Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Oct 4, 2014

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READ IT AND WEEP. Another total waste of public money. Squared. The Mendocino County Office of Education has somehow been handed two big hunks of federal tax money amounting to $1.7 million “for mental health awareness and training.”

SOMETHING called the “Project Aware Grant” is worth a hundred thou in blah-blah to MCOE. It was “awarded” by the “Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,” a federal agency.

MCOE got a whopping $1.6 million “School Climate Transformation Grant” from a federal free money dispensary called “Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities National Programs.” That pot of squandered dough will arrive at Talmage over five years, and will be distributed over a five-year period “to help promote mental health training, literacy, awareness and prevent mental health from hitting a breaking point in the community,” said Natasha Carter, MCOE student mental health initiative coordinator.

IN OTHER WORDS, a lot of money for a bunch of MCOE drones to sit around chatting or, as MCOE hustlers put it: “The grant will also provide training for six instructors in Youth Mental Health First Aid, who will then be able to train 250 school and community members during the two-year grant period… The training is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers and any other interested citizen in the community…”

”THE TRAINING will help deal with crisis that may come-up, or how to recognize signs and symptoms of somebody possibly exhibiting a mental health disorder,” Carter said. “People are becoming more aware of these issues, and youth in society are showing more signs of mental illness.”

THE SCHOOL CLIMATE TRANSFORMATION grant will also “assist and support school districts within Mendocino County to establish and implement a multi-tier Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support framework on school campuses, and further strengthen the mental wellness framework in schools.”

”FURTHER STRENGTHEN”? The typical edu-experience most places — Ukiah certainly — is seemingly designed to enhance mental illness, and that edu-experience occurs in a larger context of social collapse. Not to be tooooooo negative here, but Mendocino County's Neurotic Youth might at least feel temporarily more hopeful if you divided up the $1.7 mil among them and their parents. As it is, you'll have the Tichinin Gang taking the biggest hunk for themselves and more young people 5150 in a nutso social-psycho school context.

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GIANTS BIG WIN!

Familiar formula carries day for Giants in Game 1

http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Giants-familiar-formula-carries-day-in-Game-1-5799867.php

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RAYS ROAD TENACIOUS BOBCAT

The prequel to the “Deer and Bobcat” story that appeared in the September 24th issue of the Advertiser is that that the deer, a fawn, was seen by Colleen Curtis struggling but alive, on the forested side of the fence on Ray’s Road, obviously before it was reported to the Advertiser that a very tenacious Bobcat was witnessed in broad daylight munching on a dead deer’s leg.

This offers readers a choice of three different scenarios.

#1. The fawn was somehow injured on the forest side of the fence.

#2. The fawn was hit by a vehicle and propelled over the fence.

#3. The fawn was hit by a vehicle and then thrown over the fence still alive. (I hope this is not the case as it calls into question the humanity of the responsible party.)

Whatever the scenario, the fact is the injured fawn was seen struggling in the brush unable to walk before Mr. Bobcat came by for dinner. Which holds with the conventional wisdom that Bobcats don’t readily eat carrion.

Seeing the fawn in that condition Colleen immediately went home and called someone to euthanize the animal. (CHP, Animal Control, or our Anderson Valley Deputy Walker will send someone out to dispatch road-crippled animals.) However, upon returning to the scene she found — guess what? A seriously possessive Bobcat crouched atop his trophy deer staring her down.

The moral of the story is there is no need to let road-injured wildlife suffer needlessly. Call for help — or do the job yourself — don't just throw them over the fence for the Bobcat.

Bob Jancula, Owner, Anderson Valley Inn, Philo

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CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY SANHEDRIN CHAPTER PRESENTS:

Ken Montgomery: Native Plant Gardening for the Drought

October 16th at 7 pm — Ukiah Garden Club House, 1203 W. Clay St Ukiah. Free and Open to All

Montgomery
Montgomery

Interested in learning how to grow local flora? Come join us to hear this delightful, enthusiastic and knowledgeable presenter Ken Montgomery. He is an ecologist, botanist and longtime owner of Anderson Valley Nursery in Boonville, specializing in California native plants. He brings a wealth of practical knowledge in all aspects of gardening and eco-site restoration with native plants. He has spoken with other groups and has been instrumental in restoration work, including involving students in these projects. This presentation will focus on native gardening during this exceptional drought we are experiencing. Ken will provide planting recommendations, discuss plant suitability and answer questions you may have about gardening. Learn how native plants can save on water use, be low maintenance and enhance pollination habitat. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Allison Rofe, CNPS Co-President

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COPS ON THE STREETS OF UKIAH

Luna
Luna

ON THURSDAY September 25 at about 10:11 PM, Ukiah Police Department responded to a man lying in the roadway at North State Street and Ford Street. Upon officers arrival they contacted 32 year old Jeremiah Luna. Luna displayed obvious symptoms of alcohol intoxication and was found to be currently on summary probation. Luna was arrested for public intoxication and violation of his probation.

ON FRIDAY September 26 at about 8:47 PM, Ukiah Police Department responded to 790 S. Dora Street (Yokayo Elementary School) for a report of juveniles on the school grounds causing a disturbance. Upon officers arrival they contacted two juveniles smoking marijuana. Both juveniles were arrested for possession of marijuana on school grounds and later released to their respective parents.

Scaife
Scaife

ON SUNDAY September 28 at about 1:17 AM, Ukiah Police Department Officers contacted 39 year old transient Jacob Scaife in the 300 block of Hastings Rd. During this contact Scaife told officers he was from Clearlake and had been visiting Ukiah for the past two days. Scaife also told officers that he was a sex offender and that he was registered with the Clearlake Police Department. When officers checked Scaife’s record to determine if he was in compliance of his registration requirements and found that he had not registered as required. Scaife was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender-transient.

Fuentes
Fuentes

ON MONDAY September 29 at about 11:06 PM, Ukiah Police Department Officers responded to the 300 block of Leslie St. regarding an intoxicated male in a silver vehicle parked in the area. Upon officer’s arrival, they observed the vehicle, which was occupied and parked along the west curb, facing southbound on Leslie St. Officers contacted the male, who identified himself as 20 year old Andres Victor Fuentes Lucero. During the contact with Fuentes officers noticed that he displayed symptoms of alcohol intoxication. Officers also conducted a records check of Fuentes and found that he was currently on probation for a prior DUI. Officers were able to determine that Fuentes had not yet driven his vehicle but given the vehicle’s keys were found in the ignition were concerned that he was about to. Due to Fuentes obvious symptoms of alcohol intoxication, officers felt he was too intoxicated to care for the safety of himself or others. Fuentes was placed under arrest for public intoxication and violation of probation.

ON TUESDAY September 30 at about 3:27 PM Ukiah Police Department responded to 1155 Airport Park Blvd regarding a vehicle theft that just occurred. The vehicle reported as stolen is a 1998 Acura Integra. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate it. In speaking with the owner of the vehicle officers were learned that the owner was speaking with an employee in front of Walmart. While speaking with the employee, the owner heard a vehicle that sounded like his and turned to look. The owner turned around in time to see his vehicle being driven out of the Walmart parking lot. The vehicle was last seen going north on Airport Park Blvd. Anybody with information regarding this vehicle is requested to contact the Ukiah Police Department.

Rudzitis
Rudzitis

ON WEDNESDAY, October 1 at about 10:51 AM, Ukiah Police department Officers responded to 402 Henry St, regarding an intoxicated person making suicidal statements.

Upon arrival, officers contacted 30 year old Erik Rudzitis. Rudzitis displayed obvious objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication.

Due to these symptoms of intoxication and his statements of wanting to harm himself, Rudzitis was placed under arrest for public intoxication.

Fermin
Fermin

ON WEDNESDAY, October 1 at about 11:37 PM Ukiah Police department responded to the 200 block of Ford Street regarding a male subject yelling that someone was trying to kill him. Upon officers arrival they contacted 23 year old Marco Antonio Fermin. Fermin stated he was at a residence on Sidney St when he became involved in a verbal argument with an acquaintance. It was during this argument the acquaintance threw a chair at Fermin which caused him to leave the residence. Fermin claimed that as he was walking away from the residence when the acquaintance began driving his vehicle behind Fermin. Fermin fled and attempted to knock on different residences doors on Ford Street. Fermin claimed that the acquaintance also brandished a metal club at him however drove off when law enforcement arrived on Ford Street. A records check of Fermin was conducted and officers learned that he had two warrants out of Mendocino County and was also on felony probation possession of a controlled substance. Fermin was arrested for the two warrants and booked into the county jail.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 3, 2014

Apple, Briggs, Campbell, Fabian
Apple, Briggs, Campbell, Fabian

FAITH APPLE, Ukiah. Possession of meth, possession of controlled substance, offense while on bail.

MARTIN BRIGGS, Willits. “Mandatory supervision sent.” (?)

NAOMI CAMPBELL, Fort Bragg. Possession of meth, drug paraphernalia; probation revocation.

FERNANDO FABIAN, Ukiah. Probation revocation, resisting arrest.

Jenkins, Luna, Marks, Moddrelle
Jenkins, Luna, Marks, Moddrelle

GLENN JENKINS, Willits. Violation of county parole.

JEREMIAH LUNA, Covelo. Probation revocation.

LEON MARKS, Ukiah. Petty theft, possession of drug paraphernalia.

STACEY MODDRELLE, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

Ramirez, Reidy, Stark, Stough
Ramirez, Reidy, Stark, Stough

JOSE RAMIREZ, Ukiah. Bad checks, burglary, receipt of stolen property.

LAURA REIDY, Mendocino. Receipt of stolen property.

CHARLES STARK, Ukiah/Laytonville. DUI-Drugs, possession of meth, possession of hashish.

WALTER STOUGH, Fort Bragg. Trespassing, probation revocation.

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FALL CHINOOK ENTER THE LOWER EEL RIVER

Dive Surveys Planned

by Patrick Higgins/Eel River Recovery Project

The recent rains caused an increase in Eel River flow that not only allowed the Eel River channel to become completely wetted in its lower reaches near Fortuna, but also some early run fall Chinook salmon to move upstream out of the estuary. Flows at the U.S. Geologic Survey gauge at Scotia rose briefly to just under 220 cubic feet per (cfs) second, up from the previously extremely low flow of 47 cfs that prevented any migration. The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP), in cooperation with the Wiyot Tribe and the Humboldt Redwood Company, will once again lead dive counts involving professionals and volunteers to get an index of early-run Eel River fall Chinook abundance in October and November 2014.

Dive counts will take place in lower Eel River pools from River Lodge to Fernbridge on Saturday, October 11 and then repeat every two weeks on October 25 and November 8 or until the river becomes too turbid for dives to take place. Dives of pools just upstream at the mouth of the Van Duzen and at the Weymouth Bluffs Pool, off Grizzly Bluff Road, will take place on Friday mornings so that agency and tribal fish biologists can assist during their work week. Friday dives are scheduled for October 10 th and 24th, and November 7. Divers will meet at River Lodge in Fortuna at 8:30 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, but all should check in previously with ERRP Volunteer Coordinator Patrick Higgins at 223-7200.

The Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) will host dives in index pools from Dyerville to Scotia on the following Mondays (October 13 and 27, November 10). Since Chinook salmon are not currently widely distributed in the lower Eel River upstream of Scotia, the October 13 dive will not take place unless there is additional rain to move fish upstream. Divers will meet at Hoby’s Market in Scotia at 8:30 AM, but should check in prior with HRC fisheries biologist Julie Donnell at 764-4472.

This is the third year of the ERRP fall Chinook salmon monitoring project, which also uses information from volunteer fish watchers in other portions of the watershed to document large fish migrations and concentrations of spawning. The 2012-2013 Eel River fall Chinook population estimate was 20,000 to 50,000 fish basin wide and 14,900-25,000 in the 2013-2014 spawning year. The peak dive count in the Fortuna pools in 2012 was 5,054 Chinook salmon on October 27, but the highest count came on November 9, 2013 when 5,954 Chinook were sighted. Fish movement in 2014 is restricted by shallow riffles, so it will take more rain to bring in the main run. Other fish species are also observed during dives and there have been numerous sightings of steelhead, coho salmon, and green sturgeon.

Dives are funded in part by grants from Patagonia and the Salmon Restoration Association, but local business and individual contributions are welcome. Mail checks to Trees Foundation, PO Box 2202, Redway, CA 95564 with note on the check that says ERRP “Penny for a Salmon” fund. See www.eelriverrecovery.org for more information or call 223-7200 to volunteer.

EERP1

The Dive Team, with

Diver in formation in lower Eel River counting Chinook salmon as part of ERRP team. 10/12/13.

Fall Chinook salmon holding in 12th Street Pool at River Lodge in Fortuna. 10/26/13.

Green sturgeon basking in the upper Eel River estuary. Photo by Conrad Calimpong. 9/30/14.

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POT BALLOT PREP INVITE

The Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board supports the ballot initiative drafting activity of the Mendocino County Policy Council and urges your participation if it is possible. Contact person is Nikki Lastreto, omnamashivaya@yahoo.com

Here's their announcement:

You are invited as a Stakeholder to collaborate with the Mendocino County Policy Council in writing the new proposed Initiative to be placed on the ballot in November 2015. Please come and offer your important input Sunday, October 5 Noon to Five O’Clock AREA 101 54895 Hwy 101, 10 miles north of Laytonville.

We will appreciate receiving your feedback and ideas as we write this important document together. Attorney Omar Figueroa is the featured guest as advisory counsel. The primary section we will be working on is: what is the small family farm? Please give it some thought ahead of time. To view a rough draft of the text for the Initiative and to start your thinking go to: http://mccpi.wordpress.com

Organic lunch will be provided.

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COUNTYWIDE YES ON S EVENT

Features Pro-democracy Crusader

Sunday, October 12, the Community Rights Network of Mendocino County hosts a fundraiser for Measure S, the initiative that bans fracking by ensuring that decisions about water protection are made by residents -- not fracking corporations. The event features attorney and author Jeff Clements, who has worked much of his life confronting corporate power and promoting community empowerment. "As a champion of the rights of residents to protect their communities from harmful corporate projects, we're excited to have Jeff come and support this initiative and share his wisdom and experience with us," said CRNMC spokesperson Robin Sunbeam. Clements served as Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General, leading a large staff in the enforcement of environmental, healthcare, financial services, civil rights, antitrust and consumer protection laws. He wrote a Friend of the Court brief for the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD), Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County (DUHC), and other pro-democracy groups for the US Supreme Court Citizens United case. He is the cofounder of Free Speech for People and the author of the best-selling and award-winning book Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Money and Global Corporations. He also co-founded Whaleback Partners LLC, which provides cost-effective capital to farmers and businesses engaged in local, sustainable agriculture. This is Jeff Clements' only appearance in Mendocino County and an extraordinary opportunity for the people of Mendocino County to meet and converse with a man deeply knowledgeable about many of our local concerns. Come listen to a prominent anti-corporate crusader, enjoy a glass of wine with hors d'oeuvres, bid in the silent auction, listen to the Raging Grannies and dance to rocker Steven Bates while helping to raise funds for YES on S! Measure S will empower community self-governance in order to protect our rights and water resources from fracking while creating a sustainable economic model for Mendocino County that will last for generations to come. Sunday, October 12, 6:30pm at the Little Lake Grange, 291 School Street in Willits. For more information, check out these three websites: crnmc.org, YESonS.me and facebook.crnmc.org

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OUR WHOLE LIFE

Our whole life a translation

the permissible fibs

and now a knot of lies

eating at itself to get undone

Words bitten thru words

meanings burnt-off like paint

under the blowtorch

All those dead letters

rendered into the oppressor's language

Trying to tell the doctor where it hurts

like the Algerian

who walked from his village, burning

his whole body a cloud of pain

and there are no words for this

except himself.

— Adrienne Rich

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WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

To the Editor:

Open letter to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors:

An article appeared in Thursday, 25 September's Ukiah Daily Journal describing Sheriff Tom Allman's questioning the wisdom of considering giving Acting County Counsel Doug Losak a substantial raise from $107,390 to $143,291. What are you people thinking! Sheriff Allman is spot on. This is an outrageous and gratuitous insult to the many County workers, including Sheriff Deputies, who have taken pay cuts to help balance the County budget. It goes right to heart of the morale of all County employees. The lofty position of County Council may well command a lot of money in some places, but $143,291 is over the top in Mendocino County especially considering the hard financial times the County finds itself in nowadays.

On top of this, the man is an admitted criminal. According to the newspaper report, he pleaded no-contest to charges of carrying a concealed weapon in his car and illegally possessing marijuana while driving! That means he knew (being a lawyer), he'd be convicted in court of if he denied the charges. This guy is an officer of the court, sworn to uphold our laws ... and he's running around with an illegal weapon and an illicit substance in his vehicle.

He shouldn't be given a raise; he should be fired. What are you people thinking?

I hope that this ... and I'm certain other voices of disbelief that you would even consider such a move ... reach you before you take the final step toward this unwise move on Oct. 7.

Guinness McFadden, Ukiah

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A READER SENDS ALONG THIS LINK:

Excellent article in the Boston Globe, of all papers, this year! supports the wrong-headedness of Edmundson's concerns.

Quick! Get to Mendocino before anyone else does — then slow down:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2014/08/23/quick-get-mendocino-before-anyone-else-does-then-slow-down/Wjly9je6qQKl2qIPdFfwoK/story.html

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THE APPLE PRESS will be available at the Boonville Farmers' Market on Saturday, 10-12:30.

You will also find the AV Foodshed table with our library of local food & sustainability books & DVDs to check out. Beginning soon, you will be able to check out and return these items at the AV Lending Library at the Fairgrounds.

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AV Foodshed thanks all of the restaurants who are providing local food meals for C'mon Home to Eat month. Other restaurants who regularly utilize local food, but are not on our schedule, are Coq au vin and Stone & Embers. For your drinking pleasure, AV also has local wineries and local beer.

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On Saturday October 1, there will be a Backyard Mini-Farm Workshop at WildeAcre Farm in Boonville. We will talk about growing vegetables, fruit and herbs, composting, beekeeping, raising chickens and anything else that comes up. It will begin at 1pm and last as long as people are interested. Please respond to this message or call Cindy at 895-2949 if you would like to be involved.

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GOLD

It is a strange thing, this combination of uselessness and mad desirability. What object other than gold do we covet for such unfathomable reasons? We gaze at The Girl with a Pearl Earring and marvel at how Vermeer conjured up beauty from a badger-hair brush and a few hand-ground pigments; we see a jet engine and recognize its power; we look at Lincoln's bloody shirt and feel the tug of history. But how to account for the allure of gold? No less a financial wizard than Warren Buffett proclaimed himself baffled. "Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head."

For the craftsman, gold's softness and workability are the properties that set it apart. Gold is so malleable that a lump the size of a sugar cube can be beaten into a sheet a hundred feet square. This is gold leaf, beloved of artisans since ancient times. Thin enough to see through, a golden stack five hundred leaves high would be only as tall as a single sheet of aluminum foil. And even at this next-to-nothing thinness, gold will remain forever unchanged by air, water, or nearly any acid.

But is was gold's weight, not its softness, that made the gold rush possible. Gold is nearly twice as dense as lead. If a basketball were solid gold, it would weigh more than three hundred pounds, and only a titan could pick it off the floor. In a river, that heaviness makes all the difference.

Since gold is rare, no one would ever find it if it were scattered randomly, a grain here and a grain there. It is, in fact, absurdly rare, a needle in a field of haystacks. Gather up a billion atoms at random from the earth's crust, the geologist Keith Meldahl explains, and only five would be gold. (By way of more common elements, a billion atoms of crust picked at random would include 470,000 atoms of oxygen and 45,000 of iron.) To find enough gold for one wedding ring, you would have to sift through two hundred tons of dirt.

In California and a handful of other places around the globe, nature has contrived to gather and concentrate those few atoms in the form of flakes and nuggets. The action takes place deep underground, over the course of eons, and the geologic tumult plays out in different ways in different locales. Beneath what would someday be California, plates collided, and the ground cracked, and plumes of superheated, mineral-rich water coursed their way upward through the fractures. What remained were newly lifted mountain ranges striped with quartz veins snaking their way along, mile upon mile. In those stone veins were gold.

Ever so gradually, weather and water ate into those mountainsides and those veins. Bits of gold-bearing rock washed downhill and tumbled into rivers. Those rocks clicked and tapped against other rocks. Eventually — not always, but often — the brittle quartz casing chipped away, freeing the gold within.

Now gold's weight came into play. Gold in a river settles out wherever the current slows, precisely because gold is so heavy. In swirling eddies or quiet spots on the sheltered side of rocks and boulders, the river sheds its burden of golden flakes and grains while still propelling along its load of much-lighter sand and gravel. Day after day, year after year, the river runs its course, and bits of dense, bright gold sink to the riverbed. Someday, perhaps, a grizzled man will shout "Eureka!"

— Edward Dolnick, The Rush

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FACTS ON THE GROUND

by Noam Chomsky

On Aug. 26, Israel and the Palestinian Authority both accepted a cease-fire agreement after a 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza that left 2,100 Palestinians dead and vast landscapes of destruction behind. The agreement calls for an end to military action by Israel and Hamas as well as an easing of the Israeli siege that has strangled Gaza for many years.

This is, however, just the most recent of a series of cease-fire agreements reached after each of Israel's periodic escalations of its unremitting assault on Gaza.

Since November 2005 the terms of these agreements have remained essentially the same. The regular pattern is for Israel to disregard whatever agreement is in place, while Hamas observes it - as Israel has conceded - until a sharp increase in Israeli violence elicits a Hamas response, followed by even fiercer brutality.

These escalations are called "mowing the lawn" in Israeli parlance. The most recent was more accurately described as "removing the topsoil" by a senior U.S. military officer, quoted in Al-Jazeera America.

The first of this series was the Agreement on Movement and Access between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in November 2005.

It called for a crossing between Gaza and Egypt at Rafah for the export of goods and the transit of people; crossings between Israel and Gaza for goods and people; the reduction of obstacles to movement within the West Bank; bus and truck convoys between the West Bank and Gaza; the building of a seaport in Gaza; and the reopening of the airport in Gaza that Israeli bombing had demolished.

That agreement was reached shortly after Israel withdrew its settlers and military forces from Gaza. The motive for the disengagement was explained by Dov Weisglass, a confidant of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was in charge of negotiating and implementing it.

"The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process," Weisglass told Haaretz. "And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a [U.S.] presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress."

"The disengagement is actually formaldehyde," Weisglass added. "It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians."

This pattern has continued to the present: through Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 to Pillar of Defense in 2012 to this summer's Protective Edge, the most extreme exercise in mowing the lawn - so far.

For more than 20 years, Israel has been committed to separating Gaza from the West Bank in violation of the Oslo Accords it signed in 1993, which declare Gaza and the West Bank to be an inseparable territorial unity.

A look at a map explains the rationale. Separated from Gaza, any West Bank enclaves left to Palestinians have no access to the outside world. They are contained by two hostile powers, Israel and Jordan, both close U.S. allies - and contrary to illusions, the U.S. is very far from a neutral "honest broker."

Furthermore, Israel has been systematically taking over the Jordan Valley, driving out Palestinians, establishing settlements, sinking wells and otherwise ensuring that the region - about one-third of the West Bank, with much of its arable land - will ultimately be integrated into Israel along with the other regions being taken over.

The remaining Palestinian cantons will be completely imprisoned. Unification with Gaza would interfere with these plans, which trace back to the early days of the occupation and have had steady support from the major Israeli political blocs.

Israel might feel that its takeover of Palestinian territory in the West Bank has proceeded so far that there is little to fear from some limited form of autonomy for the enclaves that remain to Palestinians.

There is also some truth to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's observation: "Many elements in the region understand today that, in the struggle in which they are threatened, Israel is not an enemy but a partner." Presumably he was alluding to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates.

Israel's leading diplomatic correspondent Akiva Eldar adds, however, that "all those 'many elements in the region' also understand that there is no brave and comprehensive diplomatic move on the horizon without an agreement on the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and a just, agreed-upon solution to the refugee problem."

That is not on Israel's agenda, he points out, and is in fact in direct conflict with the 1999 electoral program of the governing Likud coalition, never rescinded, which "flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan River."

Some knowledgeable Israeli commentators, notably columnist Danny Rubinstein, believe that Israel is poised to reverse course and relax its stranglehold on Gaza.

We'll see.

The record of these past years suggests otherwise and the first signs are not auspicious. As Operation Protective Edge ended, Israel announced its largest appropriation of West Bank land in 30 years, almost 1,000 acres.

It is commonly claimed on all sides that, if the two-state settlement is dead as a result of Israel's takeover of Palestinian lands, then the outcome will be one state west of the Jordan.

Some Palestinians welcome this outcome, anticipating that they can then engage in a fight for equal rights modeled on the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. Many Israeli commentators warn that the resulting "demographic problem" of more Arab than Jewish births and diminishing Jewish immigration will undermine their hope for a "democratic Jewish state."

But these widespread beliefs are dubious.

The realistic alternative to a two-state settlement is that Israel will continue to carry forward the plans it has been implementing for years: taking over whatever is of value to it in the West Bank, while avoiding Palestinian population concentrations and removing Palestinians from the areas that it is absorbing. That should avoid the dreaded "demographic problem."

The areas being taken over include a vastly expanded Greater Jerusalem, the area within the illegal separation wall, corridors cutting through the regions to the east and probably the Jordan Valley.

Gaza will likely remain under its usual harsh siege, separated from the West Bank. And the Syrian Golan Heights - like Jerusalem, annexed in violation of Security Council orders - will quietly become part of Greater Israel. In the meantime, West Bank Palestinians will be contained in unviable cantons, with special accommodation for elites in standard neocolonial style.

For a century, the Zionist colonization of Palestine has proceeded primarily on the pragmatic principle of the quiet establishment of facts on the ground, which the world was to ultimately come to accept. It has been a highly successful policy. There is every reason to expect it to persist as long as the United States provides the necessary military, economic, diplomatic and ideological support.

For those concerned with the rights of the brutalized Palestinians, there can be no higher priority than working to change U.S. policies, not an idle dream by any means.

* * *

CRAIG GOT THE MAX!

Please know that I have been informed that I will be receiving the maximum social security benefits increase, and additional money will go into my checking account November 1st. Am now up from $364.90, which I've been living on for the past three years, to $898.30. Am uncertain if this will be adequate to move to Washington D.C., but it is a start. Peace on earth, Craig Louis Stehr, October 3, 2014 Craig Louis Stehr Email: CraigStehr@inbox.com Snail mail: P.O. Box 11406, c/o NOSCW, Berkeley, CA 94712-2406 Blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com

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