- Loretta Hospitalized
- Dude Fest
- Backwards Tickets
- Catch of the Day
- Woodhouse Irony
- Madam Starhawk
- Foodshed News
- Weed Water
- Government Impunity
- Warren v Clinton
- Bobblehead Radio
- Spent Left
- Serial Commas
- School Power
- Tunnels Plan
- Michael Recycle
- Cancer Resource
- Westport Duckies
LORETTA HOUCK suffered severe brain trauma just before 6pm Thursday evening when she fell backward out of or over the tailgate of her husband's truck and hit her head on some large rocks they were moving in preparation for the beer festival. Mrs. Houck is a well-known and popular member of the Anderson Valley community, as is her husband, a programmer at KZYX Radio, Philo. Mrs. Houck owned and operated Laughing Dog Books in downtown Boonville for several years. Dan Houck reports that Loretta is at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital “where a neurosurgeon operated last night to relieve swelling and to deal with massive hemorrhaging and inner brain blood clots,” her husband said. “The operation was a success but we will not know the extent of the damage for quite some time. She is in ICU. They will monitor the swelling that may occur for five days or more. She has squeezed my hand and wiggled her toes when asked. She has not opened her eyes but has moved her eyes quite a bit. I will try and update as information comes in.”
DUDE FEST 2015, aka the “19th Annual Legendary Boonville Beer Festival” (https://avbc.com/event/19th-annual-legendary-boonville-beer-festival/) is underway in Boonville as young beasts from everywhere and anywhere gather at the Boonville Fairgrounds to pound down the suds. It's a remarkable event. You've got about 7,000 former high school linebackers and their dudette former pom pom girls getting blotto over about a five hour period then heading for their campgrounds. Ordinarily given these givens we might expect some medium-strength rioting, but this thing is so well organized except for a steady stream of drunks straggling back to the campgrounds there has never been any serious trouble.
MENDO, AS ALWAYS, CUTTING EDGE
THE ACLU has announced that Mendocino County is one of at eight Superior Courts in the state that compels people to pay their traffic tickets in full before they can get in front of a judge to dispute the charges. The ACLU says Mendocino, Del Norte, Fresno, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Tulare, Madera and Shasta counties are in violation of Constitutionally-guaranteed due process by requiring traffic fines prior to hearings. A typical traffic ticket in California is nearly $500, which consists of a base fine of $100, with the additional fees generated for anything from court construction, as fines are doing right now for the new County Courthouse in Ukiah that nobody but our 9 judges want to night court.
IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, the fees, set at ever higher amounts, are called “bail,” which the ACLU points out should not be a condition of release. Every year, hundreds of County residents are arrested for not paying traffic fines, which grow via nebulous add-ons that put them beyond the ability of the ordinary person to pay.
THE OFFENDING COUNTIES have until May 28th to respond to the charges, or perhaps get sued if they don't put the fine cart back behind hearing horse.
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 1, 2015
BENJAMIN BOYD, Willits. Drunk in public.
MARK BURLEIGH, Miranda/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
STEVEN DANIELS, Fort Bragg. Fake ID, probation revocation.
MICHAEL DONAHE Sr., Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
MARIA GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, receipt of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, loitering, probation revocation.
JARED HAWKINS, Fort Bragg. Vandalism.
MICHAEL MUNOZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Vehicle theft, theft by extortion, receipt of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, loitering, probation revocation.
BENJAMIN PERRY, Lakeport/Ukiah. Grand theft.
REZA RAHMANI, Newark (CA)/Piercy. DUI, suspended license.
DONYA RAMIREZ, Ukiah. DUI-Drugs.
JOSEPH SANCHEZ, Fort Bragg. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.
KELLY VINES, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
SHAUN WAY, Potter Valley. DUI.
THE IRONY OF WOODHOUSE
(We weren’t the only one who noticed Third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse’s desire to prohibit pesticide and herbicide use by Caltrans on the bypass project, but couldn’t even bring himself to request that MRC not use poisons on “their” trees.)
Board Agenda item 6(e)
To: Board Of Supervisors Date: April 28, 2015
From: Supervisor Tom Woodhouse
Meeting Date: May 5, 2015
Department Resource/Contact: Tom Woodhouse
Agenda Title: Discussion and Possible Adoption of a Resolution Opposing the Use of Pesticides by Caltrans in the Little Lake Valley Mitigation Areas Previous Board/Board Committee Actions: On January 28, 1997 the Board of Supervisors approved a motion to request the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) immediately cease using herbicide spraying for vegetative material in Mendocino County (Agenda Item 7c.).
Summary Of Request: Caltrans has recently proposed using herbicides, and possibly insecticides and rodenticides, on approximately 67 acres of the wetland mitigation areas of Little Lake Valley.
In Caltrans 2006 Willits Bypass FEIS/EIR, Volume 1, Appendix A, Caltrans stated: “If, during the three-year monitoring program, invasive weeds show evidence of spreading, Caltrans will develop an Invasive Weed Eradication Plan, targeting identified invasive species on the CDFA list. Herbicides would not be used since Caltrans does not use herbicides in Mendocino County” (Pg. 13).
The use of pesticides was also prohibited in early versions of the State and Federal Mitigation & Monitoring Plans (MMPs) but later, in 2012, was modified to allow them only if hand, mechanical or other non-toxic methods had been persistently tried and were ineffective. Caltrans also consistently assured the public, on the FAQs on their website until November 2014, that herbicides would not be used on the Willits Bypass project. Use of pesticides, however, is now included in the request for proposals for the current phases of mitigation work, in order to expedite eradication of Himalayan blackberries and other invasive species.
Caltrans is in the processes of awarding a contract for the first and major phase of mitigation work in mid-May. The contractor selected would then likely apply for the permit required by the State Water Resources Control Board for use of pesticides in or near watercourses, with a 30 day public comment period from the time this permit is applied for. The contractor is responsible for choosing which chemicals and methods of application are used, subject to any conditions in the contract and the Water Board permit (see list of potentially allowed pesticides referenced in the RFP).
The acreage on which these pesticides would be used is mostly on seasonal wetlands and along stream banks in the northern Valley, some of which is used for grazing. Residue from the pesticides can seep into or accumulate in soil and surface or underground water, with the potential for adverse impacts on salmon-spawning streams, wildlife, grazing animals, and quality of well water, which could include the City of Willits’ Elias well and private wells in the area.
Attached is a Resolution, that upon adoption by the Board of Supervisors, would be submitted as the County of Mendocino’s public comment opposing the use of pesticides in Little Lake Valley Mitigation Areas to Caltrans, the Water Board and other relevant State and Federal agencies, and other elected officials. The City of Willits passed a similar resolution opposing the use of pesticides in Little Lake Valley Mitigation Areas on April 22, 2015.
Resolution No. 15-
Resolution Of The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors Opposing The Use Of Pesticides In The Little Lake Valley Mitigation Areas
Whereas, the purpose of the Willits Bypass Mitigation and Monitoring Plan (MMP) is to enhance the existing beneficial wetland functions of the Little Lake Valley for the benefit of the natural and human environment to compensate for wetland functions lost to the construction of the Willits Bypass; and
Whereas, those functions include ground water and surface water recharge, water purification, enhanced water quality and quantity and improved habitat for native species, including salmon and steelhead; and
Whereas, Little Lake Valley has not been previously subjected to the broad-scale use of pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides or rodenticides as a management tool, and is currently a functioning seasonal wetland providing habitat and forage for both native species and ranching and farming enterprises; and
Whereas, Little Lake Valley is the source of many residential water wells, and a potential source of supplemental municipal water; provides natural, unsprayed forage for local grass-fed beef and lamb, artisan goat dairy products as well as natural compost and hay; and Little Lake Valley streams provide fish passage and habitat to three threatened salmonids; and
Whereas, Little Lake Valley food and forage producers are now excellently positioned to take advantage of the growing natural and organic food markets.
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors opposes the use of pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides and rodenticides, as a management tool on the Caltrans mitigation properties. We request that, prior to finalizing contracts for this work, Caltrans stand by its prior commitment that pesticides not be used in the mitigation areas. We call on other elected officials and agencies to join in assuring that pesticides not be used on these lands and waterways.
The foregoing Resolution introduced by Supervisor Tom Woodhouse, seconded by Supervisor , and carried this 5 day of May, 2015, by the following vote:
WHEREUPON, the Chair declared said Resolution adopted and SO ORDERED.
STARHAWK? HOW ABOUT MADAM BLAVATSKY AND HER TALKING BABOONS?
Not So Simple Living Fair July 24-26: Discount Tickets Available Now!
The Not So Simple Living Fair is coming up and we are thrilled with what is happening this year. Amazing presenters on rural-living skills! (as you've come to expect). The kids area will be off the hook this year with Coyote mentoring Music by Joe Craven and Mamajowali. Keynote presentation by Starhawk. Campfire Jam on Friday night Tickets are available at a special low price until June 1st. Buy them now so you don't forget!$35 for the entire weekend (vs. $50 at the gate).
We can't wait to see you there! DATE: July 24, 25, 26, 2015 COST: Pre-sale price - $25 per day or $35 for the weekend till June 1st. After June 1st, $30 per day, $40 for the weekend At gate, day of event - $35 per day, $50 for the weekend Saturday concert/dance only $15. CAMPING:$10 per car per night for fair attendees $10 per person for concert only
PLACE: Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Boonville, CA For more details, and for updates to the event as we post them, please go to www.notsosimple.info If you use Facebook and want to "Like" us there, we are also at
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WE THOUGHT maybe the Not-So-Simple Living people had grown past woo-woo, that a more grounded, sophisticated group of people had transformed the old hip-dip, crackpot-heavy Simple Living Fair to an event of broad value to all of us. And, mostly, Simple Living has done that. But this year there's been a major step backwards with the selection of Starhawk, a kind of latter day Madam Blavatsky, as keynote speaker. One would think that as the ecological situation grows more dire, the Simple Livers would bring in a water expert or some other person with a relevant, practical message for people trying to live more sensibly. Nope, we get… Starhawk who we bet is picking up at least five grand for the intellectual equivalent of a Tarot reading.
FOODSHED FRIDAY UPDATE 5/1/15
This week is the opener of the summer season for the Boonville Farmers' Market, starting out with the annual plant sale! There will be vegetable and flower starts of all types so you can get a head start on your garden. Also featuring fresh greens, local meat, handmade preserves, olive oil, and more. The Ukeholics and the Tiny Orchestra of Boonville help kick off the season, come enjoy the music and support the Valley's local farmers.
All this at the Boonville Hotel, 10-12:30, on Saturday May 2.
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Natural Pest Management
Learn how to conquer them with Master Gardener Dan Storm
Thursday, May 7th 6-7:30 pm
The garden is located at the intersection of Gobbi St. and Village Circle near the railroad tracks.
Free workshop, all are welcome!
Questions? Contact Jessica Ruff at 467-3200
FORUM TO EXPLORE IMPACT OF WATER BOARD POLICY ON CANNABIS GROWERS UKIAH, CALIFORNIA – MAY 1, 2015
We are holding the “Public Forum: Water Board’s Cannabis Policy” on Friday, May 8, from 2pm to 4pm at Harwood Hall in Laytonville regarding the North Coast Regional Water Quality Board’s draft cannabis waiver. There will be a panel of speakers to elaborate on impacts of this waiver on Mendocino farmers, followed by a public comment session.
The panel will include representatives from:
- North Coast Regional Water Quality Board
- Mendocino Resource Conservation District
- Mendocino Cannabis Policy Council
The Water Board’s draft waiver is in a 30‐day comment period and this will be the only public comment forum held in Mendocino County.
FLOWERS ARE BETTER THAN BULLETS
by Laurel Krause
Thank you for attending the 45th commemoration of the Kent State Massacre and honoring, remembering this important day.
My sister Allison Beth Krause was one of four Kent State students killed by the Ohio National Guard in a campus parking lot here at Kent State University 45 years ago. As many of you know, this terrible day was memorialized in the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song ‘Four Dead in O-hi-o’ – one of the many reminders of how far and wide this tragic story has resonated in the United States. I am very proud to say that Allison was peacefully protesting the Vietnam war on that day and for this she was killed by the US government national guard. Allison took a stand against American war – and she died for the cause of peace. I am so honored to remember my big sister for this.
Three other students and protestors died that day – Sandra Lee Scheuer, William Knox Schroeder and Jeffrey Glenn Miller – and nine were critically injured. The Kent State massacre prompted the largest national campus protest strike in history, involving four million students nationwide. A sense of collective trauma followed as it registered with the Vietnam generation that this could have been any one of them. These were ordinary American students, no different from many of you, who were balancing a deep concern for their country’s role in aggression in Southeast Asia with simpler, teenage worries like dating, getting good grades and what the coolest new clothes looked like. To this day I cannot believe my sister was taken at that moment.
In experiencing Kent State first hand since I was 15, I was shocked when the American leadership blamed my sister and other Kent State students for the violence, the bloodshed and the massacre. We heard them say that the students brought it on themselves and that the guard should have shot more. My family heard the last quip as we identified Allison’s dead body at Robinson Memorial Hospital. Kent State survivors and stakeholders … and just about every young American had to hear this traumatic propaganda in our grief over what our government did to us. It was a two-fold injury that permanently sealed the trauma of this day.
And to this day the families of the victims have not had an independent hearing on the murders that took place on May 4th. We worried that the FBI, local law enforcement and even that Kent State University itself were working with, colluding with each other against the students, and were part of the government force that killed the innocent students and anti-war protestors. It was a real concern for us because the United States government refused to examine government complicity at Kent State.
Our government tried Kent State in civil courts, refusing to characterize and treat Kent State as an event involving the killing of American students and protestors. For Allison’s loss of life, my family received $15,000 and a statement of regret.
Even today, 45 years later, a culture of impunity persists. We read the news and see law enforcement killing young African Americans across the country. Those of us who witnessed Kent State have to ask whether things might have been different if this era of brutal suppression of political protest had resulted in accountability. I see echoes of Kent State when I read that Mike Brown’s family has to file a civil lawsuit because there will be no criminal accountability for his killing. This is the legacy of past impunity and it saddens me greatly to see it continue.
There is an important legal distinction to be made as we pursue accountability for the killings. Because the statute of limitations for civil rights expires quickly, survivors and stakeholders have a time limit in seeking justice when our loved ones are murdered by US law enforcement and the US government. But the statute of limitations NEVER expires for murder.
Once Kent State litigation ended in the civil settlement in 1979, our government destroyed key evidence and promoted only its own view, revising Kent State history ever since. I founded the Kent State Truth Tribunal in 2010 for this reason – telling the truth about what happened at Kent State is at the political heart of this barbaric incident. They took our family members but we will not let them take our truth.
An incredible thing happened at the 40th Kent State anniversary in 2010. The first digital, forensic examination of a tape recorded on a Kent State University dormitory window ledge at the time of the massacre surfaced in an archive at Yale University.
Stuart Allen, an evidence expert with a lifelong forensic career, was commissioned to digitally examine the recording. Allen forensically verified that the audio on the tape revealed a COMMAND TO FIRE. Despite government assertions that the killings were a spontaneous act of self-defense by frightened soldiers, the tape irrefutably established that in fact there was an order to shoot. I wept when I heard the words uttered by the guard commander on tape.
The US government response to Allen’s Kent State forensic analyses was to ignore it. Two years later the Department of Justice officially refused to reopen the investigation and bring new federal charges: “There are insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers to bringing a second federal case in this matter.”
Last year the Kent State Truth Tribunal brought Kent State before the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva. There something remarkable happened. The US delegation at their formal treaty hearing and review admitted, “In 1970, four students were killed, were murdered and nine injured.” In a simple phrase – and for the first time in 45 years - our government finally admitted what we all knew to be true – this was government-executed murder.
Our response was also simple. Now that our government has established that Kent State was murder, we demand they treat Kent State as murder and immediately examine the evidence in the forensic digital findings that captured the order to shoot. We know the statute of limitations never expires for murder.
Will the US government do this? Not without pressure from those of us who still care deeply about Kent State and not without help from all of you.
Our work at the United Nations with the Human Rights Committee continues in 2015. Please stand with Allison, the Kent State Truth Tribunal and me in this 45th year. Let’s demand US government accountability for the unlawful killings at May 4th Kent State. Join us and ‘like’ us on facebook at facebook.com/KentStateTruthTribunal
I’d like to close with a portion from my speech at the United Nations:
“The right to assemble and protest is professed as a cherished American value and is a fundamental facet of our democracy. The Kent State precedent has cast a shadow over this democracy for over 40 years. If Kent State remains a glaring example of government impunity, it sends a message that protestors, especially young men and women, can be killed by the state for expressing their political beliefs. My sister died protesting for peace and I would like to honor her memory by ensuring that this never happens to another American protestor again.”
We continue to demand truth and justice for Allison, and for all harmed at Kent State. We need your help. Please show solidarity and help our cause by making a donation for a Kent State Truth Tribunal UN t-shirt. Thank you.
GOOD PROFILE OF ELIZABETH WARREN in the May 4 New Yorker (The Virtual Candidate):
[Hillary] Clinton’s advisers are respectful of Warren, but they privately argue that Clinton has a more sophisticated understanding of the economy, and that Warren places too much blame on Wall Street as the root of America’s economic problems. “The challenge of wage stagnation is that it’s happening in large swaths of the economy, many parts of which are relatively untouched by the influence of the banks,” a longtime Clinton adviser said. “There is a legitimate line of economic thought that countries without as large a financial sector as the U.S. have less inequality, but Goldman Sachs doesn’t really have much to do with the rise of Uber and TaskRabbit.”
Warren took exception to the Clinton camp’s critique. "I think it’s important to hold Wall Street accountable," she told me. "Some of the biggest financial institutions in this country developed a business model around cheating American families, and they put out the riskiest possible products. They sold mortgages that were like grenades with the pins pulled out, and then they packaged up those risks and sold them to pension plans and municipal governments, groups that did not intend to buy high-risk financial products. That’s how Wall Street blew up the American economy. That’s a genuine threat, and that’s worth paying attention to."
MARCO MCCLEAN ON THE TRUE HISTORY OF KZYX
Re: Mary Massey's FCC Complaint About Mary Aigner's Having Allowed Some Swear Words To Reach The Air And Also Having A Double Standard.
On one hand I don't like the idea of people complaining about so-called dirty words that accidentally or artfully waft out onto the air, because it lends legitimacy to the screwy idea of it being against the law to just talk. It's not against the law to talk. On the contrary, it's unconstitutional to make any sort of law that even lightly chills talk, political or poetical or any other kind, at the beach, on the street or on the radio. The FCC pays better than mere lip service to this. Go to https://www.fcc.gov/guides/obscenity-indecency-profanity-faq and scroll down to What is the safe harbor?
On the other hand, Mary Massey, your complaint points up the hypocrisy in Mary Aigner and Co. airing swear words on their own account without receiving a retributive thumping, while they continue to use the same words as an excuse to throw others out and blackball them and ostracize them ever after, which KZYX has been doing since the beginning. It happened to me 25 years ago in 1989. Sean Donovan hated me with a hot hate, and he used to drunk-call me on the phone, when I was doing my show, and tell me things like that he just got up to piss and he decided to give his old pal Marrrr-co a ring. So what's going on, Marrrr-co? Ugh.
He waited until I described something as bullshit (at two a.m.) and that was it for me. No recourse, no opportunity to apprise others of the injustice, certainly no discussing it on the air —because no access to the air — and then when I went to the next programmers' meeting to talk about it, Sean Donovan, the manager, was lording it over the programmers' meeting, and he told his flunky Johnny Bazzano to call the police (!) and have me arrested for trespassing at the radio station. Months later still, when I went to the next programmers' meeting at the private house of Beth Bosk (who had stopped Johnny from calling the police by saying, “Sean! What are you doing?!”), she turned me away from that meeting at the door, because, she said quietly, “I don't want to lose my show.” But of course she lost her show anyway in the next crackdown on things even inching in the direction of being a little too free for the poobahs at the station to countenance.
And a similar fate befell lots of people over the years. No-one in a position of authority at KZYX deserves that authority, nor ever has. All KZYX airpeople even today must be timid and careful in their public and private lives not to ever say or do anything that might turn the management's Eye of Sauron upon them. Because they don't want to lose their show. And that's not freedom. Its oppressive bullshit. Sean Donovan set the tone for that and it's been the same song ever since.
Jesus, Sean Donovan was a piece of work. I remember him giving an encouraging fundraising talk about how many old people there are in Mendocino County, and what a good idea it would be to encourage specimens near to meeting their maker to include KZYX in their will. “We might even call the old folks' homes.” I: “Are you serious?” Sean: “They're gonna die anyway. And the station needs the money.” That's right, it needed the money to pay Sean, just like it needs so much money now to pay John Coate and Mary Aigner and John Steffen and…
Come to think of it, during the next-to-latest in its endless series of egregiously unlistenable pledge drives, in a moment I lingered on KZYX on my way up the dial to KNYO, I heard someone say something just like that — encouraging listeners to consider putting KZYX in their will.
A current frustration is that I want to write emails to the other paying members of MCPB to point out how wrong it is that the operators of KZYX refuse to allow members to communicate with each other without being limited, censored and supervised. And I can't write emails to the other members, because the operators of KZYX refuse to give out the membership list — they say it's for privacy reasons — but it would be the work of fifteen minutes to put an open unmoderated forum on the subject of station business and operation somewhere on the front page of kzyx.org, where such a thing belongs. John Coate could do it tonight, on his iPhone, at the dinner table.
Another frustration is that everyone on the board and in management of KZYX pants-on-fire lies out loud when they say that the community and the members control the station. In real life there's no two-way communication between members of MCPB and the board — neither in private nor on the air. I've written to the boardmembers on several occasions and have never got even a got your email, thanks in response. I did once get an email from Stuart Campbell saying that the board all (except for one — Sakowicz probably) agreed (in what must have been a private unposted session) on Stuart's response to me, which did not provide an answer to any of the questions I've ever asked them but instead was Stuart's one-sentence statement that the board fully supports John Coate. That's it.
Oh, right, also I got an email from Stuart Campbell in jumping caps and exclamation marks that their not sending me a ballot until it was too late for me to use it to vote was in no way to be construed as preventing me from voting in the board election! That was an election with like a 25% turnout, so how many others didn't get a ballot? And I did get a pleasant note welcoming me as a member of the KZYX family when they cashed my membership check, and with the note came a photocopy of the schedule of shows, none of them my show nor anything at all like it but, you know, thanks so much for the money.
Another frustration is that they flush away hundreds of thousands of dollars (!) every year to pay a handful of bobbleheads in the office to wander in and out and behave as they please, and pay everyone else nothing. Just the amount the management suite — Mary Aigner, John Coate, David Steffen, etc. — is paid would easily fully fund a dozen other little radio stations. Every membership dollar and even a little more goes directly into management's pockets; none of it helps the station in any way. Keep that in mind when you're asked to become a member and pledge money. If the managers were worth what they're being paid, KZYX would be the Cadillac of radio stations, and would distribute a full catalog of fine new local shows to hundreds of NPR stations. They're not, it isn't, and it doesn't.
In addition KZYX receives vast sums of tax money every year, and in return for this it sits on a county-spanning collection of frequencies in the educational band and keeps out anyone who might say any of this on the air, much less do the kind of quirky innovative local free radio experimentation that the low end of the FM dial was set aside for.
I want my show on KZYX. It's a better show than most of what's there, including the NPR shows. And that's never going to happen until at least John Coate and Mary Aigner are removed, and — I think I'm being very fair here, and I'm addressing the board specifically when I say this — you don't have to remove them by firing them, if you're afraid to hurt their feelings; simply adjust their pay to be more in line with what the people actually doing the work of radio at KZYX are being paid — which, see above, is zilch — and they'll quit on their own, demonstrating what they're really in it for in the first place. They're not in it for radio, and they're not good for the station.
So I am a little conflicted about your complaint, Mary Massey. If your method of getting rid of bad, oppressive management just sets up whoever comes next to keep me and others like me on the outside for another eon, then the good news and the bad news cancel each other out. In another 25 years I'll be in my eighties. I and my listeners would like some positive action on this issue while I can still go several hours between toilet breaks and while I still have all my own teeth.
THE FALL OF SAIGON
Does Europe Remember What Happened 40 Years Ago?
by Jean Bricmont
On April 30, 1975, Saigon fell. The last Americans fled the country. Vietnam was reunited, as it was supposed to have been twenty years earlier according to an international agreement sabotaged by Washington. The Vietnam War, which had been going on for thirty years ever since France began its attempt to reconquer its lost Indochinese colonies, finally came to an end.
For the Vietnamese who died in that war, there will be no minute of silence, no solemn commemoration, no “duty to remember”, no vows of “never again”. After all, the millions of Vietnamese who died are not considered victims of “genocide“. They were merely killed by years of massive bombing and the systematic slaughter of a people who wanted to be independent. What’s so special about that?
In old Europe we are warned every day against repeating the crimes of Nazism, a phenomenon that has been dead for over half a century. In contrast, the sources of the slaughter in Vietnam have remained alive and active, whether through U.S. policy in Central America or Southern Africa and now for several years in the Middle East. The “war against terror” has already cost over a million lives and is far from over.
What do our great European humanitarians have to say on this subject? Do those who deplore the rising number of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean see the connections? Do they realize that the same United States military drive to remake the world is the fundamental source of these ongoing disasters? How many calls to we hear to leave the sinking ship of U.S. imperialist wars? To make a real peace with Russia and Iran? To end our policy of perpetual intervention as obedient auxiliaries of the United States?
At the time of the Vietnam war, enlightened European leaders, Olof Palme in Sweden and De Gaulle in France, openly stood up against U.S. policy. Intellectuals like Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre mobilized public opinion against war. Demonstrations took place even in countries that were far from the conflict. And today? Nothing. Public opinion was almost entirely in favor of the war that destroyed Libya, notably on “the left”.
The end of the war in Vietnam was the end of an era, the era of national liberation struggles which no doubt constituted the most important political movement of the 20th century. In the West, it marked the start of the reconstruction of imperial ideology under the cover of “human rights”. Instead of stopping liberation struggles, the emphasis would be on subverting and destroying countries that had gained independence. The media-savvy campaign to arouse “solidarity” with the plight of Vietnamese boat people and victims of the Khmer Rouge massacres in Cambodia enabled a large sector of the French and U.S. intelligentsia to drop any effort to understand the causes and effects of events. After all, the Khmer rouge would never have taken power without the combination of U.S. bombing of the Cambodian countryside and regime change in Phnom Penh. Analysis was shoved aside in favor of immediate emotional reaction to unexplained events. A moralism without context favored the invention of “the right of humanitarian intervention” in order to destroy national sovereignty, international law and the United Nations Charter.
In France, the anti-communist “new left” that emerged from May ’68, influenced by the intellectual bluff of Bernard-Henri Lévy and cohorts, completely reversed the position of the old left. Whereas the traditional left defended international peace and opposed U.S. interventionism, the “new left” welcomed every uprising regardless of political content and showed no concern for the underlying relationship of forces. All that mattered were the “human rights” as defined and highlighted by mainstream media.
Today that new left is at a dead end, whether in the Middle East or in relations with Russia or China, along with the American policy that it has helped to disguise ideologically. Forty years after Vietnam gained its freedom, it is high time for new evaluations and drastic changes. But who has the courage to meet these challenges?
(Jean Bricmont teaches physics at the University of Louvain in Belgium. He is author of Humanitarian Imperialism. He can be reached at Jean.Bricmont@uclouvain.be. Translation by Diana Johnstone. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)
THE SERIAL COMMA
Some thoughts on the humble comma, from Between You & Me by long-time New Yorker proofreader Mary Norris
The comma was refined by Aldo Manuzio, a printer working in Venice, circa 1490. It was intended to prevent confusion by separating things. In the Greek, komma means 'something cut off,' a segment. (Aldo was printing Greek classics during the High Renaissance. The comma flourished during the Renaissance.) As the comma proliferated, it started generating confusion. Basically, there are two schools of thought: One plays by ear, using the comma to mark a pause, like dynamics in music; if you were reading aloud, the comma would suggest when to take a breath. The other uses punctuation to clarify the meaning of a sentence by illuminating its underlying structure. Each school believes that the other gets carried away. It can be tense and kind of silly, like the argument among theologians about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. How many commas can fit into a sentence by Herman Melville? Or, closer to home, into a sentence from The New Yorker?
"Even something as ostensibly simple as the serial comma can arouse strong feelings. The serial comma is the one before 'and' in a series of three or more things. With the serial comma: My favorite cereals are Cheerios, Raisin Bran, and Shredded Wheat. Without the serial comma: I used to like Kix, Trix and Wheat Chex. Proponents of the serial comma say that it is preferable because it prevents ambiguity, and I'll go along with that. ... [But] isn't the 'and' sufficient? After all, that's what the other commas in a series stand for: 'Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!' A comma preceding 'and' is redundant. ...
"Fortunately, the Internet is busy with examples of series that are absurd without the serial comma:
We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin.' ...
This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God'
"And there was the country-and-western singer who 'was joined by his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings.'
"The bottom line is to choose one and be consistent and try not to make a moral issue out of it. Or is it? Maybe it's better to judge each series on its merits, applying the serial comma where it's needed and suppressing it where it's not. Many newspapers, both American and British, do not use the serial comma, which underscores the idea that the news is meant to be read fast, in the dead-tree version or on the screen, because it's not news for long. It's ephemeral. Print — or, rather, text — should be streamlined and unencumbered. Maybe the day is coming when the newsfeed-style three dots (ellipsis) between items, like the eternal ribbon of news circling the building at One Times Square or the CNN crawl, will dominate, and all text will look like Celine. Certainly advertising — billboards, road signs, neon — repels punctuation. Leaving out the serial comma saves time and space. The editors of Webster's Third saved eighty pages by cutting down on commas.
"But suppose you're not in a hurry. Suppose you move your lips when you read, or pronounce every word aloud in your head, and you're reading a Victorian novel or a history of Venice. You have plenty of time to crunch commas. If I worked for a publication that did not use the serial comma, I would adjust — convert from orthodox to reform — but for now I remain loyal to the serial comma, because it actually does sometimes prevent ambiguity and because I've gotten used to the way it looks. It gives starch to the prose, and can be very effective. If a sentence were a picket fence, the serial commas would be posts at regular intervals."
ENERGY PARTNERSHIP BENEFITS MENDOCINO COUNTY SCHOOLS
Ukiah — This week and next, engineers from CLEAResult will conduct energy audits at five school districts and seven charter schools in Mendocino County: Anderson Valley, Fort Bragg, Manchester, Mendocino, Potter Valley, Mendocino County Office of Education, River Oak, Eel River, Pacific Coast, Redwood/Accelerated Achievement Academies and Willits Charter Schools.
CLEAResult engineers are reviewing recently completed audits for Arena Elementary, Leggett and Point Arena schools. These audits will result in a five-year energy efficiency plan for each educational agency, granting access to a share of a $4 million allocation to install energy efficiency upgrades over five years.
Mendocino County Office of Education provided detailed information and coordination which made it cost effective for PG&E and Mendocino County Energy Watch to bring three CLEAResult engineers to Mendocino County to complete the school site visits. CLEAResult will complete the engineering process at their south bay offices.
Mendocino County Schools Superintendent Warren Galletti praised both PG&E and Mendocino Energy Watch for their commitment of nearly $200,000 of engineering services to this project. "Our local schools will now be able to access their Prop 39 funds to make major investments in energy-saving equipment. The money saved on utilities will directly benefit our students' education," stated Galletti.
Proposition 39, The California Clean Energy Jobs Act, changed the corporate income tax code and allocates projected revenue to California's General Fund and the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund for five fiscal years, beginning with fiscal year 2013-14. Under the initiative, roughly up to $550 million annually is available for appropriation by the Legislature for eligible projects to improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation in schools.
For more information on Proposition 39 contact Steve Turner at
Confidential Administrative Assistant
Mendocino County Office of Education
2240 Old River Road
Ukiah CA 95482
TUNNEL OPPONENTS BLAST GOVERNOR'S REVISED BAY DELTA CONSERVATION PLAN
by Dan Bacher
On April 30 at a press conference in Oakland, Governor Jerry Brown and federal officials unveiled controversial plans that they claim "accelerate restoration of the Delta's ecosystem" and "fix the state's aging water infrastructure" by building two massive underground tunnels.
Environmental groups and Delta advocates responded that the updated Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is nothing more than a "slightly revised" water grab for corporate agribusiness interests - and is "more unfair than ever" for the majority of Californians during the record drought.
One of the key differences between the previous version of the BDCP and the latest incarnation is that it now calls for only "restoring" 30,000 acres for wetland and wildlife habitat - down from the 100,000 acres originally proposed.
The other major difference is that the BDCP has been split into two components - The "California Water Fix" component for the tunnels and the "California Eco Restore" component for the habitat "restoration" component.
“We can't just cross our fingers, hoping for the best in the Delta,” said Governor Brown in touting the revised plan. “Fish populations are at an all-time low. Bold action is imperative."
"We've listened to the public and carefully studied the science," echoing his comments that he made regarding the tunnels plan at a press conference in Sacramento in July 2012.
"This revised plan is the absolute best path forward," stated Brown, without offering evidence how this plan compared to other more comprehensive solutions to California's water supply and ecosystem restoration problems, most notably the Environmental Water Caucus Responsible Exports Plan that sets a cap of 3 million acre feet per year on water exports from the Delta.
Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor claimed, “The State, through Governor Brown’s leadership, has been a strong partner working with us to improve California’s water infrastructure while restoring the Delta. The plan announced today, which has been greatly improved in response to public input, will secure California’s water future and a healthier, sustainable Bay-Delta ecosystem."
The Governor claimed the revised plan "substantially improves the health of California’s fisheries, increases water reliability and addresses the uncertainty of climate change."
"Specifically, the plan will accelerate long-stalled Delta environmental projects, including critical habitat, wetlands and floodplain restoration, while fixing California’s aging and environmentally damaging water infrastructure system," the Governor said. "The effectiveness of the restoration work depends on building a reliable conveyance system."
The Governor's Office released a brightly colored 8-page "fact sheet" that summarizes the changes in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan: http://gov.ca.gov/docs/Delta_Fact_Sheets_4.30.15.pdf
Revised plan is "Ecocide" for the Delta
Critics of the tunnels slammed the revised tunnel plan for a number of severe flaws after reviewing the released documents. Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) and Board Member of the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN) and Executive Commitee Member of Restore the Delta, summed up the reactions of many to the revised plan when he said, "The Water Fix and Eco Restore are Ecocide for the Delta."
Adam Scow, the California Director of Food and Water Watch, said the revised tunnels plan remains a scheme to provide subsidized water for "Big Agriculture" that has expanded its water-intensive almond acreage during the drought while urban water users are asked to cut their water usage by 25 percent and more.
"Governor Brown’s plan to build massive tunnels to divert the Sacramento River away from the San Francisco Bay Delta – estimated to cost as much as $67 billion – has always primarily been a scheme to send massive amounts of water to corporate agribusinesses on the west side of the Central Valley," said Scow. "These powerful agribusinesses, including Stewart Resnick’s Paramount Farms and growers in the Westlands Water District, have planted excessive amounts of water-thirsty almonds and pistachios, most of which are exported overseas and need massive amounts of water to succeed in the hot and dry climate of the west side."
“The Governor has slightly repackaged his euphemistically named Bay Delta Conservation Plan, because the tunnels plan will likely not meet federal water quality standards in the Bay Delta, but the fundamental problem with the project remains: it is grossly unfair for the Governor to make California taxpayers and water ratepayers subsidize a massive project that only benefits a handful of California’s most powerful agribusinesses," he stated.
"Forcing taxpayers to subsidize agribusiness is especially wrong now that the Governor has demanded all Californians reduce their own water use or face substantial fines. In addition, removing fresh water from the Bay Delta via tunnels will only worsen conditions for California’s threatened wild salmon," said Scow.
Limits on west side agribusiness water usage urged
Scow urged the Governor to impose limits on the amount of water that is used by agribusiness interests on the San Joaquin Valley's west side.
“Instead of pushing this outdated tunnels project, the Governor should limit agricultural irrigation on the west side and stop sending enormous amounts of public water to agriculture tycoons at the expense of California taxpayers and the fragile ecosystem and fish populations supported by the San Francisco Bay Delta," concluded Scow.
Restore the Delta (RTD) responded to Gov. Brown’s "abandonment of habitat restoration" in his Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) tunnels scheme by saying the new plan violates the statutory co-equal goals and "end-runs" the EPA and federal scientists who refused to issue permits for the project.
Governor Brown has called the massive change “technical,” but RTD and other opponents said it results from "fatal flaws" in the BDCP and the lack of funding for the restoration formerly proposed under the BDCP.
The group pointed out that the "new maneuver" ignores the judgment of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Delta Independent Science Board (DISB), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after scientific reviews that the tunnels project didn’t meet minimum Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) standard.
The agencies found in particular that the project would "jeopardize," rather than help recover key species, and violate anti-degradation laws to protect the Delta waterways as fishable, swimmable and drinkable, according to RTD.
RTD said the change also results from the failure of the BDCP to identify the required funding to meet the financial assurances provisions of the ESA, RTD noted. The BDCP relied heavily on future unidentified state bonds and state and federal budget allocations.
New document reveals Prop. 1 funds will pay for tunnels mitigation
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, RTD Executive Director, pointed out, "Though a key promise made to pass the 2014 Water Bond was that it would not fund the BDCP, the administration has now indicated it does intend to take Prop. 1 funds for restoration to attempt to address the damage from over pumping the Delta, which the tunnels would compound."
The 12-page fact sheet confirms the contention of Barrigan-Parrilla and other tunnel opponents that the water bond will fund "restoration" to mitigate the environmental damage caused by the tunnels.
Page 1 of the document reveals that 1,000+acres out of the more than 30,000 acres of "Delta Habitat Restoration and Protection" will be funded by Prop. 1 and Pro. 1E
The fact sheet states, "Various aquatic, riparian, and upland restoration and multi-benefit flood management projects will be supported by Proposition 1 and 1E."
Osha Meserve, an attorney for Delta agricultural and environmental interests, also noted, “28,000 acres out of the total 30,000 acres of habitat now proposed under EcoRestore is already required of the state and federal projects by the 2009 Biops (biological opinions) to mitigate impacts of operating their existing diversions in the south Delta. The water exporters appear to be using the so-called 'EcoRestore' project to reduce their current financial obligations and instead foist that cost onto the public.”
New plan even worse than previous one
Bob Wright, senior counsel for Friends of the River, slammed the revised Bay Delta Conservation Plan also, saying that the new plan is "even worse" for people and the environment than previous one was.
“After 9 years and $250 million dollars, creating a stack of planning documents over 27 feet tall, the governor has admitted that the BDCP could not protect Delta species and therefore could not meet HCP and NCCP standards,” said Wright. “The BDCP, a plan that conserved little and would cost ratepayers and taxpayers over 25 Billion dollars to subsidize giant unsustainable agribusiness, is now even worse for the people, the environment, and sustainable water policies.”
Wright noted that the BDCP was previously designed as an HCP/NCCP to purportedly “…restore and protect ecosystem health, water supply, and water quality within a stable regulatory framework.” As an HCP/NCCP, the BDCP was required to protect endangered species and prevent their decline.
“The plan has now shifted from a proposal to protect 56 Species, and over 100,000 acres of habitat, to a straight water grab that would take up to half of the freshwater from the north end of the Delta,” added Barrigan-Parrilla. “The governor plans to do an end-run around the public, the federal agencies that flunked the project, and the Legislature, with a fast-tracked section 7 process for permitting the tunnels. Under section 7, the project only needs to mitigate for direct project impacts, and does not have to meet a recovery standard.”
“The tunnels would create permanent drought conditions in the Delta by diverting up to half of the freshwater flows, which will increase salinity intrusion into the Delta and help push several species to extinction,” Barrigan-Parrilla said.
For more information, go to: http://restorethedelta.org/blog/
Tunnel fiasco part of a larger pattern
The recent abandonment of the pretense of "restoration" and "conservation" under the BCCP is part of a larger pattern by the Brown administration, a regime that has pushed some of the most anti-fish and anti-environmental policies of any administration in California history. This is a huge story that the mainstream media and much of the alternative media have failed to cover. (http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/30452-the-extinction-governor-rips-the-green-mask-off-his-tunnels-plan)
The Brown administration, in collaboration with the Obama administration, has presided over record water exports out of the Delta and record deaths of Sacramento splittail and other species in 2011; the collapse of Delta smelt and other fish species to record low levels in 2014 and 2015; the death of 95 percent of endangered winter run Chinook salmon in low, warm water conditions in 2014; the creation of questionable "marine protected areas" developed under the helm of a Big Oil lobbyist; and the clearcutting of forests in the Sierra Nevada.
Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, said the water bond, peripheral tunnels, Shasta Dam raise and other water projects now being planned by the state and federal governments are in in reality "one Big Project" that will destroy salmon, rivers and groundwater supplies. (http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/27216-chief-caleen-sisk-it-s-all-one-big-project)
“It does not make sense that people are separating the water puzzle into individual pieces, such as: the raising of Shasta Dam, Proposition 1, the Delta tunnels, BDCP, Sites Reservoir, Temperance Flat, CALFED, Delta Vision, BDCP, OCAP, the Bay Delta, Trinity/Klamath Rivers, the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River, and water rights," said Chief Sisk. "It is all one BIG Project."
Meanwhile, the mainstream media continues to portray Brown as a "climate leader" and "green energy" guru when in fact he is a strong proponent of neoliberal carbon trading policies and the expansion of the environmentally devastating practice of fracking in California. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/30/us/california-governor-orders-new-target-for-emissions-cuts.html?_r=0)
THAT'S RIGHT, MIKE
To the Editor:
More can be done.
Governor Brown’s executive order mandating a 40% reduction in California’s greenhouse gas emissions is especially significant for Mendocino County. The last local landfill closed in 2001 and Mendocino County is trucking out 57,000 tons of solid waste per year to distant landfills. There are about 2,700 annual truck trips of an average round trip of 210 miles. The emissions from hauling out our trash are enormous. The best way to reduce the emissions from solid waste transfer trips is to produce less solid waste. Mendocino County has done a fair job at recycling but there is much more that can be done. Our overall diversion rate is about 50 percent. This compares to 75% in Portland Oregon and 80 percent in San Francisco. I believe that the citizens of Mendocino County are prepared to do more to cut down on trash and protect the environment. If the Board of Supervisors and city councils take the lead we can achieve the goal that Governor Brown has established.
Mike Sweeney, General Manager Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority
THIS MOTHER'S DAY, GIVE THE GIFT OF GOODWILL.
The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County offers a wonderful way to honor your mother, a person you admire, or any woman in your life with whom you'd like to share your love.
For a donation of $25, CRCMC will send a card designed by Mendocino Coast Artist, Rachel Lahn, to someone special who you'd like to acknowledge. Inside the card will be the message: "Your loving kindness has inspired a Mother's Day donation to the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County. You are loved and appreciated!"
Your purchase of this heartfelt gift shows support for CRCMC in its vision that no one in Mendocino County face cancer alone. Your gift helps ensure that support services continue to be provided free of charge to those in Mendocino County faced with cancer.
Mother's Day Cards from the Cancer Resource Centers
Mother’s Day cards will be available to order until May 5th.
Cards will also be available to purchase in person at our two offices through May 7th.
To order yours today, follow is link:
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Coast Office
Monday - Friday, 9AM - 5PM
P.O. Box 50 45040 Calpella St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-3833, fax (707) 313-0013
Our Inland Office
Monday - Friday, 9AM - 5PM
590 S. Dora St.
Ukiah, CA 95482
(707) 467-3828. fax (707) 276-1001
The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County has a non-profit 501(c)3 status with Tax I.D. #68-0357416.
WESTPORT'S GREAT RUBBER DUCKY RACE & BBQ
Come enjoy the 25th Great Rubber Ducky Race and BBQ in Westport Sunday May 10th. It is held at the Westport Beach RV Park and Campground just north of the village. This family-oriented event features ducky races with prizes, a BBQ, smoothies and desserts, live music (by the Anatidae latexenus Serenaders), merchandise, a quilt raffle, and free flowers for your mom! Duck registration begins at 11:30 AM and tri-tip or vegetarian meals are served from noon to 2:30. A beauty contest for decorated ducks will be held at 12:30, followed by three duck races. A gorgeous quilt now on display in the front window of the Spunky Skunk will be raffled at 3:00. You can buy duckies, T-shirts, and other merchandise. No dogs or alcohol please. This event benefits the nonprofit Westport Village Society which uses the proceeds for the Westport Headlands Park and local charitable and educational projects.