- Citizen's Arrest in Potter Valley
- PUC Peevey Party
- Catch of the Day
- Downed Trees
- Pinoleville Confusion
- Lynching Map
- Hare Creek Appeal
- Timber Baron
- Water Polluters
- Big Oil's Influence
- Ban Fracking
ATTEMPTED MURDER IN POTTER VALLEY
On February 10, 2015 at 5:55 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the 17000 block of Van Arsdale Road in Potter Valley, in regards to a dangerous situation. The Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center received a call from a 56 year old male resident of Potter Valley who advised when he came home he found a suspect holding his 55 year old wife at gunpoint inside the couple’s residence. The husband advised the dispatcher he was going back to the residence and disconnected the phone. Approximately 15 minutes later the Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center received a call from the wife advising the suspect was being detained at the residence by the husband.
Deputies arrived minutes later and took the suspect, Eugene Peterson Jr., 32, into custody without further incident. Deputies learned the wife came home just after 5:00 PM and observed Peterson inside her residence. When the wife arrived at the residence’s door she didn't recognize Peterson and thought he was someone needing help since the residence was located in a rural area. The wife contacted Peterson as she entered the residence and he became somewhat confrontational. The wife thought she might be able to talk with Peterson and get him to leave but the longer she talked to him the more aggressive he became. The wife advised she had to feed her animals in an attempt to remove herself from the situation. Peterson advised she could feed the animals but he was going to accompany her and showed her a handgun tucked inside his pants. After the feeding was completed, Peterson became demanding telling the victim to fix him food. About this time, the wife’s husband came home resulting in Peterson confronted the husband in the driveway of the residence telling him he had to leave while brandishing the handgun. The husband told his wife to run but she did not as she was afraid what may happen if she ran away. The husband left the residence to get cellular service to call 911 and then returned to the residence. When Peterson saw the husband return to the residence he again confronted him telling him that he had to leave. During this time Peterson from several hundred feet away discharged several rounds from the handgun in the husband’s direction. While Peterson was shooting at the husband, the wife attempted to flee the residence but Peterson chased her and caught her inside the residence’s carport. Peterson began dragging the wife back into the residence which resulted in her struggling for control of the handgun. During the struggle, the husband tackled Peterson ultimately leading to him being disarmed. Peterson was then physically restrained until Deputies arrived shortly thereafter and took him into custody. Peterson was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the listed charges where he was to be held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
(Sheriff’s Press Release)
COUNTED 22 PG&E trucks headed south through the Anderson Valley today. These crews worked long and hard to get power restored to most neighborhoods of vast Mendocino County. Bless them. But curse the power monopoly's upper management and their pals at the Public Utilities Commission who, over the years, have conspired against the public interest to increase the profits of private investors, among their many crimes against the public's interest in reliable, cheap electricity. If power lines were buried like they are in the civilized countries of the world we wouldn't have large-scale outages every time the winds rise above zephyr puffs, but that won't happen because, well, because.
MICHAEL PEEVEY should be going to jail but, natch, he's getting a going way bash thrown by…
Former state Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey — whose home was recently searched by investigators looking into possible corruption at the agency — will be feted Thursday night with a $250-a-plate fundraiser for UC Berkeley’s public policy school.
The party honors the 76-year-old former utility executive and commission leader for his “lifetime of service,” but critics have denounced the gathering, citing the troubles besetting the state agency and its lax regulatory oversight record before the deadly explosion of a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. pipeline in San Bruno in 2010.
Peevey retired in December, after a year in which the commission became embroiled in controversy over whether officials had improperly collaborated with PG&E on rate-setting cases and other matters.
The event Thursday night will raise money for the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, where Peevey serves on the advisory board. It is being organized by a San Francisco public relations executive and a former utilities commissioner who now lobbies for PG&E.
The gathering at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco comes as revelations pile up surrounding e-mails between PG&E executives and top commission officials, including Peevey.
State agents who searched Peevey’s home in La Cañada Flintridge (Los Angeles County) on Jan. 27 reported in court documents that they had found notes written on stationery from a hotel in Warsaw. Officials with Southern California Edison, the utility that Peevey used to head, said this week that the notes documented a previously undisclosed meeting between Peevey and a company official over problems at the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
Critics say the notes are proof that Peevey secretly brokered a deal to saddle Edison customers with more than $3 billion in costs for decommissioning the plant.
The agents who searched Peevey’s home were also looking for evidence of bribery, judge shopping and influence peddling related to rate-setting cases and other matters before the commission, according to a search warrant affidavit.
State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, who has frequently criticized the utilities commission, said of the fundraiser, “It’s unbelievable and it’s shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the people of California, especially to the families of the eight people killed in San Bruno, which was due in part to his negligence.
“We talked to the Goldman School about this, and they said they talked about canceling this. But then they said they would just weather the storm,” Hill said. “What is the message they are trying to send here? Whatever it is, it’s the wrong one.”
Henry Brady, the school’s dean, said Wednesday that the school had never sought to cancel the event. Peevey has a long record of public service, and understandably drew attacks in the 12 years he served as commission president for his stances on controversial matters, Brady said.
“That’s the standard for a public servant these days,” Brady said. “We like to recognize public servants who have taken on tough issues.”
The fundraiser is being organized by public relations executive Don Solem and by Susan Kennedy, a PG&E lobbyist who formerly served as a utilities commissioner and as a top adviser to Govs. Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Solem declined to comment. Efforts to contact Kennedy were unsuccessful.
The master of ceremonies for the event is former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, now a Chronicle columnist who has lobbied on behalf of PG&E.
Among those not invited were San Bruno officials, whose relationship with the commission has been contentious since revelations emerged regarding its lax regulation of PG&E before the September 2010 gas disaster.
San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson called the fundraiser an insult to the disaster’s victims.
“From the city’s perspective, it is a slap in the face,” she said. “The legacy of Mr. Peevey’s service at the PUC is a discredited agency that has failed to regulate properly and has compromised the safety of utility customers.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, Feb 11, 2015
MICHAEL MILLER, Mendocino. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
SHAWN BALICTAR, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JUSTIN BLAKE, Calpella. Mandatory supervision violation, false ID.
PHILIP BROWN, Redwood Valley. Fugitive from justice.
LEWIS DISHMAN, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance, violation of county parole, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
ADRIANA GUERRA, Ukiah. Possession of meth for sale, under influence of controlled substance. (Frequent flyer.)
AUDRA HRUSKA, Ukiah. Possession of drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.
TRAVIS ‘THE HUMP’ HUMPHREY, Talmage. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
MARIA LLAMAS-ORNELAS, Fort Bragg. Court order violation, probation revocation.
DAWN MCKNIGHT, Talmage. Probation revocation.
EUGENE PETERSON JR., Redwood/Potter Valley. Attempted murder, false imprisonment with violence, burglary, kidnapping, threats of death or great bodily harm, probation revocation.
TREES BLOWN DOWN in Dimmick State Park along Highway 128 near Navarro by the big weekend/Monday storm.
ON AGAIN OFF AGAIN WHO'S ON FIRST?
DAVID GURNEY WRITES: The formal appeal on the City of Fort Bragg's decision to OK the proposed Hare Creek Shopping Center, without doing an Environmental Impact Report on the many negative effects project will cause was turned in on time Monday, Feb. 9th despite the power blackout. The $1,000 application fee for the appeal was covered by generous grassroots support in the form of 28 personal checks to the City, adding up to $1k. Over $2,000 was raised, with the leftover returned to contributors. Developers, in collusion with the City's Community Development Department, were trying to sneak this one through, without doing an EIR to evaluate the consequences of placing ugly urban sprawl at the gateway to Fort Bragg. The Coast community has said, not so fast.
Here is the official announcement:
Fort Bragg City Council will hear two appeals regarding the Hare Creek Center project at its Monday, March 23, 2015 meeting commencing at 6:00 PM at Town Hall, 363 North Main Street, Fort Bragg. Project applicants William E. Patton and Gregory W. Patton filed an Appeal of the Planning Commission Decision to deny the Coastal Development Permit, Design Review, Use Permit and Lot Line Adjustment for the project. Edward Oberweiser, Annemarie Weibel, Bruce Broderick, David Gurney and Daney Dawson filed an Appeal of the Planning Commission Decision to approve adoption of the Mitigated Negative Declaration for the project.
More information on the project can be found here:
THE LUMBER MAN IN CHARGE OF CLIMATE POLICY
by Will Parrish
BUMPERSTICKERS spotted in Ukiah: "Our dreams aren't broken, they just walk with a limp." And, "Don't Be A Dick."
COALITION URGES GOV. BROWN TO SHUT DOWN ILLEGAL INJECTION WELLS
by Dan Bacher
(Sacramento) Just two days after over 8,000 protesters marched through the streets of Oakland in the largest anti-fracking protest in U.S. history, documents released by state regulators revealed that thousands of oil and gas wells and hundreds of illegally operating oil industry waste-disposal wells are injecting fluids into aquifers in violation of state law and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
"California state agencies had until Feb. 6 to submit a plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency detailing how the state agencies will protect water resources associated with oil development," according to a news release from Californians Against Fracking. "The plan submitted by the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources last Friday allows oil companies in California to continue injecting wastewater into aquifers for several more months and, in some instances, until 2017. State regulators have already allowed aquifers that were suitable for drinking water and agriculture to be contaminated."
The coalition noted that oil regulators shut down a handful of illegal waste-disposal wells last summer, but hundreds of others are still operating across the state, including wells in Monterey, Kern and Los Angeles counties and near San Luis Obispo.
“Gov. Jerry Brown must immediately ban fracking and halt the use of illegal injection wells in California,” said Adam Scow, California director of Food and Water Watch, on behalf of Californians Against Fracking. “This fiasco shows that the state simply cannot handle the massive toxic wastewater problem produced by fracking and oil and gas development. It shows that the state has not complied with the minimum protections required by federal law. All unsafe and illegal injection needs to stop immediately.”
Californians Against Fracking is a coalition of about 200 environmental business, health, agriculture, labor, political and environmental justice organizations working to win a statewide ban on fracking and other dangerous extraction techniques in California. Follow @CAagainstFrack on Twitter.
Kathryn Phillips, Director of Sierra Club California, responded to the release of the documents by calling for an outside investigation into DOGGR's practices.
“It is extraordinarily distressing that for so many years the state has essentially put California’s diminishing water supply in the pathway of serious pollution," said Phillips. “If this were a one-time incident it would be bad enough. But to permit thousands of questionable wells defies common sense.
“It’s time for an outside investigation into DOGGR’s practices," stated Phillips. "While USEPA’s calling for a plan to stop injecting into sensitive aquifers is commendable, that’s not enough. It’s time for the U.S. Attorney’s office to investigate how and why this permitting continued even after the federal agency warnings.”
Sierra Club California is the legislative and regulatory advocacy arm of the 13 Sierra Club chapters in California, representing more than 380,000 members and supporters statewide. For more information, go to: http://california2.sierraclub.org/
For radio coverage of Saturday's march, go to: http://fsrn.org/2015/02/californians-call-for-statewide-fracking-ban/
The documents were released at time when California's fish, waterways and environment are in state of crisis. Delta smelt, the indicator species that demonstrate the health of the Bay-Delta Estuary, are near extinction, American River steelhead are in collapse and Central Valley salmon are imperiled, due to abysmal management by the Brown and Obama administration's of the state's rivers and reservoirs during a record drought.
To make matters worse, as fracking is polluting aquifers throughout the state, Governor Jerry Brown is rushing the construction of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels, the most environmentally devastating public works project in California history. The construction of the massive tunnels under the Delta would hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and a host of other species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.
BIG OIL GROUP SPENT $8.9 MILLION LAST YEAR LOBBYING JERRY BROWN AND CALIFORNIA OFFICIALS
by Dan Bacher
The oil industry continued its long reign as the top spender on lobbying in California in 2014, according to data just released by the California Secretary of State. The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) led the list with $8.9 million spent on lobbying in 2014, nearly double what it spent in the previous year. WSPA spent $4.67 million in 2013.
WSPA apparently spent much of its money on stopping a fracking moratorium bill in the Legislature and trying to undermine California’s law to lower greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of WSPA and the former chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create questionable “marine protected areas” in Southern California, also successfully opposed legislation by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson to protect the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve and the Tranquillon Ridge from offshore oil drilling plans.
“The winners of the 2014 lobbying competition are in – and the winner is... BIG OIL!’" said Stop Fooling California, an online and social media public education and awareness campaign that highlights oil companies’ efforts to mislead and confuse Californians. “Congratulations, Western States Petroleum Association and Chevron! No one has spent more on evil in California than you!"
The association spent a total of $4,009,178 lobbying state officials in the third quarter of 2014, a new quarterly record by WSPA.
During that quarter, the association paid $375,800 to KP Public Affairs, a prominent Sacramento lobbying and public relations firm that represents clients in health care, aerospace manufacturing and other industries. WSPA also paid $77,576 to Pillsbury Winthrup Shaw Pittman LLP.
WSPA spent $1,456,785 in the first quarter, $1,725,180 in the second quarter and $1,692,391 in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Along with KP Public Affairs and Pillsbury Winthrup Shaw Pittman LLP, the association hired two other firms, California Resource Strategies and Alcantar & Kahl, to lobby for Big Oil.
The Sacramento Bee pointed out that the "vast majority of the petroleum association’s spending on lobbying last year – about $7.2 million – was reported under a catch-all 'other' category that requires no detailed disclosure showing who benefited or how the money was spent."
The San Ramon-based Chevron and its subsidiaries placed third on the list with $4,282,216 spent on lobbying in 2014, including $2,198,209 paid in the fourth quarter.
The California State Council of Service Employees placed second with $5.9 million, while the California Chamber of Commerce finished fourth on the list with $3.9 million and the California Hospital Association and California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems finished fifth with $3 million.
The oil industry has spent over $70 million on lobbyists in California since January 2009, according to a 2014 report written by Will Barrett, the Senior Policy Analyst for the American Lung Association in California.
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) topped the oil industry spending with a total of $31,179,039 spent on lobbying since January 1, 2009 at the time of Barrett’s report. Chevron was second in lobbying expenses with a total of $15,542,565 spent during the same period.
From July 1 to September 30 alone, the oil industry spent an unprecedented $7.1 million lobbying elected officials in California
“with a major focus on getting oil companies out of a major clean air regulation,” said Barrett.
Big Oil also exerts its power and influence by spending many millions of dollars every election season on candidates and ballot measures. For example, the oil industry dumped $7.6 million into defeating a measure calling for a fracking ban in Santa Barbara County and nearly $2 million into an unsuccessful campaign to defeat a measure banning fracking and other extreme oil extraction techniques in San Benito County during the November 2014 election. Chevron also spent $3 million (unsuccessfully) to elect “their” candidates to the Richmond City Council.
Not only does Big Oil spend millions every year on lobbying and campaign contributions, but it funds "Astroturf" campaigns to eviscerate environmental laws. Leaked documents provided to Northwest Public Radio, Business Week, and other media outlets last year exposed a campaign by the Western States Petroleum Association to fund and coordinate a network of “Astroturf” groups to oppose environmental laws and local campaigns against fracking in California, Washington, and Oregon.
This network was revealed in a PowerPoint presentation from a November 11 presentation to the Washington Research Council, given by Catherine Reheis-Boyd, WSPA president.
“The Powerpoint deck details a plan to throttle AB 32 (also known as the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) and steps to thwart low carbon fuel standards (known as LCFS) in California, Oregon, and Washington State,” revealed Stop Fooling California.
Oil and chemical industry representatives also further exert their power and influence by serving on state and federal regulatory panels. In one of the most overt conflicts of interest in recent California history, WSPA President Reheis-Boyd served as the chair of the Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force to create fake "marine protected areas" in Southern California.
She also served on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast, and North Coast, in addition to sitting on a NOAA federal marine protected areas panel from 2003 to 2014.
The so-called "marine protected areas" created under the MLPA Initiative fail to protect the ocean from fracking, offshore oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.
Not only did these alleged "Yosemites of the Sea" fail to protect the ocean, but they violate the traditional fishing and gathering rights of the Yurok Tribe and other Indian Nations and are based on terminally flawed and incomplete science. In fact, Ron LeValley, the Co-Chair of the MLPA Initiative Science Advisory Team for the North Coast, is currently in federal prison for conspiracy to embezzle $852,000 from the Yurok Tribe.
The millions Chevron and other oil companies have spent on lobbying, campaign contributions and setting up “Astroturf” groups promoting the oil industry agenda are just chump change to Big Oil. The five big oil companies – BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell – made a combined total of $93 billion in 2013.
Even with sliding oil prices, the big five oil companies — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Shell — made $16.4 billion in the last quarter of 2014 and $89.7 billion for the entire year, according to the Center for American Progress.
CALIFORNIANS CALL FOR STATEWIDE FRACKING BAN
BY FSRN · February 9, 2015
About 8,000 Californians took to the streets of Oakland on Saturday calling on Governor Jerry Brown to follow the lead of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and issue a statewide ban on fracking. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is an oil and gas extraction process in which water and chemicals are injected into the ground at high pressure. Activists and environmentalists say fracking contributes to climate change, pollutes communities and wastes a massive amount of water — a particular concern for a state in the midst of a historic drought. Though Governor Brown has embraced some environmental issues while in office, participants in Saturday’s march insist that a real climate leader would not support fracking.
FSRN’s Andrew Klein reports.
“Ban fracking now! Say what! Ban fracking now! Say what!”
The thousands of people who turned out for the March for Real Climate Leadership in Oakland were in a festive mood as they called for a statewide fracking ban.
Voters in two California counties, San Benito and Santa Cruz, passed their own local bans during last year’s elections. The bans passed despite hefty spending by the oil and gas industry which portrays fracking as a key to energy independence.
“The oil industry has tremendous power in California,” according to Sacramento-based investigative journalist Dan Bacher who focuses on environmental politics. “Most people don’t know it’s the most powerful corporate lobby in the state.”
Much of the oil lobby’s spending last year helped defeat a fracking moratorium bill in the State Legislature. That legislation would have replaced Senate Bill 4, which Governor Brown signed into law in 2013 after taking nearly $2.5 million from the oil lobby.
Activists and scientists alike have criticized the 2013 bill for codifying weak fracking regulations.
Andrew Grinberg of Clean Water Action says the Brown administration has failed to rein in an industry that uses millions of gallons of water each day.
“Across the state people are suffering from the worst drought we’ve ever seen here in California,” notes Grinberg. “And when you’re running out of your most precious resource, it’s a good idea to start saving it and protecting it. We need real water leadership in California and real water leaders don’t frack.”
While fracking creates competition for scarce water supplies, there are also other environmental concerns.
“The more oil we extract through fracking the more we burn, the worse global warming, and the more global warming induced droughts we’re going to have like the one scientists are saying we’re having now,” says Adam Scow, California Director of Food and Water Watch. “So the solution is to ban fracking and transition away from fossil fuels.”
That transition is already happening under Governor Brown, who vowed in his inaugural address this year to place California on the path to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. But participants in the march say this benchmark is too modest and want Brown to ban fracking now. But so far that hasn’t happened. Instead, under Brown’s leadership fracking is spreading especially in the Central Valley.
“Communities in the Central Valley have long been impacted by a whole bunch of different environmental issues: pesticides, poorest earth quality in the nation and now fracking,” according to Juan Flores, a community organizer with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment who lives in Kerns County, the county with the most fracked wells in the state. “We are here, walking and marching and protesting in the hope that Governor Brown, as Governor Cuomo, believes that fracking must be banned.”
Whether Governor Brown will heed this call and follow the state-wide example of New York Governor Cuomo remains to be seen. But in the meantime, activists will continue to fight on the local level. The next battle comes March 3rd when residents of La Habra Heights will vote on a fracking ban in their town.