- Valley Fire
- FB Media Coverage
- Relative Clarity
- Local Water
- Report from Greece
- Smokin' & Speedin'
- Yesterday's Catch
- Coming Change
- Jesuit Pope
- Political Stormclouds
- Biden's Son
- Craft Week
- Amended Climate Bill
- Craig Crawl
CALFIRE said Monday night that the mostly still out of control “Valley Fire” in Lake County was 10% contained as initial fire lines begun to appear. 62,000 acres have been burned, 585 homes are known to have been destroyed, hundreds destroyed homes remain uncounted, and an estimated 9,000 more structures are threatened. Around 1500 firefighters are on scene with 157 engines, 4 air tankers, 10 helicopters, 16 dozers and 53 tenders. Most roads in the area have been closed and mandatory evacuation orders remain in place as do advisory evacuations in the surrounding areas.
Besides the four firefighters injured on Sunday, one civilian fatality was reported by CalFire: “Valley Fire claims first victim: On September 12, 2015 at approximately 1:22 pm, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Central Dispatch received the first report of a wildfire (Valley Fire) which started in the area of Cobb Mountain. At approximately 1:50 pm, Cal Fire requested assistance from the Sheriff’s Office to start emergency evacuations of the area. At approximately 1:51pm, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area and started conducting evacuations. At this time, the Sheriff’s Dispatch Center started to become flooded with calls reporting the fire, and citizens asking for assistance with evacuations. Those calls also included family members who were requesting law enforcement to check on relatives believed to be in the fire area. Both Fire and Law Enforcement first responders reported to numerous requests for evacuation assistance in the Cobb and Loch Lomond areas. Hundreds of homes were evacuated during the first few hours. A phone call for a request to assist an elderly, disabled female at a residence on Hot Springs Road came in to the Dispatch Center at 7:12 PM on Saturday evening. At 7:29 PM, Officers and Deputies responded to the area, but were unable to reach the subdivision as it had already been engulfed by flames. The resident was apparently unable to self-evacuate and responders were unable to make it to her home before the fire engulfed the structure. After the fire subsided enough for crews to respond, personnel arrived at the burned down residence on Hot Springs Road to find the remains of a deceased person. The Sheriff’s Office and all first responders express their condolences to those who have been affected by this disaster. We are hopeful that the fire does not claim any more lives.”
CALFIRE’S STATUS REPORT: “Firefighters from across California are aggressively fighting the Valley Fire that has continued to spread in and around the communities of Middletown, Cobb and Hidden Valley. The fire continues to grow as firefighters work to construct fire lines, while protecting lives and property. Firefighters are focusing on the public's safety, structural defense, and perimeter control. As more resources continue to arrive, they are being assigned to critical portions of the fire line. Favorable weather conditions, created by lower temperatures and higher humidity, are assisting in firefighting efforts. As the weather cleared, firefighting aircraft were utilized to support control operations.”
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TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE (6:45 am): 67,000 acres - 15% contained.
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CLASS ANGLING the Valley Fire. Lake County, once known as the Blue Collar Lake Tahoe, is hardly a bastion of the wealth and privilege now characteristic of, say, the Mendocino Coast, and ridgetops of Mendocino County. Lots of the people burned out in Lake County won't have been insured and won't generally have the re-build options available to the well-heeled among the uprooted.
THE LOCAL ANGLE: Harbin Hot Springs, the "clothing-optional" New Age spa in Lake County has burned to the ground in the ongoing conflagration. It's owned by Richard Miller of Mendocino, a KZYX talk show host. But the classic 19th-century springs and New Age healing retreat was leveled when the fast-moving Valley Fire tore through the resort Saturday. The devastation at Harbin at first wasn’t immediately known after the 62,000-acre fire ripped through Middletown, Cobb and the rural areas around the expansive resort.
CORRECTION (from Mr. Wendel): Dr. Miller is the owner (and founder) of Wilbur Hot Springs, not Harbin Hot Springs. Harbin Hot Springs is owned by the Heart Conciousness Church.
DISCOVERY INN, UKIAH, CALLED OUT FOR GOUGING DISASTER VICTIMS
MendocinoSportsPlus was alerted to a series of "Yelp" reviews for the Discovery Inn, 1340 North State St, Ukiah. It seems they "jacked up" their prices Sunday night when the "Valley Fire" was sending mandatory evacuation victims over to Ukiah Valley.
Here is what people said in their reviews:
"We are in a state of emergency with the fires going on and they raised their rates from $89 to $179 for a Sunday night. There are thousands of people who have lost their homes or been evacuated and you want to take advantage of that. Sick, sick, sick."
"Raising your rates overnight ($89 to $179) in a time of CRISIS is completely unacceptable!!! How could you? Show a little compassion and HELP YOUR COMMUNITY! People have lost their homes and have nowhere to go. This is not a time to make a profit. Disgusting."
"If I could give this place 0 stars I would !This place was the worst hotel I have even been to in my life and please do not take your little ones to this place. There are multiple people using drugs near our room, the rooms were not in good condition, the pools were yellow, the hot tubs were not working, we got put in smoking rooms when we requested non-smoking, when we went to try out the pool there were multiple sketchy men laying in the pool area fully clothed just watching people and men watching from the balcony.
When my sister was going to her room to bring her stuff from the car people were already trying to break in through the window. After filing a report with the police because they refused to refund our money he told us that he get many complaints from that location and to stay at Holiday inn, Clarion or Fairfield Inn. As we were leaving the hotel, some guy yelled to the police office that some guys just tried to break into his vehicle. Please save yourself the headache and book elsewhere."
"Price gouging us during a disaster like this. So many people lost their homes in the Valley Fire and you want to take advantage of them, wow. NEVER NEVER NEVER stay here."
"Definitely wouldn't stay here after they decided to jack up their prices because we currently have thousands of people who have lost their homes due to the fires in Lake County. They are taking full advantage of these poor people who just need a roof over their heads. I'm posting on here because they can't delete the review and they keep deleting the ones people post to their Facebook page. I thought this was one of Ukiahs not so bad hotels, but after this happened I'll never spend a dime here or refer them to any of my friends or clients again.
"My heart breaks that they use a State of Emergency to price Gouging people who are in need of a safe place to stay during a horrible fire. Shame on this Hotel. Even before they pulled this stunt their reviews were REALLY bad so I guess we shouldn't be surprised that they are cold hearted rude humans."
"If you notice anything at all wrong with your room from a code enforcement stand point contact: James Kirkland (707) 234-6650. Notice electrical, smoke detectors, safety hazards. You will need on the form to have the owner/property information. Owners last name I think maybe: Patel, APN # 170-140-18.
Also contact Chanel 7 Tip Line: (877) 222-7777, I Team (888) 404-8326. Channel 5 (415) 765-8610, Channel 4 (415) 441-4444. If you are a victim of the fire, and your rates were raised I am sure they would like to here from you.
According to many reviews on Yelp they raised their rates. However proof is needed. Has anyone stayed at this hotel, and what did they pay. Please post a copy of your bill for proof."
ROOMS AVAILABLE FRIDAY
We just checked the Inn's web site - the earliest you can book a room is Friday, September 18. The cost? A "Junior Suite" price has been dropped to $89 while an "Executive Room" is $79. A two-night stay (2 people) for the cheaper room will run you $202.84 ($44.84 in taxes tacked on).
Priceline.com & Travelocity had room prices at $99 starting Sunday, September 27.
There was also this review from 11/24/2014:
"HA, I got a letter from Mendocino Dept of Public Health that said i may have been exposed to Legionnaire's disease during my stay here. Fun times."
HERE'S THE KICKER !
We saw this posted at 2:50 pm:
"ATTENTION TO ALL VALLEY FIRE EVACUEES: DISCOVERY INN OF UKIAH WILL BE SPONSORING A BUFFET AT WINGSTOP FOR ALL EVACUEES OF THE VALLEY FIRE TONIGHT STARTING AT 5:30 PM TO 9:00PM ON THE WINGSTOP PATIO. JOIN US FOR SOME FOOTBALL AND WINGS. Tonight's buffet at Wingstop is only for those individuals displaced by the fire. Regular guests of Wingstop: please respect our offering to these individuals in need. Please share."
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Officials say firefighting crews found the woman’s body in a burned-out home on Cobb Mountain over the weekend.
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The County Of Mendocino, Health And Human Services Agency (HHSA), Disaster Response Team Continues To Staff Shelter At The Redwood Empire Fairgrounds Located In Ukiah To Assist Evacuees Displaced From The Lake County Valley Fire
The County’s HHSA Disaster Response Team continues to operate the emergency evacuation shelter located at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds located at 1055 North State Street, Ukiah. The shelter is available to provide assistance and will continue to have water, beds and food available (as well as accommodations for animals, including large livestock and/or an area dedicated for cats and dogs).
The donations from the community so far have been extraordinary; however, this evacuation center does not accept donations due to the volume and need to care for those displaced. Monetary donations are needed and can be made through the Red Cross (www.RedCross.org) and is the recommended means of contributing to the disaster relief effort at this time. We are not aware of the continued need for items such as bedding, clothing, etc. By making a charitable donation to the Red Cross, assistance can be provided to those facing this catastrophic emergency and can help them as they rebuild their lives. Donations can also be made through the agencies contained in the public listing at www.lovelakecounty.org which contains the most up to date list of donation centers.
Details regarding the fire and shelter locations can be obtained from:
Lake County OES: www.Facebook.com/LakeCountyOES)
The County continues coordinating the shelter effort with Lake County Office of Emergency Services (OES). The Lake County OES has a pre-recorded information line set up at (707) 263-8274.
Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer
AIR QUALITY ADVISORY For Mendocino County
Monday, September 14, 2015
The Valley Fire in Lake County continues to degrade air quality for inland of Mendocino County and will continue to influence the air quality until the fire is out. Currently the fire burned 61,000 acres and is 5% contained. Smoke impacts in the county are ranging from ‘Good’ to 'Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups' at various times throughout the day, depending on location and wind direction. Higher elevations may be impacted during the daytime hours while lower elevations may see heavier impacts during the evening and nighttime.
The fire continues to grow as firefighters work aggressively to build control lines and sustain perimeter control, while protecting lives and property. However, new fire activity and wind directions can change at any time. It is advised to be prepared and stay informed.
It is anticipated that the AQI readings (Air Quality Index) will generally be in the ‘Moderate’ to ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ range in most areas of the county for the remainder of the week or until conditions at the Valley Fire improve. Forecast regional weather patterns suggest our air quality should improve as the week progresses.
Mendocino County Air Quality Management District has particulate monitors running 24-hours a day measuring our air quality. These monitors report particulate matter concentrations hourly to the air District’s website. To get the latest Air Quality Index (AQI) information for Mendocino County visit: www.mendoair.org . The sidebar on the right side of the home page contains the AQI rating for the latest measured hour. Mobile devices may need to scroll down to the section titled “Air Quality for Mendocino”.
The current air quality is posted in a range from ‘Good’ to ‘Hazardous’, corresponding with colors from green to dark purple. See example from our website below:
Air quality in the ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ range affects those who are sensitive, especially people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children. When indicated by the AQI reading, reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Outdoor activity is acceptable, but take more breaks and do not perform intense activities until air quality improves Smoke in heavy concentrations can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults. These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke
Persons experiencing any of the following symptoms should contact a health care provider: Headache; Repeated Coughing; Chest Tightness Or Pain; Difficulty In Breathing; or Nausea.
Information regarding the most current air quality readings and related information can be found on the District web site at www.mendoair.org.
FIRE STATUS MAP PRODUCED BY GMAP4
(A caller said this map is changing about every 15 minutes or so.)
DETAILED REPORT ON COBB MOUNTAIN AREA. (courtesy, Betsy Cawn)
TWIN NORCAL FIRES - VALLEY FIRE / BUTTE FIRE
BIG MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE BIG BLAZE
Moving Fast, Fire Scorches Community in California - The New York Times
SISTER YAZ on South Coast fire safety:
Raising consciousness about wildfire danger on our Coast is very important. Folks around here throw firecrackers out of trucks, set off fireworks, throw cigarette butts (and pot roaches) out of car windows and on the ground without stamping them out, and other stupid moves like logging, running power tools, etc. (duh!) I believe that our local newspapers and radio stations, especially here on the South Coast, must keep reminding people about the severely dangerous, dry and flammable conditions, and we need to do this each and every day! I wish the local Fire Chief would put something in my local paper often (the ICO) and that all our local radio stations would remind folks every day about Extreme Fire Danger! I don't agree that it can't happen right here on our Coast. It can and will if we are not extremely aware, careful and conscious.
FROM THE MEDIA COVERAGE of Fort Bragg politics, you'd never know that Mayor Turner narrowly eluded recall and he and his two sleep-walking auto-votes, Hammerstrom and Dietz, along with the real power in Fort Bragg, City Manager Linda Ruffing, sabbed a petition to put the Old Coast Hotel deal to a popular vote, ruling that it was short a single ballot-qualifying signature.
YOU'D ALSO NEVER KNOW that there are two sitting Fort Bragg councilmen, Peters and Cimolino, who are generally opposed to the Ruffing-Turner cabal. Next election, Peters and Cimolino are likely to be joined by a councilman more in tune with them and the large majority of Fort Bragg people presently left out on the Haul Road talking to the waves.
MEANWHILE, UKIAH, a relative model of civic clearheadedness, is setting aside a few acres in the area south of Brush Street near the Buddy Eller Center where homeless shelters can be erected sans use permits. No word on whether or not one or more will be erected, and the city still doesn't have specific plans for a winter homeless shelter, but Ukiah, unlike Fort Bragg, won't be putting it in the center of town.
LAST FRIDAY MORNING I gave my son Paullen a ride to work up Philo/Greenwood Road and he pointed out the algae covering the river below the bridge. It seems weird but I hadn't been down that way since June and he said the stuff had been there all summer and had been keeping the normal crowds of bathers thinned down quite a bit. Looking out over the side of the bridge, the water both upstream and downstream is covered with algae bank to bank. But a little investigation revealed that it wasn't algae at all but rather mosquito fern, one of seven species of aquatic ferns of the genus Azolla. It is not toxic and has several beneficial uses, including as animal feed, mosquito suppressor, a nitrogen base plant for composts and, according to Wikipedia, it played "a significant role in reversing an increase in greenhouse effect that occurred 55 million years ago that caused the region around the north pole to turn into a hot, tropical environment." I wonder if we planted more of the stuff it would help in our current dilemma?
Later in the day I went up Mountain View Road to get some drinking water from the spring by Bear Wallow. On the way back I turned onto Airport Drive and was smacked by an expansive view of hundreds of overhead sprinklers watering the vineyard on the southwest side of the airport. I couldn't believe it — it's harvest time, not grow time — yet there they were going full blast on at least 13 acres of grapes. The vineyard is called Helluva Vineyard and according to Mendocino Wine website is owned by Steve Williams and somebody named Dennis Hall. Steve was a good man but has been passed on now for a couple of years. He used to share with me some of the tales of the Indian artifacts he would find on his land — apparently there had been an ancient village site there. Dennis I don't know but he is listed as the contact person for the vineyard with a Philo PO box and a red pointer on the supplied Google map that puts him practically in my backyard. Switching to satellite mode and zooming in it points to the old Ernie Blattner place in Philo that is indicated along with its accompanying marijuana patch and surrounded by five other pot patches. This would be out Blattner Road behind Starr Automotive. I will assume that Google maps is wrong, but it is funny that while looking for a vineyard you stumble on marijuana. The "Aha!" moment of this exploratory venture was the listing on the website of the Vineyard Management as being Vineyard Logistics, the pseudonym for Timothy Mullins and his Balo Vineyards. Mullins, you might recall, built a Class K, non-commercial horse barn on Anderson Valley Way and immediately turned it into Vineyard Logistics in violation of at least two provisions of County Code. Mullins, aka Balo, aka Vineyard Logistics, also owns the old Live Oak Building in downtown Boonville, has been regularly pumping water out of nearly dry Indian Creek to lubricate his enterprises. I sometimes think there are those who do things for no other reason than to thumb their noses at people like me.
KIRA BRENNAN, an Anderson Valley person, writes from Greece:
"The refugees: It's been beyond belief. I was in shock when I got here. It has gotten worse and worse since. We can watch them come from Turkey on big rafts meant for max 12 with up to 60 people on them. They do not know how to drive a boat with an engine. Most do not know how to swim. Often the Engines stop as they are crossing. I believe the distance is 9 kilometers. Sometimes the boats do not make it. Fishing boats help out. Sometimes the coast guard. Mostly it is the children who do not make it.
The volunteers from mostly N. European countries are here to help.
They meet the boats. Help wet people from the boat. They have food and water. They carry the women with small children into town in private cars. But they are not allowed to use public transport so they walk about 75 kms to Mytilini where they are processed and then on to Athens. It's all a heartbreaking disaster. Yesterday 31 boats arrived. Everyday more and more. Where are all of these people going to go? When they get to Molyvos, no public restrooms etc. There is a militant, outspoken group of people here who would not allow any help for the refugees in this town. They cannot stay at hotels even though they have money. But by and large the poor greek people, are incredibly kind and tolerant. There are a lot of foreigners who live here, which is good.
I spend part of each day helping.
I meet the boats and help out. Many of the Syrians are very well educated, have resources and have lost everything. There are also many Afghanis and Iraqis. Basically, everyone who can pay the Turkish mafia $1200 in passage (ferry is $5) are coming. It's wild.
Mostly, I pick up trash. Hundreds and hundreds walking and in the streets. Means a lot of trash. So this is what I do. It's very little. But it helps. TO BE CLEAR, WHEN PEOPLE GET HERE, THEY ARE VERY HAPPY AND RELIEVED. They all have phones and are taking pictures furiously. It is absolutely bizarre. It's all surreal. I ride my bike to Yoga against the flow of refugees who have lost their lives and are hoping for a better one. They wave and say HELLO! and I wave and say "HELLO HOW ARE YOU??? They laugh, smile and wave. Their chances of a better life will be very minimal. They go from euphoria to being here and free, to the nightmare of processing, and the probable nightmare of refugee camps.
It is both heartbreaking and also incredible, the surge of people connected through helping. There is instant community of people who are giving their lives to this effort, and it is amazing.
This is my first experience with this and it has been quite an eye opener.
The world is changing. I think we will all be in some form of this, needing to share the resources more. Needing to help each other more.
I do want to say I think the Greek people are just fantastic. In spite of all of their difficulties, they are just wonderful people. Beyond friendly. It is a very special place. And very very beautiful. — Kira
ON SATURDAY, September 12, 2015 at approximately 12:05 AM a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic enforcement stop on a speeding vehicle traveling southbound on Highway 101 near the intersection of Perkins Street in Ukiah. When the Deputy contacted the occupants, Johnathan Russaw (driver), 41, of San Bernadino [sic] and Eddie Figueroa (passenger), 30, of San Bernadino [sic], the Deputy detected the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle was conducted and approximately 8 pounds of processed marijuana was located inside the vehicle. Additionally, approximately $10,000 in US currency was located. Russaw and Figueroa were arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail for transportation of marijuana, possession for sale-marijuana and conspiracy, and were to be separately held in lieu of $30,000 bail each.
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 14, 2015
ALISSA COLBERG, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation, resisting.
TIMOTHY DAWE, Mendocino. Drunk in public.
CODY DONAHOO, Fort Bragg. Forgery, conspiracy.
JEFFREY FORD JR., Ukiah. DUI, suspended license, override of ignition device, evasion, probation revocation.
CHARLES GIELOW III, Willits. Community Supervision violation.
IAN HESLUP, Atlanta, Georgia/Ukiah. DUI.
NOAH LURANHATT, Willits. Parole violation, probation revocation.
ALVARO MARTINEZ-GONZALEZ, Fort Bragg. Forgery, conspiracy.
HANS MCCULLOUGH, Willits. Pot possession for sale, failure to appear.
LONNIE PIERCE, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
GERALD STONE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
A vast majority of Americans despise the bankster bailout, they are sick of the endless Wars, and many from the right and the left are also against the endless spying of the Deep National Security State. So I would not be so quick to write off Bernie Sanders who has stood by his principles and actually led good honest government for decades. The desire for more equity was shown in the last midterm elections when even as many Republican troglodytes got elected against Weimar Democrats, voters approved increases to the minimum wage in the reddest States. Although Tsipras ultimately betrayed the anti-Austerity promises of his supporters, Syriza has had a meteoric rise to at least the pretense of power from nowhere. Like Podemos in Spain, Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labor Party just last week, and the toppling of Abbot in Australia. The winds of change are here and blowing everywhere against the neoliberal/conservative attempt to seize the whole world for plutocrat’s profits. And the winds of change are blowing in other ways that should be saluted if seldom mentioned by the Corporate Media. Last week the Dutch announced that while their electrified Rail system is already 50% powered by renewable electricity rather than fossil fuels, key wind and other projects are in the works to provide 100% renewable energy for their whole extensive Rail system!
Of interest is that already due to their use of Rail, bicycles and walking, Dutch transportation only generates 20% of their greenhouse emissions versus 35% for the Auto addicted USA and 47% for Gov Christie’s New Jersey after wrecking our transit. And even Republican cities are finally turning to Green Transit and building LightRail and attempting to move towards walkable communities.
Of course the endless Wars continue but the people are hardly enamored of them. Change is coming.
THE POPE IS A JESUIT
In his recent article "Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone" Jeffery St. Clair confused the religious order to which Pope Francis belongs. Francis is a Jesuit (SJ) not a Franciscan (OFM). Although the Pope chose "Francisco" for his Papal name as he has long admired Francis of Assisi for his devotion to the poor, he entered the Jesuit community in Argentina, becoming eventually a Jesuit Superior.
There was a Catholic joke cruising around some time ago about the Superiors of the various religious communities of men seated around a large table in the Vatican and arguing which one had contributed more to the Church and the World. They prayed and suddenly a paper came floating down through the ceiling with the words “Each one of the religious communities of men have contributed significantly to the betterment of society.” Signed: God, S.J.
THE PARTIES CRAWL OFF TO DIE
by James Kunstler
I’ve alluded to being a registered Democrat now and again, a disclosure that makes some readers go feral with wrath. For years I could only justify it as formal opposition to the cretinous brand of Republicanism that washed over the country like a septic wave with the reign of that sainted pompadour-in-search-of-a-brain, Ronald Reagan, whose “morning in America” bromide was among the biggest whoppers of my lifetime. With Reagan, we got the officially-sanctioned marriage of right wing politics and the most moronic strains of Southland evangelical religiosity. (Ronnie stated more than once his belief that Biblical “end times” were close at hand, which should have raised the question of his actual concern for the nation’s future — did he think it had one? — but nobody ever asked him about it.) George H. W. Bush expressed a similar view, perhaps merely pandering to the dolts of Dixie.
So, who in his right mind could have subscribed to that load of bullshit?
Meanwhile, the youthful and magnetic Clintons came on in 1992. They put on a good show of national stewardship in the early going. Bill could speak English fluently, unlike his two predecessors. Hillary’s committee to tackle health care reform came to grief, but the effort at least implied a recognition that medicine was turning into a shameless racket (now fully metastasized). Bill managed to shove through a species of welfare reform — remarkable for a Democrat — that has since deliquesced back into a swamp of disability fraud. But the Clinton turning point was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which opened the door to an orgy of financial mischief so arrant and awful, and to a plague of corruption so broad and deep, that American life is now pitching into a long emergency.
Add to that now the signal failures of Barack Obama: 1) no prosecution or attempted regulation of widespread financial misdeeds 2) no effort to counter the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to buy elections; 3) no end to dubious military operations in distant lands, and 4) healthcare “reform” that only fortified the existing rackets — take all that together and you can only recoil from whatever it means to be a Democrat.
And now the return of Hillary, gliding above the election arena like Rodan the Flying Reptile — caw! caw! Get me outa here! It’s not just her, of course. It’s the whole disgusting circus parade of identity politics, and PC witch-hunting, and trans-sex drum-beating, and girl-lugging-a-mattress-around-campus idiocy, and blame-it-all-on-Whitey whinging, and drone-strike-du-jour warfare, and out-of-control NSA surveillance monkey business, plus throw in the outrageous scams of “civil forfeiture” under a president who was supposedly a professor of constitutional law — the list of Democratic-sponsored absurdities and turpitudes gives me the vapors.
The New York Times ran a front-page story Sunday saying that the Republican nomination-chasers were sounding too ominous, too dark, about the state of the nation, at least for the purpose of getting elected. As if the Times has an interest in them succeeding. I guess they were “just sayin’.” For my money, you can’t paint a dark enough picture to fully capture the decadence and depravity in the current zeitgeist. This, after all, is the basic appeal of Trump — though a panoramic shot of his supporters in one of those stadium love-fests suggests that their very demeanor is a big part of the problem: crowds of overfed tattooed clowns in nursery togs clamoring for a return to 1956. Good luck with that.
More than once I’ve referred to the earlier period in US history, the 1850s, when the political compass points shook loose and parties died. The Whigs disappeared altogether (and fast!) and the Democrats became a rump party of southern slavers. Well, the two major parties of our time are now perfectly poised to enter the Temple Grandin cattle chute of death. But history doesn’t repeat, of course, it only rhymes, and this time there are no other political parties standing by to take their place, no credible institutions, certainly no one like Lincoln. There are only Bernie Sanders and the execrable Trump.
Sanders functions nicely as a foil to the flying reptile. But the self-labeled socialist has a big problem. The public may be simmering with grievance, but my guess is that they are not especially hot for more redistribution of the national wealth — that is, whatever little remains in the hands of a sore beset former middle class. The absence of any other reputible figure on the Democratic “bench” belies a party now more hollow than a supermarket Easter egg.
What we see gathering is a political storm as perfect as the typhoon that has formed in banking. Surely the financial storm will strike first and it will leave the public stupefied with loss. I would not even bet against the possibility of the 2016 selection being canceled in some manner. Imagine, for instance, what the Pentagon brass thinks of Trump. And what they are planning for him. Just sayin’.
I’M VERY SORRY Joe Biden’s son died recently. I truly am. I know it’s a deep, genuine pain, “overwhelming,” as he told Stephen Colbert, and he will carry it the rest of his life. But when I see all our earnest media progressives gushing over Joe’s “authenticity” in sharing that pain on national TV, I also think of the hundreds of thousands of people who lost children and other kith and kin in a pointless war that Joe not only voted for, but also actively encouraged with heated Senate hearings that whipped up war fever. (Chris Floyd)
HAND MADE: CRAFT WEEK CELEBRATES THE ART OF CRAFT THROUGHOUT COUNTY
by Roberta Werdinger
Mendocino County Celebrates American Craft Week will take place the first two weekends of October 2015 (Oct. 2-4, and Oct. 11-12), with a plethora of shows, demonstrations, talks, tours and tastings. Thirty-one venues throughout the county will host a spectacular array of works including jewelry, ceramics, woodworking, metal work, block prints, baskets, glassworks and more. Shows and events will take place in galleries, studios, wineries, inns, museums and specialty shops. The first weekend of American Craft Week, Oct. 2-4, focuses on events in Fort Bragg, Ukiah, Point Arena, Gualala and Willits. This includes a Sidewalk Print Event on Oct. 2nd at Noyo Printworks in Fort Bragg from noon to 7pm; hands-on kids craft activities at Edgewater Gallery in Fort Bragg; an exhibit of fiber artists at the Ukiah Library; an exhibit titled "Mendocino Quilt Artists: A Fiber Perspective" at Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah; ceramic and woodworking artists at Ukiah's Corner Gallery and Art Center; and a variety of work by fiber, wood, and jewelry craftspeople at Willits Art Center and North Street Collective in Willits.
Fort Bragg and Ukiah will both be hosting First Friday openings from 5 to 8 pm for the shows that open in those towns. The second weekend, Oct. 10-11, features events in Mendocino and Anderson Valley. In Philo, The Pot Shop will host a food and pottery pairing on Oct. 10^th from 1 to 3 pm while Schenk's Barn Studio will exhibit work and demonstrate metalsmithing and printmaking. In Mendocino, Highlight Gallery will sponsor a day of artist talks and demonstrations. Demonstrations will also take place at Mendocino Jewelry Studio. At Oddfellows Hall, two groups join together to show works ranging from glass sculpture to quilt painting to wood carved as furniture and as creative object. Several Mendocino venues will host opening receptions on Oct. 10th from 5 to 8 pm. Anderson Valley events take place 10 to 5 daily.
For a full schedule and a printable brochure, go to
ACTIVISTS CALL FOR FRACKING BAN AS AMENDED SENATE BILL 350 PASSES
by Dan Bacher
On September 11, the California Legislature approved an amended version of Senate Bill 350, a measure that legislative leaders and Governor Jerry Brown touted as “landmark climate legislation.”
In response, anti-fracking activists pointed out the contradiction between Brown's strong support of extreme oil extraction methods and his constant grandstanding about "clean energy" - and called on Brown to use his executive power to ban the environmentally destructive practice of fracking in California.
Under intense political pressure from the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and the oil companies, Governor Brown and legislative leaders agreed on Wednesday, September 9, to remove a provision to reduce demand for petroleum use in vehicles by 50 percent by 2030.
The Assembly passed the bill by a vote of 51 to 26. The amended bill, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act, still provides for a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency in buildings and a goal of 50 percent of state utilities’ power coming from renewable energy, all by 2030.
Catherine Reheis Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association and former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create “marine protected areas” in Southern California, and other oil industry representatives celebrated the removal of this key provision of the bill. "WSPA and its member companies remain committed to working with Governor Jerry Brown and legislators on climate change and energy policy," Reheis-Boyd said Wednesday. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/09/11/18777466.php)
Legislative leaders praised the amended bill as the “nation’s most far reaching climate change legislation,” in spite of the removal of the provision calling for a 50 percent reduction in petroleum demand in cars and trucks.
“These new steps build on California’s historic commitment to lead the world in the fight against climate change and build a healthy and livable planet for our children and grandchildren,” said Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), who presented the amended SB 350 on the Assembly floor Friday night, said, “This is, make no doubt about it, landmark legislation for California. We will continue to lead the way.”
Brown calls for “taking carbon out of modern economy,” but backs fracking
In a statement, Governor Jerry Brown claimed, “Taking carbon out of the modern economy requires heroic efforts and tireless struggle. SB 350, in both efficiency and renewable energy, ratchets up the California commitment. We have the technological means and now we have the legal mandate to reduce carbon pollution.”
However, anti-fracking groups pointed out the dichotomy between Brown’s campaign to take “carbon out of the modern economy” and his steadfast support of fracking. They urged Brown to use his “significant executive powers” to rein in the oil industry following the Assembly’s vote on the altered version of SB350 that excludes a provision to reduce petroleum usage in the state.
They also pointed out that while the majority of scientific studies, including a multi-volume study from the California Council on Science and Technology, point to risks to public health, air quality, water and wildlife associated with oil development, “California continues to supply the world with crude oil.”
"While Governor Brown recently lost a legislative battle to reduce oil consumption by 2030, he should now focus his attention on what he can do before he leaves office in 2018,“ said Adam Scow, California Director for Food & Water Watch, in a statement on behalf of Californians Against Fracking. “He can begin by using his executive authority to reduce both oil consumption and production by issuing a ban on all fracking techniques, especially methods that use vast amounts of water, chemicals, and steam at high pressure.”
Unfortunately, fracking is just one of the many environmentally destructive policies of the Brown administration. Governor Brown has relentlessly pushed the salmon-killing Delta Tunnels under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California Water Fix; has promoted water policies that have driven salmon, steelhead, Delta smelt and other fish to the edge of extinction; presided over record water exports out of the Delta in 2011; backs the clearcutting of forests in the Sierra Nevada; and is a strong supporter of neo-liberal carbon trading policies that routinely promote environmentally ineffective and socially unjust projects across the globe.
For a complete discussion of Brown’s tainted environmental policies, go to http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/30452-the-extinction-governor-rips-the-green-mask-off-his-tunnels-plan
Senate Bill 350 is not the only bill that the oil industry waged a successful campaign against. Intensive lobbying by the oil industry resulted in the tabling until next year of Senate Bill 788, legislation to protect a State Marine Reserve created under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative from new oil drilling, and SB 248, a bill to keep toxic oil and gas and fracking wastewater out of drinking water.
In addition, Senate Bill 32, a measure that bill author Senator Fran Pavley said "aimed at bolstering California’s efforts to combat climate pollution well into the 21st Century," will become a two-year bill taken up again when lawmakers return to the Capitol early next year. (http://sd27.senate.ca.gov/news/2015-09-10-senator-fran-pavley-statement-senate-bill-32)
Background: Big Oil Money and Power in CA
Big Oil, the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento, 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 - and used every bit of its power to gut SB 350.
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. (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2015/07/29/californias-biggest-secret-oil-industry-capture-of-the-regulatory-apparatus)
Last year the Western States Petroleum Association spent a record $8.9 million on lobbying, double what it spent in the previous year. In the first six months of 2015, the oil industry spent $6.2 million to lobby state officials, including $2,529,240 spent by the Western States Petroleum Association alone. (http://cal-access.sos.ca.gov/Lobbying/Employers/Detail.aspx?id=1147195&view=activity&session=2015)
The gutting of SB 350 and the defeat of other bills opposed by the oil industry and Governor Jerry Brown's support of the expansion of fracking in California show how Big Oil, along with agribusiness, the timber industry, developers and other corporate interests, has captured the regulatory apparatus in the state.
A SHELEBRATION! Celebrating Shel Silverstein’s Birthday And all of his creations! Come join the Library on Friday, September 25th, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. There will be lots of Fun and Feasting on poems, songs, films and stories by Shel. There will also be a little snake cake too!
CRAIG'S PUB CRAWL
I'm Doing the Best that I Can! My warmest spiritual greetings, Please know that I am dealing with the fact that I have unlimited unscheduled time, some money, and generally do not have a whole lot to do at the moment in Washington D.C. The fast at the FERC goes on, and I drop by daily in solidarity, but there isn't a whole lot for me to be doing, and the fasters already have plenty of water. I drop by the peace vigil in front of the White House and check-in with Concepcion, who has been there vigiling since 1981, and get her cold water as needed. And that's it, aside from networking to find others who would be interested in going to the UN sponsored climate conference in Paris November 30th to December 11th. In response to my situation, I went pub crawling Saturday night, beginning at Kramer Books which has a small bar & restaurant, and then on to the Irish pub Fado for sports and beer, and then on to Kelly's near Union Station for Irish whiskey, and then next door to Dubliners for Irish music, Fish 'n Chips, and one last round, plus tobacco smoking. And then I returned to my travelers hostel. The hangover lasted a day and a half. And then I had to change travelers hostels again, because my time was up at the one, and am now booked into DC Lofty at 11th & P Street NW for a week, with an option to extend there for one more week. I discussed my present earthly situation with the fasters at the FERC, saying that I seriously would like to be able to offer more, but am uncertain what I can do, given the relatively pacifist nature of the current Beyond Extreme Energy sponsored protest. I said to Ted of Chesapeake Climate Action that I need to be consistently contributing in terms of social/environmental justice, (in lieu of my eventually booking out of this world and going to be with the Seraphim in heaven). It has always been obvious to me that I am a misfit on earth, which is just fine. Hallelujah!!
Peace and Love, Craig Louis Stehr
September 14, 2015, 2:15 P.M. ET