- Cavs Win
- Rasta Weekend
- SMART Housing
- Environmental Impacts
- Dem Gloating
- President Trumped
- Hunter's Mission
- Tax Questions
- Local Museums
- Yesterday's Catch
- American Oligarchy
- I, Lowell
- Venezuela Debate
- Solstice Moon
- Jackboot Clinton
THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS beat the Golden State Warriors, 93-89 Sunday night to take the NBA Championship series 4-3. Warriors fans conceded that the Cavs were the better team overall. Last year the Cavs suffered injuries to key players when the Warriors won and this year the Warriors were affected by injuries to Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry.
AS A WARRIOR'S FAN, I'm not sad the Warriors lost tonight. The Cavs won every quarter, came all the way back in the series when it looked like the Warriors would sweep, and LeBron showed why he's the greatest player in the game. Draymond Green played a great game. Everyone else was off. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, “The Cavaliers deserved it.” The Warriors missed opportunities, missed shots, especially in the last few minutes. But the Warriors gave their fans a very good season and the fans have nothing to complain about. When one thinks back to the dry years, or more accurately the dry decades, when the Warriors never even came close to making the playoffs, these last two years were more than anyone could expect.
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THERE'S AN ALREADY RICH PERSON looking to turn a hell of a profit out there, because someone on StubHub was selling courtside seats to Game 7 for $119,500 each.
SEATS 131-132 at Oracle Arena were still available, mere hours before tipoff between the Warriors and Cavaliers, and they came with complimentary food and beverages as well as access to the VIP Club. Thank goodness. You wouldn't want to feel ripped off or anything. There were more economical courtside tickets up for grabs, if $120,000 is a touch out of your price range. The cheapest were going for $15,000 each; the only conclusion is that one of these sellers is wildly out-of-touch with the market. A surprising number of upper deck tickets were still available as well. The cheapest would set you back about $700 and make the best last-minute Father's Day present ever. (Or maybe not: the Warriors lost.)
FRIDAY NIGHT'S rain was just enough to pull the plug early on the World Music Festival here in Boonville this weekend. Saturday, the Rastafarians were again praising Jah and by Sunday it was hot-hot into the low 90s.
CONSPICUOUSLY MISSING from Sunday’s enthusiastic Press Democrat story touting the possible “partnership” between the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) agency and a housing development outfit from Santa Clara is why the “partnership” at all. Oh, all the local Sonoma County pols are of course big on more “affordable” housing on the big vacant lot near “Railroad Square” in downtown Santa Rosa.
NOTE HERE that "affordable" is never quite defined. Affordable to whom? People who take home at least a hundred annual thou and up, typically. WalMart workers need not apply.
SMART ADVOCATES — the PD, career officeholders and SMART employees — insist now is the time to get a housing and rail project going even though only one of the five prospective developers they solicited bids from sent one in.
IF "affordable housing" in Railroad Square project is an idea whose time has come why does the Santa Clara developer want to be a “partner” with SMART? SMART’s smarts have so far not produced a single running train even on the limited first phase of the project. And SMART's fares and ridership projections are so fanciful that even the PD has trouble swallowing them.
SOMEHOW SMART ended up with ownership of that five and a half acre plot near RR Square in downtown Santa Rosa. They now think they can put “268 one- and two-bedroom apartments, wrapped around a 400-space parking garage, on the five acres,” thus enhancing the alleged viability of their boutique rail line.
MOST of the apartments would (theoretically) rent for around $2,000 a month or so for the two-bedroom units. Say you make the SoCo average of $50,000 a year. That's half your income for shelter, on the off chance you qualify. Affordable?
NOBODY will know what "affordable" means until the developers have gotten their usual big tax breaks and free infrastructure, and "affordable" magically becomes $4,000 for "studio apartments and ten grand for the view jobs that look out over the freeway and the splendors of central Santa Rosa and the giant parking lot. What the “affordable” ones would rent for would still be out of reach for most Sonoma County residents.
(CONVENTIONAL FORMULAS say that rent should be one third of gross income, so most renters would need at least $6,000 a month or $72k a year — in other words perfect housing for high-end government employees in the Santa Rosa area — not exactly your priority SMART ridership. Assuming 3.5 people per apartment, that’s about several hundred people per acre of housing.)
AS THE PD STORY NOTES: “Similar plans for a $150 million mixed-use project on the Railroad Square property fell apart during the recession. Political infighting between SMART and the city, wage demands from labor and environmental groups [sic], neighborhood opposition to the proposed affordable housing, and the tight lending environment all conspired to doom that effort. But [SoCo Supervisor Shirley] Zane expects those past squabbles will take a back seat to the clear and pressing need for additional housing.”
OH HELL YEAH. Now that the recession is “over” everybody who was against it or saw it as the scam it obviously is will suddenly shut up.
THE WHOLE SHOW sounds like a Madoff style Ponzi, with more and more “investors” putting more and more money into a scheme that requires more and more investors until it collapses into a heaping pile of riderless shiny metal and a deluge of lawsuits and bankruptcy filings.
THE CEQA LAWSUIT (California Environmental Quality Act) filed by the Willits-based Blacktail Deer Association is getting some interesting media coverage. The suit says that Mendocino County must comply with the California Environmental Act before implementing its recently issued "urgency" marijuana cultivation regulations. Last year the state legislature decided that medical marijuana cultivation should be declared legal "agriculture." And marijuana growers do refer to themselves as "farmers" (or pharmers, if you prefer), just like grape growers do.
WHAT'S missing from this discussion is the inconsistency in regulation of grapes, pot and, for that matter, timber harvesting under California's "Right To Farm" law. Under Right To Farm, anything that the authorities believe has been grown and consumed is "farmed" and, by definition, cannot be a nuisance. Odors, noise, pesticide overspray, water diversions and drawdowns for frost protection, etc. — if they have been “in use” anywhere as “agriculture” for over three years — they are by definition not a nuisance.
WE EXPECT there will come a day when marijuana achieves the exalted, virtually regulation-free status of the grape, and everything associated with growing weed, processing weed and selling weed will take its rightful place as CEQA-exempt.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN a California Environmental Impact Report for grape growing? Of course not. It’s agriculture.
BUT THE STATE considers Timber Harvest Plans to be equivalent to an Environmental Impact Report, although timber harvesting is also considered agriculture, broadly speaking. Why does tree farming require an environmental impact report when grapes and (at least so far, according to Mendocino County) marijuana does not?
US BERN FEELERS will be getting a lot of the kind of gloating we got from Willie Brown, the famous bagman in Brioni, in this morning's Chronicle: "Speaking of dignity: Bernie Sanders, save some of yours by getting off the stage. The voters have written you out of this play."
BERNIE would terminally estrange his support if he bows out ahead of the convention, although a lot of that support has already vowed to do mass headers off the Golden Gate before we'd vote for Rodan. We knew Bernie would stay with the Democrats. He said so at the outset. We said at the outset that we were reconciled to going Third Party, which we will again do in November. McGovern was the last Democrat we voted for. In fact, our Boonville house was McGovern headquarters in '72 when Mendo went about 80% for Nixon, and a lot of Democrats were among that 80%.
THE QUESTION now is whether Bernie can get a few good things out of the insufferable swine who comprise the Demo leadership before he embraces Billery at the convention. If he can't at least get single payer, free college tuition and reinstatement of basic controls on the wolves of Wall Street, he ought to blow it all up and go Third Party himself.
I'VE SPENT futile hours arguing with the late Jim Chase and other small business owners about single payer, how single payer would save them many thousands of dollars in their own exorbitantly expensive work place insurance and annual payments into the mega-scam known as worker's comp. Chase, who worked like a slave at Willits Printing, which he founded, always ended the discussion by saying something like, "It's the goddam government, Bruce. That's what you don't get!"
SO, I'M WATCHING the TV news the other night when Obama comes on to rattle off a few platitudes about that day's gun slaughter. I ask my three-year-old granddaughter, "Who's that guy on TV?" "Donald Trump!" she shouts triumphantly. You know the guy is media-ubiquitous when a three-year-old, whose television viewing is limited to a few minutes a day recognizes Trump but not the president.
CHRIS SMITH OF THE PD fills in some blanks:
Now that marijuana purveyor Dennis Franklin Hunter is released without charges in the wake of Wednesday’s large-scale Sonoma County raids, his followers can get on with their quest to have him canonized.
It’s tough not to mist up as disciples of Hunter extol his efforts to bring the highest professional standards — “the gold standard” — to his company’s production of marijuana products for the thousands of patients who rely on them.
Hunter is so devoted to his mission of bringing the masses the succor of cannabis that following his arrest for illegal cultivation in Mendocino County more than 20 years ago, he defiantly went bigger in Humboldt County. In 1998 he filled a large house in the Three Creeks area east of Eureka wall-to-wall with a 12,000-plant grow operation.
Authorities following up on a tip had never seen the likes of it. As the officers moved in, Hunter scooted into the woods.
He evidently was still pursuing his ministry of medicinal compassion when, three years ago, he landed his airplane for refueling at the airport in Saline County, Ark. Homeland Security officials suspicious that he might be transporting an illegal substance asked local deputies to check him out.
As the lawmen approached, Hunter jumped into the plane and took off. He later landed badly on a country road and scampered again into the cover of the trees.
He has been prosecuted and imprisoned but he will not relent. He seems to believe he has not only right on his side, but the law.
Following Wednesday’s raids, his spokesman, political consultant Nick Caston, said, “We produce medicine as determined by the voters in the 1990s, and we do it with the best practices of any company in the state.”
There the apologist cited 1996’s Proposition 215, the bible for California marijuana growers and dealers and one of the most cynical con jobs ever perpetuated on the compassionate but gullible voters of our state.
The initiative asked to make marijuana available to “seriously ill Californians.” And there’s no question that some of Hunter’s legions of customers do indeed qualify.
But many, I would venture, are fakers of the ilk of those drivers who lift grandma’s handicapped parking placard for a trip to store — the truly needy be damned.
If California legalizes pot for recreational use and regulates and taxes it like it does alcohol, Hunter can rightly claim his place in the vanguard of the cannabis industry. But to suggest he processes and sells weed out of medical compassion is a bit sickening.
(Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
DEATH BY 1,000 TAXES?
As we move our sights forward to the general election in November, it occurs to us that there will likely be at least three sales tax measures on the local ballot.
The merits of those measures (two of them likely to fund street repairs) will be the subject of future editorials. What we’re wondering right now is how many “small” increases in sales taxes our community – or any community – can take to cover what used to be simply every day essential services.
While taxpayers have successfully staved off higher property taxes through Prop. 13 and across-the-board income tax increases over the years, the results have been more and more sales tax increases to fund things like police, fire, and street repairs. These were always the things that taxpayers figured their property and income taxes were paying for.
So we have questions:
- Should the loophole in Prop. 13 that allows large commercial business properties to change hands and avoid new tax-inducing assessments be closed? It is estimated that alone could raise $7 billion a year or more for local governments.
- How do voters figure out a way that essential services get paid first and other services become subject to sales tax increases voters must approve?
- Should this county and our cities be holding off on all sales tax hikes until we see whether the funding boom estimated at anywhere upwards of $100 million from legalized marijuana growing becomes reality?
- Should all sales tax measures come under the strict two-thirds “tax hike” voting regardless of the intent of the funding? (Right now, if the tax hike is for “general purposes” only a 50% plus one vote is required.) We’d like to hear your thoughts on these questions, or any others that come to your mind as our county and our city move to put these measures on the November ballot. What are you willing to pay more for?
Write to us or drop your letters off to us at UDJ, 617 S. State St, Ukiah 95482, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your views.
(K.C. Meadows, Editor. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
LOCAL MENDOCINO COUNTY MUSEUMS BRING HISTORY TO LIFE
Join Johanna "Wildoak" for Wildoak Living, the radio program about living sustainably in Mendocino County and beyond. The next program will air live on Monday, June 20, from 9 to 10am PT on Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (KZYX) and on the web at kzyx.org
In this upcoming program, Johanna “Wildoak” shares information about two Mendocino County gems: The Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah and the Anderson Valley Museum in Boonville.
In the first half of the program, Johanna talks with Wes Smoot and Marvin Schenk, board members of the Anderson Valley Historical Society, about the Anderson Valley Museum. The museum is centrally located a half-mile northwest of Boonville in the Con Creek Schoolhouse. Built in 1891, it taught children of lumberjacks and sheep farmers for almost ninety years before closing in 1979. Today, the museum shares relics and information about Anderson Valley’s colorful past, including the original native residents up to Boontling.
The Anderson Valley Historical Society is a non-profit, volunteer organization who collects, researches and shares the rich history of Anderson Valley. Their annual meeting/public presentation on Sunday, July 17 will include a presentations about Boontling, the whimsical local language once spoken widely throughout the valley. Students from Nadia Berrigan’s High School Computer Class will share details on their Cemetery mapping project, and there will be music, food and fun.
In the second half of the program, Johanna talks with Sherrie Smith-Ferri, Director of the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah, about the museum’s current exhibit She Sang Me a Good Luck Song: The California Indian Photographs of Dugan Aguilar. Filled with stunning photographs that reveal the richness and vibrancy of contemporary Native Californian cultures, this traveling exhibit features the work of Dugan Aguilar (Mountain Maidu/Washoe/Pit River/Walker River Paiute). From basket makers and dancers to military veterans and motorcyclists, his images provide an intimate look at the lives of current day California Indians. At the Grace Hudson Museum, Aguilar's photos will be supplemented with Native objects and regalia. We will find out more about a panel discussion coming up on Saturday, June 25, from 2–4 pm with "She Sang Me a Good Luck Song" exhibit photographer Dugan Aguilar, catalog editor Theresa Harlan, artist L. Frank, and photographer Austin Stevenot, along with moderator and artist Meyo Maruffo, as they discuss the state of contemporary Native photography.
Sherrie will also talk about the progress being made towards creating an outdoor educational component for the Museum by restructuring the Carpenter-Hudson park that surrounds the Museum and Sun House. This project is made possible by a California State Parks and Recreation Department’s Nature Education Facilities Program award of $3 million to the City of Ukiah. It will utilize the Museum's grounds as interpretive spaces, landscaped entirely with native Mendocino County plants. The park will be used to teach visitors about Pomo Indian land management traditions and values, and how these can inform contemporary sustainable practices.
More info about this program topic:
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 19, 2016
PRISCILLA AGUILAR, Hopland. Shoplifting, receiving stolen property, conspiracy.
GALEN BARRETT, Willits. Honey oil extraction, pot sales.
MICHAEL BEERS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ANTONIO CAMPESINO-RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Grand theft, pot cultivation, dumping in commercial quantities, trespassing.
JONA CHAPMAN, Point Arena. Probation revocation.
EMERY ELLINGWOOD, Willits. Drunk in public.
SILVESTRE ESTRADA-VARGAS, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
MICHAEL FREEMAN, Covelo. Vandalism.
MICHAEL HAMILTON, Geyserville. DUI.
JESSE HOLBERG, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
SYLVESTER JOAQUIN JR., Covelo. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
KATE KUMMER, Arcata/Ukiah. Controlled substance, false ID.
JACOB MALUGANI, Sun Valley, Nevada/Ukiah. Battery.
ROBERT PEROTTI, Geyserville/Ukiah. DUI.
GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS
Most people think the reason for the massacre in Orlando is the reason for the massacres in Tucson, Aurora, Newtown and San Bernardino. They think the reason is assault weapons. The availability of assault weapons certainly makes these tragic massacres more likely, but they are not the root cause. The reason for those massacres is the reason we can’t have single-payer healthcare, the reason we can’t regulate Wall Street, the reasons the 1% are getting richer while the 99% are getting poorer, the reason we have the highest child poverty rate among advance countries and the arson college is too expensive. The reason is money, and its control of politics.
England, France, Canada, Germany and Italy don’t have the problems that we do. Occasional terrorist attacks, yes, but nothing like the carnage we endure. They have elected governments very much like ours, patterned after the form of government we pioneered. We have lost our way and descended into an oligarchy, and our society is unraveling. And we are well armed. Nothing will change until we get money out of politics. After we get money out of politics, everything can change.
AND LOWELL SAID?
Lowell Cohn vs. Strunk & White
Hello Lowell [Cohn, Press Democrat Sports Editor/writer],
Just read your Sunday (9/19) piece on the Warriors. While I agree with Bruce Anderson of the Anderson Valley Advertiser that the work of sports writers is generally superior to that of straight news reporters, your ongoing published insertion of "I, me, my" is distressing. It challenges Rule Number 1 of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style.
"1. Write in a way the draws the reader's attention to the sense and substance of the writing, rather than to the mood and temper of the author. If the writing is solid and good, the mood and temper of the writer will eventually be revealed and not at the expense of the work. Therefore, the first piece of advice is this: to achieve style, begin by affecting none - that is, place yourself in the background."
Despite this frequent transgression, your work is regularly fun to read, worthwhile, and humanistic.
Phil Baldwin, Ukiah
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Just received this back from Lowell Cohn:
Thanks, Phil. You raise a good point and who am I to argue with Strunk or White? I can try to explain. I often insert myself in a column as a character interacting with a sports person. So I use I. Mailer did it, although I don't like his writing. Anyway I'm too old to change. LC
PPS. Lowell Cohn: More than just a trophy riding on Game 7 for Warriors
VIN SCULLY & SOCIALISM, AN MCN DISCUSSION
(We'll take Lon Simmons and Russ Hodges, plus Bill King, as better than Vin Scully, while conceding we like the announcers best we grew up with. — Ed)
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JOHN REDDING: Vin Scully calls socialism foul. Brevity is the soul of wit. Vin Scully retires at the end of this season, his sixty-seventh year doing what nobody has ever done better. Among other things, he has made some classic calls in the course of a glorious broadcasting career. He may not have ever made a better one than he did in the course of Friday night’s Dodgers-Brewers game: “Socialism, failing to work as it always does. This time in Venezuela. You talk about giving everybody something free and all of a sudden, there’s no food to eat. And who do you think is the richest person in Venezuela? The daughter of Hugo Chavez. Hello.”
ALAN HAACK: Brevity is when a chicken with no head runs off the cliff of common sense into the sea of ignorance and prejudice. Vin Scully should stick to baseball. He'd be less likely to embarrass himself and others by shouting his ignorance about Venezuela and its heartfelt but currently failing efforts to escape the claws of international capitalism. John Redding would have credibility, and be less likely to embarrass himself in this discussion, if he were to post someone who is actually qualified to intelligently discuss international politics.
JOHN REDDING: Hi Alan, Such a trenchant reply. So, would you like to take a shot at describing the poor state of affairs in Venezuela, assuming you think there is anything amiss there, the reasons for it? I'll be disappointed if you fall back on the argument "it's all the fault of the US" because that is such a cliche these days.
ALAN HAACK: Although I don't own a backhoe, I am trenchant! Thank you for the compliment. You appear to live in a world where sarcasm masquerades as content. Sarcasm is not content. It is merely a diversion from actual intellectual thought and reveals the paucity of your thinking and your vocabulary. I'll take it because it's true, I am trenchant. That'll be my mantra for today! Maybe I'll even go out and buy a backhoe. While I am trenching, would it be correct to say I am trenchant? Your trenchant backhoe man will trench for you, too!! I'd be happy to read an intelligent presentation about Venezuela as a basis for having a discussion about that country. Thus far we have only the uninformed ravings of a baseball announcer!! And, your efforts at cleverness. Not much here.
THERE WILL BE FULL MOON ON THE SUMMER SOLSTICE FIRST TIME SINCE 'THE SUMMER OF LOVE' - 1967
We found some interesting facts on the upcoming full "Strawberry" Moon @ 4:02 am Sunday - something that won't happen for another 46 years - on Earthsky.com:
"This is the first full moon to fall on the June solstice since the year 1967, which some recall as the year of the Summer of Love, a social phenomenon centered on San Francisco, London and other places around the globe. There’ve been a number of near misses of full moons on June solstices, however. And we are indeed talking about the June solstice, not solstices in general. It appears as if the full moon and June solstice won’t fall on the same calendar date again until June 21, 2062.
Tonight – June 19, 2016 – it’s solstice eve and the moon you’ll see shining near Saturn and the star Antares may look full. The 2016 June full moon and solstice fall on the same date, June 20. But, for the Americas, the June 19 moon is closer to the crest of the moon’s full phase than the moon June 20. Although the full moon and solstice happen at the same instant all around the world, the clock reading differs by time zone. At U.S. time zones, the moon turns precisely full on June 20 at 7:02 a.m. EDT, 6:02 a.m. CDT, 5:02 a.m. MDT and 4:02 a.m. PDT.
So, if you’re in the Americas, as we are, the moon you’ll see during the night tonight is closer to full than tomorrow night’s solstice full moon.
The June solstice comes on June 20, 2016 at 6:34 p.m. EDT, 5:34 p.m. CDT, 4:34 p.m. MDT and 3:34 p.m. PDT.
In the Northern Hemisphere, we call the June full moon the Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon or Flower Moon."
ON MILITARISM, we have a candidate, Clinton, with a clear record, from Serbia to Libya, from Honduras to Paraguay, of supporting coups, militarization of authoritarian regimes, breaking international law, and genuinely following the neoconservative playbook in trying to make the 21st Century another century of American hegemony and empire.
— Andrew Smolski