- Warrior Loss
- Peachland Gunfire
- Spring Flow
- Lydia Edison
- G4S Connection
- 101 Tragedy
- McCowen Explanation
- Homeless Housing
- MCERA Sausage
- Pot Limits
- Yesterday's Catch
- Detroit Rebound
- Bern Betrayal
- Holy War
- Library Events
- Frack Ban
- Dustbowl Revival
THE DRAYMONDLESS GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS lost game 5 of the NBA championship series 112-97 Monday night leaving them with a 3-2 lead and going back to Cleveland on Thursday for game 6 where the Cavs have a good chance to even the series and bring it back to Oakland on Sunday for a high-drama final game on Sunday. The Cavs’ all-stars, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, got a record-setting 41 points each to jog to the win as the Warriors 3-point shooting was below par and the defense without Draymond Green seemed unable to slow down the Cavs stars. Warriors starting center Andrew Bogut suffered a serious knee injury in the third quarter and may be out for the rest of the series. It’s going to be closer than anybody expected.
GUN BATTLE ON PEACHLAND. Last Wednesday, a little after midnight, shots were heard in deep Peachland outside of Boonville. Soon after, a couple returning to their home was startled by the sudden appearance of "two unidentified white males" who explained that they'd been robbed during a marijuana transaction. Other persons glimpsed furtively moving about Peachland that night were described as "cartel Mexicans."
THE PAIR of white men said they'd valiantly fought back against their assailants by shooting out the bandit's tires and then chasing him or them on foot. The two men reporting what turned out to be an inexplicable and almost certainly fanciful version of events then disappeared into the night.
TO SUMMARIZE first reports: Upper Peachland is the site of large-scale grows conducted by people with no other association to the Anderson Valley, although one or more otherwise vacant properties are owned by locals who may be in the pot business on a shares basis.
A GUN FIGHT broke out in or around one of these sites late last Wednesday night. The shooting involved an unknown number of persons, some of whom made their way on to uninvolved properties lower down the hill. They included the two unidentified white men subsequently reported to police.
AS MATTERS developed, a rather infamous blue Jeep was found on Peachland Road approximately seven miles east of Highway 128. It had been shot to death, with all four tires flattened and a final shot administered to its engine block.
THE NEXT DAY, resident deputy Craig Walker, as diligent as he is tireless, examined the dead Jeep. In it he found a receipt from the drive-thru window of the Ukiah Burger King time-stamped 4pm. And since the Jeep had already been linked to a named individual spotted on upper Peachland, Walker soon knew who he was looking for to explain the gunplay earlier in the week.
THE JEEP is well-known to local law enforcement, and known to be driven by a man even more well-known to law enforcement than his distinctive vehicle, which is owned by his love interest, Miss Alexandra Long.
DEPUTY WALKER was soon on the trail of Miss Long's boy friend, Trevor Jackson, who fit the description of one of two men who were driving around the same neighborhood of the gunfire this past Saturday, a mere three days after the mysterious gun battle. His Jeep being dead, Jackson was now driving a white Ford pick-up pulling an empty U-Haul trailer.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON, a local had alerted Deputy Walker that a strange white pick-up was cruising Upper Peachland. Deputy Walker waited at the foot of Peachland Road for the pick-up to emerge from the hills. The deputy followed it to the Redwood Drive-In, noting that the white pick-up (of course) did not have a front license plate. Deputy Walker pulled the truck over and, with the formidable deputy Massey still twenty minutes out from Boonville where he'd function as back-up, Walker slapped the cuffs on Jackson and his companion, a man with a lengthy criminal history named Lewis Dishman, and began questioning the pair.
JACKSON AND DISHMAN said they had indeed been in Deep Peachland last Wednesday to install an irrigation system on an unnamed grow. They said their Jeep had gotten a flat tire, forcing them to walk from out of the hills some seven miles. They denied any knowledge of gunfire or any confrontation with anyone. They told Deputy Walker they'd returned with a trailer simply to retrieve their dead Jeep. They said they were sorry to learn their Jeep was dead.
DEPUTY WALKER couldn't help but see that Jackson and Dishman were tweeked to pulse-rate max, a visible fact they both readily conceded. Jackson had $3934.39 in cash in one of his pockets. He said the money was payment for his irrigation work in the Peachland. Were Jackson and Dishman the two men who appeared on the uninvolved Peachland property soon after Wednesday night's gunfire? Odds are…
JUST IN. The spring on Mountain View Road is again flowing with its traditional vigor. A month ago it was down to a trickle. Yesterday, it was magnifico! Speculation is last week's minor earthquake near Philo shook the earth just enough to free it up.
LYDIA EDISON has died. Bill and Lydia Edison lived part-time for many years on the Elk end of Greenwood Road. They arrived in the early 70’s, built a uniquely designed house about three miles out on Greenwood from Elk. A neighbor remembers Lydia this way: "Lovely lady. She was an avid reader and conservationist. Quiet and kind. Old money liberals, but they stayed out of the lives of others and kept their political opinions to themselves. Bill has always been a big Elk supporter and founded the annual “Pepper Martin” baseball game in Elk. I think Bill’s family was originally from Saint Louis. Not exactly sure, but the family business may have been founded on shoe manufacturing. They have a summer home in Martha’s Vineyard. She was a truly nice person."
THERE'S ALWAYS A LOCAL ANGLE: Omar Mateen, the shooter responsible for the Orlando massacre, was an employee of the Security giant G4S. The local connection is that G4S is another iteration of Falck Ambulance Services, the mega Danish outfit that has invaded Mendocino County and is threatening to disrupt the long established EMS services available here. Could be a "so what" coincidence but it is interesting. (— David Severn)
SEVERN ADDS: I did a lousy skimpy note on Falck and G4S. It's a bigger story. Bloomberg is reporting that G4S is under investigation because of their connection with Omar. The depth of their involvement with US government security spans Guantanamo, the Pentagon, Nevada test site, etc.
TRAGIC CRASH And Dramatic Rescue Attempt Off Highway 101 Near Frog Woman Rock Leaves 6-Year Old Daughter Dead And Mother Seriously Injured.
SUPERVISOR McCOWEN RESPONDS to yesterday's items about his resignation from various committees after the disbanding of the marijuana ad hoc committee:
"Contrary to your initial report, I have not resigned from everything but my Board seat, but only from the Board of Supervisors standing and ad hoc committees. The Health and Human Services Standing Committee is currently reviewing mental health related contracts with a goal of having them all easily accessible online so that anyone may review them at their leisure. The Criminal Justice Committee has yet to meet this year and the three ad hoc committees to which I am currently appointed have not been particularly active.
I SUPPORTED DISBANDING the medical marijuana ad hoc committee (I made the motion to do so) for the simple reason that the committee, appointed last November, had completed its work. The committee reported back in December, as scheduled, and recommended adoption of an updated cultivation ordinance and submitted a timeline for doing so. The timeline anticipated adoption of an updated ordinance this spring. The ad hoc reported back with a long list of recommendations and supporting information on March 15. The Board gave direction at that time on some issues, but not others. The ad hoc reported again on April 18, seeking Board direction on those issues that were still unresolved, but the Board remained non-commital on a number of key issues.
ALSO ON APRIL 18, the ad hoc reported that development of an amended cultivation ordinance would be delayed several months due to the need for environmental review and concurrent adoption of an ordinance amending the zoning code, an action that also requires Planning Commission review. I will take my share of responsibility for thinking an amended cultivation ordinance with enhanced environmental protections could be adopted by introducing it at one meeting of the Board of Supervisors and approving it at the next, but a number of individuals in Planning & Building and County Counsel could have said that was unrealistic when the Board adopted a timeline back in December.
ON MAY 16TH, at the urging of staff, the ad hoc again sought Board direction, this time successfully, on several remaining issues so that staff could complete an amended draft ordinance for final Board review before sending it to the Planning Commission. At this point, in my opinion, the work of the ad hoc committee was complete. But as often proves to be the case in human events, opinions vary.
THE WORK OF THE AD HOC committee was challenging, partly because various stakeholders, especially marijuana advocates, were actively lobbying all members of the Board of Supervisors, as well as County staff that were working on the issue. The ad hoc was under a lot of pressure from the marijuana advocates to be as permissive as possible. I believe I speak for my colleague on the ad hoc [Supervisor Tom Woodhouse] when I say our intent was to balance the interests of the growers with the interests of the general community and the environment. Overall, I believe we succeeded. The Board did agree with most of our recommendations and revised a few of them in line with their own concerns and those of their constituents.
I DISAGREE WITH, but respect, the decision of the Board on June 8 to refer the issue to the General Government Standing Committee. In fact, later that same day, at my suggestion, the Board referred the possible development of a local marijuana tax to the same committee. What I do not respect is the direction that appears to have been given by the Executive Office for various staff, including an appointed department head, to act as if the ad hoc committee had been disbanded prior to that decision having being made by the Board of Supervisors."
PS FROM McCOWEN: "Just a few minor corrections and clarifications: There is no pending State deadline for the County to adopt an ordinance. Local cultivators will need a permit from the County in order to get a State license, but State licenses will not be available until 2018. The number 58 refers to the number of growers who registered with the Ag Commissioner indicating a willingness to apply for permits once permits are available. Enthusiasm for registration fell after it was announced on April 18 that the amended cultivation ordinance would probably not be in place this year. Meanwhile, permit applications are being accepted for the urgency ordinance that was adopted by the Board on May 17th. I don't know the current number of applications but it is probably approaching the number of registrations. No one expected all the growers to rush forward and apply for permits at the first opportunity. But State law will require everyone to have both a local permit and a State license by 2018 unless they qualify for limited exemptions for patients and caregivers.
“YOU ARE CORRECT that Administrative Analyst Sarah Dukett is the lead on this issue for the Executive Office, but Ag Commissioner Chuck Morse, per Board direction on March 15, is the lead author for the updated ordinance, in collaboration with County Counsel and other relevant County departments. A complete draft of an amended ordinance has not been presented to the Board, but will be presented to the General Government Standing Committee on June 20th at which point it will be a public document. Following review by the General Government Standing Committee, I believe the plan is for the draft ordinance to be presented to the Board of Supervisors. It will then be subject to the environmental review process and consideration by the Planning Commission prior to returning to the Board for possible approval. The entire process is expected to take approximately six months from now to final adoption."
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MCCOWEN DOESN’T SAY SO DIRECTLY, but the obvious conclusion is that his resignation(s) was/were triggered by orders from the County Executive Office to bypass his committee, a committee of the Board of Supervisors. But the Executive office is an “office,” not a person. Assuming McCowen is correct, who gave the order? Only CEO Carmel Angelo can direct a department head (like the Ag Commissioner). But which department head? County Counsel? Planning and Building? The Ag Commissioner? All of the above?
WE HAVE LONG thought that CEO Angelo wields too much power and frequently wields it in a heavy handed way if anyone dares to cross her. Maybe McCowen was trying to send a signal that his colleagues might pick up. Obviously, it hasn’t worked. So far.
PERMANENT HOUSING FOR MENTALLY ILL HOMELESS
To the Fort Bragg City Council,
We are shocked but not surprised that the City would consider taking grant monies for a facility in town, to house the 'mentally ill homeless.' City government has maintained a policy of taking millions in grant funding for helping the homeless, without bothering to hire a grant monitor to ensure that the grant requirements are being fulfilled.
Hopes of Fort Bragg becoming a vibrant tourist destination for a healthier economy are tarnished by homeless services that seem to help only a few, while endless handouts and lenient law enforcement attract more and more transients. FBPD admitted that 75% of complaint calls are now for violations by transients, many of whom are mentally ill. We support Sheriff Allman's efforts to establish a secure facility to house the mentally ill where it belongs, in Ukiah, the county seat.
Any facility for the permanent housing of mentally ill homeless belongs in Ukiah, not our small town, where there is already a problem of too many transients, and we are experiencing a noticeable decline in Quality of Life here, with an increase in crimes, including murders, rape, and home invasions and burglaries by transients. Public health and safety, as well small businesses and property values are being undermined. Tourists will be discouraged from visiting a place overrun by transients, most of whom seem to have no interest in anything but handouts.
Obviously there is a great need for more low income housing for the working folks struggling to get by.
Grants and programs to benefit local people, young and old and in between, should be top priority, NOT maintaining "permanent housing" for clients who are homeless and mentally ill.
We urge the City Council to put the needs of the tax paying public first, and forego such a facility.
Alice and Douglas Chouteau
AN INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR COUNTY FUNDS
To my Mendocino County Farm Bureau friends - Anybody interested in how the retirement board sausage is made has one of the best opportunities to see a few of the moving pieces this coming Wednesday, 8:30, at the MCERA building at 625-B King's Court. Three items will be of interest. Our investment manager, Callan Assoc., is going to look at our rate of return expectations and also our funding progress. The MCERA budget is also on the agenda.
Callan says we should expect a gross rate of return of about 6.6% over the next 10 years. They have been saying this for about 3 years now. If you subtract our investment expenses and the administrative expenses, you should take about .6% off this number, leaving a net of about 6%. Our Target Rate is 7.25%. This means our contributions, contribution rates and unfunded liability are all being shown as too low. It also means the county will have to pick up the complete deficiency for both the county and the employees contributions due to the low ball numbers. Last year (FY ending 2015), with all the contributions included, we added less than 1/2 of one percent to our assets. Year to date, 10 months thru April, we have lost about 4% of our assets after you include all the contributions that have gone into the plan.
Right now the county alone is paying about 46 cents on every payroll dollar when you include the unfunded liability payments (UAAL and Pension Obligation Bonds (POB)). This approximately 46 cents per dollar of payroll does not include social security, the 401K type match for management types or any other benefits, those are all in addition to the county pension expense noted here. An interesting side note is the annual cost for picking up the mistakes of the past is about $20.3M ($12.3M for UAAL and $8M for POBs) for the unfunded liability of the plan. This does not include the normal cost we also have to pay for the pension. Framed in another way, the annual cost, ongoing, for the past underfunding is about the same as the one time cost of Sheriff Allman's Mental Health building proposal as I understand it. We not only pay this each and every year, the UAAL portion is scheduled to increase, doubling in about 18 years, even if there are not any more mistakes (historically we have always had big mistakes that add to the UAAL). This is why the MCERA sausage is important to pay attention to.
Callan is also modeling our expected funding progress. This is important as it is somewhat independent from the actuaries that usually do this and provides a checks and balance of sorts. The upshot is we are not going to show any great improvement anytime soon, we are going to continue to have to take about a half of our expected rate of return, above and beyond all plan contributions, just to make benefit and administration expense payroll. Yes, that is correct, even with the about 46% employer side and about 10% employee side, not a single new dollar ever makes it into the plan. We have to use about 1/2 of our expected return just to make benefit payroll. I believe Callan made two mistakes in their modeling, over stating the progress, which I will be bringing up in the meeting (not subtracting out investment/administration expense and not accounting for the difference in normal inflation in our rates of return and the rate we use on our COLA, which is the Bay Area CPI-U rate (which is enough higher every time we have reviewed changing it to a western state CPI number the bawling has sounded like the separation of calves from a heard of mother cows!)).
The last item will be our budget for FY2016/2017. I have joked that the only thing that grows faster than our unfunded liability is our internal spending (It really isn't anything to joke about, but makes me feel better to get a laugh after banging my head up against the proverbial MCERA rock wall). Compared to the projected spending level this year, MCERA proposes to increase administration spending about 14% and overall spending about 38%. Since we are in such a unfunded position, 100% of these costs will be absorbed by the county via the UAAL and paid off over the next 18 years at 7.25% interest. I will repeat that as it is an important fact. Since we are so underfunded (about 70%) and since not a single EE or ER contribution ever makes it to the plan (as stated above we must sell plan assets to make benefit payroll), every new dollar we spend MUST be borrowed and paid off exclusively by the county over the next 18 years at 7.25%. Every new dollar spent and every mistake is a dollar that will be borrowed from the county and impact the county budgets in the future; employees will not pay a penny of these increased costs or for any mistakes (the moral hazard).
I have been on this board for 6 budget cycles now. I also serve and have served on several private corporate and charity boards. I came on this board thinking in the distressed county atmosphere I could help by bringing the discipline of the private sector to this board. The reality is I have not taught the MCERA board anything as the vested interest structure encourages "same old, same old". This experience has educated me on the largesse of a moral hazard spending other people's money.
In AG there seems to be a huge push for everything to be "sustainable". This part of our county certainly doesn't seem to be very sustainable. It does not take much extrapolation to see that this plan isn't sustainable the way it has been run and is continuing to be run. This is scary for the taxpayers, it is scary for the users of county services and it is scary for the beneficiaries of the plan.
Hope you can come and witness the decisions this Wednesday. It really seems to make a difference if it appears the citizens are watching.
GROUP SEEKS TO CURTAIL POT GROW LIMITS IN MENDOCINO
Blacktail Association sues for injunction against increased yields as means to protect deer herds
by Glenda Anderson
A group of conservationists and hunters is suing Mendocino County, saying it violated state environmental laws when it increased limits on the cultivation of medical marijuana without studying the impacts of the decision.
The Mendocino County Blacktail Association — dedicated to maintaining healthy herds of Columbian black-tailed deer, in part for hunting — is seeking an injunction against the urgency ordinance and demanding the county complete an environmental impact study. The ordinance allows people to grow up to 99 plants on a 10-acre parcel with a permit from the Sheriff’s Office. The limit without a permit is 25 plants per parcel, the earlier maximum.
“The impacts from this rapidly growing industry must be analyzed fairly, just as logging, roads, agriculture and housing must do,” said Paul Trouette, the group’s president.
Trouette also operates a private company — Lear Asset Management — that cleans up illegal marijuana gardens. As such, he’s seen first-hand the environmental degradation some outlaw pot growers cause, including poisoned wildlife, illegally diverted and contaminated streams, tree cutting and erosion from illegal grading. Deer are among the victims of the industry, the lawsuit notes.
Those are the same problems county officials say they were trying to avoid when they approved the regulations on an interim basis last month. The county adopted interim rules because a permanent ordinance had been delayed by the admitted need for an environmental impact report.
The lawsuit alleges the county illegally attempted to skirt regulations. It claims the county “prejudicially abused its discretion by finding the project qualified for exemption” from the California Environmental Quality Act.
Supervisor John McCowen declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said the intention behind the urgency ordinance was to protect the environment in light of pending state regulations that will create a framework for the cultivation and taxation of commercial medical marijuana. The impending regulations already are attracting new marijuana growers to Mendocino County, he said.
“The urgency ordinance allows existing cultivators to grow more marijuana subject to inspection by the sheriff and compliance with a long list of conditions,” he said. “Without the urgency ordinance we will see even more marijuana cultivation overall but with no inspections or regulation.”
Hezekiah Allen, director of the California Growers Association, agrees more growers are likely to come out of the shadows if they are allowed to cultivate additional plants in the open.
“By expanding the scope of what’s permissible, it will bring more growers into the regulatory system,” Allen said.
Mendocino County isn’t alone in facing obstacles as it attempts to create a local permitting process to comply with the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, adopted by the state Legislature last year. The act, expected to be implemented in early 2018, creates a statewide regulatory system for medical marijuana businesses.
Humboldt County, which adopted local regulations for commercial cannabis cultivation in January, is facing a legal challenge over potential environmental impacts from marijuana growers.
Mendocino County Counsel Katharine Elliott said Friday she’s hoping the county and the plaintiffs can come to some kind of agreement rather than take the issue to court.
“I’m hoping to be able to address their concerns,” she said.
(Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 13, 2016.
VIOLET DRISKELL, Ukiah. Under influence, unlawful display of registration, probation revocation.
IAN FORMAN, Mendocino. Fighting, criminal threats.
RICARDO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.
VICTOR GONZALEZ-ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.
BRYAN HAMMON, Willits. DUI.
TREVOR JACKSON, Talmage. Controlled substance, under influence, no license, paraphernalia, parole violation.
MCGARRETT MCMANUS, Morganton, North Carolina/Willits. Fugitive from justice.
MAXIMILAINO SALVA, Sacramento/Redwood Valley. Suspended license.
TINA SZCZEPANEK, Fort Bragg. Resisting, probation revocation.
DEIRDRE VARGAS, San Francisco/Little River. DUI.
DENNISON WANT SR., Covelo. Failure to appear.
THE DESPERATE AND THE DISPARATE
by James Kunstler
As I was leaving Detroit very early Sunday morning to catch a plane, I saw the breaking story about a “shooting incident” in an Orlando nightclub, but the first reports did not detail any fatalities. Only after we landed was the shocking news of 50 dead and as many wounded revealed on the concourse TV screens.
Just in the past six months: December, 137 dead at the Paris Bataclan Theater (and two other sites); March, 35 dead at the Brussels airport; now the massacre at the Orlando Pulse Club. Before that, San Bernardino, The Madrid train bombing, the London Subway bombings… not to mention the videotaped beheadings of sundry Western journalists and other non-combatants… or the foundational outrage of 9/11. It gets more difficult for the democracies of the West to evade the recognition that a state of war exists between us and Islamic theocracy.
No one knows what to do about it, including, of course, the blowhard Trump. The perp in the Orlando slaughter, Omar Mateen, killed at the scene, was born in New York City, and many of the various European massacre perps were homegrown as well. Good luck trying to deport new wannabes like them. The mood for the moment, as in so many of these tragedies, is the awful combination of rage and impotence. In all such past atrocities, people of the Western nations under attack just sucked it up and moved on with daily life.
These recent massacres, though, have stirred up the sleeping demons of Western politics. No sentient observer can fail to notice the extremities of feeling aroused in America’s 2016 election spectacle, which have overtaken dark trends underway for years already around Europe. One can only imagine that the sentiments will only get more extreme, as may the actions that follow
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I was in Detroit last week for the annual congress of the New Urbanists, who hold their meet-up in a different city each year, more or less to keep up with developments around the country. The org was formed in 1993 to challenge the fiasco of suburban sprawl, which was defacing the national geography like some landscape-eating leprosy. The org has been most successful at changing the DNA of property development in hundreds of cities and towns: the laws and zoning codes that for decades made it illegal to build so much as a popsicle stand in America without supplying ten parking spaces. The New Urbanists are responsible in large part for the urban renaissance — not so evenly distributed around the country.
Detroit, of course, is the most extreme case of civic implosion in the USA. In 1950, it was the seventh-richest city in the world. By the turn of this century, it was left for dead and bankrupt. It’s creeping back now by small increments, which may seem like not quite enough, but is actually exactly the scale required for what is coming. The residue of the city’s skyscraper center still stands on Augustus Woodward’s disorienting semi-circular street grid. There’s a grand wish to bring it all back to life, but personally I think that giant office and apartment towers are not on the menu for The Long Emergency. Practically everyone I talked to about this issue thinks my view of the matter is nuts. But I reiterate: skyscrapers and mega-structures are already obsolete (we just don’t know it yet).
Our cities will come back as cities, just not at the scale of comic book gigantism they achieved at the height of the oil age, when Superman was leaping over The Daily Planet headquarters. And remember that most of our cities occupy very important sites, most particularly Detroit on its stretch of river between Great Lakes, on the border of Canada. It’s coming back now by small entrepreneurial gestures, hipster and hippie business start-ups, the “risk oblivious” art shock troops, a cadre of fearless homegrown architects, and some visionary urban designers. The ballparks and casinos have landed downtown, too, like UFOs from a planet of bygone utopian redevelopment fantasies, all crammed into the same sports ghetto where wild drinking and structured parking overwhelms anything like normal city life a few hours a week.
The geographically huge city offers plenty of forsaken small-to-medium buildings, some of them very beautiful and built to last for the ages, that can be bought for almost nothing. There’s an awful lot of empty space between them, and for the moment enterprising gardeners are putting it to use while time bides itself waiting to find out where fate wants to take it.
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Our website suffered a pretty severe Denial of Service (DoS) attack the past few weeks, culminating in a disabling shut-down last Monday. We don’t know who the culprits are. Readers may know that I boast of being allergic to conspiracy notions, but I can’t help thinking that some of Hillary Clinton’s wealthy friends out in Silicon Valley might have put their geeks and nerds up to the job. Another website unfriendly to the Clintons, Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism blog, suffered a very similar attack last week. We’ve made some changes to fortify this operation and hope to be back to the familiar layout this Monday, perhaps a little later than the usual 9:30 a.m. posting time. But we’ll be running on the alternative Patreon site too, just in case. Thanks for being patient about this problem.
— James Howard Kunstler
WHY SANDERNISTAS HAVE A RIGHT TO BE ANGRY
by Dan Arel
On Thursday morning, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders stood in front of reporters outside of the White House, just coming from a meeting with President Obama and pledged his support to Hillary Clinton, the party’s presumptive nominee.
Sanders said in the coming weeks he looked forward to talking to Clinton and “to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent.”
Can Sanders work with Clinton and not betray the political revolution he said he was creating?
By moving his allegiance to the very political machine he spoke out against, Sanders is aligning with a pro-military interventionist who opposes the minimum wage hike the working class needs. He is aligning with a politician who has said she won’t take up the fight ensure every American not only has healthcare but healthcare they can actually afford to use.
Sanders is resigning himself to incremental change that will continue to leave behind the most vulnerable Americans for the next four to eight years and tell his revolutionary followers that they will simply have to wait it out.
Does Sanders have another option?
Green Party candidate Jill Stein has continuously reached out to Sanders to find a way to continue the revolution together. Stein’s campaign aligns almost perfectly with the message Sanders campaigned on. While she may not have the market force to win the election, and together they would still likely fall short, they can use their momentum, their revolutionary attitude to force a real change in American politics.
By standing by the side of Clinton, Sanders is selling out his supporters who came into the Democratic Party to fight for change, not to stick around to watch the status quo tell them their demands are not important and to shut up and fall in line.
Sanders seems to think he can make the most difference by endorsing Clinton and using the clout he built up during his momentous run for president to influence the future of the Democratic Party. There is little evidence this will happen, however, seeing as how Clinton herself told MSNBC in April that she is winning because of her policies, not those of Sanders.
“I’ve got 10.4 million votes. I have 2.7 million more folks, real people, showing up to cast their vote, to express their opinion than Senator Sanders. I have a bigger lead in pledged delegates than Senator Obama when I ran against him in 2008 ever had over me. I am winning. And I’m winning because of what I stand for and what I’ve done and what I stand for,” Clinton said.
She believes the people have spoken, and by people, she means those who supported her. She will give little attention to those who did not pledge their support because she believes they do not matter. Her three-million-vote lead tells her she needs to listen to those who voted her in, and there is little reason to believe she will consider doing otherwise.
Furthermore, when asked by MSNBC if she would concede conditions to Sanders for his endorsement she said that is now how it works.
“Let’s look at what happened in 2008, because that’s the closest example. Then-Senator Obama and I ran a really hard race. It was so much closer than the race right now between me and Senator Sanders. We had pretty much the same amount of popular votes. By some measures, I have slightly more popular votes. He has slightly more pledged delegates.
“We got to the end in June and I did not put down conditions. I didn’t say, ‘you know what, if Senator Obama does x, y and z, maybe I’ll support him.' I said, ‘I am supporting Senator Obama, because no matter what our differences might be, they pale in comparison to the differences between us and the Republicans.’ That’s what I did.”
Clinton does not want to give Sanders, or his supporters a voice going forward. She has a policy platform and she believes because she won on that platform, that is what the people want.
Now, by signing on to support Clinton, and doing it without laying down any sort of ground rules, something he even said he would do when he visited The Young Turks, he is rolling over and conceding his revolution to the Democratic Party machine.
His supporters should rightfully feel betrayed.
(Dan Arel is a political writer and social activist. He is the author of Parenting Without God and the upcoming book, The Secular Activist.)
WHAT NOBODY IN AUTHORITY thinks us grown-up enough to be told is this: We had better get used to being the civilians who are under a relentless and planned assault from the pledged supporters of a wicked theocratic ideology. These people will kill themselves to attack hotels, weddings, buses, subways, cinemas, and trains. They consider Jews, Christians, Hindus, women, homosexuals, and dissident Muslims (to give only the main instances) to be divinely mandated slaughter victims. Our civil aviation is only the most psychologically frightening symbol of a plethora of potential targets.
The future murderers will generally not be from refugee camps or slums (though they are being indoctrinated every day in our prisons); they will frequently be from educated backgrounds, and they will often not be from overseas at all. They are already in our suburbs and even in our military.
We can expect to take casualties. The battle will go on for the rest of our lives. Those who plan our destruction know what they want, and they are prepared to kill and die for it. Those who don't get the point prefer to whine about "endless war," accidentally speaking the truth about something of which the attempted Christmas bombing over Michigan was only a foretaste. While we fumble with bureaucracy and euphemism, they are flying high...
— Christopher Hitchens
UKIAH LIBRARY EVENTS.
BUTTE COUNTY VOTERS PASS FRACKING BAN
by Dan Bacher
The voters in Butte County, California approved Measure E, a ban on fracking, by an overwhelming 71 percent on June 7.
Butte is the fourth California county to ban the environmentally destructive and dangerous method of oil extraction, according to a statement from Frack-Free Butte County, the campaign organized by the Citizens Action Network (CAN), in coordination with the Butte Environmental Council, in the largely rural and agricultural county. San Benito, Santa Cruz and Mendocino counties have also passed fracking bans, as have the cities of Beverly Hills and Carson,
“We are thrilled that Butte County voters decided to protect our clean water and almond and walnut farms from fracking,” said Dave Garcia, of Frack-Free Butte County. “We’re proud that we can hand down a community that’s green and pristine to our children and grandchildren.”
Measure E proponents were able to convince the voters that toxic fracking chemicals would destroy the county’s water supply and farmlands, as well as endanger the health of their citizens. The toxic chemicals used in fracking, including benzene, toluene and other carcinogens, could make groundwater unsafe for drinking and irrigation.
"We congratulate Butte County for banning fracking and protecting California’s precious water resources," said Ella Teevan, Northern California organizer with Food & Water Watch. "When our Governor and local elected officials fail to act, voters are taking the initiative at the ballot box to protect their health and their water from fracking. The victory in Butte County will inspire other counties and cities to follow suit."
The latest victory against fracking in a California county shows that grassroots activists can indeed win, in spite of the oil industry’s power and influence, when they are organized.
Big Oil is the biggest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento — and the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is the biggest and most powerful lobbying organization. The oil industry, including WSPA, Chevron, Phillips 66, AERA Energy, Exxon and Shell, have spent more than $25 million so far in the 2015-16 legislative session. Big Oil also has millions and millions of dollars to spend on election campaigns.
There was no official opposition to Measure E during the campaign, but activists believe that it is likely that the oil industry will file a lawsuit like Marathon Oil did when San Benito passed its measure ban against fracking in 2014.
On June 6, 2014, attorney Sean P. Welch of the San Rafael-based firm Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross and Leoni filed a lawsuit against the initiative proponents on behalf of an oil industry group called “Californians for a Safe Secure Energy Future.” The lawsuit claimed that the initiative petition sheets that were submitted had several fatal legal flaws that made it invalid.
“The county clerk halted the process of certifying signatures while the court case was resolved,” according to Ballotpedia. “The suit claimed that the petition did not comply with county and state elections law with regard to wording and formatting. In a preliminary ruling on July 23, 2014, Butte County Superior Court Judge Robert Glusman decided that the petitions' faults, which were admitted by the petitioners, were not significant enough to impede the initiative process.”
This measure is one of four similar initiatives passed in the state that has been contributing to the growing anti-fracking momentum currently at the forefront of the political discussion, Measure E advocates noted.
The passage of the Measure E ban on fracking comes after a similar ordinance failed to pass the Butte County Board of Supervisors in February of 2015, due to oil industry opposition. Residents were concerned that the county’s 200 abandoned gas wells were ripe for fracking since the practice is occurring in neighboring Glenn, Colusa and Sutter Counties, according to Measure E proponents.
Garcia emphasized, “The biggest victory of this campaign was the fact that it was residents of the county, not the corporations, that decided whether or not fracking would be allowed in Butte County.”
As of February 2015, there were 10 active gas wells in Butte County, with many more wells in nearby Glenn County and Tehama County. In early 2015, none of the wells had been reported as hydraulically fractured, according to Frac Focus.
There are also 17 natural gas storage wells, depleted wells that are currently used for storage, operated by Wild Goose Storage, according to Garcia. That operation is similar to the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage facility, the infamous operation responsible for the massive gas leak that forced thousands of residents of the Los Angeles County community of Porter Ranch to move out of their homes last year.
Residents of Monterey and Alameda Counties watched the Butte County measure closely with an eye to their own local campaigns, Teevan noted. Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a fracking ban sometime this summer, while Monterey County voters will tackle the issue on the ballot November 7.
DUSTBOWL REVIVAL to PLAY SECOND CONCERT OF 2016 25th Anniversary Sundays in the Park concerts
Sunday June 26th
Ukiah, CA. - On Sunday, June 26th in Todd Grove Park at 6:00pm Fowler Auto & Truck Center, The City of Ukiah, KWNE-FM and MAX 93.5 are proud to present the second concert of the 25th Anniversary Sundays in the Park concert series with the Old-Time Medicine Show Safari of Dustbowl Revival. Pride & Joy is not just a fabulous dance band, it's an unforgettable, get-up-and-boogie, high-octane happening. Bluegrass. Swing. Hot jazz. Pre-war blues. Southern soul. New Orleans funk. The Dustbowl Revival is what you could call an American roots orchestra with eight full-time members – and they play it all, mashing the sounds of traditional American music into a genre-hopping, time-bending dance party that coaxes new fire out of familiar coal. This isn't a throwback band. It's a celebration of the sounds that have kept America moving for more than a century, performed with all the flair of a medicine show and rooted in the sweat and swagger of a juke joint song swap.
"In a city like Los Angeles, home to musical stars in nearly every known genre, handing out the Best Live Band title is not easy. But the free-thinking local collective Dustbowl Revival's upbeat, old-school, All-American sonic safaris exemplify everything shows should be: hot, spontaneous, engaging and, best of all, a pleasure to hear. " LA Weekly
With A Lampshade On, the Dustbowl Revival's fourth album, finally shines a light on the band's strength as a live act. They formed in L.A.'s bohemian enclave of Venice Beach in late 2007, the result of a hopeful Craigslist ad posted by bandleader Zach Lupetin, a Midwestern transplant who hoped to join together players in the string band and brass band traditions. Since then, one thing has become clear as the group grows more confident in their abilities: Dustbowl does its best work onstage. They¹ve played dive bars, saloons and theaters, front porches and festivals. To watch them onstage is to take part in an evolving conversation between an orchestra and audience. The horns blast, the fiddle and mandolin swoon, and the howling vocals (which Lupetin shares with Liz Beebe) rattle off stories about preachers, drinkers, lovers, and holy rollers. The crowd is encouraged to participate, of course, and the crowd often does during With A Lampshade On, whether it's singing along during the call-and-response verses of 1930s drinking song "Whiskey in the Well" or shouting their approval during Beebe's bawdy, ballsy original "Doubling Down on You."
Over the last few years, the band has steadily gained recognition while playing festivals and venues across North America and Europe, notably with Lake Street Dive, Trombone Shorty, Rebirth Brass Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Their video for their new single, "Never Had To Go," was shot with a new friend of the band: the legendary actor Dick Van Dyke. While their previous studio albums had more of an old-time feel, this new album has a more funky, soulful, let-loose flavor.
Years ago, the Dustbowl Revival witnessed the Preservation Hall Jazz Band merging with Del McCoury's seasoned bluegrass troupe from Nashville in a series of concerts. It was like a flashbulb going off. That's the secret ingredient in the Dustbowl Revival's sound: the bridge connecting two American genres that grew out of places more similar and entwined than people realize, but have grown apart during the century or so since they first became popular. Preservation Hall and the Grand Ole Opry rarely get mentioned in the same sentence. With A Lampshade On reunites these estranged folk traditions with songs that rely as heavily on bluegrass trombone breaks and jazz mandolin runs as funk fiddle solos and gospel sing-alongs.