HEADLINE in Friday's Press Democrat read “In need of rain, lots of it.” The “story” was accompanied by a photo of a drained, mudflat called Lake Mendocino. The story should be called, “In Need of a Sensible and Fair Water Policy for the Northcoast” but the only elected person talking water and sensible in the same context is John Pinches of Mendocino County. Pinches points out that while Lake Mendo is empty, nearby Lake Sonoma is nearly full and most of Lake Sonoma’s water fell to the earth in Mendocino County. All answers flow (sic) from this fact of Northcoast life.
THE DEAD DUMPSTER DIVER found at the Solid Waste Systems transfer station at South Ukiah has been identified as David Escobedo, 47, of Ukiah. A worker found Escobedo's body on Halloween morning at the company's Ukiah yard. He is believed to fallen 40 feet from the top of a garbage heap on a loading platform where he was apparently going through the piled refuse in the dark on the morning of October 31, according to the Sheriff’s Office. A driver backing up one of the company's garbage trucks to load garbage for hauling later found Escobedo's body. His car was parked nearby.
HALLOWEEN IN UKIAH
“Oh come on honey; let's go. In all of these years we've never gone.” My wife relented and off we went to Ukiah's Pumpkinfest for the very first time. We were lucky and found a parking spot on State Street across from Alex Thomas Park. Our excitement waned as we exited our car and were overwhelmed with the odor of burning marijuana. Then we were struck with the horrendous sound of numerous cars crashing and someone screaming in pain. But we soon realized it was really a live band with someone attempting to sing.
We chose to flee north on School Street with hopes that the distance would free us from the THC in the air and the alleged band. It partially worked, but the continual sound of crashing cars stayed with us. As we old folks worked our way north, we encountered beer guzzling moms and dads holding the hands of their little ones attempting to enjoy the many booths.
As we came upon one corner there was a drunken man yelling at his better half as she tried to shrink from our sight and the sight of others. As he spit out his profanities, he swung his beer bottle in the air as if directing an orchestra. Some of his beer came out of his bottle and rained down my wife's neck.
We hurried eastbound, weaving through the throng of tattooed and pierced members of the crowd in hopes of escaping this event. As we got to State Street and headed south, it was like a breath of fresh air. The zoo seemed to know its confines and stayed on School Street. We knew we were close to our car because the burning weed and the crashing cars became ever more caustic to our senses. As we took refuge inside our car and I sped off northbound, my senses picked up one more assault — that was my wife's glare burning into the side of my head. It cost me an early supper at the Broiler, but she forgave me.
Robert Schuster, Redwood Valley
SUPERVISORS CONSIDER PACE; COMMUNITY INPUT NEEDED
On Tuesday, November 12 at 3pm, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will again consider the possibility of bringing the PACE-like clean energy finance program to Mendocino County. A full report and presentation is epected from the two-member Board of Supervisor's Ad Hoc Committee charged with researching PACE possibilities (Supervisors McCowen and Hamburg). The Board will take public comment of up to 3 minutes each person, before deciding whether to move forward towards estaablishing a PACE-like program. A key issue is whether residential property loans will be included in the local program, or just commercial loans, as some have proposed. Property Assessed Clean Energy (or PACE) financing has worked in other areas, including Sonoma County, to create new opportunities for financing that make it possible for property owners to undertake energy and water conservation improvements. The PACE program was made possible through State legislation allowing this type of financing. In Sonoma County, more than 2,000 PACE-funded projects have been completed, most of them for residential housing. According to the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program: PACE provides “an opportunity for property owners to finance energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy generation improvements through a voluntary assessment. These assessments will be attached to the property, not the owner, and will be paid back through the property tax system over time, making the program not only energy efficient but also affordable.” Mendocino Solar Service appreciates and supports the efforts of local alternative energy advocates to promote the PACE program. We recognize that it is important to tailor any PACE program to our local needs, and to help address any confusion or concern about how this type of financing works. We encourage local residents to share their support for programs like PACE with the Board of Supervisors in advance of — or at — their November 12 meeting. Contact information for your local supervisor is online at this link. Attending the meeting in person will provide the opportunity for public testimony directly to the Board. The item is scheduled for 3pm; it cannot be considered before 3pm, but could come up later depending on the Board agenda. (Mendocino Solar Press Release)
NORTH OF THE GOLDEN GATE
Dave Helvarg is the author of a number of books, the most recent The Golden Shore: California's Love Affair with the Sea, a fascinating account of Helvarg's travels from one end of California's coast to the other, with a focus on how crucial the health and welfare of California's coast is to not only Californians but the rest of the country and the world. Some readers will remember Helvarg from his work on KQED's documentary film by Steve Talbot called Who Bombed Judi Bari. There's a chapter in Golden Shore devoted to redwood country, which is where we began our conversation.
* * *
HELVARG: I was just up in Mendocino for a weekend. I was struck by how few log trucks I saw, and amazed at how fast the area has gone from logging to marijuana. It's a great irony of geography that there are 2.5 million people in five Northcoast counties — Sonoma, Marin, Mendo, Humboldt, Del Norte, but in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte less than a million, but all five of the lightly populated counties in one congressional district. North of Santa Rosa, it's always been a kind of frontier; the Gold Rush, timber, farming, fishing. Not until the 1920s was there a road up through Mendocino County to Humboldt County. And it's always been resource dependent, a rainforest with cold, wet and foggy wet weather much of the year. The transformations of the Northcoast have come fast; the transformations up and down the coast of California have been fast. Considering that California is the most populous state in the nation yet there are so few people on the North Coast. You can't really count the Bay Area as part of NorCal. Nobody cares what happens north of Golden Gate Bridge except the people who live there. The biggest coastal city from SF to Portland is Eureka with maybe 28,000 people. And Arcata. That whole area of Humboldt County is about 70,000 people if you push it. Pot became an industry that supplanted timber, so in a way north of Sonoma County is still a rural ag economy, as is Sonoma County if you count grapes.
AVA: Back to the landers began a major transformation of forgotten NorCal.
HELVARG: But just before the back to the landers came the second home developments. Developers had lots of Shelter Cove-like visions, and at Shelter Cove itself we have 4500 lots on slopes with mudslides every winter. The vision was something like Sea Ranch replicated 25 times up the coast. More than 20 ranches had been bought up, and as it was we got Irish Beach some inland second home developments.
AVA: They didn't consider distances did they? That's why coastal development sort of petered out at Sea Ranch, right?
HELVARG: Sea Ranch inspired the Coastal Act initiative. But the plan was much more grandiose. It was to widen Route 1 to four lanes, put lateral roads connecting to 101 every 20 miles all the way up the coast. And powering the whole thing would be a string of nukes with dams on all the rivers. The Marin supervisors were excited about the creation of Point Reyes as a national park the area would draw 150,000 people into the gateway communities where they would build shopping malls and sewage plants.
AVA: You point out how crazy it could have gotten. But the hustlers like the ones who built at Shelter Cove didn't really understand how far off the beaten path it was.
HELVARG: They understood that but they would sell it anyway, and they would just treat it like swampland in Florida. They had DC-3s flying in buyers from Los Angeles because they did not want the buyers to see the 12 hour road trek that getting to Shelter Cover requires from LA. In 1971, one of those planes crashed on takeoff and one of the potential buyers was killed along with the crew. That kind of put the squelch on coast development and also helped inspire the Coastal Commission. Now Shelter Cove is a beautiful, funky little backwater, so it didn't turn out all bad. As an aside here, nobody knows that just north of Crescent City at Lake Earl there's the largest coastal estuary south of Alaska. That was another place where developers planned to put in 5000 units right on top of the estuary. And they didn't include plans for sewer lines or anything in the way of basic infrastructure, but they were selling 5,000 units up there. To them, this kind of progress was God. The harbormaster at Crescent City, by the way, told me that when you get north of Cape Mendocino, it's not Northern California, it's Baja Oregon.
AVA: What do you think of the Coastal Commission's present functioning? It seems like the Coastal Act is being chipped away at in Mendocino County. People wind up building these ghastly ocean view homes out of all proportion to human need and their natural surroundings. How do they do it?
HELVARG: It's the constant pressure. Peter Douglas, who just died, got our Benchley award. (Helvarg is a principal organizer of the Blue Frontier Campaign, which presents an annual recognition of people struggling “to protect our ocean, our coasts and the communities that depend on them.”) He said the Coast is never saved, it's always being saved. He set up a system that is hard for any governor to kill off. Pete Wilson certainly tried. But it has been chipped away at, as you say, over the years. The Coastal Commission has one third fewer staff today than they had in 1980. They've gone from 240 to 180 people. They don't have full-time people in Mendocino or Humboldt out on the ground to make sure that people don't break the law. Peter Douglas said that although California desired the best coastal protection in the world, you set up a regulatory agency and it's captured by the people being regulated within seven years. But the Coastal Commission has done a lot better over the 30-plus years of its existence. How has it done it? Peter said it was transparency. The public comes to us and demands that we do these things and with fewer resources we are still constantly pushed by the public to do the right thing. And there were two parts to the Coastal initiative; one was to protect the coast from unsound development but the more important priority was public access.
AVA: Public access was a huge issue at Sea Ranch.
HELVARG: People wanted to retain access and Sea Ranch wanted to prevent public access. Peter's [Douglas] boss back then went up there with him right after Peter got out of law school and they looked at all these beautiful houses and beautiful ocean views. But you couldn't see the ocean unless you owned one of the houses. Still today the Coastal Commission does not have the resources they deserve and they don't have the reach that they need up into the watersheds and out offshore. But California as a whole is still the best model for ocean protection, for coastline protection. But we are not near where we need to be. But we are the best model out there. Without the Coastal Commission it would all be Sea Ranch north and nukes and everything else. PG&E, you will recall, planned to build an atomic park on Bodega Head. The next nuke power plant up the coast was going to be at Point Arena. And then one in Humboldt.
AVA: They did the one in Humboldt near Eureka.
HELVARG: They will be decommissioning that for the rest of our lifetimes. We had eight active reactors. Now we are down to two. So, as a society in California, we chose not to do any more oil and gas development, and not to go nuke. I did a piece recently in the LA Times castigating California for not being in the lead on offshore clean energy. Floating, wind, wave and tidal energy. Maine has just launched a wind turbine for deep water. They did it with a combination of university research and development and federal money, the kind of thing California used to be famous for.
AVA: Like Gavin Newsom wanted near the Golden Gate?
HELVARG: I think Newsom wanted some kind of tidal energy system. Maine's is actually more practical because it's wind energy. I think California is exploring that now. Part of it is the legacy of the famous Santa Barbara oil spill. People just don't want any offshore development. Part of it is that PG&E screwed up. Surprise, surprise. They took $6 million in state money to look at wave energy in Mendocino and Humboldt. Then they spent all the money without putting anything in the water. And when they ran out of our money they walked away saying that the technology was not assured yet. So the Department of Energy is hesitant to give any more money to California because they got burned by PG&E. In my last interview with Peter Douglas he said we will now be discussing Green energy, desalinization, climate adaptation. These are things that will be fought for the rest of this century not, hopefully, more crazy development schemes. But everybody wants an exception. Everybody wants to build a their own ocean view mansion such as the ones you mentioned along Mendocino County's shoreline.
AVA: The economy going permanently in the tank might stop a lot of the chipping away at the Coastal Act.
HELVARG: I was pretty impressed recently driving up to Fort Bragg and seeing how little it has changed. Didn't they abandon the timber mill about 20 years ago? There's still nothing there but a fence line.
AVA: The Koch Bros bought G-P. They're the owners now. Incidentally, we have an advertiser selling iodine tablets ahead of the Fukushima disaster.
HELVARG: All bullshit. Fukushima is still way below the levels of nuclear testing we had in the 60s and 70s. There are so many reasons not to eat tuna — mercury levels, it's an endangered species to name two. Radiation scares people, but it's acidification of the seas that should scare us, carbon, not uranium.
AVA: Many people commenting on technical issues flunked high school chemistry and physics. In Mendo, the tinfoil hat people stopped eating fish the day after Fukushima.
HELVARG: They can eat the native fish, the ones not out in the ocean. Sardines are coming back. Stripers, oysters. There's still a small sardine industry. Over the last few years there have been comebacks in herring and sardines in Monterey. I was just down there. There must have been 50 young male otters near Moss Landing. When you see a large number of otters hanging out — I have a chapter in the book called Return of the Beast. If you make right choices like banning gill nets and you shrink the bottom-trawling fleet and have federal acts like the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the state laws like the White Shark Protection Act, things start coming back. There is such a resilient ocean between the California current and the upwellings. So things can come back incredibly fast. We did a pretty effective job of wiping out the first otters, then the whales, and we went after the elephant seals for oil. And yet the otters are coming back, as are the California sea lions. There's a beach down near Hearst Castle where the first returned elephant seals holed up. It was 1992 we saw the first breeding pair. Last year 17,000 returned.
AVA: Your opinion of the commercial oyster inholding at Drakes Bay in Marin?
HELVARG: Purdue, the guy who bought it, knew that it was set to revert to a park, a wilderness designation in 2014. The guy had a contract, and he recognized — he tried to game the system and get it on his side. The plan was always to phase out that inholding and return Drakes Bay to designated wilderness. So to me it's not like growing oysters as part of the slow food movement. He tried to weasel out on an issue that shouldn't have been — so we will get Hog Island oysters instead of Drakes Bay oysters. The fact is that it is national park land and look who his friends were in the end? The Pacific Legal Foundation. When I was down in San Diego talking about my book, the first question was about the children's pool, which is where these harbor seals have hauled up in this little cove where children swim in La Jolla. That's been a ten-year battle. If the basis of your battle is kids versus harbor seals you're in pretty good shape. This original Drake's Bay plan was to sell off half of what was to become a Point Reyes National Seashore set aside for development for 50,000 housing units in there. The estuary plan included a hotel, a heliport, a marina, and a canal out to the ocean. In Bolinas! At the estuary there. Progress was stopped. What you have now is seals on the mud flats and egrets nesting in the trees and open space for everyone to enjoy.
AVA: You just have to marvel at the mentality that could envision 50,000 housing units at Bolinas as a good thing.
HELVARG: Californians have always had this sense of entitlement for the beach and the ocean. We all think it belongs to us. That's why there are so many different interests in recreation and surfing and the Navy ports and the fishermen. You don't have any single industry or special interest dominating the coast. The coastal ocean is in decline but not as bad as places like Louisiana where oil and gas rules, or in England where the politicians think they own the coast. There is no cod on Cape Cod anymore. Even Florida, which you might think would be more like us, the modern history really started with all the real estate scams in the 1920s literally selling swamp land that became the soul of the real estate industry. Whereas the blue interests set the tone here. We have these long drawn out fights like the last decade fighting over the marine protected areas, the MLPA fights. But in the end we have come to something like the Coastal Commission which is — the MLPAs are pretty much like putting our world-class state park system into the water column. That's my prediction. I just bought a T-shirt at the Fort Bragg recreational fishing store. The guy was snarling about the protected areas. But 10 years from now all these people who are angry are going to say, oh yes — I was part of that, I was involved in it. The Channel Islands have been protected for seven years and we have already seen this incredible comeback in the Channel Islands protected areas. I was just diving down in Mexico and there is a 25 square mile reserve started by the local fishermen. A family I know there, 30 years ago they were a fishing family, but they were running out of fish and they had to go up the Pacific Coast to catch lobster. A university professor came down from La Paz and showed them the deteriorated condition of the reef and made a map and got the fisherman and his family some snorkels to see the reef. Raul, one of the brothers, was the first one certified as a diver. And now the whole family makes more money on diving and kayaking and Coast tourism than they ever made from fishing. And since they have protected the area, they have seen in 10 years a 450% increase in the number and size of fish. This place is the most spectacular that's been recorded on the West Coast. We will see a doubling in 10 years, I predict. At least.
AVA: Indians are still gill netting on the Klamath and here in Mendocino County on the Garcia.
HELVARG: It has some effect. They have fish managers in the tribes but it's still… I think what everybody is hoping for is that there will be an agreement to take down the dams and that will open up a lot more area for the fish and fish habitat and grow the fish population back up on the Klamath. Salmon are a huge issue. If we do this new peripheral canal — it's already hard for the fish and the salmon in the Delta and we still have dams — it will be very bad for the fish. We are the most populous state in the nation, but the fact that I can go out this weekend and maybe catch a salmon, even a hatchery salmon, is pretty impressive. On the other hand, it's nowhere near what the Europeans have been able to maintain. Buy, read the book, the Age of Sail, where a Spanish explorer comes in to the Monterey Bay and starts complaining about the stench of all the whales. Even by the 1830s Richard Henry Dana is complaining on the first day about not finding any whales, but then on the third day they were bored with all the whales.
AVA: Big River at Mendocino looks to be in far better shape now that it's part of the state-protected system. It's tidal quite a ways up, five or six miles, easy up and back if you go with the flow.
HELVARG: I'll put Big River on my do list for the next time I'm up there. Nice thing about writing this book is there are so many things I haven't done that I want to go back to. Point Sur Lighthouse back in Monterey where you come out of Big Sur, for instance. The first time I saw it while working on the book it was like this play model town on top of this giant rock, this volcanic uprising. On weekends, people can climb up the rock and tour the lighthouse. This was where that dirigible went down in the 1930s in a storm. Later in the 1990s, David Packard sent one of his research vessels with a remote operating vehicle and they found the dirigible on the bottom of the ocean. It was like a floating aircraft carrier. It had a hook. It would drop biplanes. They would fly off the dirigible. They would fly back and hook up to the dirigible in the air. You have sunken treasure, Spanish galleons up and down the coast. We have an incredible maritime history.
AVA: You've got to see the middens on the Lost Coast. They're huge, and they're a huge lesson in historical perspective considering that it took the Indians thousands of years to amass them, and that history for us on this part of the coast only started about 400 years ago.
HELVARG: There's one not far my house in Richmond at Emeryville; it was about 60 feet high and 300 feet long, but in the 1900s it was covered with an amusement park. Then it was an industrial zone and then a Superfund site. We are not too respectful of local history. Last weekend my friend and I went in some tandem kayaks down to our swamp and there was a little midden there. We pulled a bunch of Styrofoam floats out of it. That's the only way you can get there, kayaks. We are still dumping plastic off our shores. And we still over-fish in many places. The ocean is becoming warmer and more acidic so there is less dissolved oxygen. There are great wildlife migrations as deepwater fish populations come to the surface at night. And they are vulnerable to night predators. Some of them are being pushed up closer to the surface where there is more oxygen. The Monterey Bay scientists and researchers say that there is an expanding low oxygen zone that stresses the fish. John McCosker is one of the shark scientists. His quote is that the return of the white shark is the sign of a healthy ecosystem, but it's a problem for “recreational water users.” (Laughs) It's kind of like a quote I used to attribute to Edward Abbey, we don't know for sure it's from him, but there is a great quote which says if there is not something bigger and meaner than you out there it's not really wilderness. I interviewed one of the guys who got chomped down at Marina Beach near San Simeon; his doctors say he is the luckiest unlucky guy. He got bit on the arm and a leg and the neck about 1/4 inch from his carotid artery. Four years earlier his buddy got bit on the same beach. It's hard to consider surfers as a species of marine mammal. I have a whole chapter on surfing. Jack London introduced it to California. I surfed for nine years back in my younger days. There wasn't much surfing on the East Coast when I grew up. Years later, I talked with the brothers who took some insulation out of the back of a refrigerator and made the first neoprene wetsuit. Northern California had to wait for the technology for wetsuits so that you could actually get in the water and start surfing and paddling. There was always a handful of surfers in Santa Cruz.
AVA: Now they surf out of Fort Bragg. And there's this great surf spot on Lost Coast. I thought I was hallucinating when, a few years ago, I was slogging down the beach at Lost Coast with friends, and here comes this kid from the Shelter Cove end with a surf board on his back! He was about 10 miles out from Shelter Cove. There's an intriguing house out there right on the beach, an in-holding, that is of course rumored to be dope-connected. There isn't much in Humboldt County that isn't rumored to be dope-connected anymore.
HELVARG: “Diesel pot growers.” In the 90s we were talking about the hipnecks. Long hair and the fondness for pot, but otherwise they had the consumer culture and all the “cool” attitudes and muscles that go with it. In Garberville there were all these beautiful young girls with dreadlocks. 25 years later it's a very different drug scene. In 25 years we'll be reading books about how Humboldt has become the Napa Valley of marijuana. But where there are hard drugs there are hard people. And bad feelings. Homeless people come up from the city thinking they can get jobs as garden tenders or trimmers. Not happening. In Humboldt County I saw a truck with a bumper sticker that said, 'Save Humboldt — keep pot illegal.' That's a comment on the current state of the economy. I don't know many people my age who even smoke dope. A doctor told me that one of the signs of aging is that you go from recreational drugs to medicinal drugs. So now I'm drinking and taking aspirin. Baby aspirin. My nephew's generation all smoke pot. I'm surprised. When I was around 20 and realized that we were not going to have a revolution in this country, at least we will get the 18-year-olds to vote and get marijuana legalized. And here we are 20 years later… In the last chapter of the book called Rising Tides, I write about how not all that long ago the Farallon Islands were part of San Francisco's land mass. Everything changes. And changes fast, even geologically. But everything seems to start in California. The barbecue model where postwar California started barbecuing in backyards? 20 years later every other American was barbecuing. In May we organized our sport and blue fishing summit and gave out awards. There were meetings with Senators, Congresspeople and long discussions of Marine protection legislation. The next day there was sort of an evaluation meeting. I liked it all, but I said what we were doing here is practicing on how to build a constituency for that glorious day when we have a functioning government to actually get something done. ¥¥
WE SHOULD VALUE OLD THINGS because they are old — their oldness and their fragility is part of what they have to say. They hold the record of the time in which they were printed, and the record of the years that have passed between that time and now.
— Nicholson Baker, The Way the World Works
A STATE CAPITOL AWASH IN OIL MONEY
Big Oil treated legislators to $13,000 dinner before fracking bill vote
By Dan Bacher
The oil industry, the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento, dumped millions of dollars into its successful lobbying efforts to eviscerate an already weak fracking bill, Senator Fran Pavley’s Senate Bill 4, at the end of the Legislative Session.
Chevron, the Western States Petroleum Association and Area Energy LLC spent the most money lobbying legislators in the third quarter of 2013, according to California Secretary of State documents.
Chevron spent $1,696,477, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) spent $1,269,478 and Aera Energy LLC spent $1,015,534. That’s a total of $3,981,489 just between July 1 and September 30, 2013. In the first three quarters of 2013, WSPA alone spent a total of $3,578,266 on lobbying legislators. (http://cal-access.sos.ca.gov/Lobbying/Employers/Detail.aspx?id=1147195&session=2013&view=activity)
In a classic example of the “pay to play” and “wine and dine” corruption that infests California politics, nearly $13,000 of the Western States Petroleum Association's third quarter spending went toward hosting a dinner for 12 lawmakers and two staff members in September.
According to Lauren Rosenhall of the Sacramento Bee, the dinner took place at “one of Sacramento's poshest venues: The Kitchen, known for its interactive dining experience where guests sit in the kitchen as cooks share details of the five-course meal. Moderate Democrats seemed to be the target audience for the treat: Assembly members Adam Gray, Henry Perea and Cheryl Brown attended, as did Sens. Norma Torres, Ron Calderon and Lou Correa.” (http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/11/oil-industry-treated-legislators-to-13k-dinner-as-fracking-bill-loomed.html)
The dinner was held on September 4, as Senate Bill 4 was awaiting a vote on the Assembly floor. The oil industry the next day added amendments that further weakened the already weak legislation opposed by a broad coalition of over 100 conservation, environmental justice and consumer groups, including Food and Water Watch, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Credo Campaign and California Water Impact Network (C-WIN).
These amendments including the following:
• Language added to the bill specifies that “no additional review or mitigation shall be required” if the supervisor of the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources “determines” that the proposed fracking activities have met the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. (http://www.sandiegolovesgreen.com/activists-urge-senator-pavley-to-withdraw- dangerous-fracking-bill/)
“This provision could be used by DOGGR to bypass CEQA’s bedrock environmental review and mitigation requirements,” according to a statement from the anti-fracking groups. “This language could also prevent air and water boards, local land use jurisdictions and other agencies from carrying out their own CEQA reviews of fracking.”
• In addition, under existing law, the governor and DOGGR can deny approvals for wells that involve fracking or place a partial or complete moratorium on fracking. The new language states that DOGGR “shall allow” fracking to take place until regulations are finalized in 2015, provided that certain conditions are met.
“This could be interpreted to require every fracked well to be approved between now and 2015, with environmental review conducted only after the fact, and could be used to block the Governor or DOGGR from issuing a moratorium on fracking prior to 2015,” the groups stated.
At the last minute, the League of Conservation Voters, NRDC and two other Senate Bill 4 backers withdrew their support for the legislation. However, the bill, having been given “green cover” by these NGOs, passed through the Legislature a week after the dinner.
Governor Jerry Brown, a strong supporter of the expansion of fracking in California, then signed the legislation on September 20.
“For Perea, Correa, Calderon and Torres, the September dinner was not the first time they'd been treated to The Kitchen by the oil industry. They were among 11 legislators who attended a Western States Petroleum Association dinner there last year, valued at nearly $11,000,” Rosenthall noted.
Oil lobby has spent over $45.4 million since 2009
Prior to the latest Secretary of State filing, a report released by the American Lung Association revealed that the oil industry lobby, the biggest corporate lobby in California, has spent $45.4 million in the state since 2009. The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) alone has spent over $20 million since 2009. (http://blog.center4tobaccopolicy.org/oil-lobbying-in-california)
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.
In addition, Robert Gammon, East Bay Express reporter, revealed that before Governor Jerry Brown signed Senator Fran Pavley's Senate Bill 4, Brown accepted at least $2.49 million in financial donations over the past several years from oil and natural gas interests, according to public records on file with the Secretary of State's Office and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/fracking-jerry-brown/Content?oid=3726533)
The oil industry not only exerts influence by direct contributions to political campaigns, but by getting its lobbyists and representatives on key panels like the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force. (http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2013/10/oil-lobby-has-spent-over-45-million-in.html, http://topics.sacbee.com/Marine+Protected+Areas/)
In one of biggest environmental scandals of the past decade, Reheis-Boyd served as chair of the MLPA Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create alleged “marine protected areas” in Southern California. She also served on the North Coast, North Central Coast and Central Coast task forces from 2004 to 2011, from the beginning of the process to the end of the process. (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa/brtf_bios_sc.asp)
The MLPA Initiative process overseen by Reheis-Boyd and other ocean industrialists created fake “marine protected areas” that fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, wind and wave energy projects and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.
State officials and representatives of corporate “environmental” NGOs embraced and greenwashed the “leadership” of Reheis-Boyd and other corporate operatives who served on the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces to create “marine protected areas” that fail to actually protect the ocean. By backing her leadership as a “marine guardian,” they helped to increase the already powerful influence of the Western States Petroleum Association and the oil industry.
The California Coastal Commission and other state officials acted “surprised” when FOIA documents and an Associated Press investigation revealed that Southern California coastal waters have been fracked repeatedly, over 200 times according to the latest data. Yet independent investigative reporters like David Gurney and myself warned, again and again, that this would happen when an oil industry lobbyist was in charge of marine “protection.”
There's no doubt that the Western States Petroleum Association, Chevron and other oil companies use every avenue they can to dominate environmental policy in California, including lobbying legislators, contributing heavily to election campaigns, serving on state regulatory panels, and wining and dining politicians. Until we get the big corporate money out of politics, California will continue to be awash in a sea of oil money.
For more information about the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, go to: http://intercontinentalcry.org/the-five-inconvenient-truths-about-the-mlpa-initiative/
For an depth look at the state of fracking in California, read Glen Martin's article, “All Fracked Up,” in California Lawyer Magazine: http://www.callawyer.com/clstory.cfm?eid=931856&wteid=931856_All_Fracked_Up
SALMON FILM FESTIVAL IN FORT BRAGG THIS VETERAN’S DAY WEEKEND
Saturday evening’s keynote speaker, Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemen Wintu, a strong environmental advocate, will describe her tribe’s efforts to restore Chinook salmon to ancestral lands and waters The third annual Salmon Film Festival, sponsored by the Salmon Restoration Association, takes place Friday, November 8th, through Sunday, Nov. 10th in Portuguese Hall, 822 Stewart Street. The Salmon Film Festival features underwater footage, animation, and documentaries on salmon restoration, culture, and ecology. Over thirty short and feature-length films show community-based restoration projects and dam removals, Native American connections to salmon, the dangers of farmed salmon, and beautiful footage of salmon ecosystems throughout the Pacific Northwest. New to the festival this year is a special cartoon hour on Saturday and Sunday from 10-11am. Short films including vintage Disney, salmon life cycles set to music, and animations depicting ocean acidification and fish farming will delight and educate both younger and older viewers. Filmmakers, educators, scientists, practitioners, and local experts will accompany the films and lead the audience in question and answer sessions. The Water Underground, a salmon advocacy theatrical troupe, will perform on Sunday at 3:00 pm. Ocean Harvest Sea Vegetables, Harvest Market, and Thanksgiving Coffee will feature salmon-themed goodies, and Gallery Bookshop of Mendocino will sell salmon-focused books. The festival keynote speaker, Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemen Wintu, and a strong environmental advocate, will describe her tribe’s efforts to restore Chinook salmon to ancestral lands and waters on Saturday at 5:00pm. The Winnemem Wintu are a traditional salmon tribe from Mt. Shasta who practice their culture and religion within their ancestral territory of the McCloud River watershed. The tribe lost most of their tribal lands, their McCloud River salmon and many of their sacred sites when the Shasta Dam was built in 1943 and flooded 26 miles of the McCloud. Today, the tribe is still fighting a Bureau of Reclamation proposal to raise Shasta Dam by 18.5 feet, which would submerge more sacred sites and severely damage the surrounding ecology. Chief Sisk will introduce the documentary Dancing Salmon Home, winner of Best Documentary award from the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. The film depicts efforts by the Winnemen Wintu to restore native Chinook, who were transported around the world as hatchery eggs and survived and thrived in New Zealand waters. Filmmaker Will Doolittle will accompany the Chief during her presentation. The festival provides educational outreach to Mendocino coastal and inland communities by demonstrating the connections between reviving native salmon populations and revitalizing ecosystems, food webs, and local and traditional communities whose cultures and economies are closely tied to salmon. The festival website, http://salmonfilmfestival.org/, (with streaming video links to most of the films) attracts thousands of viewers annually, allowing the festival to serve a continuous, year-round educational purpose. The 2013 Salmon Film Festival is sponsored by the Salmon Restoration Association to support local salmon education and restoration programs. The Association’s fundraiser, barbeque, billed as the World’s Largest Salmon Barbeque, feeds thousands of salmon fans on July 4th weekend who flock to south Noyo Harbor. Festival seating will be limited, so attendees are encouraged to reserve a spot early! A small donation is requested. Advance reservations are available on Brown Paper Tickets and tickets and passes can also be purchased at the door. Restore the Delta is a 15,000-member grassroots organization committed to making the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable to benefit all of California. Restore the Delta works to improve water quality so that fisheries and farming can thrive together again in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
A FAVOR FOR LOCAL REPUBS
Would you please print the Meeting Notice below in the your newspaper published during the week of November 11, 2013. Many thanks, — Stan Anderson Chair, Mendocino County Republican Central Committee
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REPUBLICANS TO MEET IN WILLITS. The Mendocino County Republican Central Committee will meet Saturday, November 16, 2013, 10am-noon at Lumberjacks Restaurant, 1700 S. Main Street, Willits, CA 95490. For further information contact: Stan Anderson, 707-321-2592.
GODDAM RIGHT, STAN! We're delighted to announce this event. Well, it's not quite an event, is it? It's more like a small group of crackpots sitting around misunderstanding everything. But look at the other side around here — a bunch of jive up-from-hippie so-called liberals! Hell, they're less reality-based than, Stan. Ever think about joining forces? Why not? You've got more in common than you know. The only real diff is they smoke the bazooka, you don't. And they don't eat French fries. They'll do Velveeta if you'll do mogambo.
YOU DON'T SAY, LADIES
Mendocino County Health & Human Services Agency
Healthy People, Healthy Communities; Stacey Cryer, Director
Contact: Dora Briley /Kristina Grogan
Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency Communication Coordinators
Phone: (707) 463-7885 / (707) 467-5816
Mental Health Services in Mendocino County
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved the award of two contracts for mental health services on May 21, 2013 following an extensive Request For Proposal (RFP) process. Children’s mental health services were contracted to Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC) and adult mental health services were contracted to the Ortner Management Group (OMG). Both contracts were effective July 1, 2013 and the transition of services began.
In July of this year as the transition of services moved forward, the mental health services crisis line began being answered by the contractors effective July 15, 2013. The number remains the same as it always has been, the number has not changed. The roll over of the line from the County to the contractors went smoothly and was seamless to the public. All calls are tracked and follow up is managed daily.
Mental health services have not been reduced. Crisis, care management, medication support and Wellness Center services continue to be provided. During the transition services have actually been enhanced. For example, for the first time in many years we have 24/7, 365 days access to psychiatrists. Our goal is to have better services tomorrow than we have today and we are on our way to accomplishing that goal.
A Suicide Prevention Project has also been implemented recently. It is a collaboration with the North Bay Suicide Prevention Project. This project is yet another example of enhanced services to our communities and it has been a subject of press releases this past year.
It is both unfortunate and frustrating that reports continue to circulate in the local media of allegations of poor mental health services, particularly on the coast, with some critics claiming that mental health services have been eliminated. The following list of mental health services currently provided in coastal Mendocino County has been compiled in an effort to set the record straight. Services are provided by the County, RQMC, OMG and various sub-contractors, some of whom have been providing similar services for years.
It is especially unfortunate that some individuals choose to discuss knowledge of very particular cases, something that providers can not respond to out of courtesy to the families involved and due to strict confidentiality laws and HIPAA requirements. No story is one-dimensional. Often there are many, many facets to consider. Certainly they are not to be played out in the pages of any local media outlet. To do so is to risk victimizing the patient, their family and friends. It also undermines the efforts of many very dedicated public servants and private providers. Reports are often not accurate, not fully told and serve to do more harm than good.
We invite anyone interested in becoming involved to attend the monthly Mental Health Board meetings. They occur the third Wednesday of each month at various locations. When in Ukiah, the time is 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. When on the road, the time is 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Mental Health Board is an advisory body to the Board of Supervisors and the Mental Health Services Director on matters concerning mental health in Mendocino County. The Mental Health Board is mandated by State law and consists of fifteen board member positions and one County Supervisor. The public is invited to attend and there are currently openings on the board. For more information please visit http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/hhsa/mh_board.htm
Mental health services currently provided in coastal Mendocino County include the following:
Hospitality Wellness Center 747 S. Franklin St. Fort Bragg, Ca. 707-962-3039 Services: Care Management Crisis Services — 1-800-555-5906 Assessment and Referral Wellness Drop-in Center Mental Health Social Rehabilitation Wellness Center/Co-Located Access Center
County Mental Health Clinic 790 S. Franklin St. Fort Bragg, Ca. 707-964-4747 Services: Medication Support Services 24/7, 365 days availability of psychiatrist consultation
Hospitality Center 237 N. McPherson Fort Bragg, Ca. 707-961-0172 (Hospitality Center is the resource center for adults suffering from a chronic and persistent mental health challenge and homelessness) Services: Temporary Respite Housing Homeless Outreach Services Senior Peer Counseling 490 Harold St. Fort Bragg, Ca. 707-964-0443 (The Senior Peer Counseling Program utilizes the skills and life experiences of older adults to provide emotional support to their peers in need. The program provides seniors (60 and older) with the opportunity to talk to someone their age that has experienced similar life changes and can understand their concerns.) Services: Senior Counseling Home Assessments Case Management Referrals to community providers
Redwood Children’s Services Behavioral Health Services 32670 Highway 20 Fort Bragg, Ca. 707-961-0308 (Services provided in Fort Bragg, Point Arena and local coastal schools) Services: Assessment — specialty mental health services, CANS, Bio-Psychosocial, motivational interviewing Plan Development — specialty mental health services, treatment planning Collateral — specialty mental health services Rehabilitation — specialty mental health services Therapy — family, group and individual; dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy Case Management — targeted case management Crisis Intervention — Signs of Safety
Services Provided in Consumer’s Home and School (Manchester, Mendocino, Gualala, Pt. Arena, Albion) Services: Therapeutic Behavioral Services — specialty mental health services
(Fort Bragg) Services: Parent Child Interaction Therapy — evidence based practice Access — children and youth access center — walk-in, urgent care, crisis after care
(Access Center and in Community as needed)
Services: Prevention — early intervention support services
Anderson Valley School District 12300 Anderson Valley Way Boonville, Ca. (Boonville through Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)) Services: Prevention Collaboration Project — prevention and early intervention services to students at Anderson Valley schools Young Mom’s Group — group for young mothers (under age 18) to learn parenting skills, hear from guest speakers, presentations, etc.
Action Network 39144 Ocean Dr. Suite 3 & 4 Gualala, Ca. And 200 Main St. Point Arena, Ca. (Gualala and Point Arena through MHSA) Services: Parent Education and Support — classes, groups and individual counseling sessions; information, assistance and home visits Triple P: Positive Parenting Program — Weekly program offered to enhance the knowledge, skills and confidence of parents Family Support — intervention network of integrated services and resources Case Management — referral assistance, application assistance, transportation, linkage Family Resource Center — drop-in centers providing available resources and assistance for families Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention — treatment and avoidance of reoccurring child abuse and neglect Psycho-social Education
Mendocino County Youth Project Point Arena School District (Point Arena) Services: Destigmatism — awareness, outreach, education School-based Screening and Prevention Services — screening, assessment and identification Family Support Services — parenting programs, ASQ education Peer Counseling — co-facilitate groups
(Fort Bragg, Mendocino and Point Arena) Services: Mental Health Education, Destigmatization and Peer Support Program — provide prevention and early intervention to students Breaking the Silence — interactive education curriculum module
LISTEN UP, POST MODERN AMERICA!
The Caffrey for Congress headquarters office at 446 Maple Ln. in Garberville, CA hosts a video night on Thursdays, (potluck at 6PM and videos at 7PM). Last night was featured the critically important documentary “Chasing Ice,” about Jim Balog's team and their photographing the receding glaciers, inarguable proof of global warming. Very dramatic footage is produced by running the timed photographs in a sequential manner, which shows the glacial ice retreat, plus much much more. This is a must see documentary. Meanwhile, I continue to send out messages to no avail to the New York City-Washington D.C. powerstrip to say that I am available after November 12th. Postmodern America is not responding, despite my obvious value on the frontlines of radical environmentalism and peace & justice. I guess that I could move on, and just be an enlightened spiritual figure now...like in India where I saw yogis sitting by the side of the road in samadhi next to the small shrines which they attended. Feel free to respond to this email, forward this out to your friends, or do anything that will be more than the nothing whatsoever which has become the usual response I receive from the postmodern American phenomena. I will spend my time chanting OM, because there is nothing any further that I can do in the futility of getting solidarity, to remain frontline participating in the USA.
— Craig Louis Stehr