Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Nov 15, 2014

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DEPARTMENT OF NO SHAME: Back in mid-September we complained that lame duck Mendo County schools chief Paul Tichinin planned to spend edu-funds on a couple of pointless jaunts to distant conferences. We'd hoped the County School Board would not approve the trips. They did approve the trips. Here's the history:

In Response to KC Meadows' scathing Sunday editorial in the Ukiah Daily Journal that County Schools chief, Paul Tichinin, does not need to make two lame duck jaunts on the public's dime, and that the overall County Schools travel budget is a travesty, County Schools has responded to KC this way: “KC, The total Travel and Conferences budget for MCOE for 14-15 is $228,421. See page 25 of the MCOE Budget book, which is posted on our website. General Admin’s portion of that total is $81,328 for 14-15. General Admin includes the Board of Education, and 40+ employees of the following departments: Human Resources, Superintendent, IT – Computer, Business Services, Maintenance and Operations, Psychs and Nurses. See page 51 of the MCOE budget book for detail. If you have further questions please don’t hesitate to call. Victoria Gulick Confidential Administrative Assistant Mendocino County Office of Education…”

MCOE claims that all of the County's “educators” are free to draw on an annual $147,093 while Tichinin and his Talmage heavy hitters draw a mere $81,328. I WROTE to the put-upon Ms. Gulick (she has to front for these thieves) to ask her if I could get a breakdown, by name, of the people traveling on the edu-dime. I assume Tichinin apportions most of it with some going to his pals at the individual school districts of Mendocino County. But unless we know who spent how much going where, these overall budget numbers remain opaque. The real point is, these people are taking money that should go to classrooms. I'm waiting for Ms. Gulick's reply, which I doubt will be forthcoming.

But Ms. G replied:

“The travel budget is not broken down by employee, but by department. MCOE's budget is on our website at the link below, for your information [Ed note: Caution, this is a very large 69 megabyte file]:

http://www.mcoe.us/files/user/22/file/Budget/Budget%20Book%202014_06_19%281%29.pdf

“We have some countywide and Region 1 grants that pay travel for individuals who are not MCOE employees. Whether or not an AVUSD employee used MCOE travel funds, without an employee name, it would be difficult to determine, since funds are tracked by MCOE department. MCOE will often reimburse districts directly. For example, if a district employee attends a conference that MCOE agrees to pay for, the employee's travel claim is paid by the district and then the district bills MCOE. Please let me know if you have other questions. Victoria Gulick, Confidential Administrative Assistant, Mendocino County Office of Education, 2240 Old River Road, Ukiah, CA 95482, (707) 467-5001, vgulick@mcoe.us“

IN OTHER WORDS, my boss gets to go and all this makes perfect sense.

PREVALENT inland rumor says that Paul Joens-Poulton dropped out of the race for Superintendent of Schools after making a deal with winning candidate Galletti, the deal being that J-P would drop his candidacy if Galletti, who was cruising to an easy win anyway, agreed not to fire J-P once Galletti was in office.

I WONDER if I'm the only Mendo person who always feels like some mysteriously destructive force has reached into my skull and removed his cognitive apparatus after any interface (as the edu-people describe human communication) with a professional “educator”? America, of course, is the only country in the world that puts stupid people in charge of the education of the young.

BRUCE McEWEN'S fine story this week on the travails of Peter Richardson, reminds us that Richardson may have been sent spinning off the rails when he was totally screwed as contractor for a big Ukiah School District construction project (Grace Hudson Elementary, south Ukiah). A slimy edu-crat called Jack Daniels (a walking insult to the bold whisky by the same name) blamed, via tax-paid free lawyers provided by the school district, that construction delays associated with flawed architectural plans were Richardson's fault when they were really the fault of the school district's architect. Richardson went seriously broke trying to make the constant plan changes the architect kept coming up with without getting paid for them. Later Pete sued for reimbursement of at least some his overbudget costs but couldn't afford to keep on litigating with the school district's free lawyers.

FOR YEARS I DRAGGED MYSELF to school board meetings around the County. I attended lots of County School Board meetings where I became so unwelcome MCOE tried to get a court order banning me from attending. These things are beyond disgusting. You walk into a room stuffed with chuckling nuzzlebums. Everyone is on a first-name basis, of course, and every one of them is capable of great crimes if they so much as suspect there's a threat to their sinecure, their on-board status.

HUNDREDS OF HOURS of meetings and never once an interesting remark, never a sign of wit, no evidence of life. I would always think to myself, “I don't want my children anywhere near these people. There's more humanity in any jail than there is here.”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 14, 2014

Bolton, Carrasco, Degroot, Donahe
Bolton, Carrasco, Degroot, Donahe

JOHN BOLTON, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JOE CARRASCO, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, resisting arrest.

JENNIFER DEGROOT, Ukiah. Camping.

MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting arrest. (Frequent flyer.)

Johnson, Stiles, Taylor
Johnson, Stiles, Taylor

EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

REBECCA STILES, Eureka/Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

DANIEL TAYLOR, Ukiah. Resisting arrest, violation of county parole, probation revocation.

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LOTS OF FORT BRAGGERS think the Main Street realignment project is a likely fiasco. They're circulating this petition:

https://www.change.org/p/city-council-of-fort-bragg-ca-stop-the-main-street-realignment-project

If you agree that this project is another city council fiasco, please sign and pass it along to your email lists.

Thanks!

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Ross
Ross

IN OTHER UNHAPPY NEWS from Willtis, as first reported by the Willits Weekly, John's Place, the legendary Willits bar, has been destroyed by an apparent arson. We understand that the troubled upstairs tenant that John’s Place had been trying to evict, Ms. Lacey Ross (pictured from a previous arrest/booking for battery and vandalism), set her apartment on fire and then engaged the Willits Police Department in armed standoff as she held the gun to her head, thus preventing the firefighters from getting at the blaze.

Here’s the Willits Police Press Release:

“Barricaded Subject During Arson Investigation — On Friday November 14, 2014, at about 0400 hours, a Willits Police Officer came upon a fully engulfed, second floor, residential structure fire in the 200 block of East Commercial Street. Officers evacuated the area and the Little Lake Fire Department began fire suppression efforts. Shortly after firefighting efforts began, Willits Police Officers discovered an adult female armed with a handgun had barricaded herself inside a business that was located directly beneath the residence. The subject, Lacee Ross, refused to comply with lawful orders and engaged officers in almost an hour long standoff, which substantially hindered firefighting efforts and further endangered the lives of firefighters and law enforcement. Eventually, officers were able to subdue Ross and take her into custody. Ross was arrested on a number of charges including: Attempted Homicide, Arson, Burglary, Vandalism, Brandishing a Weapon, and Obstructing Firefighters during the performance of their duties. She was booked into the Mendocino County Jail. The incident remains under investigation, and anyone with additional information is urged to contact WPD Sergeant Donahue at (707) 459-6122.”

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THREE SENIORS died in a head-on collision on 101 at the south end of Willits near Hollands Lane at about 12:4o pm Friday afternoon. According to the CHP, a 75-year-old Sebastopol man driving south in a Toyota Camry unaccountably crossed the double-yellow lines for an unknown reason and slammed into a northbound 2010 Toyota Prius driven by an 89-year-old woman. The drivers of both vehicles, as well as a 62-year-old passenger in the Prius, were pronounced dead at the scene, the CHP said. The victims have not been identified. Another vehicle hit the rear of the Prius after it came to rest. The driver of that vehicle, 21-year-old Stephen Delatorre of Kelseyville was not injured. The cause of the collision is under investigation.

THE THREE PEOPLE killed have since been identified as 62-year-old John Witter of Sebastopol, and Carmen H. Tribble, 75, and James Tribble, 89, both of Olympia, Wash. According to the California Highway Patrol, Witter was southbound on Hwy. 101 when, for unknown reasons, his car crossed over the double yellow lines and collided head-on with the northbound Tribbles' Prius just south of Hollands Lane. Carmen Tribble was driving the Prius, and James Tribble was in the front passenger seat. Both the Tribbles and Witter were pronounced dead at the scene.

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THE McDOWELL SUBDIVISION?

A Poster Is Circulating around inland Mendocino County under UC Ag Extension letter head that says:

The University of California, ANR, Hopland Research and Extension Center will host a Hopland Community Meeting to learn about MendoVito’s emerging proposal to construct a Village Town in the McDowell Valley which would accommodate 3,000-4,000 homes. Claude Lewenz, of ViTo (VillageTowns), will share the purpose, plan, and next steps for the MendoVito settlement. The UC ANR Hopland REC will host and facilitate this meeting as we, too, are members of the community. Kim Rodrigues, Interim HREC Director, will facilitate the meeting. As a UC leader and academic, Kim is a recognized community facilitator and can provide a safe and comfortable environment for the community to learn more and explore strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and impacts associated with this proposal. The MendoVito group will provide a recorder to ensure input is posted and shared in order to be open and transparent in their actions associated with this proposal. We look forward to meeting you and hearing your opinion on the proposed project in our community! Thursday, November 20, 2014 7:00—9:00 PM Please register in advance by calling Amber at 744-1424 ext. 101 or visiting our site at http://hrec.ucanr.edu so we can plan accordingly. At the Rod Shippey Hall, UC ANR Hopland Research & Extension Center, 4070 University Road, Hopland.

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Simple On-Line Research Shows:

On Google Maps McDowell Valley looks like one big vineyard just off Hwy 175 about a quarter of the way east from Hopland toward Lakeport. Just south of the Mendo Nat'l forest Hopland Rancheria.

MendoVito

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“The McDowell Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in southeastern Mendocino County, California. The wine appellation is located on sloped bench land at elevations as high as 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level that overlook the Russian River to the west. McDowell Valley is slightly cooler than the surrounding areas of Mendocino County. There is currently only one winery operating within the boundaries of the AVA, McDowell Valley Vineyards.” -- Wikipedia. McDowell Valley Vineyards is owned and operated by Bill Crawford.

In 2010 the PD reported that Crawford was having serious debt problems supposedly in the aftermath of the recession because he borrowed about $700k to buy out adjoining vineyard properties owned by other members of the Crawford family in McDowell Valley but the price of grapes dropped and other unforeseen problems occurred which jeopardized his ownership of the hundreds of vineyard acres he ended up with. Crawford is a close associate of UC Ag extension advisory Glen McGourty.

So, from here it looks like it could be a big vineyard conversion for financial reasons...

http://mendovito.com/

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A READER COMMENTS: The idea is to build an entire town to look like an old European village. These idea people find a place with lots of undeveloped land in places ready to pop for growth. What they usually don't have is the money to do it. They get local areas to buy in and then they go find money.

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DIVISION 3 SOCCER PLAYOFFS — COURTESY OF MR. McCARTHY'S ESSENTIAL MENDOCINO SPORTSPLUS

Anderson Valley Looking To Make It A '3-Peat'

Face Team With Only 1 Loss However...

The #1 Division 3 seed Anderson Valley (19-2-1) soccer team avenged a regular season upset loss from #4 seed Tomales (14-5-1) in the Division 3 Semi Finals Wednesday edging the Braves 3-2 at Tom Smith Memorial Field in Boonville.

The Braves handed Anderson Valley one of their two losses (at home) this year 1-0 on October 10th. Of course, AV avoided playing Fort Bragg after the Wolves beat them last year or they would have had three losses.

Here's the box score from PDpreps (Press Democrat):

Semi-finals

Tomales 1 1 = 2

Anderson Valley 2 1 = 3

Goals: AV-Moises Segura, Chirro Tovar, Fernando Ferreyra.

Assists: AV-Ferreyra, Gualbert Gastelum.

The Anderson Valley squad will “square off” with Making Waves Academy 2:00 pm Saturday for the Division 3 Championship. The Panthers have won the title the past two years.

Here's the box score (from PDpreps) of the other semi final game played Wednesday

At Richmond

Sonoma Academy 0 1 = 1

Make Wave Academy 0 3 = 3

Goal: SA-Tyler Camdon.

Assist: SA-Remy Barbiero

Records: SA 8-11-3, MWA 21-1

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THE BOONVILLE WINTER MARKET is Saturday Nov 15, 10 - 12:30, in front of the Boonville General Store. So far we have:

Frozen cuts of lamb, goat and pork. Lamb Leg roasts and smoked ham for the holidays. Salsa and frozen pesto. Broccoli, greens, turnips, and hot peppers. Dried plums and tomatoes. Fall Colors flower bunches.

Renee and Tim Ward Anderson Valley Community Farm — Hopefully there will also be kombucha and winter squash, plus more.

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Sunday is Fermentation Fest 2, our second annual fermentation event at the AV Solar Grange in Philo. We will begin at 3:00 pm, with tables set up around the room for working on our different types of ferments/cultures. They will include sauerkraut, kimchee, water & milk kefirs, fermented chunked root crops, cucumber pickles, kombucha, yogurt & sour cream, and maybe sourdough bread (not yet confirmed). Participants will be able to learn about and work on one product, or move around the room to learn several, and will need to bring enough jars to take home what they want.

Any produce that you can bring will be greatly appreciated - cabbage, roots and herbs for the krauts.

We will have extra water kefir “grains” - for water kefir we need dried fruit and ginger.

If anyone has any extra milk kefir “grains” we could also share milk kefir.

We also could use extra kombucha mothers, if any one has any to share.

Fermentation Fest is part of our 3rd Sunday Potluck series. The potluck will begin around 6 pm. Please BYO your eating ware and bring a serving utensil for your potluck dish. Please don't be scared away by the word potluck. You can bring whatever is available, pick something up at the store, or just bring yourself :) There's always plenty of food.

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The Holiday Dinner is at the AV Grange in Philo on Sunday Dec 14. For those who are not familiar with our annual Holiday Dinner, the meat, potatoes, dressing and gravy are provided by AV Foodshed and Grange. The rest of the meal is potluck. There are donation cans to help defray of cost of the turkey, lamb and pork.

If anyone has any meat that they would like to donate, please reply to avfoodshed@gmail.com.

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CHRISTMAS TOY DRIVE

The Volunteer Firefighters Association is once again collecting toys for Christmas. You may drop off a gift at the Fire Department or All That Good Stuff (get a discount for shopping local!) in Boonville, the Post Office in Yorkville, or Lemons’ Market in Philo. If you’re too busy to pick up a toy, we can always use cash as we end up buying soccer balls, basketballs, and other sports equipment, and your donation would go toward these purchases. The toys will be distributed at the Food Bank on December 16, 2014, so we need your donation by then. Please join us in making sure no child goes without a toy at Christmas time. Thank you for your generosity.

Merry Christmas, Sarah McCarter and Judy Long

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K31

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WILL PARRISH WRITES: A friend of mine in Redding area wrote this:

Tribes Say CalTrans Illegally Destroying Historical Sites for Bypass. Here's my favorite part: “CalTrans Public Information Officer Phil Frisbie said staff was too busy working on the wetlands mitigation part of the project to map the Pomo sites earlier, but the site most likely would not have been eligible for historic preservation.” Uh, right, because (a) it's not like there are separate departments within CalTrans that deal with archeology and biology, and (b) it's not like the Army Corps of Engineer suspended the project because they were a couple of years behind on doing any “wetlands mitigation” or anything. Also, the Sherwood Valley Pomo have nominated that site for the National Register of Historic Places. So, Phil pulls off three whoppers in a single sentence here.

TRIBES SAY CalTrans Illegally Destroying Historical Sites for Bypass

by Marc Dadigan

In the fall of 2012, Mike Fitzgerral was driving outside of Willits in Northern California, on Highway 101, the famous coastal roadway that wends through the awe-inspiring Redwood Forest, and he noticed construction workers had started erecting orange mesh fencing and cutting down oak trees.

Fitzgerral, Chairman of the Sherwood Valley Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, knew the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) had been investigating constructing a 5.9-mile bypass around Willits that would likely cut through the heart of Little Lake Valley, the lush wetlands and ancestral home of many Pomo tribal members in the area.

He recalled some short meetings about the project in the early 2000s but no official consultation had ever occurred.

“When I called the guy in charge of the project, they told me it was going ahead,” Fitzgerral said. “One 15-minute meeting, and they called that consultation. Then they started pushing dirt, and they started finding things they said wouldn’t be there.”

Since the $200 million construction began, Sherwood Valley and other Pomo tribal officials say they have witnessed and documented CalTrans blatantly violating National Historic Preservation Act regulations meant to protect tribal heritage and resources. They say CalTrans has failed to consult, failed to provide completely transparent information about their archaeological surveys, ignored tribal input and ethnography about the location of historical sites and recklessly disrupted areas where they should have known there were important Pomo village areas.

“We’re not trying to stop the project. All we’re asking is that they follow the laws that give us a chance to protect our history,” said Eddie Knight, tribal representative of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. “But they just want to finish the project.”

Tension between CalTrans and tribal officials crescendoed in September 2013, when they learned construction workers had previously installed 85-foot wick drain pipes underground through a site that was believed to contain a hearth, fossilized seeds and other cultural items of great interest to the tribe. As concern grew, representatives from the Coyote Valley and Round Valley, which also have members descended from Little Lake Valley, joined Sherwood Valley in monitoring and consulting on the project.

CalTrans had been aware of the site through ethnographic information, but because officials never created a map and only relied on written descriptions, they impaled the site with the wick drains anyway, which, in a letter to Fitzgerral, State Historic Preservation Officer Carol Roland-Nawi said severely damaged the site and indicated CalTrans had been non-compliant with the law.

“We’re only a couple generations from removal, and they’re destroying our time capsules that could give us snapshots of what happened and what wasn’t preserved through oral history,” said Hillary Renick, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for Sherwood Valley.

CalTrans Public Information Officer Phil Frisbie said staff was too busy working on the wetlands mitigation part of the project to map the Pomo sites earlier, but the site most likely would not have been eligible for historic preservation. The tribes vigorously disagree with many of CalTrans conclusions about the historic value of sites, including the hearth, which Renick says probably was actually a cremation site and may provide insight into what happened to the Pomo people during an 1830s smallpox epidemic.

“There is so much information there about how we lived and what happened to us. The project goes right through villages that are on basic California Indian maps and described by well known anthropologists,” Renick said. “Since I became the THPO in 2004, this is the most frustrating Section 106 case I’ve seen.”

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act applies to the bypass because the Federal Highway Administration is partially funding the project, and recent amendments of Section 106 require CalTrans to consult with local federally recognized tribes and develop plans to avoid damaging cultural resources as much as possible.

However, Pomo officials say the Willits Bypass project is emblematic of the inherent biases and conflicts of interest that affect the enforcement and application of the law. And while the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the federal overseer of Section 106 projects, has written stern letters rebuking some of CalTrans’ claims and actions, tribal officials say the system is toothless.

“The system has become utterly corrupt, so agencies manipulated the system and go through the motions,” said Thomas King, an anthropologist, author and cultural resources consultant who previously worked for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. “You’ve got clearly self-interested development firms and self-interested consultants leaning on the agencies, and the tribes get shafted. It becomes an archaeological endeavor and the cultural interests of the tribes get trampled.”

In the case of the Willits Bypass, the process, according to CalTrans officials, began in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the agency sent letters to Sherwood Valley and Coyote Valley.

Frisbie said the agency had been consulting with Sherwood Valley officials since well before the draft Environmental Impact and Feasibility studies were released in 2002.

“We have had many, many publicized meetings in the late 90s and early 2000s, and the current chair of Sherwood Valley was on the committee that helped CalTrans identify cultural sites in the Little Lake Valley,” he said. “Coyote Valley and Round Valley were notified, but they never expressed interest until recently.”

Lee Claus, an archaeologist hired as a consultant for Sherwood Valley, said the records indicate there were some general conversations about alternative routes for the project, but no official consultation ever took place.

Furthermore, Claus said CalTrans archaeologists only did a “surface survey” on the area directly impacted by the road construction, leading them to conclude in the final 2006 Environmental Impact Statement that no cultural sites would by damaged by the construction. That report didn’t include a survey of more than 2,000 acres of land that CalTrans later purchased to create and restore wetland areas as mitigation for the ecosystems the four-lane bypass would disrupt, Claus said.

CalTrans then began conducting additional surveys on the mitigation acreage and found 7 additional cultural sites, but the Pomo tribes were never informed of the ongoing surveys until after construction started, Claus said.

“Sherwood made the point of going on record that there was ethnographic data that showed these were Pomo villages and living places in the area. They told CalTrans you are going to find archaeological sites, but that was noted and summarily forgotten (by CalTrans),” Claus said. “The archaeology CalTrans is doing now should have been done a decade ago.”

Tribal officials also say CalTrans is not properly informing and consulting with them about new sites that are disrupted or found during construction. Frisbie said CalTrans contractors and archaeologists are working to improve the communication process.

After two construction seasons, nearly 30 cultural sites not documented in the first EIS have been found, Claus said. Renick added that the dozens upon dozens of “isolates,” smatterings of artifacts deemed not large enough to be considered a “site” might also be more significant than CalTrans is saying.

“There have been some areas and items uncovered, and now whenever there is soil being disturbed we make sure the cultural monitors from all three tribes are notified so they can spot something of cultural significance,” Frisbie said.

He added that the build up to the Willits bypass was long and complicated, especially because there were delays in funding due to the downturn in the economy. “We understand that Sherwood Valley, due to these delays, felt like they weren’t able to stay in the loop like they should have,” he said. “We’re working with the tribes on improving communication for any new discoveries.”

For the near future, the tribal monitors will continue to do their best to stop construction when a new site is uncovered, they said, but there is only enough funding for a handful of them to cover an entire six miles. The tribes are also trying to work on a final agreement with CalTrans on the handling of cultural resources, but Claus said the meetings have been scheduled several weeks apart and the process is slow.

And as each month goes by without a strong framework for protecting the past, important remnants of Pomo history are lost, Renick said.

“During this project, we’ve found every single form of obsidian there is in California. There was trading with tribes from all over, there were dances, there was socializing and important relationships being formed,” Renick said. “History is never static.”

(Courtesy, New America Media/newamericamedia.com)

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THE HUFF RIGHTLY SPEAKS AGAINST THE XL PIPELINE:

Today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, our man Jared Huffman added his voice to the almost-certainly futile resistance against the Keystone XL Pipeline, a controversial project aimed at channeling oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

(Click here for a passable CliffsNotes-style primer on the topic.)

Huffman called the project “a very early Christmas present from the United States Congress to one specific Canadian company” and, extending the metaphor, “a huge lump of coal for our global climate.”

http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2014/nov/13/congressman-huffman-sounds-keystone-xl-pipeline/

(Courtesy, LostCoastOutpost.com)

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FUKUSHIMA & YOUR FISH?

by Steve Heilig

It’s now over three and a half years since the earthquake-triggered nuclear disaster in Japan, and concerns regarding the impacts continue. In Japan itself, the impacts have been huge and disastrous indeed, depending on location — and upon one’s source of information. Allegations of mismanagement, secrecy, and longterm impacts ranging up to the apocalyptic continue. Radiation seems to frighten many of us as much or more than anything else, and the rise of the internet has fostered these fears via endless terrifying posts of impending doom, or at least mass sickness.

Many very smart scientists feel nuclear power plants should be shut down, not because of any existing exposures thus far but due to the ongoing threat of disasters much worse than we've seen. I agree with them. This is a difficult position to take given looming climate-related horrors and the imperative of moving to non-fossil energy sources, but the problems of human error - no technology is truly foolproof, and never will be - and nuclear waste make nuclear plants a Faustian bargain we'll too likely eventually lose. Just the fact that major insurers won't take out policies on such plants is very telling.

But let's consider Fukushima's risks here in California, in light of reputable, non-conflicted sources and not scaremongering. Beyond the over 15,000 deaths and many more injuries and complete disruption of lives in Japan related to the earthquake, tsunami and related destruction, the World Health Organization has estimated minimal actual radiation exposure, morbidity, and mortality. However, it is expected that people in the area most impacted may have a slightly higher risk of leukemia and thyroid and breast cancers.

Here on the California coast especially, worries persist, especially among those with EIAS (Excess Internet Access Syndrome) combined with the even more common lack of scientific education. Yes, recent public reports have noted detectable radiation in tuna caught off the West Coast; in October, the esteemed Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reported Fukushima radiation — mainly Cesium — was finally nearing the West Coast. But the experts measuring the radiation note also that it is at very low levels that aren’t expected to harm human health or the environment. “I’m not concerned,” said the chemical oceanographer measuring the radiation.

The United States Food and Drug Administration states that there is “no evidence that radionuclides from the Fukushima incident are present in the U.S. food supply at levels that would pose a public health concern.”

The United States Food and Drug Administration states that fish from Alaska — even though closer to Japan — are “safe from radiation.”

If one is of the type to distrust any such mainstream sources, especially - gasp - governmental ones, consider Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), the leading anti-nuclear organization with a focus on health. They can hardly be accused of being pro-nuke in any way, and their umbrella organization received a Nobel Peace Prize for opposing nukes of all types. But being doctors and other trained professionals, they tend to require that science and factual information guide their positions and advocacy (disclosure: I am a longtime PSR member).

PSR has stated that Fukushima-related radiation risks here are not a real cause of worry, although further disasters at Fukushima “could alter that opinion.” In a panel discussion on Fukushima’s impacts I moderated last year, a leading nuclear physicist, the PSR president, and a Marin coastal physician all concurred that residents on California’s coast did not have reason to worry. The clinician said she gets many concerned questions, especially from parents of young children, but still feelt that the benefits of eating fish outweigh any suspected risk, and that she and her own kids still eat it. However, one physician and researcher I work with who has much expertise in environmental health has recently noted “I’d avoid eating fish caught in Japan — especially sushi.”

So there you have it - if you wish to be extra careful, beware certain sushi (sushis?). And if you really want to stay healthy, don't smoke, do wear your seatbelts and/or minimize driving at all, exercise, get your recommended shots, cut down or eliminate eating meat, wear a helmet when on two wheels, keep a good vitamin D level, avoid guns or cocaine or meth, go easy on the booze (the much-publicized supposed benefits of drinking even moderately have been “dialed back” by research ever since), be careful when biking or skiing or other possible 'contact' sports (especially, it now seems, football), have some money around, and make sure your genes are good. Those are things we know to be healthy. Most other such advice tends to originate from unwarranted fear or outright paranoia, wishful thinking, and/or profiteering. Thus, finally - careful what you read!

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DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

— Dylan Thomas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mRec3VbH3w

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ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

The Dems’ took a battering in the 2010 mid terms and came back to win an electoral college landslide in 2012. The problem with the current Dem campaign beyond typically low mid tern turnout is have they have moved away form an economic populism message. In fact, the majority of the nation supports Dem economic policy when it is the TRADITIONAL Dem party message; the message that engendered the great American middle class

But here is the greater truth. Since the advent of the Reagan Revolution economic stratification has only intensified to the point that the top one percent now owns as much wealth as the bottom ninety percent. This has not always been the case. In the link provided below one can see the stratification prior to the the full implementation of FDR economic policy and the increase in stratification in the aftermath of the structural economic changes ushered in during Reagan era:

http://s140.photobucket.com/user/fladem/media/wealth_zpsc16726ee.gif.html

The math don’t lie and the GOP mantra of more tax cuts for the rich and corporations will only result in further economic/class stratification. Rand Paul or Ted Cruz is only more of the same old repackaged GOP tripe.

The demographics of the country does not favor the GOP. Old white folks – a key GOP voting bloc – keep on dying and the young offspring of the immigrants that Reagan legalized back in the 80s keep on registering to vote. The Dems also hold a strong advantage with voters under 40.

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OVERTHROWING CAPITALISM / REVOLUTIONARY POETS BRIGADE

Saturday Nov. 15th 2PM-9PM at Emerald Tablet Gallery, located at 80 Fresno Street in San Francisco. Speakers 4PM: Kiilu Nyasha, Jerry Mander, Arnoldo Garcia, Speakers 7PM: Tony Serra, Nancy Mancias, Sandy Perry. Musicians: Colin O'Leary, Carol Denney, Ngaire Young, Gerardo Marin, Daniel Alverenga, Francisco Herrera, Mauro Fortissimo. Poets: Too numerous to list. This Symposium Is Free Of Charge. (— Craig Stehr.)

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