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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Aug 28, 2015

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NON-RESPONSIVE County Counsel Doug Losak, the perfect choice to prepare a non-response, prepared the Supes' non-response to the Grand Jury's well-documented blast at the perennially troubled performance of the Family and Children’s Services. Losak was of course non-responsive, but several supervisors said that whatever the problems were with protecting the best interests of dependent children and their families, they were confident that the department was sorting them out. If there are problems with protective services they certainly couldn't be the result of years of incompetent leadership and lethal placement decisions because… Well, just because. Whatever problems there are alleged to be may be because the County simply doesn't have adequate funding to solve them, because they give over $17 annual millions, no questioned asked, for the half-privatized top-heavy mental health apparatus.

SUPERVISOR WOODHOUSE seemed to get it. “I have a number of comments to make. This is a new process for me. I’ve always followed the Grand Jury reports from the public and I appreciate that they are getting together and working on something. They are bringing together a lot of outside perspective. It’s like hiring a consultant for $50,000. And to ignore it, or just debate and talk about the fine points — I understand that we don’t want to admit we’re not doing the best we can, but I think maybe we’re getting too much of the details rather than the spirit of what’s being said. I think it makes us look less informed about the challenges we have and I don’t want to appear that way to the public. So I think the public has a higher regard for the Grand Jury’s input than we do and I don’t mean to be insulting in any of this I’m saying. I’m trying to explain that I have a different approach to criticism and try to welcome it and get something from it. Even if it’s 90% wrong there’s always a kernel of something you can learn from. So thank you for letting me say that.”

BOARD CHAIR CARRE BROWN, perhaps inspired by County Counsel Losak's inscrutable advice, went into compatible Zen mode: "And I can agree with you even though I can’t say I totally disagree with you.”

THE BOARD THEN VOTED 4-1 (Woodhouse dissenting) to rubberstamp Losak’s non-response, assembled from the non-responses of the departments.

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REGARDING REAL SOCIAL WORK AND THE DEATH OF BABY EMERALD:

I have to come to Chuck Dunbar’s defense here. According to baby Emerald’s mother, Chuck did not make the decision to place Emerald with the monster, Wilson Tubbs. She told me that Chuck informed her that it was an Agency decision driven by the State Adoptions worker. That State Adoptions worker has way too much influence in the Agency. The adoption worker had a desk in the Ukiah office and thought she ran the whole show, and pretty much did so.

Of course, stupid me, disagreed with her involvement in my cases before they were actually assigned to her in the CWS/CMS database. I told her that as long as I was the primary social worker “assigned to the case” It was my responsibility, not hers, to keep my children safe.

Cases are not officially assigned to the State Adoption social worker as the primary until after the court terminates parental rights.

I heard that this particular State Adoption’s worker was so devastated over Emerald’s death that she immediately went out on medical leave and eventually retired.

Chuck actually had placed baby Emerald with a loving and caring family for the first 4 months. They also wanted to adopt but the adoption worker wanted her moved to the Tubb’s home.

If you notice, the state adoptions worker wasn’t named in the lawsuit. Even though she was calling all the shots, she had no legal responsibly. It all fell on Chuck and John. — James Marmon

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Manuel
Manuel

ON THURSDAY, August 20th at about 10:10 PM Ukiah Police responded to a residence in the 600 block of Marshall Street for a fight. The victim contacted arriving officers and pointed to 30 year old Lamar Otis Manuel, who was walking away, and advised Lamar had struck her multiple times. Lamar was detained, and officers discovered the victim had significant injuries to her face. Witnesses were contacted who reported seeing Lamar and the victim in a physical fight, and Lamar reported the victim had used a racial slur towards him. The victim was transported by ambulance to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center for treatment. Lamar was arrested for battery with serious injury and for violating parole.

ON SUNDAY, August 23rd at about 9:05 PM Ukiah Police responded to the Todd Grove Park, at 600 Live Oak Drive, for a stolen vehicle report. Officers contacted 29 year old Kourtnee Christine Strasser, of Redway, and determined her vehicle was not stolen but that she’d forgotten where she parked it due to her being intoxicated. Officers advised Strasser not to drive her vehicle, and she agreed to call for a cab. Officers remained in the area due to the large amount of people in and around the park, and soon observed Strasser’s vehicle being driven on Live Oak Drive. Officers stopped the vehicle in the 100 block of West Clay Street, and learned Strasser had decided to drive the car after deciding the wait for a taxi was too long. Strasser was arrested for DUI.

Steele
Steele

ON MONDAY, August 24th Ukiah Police received a stolen vehicle report for a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu. On August 25th at about 2:45 PM Ukiah Police Officers observed the stolen vehicle being driven on Cherry Street. The driver suddenly stopped and exited the vehicle, and lay down in a prone position without prompting from the officers. The driver, 43 year old Edward Steele, was arrested for possessing a stolen vehicle. Steele had been driving with a suspended driver’s license, and had felony arrest warrants from Del Norte and Humboldt Counties. 15-2475

Jenkins
Jenkins

ON WEDNESDAY, August 26th at about 4:40 PM Ukiah Police responded to Radio Shack, at 422 East Perkins Street, for a fight. Officers contacted a store employee who related he observed 30 year old James Dalton Jenkins enter the store. Jenkins has a history of causing disturbances inside the store and the employee subsequently asked Jenkins to leave. Jenkins became immediately irate and tried to punch the employee, who grabbed Jenkins and pushed him outside the store. Jenkins hit the employee several times until the employee placed Jenkins in a headlock and held him on the ground. A witness was contacted who related seeing Jenkins assault the employee and that the employee was acting in self- defense. Jenkins was placed under citizen’s arrest for battery. 15-2509

Ruiz
Ruiz

ON WEDNESDAY, August 26th at about 10:50 PM a Ukiah Police Officer observed 28 year old Baraquiel Ruiz walking in the 1300 block of South State Street. Ruiz had recently removed his home monitoring ankle bracelet and was wanted for escape. The officer contacted Ruiz who identified himself with another name, insisting he was not Ruiz. Through further investigation the officer confirmed Ruiz’ identity and arrested him for escape and providing false identity. Ruiz had over 20 grams of methamphetamine in his pants pocket and was additionally charged with possessing methamphetamine for sale.

(Ukiah PD Press Releases)

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ON THURSDAY, August 27, 2015, at about 12:05pm a two-vehicle collision occurred on Highway 101 southbound just south of Willits. Vergil Berry, 75, of Carson City, Nevada, was driving his 1997 Jeep southbound in the outside lane at an undetermined speed. Harriet Outhuse, 74, of Torrance, was driving her 2002 Ford in the inside lane, also at an undetermined speed. Berry passed Outhuse and turned left into the inside lane. As Berry was changing lanes the left rear of Berry’s Jeep collided with the right from of Outhuse’s Ford. Berry lost control of the Jeep as it careened across the inside lane into the center media, across the northbound lane, colliding with a guard rail where the Jeep overturned several times. Berry and his passenger, Flora Berry, 64, of Carson City, Nevada, sustained moderate injuries. Outhuse was uninjured. The cause is obvious, but officially it is still under investigation. (CHP Press Release)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 27, 2015

Alvarez, Barondau, Baumeister
Alvarez, Barondau, Baumeister

STEPHANIE ALVAREZ, Clearlake. Probation revocation.

CASSANDRA BARONDEAU, Fort Bragg. Under influence of controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, resisting.

RONALD BAUMEISTER, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.

Beers, Bowes, Brest
Beers, Bowes, Brest

MICHAEL BEERS, Ukiah. Indecent exposure.

KATHERINE BOWES, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

PAULA BREST, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

Carey, Cassidy, Delgado
Carey, Cassidy, Delgado

APRIL CAREY, Overland Park, Kansas/Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing, honey oil extraction.

LAURA CASSIDY, Willits. Domestic assault.

JESUS DELGADO SR., Petty theft, trespassing, probation revocation.

Garrett, Jenkins, Larson
Garrett, Jenkins, Larson

ROSE GARRETT, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

JAMES JENKINS, Ukiah. Battery. (Frequent flyer.)

KALIE LARSON, Lincoln, Nebraska/Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing.

Lawson, Levy, Lewis
Lawson, Levy, Lewis

STEVEN LAWSON, Ukiah. Burglary, probation revocation.

NATHANIEL LEVY, Norman, Oklahoma/Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing.

RICKY LEWIS, Ukiah. Court order violation.

Llitzin, Peccianti, Petty
Llitzin, Peccianti, Petty

KEVIN LITZIN, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

BEN PECCIANTI, Sacramento. DUI.

SHERRIE PETTY, Ukiah. Burglary, probation revocation.

Rosas, Ruiz, Vickers
Rosas, Ruiz, Vickers

JOSE ROSAS, Boonville. Drunk in public.

BARAQUEL RUIZ, Ukiah. Dirk-dagger, false ID, under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

MICHAEL VICKERS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

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SOMETHING’S ROTTEN AT PG&E

Dear Editor,

Every time I hear PG&E's new slogan, "Together, we are building a better California," I silently add "the parts we aren't blowing up or burning down."

It's no wonder they are sending those new, high tech "sniffer trucks" around our neighborhoods — in some cases, they don't even know where their own gas lines are (much less their condition).

If you smell something, say something.

Sincerely,

Stewart Bowen,

Suisun Valley

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Crash

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BROADBAND ALLIANCE MEETING

The Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County is working to bring broadband to the rural areas of Mendocino County. The next monthly Public Outreach Meeting is Friday Sept. 11, 10:00 am to 11:30 am in Ukiah (location to be decided - call 707.489.4663 for more information). There will be a special presentation by the California Telehealth Network. Please visit our website at www.mendocinobroadband.org for agendas and more information.

Thank you,

Diann Simmons
Administrative Coordinator
Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County
707-489-4663
www.MendocinoBroadband.org
https://www.facebook.com/BroadbandAlliance

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NOT A GOOD IDEA TO SPEED THROUGH CLOVERDALE WITH A MONSTER LOAD OF DOPE

A 225-pound load of marijuana was seized from an Oakland man’s car after he was stopped for speeding past a California Highway Patrol officer in Cloverdale, authorities said. The incident began when a CHP officer patrolling southbound Highway 101 near Citrus Fair Drive was passed by a Subaru Legacy traveling about 75 mph about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, said CHP Officer Jonathan Sloat . When the officer pulled over Brett Lee Wilson, 31, he smelled marijuana in the car, Sloat said. Asked if there was any pot inside his car, Wilson said, “there may have been one joint in the vehicle,” Sloat said.

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FIRE AUTHORITIES RELEASE THE CAUSE OF THE BIG LAKE COUNTY FIRES: Inanimate equipment operated by unnamed individuals and an old hot water heater.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4397274-181/smaller-lake-county-wildfires-likely

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NOT MUCH IN THE WAY OF RAIN EXPECTED FRIDAY NIGHT ON MENDO COAST

NotMuchRain

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CALIFORNIA'S water use dropped by 31.3 percent in July, exceeding state targets for the second straight month. Communities can be fined if they don't meet state-mandated conservation standards. Some areas, notably Santa Rosa and San Jose cut water use by about a third. “People are realizing the seriousness of the situation and they’re acting accordingly,” said John Tang, spokesman for the San Jose Water Company, which serves nearly 1 million South Bay residents.

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BETSY CAWN OF LAKE COUNTY WRITES: I don’t know if there’s something that has to be permitted to put this in the paper, but I played the below linked YouTube of this song on Senior Moments (KPFZ, 88.! FM, Lake County Community Radio) this evening. It’s a heck of a lot easier to understand the words by watching the U-Toob, but the phrase “the bible doesn’t trump the constitution” is all I need to hear! (“I Didn’t Come From Your Rib, You Came From My Vagina” —

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/08/20/1413909/--I-Didn-t-Come-From-Your-Rib-You-Came-From-My-Vagina?detail=email#content

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BIG LAKE COUNTY POT BUST:

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4399437-181/lake-county-drug-bust-nets

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MAYOR LEE’S SUPER BOWL HOMELESS PLAN IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

by C.W. Nevius

It’s OK to be upset. It is even all right to be angry.

We know how things work in San Francisco. When your street smells like urine, when you see (or, worse, step in) poop on the street or find that a homeless campground has sprung up outside your door, you’re supposed to adopt a serene Zen calm. All part of living in the city, you’re supposed to say.

That’s not flying any more. Thoughtful, compassionate people have had it.

So, when Mayor Ed Lee said the down-and-out would be moved off the street for the upcoming Super Bowl, there were two reactions.

First, thank God. Finally someone in authority is saying what people in the neighborhoods have been agonizing over for months. From the homeless campgrounds to guys peeing in the doorways of homes and shops, this isn’t an inconvenience — it’s out of control.

But let’s think about this. Presumably Lee is moving the homeless off the street — he promises they will have an alternative location — because the Super Bowl is the biggest media extravaganza of the year. It would be embarrassing for thousands of reporters and fans to come to everybody’s favorite city and find the streets stinking of urine and sidewalks blocked by the homeless.

But isn’t it embarrassing right now? It’s the same stench, the same renegade campsites. Why does it take a globally televised football game to take any action? Why not start now?

Well, you know the reason. Because if anyone in San Francisco says we have to move the homeless off the street, they will be attacked and shamed. It will be called a war on the homeless. It has already started, and Lee can expect more to come.

This week, the Coalition on Homelessness sent out a press release calling out The Chronicle for an “attack on homeless people.” It specifically lodges protests against columnists Debra Saunders, Matier and Ross, and me.

Saunders was knocked for the view that “San Francisco ... shouldn’t smell like stale piss.” Matier and Ross had the nerve to say, “San Francisco’s streets are becoming one big toilet ... with druggies, drunks and the mentally ill openly defecating on the downtown’s busiest boulevards.” And my sin was saying, “Well-heeled techies are wrinkling their noses at streets that smell like latrines.”

So public commentators don’t get to say those things? And if we do — despite the fact that they are demonstrably true — it is an attack on the homeless? Seriously?

Two weeks ago, I wrote a column based on a wrenching e-mail from a local resident named Susan Jackson. She wrote about how when she walks through the Tenderloin for her job, “my heart breaks at the lives wasted.” She added, “Today, we saw six encampments — a poor guy from DPW was trying to clean around them — and yesterday we walked past about ten needles. And the stench of urine and feces — IS EVERYWHERE.”

So does she not get to say that? Is that attacking the homeless?

All right then, how about this? Monday night, Jackson’s husband, Ian, went outside to ask a man not to urinate in front of their home. The man punched him in the face.

“Ian’s OK,” Jackson wrote, “but his glasses are chipped. Trying to be compassionate — but this is too close to home.”

We get it. In varying degrees, anyone who’s lived here for more than a few years has had the same push/pull of compassion and disgust: a sincere wish to help and concern that the neighborhood is spiraling out of control.

But here’s the real disconnect. The message is that the problem is you. You’re not doing enough. Homeless people are peeing on the street? That’s your fault for not spending more money.

“The solution to urination and defecation on the streets is to open existing and add new restrooms,” the Coalition writes. “Duh.”

So we haven’t provided enough funds for new restrooms. The $169 million the city is spending now on the homeless issue isn’t enough.

But accountability for the people peeing — or for anything else — isn’t part of the equation. Any thought to asking them to find an existing restroom and make a point to use it regularly? And, if a police officer cites someone for public defecation, for example, he’s “criminalizing the homeless.”

This drumbeat call for more money is getting old. We’ve thrown bushels of cash at the problem for over a decade and this is the result. Enough carrot, there has to be a stick — some accountability.

Mayor Lee’s recent statements are the beginning of that. He’d better brace himself for rallies on the City Hall steps and nasty attacks. But it’s worth it.

Because if it’s good enough for the Super Bowl, it’s good enough for San Francisco.

(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)

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Homeless

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

I don’t think Trump is Hitler. I was working on a theory that Trump is Mussolini, but the more I think about it the less that works for me, either. Mussolini, for all his cartoonish traits, was an intellectual and Trump, though smart, is not an intellectual.

One of the biggest problems in American politics today is a nearly complete lack of ideology. Or, rather, that all mainstream politicians have basically the same ideology. I don’t mean the things they say; I refer to the things they actually do. They’re all coming from the same basic construct. They all believe that Finance = The Economy, that the US has to be the dominant military power in the world, and that there is no other way to operate than the way we do now, with minor variations depending on which group which politician is pandering to today.

Trump’s unsuitability for any responsible role is manifest. The insecurity just exudes from the guy, from the hair to the crude statements to the bad taste to the aggressive arrogance, including the compulsive need to tell everyone how smart he is. Smart people don’t have to tell you all the time that they’re smart. Rich guys don’t have to tell you how rich they are; a rich guy with $10 Billion is perfectly happy to let you think he only has $1 Billion; the other $9 Billion can be his little secret. Rich is rich; the need to quantify and amplify it rings a false note.

I think most of us agree that The Winner has already been selected, and the next 14 months are an exercise in manipulation. What’s interesting is the role Trump plays in this. He’s not going to be the selected one. But he is already having a major impact shaping what develops until the [s]election. Rudeness is back. Racism is coming out into the open. Magical thinking is making new all-time highs every day. The popularity of Trump’s over-simplification of complex issues beyond the control of any one individual is a very bad sign.

I’m starting to think maybe Trump is Hermann Goering, without the military achievements.

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SAN FRANCISCO FIREFIGHTERS BECOME UNINTENDED SAFETY NET FOR THE HOMELESS

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/27/us/san-francisco-firefighters-become-unintended-safety-net-for-the-homeless.html?ref=todayspaper

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THE GLOBAL ECONOMY for Korean War vets

During the Home-by-Christmas Offensive, the US 9th Infantry Regiment led the division's advance northward along the Ch'ongch'on River, while the US 38th Infantry Regiment was placed on the division's right flank.

Somewhere on the road that ran south from Kunu-ri into Sunchon and eventually into Pyongyang, I lost my way.

In the aftermath of the ROK II Corps' collapse on November 27, as we were running the gauntlet, there in the hills, I lost my way. Afraid, I climbed a high hill. I picked my way through the ice and rock. I hid in the forest of spruce, larch, Siberian pine, and fir that blanketed the slope at the highest part of the hill. As I hid, I heard them scream all night.

They were the People's Volunteer Army 42nd Corps. A vast horde of Chinese. A lightly armed, highly skilled enemy. Disciplined. Indoctrinated. Politically controlled. Homicidal and suicidal. Both.

That night?

Killology. Mind control. The psychology of totalism.

These were Chinese maniacs.

I never did return. Not really. Not that winter, nor any other winter thereafter.

It was so long ago, my brother. Is it any wonder even the Chinese have forgotten? All the Chinese seem to want now are American markets for their huge manufacturing zones. And, of course, they want our iPhone 6S and Google.

John Sakowicz, Ukiah

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CALIFORNIA SINKING FASTER THAN THOUGHT; AQUIFERS COULD PERMANENTLY SHRINK

To adjust to the incredibly parched conditions in the Golden State, Californians are pumping groundwater and causing the ground to sink even faster than expected.

https://shar.es/1vpM6R

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THE OTHER CATCH OF THE DAY

At the Navarro on the Mendocino Coast

NavarroRiver

(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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MRC’S FORESTRY CERTIFICATION MEETING

http://www.mendocinobeacon.com/general-news/20150827/green-group-hears-criticism-of-mrc

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VANDANA SHIVA AT LABOR DAY FUNDRAISER IN WILLITS

Vandana Shiva, internationally acclaimed author and activist, will speak at the Little Lake Grange on Labor Day, September 7. Dr. Shiva is a passionate and eloquent speaker on the rights of people and of nature. She is particularly known for her fight against the huge seed companies that have been stealing and patenting plants that are the birthright of the people of her native India.

This is a great opportunity for people in Willits and Mendocino County to see and hear Dr. Shiva in person. The program is from 6-9pm and includes appetizers, wine, and a silent auction. Tickets are sliding scale from $15-$20 and may be purchased at Mazahar in Willits, Mendocino Baby in Ukiah, via PayPay, or at brownpapertickets.com.

Dr. Shiva has kindly offered to make this presentation as a fundraiser for the Charter Project of Mendocino County. The evening will mark the beginning of a signature-gathering campaign to put a Mendocino County Charter on the June 2016 ballot.

VandanaShiva

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a world renowned and award winning author of 20 books, philosopher, environmentalist, professional speaker and social activist who has fought for changes in the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Having contributed with ideas and through activist campaigns to intellectual property rights, biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, and genetic engineering, Dr. Shiva is also founder of Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade. She will give a talk to help raise funds for the Charter Project of Mendocino County.

Come listen to the Raging Grannies sing their favorite anti-Monsanto songs, enjoy farm-to-table hors d'oeuvres prepared by Chef Sadhana, savor local wine, and relax to the music of Clay Hawkins. Bid on an amazing array of items at the silent auction, and help raise funds to mold the Mendocino County government into one that will serve the unique needs of this county.

$15 admission on Brown Paper Tickets and $20 at the door.

There will be a chartered bus from Point Arena to the event stopping in Mendocino and Fort Bragg for those of you who want to carpool. $15 per seat. For more information about the bus call Ellen 707-271-9170.

For more information about the Evening with Vandana Shiva or the Charter Project of Mendocino County contact Mary: maryzel@willitsonline.com; 459-3963.

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RESETTLING SYRIAN REFUGEES

Dear Editor:

There are an estimated 5,000,000 Syrian refugees that have been forced to flee their country. Many are being accepted by EU countries. Germany with a population of 80 million will receive 750,000 asylum seekers with refugees from Syria, Eritrea and Sudan most in need. Sweden also has taken a large number of refugees. Now what has the Untied States done about resettling Syrian refugees. First, we need to remember we started the problem when the war hawks using false information persuaded a gullible president to invade Iraq, and thus creating a situation leading to the ISIS. One might think our culpability would lead us to resettle Syrian refugees in the U.S. Not so, we have accepted fewer than 900 Syrians since 2011. Now say likely to admit 1,000 to 2,000 Syrians in 2015 and in the low thousands in 2016. Total refugees for all areas admissions is 70,000. As might be expected there are some Congressmen with a Muslim phobia who object to any refugees from Syria. In conclusion I would say shame to Obama and congress for failure to exercise their moral responsibility for the Syrian refugees.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff

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BIG OIL SPENT $6.2 MILLION LOBBYING CALIFORNIA OFFICIALS IN YEAR'S FIRST SIX MONTHS

by Dan Bacher

The oil industry spent $6.2 million to lobby legislators and other state officials in California in the first six months of 2015, according to a report just released by the California Secretary of State's Office. 

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, alone spent a total of $1,388,203 in the first quarter of the 2015-2016 session and $1,141,037 in the second quarter of the session. That's a total of $2,529,240 spent on lobbying in six months.

Last year WSPA spent a record $8.9 million on lobbying, double what it spent in the previous year. WSPA spent $4.67 million in 2013. 

Big Oil is currently spending over $1 million per month to fight legislation and regulations to prevent future oil spills, to protect our drinking water supplies from contamination by fracking waste water, from cleaning up the air, and from protecting marine protected areas from offshore oil drilling. 

Oil companies funnel most of their California lobbying money through WSPA, the industry's trade association, but they also spend additional money through their own lobbyists. In addition to their WSPA contributions, Chevron spent $1.5 million lobbying for influence over California laws in 2015's first six month, according to Sarah Rose, Chief Executive Officer of the California League of Conservation Voters, in a letter to supporters. 

"That means two spots on California's top-five list for big-spending lobbyists belong to Big Oil," noted Rose. 

Besides lobbying state officials, the oil industry also spends millions every year on political campaigns. 2014 was a record year for Big Oil spending on lobbying and campaigns. The oil industry spent a combined total of $38,653,186 for lobbying and campaigns in 2014. That is a 129 percent increase from the 2013 total of $16,915,226. 

Last year, the oil industry spent $7.6 million to defeate 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 in San Benito County during the November 2014 election. Chevron spent $3 million to elect their selected candidates to the Richmond City Council, but they were defeated by a grassroots coalition. 

Big Oil also exerts its influence by setting up Astroturf groups to promote its agenda. Last week, WSPA launched a campaign against climate change bills in the Legislature, according to Rose. Under the thinly-disguised mask of their Astroturf group "California Driver's Alliance," WSPA's ads attacking the legislation are now running on television, internet, and radio in several key legislative districts throughout the state. 

In addition, the oil industry is very effective at getting its lobbyists and friends on regulatory panels. In a glaring conflict of interest, Western States Petroleum Association President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, who is now fighting bills protecting the ocean from offshore oil drilling and oil spills, chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Froce to create "marine protected areas" in Southern California. She also served on the MLPA Initiative task forces that developed "marine protected areas" on the North Coast, North Central Coast and South Coast. 

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) has jointly authored with Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) Senate Bill 788, which would ban new offshore oil drilling in state waters off Tranquillon Ridge, located in a "Marine Protected Area" off the coast of Vandenberg Air Force Base created under the MLPA Initiative. SB 788 is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is expected to be up for a vote in the State Assembly as the Legislature enters its last month of the legislative session, according to Senator Jackson's office. 

And guess who opposes this legislation? Yes, "marine guardian" Reheis Boyd's WSPA, is leading the charge to defeat the bill. 

WSPA is also opposing two bills sponsored by Senator Jackson that were spurred by the recent Santa Barbara Oil Spill that fouled many miles of coastline on May 19 after after a badly corroded oil pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline burst off Refugio State Beach. 

Senate Bill 295 requires annual oil pipeline inspections and would reestablish the State Fire Marshal's role in inspecting federally regulated pipelines. Senate Bill 414, the Rapid Oil Spill Response Act, would help make oil spill response faster, more effective, and more environmentally friendly. 

You can expect Big Oil to continue dumping millions of dollars into stopping these and other environmental bills in the California Legislature, as the industry has done over the past decade. 

Big Oil spent a total of $266 million influencing California politics from 2005 to 2014, according to an analysis of California Secretary of State data by StopFoolingCA.org, an online and social media public education and awareness campaign that highlights oil companies' efforts to "mislead and confuse Californians." The industry spent $112 million of this money on lobbying and the other $154 million on political campaigns. 

Big Oil is the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento, and as we have discussed, wields its influence by spending its money on lobbying and election campaigns, creating Astroturf groups and getting its officials and friends on state regulatory panels. 

In California environmental politics now, there is no bigger issue than than the capture of the regulatory apparatus by the regulated, including Big Oil, agribusiness, developers, the timber industry and other corporate interests. This is why fishermen, Tribal leaders, family farmers, environmentalists and grassroots Californians must relentlessly expose and fight this regulatory capture in order to restore our rivers, oceans, fisheries and the public trust - and support state and national campaigns including 99Rise and Move to Amend to take the corporate money out of politics.

14 Comments

  1. BB Grace August 28, 2015

    Katrina.

    Had a brother that lived in St Tammany Parrish Louisiana with 10 children. His wife’s mother refused to evacuate from her home alas never to be seen again. My brother and his family headed North. In a motel several states away, TV blasting the news, scenes of New Orleans passed on the screen, and across Lake Ponchatrain, where Katrina gave her hardest punches, my brother’s family happened to see the roof of their brick home, with kids they knew from school on top being rescused by helicopter.

    Months later when they were allowed to return, the mess, the smell, the destruction was surreal my brother told me. The lines on the walls from the water rising and things bashing against the walls through the second floor, unreal. Up in the attic they found a note:

    Dear Homeowner,

    We tried to stay through the huricane but were flooded out and thought all was lost until we caught your house, broke in, ate your food, used your things, stayed as long as we could waiting for rescue. Please forgive us. We’ll pay you back for everything we took of yours.
    God Bless You,
    XXXXXXX

  2. Jim Updegraff August 28, 2015

    As I have commented Trump is good for laughs
    a buffoon babbling to his following of Boobus Anericanus. I think I will write in a candidate on my ballot – say Bruce Anderson!

    • LouisBedrock August 28, 2015

      I’ll second that motion. And the Major as VP.

      I also agree with the person who mourned the absence of Mencken.
      We could really use Alexander Cockburn and Mencken to sort out the current insanity.

      I would love to read an interview by Oriana Fallaci with one of these current candidate/bozos. Her interview with the Ayatollah Khomeini was one of the best pieces I’ve ever read.

  3. Harvey Reading August 28, 2015

    Re: ON LINE COMMENT:

    Funny how folks compare Trump with Hitler and such but never make the comparison when it comes to the evil being disguised as a she-monkey, Hillary, Bernie the Babbler, and the others, or for that matter smarmy Bill Clinton, or the Christo fundamentalists, Carter and Huckabee. Trump’s actually more like a W.F. Buckley, Junior, and not worth worrying about. Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing about him peeing out the car window while drunk. This country is full of fascists, and always has been, and they’re generally running things.

    Just enjoy Trump’s BS and have a few laughs. All the scum, from “both” parties are fascist monsters, too, and you wouldn’t see a dime’s worth of difference in the performance they would give us as chief executive. Just look back on thigh-rubbing, felatio-loving Bill, and the sanctimonious Carter, whom, for some unknown reason, we are now supposed to revere… No thanks or respect are due any of them.

    I’ll grant you it is downright entertaining to hear the pseudolibs running off at the mouth like a bunch of chickens with a fox loose in the hen house.

    • Mike Jamieson August 28, 2015

      Harvey, The Donald doesn’t drink. Never has.

      International Business Day has an article out on Hillary’s possible
      top ten Veep choices.

      Includes the Castro brothers, Corey Booker, Tom Vilsack (super yuck, he doesn’t look you in the eye), Tim Kaine. And, the person I suspect she is likely to pick because the Nation needs a massive Valium infusion: Evan Bayh.

      Trump: an anti matter annihilating force.

      Bayh: stabilizing, assuring nap time for America!

      • Harvey Reading August 28, 2015

        She, or any of them could pick Jeezus H. Christ as a running mate, and I still would vote third party if a one had a decent candidate, or write in someone, or leave the prez part of the ballot blank. The only reason I stay registered is to vote for local office candidates. Those races are not quite as rigged as the bunting-and-dollar-covered kibuki of national office “races” — though there is plenty of local machine effort that goes into the local races, too. People are gonna get fed up one fine day and there will be plenty of office holders dangling from street lamps. I look forward to that day. There are good reasons that large numbers of those eligible don’t even register, and laziness aint one of them.

        • Mike Jamieson August 28, 2015

          Well, I suppose after this meth/lsd run with Trump, the national milieu will shift to the Clinton/Bayh Snooze Era.

          Don’t forget something real simple Harvey. The revolutionaries, i.e.. “the people” aren’t of any higher caliber than our corrupt “leaders”. It’s just a movie. All of it.
          The characters are fictional.

  4. james marmon August 28, 2015

    The problem with FCS is that Director of Social Services, Bryan Lowery, is not doing his job. He’s been running things for 3 years now and has failed drastically. He and his current management staff will not hire qualified staff and risk relinquishing any of their powers to the lowest level legally possible. The Grand Jury was right on, “Command and Control.”

    Below is what he is required by law to do.

    Welfare and Institutions code Section 10803
    The county director shall:
    (a) Serve as the executive and administrative officer of the county department. The county director may delegate his powers and functions to any member of his staff.
    (b) Establish such administrative units as he may deem necessary or desirable for the proper and efficient administration of the county department, and employ such personnel as may be authorized subject to merit system regulations and the state standards established pursuant to Section 19801 of the Government Code.
    (c) Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law, and, except for Section 10801, such other administrative and executive duties pertaining to the public social services as may, by other provisions of law, be imposed upon the board of supervisors.
    (d) Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the board of supervisors.

    California Government Code Section 19801

    For the purposes of administration of state or federally supported programs under Section 19800, the State Personnel Board shall, by regulation, establish and maintain personnel standards on a merit basis for local agencies (including therein standards of qualifications, competency, education, experience, tenure, and compensation) necessary for proper and efficient administration, and to assure state conformity with applicable federal requirements.

    • james marmon August 28, 2015

      He should be held accountable for squandering Federal and State funds. Enough with the group hugs.

      • james marmon August 28, 2015

        Its all about Power! Power! Power! with Bryan Lowery and his FCS management staff. Good luck with hiring intelligent and qualified staff with these guys running things.

  5. Mike Jamieson August 28, 2015

    What a delicious delivery of karma to San Francisco.

    A formerly great city, where I actually lived and work from 1975 to 1979, my modest income quite adequate in those days to be able to both rent and eat there.

    Amazing how such a simple thing is no longer possible.

    They don’t have a clue. The lovely smell of money, this time rising from another location in The Mission as a new gentrifying housing development gets set to go, is displacing more of the lower income residents living there a long time if not a whole lifetime.

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