- Courtroom E
- Skunk Tunnel
- Boonville Arrests
- Catch of the Day
- McLean's Lyrics
- Water Man
- Strange Fruit
- Frog Survey
- Salcedo Sisters
- Deeper Education
- TPP Profits
- Albion Bridge
- Drought Profiteering
- CalFire Flyers
- Human Warming
- Oil Protection
HEARING FRIDAY MORNING ON FROST FAN LAWSUIT IN UKIAH
by Justine Frederiksen
A hearing is scheduled Friday morning for a lawsuit filed by an Anderson Valley resident who said he was kept awake last year by the large fans many grape growers used to battle frost.
“It’s not just a trivial inconvenience of a night or two,” said Mark Scaramella of the five fans near him in Boonville that typically get turned on for several hours beginning at midnight.
“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, and it’s absolutely impossible to sleep,” said Scaramella, who named three of his neighbors in the suit as well as the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. “I just want some sleep, and I want the county to promise to enforce their (noise ordinance).”
When informed of the lawsuit, Agricultural Commissioner Chuck Morse said in the case of the vineyard fans, the county’s noise ordinance does not trump the county’s Right to Farm law.
“The use of fans for frost protection is an accepted, ongoing practice, which exempts it from the noise ordinance,” said Morse.
Morse said that did not mean there would “never” be a case when an “accepted, ongoing” agricultural practice could violate the county’s noise ordinance, but so far, the county has found that the five fans in question do not.
“I’m not (using wind machines) because I’m trying to be a bad neighbor,” said Arnaud Weyrich, winemaker for Roederer Estate in Anderson Valley. “I’m trying to protect my business, which is to grow a healthy vineyard and make good wine. As a group, we’ve been under pressure to make less noise, and we’re trying to shift away from using the fans.”
”There was a lot less rental fans brought in this year for that exact reason,” said Joe Webb, whose Foursight Wines was one of the three vineyard neighbors Scaramella named in his lawsuit, along with Pennyroyal Farm and V. Sattui winery. “We’re also trying to be much more communicative.”
Webb said the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association created a set of Best Management Practices last year that includes how and when to use the fans, and also set up a “noise hotline” that allows people losing sleep to call and report their location.
The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. April 10 in courtroom E.
(Courtesy, the , Ukiah Daily Journal)
ANOTHER BIG SKUNK TRAIN TUNNEL COLLAPSE
First View: with photos
A Reader Writes: Almost 200 feet of the Skunk Train tunnel has collapsed! Almost a month ago! This time on the west end. A couple years ago it was on the east end. Luckily for the owners it didn't happen when a trainload of passengers was going through! This tunnel is fragile and nearing or maybe over 100 years old. Portions of this tunnel have collapsed three times.
That is not the problem though. The problem is that it is being repaired via the band-aid method and nobody is supposed to know about it! Chief Skunk Robert Pinoli is telling everyone it is only routine maintenance. BS. Look at the pictures below. Imagine if this collapse happened while the train was rumbling through.
Mr. Pinoli has a sign on the depot door in Fort Bragg saying that the train is out of service and will be back in May. There's no chance in hell that will happen. Anyone seeing this area is told to keep quiet and not to take any pictures. It is hard to get to, but Big River Realty has the adjoining property for sale.
The Fort Bragg Advocate News says the collapse is just unfounded rumors according to their comments from Mr. Pinoli in their March 13 issue.
I would bet that Fish and Game or the Department of industrial safety/relations (or whatever they're called) has been kept in the dark about this to or else this would have been shut down immediately until it could be fixed correctly.
The pictures tell it all.
* * *
Second View: without photos
by Malcolm Macdonald
The March 30th meeting of the Fort Bragg City Council offered up a truckload of subject matter, but one of the few that seemed to temporarily divide the council was the topic concerning how serious the damage to the California Western Railroad (Skunk Train) Tunnel #1 is. Opinions differed from routine maintenance to catastrophic collapse. The truth, of course, lies somewhere in the middle, inside that tunnel that truly did suffer a major collapse (thousands of tons of rock falling onto and covering approximately forty feet of track) in April of 2013. Repairs to that collapsed tunnel cost roughly $450,000 financed largely by donations both private and from the Save The Redwoods League.
A few weeks ago Robert Pinoli, general manager of the Skunk line, offered up an explanation regarding the gobs of clay and damp dirt covering the Pudding Creek entrance to Tunnel #1. That explanation involved heavy equipment work to make the repairs above that entrance more permanent. Eyewitnesses in the first week of April, 2015 verified that a wide swath of the hillside above the Pudding Creek tunnel entrance had been scooped and/or scraped away and that a series of steel bolts, many reportedly twenty feet long, had seemingly been anchored to support steel netting that would go along with shock-crete (for a detailed explanation of the application of shock-crete see: pacificsouthwest.net/assets/docs/ShockcreteSLSpecification.pdf).
All of this labor is aimed at more or less permanently pinning the hillside back and stopping the sliding that has plagued the Pudding Creek side of Tunnel #1 for the past four decades. Four to five pieces of heavy equipment have been employed near that tunnel entrance since late February or early March. According to Pinoli, much of the 35 feet (or so) extension that was added to the top of the tunnel's Pudding Creek entrance in the 1990s will be removed as a part of the current maintenance; work that has kept the Skunk train out of commission during tourist friendly Spring breaks and Easter week.
As Easter neared rumors persisted that something more was wrong with Tunnel #1. In an effort to find out the truth of the matter two coastal citizens walked down the road to what locals call Madsen's Hole where they took off their boots, rolled up their trousers and waded the relatively shallow Noyo River to the other side. Feet wiped dry and shoes and socks restored, the pair used branches to whack their way through several feet of nettles and brush to a trail that leads directly to the Skunk rail line, approximately four miles out from the depot at the west end of Laurel Street in downtown Fort Bragg.
Our two locals walked south and west alongside the rails to the the bridge that crosses the Noyo just southeast of Tunnel #1. The twosome noticed some evidence of minor rockslides above that tunnel exit, apparently an ongoing problem of its own as the hill above appears somewhat unstable.
With a hand held lamp the duo cautiously trekked into the tunnel, silent except for intermittent dripping from above. Within a few strides they encountered mud that caked their boots. A few hundred feet in the mud turned to puddles, which steadily grew deeper; over the tops of their boots, then halfway up the calves of six feet tall individuals.
The two slogged on because they were convinced they could see hints of light from the Pudding Creek side of the tunnel. With the dirty brown water up to their knees, the tunnel rats stopped dead in their tracks when it became clear that the “light” they thought was coming from the other end of the tunnel was…
In any self-respecting adventure tale it would turn out to be the lights from an oncoming locomotive, but no locomotive is going to be traveling through Tunnel #1 of the Skunk line for awhile. That faint light was in actuality the creamy gray of an earth-and-rock landslide blocking the California Western (Skunk) Railroad. The tunnel walkers described it as possibly 1,000 feet in from the Noyo River side. Tunnel #1 is reportedly about 1,200 feet from Pudding Creek to Noyo River.
Contacted by phone a day before Easter, Robert Pinoli was at first reluctant to discuss this second problem inside the tunnel, but eventually he acknowledged the slide, describing it as being made up mainly of serpentine. Pinoli stated that this inside-the-tunnel slide was about 35-50 feet in length, tapering off toward the Pudding Creek entrance. He further claimed that the interior slide would not be a great problem to remove and reaffirmed his earlier statements that the Skunk train line out of Fort Bragg would be open for its usual 21 mile run to Northspur on May 16, 2015.
Two years ago, the collapse in Tunnel #1 sent California Western reeling financially. Public fundraising brought in a little over a hundred thousand dollars in a two month span when at least three times that amount was needed for basic repairs that could re-open the tunnel. Eventually the conservation group Save the Redwoods (at the time Fort Bragg attorney Jim Larson was the President of that non-profit's Board of Directors) provided the needed funds, paying approximately $300,000 for many acres of forested property along the Skunk rail line. Nearly all, if not all, of these funds were eaten up by the repairs necessitated by the 2013 tunnel collapse. On the phone, April 4th, Pinoli estimated that by mid May, 2015 the Skunk line will have spent approximately $450,000 more on track maintenance (including what Pinoli called extensive rail and tie upgrades) as well as tunnel repairs over the past two years.
In a small town where one of the radio stations calls itself "The Skunk — FM," the financial importance of the Skunk railroad cannot be overestimated. Several casual observers have noted the positive impact on businesses up and down Laurel, Main, and Franklin Streets in the hour or two following the Skunk train's return to the depot each day.
BOONVILLE'S BEEN QUIET FOR MONTHS, and suddenly…
April 5, 911 log
1. VIOLATION COURT ORDER
13700 HWY 128 BOONVILLE (the property at the southwest corner of 128 and Mountain View Road)
166.4 PC FA - 166.4PC (Court Order violation code)
REPORT TAKEN 15-8309
2. (Same address, 2.5 hours later) DRUGS
13700 HWY 128 BOONVILLE
166.4 PC FA - 166.4PC
REPORT TAKEN 15-8309
3. Arrest summary for the day (all five people listed under the same arrest.)
VIOLATION COURT ORDER
166.4 PC FA -
DONAVAN PARRISH: Ukiah. Booked 4/6 for receiving stolen property, under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.
ERICA NICOLE CERVANTES: Boonville. Booked 4/6. Probation revocation.
KELLI LYNN ADAMS: Boonville. Booked 4/5, driving on suspended license and probation revocation.
MARIA ISABEL MARFIL: Ukiah (arrested in Boonville): Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.
ROBERT CLARK: Not booked, apparently only cited and released.
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 9, 2015
BLUE ABREU, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
CHRISTOPHER BIORD, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
MICHAEL BOONE, Ukiah. Criminal threats of great bodily harm or death.
JUDITH DUCHARME, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
PHILLIP DUNCAN, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JOSE ESCARENO, Covelo. Attempted murder*.
RICHARD GARREN, Ukiah. Court order violation.
ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
ANTHONY PARRISH, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
(*Mr. Escareno was arrested for attempted murder just a couple of months ago with bail set at $125k. Yet here we are not three months later and he’s arrested again for Attempted Murder with bail again set at $125k. Here’s the Sheriff’s press release from February.)
“On February 21, 2015 at about 1:40 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were detailed to the Covelo Mobile Home Park located on Howard St. in Covelo regarding a shooting. Deputies arrived and spoke with the victims David Sifuentes, 38, of Covelo, and Eduardo Sifuentes, 33, of Covelo. Deputies learned there had been an argument over a subject driving through the park at a high rate of speed. The argument became a physical fight and a passenger from the vehicle, later identified as Jose Escareno, 27, of Covelo, exited the vehicle removed a firearm from his waistband, and struck one of the subjects in the back with the firearm. This caused the firearm to discharge into the wall of a neighboring residence. Escareno then pointed the firearm at two of the subjects and pulled the trigger several times while saying he was going to kill them. The firearm had malfunctioned and did not discharge. Deputies were advised that a warden from the Department of Fish and Wildlife had the vehicle stopped on Highway 162 in Covelo. Deputies responded and seized two loaded handguns from the vehicle, one of which matched the description provided by the witnesses. Deputies also seized a spent pistol casing from the scene of the shooting which matched the caliber of the handgun. Jose Escareno was interviewed and subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail for attempted murder where he is held on $125,000 bail.”
THE LAST SECRET OF AMERICAN PIE, pop's most enigmatic song:
Drugs, Elvis, murders and how a lost verse sheds new light on Don McLean's hauntingly evocative lyrics...
by Ray Connolly
There has never been a popular song quite like it. For more than 40 years, its lyrics have been an enigma wrapped in an eight-and-a-half minute long rock 'n' roll puzzle.
Argued over by generations of geeky fans, deciphered and re-deciphered by code-breaking rock nerds and considered to be poetic reflections on mid-20th century U.S. social history by even groovier academics, it's called American Pie. And this week its lyrics, hand-written in 1971 by a young folk singer called Don McLean, were sold at auction in New York for more than $1 million.
That's a lot of money for 18 sheets of paper, albeit with a lost seventh verse. But, to be honest, I rather think that whoever bought them got a bargain. Because, in this age, when song lyrics have all but become meaningless, American Pie illustrates, in a series of images, metaphors and allusions, just what can be done within the frame of a melodically straightforward pop song.
It's also a paean to education. McLean loves words, he says, 'almost as much as life'. That may be a slight overstatement, but it shows. Of course, like all poets, McLean didn't give us a key to the riddle of what his song was about when he released his multi-million-selling single. That would have spoiled it.
'It means I'll never have to work again,' he would joke about how much money the song had made him, leaving us to work out for ourselves what the 'sad news on the doorstep' was exactly, and why he 'couldn't take one more step' when he read it.
That was the easy part, of course, for anyone of my and his generation who learned about the death in a plane crash in 1959 of one of the first great singer-songwriters of rock, Buddy Holly, when we read about it in the morning newspaper.
As McLean sings, it was truly 'The day the music died'.
I was on a Ribble bus going to school in Lancashire, peering over the shoulder of the man in front of me when I saw the headline.
McLean, according to his song, anyway, was 14 and delivering papers in the rather smart New York suburb of New Rochelle where he grew up.
It was a strange, wistful opening for a pop song, but then, as the beat kicked in, the lyrics began to portray the innocence of God-fearing, teenage high school in Fifties America.
Listing pop song titles like the Book Of Love and A White Sports Coat and A Pink Carnation, and dances in the gym where the worst that could happen would be that the girl you fancied was dancing with some other guy, it painted a picture of what by 1971 was already a bygone time.
Then, in between every verse, would come that cryptic chorus about driving his 'Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry'. For years, I thought that was something to do with the raised earthworks — levees — that run along the banks of the Mississippi in New Orleans, until I discovered that a 'levee' can also mean a party.
So the parties that kids would attend in the non-threatening Fifties would always have been dry — that is, without alcohol. Yes, same in Britain.
On the surface, it might seem that American Pie — especially the first half, which was the section mainly played on the radio because the record was far too long to be played in full — was just a misty-eyed lament for an untroubled Mom and Apple Pie American youth.
But, suddenly, the mood changed as McLean — jaundiced almost, and certainly disappointed — looked around late-Sixties America and saw how the 'jester in a coat he borrowed from James Dean' (thought to mean Bob Dylan in his leather jacket) stole the King's 'thorny crown'.
Or, as you and I might say, knocked Elvis Presley off his top-notch perch.
Almost everything is seen through youth icons. In the line 'while Lenin read a book on Marx', was he teasingly criticising John Lennon for appearing to be espousing Marxist revolutionary theory in his solo songs? I think he might have been.
And was 'helter skelter in a summer swelter' a reference to the murders of actress Sharon Tate and friends by the 'Charles Manson Family' in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969? It has to be. In an absurd defence, murderer Manson maintained that he had interpreted The Beatles innocuous lyrics in their song Helter Skelter as instructions to go out and kill. Manson is still in jail.
Even after all these years, much of American Pie is still opaque. Was the reference to The Byrds' record Eight Miles High a comment on the carpet-bombing by U.S. jets in Vietnam?
Only McLean knows — and he isn't saying. When asked to give a few hints as to the meaning of the lyrics for this week's auction catalogue, he simply said that 'the song was not a parlour game', but 'an indescribable photograph of America that I tried to capture in words and music'.
And metaphor, he might have added, as, in my interpretation of the lyrics, a game of American football becomes a student demonstration, probably at Kent State University, over America's military extension of the Vietnam war to Cambodia, to the music of The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
'The half-time air was sweet-perfume', which probably means that everybody was smoking pot, and wanting to have a nice, quiet time, when the demo was broken up violently by the Ohio National Guard, who shot four students dead.
Then there's the question of Mick Jagger. Is he 'Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack Flash sat on a Candlestick'? Maybe.
But there is confusion because it isn't The Beatles' famous last U.S. show at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, that McLean is singing about, but The Rolling Stones' performance at nearby Altamont in 1969.
At that concert, the Stones performed Sympathy For The Devil and then watched helplessly as, before them in the crowd, Hell's Angels beat a man to death.
'And as I watched him on the stage, my hands were clenched in fists of rage,' go the lyrics of American Pie. 'No angel born in hell, could break that Satan's spell.'
Dancing to rock 'n' roll was never meant to get like this, he seems to be saying. I'm not sure that if I were Mick Jagger, I'd want to hear that sung about myself.
Although McLean said before the auction of his song's lyrics that the pages would 'divulge everything there is to divulge' about this 'mystical trip into my past', they clearly don't. But the material does cast some light on how the song changed before he recorded it.
Originally, he had intended a positive ending, suggesting an extra verse that the music he once loved would be reborn in happier times.
But in the end he settled for the more worldly-wise: 'The three men I admire the most, The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost / They caught the last train for the coast / The day the music died.'
A bleak ending, yes, but apart from the reference to the Holy Trinity, is there also perhaps a nod here to John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, whose assassinations occurred in the Sixties? Again, McLean isn't saying. What he does do, however, is give excellent advice to songwriters who are just starting out: 'Immerse yourself in beautiful music and beautiful lyrics and think about every word you say in a song.'
It seems so obvious, doesn't it? But then you turn on the radio and realise that, with just a few exceptions, an appreciation of good music and lyrics has played little part in the education of so many of today's songwriters.
As McLean showed, the right word can mean so much.
Most people will probably think of 69-year-old Don McLean as a one-hit wonder — now living in semi-retirement, and no doubt the lap of luxury, with his wife in Maine. And he certainly wasn't able to ever better American Pie.
But at around the same time, he also wrote two other pop classics. Vincent, about Vincent Van Gogh's painting The Starry Night, as well as And I Love You So.
This week's buyer of the lyrics of American Pie unfortunately prefers to remain anonymous, and that suggests to me that's he's a billionaire who wants to frame them and stick them on his study wall.
I'd far rather they had been bought by an university so students of U.S. literature and social history could spend another 40-odd years poring over them, and discussing what can be done with a popular song, and how America was, as it says in the lyrics, a 'long, long time ago'.
(Courtesy, the London Daily Mail.)
Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop
Learn About Frogs - April 18-19
Events on April 18 and 19 will be the start of the summer field season for the Eel River Recovery Project. We are joining UC Berkeley with a cooperative yellow-legged frog survey from the bank at Benbow on Saturday April 18 and from boats (everybody brings their own) on Sunday, April 19.
Patrick Higgins, Volunteer Coordinator
Eel River Recovery Project
791 Eighth Street, Suite A
Arcata, CA 95521
Salcedo Sisters: In Concert and Conversation
A Benefit Performance for Ukiah Symphony Association
The Salcedo Sisters — vocalist, violinist and music instructor Margie Salcedo Rice, 30-year concert mistress of the Ukiah Symphony; pianist Rosie Salcedo Concepcion of Menlo Park; and flutist Patricia Salcedo Williams of Calistoga--will be performing Broadway show tunes and classic love songs as a benefit concert for the Ukiah Symphony Association on Sunday, May 3rd at 3:00 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for 18 and under or ASB card and will be on sale at Mendocino Book Company, www.brownpapertickets.com starting April 4, or at the door at the Holy Episcopal Trinity Church at 640 South Orchard Street. For further questions, please leave a message on the Ukiah Symphony Association phone line: 707 462-0236.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
One big problem is the deal Higher Education made with Big Business in the ’70s, when the last of the Baby Boomers left college. At that moment, there was a dramatic oversupply of colleges, built to handle the enormous surge of people wanting to go to college, from the GI Bill after WWII and their kids, the Baby Boomers.
Business hated spending money to train people on the job, so Higher Education and Finance came up with a way to take that expense off of Business, and put it onto the prospective employees themselves. This saved thousands of colleges from closing, and created a huge opportunity for profits creating huge amounts of debt tied to the Social Security numbers of students. As we see know.
That’s when you started seeing vocational programs take over colleges. I went to a small 4-year college that survived on Accounting, Hotel and Institutional Management, and Agricultural Management degrees. All stuff a person had used to learn on the job.
The point of a college education, and particularly of a Liberal Arts education, had used to be that when you graduated, you knew how to think. You could define a situation, gather information, sort it, evaluate it, formulate solutions, and address the situation. The “Scientific Method,” applied to the more abstract and subjective things that human beings are constantly trying to deal with.
I’d be the first to say that many of the Liberal Arts programs out there aren’t delivering that, or at least that many of their students aren’t doing that. Absolutely a valid criticism.
But I, who dropped out before completing a double-major in Literature and Theatre, have been fully and rewardingly employed in a variety of small business jobs for the past 30 years. I’m not directly using anything I learned in college; but it turns out that somebody who can approach a situation, find, sort, evaluate and utilize information, and make decisions accordingly, can be useful almost anywhere doing almost anything. I can learn how to do the specific things that need doing. Nothing I’ve ever learned has ever become obsolete or required “retraining.”
If colleges are teaching specific skills but not teaching how to learn other skills, that’s as worthless as a non-specific degree that also doesn’t teach how to learn. Learning how to learn is what you’re supposed to get out of Education. If you can do that, the specifics take care of themselves.
INTERESTED IN THE FATE OF THE ALBION RIVER BRIDGE?
CALTRANS TO HOLD MEETING TUESDAY, APRIL 14TH, 6:00 PM
We saw this post by the Albion Community Advisory Board this morning on the MCNlistserv:
"On April 14 from 6:00 -8:00 pm at the Albion School Caltrans will be presenting to the public. Please plan to attend if you'd like to learn more. Also be sure to sign the petition for resurfacing the Albion Bridge (at the hardware and grocery store)
From Caltrans: Notice Of Preparation Draft Environmental Impact Report
This makes for interesting reading and will be the topic for discussion at the meeting on the 14th:
HOW GROWERS ARE GAMING THE CALIFORNIA DROUGHT
CAL FIRE AND CALIFORNIA NATIONAL GUARD TRAIN IN THE AIR ANNUAL TRAINING PREPARES MILITARY PILOTS FOR FIREFIGHTING MISSION
As California enters its fourth year of drought, CAL FIRE and the California National Guard will be holding their annual fire aviation training in preparation for the peak fire season ahead. The training this year will be held April 10-12, 2015 at the CAL FIRE Academy in Ione and Lake Pardee in Amador County.
“As the drought continues to create extreme fire conditions, it is more important than ever to train with our partners in order to be prepared for our state’s inevitable wildfires,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE. “During years of high fire activity, the assistance from the California National Guard has been vital in aiding us battle large, damaging fires.”
CAL FIRE and the California National Guard have worked in cooperation for over three decades, enabling CAL FIRE to augment its helicopter fleet during times when the department is battling numerous large wildfires at the same time. The training that the National Guard pilots and crewmembers receive includes basic incident management, firefighting operations and safety.
“Cal Guard aircraft and crews train throughout the year so we’ll be ready when fire season inevitably arrives,” said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, Adjutant General of the California National Guard. “But this is a team effort, and the annual training in Ione is critical in making sure we stay in sync with CAL FIRE and all our partner agencies in keeping Californians safe.”
The most effective way to teach crews is by utilizing the tools they will have while fighting a wildfire, including water. In order to conserve the water the crews will use, the staff will work closely with local water districts to identify drop areas in ravines and drainages that will allow the water to work its way back into the lake.
CAL FIRE will hold similar trainings with the United States Marine Corps and Navy. “Military pilots have skills we can draw upon when we need assistance on firefighting missions,” said Chief Ken Pimlott.
CAL FIRE has the largest aerial firefighting fleet in the world, with over 50 aircraft, including 11 UH-1H Super Huey helicopters.
For more information on how California is dealing with the drought: ca.gov/drought
For water conservation ideas: saveourwater.com
BARELY HALF OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY RESIDENTS BELIEVE GLOBAL WARMING IS MOSTLY CAUSED BY HUMANS
A WHALE OF A CONFLICT OF INTEREST: BIG OIL LOBBYIST'S OVERSIGHT OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
by Dan Bacher
In one of the biggest and most overlooked environmental scandals in recent California history, a prominent oil industry lobbyist served as a high ranking official overseeing the creation of marine protected areas in Southern California, as well as sitting on a federal marine protected areas advisory panel.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California from 2009 to 2011. (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa/brtf_bios_sc.asp)
During the period from 2004 to 2012, she also served on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. Under her leadership, she and other corporate interests made sure that oil industry operations, including fracking operations in Southern California waters, weren’t impacted at all by the creation of so-called "marine protected areas."
In the violation of the provisions of the Marine Life Protection Act of 1999, these "marine protected areas" fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.
Reheis-Boyd also served on a federal marine protected areas panel, NOAA’s 20 member MPA (Marine Protected Areas) Advisory Committee, from 2003 to 2014. (http://marineprotectedareas.noaa.gov/fac/membership
Reheis-Boyd’s presence on both state and federal marine protected area panels is very alarming when you consider that Reheis-Boyd is the head lobbyist for fracking and offshore oil drilling in California, as well the leading opponent of Senate Bill 340, legislation to reduce gasoline and diesel use 50 percent in California by 2030.
For example, in her latest post on the WSPA blog, Reheis-Boyd slammed Senate Bill 350, warning of the “drastic and devastating impact” that the bill would supposedly have on California. (http://www.wspa.org/blog/post/wspa-president-weighs-sb-350-hearing-senate-energy-committee)
“The Western States Petroleum Association and its members have joined a number of business and community groups in opposition to Senate Bill 350, a bill that proposes a 50 percent reduction in gasoline and diesel use by 2030. In the absence of available and affordable alternatives, we believe such a step would have a drastic and devastating impact on California’s economy, businesses, and families statewide,” said Reheis-Boyd.
Her presence on the state and federal marine protected areas panels is a classic case of the “fox guarding the hen house” – and how big money purchases political power in California and the U.S.
Caleen Audrey Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, said allowing a big oil industry lobbyist to serve on state and federal "marine protected area" panels is "outright WRONG."
"How can this continue to be overlooked and allowed? Where is the public on these things?" asked Chief Sisk. "When will the public refuse to accept this outright WRONG? The Mega Corporations have loop holes to provide funding and personnel to government to run their billion dollar destructive project through. It is so sad the public has no recourse because they are held hostage and want the two bit jobs!"