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Mendocino County Today: Monday, May 19, 2014

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A YOUNG MAN, still not identified, was killed Saturday morning when he was hit by a falling tree limb a little after 9am at the Scharffenberger Winery, Philo. The victim and another man were trimming the tree when the accident occurred. The deceased was struck on the top of his head with the butt end of a large branch that fell about 30 feet from above him where a colleague was working. “Six inches in either direction and he would probably still be alive,” a witness commented.

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FISH AND WILDLIFE conducted a large-scale abalone checkpoint at the Boonville Fairgrounds on Sunday that lasted most of the day. Some 30 uniformed officers, several of them strategically posted north of the stop to chase down absconders (sic) who tried to turn around before they got to the pull-over, seemed to swarm suspect vehicles waved into the Fairgrounds parking lot. The results await a press release from the Department.

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DROUGHT STORIES in the Press Democrat invariably quote grape growers without mentioning the fact they the paper uses “grape grower” and “farmer” interchangeably. Grape growers are “farmers.” And they are, kind of, although “industrial ag” better describes what they do given their heavy dependence on chemicals, immigrant labor, public water and so on. (19th century industrial ag at that.) There are lots of traditional farmers in Mendocino County although the PD never mentions them unless they're farming marijuana. Of intoxicant-dependent Mendocino County, the Rose City Daily seems to disapprove of pot farming.

TODAY'S PD story is about how the Russian River is about dried up and Summer isn't even officially here, and inland Mendo “farmers” are suddenly talking about “coordinating water withdrawals from the river so there are no sudden declines in river flows.”

JUST LAST YEAR, when the State Water Board asked the “farmers” to regulate themselves to prevent fish strandings, the “farmers” successfully sued to stop it, although the state had said the “farmers” could write their own conservation plans.

BUT SO FAR, the only idea the “farmers” have come up with is “to have farmers on one side of the river irrigate on even days and farmers on the other side irrigate on odd days.”

THIS COCKAMAMIE SCHEME won't address the flow question because who's to say you still won't have four vineyards on one side of the river all pumping at the same time? (Assuming they’d even abide by it, which we doubt.)

THE ONLY WAY to apportion Russian River water equitably, and with these entitled greedheads doing the apportioning that is unlikely to happen, is to put in a real-time monitoring system like on the Napa River, along with pipe size limits, gages on individual draws so that enforcement can at least look at who used how much when there's a problem, and some kind of setting of decent minimum flows.

WHATEVER THE STATE DOES, if it imposes enforceable limits like there are in Sonoma and Napa counties, no matter how reasonable those limits might be here in retro-Mendo, count on another cry baby wine mob invading the County Courthouse to bully the local Superior Court into rolling back regulation. That's what happened last year, and you can see it coming again this year if the state cracks down.

IF OUR NOBLE sons and daughters of the soil had done what was proposed by the state last year, and had come up with their own plans to prevent strandings instead of whining about over-regulation, a mechanism would already be in place for this year of radically reduced flows out of already half-drained Lake Mendocino.

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WE'RE NOT KEEPING COUNT, but it seems to us that Booming Boonville is getting more tourista-pufferoos, by far, than the rest of Mendocino County put together. Just got another big one in this morning's Chron that goes on in the usual gastro-crazed manner about lattes and scones with special attention to the Anderson Valley's 4,000, er, 80 wineries. The writer, Maria Finn, gets one thing wrong — conceptually, the whole thing is wrong — when she writes, “In the 1970s, Dr. Donald Edmeades, the Husch family and the Navarro family all chose Anderson Valley over the pricier and better-known Napa to start wine businesses.”

I THINK DOC EDMEADES had his grapes in by the late 1960's. Tony and Gretchen Husch, with their two small boys, got going strong by the time I met them in 1972. And I think Ms. Finn means the Navarro Winery founded by Al Green because there is no Navarro family in the local wine biz. Or she might mean Ted Bennett and Deborah Cahn next door to Green. But in the very beginning, there was Edmeades and Husch, the irascible Tony, the lovely and talented Gretchen, a very good landscape painter. Deron Edmeades could also be irascible but was, as we assessed personalities at the time, “mellower” than Tony. I remember visiting Deron one day while he was manning his tasting room. A group of tourists had just left. Deron exclaimed, “Jesus, I hate these bastards!” A smart, candid, fun guy, Deron was simply unable to turn it off and on for the day trippers. The business takes itself a lot more seriously these days, but back when it consisted of Deron, Tony, Jed Steele, and Steve Tylicki, it was old fashioned delightful.

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AP IS REPORTING that a Massachusetts man was fatally shot Friday and his hiking partner seriously wounded while hiking near Red Bluff. The robber shot the men after taking their money and belongings, leaving them for dead about a hundred yards from the trail head where another hiker found them roughly three hours after they were attacked. Francis ‘Pat’ Gregory, 69, of West Tisbury was pronounced dead at the scene; his 76-year-old male companion, of nearby Manton, suffered critical injuries but is expected to survive. The trail leads through grasslands, oak trees and lava rocks to an overlook above a bend in the Sacramento River. Manton, incidentally, is probably best known for the St. John of San Francisco Monastery, and for being evacuated during the fires of 2005.

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PRETTY FUNNY SONG about Mendocino, California

by a transsexual from San Mateo, of course.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imXEoV99pRI

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DREAM SONG 105

As a kid I believed in democracy: I

“saw no alternative”—teaching at The Big Place I ah

put it in practice:

we'd time for one long novel: to a vote—

Gone with the Wind they voted: I crunched “No”

and we sat down with War & Peace.

 

As a man I believed in democracy (nobody

ever learns anything): only one lazy day

my assistant, called James Dow,

& I were chatting, in a failure of meeting of minds,

and I said curious “What are your real politics?”

“Oh, I'm a monarchist.”

 

Finishing his dissertation, in Political Science.

I resign. The universal contempt for Mr Nixon,

whom never I liked but who

alert & gutsy served us years under a dope,

since dynasty K swarmed in. Let's have a King

maybe, before a few mindless votes.

— John Berryman

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THE CLOVERDALE POMOS are slowly but steadily proceeding with their odd plan for casino complex on 65 acres at the southeast end of town. The plan is odd because the huge new casino at Graton now siphons off most Bay Area gamblers because it's less than an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge, well before they reach River Rock at Geyserville, nevermind the forlorn casinos of Mendocino County. Another casino at Cloverdale means another casino going broke, maybe even before it opens.

THE 540 members of the Cloverdale tribe, apparently tardily aware of the monstro competition the Graton tribe has erected at Rohnert Park, is hinting that they might scale back their $320 million project. Meanwhile, the Cloverdale City Council is unanimously opposed to the casino, citing reasons ranging from water shortages to the “criminal element” casinos are assumed to attract.

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(MAY 22, 1914) Shortly before 11 o’clock while seven customers were drinking in the bar of the Real Thing roadhouse at 4634 San Bruno Road, the doors were flung open and two men, with the lower parts of their faces covered with red bandanas, strode through with leveled revolvers. One of the patrons, Dave Williams, arose from a high stool in order to get down on the floor and obey the bandits’ orders to raise his hands. The robbers, thinking Williams was about to hurl himself on them, opened fire. Williams fell dead on the spot. Behind the bar was W.R. Markt of 123 Ray Street, known as “Beefsteak Bill,” proprietor of the saloon. Markt secured a revolver and answered their shots. There followed a revolver duel that lasted several minutes. One more patron fell in the fray. Then the bandits, both covered in blood, staggered out of the door and into the darkness. Patrons called for assistance from the Bay View Police Station. Policemen Joseph McTernan and R.W. Hollingsworth started on a streetcar for the scene. En route the policemen noticed a man staggering along the road. They sprang out with leveled revolvers and arrested him. The prisoner was covered in blood from a bullet wound in the neck. He refused to comment at length other than to say his “pal” was dead in the stable in back of the saloon. The prisoner was taken to the Real Thing where he was identified, then, with the wounded patron, to Potrero Emergency Hospital. The patron, Jean Galatoire, was wounded twice in the neck. One of the bullets entered just below the ear and may prove fatal. Despite his weakness from the shock and loss of blood and the presence of a bullet in his skull, Galatoire had to be held down on the operating table with main force to prevent him attacking his bandit assailant who lay nearby, unconscious.

(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle.)

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NAPOLEON ON CHILD REARING

Title IX. Of Paternal Power.

A child, at every age, owes honor and respect to his father and mother. He remains subject to their control until his majority or emancipation. The father alone exercises this control during marriage. A child cannot quit the paternal mansion without the permission of his father, unless for voluntary enlistment after the full age of 18 years. A father who shall have cause of grievous dissatisfaction at the conduct of a child, shall have the following means of correction: If the child has not commenced his sixteenth year, the father may cause him to be confined for a period which shall not exceed one month, and to this effect the president of the court of the circle shall be bound, on his petition, to deliver an order of arrest. From the age of sixteen years commenced to the majority or emancipation, the father is only empowered to require the confinement of his child during six months at the most; he shall apply to the president of the aforesaid court, who, after having conferred thereon with the commissioner of government, shall deliver an order of arrest or refuse the same, and may in the first case abridge the time of confinement required by the father. There shall not be in either case any writing or judicial formality except the order itself for arrest, in which the reasons thereof shall not be set forth. The father shall only be required to subscribe an undertaking to defray all expenses and to supply suitable support.

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REAL PUBLIC RADIO

Dear Editor:

Absent a decent interview of the Mendocino County's 3rd District candidates on KZYX by Norman De Vall, who was sacked by KZYX management for supporting an open forum for dissent views at the station, please take note of the excellent interviews at KYBU found below: Lew Chichester, of KYBU 96.9FM (Covelo) recently hosted each of the 3rd District Supervisor candidates individually for an hour of discussion. You can hear each of their interviews online here: https://kyburadio.org/archive And, guess what? The interviews are archived at KYBU. No such archive policy exists at KZYX. Funny thing that a tiny, low-power, community radio station in Round Valley operated by volunteers, like KYBU, archives their shows, but KZYX with two FCC licenses, and heard in four counties, refuses to archive its public affairs shows. KMUD archives their shows, too. Why not archive at KZYX? Beats the hell outta me. Most working people can't listen to most public affairs shows at KZYX, because most public affairs shows at KZYX air only during weekdays in the morning or early afternoon. KZYX would seem to have some bias against working people — yet another reason I filed my FCC complaint.

John Sakowicz, Ukiah

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VETERANS FOR PEACE: A VIEW FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

by Nadya Williams

After nearly three days of deliberation at the recent annual conference of Northern California Veterans For Peace, the 10 chapters in attendance decided that one of their most pressing tasks was to tell the truth about the Viet Nam War - in direct confrontation with Washington's current "rewrite the war" campaign. On Memorial Day, in May of 2012 President Obama and the Department of Defense launched the 50th anniversary remembrance of the Viet Nam War (January, 1962 to April, 1975). The 13-year-long, $65 million commemoration, which will officially end in 2025, entails: 750 events, major media blitzes, educational campaigns, travelling museums, and much more.

See: www.vietnamwar50th.com

From San Diego to Seattle, representatives from Veterans For Peace (VFP) met May 2 to 4 at the Mountain Home Ranch Resort, northeast of Santa Rosa. This was the fourth annual Spring meeting of NorCal VFP, the first three being held in Ukiah. The 45 in attendance at the three-day gathering were mostly veterans (the majority of whom served during the Viet Nam war) plus associate members - their non-vet supporters and peace activists. All were well aware of the U.S. military's effort to, as they see it, "sanitize and mythologize" the Viet Nam war. Thus national VFP has launched the "Full Disclosure Campaign: Toward an Honest Commemoration of the American War in Vietnam," which represents not only a challenge to Washington's positive spin, but a clear alternative to obvious implications that legitimize current and future unnecessary and destructive wars. See: www.vietnamfulldisclosure.org

As part of the DoD campaign, September 20, 2013 was declared as National POW/MIA Recognition Day (Prisoner of War/Missing In Action). Yet the recent Sonoma County conference had a powerful and comprehensive presentation by Monterey VFP member Phillip Butler, who endured eight years as a POW in North Viet Nam (1965 to 1973). "There are NO POWs left in Viet Nam," declared Butler. He even co-authored a national resolution to state that Veterans For Peace take a public stand against the use of the POW/MIA flag and symbol, saying that "this symbol has become associated with revenge, and hatred for the people of Viet Nam." Ironically, the resolution was defeated last fall by the general membership, the National Board of VFP recommending a 'no' vote, saying it would "cause friction" and "goes too far." A strong opponent of our country's "enhanced interrogation" techniques, Butler described his torture and mistreatment as a prisoner in his memoir "Three Lives of a Warrior" - his third life being his dedication to peace. When the abuses of Abu Graib and Guantanamo were revealed, "my PTSD came back," he said. "Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are all war criminals."

The keynote speaker at the regional was (retired Colonel and former diplomat) Ann Wright, an unstoppable peace activist who was one of only three State Department personnel to resign in 2003 in protest of Bush's invasion of Iraq. Since then she has been active with CodePink: Women for Peace, and many other groups, and had just returned in April of this year from a VFP annual Spring tour to Viet Nam. The 17 tour participants each brought a minimum of $1,000 to donate to VFP-linked programs to address the on-going legacies of the war (Agent Orange victims, unexploded ordinance clearance and poverty). A total of three tours has delivered $70,000. This writer took 6 pages of notes on Wright's speech, which ranged from The Ukraine to Palestine, Latin America to the "Pivot to Asia," Assassin Drones to the War on Drugs, Whistle Blowers to Military Dissenters, and more.

Other major presentations were from Sonoma State University professor, Dr. Peter Phillips, of Project Censored, on "Transnational Corporations and the 9/11 Wars," (i.e. follow the money). Santa Rosa veteran Fred Ptucha then described constructing much-needed housing in Viet Nam with the long-standing Veterans Viet Nam Restoration Project, which originated from Garberville's VFP. Ptucha, being of Ukrainian-American descent, has worked for many years on Soviet, then Russian, peace relations.

FredPtucha
Fred Ptucha, Viet Nam War veteran and member of Sonoma County Veterans For Peace Chapter 71

Chapter Reports are always a vital component of the regional meetings. Sacramento's VFP chapter 57 has focused on monthly demonstrations and civil disobedience at Beale Air Force Base. Though Beale makes Global Hawk drones, for surveillance, the killer Predator and Reaper strike drones could not do their deadly work without the intel. Held every last Monday and Tuesday, April 29th saw 13 arrested blocking the gates to Beale. The East Bay's chapter 162 were prominent at the "Pivot to Asia" conference, specifically focusing on current American and South Korean build- up on Jeju Island, off the coast of S. Korea. The site of a horrendous 1948 massacre by the S. Korean military, under over-all U.S. command, the island's residents are mounting very strong resistance today to construction of a huge American base.

San Francisco's Chapter 69, being in an area with a population of 3 to 4 million, depending on where the line is drawn, is a very busy chapter indeed. Participation in speaking tours, demonstrations, events, parades, exhibits, projects, actions, etc. are all a part of the group's seemingly non-stop efforts. Fleet Week, a 5-day-long promotion of the military was cancelled last October due to federal budget cuts, but promises to come back with a vengeance this fall. IVAW and VFP will be ready with tables, literature and face-to-face conversations with the thousands who attend along San Francisco's Embarcadero waterfront. The Hoa Binh (Peace) Chapter 160 of VFP in Viet Nam was represented by a recent returnee from the March/April tour. Progress on UXO (unexploded ordinance) removal and preventative education has definitely made headway in Viet Nam, due in part to ProjectRENEW, a program started over 15 years ago by veteran Chuck Searcy, who has lived full time in Ha Noi since 1995. The tragic damage done by the herbicide Agent Orange and it's contaminant dioxin claims three to four million victims today, going into the fourth generation of Viet Namese children. The U.S. has so far funded the clean-up of only one of 26 "hot spots." "We camped in Viet Nam for 10 years, and left a mess. We need to clean up our campsite," a vet told the group. A House Bill: HR 2519, co-authored by Oakland Congresswoman Barbara Lee would address many critical issues attributed to the chemical weapon.

Mendocino County's Chapter 116 is still struggling with access to the Veterans Memorial Building in Ukiah. Chapter 11 of Santa Cruz is dealing with an aging vet population and the challenges of recruiting new, younger members. On June 12 and 13, Santa Cruz will host a meeting of all Peace and Justice Centers. San Jose's Chapter 101 hosted the recent national GI Coffee House Tour and 'Refusnik' Speaking Tour. Chapter 91 in San Diego county has had great success organizing young vets in colleges. They have also raised tens of thousands of dollars for homeless vets, and housing for women vets and their children. "Arlington West" - hundreds of crosses on local beaches - was started by Southern California VFP chapters. By working with "Green Card Soldiers" who have been deported to Mexico and South America - often for minor incidences - a new cross border chapter of VFP is in the works.

Seattle's chapter 92 representative is also on the National Board, and gave an organizational overview, with recruitment of younger vets a top priority. Sonoma County's Chapter 71, the hosts, laid out their activities throughout the weekend retreat.

Of the dozens of important projects the NorCal chapters are working on, the last day saw a narrowing down to three: the Viet Nam War counter commemoration, the situation of deported and "banished" veterans, and the task of growing membership - especially young members of IVAW (Iraq [and Afghanistan] Veterans Against the War). The annual national convention will be held July 23 to 27 in Ashville, North Carolina - the theme, Peace or Perish: Abolish War on the Planet and the Poor. San Diego will host the 2015 national in August - The War Abroad and the War at Home.

This August, 2014 will be the 50th anniversary of the "official" start of the Viet Nam war - the infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident.

To their credit, and knowing full well that most Americans now know their history, the Department of Defense website's Timeline states (here in edited form): "On August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox is stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin in support of South Vietnamese espionage operations off the coast of North Vietnam. Three small North Vietnamese vessels engage the Maddox by launching torpedoes, each of which miss their mark. On the night of August 4, the USS Maddox and the USS Turner Joy, both in the Gulf of Tonkin, report being attacked by several smaller boats. However, later analyses of those reports make it clear that North Vietnamese naval forces did not attack the Maddox or the Turner Joy that night.

"In response to the North Vietnamese attack of August 2 and the assumed attack of August 4 in the Gulf of Tonkin, President Johnson orders, on August 5, the U.S. Navy to launch Operation PIERCE ARROW from the aircraft carriers USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation." Next came the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in Congress - with two courageous votes against - that started the war that would kill up to 8 million Southeast Asians, and well over 100.000 of our own. We wonder when any U.S. governmental statement about the fallacies that led us into the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq will be up on the world wide web.

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BIG OIL LOBBYIST PRAISES EDF FOR ‘BALANCED APPROACH’ TO FRACKING

by Dan Bacher

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and the former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called “marine protected areas” in Southern California, has praised the supposedly “balanced approach” to fracking advocated by the Environmental Defense Fund and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the recipient of millions of dollars of Walton Family Foundation money every year, is a supporter of the environmentally destructive practice of fracking for natural gas and oil. The group claims fracking would provide “measurable environmental benefits” in spite of the enormous harm that fracking poses to human health, groundwater and surface water supplies, and fish and wildlife populations.

EDF is no stranger to corporate greenwashing campaigns, since the corporate “environmental” NGO is also a big backer of “catch shares” or “catch and trade” programs that privatize fisheries. These programs for the 1 percent result in fisheries being transferred from traditional fishing families into fewer, increasingly corporate hands.The Walton Family Foundation donated $8,500,000 to EDF to promote catch shares in 2013 and $7,800,000 in 2012 (http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/about/2012-grant-report#environment.)

Reheis-Boyd, in her latest blog on the Western States Petroleum Association website (http://www.wspa.org), applauded Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund, and Michael Bloomberg for calling for “sensible rulemaking” and “measurable regulations” on fracking in their April 29 op-ed in the New York Times.

It is crucial to understand that the Western States Petroleum Association that Reheis-Boyd heads is the most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento. The organization spent a total of $5,331,493 in 2009, $4,013,813 in 2010, $4,273,664 in 2011, $5,698,917 in 2012 and $4,670,010 in 2013 on lobbying at the State Capitol - and spent $1,456,785 in just the first 3 months of 2014. (http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/23365-californias-big-oil-dirty-dozen)

Reheis-Boyd said:

In an April 29 opinion editorial published in the New York Times, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) joined former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in advocating for a balanced approach to hydraulic fracturing:

‘The shale gas boom is indeed lowering energy costs, creating new jobs, boosting domestic manufacturing and delivering some measurable environmental benefits as well. Unlike coal, natural gas produces minuscule amounts of such toxic air pollutants as sulfur dioxide and mercury when burned — so the transition from coal- to natural-gas-fired electricity generation is improving overall air quality, which improves public health. There’s also a potential climate benefit, since natural-gas-fired plants emit roughly half the carbon dioxide of coal-fired ones.’

We agree. Krupp and Bloomberg also called for sensible rulemaking and measurable regulations that protect the environment while allowing the petroleum industry to capitalize on an historic moment in our nation’s economy. Despite the emotions surrounding hydraulic fracturing, the American energy renaissance, led by the increase in domestic shale oil and gas production, can move forward safely.”

Reheis-Boyd then used her blog piece to greenwash Senator Fran Pavley’s Senate Bill 4, the green light to fracking bill in California, claiming that “California is leading and innovating this entire discussion.”

The vast majority of conservation and environmental justice groups strongly opposed Senate Bill 4 because it would create a clear path to expanded fracking in California. However, the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council and League of Conservation Voters supported the legislation until the last minute - withdrawing their support only after the oil industry added “poison pill” amendments to further weaken the badly-flawed legislation.

Reheis Boyd also reiterated oil industry disinformation claiming that the Pavley bill created the “most stringent” fracking regulations in the nation:

“Senate Bill 4 regulations, passed at the end of last year’s session, are the most stringent hydraulic fracturing regulations in the nation. The bill requires companies to obtain a permit from the state, notify surrounding landowners, conduct pre and post fracturing water tests, disclose all chemicals used in the process, conduct regular pressure tests on wells to ensure well integrity and submit extensive water management plans.

This week’s New York Times opinion editorial is a good reminder we must finally agree to embrace balanced policies that can achieve strict environmental protection, economic growth, and increased domestic energy security.”

Reheis-Boyd is extremely hypocritical for saying she supports “balanced” policies and “strict environmental protection,” based upon her dubious record as the Chair of the MLPA Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast. (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa/brtf_bios_sc.asp)

She and her collaborators on the task force made sure that the questionable “marine protected areas” created in Southern California under her “leadership” fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, corporate aquaculture, military testing and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering. Reheis-Boyd, state officials and MLPA Initiative advocates ensured that these alleged “marine protected areas” were good for big oil and ocean industrialists - and bad for fishermen, tribal gatherers and the public trust.

Reheis-Boyd also “served” on the MLPA initiative Blue Ribbon Task Forces to create so-called “marine protected areas” on the North Coast, North Central Coast and Central Coast and she currently sits on a federal “marine protection” panel, NOAA's 20 member Marine Protected Areas Advisory Committee. As she served on these panels, the oil industry engaged in a frenzy of environmentally destructive fracking operations off the Southern California coast, as revealed in an Associated Press and Freedom of Information Act investigation last year.

The corrupt process that Reheis-Boyd oversaw created no take “state marine reserves” that violate the traditional gathering rights of the Yurok Tribe and other California Indian Tribes to harvest seaweed, mussels and fish, as they have done for thousands of years. The privately funded process also rejected numerous requests by Yurok Tribe scientists and lawyers to present scientific studies that countered the terminally flawed and incomplete “science,” based on flawed assumptions, that drove the MLPA Initiative. (http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2011/07/15/lop_yurok_6-29_11.pdf)

As Frankie Joe Myers, Yurok Tribe member and Coastal Justice Coalition organizer, said before a direct action protest against the MLPA Initiative in Fort Bragg in July 2010, “The whole process is inherently flawed by institutionalized racism. It doesn’t recognize Tribes as political entities, or Tribal biologists as legitimate scientists.” (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/07/24/18654645.php)

“Whether it is their intention or not, what the Marine Life Protection Act does to tribes is it systematically decimates our ability to be who we are,” emphasized Myers. “That is the definition of cultural genocide.

To make make matters even worse, Ron LeValley, the Co-Chair of the MLPA Science Advisory Team – the same controversial state panel that inexplicably rejected the Yurok Tribe’s science studies - will be sentenced on May 20 on a single federal charge of conspiracy to embezzle nearly $1 million from the Yurok Tribe!( theava.com/archives/28651)

On February 11, LeValley, of Mad River Biologists, pled guilty to the charge in federal court. Court documents reveal that LeValley conspired with Roland Raymond, former Yurok Tribe forestry chair, to embezzle the funds through a complex scheme of fake and inflated invoices and payments for spotted owl surveys that LeValley and his organization never performed. The link to the federal indictment is available at: http://noyonews.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/U.S._v._Ron_LeValley_As_Filed.pdf

More recently, the industry that Reheis-Boyd lobbies for engaged in over 100 violations of California’s new public disclosure rules for fracking and other dangerous oil production methods. The violations were uncovered by a Center for Biological Diversity analysis of records from the state, the oil industry and South Coast air quality regulators. (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/fracking-04-30-2014.html)

In a letter to Governor Jerry Brown, the Center revealed that state regulators with the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources have failed to disclose legally mandated reports for 47 frack jobs and notices for more than 100 uses of other risky oil production techniques.

“This lack of disclosure underscores the failure of current regulations and the need for strong action that will protect public health and safety and the environment,” the letter says.

However, these overt violations of California environmental law are just a small taste of the massive violations of environmental laws that will take place if Reheis-Boyd and her collaborators are allowed to proceed with their plans to expand fracking operations in California.

If the oil industry and Governor Jerry Brown have their way, groundwater and surface supplies will be polluted with numerous toxic chemicals, including methanol, benzene, naphthalene and trimethylbenzene. According to the Center, evidence is mounting throughout the country that these chemicals are making their way into aquifers and drinking water.

Human health, endangered Central Valley salmon, steelhead and other fish populations and many wildlife species will be imperiled by increasing water pollution in California, as well as by the increasing use of water for fracking that is badly needed for people, farms and fish during the current drought.

In addition, air pollution caused by fracking contributes to the risk of asthma, cancer, and other health problems in people living near fracked wells, according to a Colorado School of Public Health study. (http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/20/local/la-me-gs-fracking-increases-air-pollution-health-risks-to-residents-20120320)

There is no doubt that we must completely reject the false claims by the oil industry, the Environmental Defense Fund and Michael Bloomberg that fracking can be conducted in a “safe” and “sensible” manner that “protects” the environment. We must call on Governor Brown and other state officials to ban fracking now!

We must also call on Brown and state and federal officials to halt the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the biggest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas. The tunnels will provide water for fracking and steam injection operations used to extract oil in Kern County, as well as for corporate agribusiness interests irrigating drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California water agencies. For more information about the twin tunnels, go to http://www.restorethedelta.org.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Updegraff May 19, 2014

    Another year or two of drought, which is likely, will resolve the water problem of the Russian River – there be no water to argue about.

  2. Mark Scaramella May 20, 2014

    Mr. Updegraff: You would be right anywhere but Mendocino County. Mendo’s Grape People argue over nothing all the time.

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