- Nude Cycling
- Teaching Vocation
- Brown's Budget
- AVArts Scholarship
- Journalistic Storytelling
- Baghdad Boogie
- Drug Relationship
- Armchair Generals
- Catch of the Day
- Big Oil Brown
- SEIU Insurgents
SPORTS NOTE, KIND OF. Arriving early at the ballpark Saturday for the Giants-Rockies game, and alerted by the morning Chron that the exhibitionists would be nude bike-riding as a demonstration for world peace or something or other, I thought, “Ho hum.” It's been obvious for years, as a quick glance at “activists” on the Northcoast confirms, that lots of unhappy, terminally screwed-up people conflate their personal misery with Big Picture issues. The Palestinians are oppressed and so am I. Etc. This phenomena is one reason why there's no left in this country. Regular people don't want to spend quality time with nutballs and unpleasant persons. If Redwood Summer happened all over again beginning tomorrow, I think I'd go to the ball game. The Civil Rights movement was certainly worth doing, as were the anti-war protests that followed. But they were led by people you could respect. Protest politics has been strictly backward since. (Occupy was a genius idea but quickly became the political equivalent of nude bicycling.)
ANYWAY, no rational person could possibly think that a gang of pervs who get their jollies exposing themselves to people who prefer not to see them has anything to do with world peace or any other serious issue.
BUT THERE THEY WERE SATURDAY circling the ballpark and — darting in and out of the crowd. For the dedicated perv it must have been heaven. Thousands of people forced to watch them. Whoopee! They couldn't do it in Redding, or even Ukiah or Fort Bragg, but in San Francisco this stuff is routine.
INSIDE THE PARK, something happened that seemed tangentially related to the two-wheeled weenie-waggers outside. In between innings, a camera pans the crowd on the hunt for entertaining visuals. I'm always surprised at how many apparent adults, spotting themselves on the big screen, leap to their feet and begin delighted gyrations. Saturday, the camera landed on a trio of boys, about ten years old, who, to the delight of thousands in the crowd, did a solid three minutes of lewd hip thrusts to whatever bad music was blasting out of the PA system. Ten-year-olds. The chronological adults looking on, their parents I assumed, looked transported, beaming at these little monsters as if their demented parody of intercourse was just the cutest darn thing they'd ever seen. And, as I said, the crowd obviously thought it was great stuff. But these were children in a country without adults. In a few years, these mini-models of precocious depravity, on the off chance they emerge more or less mentally intact from adolescence, will be riding naked on their bicycles up and down the Embarcadero.
A READER WRITES: "Read your piece on the game this morning. My sensibilities were also offended by a "brain freeze" challenge that was broadcast between innings, showing some fool shoveling a frozen concoction into his maw, against the clock. Shameful behavior. Apparently people are now conditioned, and fully prepared, to do just about anything once a camera is trained on them.
At the ballpark, I would prefer no Jumbotron and no music to all the crap they spew at the crowd these days. Baseball is a pastoral game, meant to be played on grass and in the sunshine. I don't need loud music and moving images to enjoy the experience. At best, they are distractions, but they more often slip into assaultive territory. I think I'll write a short piece to the powers that be, suggesting at least one day-game a year with all the electronic distractions turned off. Baseball unplugged. Acoustic baseball.
I'd also like to ask the city to do something about the overpowering sewage smell along the Embarcadero. It is hard to believe denizens put up with that as a regular feature of the place, but there it is every time I visit."
AMEN, BRO. The constant noise and Jumbotron idiocy are major irritants at the ballpark, and the smell of raw sewage on the Embarcadero has been with us for years. Years back, The City announced plans to tame the odor by mixing chemical essences that would smell like chocolate or vanilla, or even strawberry. A huge debate commenced between the partisans of the various aromas and The City gave up even discussing an attempt at scent enhancement.
THE TEACHER TENURE DEBATE RAGES, an AVA reader comments: “I'm so very glad that I am no longer a teacher. I quit after 10 years because I could no longer stand the ‘teachers are always wrong; students and parents are always right; administrators do not support teachers’ attitudes that are typical in our schools. To suggest that a student actually do homework or that the student's grade is legitimately a D, is to get accused of racism if the student is a minority. To give any student a failing or low grade is interpreted to mean that the teacher is a bad teacher. I was an excellent teacher, but even I had recalcitrant students who didn't want to do the work required to get a passing grade. Add to that the aggressiveness (sometimes violence) of some students and parents, and teaching became an unpleasant and highly stressful job. I quit and, since I am well educated with high honors from Cal, I quickly found another job.”
GOVERNOR BROWN'S BUDGET is a mixed bag of funding for useful programs but includes a major boondoggle. He increases funding for preschool and high school programs, at last grants overtime pay for in-home caregivers but approves hundreds of millions of dollars for high-speed rail. When America was still capable of large-scale projects, high-speed rail made sense. Other countries — Japan, China and most of Western Europe — have accomplished it, but here we've pretty much dismantled the rail system we had instead of improving it and converting the major lines to high-speed while there was still the ability and the long-term will to bring it off.
AVARTS SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED TO GABRIELA GARCIA
This year’s recipient of the Anderson Valley Arts (AVArts) scholarship program award for graduating seniors has been presented to Anderson Valley Junior & Senior High School (AVHS) student Gabriela Garcia of Philo. Gabriela will be attending Santa Rosa Junior College in the fall to pursue an associate’s degree in fashion design.
Gabriela has been actively engaged in her school’s drama program and the yearbook staff, rising to yearbook editor. She is also an accomplished photographer, participating in the My Photos, My Voice PhotoVoice project and has been a teacher’s aide in junior high school art classes. Gabriela’s senior project demonstrated her skill and creativity by designing and making re-purposed garments and accessories for both men and women.
AVArts wishes to acknowledge the generous donations made by the George and Ruth Bradford Foundation, Handley Cellars’ Art in the Cellar raffle, and local artists and art lovers who participated in the recent AVArts Pie in the Sky! fundraising event -- all of which make the scholarships and arts in the schools programs possible.
AVArts is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts in Anderson Valley. The group has supported arts education in Anderson Valley since 1999. Over the years AVArts has awarded dozens of scholarships to graduating seniors pursuing the study of art in college and to elementary, junior and high school students to attend special arts workshops, classes, summer camps and events as well as supported supplementary arts programs at both the elementary and junior and senior high schools.
AVArts welcomes donations, ideas and involvement from the community. For more information, call 707-895-2204, visit www.av-arts.org or contact AVArts at P.O. Box 606, Boonville, CA 95415.
Anderson Valley Arts Board
JOURNALISTIC STORYTELLING - Benefit for 48hills
Join us for a great storytelling benefit for 48hills! A fun lineup of investigative reporters and journalists will tell “Strange but True Tales of Investigative Reporting.” You get to hear from A.C. Thompson, one of the nation’s top investigative reporters; Bruce Anderson, publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser; Laura Fraser, bestselling author; Annalee Newitz, editor of io9.com; filmmaker Jerry Lee Abram …. And yes, me, Tim Redmond. Should be a blast. Tickets are $15 to $250, pay what you can, it’s a benefit. It’s June 16, 8-10 pm, at the Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa. You can buy tickets here.
— Tim Redmond
by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!';
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run'
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And — which is more — you'll be a Man, my son!
ANOTHER TRIUMPH OF AMERICAN foreign policy: The United States has evacuated most of its personnel from the Embassy in Baghdad and dramatically stepped up security for those who remain as thousands of Islamic fighters bear down on Iraq's capital city.
Some 5,500 people work in the massive Embassy complex in the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. Many will be airlifted to Amman, Jordan, and others will be sent to consulates in Basra, in the south, and Erbil, in the Kurdish north.
Other workers will remain in Baghdad.
The New York Times, whose Judith Miller practically started the war in the first place by serving as conduit for the Bush Gang, reports that American officials are keeping the Embassy open for now and see the evacuations as merely a temporary precaution.
ON-LINE STATEMENT OF THE DAY
Sadly drugs will never go away. What needs to change is the way we discuss and handle drugs. Stop teaching propaganda which never works and start teaching harm reduction. Harm reduction saves lives. Teach the facts about drugs and teach IF someone gets to the point in life where they decide to use drugs this is how you be safe doing so. Just say no never worked and the lying only enables maturing youth to figure out the effects if drugs themselves. When teenagers get to the point in life where they are faced with the decision to use a particular substance and some choose to indulge they quickly find out much of the preaching they heard throughout their childhood is lies. When a teenager learns the very people they put their trust in lied to them, they often ask themselves "what else have I been lied to about, maybe if alcohol isn't so bad cannabis isn't either. If cannabis isn't so bad maybe MDMA isn't so bad either. If MDMA isn't so bad maybe cocaine isn't so bad either. If cocaine isn't so bad maybe methamphetamine isn't so bad either. If methamphetamine isn't so bad maybe heroin isn't so bad either." Propaganda is the true "gateway drug". A substance is not a gateway to stronger substances. You don't indulge in a substance only for a mythological gateway to open. It's the mindset we teach our youth that enables addictive and dangerous behavior. Drugs will always be in the picture because they ALWAYS have. Whether it was the Greeks and ergot wine, or the Mayans seeking a higher consciousness to reach the gods with ayahuasca, or even parents giving heroin or opium tincture to hush crying babies in early America drugs have always been a part of human culture. The outlook on inantimatee substances needs to change in order for destructive behaviors to change. Stronger enforcement and harsher penalties don't work and will never work. History has taught us that much. It's time to move on from the Reagan era way of thinking.
WHO IS JOHN SAKOWICZ?
Letter to the Editor
I only met John Sakowicz once. It was sometime after Wall Street and the “investment bankers” had nearly bankrupted the country — and had put the big hurt on my people — and our meeting didn’t go well. It was at KZYX, of all places. I had some biz there and while I was waiting in their waiting room I realized that Sakowicz was next door in the studio wrapping up his radio show. I’d listened to his show before and, since I’ve always admired folks who have a way with numbers, I enjoyed hearing what Sakowicz had to say. Seemed he had Wall Street expertise and finely-tuned administrative skills (life as a spreadsheet) and no doubt the dude likes spouting off and I liked that, too. Also somebody had recently written a Letter to the Editor accusing Sakowicz (the damned carpetbagger) of padding his sparkling resume and that, on balance, increased my sympathy for him. The dude must be making some kind of waves, I figured, and I’ve always been partial to that sort of person. The complacent and the apathetic are too docile to suit my tastes.
Anyway, Sakowicz finishes his show, steps into the waiting room and what strikes me is how physically imposing he is. Myself, I’m little big man; here’s a big, big man. So, off the top of my head, and with a big smile, I remark how, gee, I’d always thought Wall Street was full of pencil necks.
Well Sakowicz glared at me and instantly I knew I was forever una persona nada grata in his eyes. Having missed my joke, he’d fixated on my rudeness. While I felt a little bad about it afterward, I blamed myself and not him. I wouldn’t be a wisecracker if I didn’t like taking risks. Sometimes you get knowing laughs, other times you get snake eyes.
Regarding his current dustup with the generals hunkered down in the KZYX bunker, I’m all with Sakowicz. If I understand the issue correctly, he’s demanding that they open their books and they’re refusing. So how could I not side with Sakowicz? What are the generals hiding? Is it their good deeds?
Then, in the June 2nd issue of the AVA, I read Sacowicz’s letter titled, “Who is Bowe Bergdahl?” That’d be Sergeant Bergdahl, the recently released American POW. Sacowicz’s declaration begins: “Bowe Bergdahl is no hero. He went AWOL. He is a deserter. And he got fellow soldiers killed…” Sakowicz goes on to all but convict Sgt. Bergdahl of treason and implies the President is a traitor for having “negotiated with Terrorists.” Then -- this really rubbed me wrong -- Sakowicz pitches a petition demanding that Sgt. Bergdahl be punished.
Made me wonder: what the hell had possessed this guy to push such hateful drivel? Was Sakowicz in the military? Who is he to be pontificating on the Uniform Code of Military Injustice? At least back in the day when this country relied on Citizen Soldiers -- mostly draftees and rightfully so -- going AWOL at least once during your hitch was a time-honored GI tradition. I spent a couple months playing war games in the mountains above Ponce in Puerto Rico. To keep us from antagonizing the natives -- lotsa pro-independence sentiment on the island in those days -- we were restricted to the base the entire time. Now do you think that kept some of us from going over the wire? Shee-it. So long as we made it back for reveille, nobody gave a damn. Also, going AWOL and deserting are essentially the same thing. Return to base within 30 days and you’re charged with AWOL. After 30 days, it’s Desertion. Of course, if it’s a free fire zone and you disappear, you’re classified as Missing in Action. Or, in today’s Pentagon Newspeak (Orwell cringes) you’re classified as DSU: Duty Status Unknown.
If you’ve been captured by the enemy, you’re a POW.
The notion that by leaving his post Sgt. Bergdahl caused American soldiers to get killed is hateful and preposterous. All but the most delusional of Armchair Generals -- there’s a reason why so few combat vets have much patience with the type -- knows that. When a patrol walks into an ambush, it’s their own fault. In military terms, it counts as a serious tactical defeat. Rule One in mobile warfare: don’t get ambushed. It’s always been that way.
I don’t know what possessed Sgt. Bergdahl to leave his post. Nobody does. Given the price he has paid for doing so, I doubt if even he clearly remembers what he’d been thinking. So for Sacowicz to presume to know his motivations and to convict him on that basis is downright Un-American and genuinely sinful. It’s as wicked as a mob out to lynch witches.
In his jingoistic venom, Sakowicz writes the words America’s “War on Terror.” If educated people cannot wrap their minds around the obvious reality that war is terrorism, I’d strongly suggest that they take their heads out of their asses. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani and Syrians dead, a million hideously wounded, millions rotting in refugee camps, millions of malnourished children peering upward at the sky in dread -- how much more evidence do you need? What will it take to get you civilized?
Bruce Patterson, Prineville, Oregon
CATCH OF THE DAY, JUNE 15, 2014
FAITH APPLE, Ukiah. Petty Theft.
NOEL BANHAM, Willits. Staggering around town loaded on drugs, not specified which, and booze.
BRIAN BEATY, Willits. Contempt of court. Probably not for flipping out on the judge but some violation of a judge's order.
CORY FLYNN, Potter Valley. Unlicensed DUI as opposed to a simple DUI with a valid license.
BETH FONTAINE, Eureka. Meth-related charges and theft of a vehicle. Only 29, this kid is probably lost to this evil drug forever.
JEFFREY HOCKETT, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. Often, you can be drunk in public without getting arrested. But if you're obnoxiously drunk in public you'll be suppressed.
ADRIAN McWHINNEY, Ukiah. This poor guy has been arrested for public drunkenness for years.
GREGORY MORGAN, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, the ultra-swinish charge.
TODDIA OUSPENSKY, Fort Bragg. Child Endangerment, Child Abduction.
FABIAN ROSALES, Ukiah. Revoke probation. Neck tats alone are usually a sure sign of malign life.
MELINDA SMITH, Redway. CHP arrest for driving under the influence of meth.
KEITH STEVENS, Willits. DUI, driving on a suspended license, child endangerment. Way to go, Keith. You might at least leave the kid at home before you take off.
TORI TASSLOR, Ukiah. Under the influence of tweek. Only 26 and fully zombo-ized.
FROM GOVERNOR MOONBEAM TO ‘BIG OIL BROWN’
by Dan Bacher
Jerry Brown, once known as "Governor Moonbeam" for his quirkiness and eccentricities during his first two administrations from 1975 to 1983, has in his third administration transformed himself into "Big Oil Brown."
According to Jessie McKinley in the New York Times, The "Governor Moonbeam" nickname "was coined by Mike Royko, the famed Chicago columnist, who in 1976 said that Mr. Brown appeared to be attracting 'the moonbeam vote; which in Chicago political parlance meant young, idealistic and nontraditional." (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/weekinreview/07mckinley.html)
Thirty-eight years later, Oil Change International, a research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on "exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy" has given Brown a new nickname, "Big Oil Brown," for the large contributions he has received from oil companies and his support of fracking. The web page dedicated to "Big Oil Brown" features Jerry attired in a suit and cowboy hat like a Texas oil baron right next to an oil rig (http://www.bigoilbrown.org/)
"California's Governor Jerry Brown has a problem: he wants to be seen as a climate champion who understands the science and takes this crisis seriously. At the same time, he just proposed new fracking rules in California that would amount to a gift to Big Oil. He can't have it both ways," according to the web page.
The group has also created a spoof ad about “Jerry Brown’s Frackwater Cologne.”
Leaders of environmental organizations, Indian Tribes and fishing groups are upset that Brown signed Senator Fran Pavley's Senate Bill 4, the green light for fracking bill that clears the path for expanded fracking in California, in September 2013. The last minute amendments to the bill by the oil industry were so odious that they spurred the League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund to withdraw their support at the last minute for the already weak legislation.
The bill made California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of fracking permits optional and prevents imposing a moratorium on fracking for 15 months.
Big Oil strongly supported the amended version of Senate Bill 4 that Brown signed. Just ask Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association and former chair of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, who praised the governor's signing of Senate Bill 4 for creating the "environmental" platform to expand fracking in California. (http://www.wspa.org/blog/post/statement-wspa-president-catherine-reheis-boyd-signing-sb-4)
"With the signing of Senate Bill 4, California has the toughest regulations of hydraulic fracturing and other energy production technologies in the country," said Reheis-Boyd. "While SB 4's requirements went significantly farther than the petroleum industry felt was necessary, we now have an environmental platform on which California can look toward the opportunity to responsibly develop the enormous potential energy resource contained in the Monterey Shale formation
Brown signed the bill after receiving at least $2,014,570.22 from fossil fuel interests since his race for Attorney General in 2006. (http://www.bigoilbrown.org/frackwater/)
In the 2014 election cycle, four oil companies have contributed a total of $161,000 to the Brown campaign to date, according to Oil Change Internation. Occidental Petroleum has given $27,200, the maximum legally allowed. Edison and Chevron have both contributed $27,200 twice, once for the primary election and another for the general election. Phillips 66 has nearly maxed out with a $25,000 contribution. Fossil fuel industry contributions in 2010 Governor’s race were $198,451.22.
Proposition 30, one of the Governor’s signature policy initiatives in 2012, was also heavily funded by Big Oil. The oil and gas companies contributed over $1,118,418 to the campaign, including $500,000 from Occidental Petroleum.
In addition, fossil fuel industry interests have donated $355,000 to Brown’s two Oakland charter schools since 2006. In 2013 alone, Occidental Petroleum gave The Oakland Military Institute $150,000 at Brown’s behest.
Brown backs carbon trading, Delta death tunnels
But the Governor's signing of the green light to fracking bill is just one of the many attacks on the environment that Brown has engaged in.
Governor Brown is an avid supporter of the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation+) that allows Northern Hemisphere polluters to buy forest carbon offset credits from the global South. Brown is trying to link an agreement among Chiapas, Mexico; Acre, Brazil; and California, to AB32, which commits to a 25% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for 2020, and an 80% reduction for 2050).
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, exposed the impact of Brown's REDD policies on the environment and Indigenous Peoples when he spoke at a protest against Brown's failed environmental policies in San Francisco on October 17, 2013 when Brown was slated to receive environmental leadership award by the Blue Green Alliance. Brown didn't show up, probably because of those, including Goldtooch and Michael Preston of the Winnemem Wintu tribe, who gathered outside to protest the event. (http://www.ienearth.org/press-statement-tom-goldtooth-behind-the-backs-of-the-people-of-california/:
"Despite being awarded, as I speak, for his supposed environmentalism, Governor Brown is moving ahead with a policy that grabs land, clear-cuts forests, destroys biodiversity, abuses Mother Earth, pimps Father Sky and threatens the cultural survival of Indigenous Peoples
This policy privatizes the air we breathe. Commodifies the clouds. Buy and sells the atmosphere. Corrupts the Sacred.
This policy is called carbon trading and REDD. REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. But REDD really means Reaping profits from Evictions, land grabs, Deforestation and Destruction of biodiversity. REDD does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at source. And REDD may result in the biggest land grab of the last 500 years."
Brown has also rushed the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels, a $67 billion boondoggle that will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and numerous other fish species, as well as imperiing salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath Rivers. The plan would take large tracts of fertile Delta farmland out of production in order to irrigate drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, all under the guise of "habitat restoration."
Every scientific panel, ranging from the Independent Delta Science Board to the National Academy of Sciences, has criticized the flawed "science" behind the twin tunnel plan. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/20/1300714/-Delta-Independent-Science-Board-Slams-Brown-s-Tunnel-Plan)
Brown administration exported record amounts of Delta water
The Brown administration also authorized the export of record water amounts of water from the Delta in 2011 - 6,520,000 acre-feet, 217,000 acre feet more than the previous record of 6,303,000 acre feet set in 2005 under Schwarzenegger. Most of this water went to corporate agribusiness, including mega-farmers irrigating unsustainable, selenium-laced land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.
The record water exports spurred massive fish kills at the state and federal Delta pumps. The Brown administration "salvaged" a record of nearly 9 million Sacramento splittail and over 2 million salmon, steelhead, striped bass, largemouth bass, threadfin shad, white catfish and sturgeon in the Delta export pumping facilities in 2011. Since the actual number of fish killed in the pumps is at least 5 to 10 times those reported, the actual number of fish killed is probably 55 million to 110 million.
More recently, Governor and the Obama administration oversaw the systematic emptying of Folsom and other northern California reservoirs last year during a record drought, imperiling struggling salmon and steelhead populations and local water supplies. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/07/1275862/-The-Emptying-of-Northern-California-Reservoirs)
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Brown and Obama administration’s anti-fish and pro-agribusiness policies have resulted in pushing Delta fish populations closer to extinction. A Delta fish survey released by the California Department of Wildlife in January 2004 confirms the continuing collapse of the ecosystem of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.
The 2013 indices (a relative number of abundance) for Delta smelt, a federal and state endangered species, and American shad were the second lowest in the 46 years of the survey. The striped bass index was tied for third lowest, while the longfin smelt and threadfin shad indices were the eighth and fifth lowest, respectively, according to Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. (http://truth-out.org/speakout/item/21219-delta-fish-survey-reveals-an-ecosystem-in-collapse
Oil lobbyist-overseen marine “protection”
Brown has also forged ahead with one of the worst environmental programs of the Schwarzenegger regime, the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. In one of the most egregious conflicts of interests in modern California history, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), chaired the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, as well as serving on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. (http://intercontinentalcry.org/the-five-inconvenient-truths-about-the-mlpa-initiative/)
It is no surprise that the alleged "marine protected areas" fast-tracked under the Schwarzenegger and Brown administrations fail to protect the ocean from pollution, fracking, offshore oil drilling, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.
In fact, a Freedom of Information Act and Associated Press investigation last year revealed that Southern California marine waters were fracked at least 203 times in the past 20 years. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/10/19/calif-finds-more-instances-of-offshore-fracking/3045721/)
Much of the fracking took place while the Western States Petroleum Association president was overseeing the creation of the oil industry-friendly "marine protected areas." Does anybody think there might have been a conflict of interest here?
Brown’s relentless march to environmental destruction
Other abysmal environmental policies of the "Green Energy Governor" include the following:
• Department of Conservation Shake-UP: Brown fired Acting Director Derk Chernow and Oil and Gas Supervisor Elena Miller and appointed oil industry-friendly Mark Nechodom in 2011, amidst claims by the oil industry and their political allies that the two officials weren't granting permits quickly and easily enough. As a result, risky injection oil drilling permits increased by 18 percent. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/12/30/18703640.php)
• California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA): Brown is trying to weaken or even eliminate CEQA, one of California's greatest environmental laws, to fast-track big developments for giant corporations like Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway, General Electric, Valero and Chevron.
• Clear cutting in the Sierra Nevada: Brown is doing nothing to stop Sierra Pacific Industries from clear cutting forests, destroying wildlife habitat, and contributing to climate change.
• "Theme Park" Wetlands: The Department of Fish and Wildlife under the Jerry Brown administration is working with the Annenberg Foundation to bulldoze a section of the Ballona Wetlands to build an interpretive center and help with the "restoration" of the land around the center.
As I have documented in article after article, Brown, rather than a being an "environmental leader" as some proclaim, appears to be on a relentless march to the destruction of fish, water and the environment. He has definitely earned the nickname of "Big Oil Brown."
For more information about Brown’s abysmal environmental policies, go to: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/12/jerry-brown-worse-than-schwarzenegger-on-environment/or http://www.alternet.org/environment/governor-jerry-browns-10-worst-environmental-policies
HOW STATE WORKERS ARE SUCCESSFULLY FIGHTING SEIU WAGE CONFISCATIONS
Who are we?
We are “SIEU Nongermane Objectors”
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead
What SEIU Is Hiding: Taking Worker Wages for Political Purposes — Objecting State Workers Obstructed by Red Tape.
Sacramento- June 15, 2014. State workers Lisa Garcia and Mariam are standing up to their state employee union, the SEIU, for suppressing their First Amendment Rights. “We have launched our Campaign to educate all SEIU Participants about their option to discontinue paying SEIU dues that are used for political or ideological activities,” say Garcia and Noujaim.
They are spreading their message throughout California by sending it to email lists of fellow state workers and other interested friends and families. State workers who wish to opt out have little time, the month of June. Garcia and Noujaim are helping them wade through the complex forms and bureaucratese to restore their rights to contribute, or not, to the causes of their own choice, not those of union leaders.
What Seiu 1000 Does Not Want Their Members To Know
A mass email campaign has been launched to inform all SEIU Local 1000 Participants of their right to choose. Over 83,000 emails have been rolled out to notify Members and Non Members that June is the only month they have the option to become a Non Germane Objector. A Non Germane Objector, is an SEIU Participant who objects to a portion of their dues being used for purposes not related to collective bargaining.
www.SEIUNGO.com is a group of SEIU Members and Non Members whose goal is to educate and raise the awareness of ALL Participants that they are paying unknowingly a “voluntary” contribution to political candidates and initiatives that they may not support. Participants can opt out of having to contribute towards that part of their dues. The Union does NOT want you to know, you CAN OPT OUT. The Union makes no attempt to notify their Members of their rights & options.
SEIU is not required to notify their Members in writing each year that June is the open enrollment period to Opt Out and become a Non Germane Objector. SEIU does send yearly notification to Non Members in an effort to encourage them to become Members to bring in additional revenue.
Members who choose to withdraw their “voluntary contribution” lose their right to vote for the Officers who represent all collective bargaining for ALL Fair Share Fee Payers who are the ones who pay 66.4% of regular member dues. Non Germane Objectors are required every June to complete a new form to renew their Non Germane Objector status. SEIU is not required to send a notification to the Members to let them know of their right to Opt Out in June.
SEIU forces their Members to relinquish their membership as a requirement to Opt Out.
Lisa Garcia/SEIU Member 916 893 4449 email@example.com
Mariam Noujaim/SEIU Member 916 834 8916 firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is the email that was sent to all SEIU Participants who have a State email:
OPEN ENROLLMENT FORM FOR SEIU/NGO 2014-12015
DEADLINE: July 1, 2014
NGO (Non Germane Objector) Information can easily be verified by
SEIU Local 1000. Phone Number: (866) 471-7348.
The “Notice To Fair Share Fee Payers” who object to expenditures not related to Collective Bargaining Activities i.e NGO (Non Germane Objector) is mailed by SEIU Local 1000 to Non-Members once a year.
Our mission is to educate & inform ALL SEIU Participants of their right/option to:
ONLY pay the dues amount required to cover the cost of
34% Saving Of Regular Monthly Dues
ADVANTAGE of Becoming a “Non Germane Objector” 2014 â€“ 2015:
1- Reduce Your Monthly Dues by 34%
2- Still Be Entitled To “Fair & Impartial” Representation
“Effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 (the "2014-15 Fee Payer Year), SEIU Local 1000 will charge fee payers who object to expenditures not germane to collective bargaining a fee of no more than 66.44% of regular membership dues for that salary level. In order to obtain this reduced amount, you must send an objection letter to SEIU Local 1000's Membership Processing Center”.
It must be received no later than July 1, 2014,
Completion of all 6 items on the “Objection Letter” is a requirement.
(see form below)
Objection Letter To Seiu Local 1000”S Membership Processing Center
SEIU Local 1000 Membership Cancellation & Non-Germane Objector (NGO)
• I am submitting this form to cancel my SEIU Local 1000 membership
• I am filing for Non-Germane Objector
• I object the use of my fees for activities NOT related to collective bargaining
1- Signature Date
2- Print First/M.I./Last Name
3-Street Address __________________________________________________
6- Department: _____________________________
5- Agency/Bargaining Unit see: www.seiuNGO.com ________
6- Last 4 digits of your SSN (for identification) ___________
CSEA/SEIU Membership 1108 “O” Street, Ste 415 Sacramento, CA 95814
Objector letter must be received by July 1 2014.
Non Germane Objector
It Is The Law
* Ralph C. Dills Act, Chapter 10.3 - 3515.7 & 3515.8
(State Employer-Employee Relations) is the Law:
“A public employee who opts out of union membership is still covered by the collective bargaining agreements negotiated between the employer and the union. Thus, a public employee still earns the benefits of the collective bargaining agreement (e.g., wages, vacations, pensions, health insurance) despite not joining the union. A public employee who is not a member of the union may not, however, be able to participate in union elections, meetings, votes, or other union activities”. (ACLU)
SEIU Participants have the right to object to their portion of dues that are being spent in anything that is not related to collective bargaining. You have the right and option to pay only this adjusted portion of fees, which is approximately 66% of the current amount you are paying and still have Fair Representation by your Union.
www.SEIUNGO.com is comprised of ALL SEIU Participants: Members & Non Members. We are seeking to support and encourage accountability & transparency within our Union. Our mission is to educate & inform all participants represented by SEIU of their right/option to ONLY pay the dues amount required to cover the cost of Collective Bargaining.
Due to the high volume of inquiries we have received we are unable to respond to each person individually. We will create a Q&A page @ www.seiuNGO.com to address all your questions, concerns, and inquiries.
(Please allow 24-72 hrs.).
In Solidarity, we will bring back our Union to serve ALL its Participants equally