more than $100 million a year to buy access to lawmakers in Washington and Sacramento, according to Stop Fooling California, an online and social media public education and awareness campaign that highlights oil companies’ efforts to mislead and confuse Californians. The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) alone has spent more than $16 million lobbying in Sacramento since 2009.

When the oil industry wields this much power - and an oil industry lobbyist oversaw the process that was supposed to “protect” the ocean - it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody that California's ocean waters are now being “fracked.” Both the state and federal regulators have completely failed in their duty to protect our ocean, bays, rivers and Delta.

For more information about the MLPA Initiative, go to:

What Is Fracking and Why Should It Be Banned? (from Food and Water Watch website:

"Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It’s a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid – typically water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer – are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well. This releases extra oil and gas from the rock, so it can flow into the well.

But the process of fracking introduces additional industrial activity into communities beyond the well. Clearing land to build new access roads and new well sites, drilling and encasing the well, fracking the well and generating the waste, trucking in heavy equipment and materials and trucking out the vast amounts of toxic waste — all of these steps contribute to air and water pollution risks and devaluation of land that is turning our communities into sacrifice zones. Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. That’s why over 250 communities in the U.S. have passed resolutions to stop fracking, and why Vermont, France and Bulgaria have stopped it."


WILL SIEGEL & FRIENDS Play Parducci's Acoustic Cafe this Saturday This Saturday, August 24th Parducci Winery's Acoustic Café series is presenting the longtime local Roots & Roll band Will Siegel & Friends. This concert will feature some of the best musicians the area has to offer. Siegel's roots and roll presentation will weave a tapestry of early dance music from Latin America followed by non-stop dance grooves from the bands rhythm and blues repertoire. The festivities start around 7:00 with gates opening at 6:00. General Admission is $14 and tickets are available at Parducci Wine Cellars tasting room, calling 463-5357 or go online at Food will be available throughout the summer from The Potter Valley Café and North State Street Café with part of the drink proceeds benefiting the Alex Rorabaugh Center (The ARC). Seating fills quickly so be sure to show up early enough to get a seat at 6.



Saturday, Oct 5 11:00a to 4:00p, Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg


Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA) invites abalone divers and cooks to form competition cook teams and register for the chance to win the World Championship Abalone Cook title and trophy, or a Grand Prize of a week at a private villa in the Yucatan, or one of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes of various dive gear. For more information on being a competing cook, or for abalone tasting-judge tickets, please contact MAPA at,, or 707.937.4700.



By Dennis Loo

Because of Bradley Manning, we have Edward Snowden, who was inspired to come forward by Manning’s example;

Because of Bradley Manning, we know that most of the prisoners held at Guantanamo are innocent or low-level operatives and we have the identities and pictures of the prisoners held at Guantanamo who are now hunger striking (;

Because of Bradley Manning, we have the “Collateral Murder“ video which allowed Reuters to finally find out how their reporters were killed, in the face of years of Pentagon lies and stonewalling, and allowed the world to see the attitudes and actions of the U.S. soldiers who commit war crimes and laugh about it, and by implication, the brass and public officials who expect and encourage this barbaric behavior;

Because of Bradley Manning, “U.S. defense contractors were brought under much tighter supervision after leaked diplomatic cables revealed that they had been complicit in child trafficking activities. DynCorp — a powerful defense contracting firm that claims almost $2 billion per year in revenue from U.S. tax dollars — threw a party for Afghan security recruits featuring boys purchased from child traffickers for entertainment. DynCorp had already faced human trafficking charges before this incident took place” (;

Because of Bradley Manning, we have the Tunisian Revolution which in turn inspired Arab Spring which in turn inspired Occupy Wall Street which in turn showed the reservoir of mass support for radical/revolutionary changes here in the U.S.;

Because of Bradley Manning, we know that Egyptian torturers received training from the U.S.: “According to a leaked diplomatic cable from Cairo, the head of Egypt’s notorious State Security Investigative Service (SSIS) thanked FBI Deputy Director John Pistole for the ‘excellent and strong’ cooperation between the two agencies. In particular, the FBI’s training sessions in Quantico, Virginia were of ‘great benefit’ to his interrogators. Another cable documented what the US embassy considered ‘credible’ allegations of human rights violations by the SSIS, including torturing prisoners with ‘electric shocks and sleep deprivation to reduce them to a “zombie state.”’ (;

Because of Bradley Manning, we know that the State Department under Hillary Clinton secretly sought to strong-arm the UN: “According to the ‘National Humint Collection Directive,’ a secret document that was signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and published by WikiLeaks, US diplomats were authorized to collect ‘biometric’ and other sensitive information from top UN officials as well as UN representatives from other nations. The leaked documents show that ‘biometric data’ specifically included samples of the officials’ DNA, among other forms of personally identifying information. They also ordered diplomats to collect credit card information and secure passwords. These activities contravene the 1946 UN Convention.” (;

Because of Bradley Manning, we know that the Japanese and U.S. governments were warned about the dangers of a nuclear disaster at Fukushima three years before the 2011 catastrophe but ignored the warnings. Fukushima has now been ranked as bad as Chernobyl and TEPCO officials recently admitted that the damaged plant has been leaking radioactivity into the Pacific Ocean ever since (;

Because of Bradley Manning, we know that in December 2009 President Obama authorized a secret drone campaign in Yemen. “A year later, WikiLeaks revealed that Yemen’s President Saleh had agreed that his regime would ‘continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.’” (;

Because of Bradley Manning, we know that hundreds of civilians in Iraq were executed at checkpoints (Iraq War Logs);

Because of Bradley Manning, we know that Obama’s administration handed over thousands of detainees to the Iraqi authorities with the knowledge that they would be tortured (Iraq War Logs);

Because of Bradley Manning, we know that 15,000 civilian deaths that were previously unknown were uncovered in the leaked files, in contrast to the denials of the U.S. government that they had figures on civilian deaths (Iraq War Logs);

Because of Bradley Manning, we know that detainees were humiliated, tortured, and killed by US Special Forces, the CIA, and military contractors (Iraq War Logs);

Because of Bradley Manning, the public is informed of things the government would never have let us know about, and would have continued to categorically deny with straight faces; and

Because of Bradley Manning’s conscience, bravery, and sacrifice on behalf of the interests and future of humanity, the world is a different place, a world in turmoil but with a chance now to turn things aright.

(Dennis Loo is a member of the Steering Committee of World Can't Wait. His website is


  1. Alisha taylor August 20, 2013

    All i have to say is most of the people who are complaining about Obama voted for him……. O and thank u Bradley Manning.

  2. John Sakowicz August 20, 2013

    Nice blog today. I’ll also miss Johnny Pinches.

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