By Gary Soto
The clouds shouldered a path up the mountains
East of Ocampo, and then descended,
Scraping their bellies gray on the cracked shingles of slate.
They entered the valley, and passed the roads that went
Trackless, the houses blown open, their cellars creaking
And lined with the bottles that held their breath for years.
They passed the fields where the trees dried thin as hat racks
And the plow’s tooth bit the earth for what endured.
But what continued were the wind that plucked the birds spineless
And the young who left with a few seeds in each pocket,
Their belts tightened on the fifth notch of hunger—
Under the sky that deafened from listening for rain.
* * *
MENDO'S freezing temperatures of the past week are over as of Friday, says the National Weather Service. An inch to two inches of snow fell at the higher elevations last Friday as a warming trend commences tomorrow after a solid week of frigid nights. Although we're still in this year's rain-free rainy season, we seem to be in the third consecutive low rainfall year, causing much concern that a drought is upon us.
ABOUT 6AM the morning of September 4th, 2012, the Ukiah Fire Department was dispatched to the 300 block of N. Main St on a report that a man was down and not breathing. Duane Johnson, age 45, was lying on the sidewalk, a passerby was administering CPR. UPD detectives soon determined that Johnson had been murdered. Although they are certain they know who killed Johnson, they have not said how they think he met his end. Manuel Rodriguez, 23, 5'9", 220, black hair and brown eyes, is being sought as the one and only suspect in Johnson's demise. Rodriguez, a gangbanger out of Santa Rosa, was last known to be traveling with his girlfriend and her two-year old son.
FERAL PIGS have plagued the Northcoast for years, all the way back to the early twentieth century when they were widely cultivated and herded fairly long distances for rail shipment south to Bay Area slaughter houses. The herdmasters rode horseback leaving it to their dogs to keep the pigs from straying. Inevitably, lots did stray and they have metastasized ever since in the Mendo-Sonoma outback, particularly in the open country west of Highway 101. But wild hogs can be found everywhere in the County where there's room enough for them to roam. Here in the Anderson Valley, they are thick in the hills lying between the Mendocino Coast and Highway 101. According to a story in today's Press Democrat, farmers and landowners, in 2012, called SoCo's two animal control officers almost 900 times demanding that marauding coyotes and pigs be killed. Coyotes accounted for 736 of the calls, pigs 80, the 80 calls representing more than twice the number of calls for all other animals combined, including mountain lions, bears, raccoons, and skunks. When they aren't eating and sleeping, pigs are producing two or three large litters per year, guaranteeing their ubiquity. They'll eat nearly anything they can get their mouths on, from grubs, weeds, and acorns all the way up to small mammals, birds and frogs, leaving behind ravaged terrain that looks like it's been roto-tilled by a drunk.
A sow with little ones won't hesitate to attack humans. There are plenty of hunters around who enjoy picking them off, but unless you get a responsible guy to do it… well, if no one's looking they might also take a deer or two.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING, the Anders Zorn exhibit, showing now at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco. Great stuff by the man rightly called Sweden's Master Painter, including an hilariously fascinating painting he did in, I think, Algiers, for the reigning sultan. One doesn't expect a lot of yuks from a Swedish painter, and certainly not this one whose self-portraits resemble a last century banker. It depicts two women in total tent, faces revealed. One woman is sprawled male-like, legs askew while her companion is chastely arrayed. Rowing across a lake towards the women is a young man wearing a licentious grin. He also is painted with what just might be a telltale lump in his trousers, but his erection is painted with such protective ambiguity by the gifted Zorn his Muslim sponsor could not say definitively that Zorn was funnin' him. The Sultan was not amused, as it turned out, and Zorn is probably lucky he got out with his head on his shoulders. Zorn's is a wonderful collection of painting and well worth a trip to Frisco.
I'M NOT A BIG HOCKNEY guy, but an exhibit of his work is playing at the deYoung, It's attracting large crowds, meaning, I'll assume, cattle-like viewing groups inside that keep everyone moving along. The deYoung always does that for big shows out of necessity because so many people turn out for the best known artists. The Zorn exhibit was crowded but not unpleasantly crowded, so you have plenty of time to take good, long looks at his paintings which, like the one described, always reward the patient observer in ways you don't expect.
HOLY TOLEDO! The great Bill King has again been denied his rightful place in the sportscaster's hall of fame. Anyone who heard King call a Warrior's, A's or Raider's game back in the day knows King was unsurpassed. He should have been in long ago, but… The Giants are lobbying the Hall for Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper, who has his virtues but is ho-hum alongside King, and even ho-hum alongside broadcast mate, Jon Miller, who is already, and deservedly, a hall of famer and a delight to listen to because he isn't the homer Kuip and Krup are. King, though, was not only unsurpassed at play-by-play, he was often very funny and even erudite, with occasional comments on cultural matters he'd sneak in after giving you the balls and strikes. Holy Toledo!
O SHUT UP. “San Francisco mourns, as we have lost a friend and truly inspirational leader who never stopped fighting for equality. His values are San Francisco values.” Mayor Ed Lee
THE NINERS-SEAHAWKS rivalry has gone corporate. According to Shutdown Corner, Seattle fans are announcing on twitter that they plan to boycott Dr. Dre’s headphones, Beats by Dre, because of a commercial featuring 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick slowly walking through a crowd of what appears to be irate Seahawks fans. Kaepernick was asked when he shot the commercial if it was meant to be a Seahawks crowd. “I really wasn’t worried about that. I was worried about doing my part,” the highly diplomatic Kaepernick said. “It was supposed to be a hostile environment.” A USA Today poster says the headphones are overpriced and of marginal quality, as is Doc Dre come to think about it.
URUGUAY BECOMES FIRST COUNTRY TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA TRADE
By Malena Castaldi & Felipe Llambias
Uruguay became the first country to legalize the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana on Tuesday, a pioneering social experiment that will be closely watched by other nations debating drug liberalization.
A government-sponsored bill approved by 16-13 votes in the Senate provides for regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana and is aimed at wresting the business from criminals in the small South American nation.
Backers of the law, some smoking joints, gathered near Congress holding green balloons, Jamaican flags in homage to Bob Marley and a sign saying: "Cultivating freedom, Uruguay grows."
Cannabis consumers will be able to buy a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) each month from licensed pharmacies as long as they are Uruguayan residents over the age of 18 and registered on a government database that will monitor their monthly purchases.
When the law is implemented in 120 days, Uruguayans will be able to grow six marijuana plants in their homes a year, or as much as 480 grams (about 17 ounces), and form smoking clubs of 15 to 45 members that can grow up to 99 plants per year.
Registered drug users should be able to start buying marijuana over the counter from licensed pharmacies in April.
"We begin a new experience in April. It involves a big cultural change that focuses on public health and the fight against drug trafficking," Uruguay's first lady, Senator Lucía Topolansky, told Reuters.
Uruguay's attempt to quell drug trafficking is being followed closely in Latin America where the legalization of some narcotics is being increasingly seen by regional leaders as a possible way to end the violence spawned by the cocaine trade.
Rich countries debating legalization of pot are also watching the bill, which philanthropist George Soros has supported as an "experiment" that could provide an alternative to the failed U.S.-led policies of the long "war on drugs."
The bill gives authorities 120 days to set up a drug control board that will regulate cultivation standards, fix the price and monitor consumption.
The use of marijuana is legal in Uruguay, a country of 3.3 million that is one of the most liberal in Latin America, but cultivation and sale of the drug are not.
Other countries have decriminalized marijuana possession and the Netherlands allows its sale in coffee shops, but Uruguay will be the first nation to legalize the whole chain from growing the plant to buying and selling its leaves.
Several countries such as Canada, the Netherlands and Israel have legal programs for growing medical cannabis but do not allow cultivation of marijuana for recreational use.
Last year, the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington passed ballot initiatives that legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana.
Uruguay's leftist president, Jose Mujica, defends his initiative as a bid to regulate and tax a market that already exists but is run by criminals.
"We've given this market as a gift to the drug traffickers and that is more destructive socially than the drug itself, because it rots the whole of society," the 78-year-old former guerrilla fighter told Argentine news agency Telam.
Uruguay is one of the safest Latin American countries with little of the drug violence or other violence seen in countries such as Colombia and Mexico.
Yet one-third of Uruguay's prison inmates are serving time on charges related to narcotics trafficking that has turned Uruguay into a transit route for Paraguayan marijuana and Bolivian cocaine.
Even though it is set to clear the Senate, the legislation faces fierce opposition from conservatives and Mujica has yet to convince a majority of Uruguayans that it is a good idea.
According to a recent opinion poll by Equipos Consultores, 58 percent of Uruguayans oppose legalizing pot, although that is down from 68 percent in a previous survey in June.
Critics say legalization will not only increase consumption but open the door to the use of harder drugs than marijuana, which according to government statistics is used by 8 percent of Uruguayans on a regular basis.
"Competing with drug traffickers by offering marijuana at a lower price will just increase the market for a drug that has negative effects on public health," said Senator Alfredo Solari of the conservative Colorado Party.
If it works, the legislation is expected to fuel momentum for wider legalization of marijuana elsewhere, including the United States and in Europe. Decriminalization of all drug possession by Portugal in 2001 is held up as a success for reducing drug violence while not increasing drug use.
"This development in Uruguay is of historic significance," said Ethan Nadelmann, founder of the Drug Policy Alliance, a leading sponsor of drug policy reform partially funded by Soros through his Open Society Foundation.
"Uruguay is presenting an innovative model for cannabis that will better protect public health and public safety than does the prohibitionist approach," Nadelmann said.
(Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Kieran Murray and Cynthia Osterman — Reuters)
A BANK OF OUR OWN? Ellen Brown will be speaking 12/15/13 in Ukiah at the MEC at 2:00 on Sunday the 15th and in Mendocino at Crown Hall, Sunday night at 7:00pm. She will also be speaking at the Willits Grange at 7 pm on Saturday, 12/14/13 Ellen Hodgson Brown, acclaimed author and president of the Public Banking Institute, will speak in Willits December 14, 7:00 pm at the Little Lake Grange. Brown’s two most recent books are “The Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free,” and “The Public Bank Solution: From Austerity to Prosperity.” Her talk is part of the Mendocino County Public Banking Coalition's educational campaign, leading up to the June 2014 election when voters will have a chance to make Mendocino California’s 15th Charter County. California law requires that counties have a charter in order to have a public bank and manage their own money. Why do governments store their money in private, for-profit banks? In 2008 it became obvious that private banks do not necessarily serve the best interests of their depositors. On the other hand, a public bank has only one depositor—the government—and the returns on its investments are used to benefit the citizens of the state or county instead of private shareholders. A public bank can increase liquidity by partnering with community banks and credit unions, and can reduce county debt service by underwriting public infrastructure projects. Although 40% of the banks in the world are public banks, the Bank of North Dakota is currently the only public bank in the USA. It remained strong and solvent while the rest of the country was falling into recession. In her talk, Ellen Brown will explain why and how we can start our own publicly owned bank. She will also answer questions from the audience after her presentation. This is a free event but donations are appreciated to cover expenses. For more information contact Mary Zellachild, 459-3963.
THE EEL RIVER RECOVERY PROJECT successfully completed six lower Eel River dives with a peak count of nearly 6000 Chinook salmon on November 9, but we were also able to document a late run that is moving up to spawn now despite low rainfall. Volunteers continue to track migrations and spawning throughout the watershed and we are capturing photos and video to document. A Press Release is attached and below and photos are also attached. If I am late for your deadline this week or for other reasons you want to cover this story later, I have numerous alternative photos available to accompany articles tailored to your needs and can supply updated information. I am available for questions and get around in the watershed quite a bit, so if you want I can meet with you if that would be helpful. Please credit photos to Eel River Recovery Project.
DESPITE LOW RAINFALL THOUSANDS OF FALL CHINOOK SPAWN IN THE EEL RIVER. Divers jumped into lower Eel River pools again in fall 2013 to document the size of the fall Chinook salmon run as part of the Eel River Recovery Project's (ERRP) annual monitoring program, which is co-sponsored by the Humboldt Redwood Company and the Wiyot Tribe.More than 70 divers participated in six organized dives and dozens of other volunteers are now tracking the salmon as they migrate and spawn throughout the watershed.The peak dive count was almost 6000 Chinook salmon on November 9, but low flow conditions allowed a December 5 dive that indicates a new wave of late-run fish is entering the lower Eel River despite sparse rains.
The lower Eel River dive counts are conducted by divers forming a line and swimming together through pools holding salmon.In 2013 the pools at Fernbridge and immediately above and below were filled in and fish were only able to hold in five pools further upstream.Counts escalated from 1854 Chinook salmon on October 5, to 4244 on October 23, to the highest count of 5954 fish on November 9.Team size did not allow census of the Weymouth Pool above the mouth of the Van Duzen River, which held more than 1200 salmon in 2012.Therefore, the ERRP dive totals are not a total population estimate.Also, a number of fish migrated upstream before dives began and were not counted and more are still coming. Fish that had disbursed with early rains began spawning around November 10 and they were joined by thousands more as the rainfall of November 20 and 21 nudged Eel River flows up and allowed passage upstream.In a normal rainfall and flow year, the river and its tributaries turn brown with sediment, but the drought of 2013 has salmon spawning in plain view, much to the delight of residents throughout the watershed.Also, ERRP was able to dive two lower Eel River pools on December 5 and document a late run of Chinook with video taken by a diver using scuba gear.There were more than 1000 mostly fresh Chinook salmon and coho salmon and bright adult steelhead were also counted.
Although lack of rain is preventing access to tributaries, spawning gravel quality is high in the mainstem Eel River from Van Arsdale Dam in Mendocino County to Dyerville at the convergence with the South Fork.Salmon eggs usually take 30 days to hatch and then larvae or sac-fry are under the gravel for another 30 days. Major rain and flow events could cause bedload movement and mortality, but if drought conditions prevail, then a good year class of Chinook salmon juveniles could result.Eggs will have less chance of survival in the event of high flow in watersheds where there is substantial excess sediment in transport.
An increase in flow at the Potter Valley Project on December 1 triggered movement of fresh fish in the main Eel above Dos Rios and ERRP volunteers report that spawning subsequently went into full swing at Hearst east of Willits.Chinook salmon spawners were only able to reach the lowest reaches of the Middle Fork during late November rains and lack of flow in the South Fork and lower Van Duzen is preventing access to new fish.Consequently, late run fish can only get to main Eel River spawning beds so activity should continue there for another 30 days.Spawners did not pass Van Arsdale Dam until Thanksgiving week in 2013 and only 28 fish had passed by December 4, which contrasts with the record 3400 Chinook salmon that passed upstream by that date in 2012. ERRP continues to track salmon spawning throughout the Eel River basin and video and photo document activity, including use of kayaks to access more remote reaches.To assist or report fish sightings, call Eel River Volunteer Coordinator Pat Higgins at 223-7200.This project is being made possible by grants from Patagonia and the Salmon Restoration Association of Ft Bragg.To see photos and video of salmon and to access reports, see www.eelriverrecovery.org <http://www.eelriverrecovery.org/> on the Internet.
DARK LINKS: THE MLPA INITIATIVE AND BAY DELTA CONSERVATION PLAN
by Dan Bacher
The privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels at first may appear to be entirely different processes.
The MLPA Initiative, a process begun in 2004 under the Schwarzenegger administration, purported to create a network of "marine protected areas" along the California coast. The network was supposedly completed on December 19, 2012 with the imposition of widely-contested "marine protected areas" along the North Coast.
On the other hand, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is a process begun under the Bush and Schwarzenegger administrations to achieve the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and Delta ecosystem restoration. The Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement was released to the public on Monday, December 9 and the 120 day public comment period will begin on Friday, December 13.
However, in spite of some superficial differences, the two processes are united by their leadership, funding, greenwashing goals, racism and denial of tribal rights, junk science and numerous conflicts of interest. When people educate themselves on the links between the two processes, I believe they can more effectively wage a successful campaign against the twin tunnels.
Mike Carpenter, a sea urchin diver and organizer of a fundraiser for the California Fisheries Coalition in Albion on the Mendocino coast, made the vital connection between the MLPA process and Scharzenegger's campaign to build a peripheral canal back in 2009 when the battle against the creation of fake "marine protected areas" on the North Coast was amping up.
Carpenter emphasized that the MLPA Initiative was just a "cover-up" for the Governor's plans to build a peripheral canal or tunnel around the California Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, through the Delta Vision and Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) process. Carpenter's words have proven very prophetic, considering what has happened since that time.
How are the peripheral tunnels plan and MLPA process linked by leadership, funding, greenwashing goals, racism and denial of tribal rights, junk science and conflicts of interest?
1. Leadership: Phil Isenberg, a former Sacramento Mayor and Assemblyman, chaired the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force to create fake "marine protected areas" on the Central Coast from 2004 to 2007. Isenberg then went on to Chair the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force that advocated building a peripheral canal or tunnel.
After that process was finished, he went on to chair the Delta Stewardship Council created under the water policy/water bond legislative package of 2009. Under his leadership, the Council released a Delta Plan that creates a clear path to the construction of the peripheral tunnels. The deeply-flawed plan is now being contested in court by 7 lawsuits from a diverse array of water contractors, agribusiness interests, urban water agencies, environmentalists, Indian Tribes and fishing groups.
John Laird, former State Senator and the current Natural Resources Secretary, is the key cheerleader for both the MLPA Initiative and the peripheral tunnels. He oversaw the completion of the fake "marine protected areas" for both the South Coast in January 2012 and the North Coast on December 2012, in spite of overwhelming opposition by fishermen, Tribal leaders and grassroots environmentalists.
2. Funding: The Resources Legacy Fund Foundation and David and Lucille Packard Foundation both funded the MLPA Initiative, along with giving millions of dollars to the "environmental" NGOs that support both the MLPA and BDCP processes. (http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/big-corporate-money-behind-fake-marine-protection)
Five non-profits donated a total of $20 million for the creation of "marine protected areas" under the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. The Packard Foundation, the biggest contributor to the widely-criticized process, contributed $8.2 million to the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation to fund MLPA hearings.
The Packard Foundation also helped fund, along with the Stephen Bechtel Foundation, several PPIC reports advocating the construction of the peripheral tunnels as the "solution" to California's water problems and ecosystem restoration.
3. Greenwashing Goals: Desperately needed actions to restore our ocean, bay and Delta waters have been substituted under the MLPA Initiative with the imposition of redundant fishing closures on the most heavily regulated ocean waters on the planet to further the Governor's "green" facade.
The alleged "marine reserves" created under the MLPA scam fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, military testing, wind and wave energy projects and all human impacts on the ocean than fishing and gathering - at a time when the ocean is under assault by the oil industry, corporate polluters and ocean industrialists.
In the case of the Delta Vision and BDCP processes, the dire need to restore the Delta by decreasing water exports and retiring drainage impaired land on the San Joaquin Valley's west side has been substituted with plans to build twin tunnels and increase water exports to corporate agribusiness, developers and oil companies while taking Delta family farms out of production under the guise of “habitat restoration.”
4. Racism and denial of tribal rights: Tribal and environmental justice communities in both processes have been excluded in a classic example of environmental racism.
The racism of the MLPA process was demonstrated when the Yurok Tribe was banned from harvesting abalone, mussels and seaweed off their traditional areas off the False Klamath and Reading Rock as they have done for thousands of years under the "marine protected areas" that went into effect off the coast last December.
And in spite of direct action protests and outrage by Tribal members, fishermen and grassroots environmentalists over the flawed Initiative, the MLPA Initiative still fails to recognize tribal gathering rights in no take "State Marine Reserves," allowing tribal gathering only in "State Marine Conservation Areas" where some fishing and gathering is already allowed.
Likewise, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan has been developed without any consent from California Tribes, as required under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. In fact, the first formal informational meeting for California Tribes on the BDCP was held on December 10, in Sacramento - the day after the EIR/EIS for the tunnel plan was released!
That is hardly "government-to-government" consultation, as required under state, federal and international law.
“There is no precedent for the killing of an estuary of this size, so how could any study be trusted to protect the Delta for salmon and other fish?" asked Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe at a press conference against the tunnels at the State Capitol on December 9. "How can they even know what the effects will be? The end of salmon would also mean the end of Winnemem, so the BDCP is a threat to our very existence as indigenous people.”
5. Junk Science: Both the MLPA Initiative and BDCP fiasco have relied on false assumptions and flawed data with little or no basis in natural science to advance their goals and objectives.
In the case of the MLPA Initiative, the Yurok Tribe said it attempted on numerous occasions to address the scientific inadequacies with the MLPA science developed under the Schwarzenegger administration by adding "more robust protocols" into the equation, but was denied every time.
The Northern California Tribal Chairman's Association, including the Chairs of the Elk Valley Rancheria, Hoopa Valley Tribe, Karuk Tribe, Smith River Rancheria, Trinidad Rancheria, and Yurok Tribe, documented in a letter how the science behind the MLPA Initiative developed by Schwarzenegger's Science Advisory Team is "incomplete and terminally flawed." (http://yubanet.com/california/Dan-Bacher-MLPA-Initiative-based-on-incomplete-and-terminally-flawed-science.php)
Frankie Joe Myers, Yurok Tribal member and Coastal Justice Coalition activist, exposed the refusal to incorporate Tribal science that underlies the "science" of the MLPA process on the day of the historic direct action protest by a coalition of over 50 Tribes and their allies in Fort Bragg in July 2010.
“The whole process is inherently flawed by institutionalized racism," said Myers. "It doesn't recognize Tribes as political entities, or Tribal biologists as legitimate scientists." (http://klamathjustice.blogspot.com/2010/07/july-21st-2010.html)
The BDCP “science” is also a sham. On July 18, 2013 scientists from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service exposed the hollowness of Secretary John Laird and other state officials that the BDCP is based on "science." This was done after the federal agencies had already made "red flag" comments stating that the completion of the tunnel plan could hasten the extinction of Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt and other fish species.
The federal scientists provided the California Department of Water Resources and the environmental consultants with 44 pages of comments highly critical of the Consultant Second Administrative Draft EIR/EISDraft, released on May 10. The agencies found, among other things, that the draft environmental documents were “biased,” “insufficient," "confusing," and "very subjective." (http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/Libraries/Dynamic_Document_Library/Federal_Agency_Comments_on_Consultant_Administrative_Draft_EIR-EIS_7-18-13.sflb.ashx)
Then on December 9, Bob Wright of Friends of the River summed up the complete lack of science that the BDCP is based upon when he said, "Government agencies calling the BDCP a conservation plan is a fraud on the public."
"The plan is to grab the water and in the process take it away from designated critical habitat for several already endangered and threatened species of fish including Sacramento River Winter-Run and Central Valley Spring-Run Chinook Salmon and drive them into extinction. That is against the law because federal agencies are prohibited from doing that by the Endangered Species Act," said Wright.
6. Conflicts of Interest: The Blue Ribbon Task Forces to create “marine protected areas” were filled with individuals with numerous conflicts of interest, including a big oil lobbyist, a marine corporation executive and a coastal real estate developer.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the Western States Petroleum Association and a relentless advocate for offshore oil drilling, fracking, the Keystone XL Pipeline and the weakening of environmental laws, chaired the South Coast MLPA Blue Ribbon Task that developed the MPAs that went into effect in Southern California waters on January 1, 2012. She also served on the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces for the North Coast, North Central Coast and Central Coast.
While Reheis-Boyd served on the task forces to "protect" the ocean, the same oil industry that the "marine guardian" represents was conducting environmentally destructive hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations off the Southern California coast. Documents recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and media investigations by Associated Press and truthout.org reveal that the ocean has been fracked at least 203 times in the past 20 years, including the period from 2004 to 2012 that Reheis-Boyd served as a "marine guardian.”
In the case of the BDCP, the proverbial fox is also in charge of the hen house. Governor Jerry Brown this September appointed Laura King Moon of Woodland, a lobbyist for the state’s water exporters, as chief deputy director of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/09/18/18743462.php
Moon had been a project manager for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan since 2011 while “on loan” from the State Water Contractors, an association of 27 public agencies from Northern, Central and Southern California that purchase water under contract from the California State Water Project.
DWR also hired Susan Ramos, Deputy General Manager of the Westlands Water District, "on loan" from the district to serve as "a liaison between all relevant parties" surrounding the Delta Habitat Conservation and Conveyance Program (DHCCP) and provide "technical and strategic assistance" to DWR. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/12/14/18702762.php)
Documents obtained by this reporter under the California Public Records Act revealed that Ramos was hired in an "inter-jurisdictional personal exchange agreement" between the DWR and Westlands from November 15, 2009 through December 31, 2010. The contract was extended to run through December 31, 2011 and again to continue through December 31, 2012.
We can see that MLPA and BDCP processes have much in common in terms of their leadership, funding, greenwashing goals, racism and denial of tribal rights, junk science and numerous conflicts of interest. I believe that people can more effectively oppose the Governor's twin tunnel plan by understanding the dark links between the MLPA Initiative and BDCP.
The unjust implementation of fake "marine protected areas" under the MLPA Initiative also provides a cautionary tale for activists fighting the Bay Delta Conservation Plan - the fact that science, state, federal and international laws and the majority of people are on your side doesn't necessarily mean that you will prevail. The state and federal governments have a long history of implementing projects that don't make any scientific, legal or economic sense because powerful corporate interests effectively bought off and manipulated agency and elected officials to produce a pre-determined outcome.
It is vital that people fighting against the BDCP and for the restoration of salmon and other fish populations in California learn from both the successes and mistakes of MLPA Initiative opponents so they can more effectively wage a successful campaign to stop the construction of Governor Jerry Brown's twin tunnels.
ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGON – A Christmas Mummers Play Presented by the Fort Bragg Drama Club & Mrs. Murray’s kindergarten class Directed by Polly Erion December 19, 2013 Cotton Auditorium, Harold Street, Fort Bragg, California 5:30 p.m. "Ladies and Jellyspoons, I come before you to stand behind you and tell you something I know nothing about." Admission FREE! Donations go to GASP (Get Arts in the Schools Program) For more information: Polly Erion: firstname.lastname@example.org 964-4749 Cypress House, Lost Coast Press, QED Press 155 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg California 95437 707-964-9520 * www.cypresshouse.com Publishers and producers of award-winning books and eBooks