- Mendo Cycling
- Ukiah Car Bandit
- Fracking Protest
- Home Prices
- Assange Estranged
- Scintillating Dialogue
- Robin Hood Tax
- Police Reports
BOONVILLE was globally warmed Saturday all the way to a toasty 80°, in the 70's along the Mendocino Coast. I didn't envy the hundred or so bicyclists who stopped in at Boonville's always welcoming Anderson Valley Market to re-hydrate. They were doing a 200 kilometer circle from Healdsburg to Boonville, over the hill to Ukiah, and back to Healdsburg. In the heat and, of course, steady streams of the oversized, often under-piloted vehicles we drive these days. One of the cyclists told me she expected to complete the grueling event “in about nine hours,” adding, “the top riders will do it in about seven, though.” I walked to Ukiah from Boonville once; it took me almost six hours to get to Boonville from the County Courthouse. I left her wondering how long it would take me to walk to Healdsburg.
APOLOGIES for forcing you to listen to personal adventures, but I used to cycle a bit. I pedaled from Boonville to Point Arena once, and that took me, as I recall, about five hours. It's a nice ride over the road to Manchester because the traffic is light, but it's pretty hard going until you get to the long downhill. I was planning to bike back but a combination of beer and the prospect of the long uphill on the Manchester side of the hill compelled me to call for a ride home. Another time I biked out to Navarro-by-the-Sea from Boonville. That trip was scary because there's often no margin for a bike.
On the return trip, on a curve near Dimmick, some yobbos came up from behind in a pick-up, a straight-arm shot out and knocked me clean off the road and face down over the side a few yards. I hadn't gotten a good look, or any kind of real look at the truck except to know it was big. When I got to the then-Floodgate Store, three yobbos were at the little bar the Floodgate maintained then. They looked at me and laughed. I assumed they were my assailants so I waited outside for them to come out, and soon I was in hand-to-hand combat with one of them while the other two kicked at me and I was soon pounded into the dirt for the second time that day. Butch Paula came running out and broke it up just as I was trying to get at least one good shot in. Funny thing is, I've always wondered if I had the right yobbos. They do tend to look and act alike.
MISSING ANYTHING FROM YOUR CAR?
On March 10th at about 2:25 AM Ukiah Police stopped a bicyclist in the 800 block of North State Street, and identified him as 48 year old Mark Jeffrey Brandt, of Ukiah. Brandt was on probation and displayed symptoms of recently having used an illegal drug. Brandt was found to have used methamphetamine recently, and was in possession of a methamphetamine smoking pipe and was arrested. Brandt had a pair of work boots tied together and hanging around his neck, and had several credit cards and identification cards not belonging to him, in his jacket pocket. The officers had earlier handled a suspicious subject call in the 600 block of South State Street, and recognized the photo on one of the ID’s as the caller. The officers determined that caller had been a victim of a vehicle burglary several days prior wherein credit cards and identification was stolen. A further search of Brandt’s property revealed numerous other credit and gift cards, identification, and miscellaneous electronics and tools to include cell phones, cameras, car keys, and clothing. The Ukiah Police Department has received a very sharp increase in reports of vehicle burglaries recently, most of which include a window of the vehicle being broken out. The Ukiah Police Department is continuing to process the evidence in this case which remains under investigation.
THOUSANDS OF CALIFORNIANS CONFRONT GOV. BROWN AT ANTI-FRACKING PROTEST
SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Driven by growing concerns about earthquakes, air and water pollution, and climate change, thousands of Californians from across the state are protesting today in Sacramento to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to stop fracking.
Organized by the statewide coalition Californians Against Fracking and more than 80 individual environmental and public health organizations, the protest and march feature speakers from around California who are forced to live with fracking in their communities and are organizing to end the use of this toxic way of producing oil and gas.
"People need to know what fracking looks like," said Rodrigo Romo, a former farmworker and activist in heavily fracked Shafter, CA who will be speaking at the rally.
"In the Central Valley there is no buffer between fracking sites and our community; there are wells next-door to schools and agricultural land. It is time for our decision makers to listen to us and stop fracking."
Gov. Brown's administration recently issued oil industry-friendly rules that give a green light to the harmful practice. Farmers, health professionals, environmental experts, residents from impacted communities and activists from throughout the state are urging the governor to end fracking to protect the state's air, water, health and climate from fracking pollution. Fracking blasts huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals into the ground to break up rock formations.
A new report finds that a fracking boom in California would increase earthquake risk. On Shaky Ground: Fracking, Acidizing, and Increased Earthquake Risk in California found that oil companies are driving up the threat of damaging quakes by injecting billions of gallons of wastewater from fracking and other oil and gas activities into disposal wells near active faults around Los Angeles, Bakersfield and other major cities.
New fracking and acidization techniques are opening up new sources of dirty oil in California's Monterey Shale formation to extraction and combustion, threatening the state's leadership on climate. Fracking also uses vast amounts of water and threatens to pollute water supplies at a time when California faces a devastating drought.
Birth defects are more common in babies born to mothers living near fracked wells, according to a new Colorado School of Public Health study. In California, a recent report found that fracking and acidizing operations employed 12 dangerous "air toxic" chemicals hundreds of times in the Los Angeles Basin over a period of a few months.
Video of the rally will be available tomorrow morning at Dontfrackcalifornia.org.
(story courtesy PR Newswire; photos by Rae Breaux)
Quotes from Organizations Leading Today's Rally...
"Thousands of Californians are at the Capitol today urging Governor Brown to legislate against this toxic practice. Talking about being an environmental leader who is working to address climate change and actually being one are two different things. And we intend to be a thorn in his side until he makes the right decision for those he serves."
Center for Biological Diversity
"Protecting California from fracking pollution might be the most important task of Gov. Jerry Brown'slong political career," said Rose Braz of the Center for Biological Diversity. "The governor has to stop the oil industry's use of this toxic technique in our communities and beautiful wild places. If he doesn't act fast to ban fracking, the damage to our air, water and climate could tarnish the Golden State forever."
Center for Race, Poverty & the Environment
"As an organizer I know that the only way we are going to create change is with one united voice, like we did with Cesar Chavez," said Lupe Martinez, the assistant director of Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and former member of the United Farm Workers Union trained under Chavez. "If Cesar was here, he'd be telling Governor Brown to do the right thing."
"Last weekend, Governor Brown heard from the Democratic Party faithful that he is on the wrong side of his political base when it comes to fracking," said Zack Malitz, CREDO's campaign manager. "This weekend, as thousands of people flood the streets of Sacramento, he'll find out that Californians' opposition to fracking runs even deeper than what he saw at the convention. Gov. Brown must keep his promise to lead a crusade against climate change -- starting with a ban on fracking -- or continue facing escalating protests by the very same Californians he is urging to confront climate change and the fossil fuel industry."
Food & Water Watch
"Enacting a moratorium is the only way for Governor Brown to protect California's people, water, and climate from the threat of fracking," said Food & Water Watch California Director Adam Scow. "Today's gathering showed the movement to ban fracking in California is growing bigger, stronger, more diverse, and more inspired than ever before. The pressure on Governor Brown will only increase until he does the right thing."
Our San Diego County farmers cannot sustain their crops with oil. Water is essential to survival for all of us. We know how to get off fossil fuels if we have the political backbone to do so. California must lead."
Oil Change International
"What's clear from Saturday's rally in Sacramento is that the movement to stop fracking in California is something the Governor would be foolish to ignore," said David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International. "Big Oil may have lots of money to throw around the state, but as we saw on Saturday at the rally, this movement is energized, committed, and not going anywhere. The Governor can choose to stand with these concerned Californians and stop fracking in our state, or he can continue to stand with Big Oil. The correct choice was made abundantly clear on Saturday."
HERE’S WHAT $1M GETS YOU IN MENDOCINO
San Francisco’s insane real estate scene got you down? Considering ditching the city and its surroundings in favor of living a slower life away from the hustle and bustle? Well, here’s a house in Mendocino to satisfy your fantasies, but there’s a catch. It’s still gonna cost you.
This completely renovated early 1900s home in Mendocino Village has just jumped into the lead in the early running for Most Totally Adorable House of the Year, with its nautically themed loft master bedroom (it’s got an en suite clawfoot tub!) and impossibly quaint backyard writer’s retreat.
It’s true. This Mendo home is a charmer, the homiest of homes. It’s just what one might dream about if one were imagining a life up the coast. Except even nicer! And, sigh, more expensive. It’s listed for $995,000.
A quick Trulia search shows there are less than 10 listed homes in Mendocino in the $950K to $1.5M range with the majority of properties on the market either less expensive or situated on more land. Still, if a million gets you a two-bedroom shoebox in Alamo Square, here you have three bedrooms, ocean views, quaint details and a porch. What do you think? Worth it?
(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)
THE TERRIFIC DOCUMENTARY FILM by Alex Gibney about Julian Assange seemed irrefutable to me, but lots of people on the left seemed to assume it was a kind of filmic hit piece. I thought it was brave and very careful, given that Assange had instantly become an iconic figure. I was especially struck by Gibney's patient identification and testimony of the two terrified Swedish women whom Assange and his millions of allies had vilified as lying floozies. They were both great admirers of Assange who made the mistake of going to bed with him, during which Assange behaved badly enough for the women to complain to the police that Assange had assaulted them. Gibney reveals them as respectable persons who simply refused to endure the great man's abuse.
THE GIST of the film is that bad people, and in Assange's case maybe a bad and crazy person, can do great things. Ripping the masks off the international political thuggery that we know is routine but usually lack the specifics to verify is the great thing Assange has done. The film, however, is pegged to the huge contradiction at the heart of the guy; while he reveals the machinations and murders of governments, especially ours, he makes his own friends and employees sign secrecy oaths that they not say anything about him short of hosannas. Assange is so far removed from his own reality he doesn't see the irony. Or any ironies. He conducts himself as if he's infallible. Anybody who has a problem with his behavior, the problem is with the critic, not him. And he's rude, and he eats with his hands, and he's a major monologist, and he's a pig around women.
NOW WE HAVE WRITTEN confirmation that Assange may indeed be nuts. Andrew O'Hagan is a well-known writer, and a very good one. In the March 6th issue of the London Review of Books, O'Hagan describes, almost blow-by-blow, his recent experience as Assange's ghostwriter. The following paragraphs neatly sum up the aborted project:
“…Julian was getting a lot of flak in the press for making Wiki-employees sign contracts threatening them with a £12 million lawsuit if they disclosed anything about the organization. It was clear he didn’t see the problem. He has a notion that WikiLeaks floats above other organizations and their rules. He can’t understand why any public body should keep a secret but insists that his own organization enforce its secrecy with lawsuits. Every time he mentioned legal action against the Guardian or the New York Times, and he did this a lot, I would roll my eyes, but he didn’t see the contradiction. He was increasingly lodged in a jungle of his own making and I told Jamie it was like trying to write a book with Mr. Kurtz…
“He doesn’t understand other people in the slightest and it would be hard to think of a leader who so reliably got everyone wrong, mistaking people’s motivations, their needs, their values, their gifts, their loyalty, and thereby destroys their usefulness to him. He was always very solicitous of me when I was with him, but I could tell he responded much more to the fact that I like a joke than to the notion that I was a professional writer. The latter mattered to him for five seconds when he was trying to find a writer to work with, but it was the time-wasting, authority-baiting side that really kept our relationship alive. He thought I was his creature and he forgot what a writer is, someone with a tendency to write things down and perhaps seek the truth and aim for transparency…
“He runs on a high-octane belief in his own rectitude and wisdom, only to find later that other people had their own views — of what is sound journalism or agreeable sex — and the idea that he might be complicit in his own mess baffles him. Fact is, he was not in control of himself and most of what his former colleagues said about him just might be true. He is thin-skinned, conspiratorial, untruthful, narcissistic, and he thinks he owns the material he conduits. It may turn out that Julian is not Daniel Ellsberg or John Wilkes, but Charles Foster Kane, abusive and monstrous in his pursuit of the truth that interests him, and a man who, it turns out, was motivated all the while not by high principles but by a deep sentimental wound. Perhaps we won’t know until the final frames of the movie.”
If you had come away with me
into another state
we had been quiet together.
But there the sun coming up
out of the nothing beyond the lake was
too low in the sky,
there was too great a pushing
against him, too much of sumac buds, pink in the head with the clear gum upon them,
too many opening hearts of lilac leaves,
too many, too many swollen
limp poplar tassels on the
It was too strong in the air.
I had no rest against that
The pounding of the hoofs on the
raw sods stayed with me half through the night.
I awoke smiling but tired.
William Carlos Williams
You are hilarious, Bruce. Here's your line about Bari and me, from the AVA two decades ago, regarding our encounter at the Great KZYX Station Invasion: “You whispered, 'Fascist, fascist, fascist' to her, and she whispered, 'Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you' in return."
You know I admire your wide-ranging literary prowess, but more than one person commented mirthfully about your foray into bodice rippers. More than mere “reporting.” And you're still lurking at the scene!
Now Bruce, you do need an editor at the AVA, to smooth away contradictions, such as your current claim that I slammed the door on Bari's foot — this, against your printed apology to me, two decades ago, retracting that claim. Soon, readers will be doubting even your Legal Notices! Whom do they write toom in order to complain? The FCC? It is a communications embarrassment, isn't it?
Yours, Gordy Black
ED REPLY: I defer to the gentleman's total recall. Slammed, closed, shut — whatever, the diva of dissent bullrushed her way on in anyway and the fait was accompli. The episode was filmed. Go to the movie, Gordo, and report back. PS. The scintillating dialogue? You apparently concede its accuracy.
WHAT A DESTRUCTIVE WALL STREET OWES YOUNG AMERICANS
by Ralph Nader
Wall Street’s big banks and their financial networks that collapsed the U.S. economy in 2008-2009, were saved with huge bailouts by the taxpayers, but these Wall Street Gamblers are still paid huge money and are again creeping toward reckless misbehavior. Their corporate crime wave strip-mined the economy for young workers, threw them on the unemployment rolls and helped make possible a low-wage economy that is draining away their ability to afford basic housing, goods, and services.
Meanwhile, Wall Street is declaring huge bonuses for their executive plutocrats, none of whom have been prosecuted and sent to jail for these systemic devastations of other peoples’ money, the looting of pensions and destruction of jobs.
Just what did they do? Peter Eavis of the New York Times provided a partial summary – “money laundering, market rigging, tax dodging, selling faulty financial products, trampling homeowner rights and rampant risk-taking – these are some of the sins that big banks have committed in recent years.” Mr. Eavis then reported that “regulators are starting to ask: Is there something rotten in bank culture?”
The “rot” had extended long ago to the regulators whose weak laws were worsened by weak enforcement. Veteran observer of corporate criminality, former Texas Secretary of Agriculture and editor of the Hightower Lowdown newsletter, Jim Hightower writes:
“Assume that you ran a business that was found guilty of bribery, forgery, perjury, defrauding homeowners, fleecing investors, swindling consumers, cheating credit card holders, violating U.S. trade laws, and bilking American soldiers. Can you even imagine the punishment you’d get?
How about zero? Nada. Nothing. Zilch. No jail time. Not even a fine. Plus, you get to stay on as boss, you get to keep all the loot you gained from the crime spree, and you even get an $8.5 million pay raise!”
Hightower was referring to Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, “the slick CEO who has fostered a culture of thievery during his years as a top executive at JPMorgan, leading to that shameful litany of crime.”
Shame? Dimon doesn’t know how to spell it. “I am so damn proud of this company. That’s what I think about when I wake up every day” he said in October, 2013.
Millions of young Americans (called Millennials, between ages 18 and 33) should start agitating through demonstrations, demand petitions and put pressure on the bankers and members of Congress. First the plutocrats and their indentured members of Congress should drop their opposition to a transaction tax on Wall Street trading. A fraction of a one percent sales tax on speculation in derivatives and trading in stocks (Businessweek called this “casino capitalism”) could bring in $300 billion a year. That money should go to paying off the student debt which presently exceeds one trillion dollars. Heavy student debt is crushing recent graduates and alarming the housing industry. For example, people currently between the ages of 30 to 34 have a lower percentage of housing ownership than this age group has had in the past half century.
A Wall Street transaction tax was imposed in 1914 and was more than doubled in 1932 to aid recovery from the Great Depression before it was repealed in 1966. But the trading volume then was minuscule compared to now with computer-driven trading velocity. A tiny tax – far less than state sales taxes on necessities – coupled with the current huge volume of trading can free students from this life-misshaping yoke of debt.
Some countries in Europe have a securities transaction tax and they also offer their students tuition-free university education to boot. They don’t tolerate the same level of greed, power and callous indifference to the next generation expressed by the monetized minds of the curled-lipped Wall Street elders that we do.
What about young people who are not students? The Wall Street tax can help them with job-training and placement opportunities, as well as pay for tuition for technical schools to help them grow their skills.
A good many of the thirty million Americans stuck in a wage range lower than the minimum wage in 1968, adjusted for inflation, (between $7.25 and $10.50) are college educated, in their twenties and thirties, and have no health insurance, no paid sick leave and often no full-time jobs.
A youth movement with a laser-beam focus, using traditional forms of demonstration and connecting in person, plus social media must come down on Wall Street with this specific demand. Unfortunately, while Occupy Wall Street started an important discussion about inequality, they did not advance the transaction tax (backed vigorously by the California Nurses Association), when they were encamped near Wall Street and in the eye of the mass media in 2011. A missed opportunity, but not a lost opportunity. Fighting injustice has many chances to recover and roar back.
It is time for, young Americans to act! Push Congress to enact a Wall Street speculation tax to help roll back your student debt and give you additional opportunities that are currently denied to you by the inside bank robbers who never had to face the sheriffs. They owe you.
As William C. Dudley, the eminent president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently said of Wall Street – “I think that they really do have a serious issue with the public.” Yes, penance and future trustworthiness enforced by the rule of law. nowhere.
Young America, you have nothing to lose but your incessant text messages that go nowhere.
Start empowering yourselves, one by one, and then connect by visiting Robin Hood Tax.
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.
POLICE CALLS AS OF SATURDAY MORNING
The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Ukiah Police Department. To anonymously report crime information, call 463-6205.
Disturbance — Caller in the 200 block of North School Street reported at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday that a woman was hitting the ATM at a bank, kicked the electric charging station across the street and knocked over a trash can at a small park. An officer responded, but she was gone.
Disturbance — Caller in the 100 block of North Main Street reported at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday that a woman was yelling at people and trying to get into cars. An officer responded, but she was gone. At 1:17 p.m., a caller in the 500 block of South Main Street reported that a woman was screaming at people and had gone through a parked ambulance. An officer responded and arrested a 50-year-old Redwood Valley woman.
Student Brought Bag Of Pot To School — Caller in the 700 block of South Dora Street reported at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday that a fifth-grader had brought a bag of marijuana to school. No further information was available.
Dog Getting Into Yard — Resident in the 200 block of Irvington Drive reported at 12:57 p.m. Wednesday that his neighbor's dog keeps getting into his yard.
Prowler In Attic — Caller in the 700 block of Mendocino Drive reported at 2:07 a.m. Thursday that a man was in her attic, that she took a picture of a vent and can see his face in it. An officer responded and “thoroughly checked the residence” but did not find a prowler.
Vandalism — Caller in the 1300 block of South State Street reported at 7:33 a.m. Thursday finding graffiti. An officer took a report.
Campers — Caller in the 200 block of South Orchard Avenue reported at 12:45 a.m. Thursday that two people were camping behind a building. An officer responded and reported that the people were eating lunch.
Dog Attack — An officer responded to the 600 block of North State Street at 6:05 p.m. Thursday and took a report for a man attacked by a dog.
Shoplifter — An officer responded to Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard at 11:40 p.m. Thursday and arrested a 29-year-old Covelo woman for shoplifting. She was booked into Mendocino County Jail under $10,000 bail.
POLICE CALLS AS OF SUNDAY MORNING
VEHICLE BURGLARY -- Police took a report at 7:12 a.m. Friday for burglary to a vehicle in the 1000 block of Cottage Lane.
MAN TRYING CARS -- A caller in the 1100 block of South Dora Street reported at 11:06 a.m. Friday that an elderly man was trying to get into employees' vehicles. The man was taken home. A caller at the same address reported at 12:52 p.m. that the elderly man got into a silver van parked on the southern end of the parking lot. He was escorted back home.
THEFT BY MAN DRESSED AS WOMAN -- A caller in the 400 block of East Gobbi Street reported at 1:44 p.m. Friday that a man dressed as a woman left property at the location, including needles, and stole two cell phones. Police took a report.
VEHICLE, MAIL VANDALIZED -- A caller in the 300 block of Clara Avenue reported at 2:19 p.m. Friday that her car was vandalized last month, and a package on her front door Friday morning "was opened and gone through." She requested extra patrol.
SHOPLIFTER -- Police responded at 6:48 p.m. Friday to Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard and arrested a Ukiah woman for shoplifting. She was cited and released.
SHOPLIFTER -- A caller at Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard reported at 9:06 p.m. Friday that a shoplifter ran from the store.
SHOPLIFTER -- Police responded at 11:27 p.m. Friday to Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard and arrested a 34-year-old Ukiah woman for shoplifting. She was cited and released.
The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Ukiah Police Department regarding calls handled by the Fort Bragg Police Department.
TABLET STOLEN -- A caller at Redwood Elementary School on South Lincoln Street reported at 10:15 a.m. Friday that a 7-year-old stole a tablet. The mother returned the tablet, but the school needed to document the report.
FOUND MARIJUANA -- A caller in the 100 block of South Main Street reported at 1:32 p.m. Friday that s/he found a bag of marijuana.
WOMAN AND CHILD IN ROAD -- A caller in the 100 block of North Main Street reported at 4:40 p.m. Friday that a woman with a toddler walked into traffic and was walking in the middle of the street, and that the caller almost hit her. Police checked the area and didn't find the woman and child.
The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office:
MARIJUANA SALES -- Bradley Wood, 39, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 4:32 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale and cultivating marijuana, and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force arrested him.
ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON -- Justin B. Gott-Simmons, 29, of Redwood Valley, was arrested at 7:59 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting corporal injury on a child and violating his probation terms, and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.
DUI -- Andreina Buenrostro, 24, of Ukiah, was arrested at 11:39 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, and booked at the county jail. The Willits Police Department arrested her.
VEHICLE THEFT -- George W. Shandrow, 45, of Las Vegas, was arrested at 9:28 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of vehicle theft and booked at the county jail under $15,000 bail. The Fort Bragg Police Department arrested him.
ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON -- Robert W. Spicer, 27, of Laytonville, was arrested at 9:59 a.m. Friday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, making threats and resisting a peace officer, and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.
MARIJUANA TRANSPORT -- Perry M. Henry, 28, of Morrow, Ga., was arrested at 12:24 p.m. Friday on suspicion of transporting marijuana for sale and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The WPD arrested him.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE -- Dylan W. Swartout, 42, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 3:39 p.m. Friday on suspicion of domestic assault and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.