Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Jan 7, 2015

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THE MOUTH OF THE NAVARRO, 5 JANUARY 2015

Navarro resident Mike Kalantarian got a passing shot of the mouth of the Navarro from above, around midday on Monday. “The mouth is now running parallel to the coast before slipping out,” said Kalantarian.

NavarroMouth

“The water’s a beautiful clear green,” he added.

NavarroGreenWater

* * *

VINEYARD FAN LAWSUIT FILED

For Immediate Release

Date: January 6, 2014

Contact: Rod Jones, Attorney, Mendocino, or Mark Scaramella, Boonville.

Phone: 707-937-0549 or 707-895-3016

Email: rodjones@mcn.org, or themaj@pacific.net

Anderson Valley resident Mark Scaramella has filed a Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Declaratory or Injunctive Relief asking a Superior Court Judge to order Mendocino County to enforce its noise ordinance as it applies to vineyard fans in the Anderson Valley.

The Petition cites the County's own "Exterior Noise Limit Standards" which are clearly violated by five fans owned by three of Mr. Scaramella's neighbors in Boonville.

Mr. Scaramella alleges that the County and his neighbors either knew or should have known that the fans violated the County noise ordinance when construction permits were issued for the fans, and that the County and vineyard owners have had plenty of time to comply with the noise ordinance, but have not.

In his complaint Mr. Scaramella summarizes the actions and non-actions taken by the County or the fan operators to date in response to earlier noise complaints.

"We and other victims of these infernal machines and the County officials have had several meetings with fan operators and owners acknowledging that there's a problem and that something needs to be done, but nothing has come out of all that activity," Scaramella said. "Basically, all the County or the vineyard owners have said so far is, 'Sorry.' So here we are months later and almost every direction I look from my house, there are those monster fans, threatening to come back on at any time making noise that's louder than anything I heard back in my days on US Air Force flight lines."

"One Anderson Valley vineyard owner even went so far to say at one of the meetings last spring that if it came down to his grapes or people's sleep, his grapes trumped our sleep," added Scaramella.

Mr. Scaramella said he knows there are a number of ways to reduce the noise from these fans and alternatives to their use. He understands, of course, the reasons for their use. "But they come on in the spring around midnight when it starts to turn cold. It’s not just a trivial inconvenience of a night or two. Last year there were 20 nights during April and May when the fans were on for hours at a time. They run continuously all night until after daylight hour after hour, night after night. It's absolutely impossible to sleep. I'm not trying to tell these grape growers how to conduct their operations. I just want them to do it in a way that complies with the County rules and gives local residents who live near these new noisy nuisances a chance to get a decent night's sleep."

Scaramella's attorney, Rod Jones, indicated that, while the County's broad "right to farm ordinance" provides some immunity against nuisance complaints for growers who are conducting ordinary agricultural operations such as pesticides, vehicle and equipment operations, dust, and so forth, it does not exempt newly-introduced practices that create nuisances. "Countless residents of Anderson Valley lived there for years before the big wineries moved in. Frost control was managed without big noisy fans that have been erected right near residential parcels, such as the one where my client resides," said Jones.

"Basically, I want the County to treat these things like boomboxes," said Scaramella. "If they're too loud, the County and the fan operators have to take whatever reasonable measures are necessary to comply with their own noise standards so we can sleep. We can’t live with another spring like last year."

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, Jan 6, 2015.

Bean, Cardin, Davidson, Gale
Bean, Cardin, Davidson, Gale

REEBY BEAN, Elk. Probation revocation.

JACK CARDIN, Ukiah. DUI-Drugs.

JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

SONYA GALE, Willits. Domestic battery.

Knight, Leum, Meacham, Plowright
Knight, Leum, Meacham, Plowright

CRYSTAL KNIGHT, Ukiah. Domestic battery, under the influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

LEONARD LEUM, Point Arena. Resisting arrest.

JAMES MEACHAM, Little River. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

THOMAS PLOWRIGHT, Campbell/Philo. Possession of pot for sale, sale/transport/furnish pot, sale/transport furnish organic drug, ex-felon with firearm, crimes while on bail.

* * *

MENDOCINO LOVE STORIES

White
White

On Monday, December 29, 2014 at approximately 6:46 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 29000 block of North Highway 101 Willits, California regarding a domestic violence incident. Deputies arrived at the residence and contacted an adult male with visible injuries to his face and head area. Deputies learned the adult male and his wife, Tiffany White, 28, of Willits, had been involved in a verbal argument, which turned physical. During the physical altercation White attacked the adult male causing the visible injuries. White was arrested without incident for the charge of Corporal Injury to a Spouse/Cohabitant. White was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for the listed violation to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

* * *

Hoaglen
Hoaglen

On Friday, December 16, 2014 at approximately 12:05 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 76000 block of Henderson Lane Covelo, California regarding an in-progress domestic violence incident. Deputies arrived at the location and contacted an adult female who had visible injuries to her left arm and leg. The injuries consisted of numerous long narrow scratch marks. Deputies learned the adult female and her live-in boyfriend, Iran Hoaglen, 33, of Covelo, had engaged in a verbal argument, which escalated into a physical altercation. Hoaglen fled the location prior to law enforcements arrival. The area was checked for Hoaglen, but deputies were unable to locate him. During the days to follow deputies continued to try and locate Hoaglen, and continued to follow up on this investigation. On 12-22-2014 at approximately 7:45 PM deputies contacted Hoaglen hiding behind a building in the 76000 block of Henderson Lane. Hoaglen was arrested without incident for corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant. Hoaglen was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the listed violation to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

=============================

Bennett
Bennett

ON SATURDAY, January 3, 2015 at approximately 10:56 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were in the 18000 block of North Highway 1, Fort Bragg, California, when they observed a black Honda DelSol following another vehicle at an unsafe distance. Sheriff’s Deputies began to follow the vehicle northbound on North Highway 1. At the north end of the Hare Creek Bridge, near the intersection of Highway 20, the driver of the vehicle, later identified as Joshua Vernon Bennett, 40, of Fort Bragg, suddenly drove from the center dividing line of the highway, across two lanes of traffic onto the Highway 20 merging lane. Sheriff’s Deputies initiated a traffic stop using their emergency lights on Highway 20 but Bennett accelerated to approximately 75 miles per hour in the posted 45 mile per hour zone, and failed to yield. Bennett continued traveling at high speeds and turned south onto South Harbor Drive and then turned east on Basin Street with deputies in pursuit. Bennett lost control of the vehicle as it made the turn onto Basin Street and it began rotating clockwise. The vehicle came to rest facing west on it's wheels in the center of the roadway. Bennett ran east from the vehicle up the embankment, leaving a female passenger in the vehicle. Bennett was apprehended by Sheriff’s Deputies without incident approximately 40 yards up the hill attempting to hide in the brush. It was determined that Bennett’s driving privileges were suspended, he had three active misdemeanor arrest warrants issued out of the Ten Mile Superior Court for violations of his probation and possession of drug paraphernalia and he was found in possession of approximately 13.5 grams of suspected methamphetamine. Bennett was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for Recklessly Evading a Peace Officer, Possession of Methamphetamine for Sale, Transportation of Methamphetamine, Driving on a Suspended License, and the three misdemeanor arrest warrants to be held in lieu of $67,500 dollars bail.

* * *

THE TALE OF THE TAPE

To the Editor:

These are what the financial statements of an efficiently operated, all volunteer radio station, like KMEC, at the Mendocino Environmental Center (MEC), look like. See below.

[Ed note: Financial table not included here due to formatting difficulties.]

Total expenses for 2014? A meager $17,909.

Compare that to the bloated budget of KZYX, which is not really a "public" radio station at all. KZYX is instead a closed clubhouse with regard to programming decisions -- programmers are kicked off the air if they question current management -- and with regard to finances, KZYX is jobs program for the five people who work there.

Incidentally, these five people will not disclose their salaries, even to the KZYX Board.

So what are the total expenses at KZYX? Well, it's approximately $650,000-$700,000.

Why do I estimate? Because the most recent published financials of $652,570 are for 2013 only. Expenses have risen since then. Salaries have jumped. Everyone at KZYX has gotten a raise since 2013. Also, salaries are hidden -- impossible to decipher -- because they are allocated to both program services and support services. Very tricky. And not in keeping with a public radio station where one would expect complete disclosure, complete transparency.

Another thing: Money that was suppose to be used for a Ukiah studio has gone missing. That's a total of $19,000. Broken down, that $19,000 comes from $5,000 raised by the community, $5,000 from a family foundation grant, and $9,000 allocated in last year's budget.

This missing money is serious stuff.

KZYX will ultimately fail under the current business model of secrecy in finances and almost dictatorial control by management with regard to programming decisions. And this has not escaped notice at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Both the FCC and CPB are paying attention to the problems at KZYX. The FCC has held up the renewal the station's licenses for over a year. And complaints made by the public to the CPB have found their way to the Inspector's General Office at the CPB.

The bottom line question is: Are KZYX members and underwriters paying attention? If they are paying attention, they should withhold support until current management is replaced. And they should vote for candidates, like attorney and activist Dennis O'Brien, who promise reform in the upcoming Board elections.

Until change comes to KZYX, the public should think about supporting KMEC. It's a much bigger bang for the buck, Super efficient. All-volunteer. Totally transparent about finances. Nice technology platform, i.e., all shows are archived. KMUD in Redway deserves support, too.

Sincerely, John Sakowicz, member of the KZYX Board of Directors (2013-2016), Board Treasurer (2014)

Ukiah

* * *

WANNA SEE THE 'THREE' GIANTS WORLD SERIES TROPHIES? 
NO VIEWINGS ON COAST (AGAIN) - YOU HAVE TO TRAVEL INLAND

GiantsWSChamps

According to "CSNBayarea.com" the San Francisco Giants are taking their three World Series trophies on the road for fans throughout Northern California to go and check out the hardware, the club announced. 
The San Francisco World Championship Trophy Tour will begin on January 7th and will conclude on Opening Day in San Francisco April 13th. 
This will be the third public trophy tour held in the past four years and will feature the 2014, 2012 and 2010 trophies. 
"We saw in 2012 how powerful it was for us to create a trophy tour which not only allowed us to connect with our fans, but also with the more than 22,000 kids who participate in our Junior Giants baseball program. It's an honor to have the opportunity to do so again," said Larry Baer, Giants president and chief executive officer.
 The organization is working in partnership with their Junior Giants leagues throughout northern California to create public viewing opportunities in the following cities throughout the months of January, February and March. Fans will have the chance to both have their photo taken with the trophies and support their local Junior Giants. 
The trophies will be on display for two hours during each stop. The Giants intend to accommodate as many fans as possible during the viewing time period. Fans are advised to arrive early as the line will be cut off, if needed, to allow the trophies to leave at the designated end time." 
San Francisco World Championship Trophy Tour dates in our area (subject to change):

LAKE COUNTY 
JANUARY 8, 2015 
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
, Kelseyville High School
, 5480 Main Street
, Kelseyville

MENDOCINO COUNTY 
JANUARY 9, 2015
, Willits, 
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
, Willits Community Center
, 111 East Commercial Street
, Willits

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

* * *

THE TRUE STATE OF THE NATION

For one who has been a close observer of the US socio-political-economic scene since the Kennedy era, the nation has gotten itself into a pretty sorry state. The pervasive racketeering that poisons American life from the money-in-politics farce, to the shameless, chiseling medical-pharma cabal, to the SNAP-card and disability rights empire of grift, to the college loan swindle, to the disgusting security state apparatus, to the corporate tyranny of local life and economies, to the delusional techno-narcissism of the media, to the despotic and puerile gender preoccupations of academia — all of it adds up to a society that cares as little for the present as it does for the future. And that’s aside from the pathetic digital device addiction of the generation coming up, and the sheer sordid behavior of the tattooed, drug-saturated, pornified masses of adults now forever foreclosed from a purposeful existence or a decent standard of living. Even physically America is a sorry-ass spectacle: between our decrepitating cities, abandoned Main Streets, gruesome strip-mall highways, repellent and monotonous suburbs, dreary industrial ruins, profaned countryside, and desecrated coastline, there is little left to actually love about This land is Your Land. We’ve made so many collective bad choices about how we live that one can’t help feeling we are simply a wicked people who deserve to be punished. — James Kunstler

* * *

YES, WE HAVE PLANNING in Mendocino County? What makes you ask? You couldn’t tell?

* * *

The Planning Commission meeting agenda for Thursday, January 15, 2015, is now available on the County website:

http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/planning/meetings.htm

Please contact the Planning Department at (707) 234-6650 if you have any questions regarding this message.

Thank you.

Heidi Morrison

Staff Assistant II

County of Mendocino

Planning & Building Services

Main Office: 860 N. Bush St, Ukiah, CA 95482

Coast Office: 120 W. Fir St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Phone: (707) 234-6650

Web: www.co.mendocino.ca.us/planning/

morrisonh@co.mendocino.ca.us

* * *

Crumb2

* * *

JIM CLARK COULD GIVE POT SMUGGLERS A BAD NAME

by Fred Gardner

A new movie recreates the March 7, 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Alabama that was violently suppressed by law enforcement and shamed Congress into passing a voters' rights bill.

Howard Zinn had spent time in Selma with SNCC organizers whose voter-registration drive led up to the march. (SNCC, pronounced Snick, was the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.) Their nemesis was Sheriff Jim Clark, the personification of racist law enforcement. A big man, 6’ 2”, 220 lbs, Clark was quick to use cattle prods on demonstrators and wore a button that said “Never” to express his position on integration.

These are Zinn's notes on encounters with Sheriff Clark on October 7, 1963 (exactly 17 months before the famous march):

11:20 a.m. Forman, Gordon and I were talking near the side entrance of the County Courthouse, around the corner — no line there. Sheriff Clark came over, his eyes vacant, his voice rising: "All right, clear out of here, you're blocking the sidewalk."

11:50 a.m. Jim Forman told us Sheriff Clark and two deputies had just been to Mrs. Boynton's and arrested Parathia Hall The charge was "contributing to the delinquency of a minor." Clark had just returned from this little mission, for he now appeared behind Forman. His mood was ugly. He poked his club again and again into Forman's side. "Get on! Get on!" Forman moved down the line towards the end. Ten Negro men were joining the line. We kept going, completely around the corner, Clark now far behind.

11:55 a.m. Forman mused abut the problem of getting water to the people on line. The sun was beating down. I was in front of the courthouse door, the posse thicker now. I looked across the street to the federal building and saw there on the steps — standing so still the for a weird moment they looked like statues — two SNCC fellows, holding signs that faced the registration line. One, in overalls and a fedora, had a sign saying "Register To Vote."

I moved across the street to get a better look. As I did so, Sheriff Clark and three helmeted deputies came walking fast across the street. They went past two Justice Department attorneys and two FBI men up the steps of the federal building and grabbed hold of the two SNCC fellows. Clark called out: "You're under arrest for unlawful assembly!" A small knot of white men on the corner were yelling: "Get 'em, Big Jim! Get 'em!" The deputies pulled the two fellows down the steps of the federal building and pushed them into a police care. One of the white men on the corner yelled, "You forgot one, Big Jim!" I looked around and saw a lone SNCC man around the corner on the steps to the other entrance into the federal building, holding a Voter Registration sign. Clark mounted the steps, and reached the lone sign-carrier: "You're under arrest for unlawful assembly!" He too was pulled into the police car.

I had seen other instances of federal invisibility in Deep South crises, but this was too much. I turned to the Justice Department man near me. "Is that a federal building?" I asked. "Yes," he said, and turned away. The police car with the three SNCC men sped off.

We aren’t filing this item under "Off-Topic” because there’s a marijuana connection — none other than Sheriff Jim Clark.

During the March 7, 1965 confrontation at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Alabama state troopers and a posse of volunteers commanded by Clark assaulted kneeling marchers with dogs, fire hoses, whips, nightsticks and tear gas. Eighty-four people were injured.

A year and a half later Clark was defeated for re-election by Black voters empowered by the new federal voting rights act, plus whites who didn’t dig his act.

Clark died in June, 2007. An obituary sent out by the Associated Press made passing reference to his having done time for conspiracy to smuggle marijuana:

…Clark was voted out of office in 1966, in large measure because of opposition from newly registered black voters, but through his life he maintained he had done the right thing in 1965.

"He was a very, very mean man. His meanness really served simply to express the subtle evil of the system of segregation," said Andrew Young, the former Atlanta mayor and United Nations ambassador who organized voter registration efforts in Selma in 1965.

The Voting Rights Act opened Southern polling places to blacks and dramatically changed the political landscape of the South, including Selma. Some 9,000 blacks registered to vote in Dallas County, where only 350 had been registered even though blacks made up a majority of the population.

Clark lost the Democratic primary in 1966 to J. Wilson Baker, a former Selma director of public safety who supported civil rights activists' right to demonstrate peacefully. Clark then waged a write-in campaign but lost to Baker again that November, garnering about 6,740 votes to Baker's 7,250...

After he lost his re-election bid, Clark sold mobile homes, largely staying out of the spotlight until 1978, when he went to federal prison for conspiring to import marijuana. He served about nine months.

In a 2006 interview with the Montgomery Advertiser, Clark said, "Basically, I'd do the same thing today if I had to do it all over again. I did what I thought was right to uphold the law."

Clark's most thorough obituary, by Margalit Fox of the New York Times added no details about his doing time for marijuana smuggling. But a quick Google search turned up coverage of his guilty plea and sentencing.

The Toledo Blade ran this Associated Press item October 5, 1978:

...Clark pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court here Wednesday to a charge of conspiracy to bring a planeload of marijuana into Alabama from Colombia.

He was arrested with six others after the plane, a DC-3, made a forced landing at the Montgomery municipal airport last May 10 because of engine trouble.

The plane was left unattended at the airport and officers called in to investigate said they found 6,200 pounds of marijuana aboard.

Clark, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of the conspiracy indictment after three other counts were dropped. Sentencing for the ex-sheriff was set for Dec. 1.

Fred1

On December 3 the Chicago Tribune, under a headline that said "Former Selma sheriff gets 2 years for pot smuggling," ran a UPI (United Press International) dispatch on Clark's sentencing:

...The hulking former sheriff of Dallas County was sentenced along with three other men after pleading guilty to conspiring to import more than three tons of marijuana from Colombia.

U.S. District Judge Robert E. Varner did not say where Clark, 54, will serve his term, but he must report to federal marshals by Jan. 3 to begin his sentence.

Clark refused to talk to reporters as he left the courthouse.

The charges came after state and federal drug agents found about 6,600 pounds of marijuana on a disabled plane at the Montgomery City airport last May. Agents said the marijuana was worth about $4.3 million.

Fred2

This is to suggest that an Alabama journalist — or maybe a novelist — look into the arrest and prosecution of Jim Clark for conspiracy to smuggle 3.3 tons of marijuana from Colombia. Interview his lawyer who handled the plea bargain, the prosecutor, and everyone else who can provide details. Did Clark know he'd be getting out of prison after nine months? Who were his associates in the enterprise? What was their plan? What was the evidence of Clark's involvement? What was his role? Had they pulled off other jobs before the disabled-plane fiasco? Did Big Jim use the herb himself or did he just want to make money off it? Where did he do time? How did he fare inside?

Jim Clark could give marijuana smugglers a bad name.

* * *

MISTAH KURTZ—HE DEAD.

A penny for the Old Guy

I

We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

Our dried voices, when

We whisper together

Are quiet and meaningless

As wind in dry grass

Or rats' feet over broken glass

In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,

Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed

With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom

Remember us—if at all—not as lost

Violent souls, but only

As the hollow men

The stuffed men.

II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams

In death's dream kingdom

These do not appear:

There, the eyes are

Sunlight on a broken column

There, is a tree swinging

And voices are

In the wind's singing

More distant and more solemn

Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer

In death's dream kingdom

Let me also wear

Such deliberate disguises

Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves

In a field

Behaving as the wind behaves

No nearer—

Not that final meeting

In the twilight kingdom

III

This is the dead land

This is cactus land

Here the stone images

Are raised, here they receive

The supplication of a dead man's hand

Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this

In death's other kingdom

Waking alone

At the hour when we are

Trembling with tenderness

Lips that would kiss

Form prayers to broken stone.

IV

The eyes are not here

There are no eyes here

In this valley of dying stars

In this hollow valley

This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places

We grope together

And avoid speech

Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless

The eyes reappear

As the perpetual star

Multifoliate rose

Of death's twilight kingdom

The hope only

Of empty men.

V

Here we go round the prickly pear


Prickly pear prickly pear


Here we go round the prickly pear


At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea

And the reality

Between the motion

And the act

Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception

And the creation

Between the emotion

And the response

Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire

And the spasm

Between the potency

And the existence

Between the essence

And the descent

Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is

Life is

For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends


This is the way the world ends


This is the way the world ends


Not with a bang but a whimper.

* * *

THE TRIAL OF JEFFREY STERLING

The Man Who Blew the Whistle on the CIA

by Norman Solomon

Sterling
Sterling

The trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, set to begin in mid-January, is shaping up as a major battle in the U.S. government’s siege against whistleblowing. With its use of the Espionage Act to intimidate and prosecute people for leaks in “national security” realms, the Obama administration is determined to keep hiding important facts that the public has a vital right to know.

After fleeting coverage of Sterling’s indictment four years ago, news media have done little to illuminate his case — while occasionally reporting on the refusal of New York Times reporter James Risen to testify about whether Sterling was a source for his 2006 book “State of War.”

Risen’s unwavering stand for the confidentiality of sources is admirable. At the same time, Sterling — who faces 10 felony counts that include seven under the Espionage Act — is no less deserving of support.

Revelations from brave whistleblowers are essential for the informed consent of the governed. With its hostilities, the Obama Justice Department is waging legalistic war on our democratic rights to know substantially more about government actions than official stories. That’s why the imminent courtroom clash in the case of “United States of America v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling” is so important.

Sterling is accused of telling Risen about a CIA operation that had provided flawed nuclear weapon blueprints to Iran in 2000. The charges are unproven.

But no one disputes that Sterling told Senate Intelligence Committee staffers about the CIA action, dubbed Operation Merlin, which Risen’s book later exposed and brought to light as dumb and dangerous. While ostensibly aiming to prevent nuclear proliferation, the CIA risked advancing it.

When he informed staff of the Senate oversight committee about Operation Merlin, Sterling was going through channels to be a whistleblower. Presumably he knew that doing so would anger the CIA hierarchy. A dozen years later, as the government gears up for a courtroom showdown, it’s payback time in the security-state corral.

The relentless prosecution of Sterling targets potential whistleblowers with a key implicit message: Do not reveal any “national security” secrets that make the U.S. government look seriously incompetent, vicious, mendacious or dangerous. Don’t even think about it.

With so much at stake, the new petition “Blowing the Whistle on Government Recklessness Is a Public Service, Not a Crime” has gained more than 30,000 signers in recent weeks, urging the government to drop all charges against Sterling. The initial sponsors include ExposeFacts, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the Government Accountability Project, The Nation, The Progressive / Center for Media and Democracy, Reporters Without Borders and RootsAction.org. (A disclaimer: I work for ExposeFacts and RootsAction.)

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has concisely summarized the context of the government’s efforts in the Sterling prosecution. “Sterling’s ordeal comes from a strategy to frighten potential whistleblowers, whether he was the source of this leak or not,” Ellsberg said in an interview for an article that journalist Marcy Wheeler and I wrote for The Nation. “The aim is to punish troublemakers with harassment, threats, indictments, years in court and likely prison — even if they’ve only gone through official channels to register accusations about their superiors and agency. That is, by the way, a practical warning to would-be whistleblowers who would prefer to ‘follow the rules.’ But in any case, whoever were the actual sources to the press of information about criminal violations of the Fourth Amendment, in the NSA case, or of reckless incompetence, in the CIA case, they did a great public service.”

Such a great public service deserves our praise and active support.

(Norman Solomon is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and the author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He is a co-founder of RootsAction.org.)

* * *

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION SATURDAY, JANUARY 17, 2015 at 6PM at 215 MAIN, POINT ARENA

Everyone is invited to a community gathering at 215 Main in Pt. Arena on Saturday, January 17, 2015, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 86th birthday (born Jan. 15, 1929, died April 4, 1968). Local Poets Janet DeBar, Ida Egli, Kit Bliss-Jones and Ronald Sackman will read their work. Musical Monk Nature Druman will perform original music and stories. Special Guest Speaker Herbert Kohl, educator and author, will speak on the relevance of MLK and the Civil Rights and Justice Movement in today's world. Dance For Peace with DJ Sister Yasmin later in the evening. 215 Main serves a delicious bar menu, local beers, wines, non-alcoholic beverages, and yummy desserts. There is no cover charge and this is a 21 and over event. For more information call 707-884-4703 or 882-3215. www.facebook.com/215main

In these chaotic, and turbulent times of ongoing wars, violence, terrorism (police, foreign and domestic) and great divisions and misunderstandings, the words, mission and messages of Dr. King are more relevant and resonant than ever. His inspiring life dedicated to Peace, Non-Violence and Equality, and well as Workers' Rights and Poor Peoples' Rights can inspire us to move forward to heal the wounds of our present day world. Join us for A Celebration of Life, Love, Community and the 86th Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 6PM at 215 Main in Point Arena.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." --Martin Luther King, Jr.

— Sister Yasmin Solomon

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