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Mendocino County Today: January 4, 2014


AT THE BOONVILLE WINTER MARKET in front of the Boonville General Store on Saturday, 11-1, you will find: AV Community Farm - Cabbage, Kohlrabi and Mustard Greens, Root Veggies (turnips, beets, etc.), pork, lamb, goat, chicken, sauerkrauts and food preserves; Diane - rabbits, garlic, jam and jelly, warm crocheted hats, bring your own dish kits, table napkins, handkerchiefs and other crafts; Yorkville Olive Oil - Extra Virgin Olive Oil in both the 375 ml and 750 ml bottles.



by Jim Gibbons

1. Gain weight

2. Don't over-exercise

3. Get less sleep

4. Smoke more

5. Stop being so neat

6. Accumulate more clutter

7. Enjoy spending more time alone doing nothing

8. Get rid of useless friends

9. Spend more of my savings

10. Spend less time with family



Change will help conserve water in Lake Mendocino

Ukiah Daily Journal

The State Water Resources Control Board has agreed to change the way it measures the amount of water in the Russian River system to help retain as much water as possible in Lake Mendocino.

As a result of the “severely low rainfall” in 2013, the Sonoma County Water Agency said the water supply level in Lake Mendocino is considered “critical.” However, the state was still using a measure that deemed the condition as less severe.

According to the SCWA, the cumulative inflow into Lake Pillsbury in mid-December declared conditions in the area as dry, requiring “(maintaining) higher minimum instream flows in the Upper Russian River than Lake Mendocino can reliably sustain. If storage in Lake Mendocino is depleted, then water will not be available to maintain ... flows during the spring, summer and fall of 2014 that are necessary to support threatened and endangered species, agriculture and domestic and municipal water supplies.”

On Tuesday, the SWRCB sent a letter approving of the Temporary Urgency Change Petition, stating that it will “help conserve stored water in Lake Mendocino so that it can be released throughout 2014 to maintain instream flows for the benefit and protection of all uses of Russian River water, including the salmonid fisheries in the Russian River.”

The state board notes that this change will “likely result in lower instream flows to the upper Russian River ... (and) it is possible that such reduced flows may impair some instream beneficial uses in the upper Russian River.”

However, the state board notes that those impacts will not be “unreasonable, considering the potential catastrophic impacts to fish, wildlife and other uses” should Lake Mendocino be drained.

As of Thursday, the US Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the Coyote Valley Dam at Lake Mendocino, reported that the lake had 26,345 acre-feet, its elevation was 707.72 feet, and its inflow was 26 cubic feet per second, with an outflow of 78 cfs.

The Ukiah area has received only 7.67 inches of rain since Jan. 1, 2013, which is only 22 percent of the average of 34.18 inches, making 2013 the “lowest rainfall year on record in 120 years.”

According to the latest forecasts, it is likely the area will not receive more rain until Jan. 11.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)


HOCKNEY at the deYoung was more interesting than I expected — a silly thing to say, I know, because all I'd seen were his LA paintings. I liked them, so I was curious about what else he'd done.

HockneyStopI ALWAYS think twice about going to the big shows at the deYoung because they're always mob scenes where basic order seems only a scream away from chaos. The shows you really, really want to see — the Van Gogh for me — you trade glimpses of the art for the basic sardine experience; too many people jammed into too small a space. And ticket prices are jacked up for the popular shows into extortion range. It cost me $23 at the senior rate; you get three cents off or something if you arrive by Muni. I arrived by bicycle. “Shouldn't I get a discount for sparing the air?” I whined to the woman at the ticket desk. “Nope, only Muni gets the discount. Sorry.”

I WANTED to sign up for the docent tour, but I was at the end of a long line of similarly intended persons with one hearing impaired old lady handling the sign-up sheet. The deYoung depends heavily on volunteers, many of them doddering, and bless them all. I'm into codger territory myself and have every sympathy for all of us poised at the edge of the eternal whatever's next, but this poor old thing was not up to her task. “Your names again?” she asked two young women who, of course, just had to stress the old girl out even more by making insistent and totally unnecessary spelling corrections. “Gabrielle,” one of them said. “Not Gabriella,” the young woman said. Then, louder, “G-A-B-R-I-E-L-L-E.”

YOU GO THROUGH THIS LIFE and its world of unending misunderstandings, marveling that there isn't more murder. “Old Man Strangles Young Woman at deYoung as Shocked Crowd Looks On.” It was tempting.

THE YOUNG DUMMY was still trying to get the old lady to affix the “e” on the end of Gabrielle when I abandoned my place in a line of about ten people and took off for the basement where the Hockneys seemed hung by the hundreds, and so much alike and so pinkish-blue-orangy, I quickly bulled my way through the tropical steam of the mob to see the rest of them upstairs where they got a lot better and a lot more interesting. It felt good to get back outside and into the unending sunny eeriness of winter, 2014.


THE MENDOCINO COUNTY CEO’S OFFICE has posted the County’s lengthy “legislative platform” for 2014.

Enclosed please find a link to our 2014 Mendocino County Legislative Platform as adopted by the Board of Supervisors on December 16, 2013. The Legislative Platform will be used as a guide for state and federal advocacy as the State Legislature and Congress prepare to reconvene in the coming week(s). We would also like to announce that for the 2014 legislative cycle, Brandon Merritt, Administrative Analyst, will assume responsibility for legislative coordination through the County Executive Office. Please contact Brandon ( if you would like to discuss, share information, or otherwise communicate items of importance for Executive Office advocacy in the coming year. Thank you all for your contributions in developing this year's platform.



On Your “Timeless Principles”

by Ralph Nader

George W. Bush, 
George W. Bush Presidential Center, 
PO Box 560887, 
Dallas, Texas, 57356

Dear Mr. Bush:

A few days ago I received a personalized letter from your Presidential Center which included a solicitation card for donations that actually provided words for my reply. They included “I’m honored to help tell the story of the Bush Presidency” and “I’m thrilled that the Bush Institute is advancing timeless principles and practical solutions to the challenges facing our world.” (Below were categories of “tax-deductible contributions” starting with $25 and going upward.)

Did you mean the “timeless principles” that drove you and Mr. Cheney to invade the country of Iraq which, contrary to your fabrications, deceptions and cover-ups, never threatened the United States? Nor could Iraq [under its dictator and his dilapidated military] threaten its far more powerful neighbors, even if the Iraqi regime wanted to do so.

Today, Iraq remains a country (roughly the size and population of Texas) you destroyed, a country where over a million Iraqis, including many children and infants (remember Fallujah?) lost their lives, millions more were sickened or injured, and millions more were forced to become refugees, including most of the Iraqi Christians. Iraq is a country rife with sectarian strife that your prolonged invasion provoked into what is now open warfare. Iraq is a country where al-Qaeda is spreading with explosions taking 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 lives per day. Just this week, it was reported that the US has sent Hellfire air-to-ground missiles to Iraq’s air force to be used against encampments of “the country’s branch of al-Qaeda.” There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq before your invasion. Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were mortal enemies.

The Bush/Cheney sociocide of Iraq, together with the loss of tens of thousands of US soldiers’ lives, countless injuries and illnesses, registers, with the passage of time, no recognition by you that you did anything wrong nor have you accepted responsibility for the illegality of your military actions without a Congressional declaration of war. You even turned your back on Iraqis who worked with US military occupation forces as drivers, translators etc. at great risk to themselves and their families and were desperately requesting visas to the US, often with the backing of US military personnel. Your administration allowed fewer Iraqis into the US than did Sweden in that same period and far, far fewer than Vietnamese refugees coming to the US during the nineteen seventies.

When you were a candidate, I called you a corporation running for the Presidency masquerading as a human being. In time you turned a metaphor into a reality. As a corporation, you express no remorse, no shame, no compassion and a resistance to admit anything other than that you have done nothing wrong.

Day after day Iraqis, including children, continue to die or suffer terribly. When the paraplegic, US army veteran, Tomas Young, wrote you last yearseeking some kind of recognition that many things went horribly criminal for many American soldiers and Iraqis, you did not deign to reply, as you did not deign to reply to Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son, Casey, in Iraq. As you said, “the interesting thing about being the president” is that you “don’t feel like [you] owe anybody an explanation.” As a former President, nothing has changed as you make very lucrative speeches before business groups and, remarkably, ask Americans for money to support your “continued work in public service.”

Pollsters have said that they believe a majority of Iraqis would say that life today is worse for them than under the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. They would also say George W. Bush left Iraq worse off than when he entered it, despite the US led sanctions prior to 2003 that took so many lives of Iraqi children and damaged the health of so many civilian families.

Your national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, said publically in 2012 that while “the arc of history” may well turn out better for post-invasion Iraq than the present day violent chaos, she did “take personal responsibility” for the casualties and the wreckage. Do you?

Can you, at the very least, publically urge the federal government to admit more civilian Iraqis, who served in the US military occupation, to this country to escape the retaliation that has been visited on their similarly-situated colleagues? Isn’t that the minimum you can do to very slightly lessen the multiple, massive blowbacks that your reckless military policies have caused? It was your own anti-terrorism White House adviser, Richard Clarke, who wrote in his book, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, soon after leaving his post, that the US played right into Osama bin Laden’s hands by invading Iraq.

Are you privately pondering what your invasion of Iraq did to the Iraqis and American military families, the economy and to the spread of al-Qaeda attacks in numerous countries?

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Nader

P.S. I am enclosing as a contribution in kind to your presidential center library the book Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions by Clyde Prestowitz (2003) whom I’m sure you know. Note the positive remark on the back cover by General Wesley Clark.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.



Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower


Published: January 1, 2014 2018 Comments

Seven months ago, the world began to learn the vast scope of the National Security Agency’s reach into the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe, as it collects information about their phone calls, their email messages, their friends and contacts, how they spend their days and where they spend their nights. The public learned in great detail how the agency has exceeded its mandate and abused its authority, prompting outrage at kitchen tables and at the desks of Congress, which may finally begin to limit these practices.

The revelations have already prompted two federal judges to accuse the N.S.A. of violating the Constitution (although a third, unfortunately, found the dragnet surveillance to be legal). A panel appointed by President Obama issued a powerful indictment of the agency’s invasions of privacy and called for a major overhaul of its operations.

All of this is entirely because of information provided to journalists by Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who stole a trove of highly classified documents after he became disillusioned with the agency’s voraciousness. Mr. Snowden is now living in Russia, on the run from American charges of espionage and theft, and he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life looking over his shoulder.

Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.

Mr. Snowden is currently charged in a criminal complaint with two violations of the Espionage Act involving unauthorized communication of classified information, and a charge of theft of government property. Those three charges carry prison sentences of 10 years each, and when the case is presented to a grand jury for indictment, the government is virtually certain to add more charges, probably adding up to a life sentence that Mr. Snowden is understandably trying to avoid.

The president said in August that Mr. Snowden should come home to face those charges in court and suggested that if Mr. Snowden had wanted to avoid criminal charges he could have simply told his superiors about the abuses, acting, in other words, as a whistle-blower.

“If the concern was that somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public, I signed an executive order well before Mr. Snowden leaked this information that provided whistle-blower protection to the intelligence community for the first time,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference. “So there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions.”

In fact, that executive order did not apply to contractors, only to intelligence employees, rendering its protections useless to Mr. Snowden. More important, Mr. Snowden told The Washington Post earlier this month that he did report his misgivings to two superiors at the agency, showing them the volume of data collected by the N.S.A., and that they took no action. (The N.S.A. says there is no evidence of this.) That’s almost certainly because the agency and its leaders don’t consider these collection programs to be an abuse and would never have acted on Mr. Snowden’s concerns.

In retrospect, Mr. Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not. Beyond the mass collection of phone and Internet data, consider just a few of the violations he revealed or the legal actions he provoked:

• The N.S.A. broke federal privacy laws, or exceeded its authority, thousands of times per year, according to the agency’s own internal auditor.

• The agency broke into the communications links of major data centers around the world, allowing it to spy on hundreds of millions of user accounts and infuriating the Internet companies that own the centers. Many of those companies are now scrambling to install systems that the N.S.A. cannot yet penetrate.

• The N.S.A. systematically undermined the basic encryption systems of the Internet, making it impossible to know if sensitive banking or medical data is truly private, damaging businesses that depended on this trust.

• His leaks revealed that James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, lied to Congress when testifying in March that the N.S.A. was not collecting data on millions of Americans. (There has been no discussion of punishment for that lie.)

• The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rebuked the N.S.A. for repeatedly providing misleading information about its surveillance practices, according to a ruling made public because of the Snowden documents. One of the practices violated the Constitution, according to the chief judge of the court.

• A federal district judge ruled earlier this month that the phone-records-collection program probably violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. He called the program “almost Orwellian” and said there was no evidence that it stopped any imminent act of terror.

The shrill brigade of his critics say Mr. Snowden has done profound damage to intelligence operations of the United States, but none has presented the slightest proof that his disclosures really hurt the nation’s security. Many of the mass-collection programs Mr. Snowden exposed would work just as well if they were reduced in scope and brought under strict outside oversight, as the presidential panel recommended.

When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government. That’s why Rick Ledgett, who leads the N.S.A.’s task force on the Snowden leaks, recently told CBS News that he would consider amnesty if Mr. Snowden would stop any additional leaks. And it’s why President Obama should tell his aides to begin finding a way to end Mr. Snowden’s vilification and give him an incentive to return home.

(Courtesy, the New York Times)



by Dale Gieringer

Live Oak Ordinance Challenged; Fresno County Ban Proposed Jan 7th

January 3, 2014 - In a lawsuit supported by California NORML, attorney Joe Elford is filing a petition today asking the State Supreme Court to review a recent Third District Appellate Court decision, James Maral v City of Live Oak, that upheld the right of local governments to ban medical marijuana cultivation entirely.

The petition argues that local governments are pre-empted by state law from banning cultivation by qualified medical marijuana patients, insofar as California’s Compassionate Use Act (Prop 215) and the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMP, aka SB 420) explicitly authorize such cultivation.

At issue is the right of seriously ill patients to grow for their own medical use in accordance with Prop. 215. The plaintiff, James Maral, who suffers severe chronic medical problems, challenged an ordinance by the City of Live Oak declaring it illegal to grow any marijuana at all. The city also bans dispensaries, leaving Maral with no legal access to medicine. Local dispensary bans are not being challenged in this case, as their legality was upheld in the Supreme Court’s Riverside decision. Unlike dispensaries, however, cultivation by individual patients and their primary caregivers is explicitly protected under state law.

“If you ban dispensaries and you ban cultivation, you’re ripping the heart out of California's medical marijuana laws,” said Elford. “The appellate court’s decision conflicts with the intent of the electorate and Legislature and should not be allowed to stand.”

In particular, notes Elford, the MMP provides that individual patients may maintain six mature or twelve immature plants for their personal medical needs. In addition, the MMP expressly authorizes localities to enact guidelines that are higher — but not lower — than the state’s six plant limit. “Together, these provisions constitute a clear statement by the California Legislature that the State’s municipalities may expand upon the “safe-harbor” provisions afforded to medical marijuana patients regarding cultivation, but they may not subvert or obliterate them,” argues Elford.

The petition also argues that the Live Oak ordinance should be preempted for being inherently “inimical to” state law. In adopting the ordinance, the Live Oak City Council cited the position of the California Police Chiefs Association that “Marijuana is destructive to our society and should remain unlawful,” a position directly at odds with that of the voters and legislature. Courts have taken different positions as to when ordinances are pre-empted as “inimical to” state law.

In the wake of the recent Riverside and Live Oak rulings, local governments have become increasingly bold in attacking patients’ right to cultivate medical marijuana. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors will be hearing an ordinance to ban cultivation on Tuesday, Jan. 7th. The ordinance proclaims its intent to prohibit medical marijuana cultivation “in order to preserve the public peace, health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Fresno County.”

“The Fresno County and Live Oak ordinances directly conflict with Prop. 215’s stated purpose of ensuring that 'seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes,'“ says Prop. 215 co-author and Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer. “Mr. Maral is precisely the kind of seriously ill patient whom Prop. 215 was intended to benefit.”

Maral, 42, suffers from compartment syndrome, a painful life- and limb-threatening condition caused by insufficient blood supply to muscles and nerves. In addition, he has six damaged discs in his back, the result of his work as a heavy equipment driver. He and his family have lived in Live Oak for 15 years.

Maral is also a caregiver for his mother Donneda Maral, who has severe diverticulitis and Crohn's disease, for which she is frequently hospitalized.

“The only thing I'm fighting for is the patients who just want a couple of plants in their backyard,” said Maral. “I'm not willing to let my mother die or live out the rest of her time in a hospital.” The Marals live at least two hours away from any medical marijuana dispensary.

Link to petition for review by State Supreme Court:


Joe Elford: (415) 573-7842 Dale Gieringer (510) 540-1066

Established in 1972, California NORML is the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We are a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to reforming California's marijuana laws. Our mission is to establish the right of adults to use cannabis legally.

Also see: Pot proponents vow appeal to state Supreme Court in Live Oak case—Appeal Democrat, December 12, 2013

Cal NORML Not Conceding Fight Over Weed Cultivation Ban December 12, 2013 3:01 PM

Dale Gieringer California NORML 2261 Market St. #278A, San Francisco CA 94114 -


  1. Bill Pilgrim January 4, 2014

    Snowden: reveals systematic, widespread illegal activity by a powerful gov’t. agency – is now stateless and hunted.

    G.W. Bush: the greatest mass-murderer of the 21st century, pulls in 100k per speech and has gallery exhibits of his putrid attempts at art.

    The Law of Cause and Effect (the Law of Karma) is not retributive, but it is exact. Bush and America will eventually reap what they have sown.

    • Harvey Reading January 4, 2014


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