- Pebs' Visit
- Chong Endorsement
- Sweeney Retirement
- FBI Files
- Post Bypass
- Menzies Endorsers
- Little Dog
- Sailing Adventure
- Yesterday's Catch
- DC Intrigue
- Anticipated Vacancies
- At Risk
- Old Phone
- Discovering Art
- Counterdrug Ops
- Cherry Stories
- Broadband Meetings
- Bird Talk
- Fundraising Concert
- Death Tunnels
- Against War
- Help Creeky
WETTEST OCTOBER ON RECORD
Monday at 5pm the Department of Water Resources rain gauge in Yorkville tallied 9.92 inches for the month of October, thus surpassing the previous record, set in 1945, of 9.87 inches. With seven more hours of rain still forecast this Halloween night, we'll most likely total over ten inches for the month. Average October rainfall for Anderson Valley is 2.16 inches.
For context, here are the October precipitation totals for Yorkville over the past 15 years:
PEBBLES TRIPPETT is the grande dame of the marijuana legalization movement. I'm very fond of the old girl, although she's seems quite miffed at me lately. Lots of pot people are mono-maniacs. The slightest deviation from the party line, the merest hint that the drug is less than miraculous, and they slam out the door. Forever. While I was still in her good graces, which is when I asked her if she thought it was too late for me to fire up the bazooka, she had climbed the stairs to our old office, wheezed through the door, collapsed in our visitor's chair and asked if she could fire one up. I said sure, but my colleague, The Major, shouting as if he was about to be shot, “No! It makes me nauseous! Please don’t smoke it in here, Pebbles.” As an old school guy, my position is if a lady of a certain age wants to smoke a marijuana cigarette in my office or do cartwheels or fly a kite out the window, what the hey, she’s got seniority. Go ahead, old girl, the smoking lamp is lit! The Major was violently opposed. "We're running a business here, not a goddam dope den," he argued. We went back and forth. “This lady could be your mother, Major,” I said, “and she’s our guest.” The Major replied, “My mother wasn’t a drug addict. She was a respectable person, a Druid, a Point Arena Druid!” We finally arrived at a compromise suggested by our visitor. “I’ll only take one hit,” Pebs promised. As The Major buried his head in his hands and groaned, “No, Pebs, please, no,” Pebs produced a bomber as big around as my wrist and, in what seemed like a single almost subliminally rapid move, lit it, took a drag, extinguished the dragon, and staggered backwards into her chair, exclaiming, “Wow! Thank you,” and that was that.
TOMMY CHONG LIGHTS UP MENDO! The faltering campaign for Measure AF got a boost (of sorts) with Tommy Chong's recent endorsement. Chong, with stoner pal Cheech Marin, formed the iconic comedy duo of Cheech and Chong. They became rich and famous with their self-parody of stoner culture. Measure AF, the so-called Heritage Initiative, is the stoner community attempt to write their own rules for the local marijuana industry.
THE CHONG ENDORSEMENT is featured in a video posted to the yes on AF Facebook page. The video is not posted to the yes on AF website. Sarah Bodnar, the thirty something campaign manager of yes on AF, may think younger, hipper people will see the video on Facebook. But doesn't want to offend old squares who are more likely to click on the website. The video comes across as a continuation of the self-parody that made Chong famous.
PART TIME Anderson Valley resident Christopher Halmo is featured in the video. Set to a mellow reggae beat, the video opens with Chong looking just a little stoned and squinting at a piece of paper. He asks, "What is this?" Halmo says, "Ballot Measure AF in Mendocino County." Chong breaks in with, "Ballot measure for what?" Halmo repeats, "Ballot measure in Mendocino County." Chong asks, "For this election comin'?" Halmo responds, "Yes for November 8." Chong repeats, "November 8?" Halmo assures him, "That's right!" And so it goes.
AS HALMO PARROTS that AF is all about protecting the small farmer from big ag, we see images of yes on AF proponents Swami Chaitanya, Casey O'Neill, Justin Calvino, and Tim Blake tending their marijuana plants. Chong asks, "These guys all grow pot?" Halmo confirms they do. Chong asks, "So a lotta them been in jail?" Halmo confirms they have. Chong, who is promoting a line of vaporizers, finally gets to the punchline: "So buy Chong's Choice Herbalizer and we'll donate a big portion of the proceeds to make sure this initiative passes. Vote yes on AF."
CHONG HAS ALREADY kicked in $10,000, bringing the yes on AF campaign donations to over $65,000. Chong's contribution is generous, but at $729 for each Chong's Choice Herbalizer, it shouldn't take long for Tommy to make it back. Meanwhile, the No on AF committee reports having raised just over $20,000. But, as discussed below, has made more effective use of their available funds. But why is Tommy Chong endorsing and funding a local ballot measure in Mendocino County?
HALMO IS THE FOUNDER and owner of Casa Giallo, an ad agency in Venice Beach. CG, as it is known, has done advertising for major brands and celebrities for over 20 years. Projects have included everything from Adidas to Snoop Dogg to the US Army. Halmo was also one of the speakers at the lightly attended Anderson Valley "town hall" for yes on AF. A promo for the town hall describes Halmo as a third generation farm owner in Anderson Valley and says he "is currently focused on telling stories in the emerging cannabis industry."
THE TOWN HALL PROMO touts Halmo as "Ambassador to the Anderson Valley Appellation and a bridge between the cultures and markets of northern and southern California." Halmo is also a wine guy, so it isn't clear if he is an ambassador for weed, wine, or both. He is the vineyard chair of the Bel Air Wine Festival and hosts a monthly wine tasting in L.A. called Veni, Vidi, Vino. Halmo was joined at the Anderson Valley town hall by another wine guy, Tom Rodrigues of Maple Creek Winery in Yorkville. Rodrigues and Richard Willoughby, president of the Winegrowers Alliance, are on the short list of non-cannabis types who are publicly supporting Measure AF.
CASA GIALLO AND CHONG have been business partners for some time. In July of last year Fast Funds Financial Corporation (FFFC) issued a press release announcing CG had been retained as the "creative agency" for the Tommy Chong Green Card. The Chong card, according to the press release, is a pre-paid "loyalty debit card with turnkey customer rewards technology which also functions as a reloadable stored value card that can be used at the participating dispensary." FFFC is a holding company, with several wholly owned subsidiaries, all seeking to cash in on the expanding cannabis market. Cannabis Merchant Financial Solutions (one of the subsidiaries) is licensed to market the Chong card.
HALMO, PRESIDENT OF CASA GIALLO, is quoted in the press release saying "Fast Funds is creating financial solutions vital to maintaining the cannabis industrys (sic) explosive growth. We are excited to continue our work with Tommy Chong and his licensed product lines." CG is described as "an industry leader in the cannabis space" and was chosen for their "breadth of advertising experience combined with cannabis industry intelligence." Not to mention they were already representing Chong.
SO CASA GIALLO and Halmo are paid to promote the Chong card; the holding company trades on Chong's name; the venture capitalists behind the company hope for a return on their investment; the dispensary has a turnkey marketing tool; and the customer feels a connection to a stoner legend. And Chong gets a piece of the action. Dr. William Courtney, (formerly of Mendocino County) and "several private farms in the famed Emerald Triangle" are also on the CG client list. Those private farms most likely include the ones run by Swami, Calvino, O'Neill, and Blake. Which is why Halmo just happened to have footage of them handy to include in the Chong endorsement.
PETER HECHT, writing in the Sacramento Bee on Oct. 18, 2015 (just after Governor Brown signed legislation putting medical marijuana on an unabashedly commercial basis) quoted Sonoma County attorney Omar Figueroa as saying "You're going to see the emergence of a California medical marijuana commodities market. Investors will be coming in and betting on the future price of marijuana. There is going to be a full-blown marijuana casino." Figueroa, described in the article as representing marijuana dispensaries and venture capitalists added, "I'm a little wistful. There was romanticism in the peaceful cannabis growers rebelling against conformity. Now the suits are coming in and taking over."
THE ENDORSEMENT BY CHONG and the large cash contribution reinforce the fact that Measure AF is supported almost exclusively by self-interested individuals and companies with a financial stake in the state sanctioned commercial pot industry. Meanwhile, the No on Measure AF committee has endorsements from over two dozen local community groups including the Fire Chiefs Association, the Fire Safe Council, the County School Board, the Sierra Club and the Willits Environmental Center. Just about every group that has considered AF has turned thumbs down on it. Only a handful of cannabis centric groups are recommending a yes vote on AF, including the local chapter of the California Growers Association, the Small Farmers Association, and the newly incorporated Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association (which includes Swami, Blake, O'Neill and other proponents of AF).
THE EMERALD CUP website features a letter from founder and impresario Tim Blake who touts the rosy future of commercial cannabis in California. Blake says the Cali industry is bigger than Colorado, Washington, Michigan and several other states combined. (Which implies the obvious, which is that lots of California grown pot gets exported to the rest of the nation.) Blake says 2015 was a record harvest in the Emerald Triangle and many growers feared they would be sitting on unsold product this summer. Instead, Blake says the availability of pot is the scarcest it has been in 20 years. Blake reports that weed buyers "are scouring the hills looking for pot and coming up empty." Blake concludes "its clear our industry will only grow and grow for the next decade."
WHICH IS WHY BLAKE, and the other growers pushing Measure AF, want to be able to grow at least an acre of pot. Swami recently lectured the Board of Supervisors on the economics of pot. Swami said that a conservative yield was two pounds per plant. A 99 plant grow (the largest currently allowed under the County's urgency ordinance) would yield about 200 pounds of finished pot. Quoting a price of $1,500 per pound, Swami calculated each of the permits issued by the county this year would yield a wholesale return of $300,000. Multiply that by 330 permits and you get $99,000,000. Swami's point was this is a lucrative market for the county to start tapping into by applying the tax in Measure AF. Even at the low ball figure of 2.5%, the tax in AF (if its collectible - Treasurer/Tax Collector Shari Schapmire says it is not) would pump about $2.5 million into the county coffers. An acre of pot, using Swami's calculations, would increase the per grower return from a paltry $300,000 to just over $1.4 million. And the tax revenue from the same 330 permits issued this year would yield just over $10 million if every farmer grew an acre."
MEASURE AF (aka the Heritage Initiative) was conceived of by Blake, dispensary owner Jude Thilman, and growers Noel Manners, Justin Calvino, and Pebbles Trippet, who appointed themselves to the steering committee for the initiative. Blake is the founder and impresario of the Emerald Cup which started at Area 101 north of Laytonville and relocated to the Sonoma County fairgrounds a couple of years ago. Blake, like most growers, says he has no money but the Emerald Cup sold 30,000 tickets last year. This year the cup will expand to take over the entire Sonoma County fairgrounds.
SWAMI, proprietor of the 'Swami Select' brand, is a wealthy white guy from San Francisco who moved to Mendo and began wearing white robes and putting a red dot on his forehead. Welcome to Mendoland, where (as we must constantly remind our readers) you are whoever you say you are and history begins anew with each rising sun. Swami and Blake go back at least to the start of the Emerald Cup, where Swami has been a judge from the beginning. The primary duty of Emerald Cup judges is to personally sample each entry. This means Swami and the other judges must spend several weeks before the Cup smoking hundreds of samples to identify the winning entry. We are told there are You Tube videos of Swami and Blake smoking the sacred herb and talking incoherently. Only hard core stoners find value in listening to other stoners who are under the influence.
THE SAME GROUP of growers and dispensary owners wrote an earlier version of the Heritage Initiative in 2015 but failed to get it on the ballot. They came to the realization that they lacked the expertise to write a credible ordinance. And the time to collect enough signatures to put it on the ballot. They turned to Omar Figueroa, a prominent marijuana defense attorney, to write the initiative. And used paid signature gatherers to put it on the ballot. Bodnar, the campaign manager for AF, has developed an after the fact story line that says the Heritage Initiative came out of a broad based process involving all segments of the community, including the Board of Supervisors. Except no one outside the stoner community remembers it that way. The Heritage Initiative, now known as Measure AF, first came to general public awareness in August when it was certified for the November ballot.
MEASURE AF IS OPPOSED by an odd couple combination of former cult communist turned garbage czar Mike Sweeney; Ukiah industrialist and Libertarian mainstay Ross Liberty; former Third District Supervisor and It's A Beautiful Day lead guitarist Hal Wagenet; environmental activist Ellen Drell; Second District County Supervisor John McCowen; and Willits attorney Chris Neary. When these individuals aren't working to defeat the stoner takeover of Mendoland they are fighting each other over the Willits bypass, asphalt plants, and whether the county is complying with CEQA with its own marijuana regulations. And they all have decades of local political experience, sometimes as allies and sometimes as opponents.
SARAH BODNAR, a relative newcomer to the county, with no previous political experience, was hired to be the yes on AF campaign manager. Bodnar is smart, personable and tuned into social media. She also went to high school with AF proponent Justin Calvino and moved to Mendoland at about the same time. Which seems to be the key to getting herself hired as campaign manager. Bodnar seems to be relying on her social networking skills to carry the day for AF. But when it came time for lining up community endorsements, Bodnar was seriously outflanked by the politically savvy veterans running the No on AF campaign. Ellen Drell was particularly effective in lining up support from the Sierra Club and other environmental groups and in making the case that AF is a threat to the environment.
SO FAR, BODNAR has spent about two-thirds of the reported yes on AF campaign money on political consulting and professional services. Bodnar reported paying herself $20,525 through the previous reporting period (that ended Sept. 24) but shows no additional payments to herself for the last reporting period (which ended Oct. 22). She also paid a quartet of her friends a total of over $10,000 for "campaign consulting" and "professional services" but their qualifications in those categories, if any, are unknown. And according to the latest campaign filing, Jason Teramoto of Henderson, Nevada was also paid $6,000 for campaign consulting.
THE YES ON AF CAMPAIGN has been criticized for running a nearly invisible campaign with most of the payments going to people for nebulous tasks like campaign consulting instead of direct advertising. But the yes on AF campaign finally got off the ground with a few radio ads. Set to elevator music, none of the speakers say who they are, but variously identify themselves as a local business owner and grower; a long time resident; and someone who was lucky enough to grow up here. One emphasizes that AF will protect forests and watersheds and our local economy and raise tax revenues for public safety and to clean up trespass grows. Another says AF will protect small local farms and will apply the tax revenue to roads, mental health and volunteer fire departments. The last one emphasizes that the tax revenue will not go just for protecting the environment, public safety and mental health, but will also support our libraries, schools, and recreation.
THE NO ON AF COMMITTEE quickly countered with radio ads of their own. The first features Ellen Drell, who introduces herself as a founder of the Willits Environmental Center. Ellen speaks passionately about her love of the environment, says she knows what it takes to defend it, and that is why she is voting no on Measure AF. A second spot features the very recognizable voices of Drell and Wagenet listing the categories of community groups endorsing No on AF and then reading the names of the individual groups. McCowen also cut a hard hitting radio spot that criticizes AF for endangering public safety and the environment. McCowen also points out that the tax would be uncollectible and concludes that AF "is bad public policy, bad for the environment, and bad for public safety."
YES ON AF talks a lot about protecting the small farmer, but connecting the yes on AF campaign dots tells a different story. The growers and dispensary owners pushing AF are closely intertwined with lawyers, venture capitalists, and a powerhouse advertising agency. And they have formed alliances with the wine guys who have the land and water to accommodate larger grows. The only thing lacking is local authorization to grow up to an acre of pot. Which is where Measure AF comes in. Despite all the lip service given to protecting the small farmer, AF is really all about the largest and best positioned growers being able to capitalize on the state approved expanded commercial marijuana market. Voter approval of adult use legalization will be the icing on the AF cake.
WHAT HAPPENS IF AF FAILS? The County will continue working on adoption of its own updated ordinance, currently undergoing environmental review. Which means everyone, including neighborhood groups, environmental groups, and resource agencies will be able to comment on the regulations and challenge them if they don't protect public safety and the environment. If AF passes there will be no environmental review process and no ability to identify or mitigate negative impacts. If AF fails Mendo growers will be limited, at least initially, to 10,000 square feet of canopy. Which is a four fold increase from the current limit and plenty for most mom and pop growers. Anyone who really thinks they need to grow an acre can always move to Humboldt County. And Tommy Chong will still be selling Chong's Choice Herbalizers to anyone who is interested.
A CALLER reminds us that the County’s trash czar and Mendocino County’s most interesting man, the thoroughly re-invented Mike Sweeney, officially retired from his czar-ship in September. “A very nice lady runs it now,” the caller said. “Nice” isn’t a term known to be applied often or ever to Sweeney outside his immediate family, although I suspect even they trod lightly around their explosive patriarch. But the former Maoist probably retired only in the Mendo sense, meaning he’s siphoning public money from somewhere for some nebulous “consulting” while he waits for his $5 million transfer station to open near Fort Bragg. Sweeney’s first in line to operate the unneeded and entirely redundant facility.
DEPT OF HOLLOW LAUGHTER: Corporate media's description of the FBI as non-partisan. Har de har. The G-Men have been interfering with the political life of the country ever since J. Edgar Cross-Dresser. The FBI even kept track of the editor of this fine publication back in the day, and I’m sure such Mendo notables such as Jeff Blankfort, among many others, were also awarded these reverse honorary degrees.
A READER WRITES: "Contrary to your report, Second District Supervisor John McCowen was present, and even spoke, at the Dinner on the Bypass held by the Willits Chamber of Commerce. McCowen kept it short, giving credit to former Supervisor John Pinches for keeping his eye on the bypass project. He also made the point that whether you love the bypass, hate the bypass or are indifferent to it, now is the time for the Willits community to come together and figure out how to move forward post bypass. He added that he knew there was concern about possible development at the north and south interchanges but assured the crowd that the Supes would not do anything without a community consensus about what was needed. He also made no mention of his missing in action colleague."
MENDOLIB FOR MENZIES
(Quite a few of the persons listed don't live in Fort Bragg and can't vote there)
List of Endorsers
National Level: Green Party Presidential Candidate Campaign Manager, Jill Stegt, Regional Organizations: Humboldt Greens, Progressive Alliance Center, Public Officials:, Bob Bushansky, Mary Cesario/Weaver, Meg Courtney, Doug Hammerstrom, Mark Hannon, Heidi Kraut, Stan Miklose, Dave Turner
Business Owners: Benny Bones, Tim Carmody, Michael Dawson, Nancy Fereira, Kerry Hagan, Carol Joyce and Nat Montoya, Linda Jupiter, Maureen Leahy-Koller, Tony Koller, Aspen and Jeremy Logan, Christie Olson-Day, Kristin Otwell, Ted Rabinowitsh, Taylor Slevin, Anne Turner, Katie Turner-Carr, Hilary White, Martin Nakatani, Chriss Zada, Greg Ziemer, David Simons
Educators: Carrie Durkee, Emily McPhail, Irene Malone, Jean Whipple, Leslie Kashiwada, Marshall Carr, Michael Grady, Sarah Sandberg
Citizen Supporter and/or Donors: Al Nash, Alena Guest, LHt, Alex Pieraangeli, Amy Wynn, Ana Lucas, Ann Cole, Ann Rennacker, Anna Shaw, Barbara Durigan, Becky Ellis, Bill Fenley, Carole White, Charles Bush, Christina Anderson, Christopher Cisper, Dana Biencowe, Daniel Brewer, David Harvey, David Hayes, David Welter, Dewey Turner, Diane Harris, Don Taylor, Doug Hammerstrom (second time), emily Runion, Eric Reed, Gale Harold, Garth Saalfield, Gary Johnson, George Reinhardt, Georgia Lucas, Gin Kremen, DDS, Greg Schellhase, Greg Lelmer, Heather Gurwitz, Jacqueline Cisper, Jamie Peters, Janice Culliford, Jim Ehlers, Jim Havlena, Johanna Jensen, John A. Gallo, John Rochat, MD, Judy Gage, Julie Burns, Karen Dietz, Karina Becerra, Kate Hayes, Kathleen MacKonald, Kristy Tanguay, Kyle White, Laura Lind, Laura Welter, Linda Schellhase, Lisa Hannon, Lisa Harvey, OD, Liz Migliorelli, Lolli Jacobsen, Lorie Leaf, Lorna Dennis, Lorraine Hee-Chorley, Lynelle Johnson, Maria Trombetta, Matt Liebenberg, Michael Burns, Nancy Milano, Nancy Severy, Pat Jones, Patricia Ann Murphy, Pia Castilleja, Rebecca Reynolds, Richard Jones, Richard Kilday, Richard Louis Miller, MA,PhD, Richard Norgard, Rick Childs, Ron Bloomquist, Ruth Dobberpuhl, Sakina Bush, Sarah Cullar, Sharon Bowers, Simon Eliot Smith, Siochan Deva, Steve Siler, MFT, Susan Allen Nutter, Susan Kelley, Susan Larkin, Susan Parker, Busanne Norgard, Syd Balows, Tanya Ayla, Terry Hurni, Todd Sorenson, Valerie Rose, Warren Rake, Zida Borchich, Bruce & Silssn doxsdi.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, ‘Hey, you call me Shorty, I sure as hell can call you Spotty.’
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT WOODHOUSE
Letter to the Editor
Without Supervisor Woodhouse, Mendocino County Mental Health would still be wallowing in their cesspool with Ortner, and pouring much of the annual $27M down a rat hole. He has courageously provided leadership and hope to move forward. I am grateful that he speaks out publicly with the truth about the CEO’s role in the demise of County Mental Health as in his Mendo Voice Interview http://www.mendovoice.com.
During the second half of his term, Supervisor Woodhouse will focus on reform of the Mental Health system among other important items.
We need multiple Psychiatric Health Facilities and for Measures AG and AH to pass. And, we must advocate powerfully to convince Camille Schraeder of Redwood Community Services that along with conventional mental health treatments we need neurofeedback and other options (see The Body Keeps the Score). Mendocino County gets enough money to provide a range of treatment and service options that go well beyond what we have now. However, we have to push Camille Schraeder to provide new and excellent services and that means Crisis Residential Treatment Centers Coast and Inland as well as Intensive Day Treatment Programs Coast, Inland, and Willits, with mobile programs in rural areas.
Supervisor Woodhouse can count on me to stand with him for wise use of Mental Health Funds for an array of exemplary treatments and services to support people with mental illness and their family members.
Sonya Nesch, Author
Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness
SAILING OUT OF WILLITS
by Jim Gibbons
1-24-88 — I’m sitting here in Aero Puerto Mexico City waiting for my flight to Ziuatanejo so I can meet up with Chris and Donna and get my sea legs for our sailing adventure down to Panama, but my flight has been delayed twice and I don’t want to have to spend the night here.
This is the first entry in my 1988 running log that doubled as my sailing adventure log, which I will quote from while sharing this trip almost 30 years later…but first, how did this whole thing happen?
I first met Chris in Sausalito back in ’74 when he showed up at Gate 5 to rebuild an old fishing boat that was stuck in the mud behind the Charles Van Damme, a landlocked paddle-wheeler known locally as the Ark.
A few years later he bought a 55-foot schooner hull that needed so much work I remember doubting that any one person could stay with this project to completion.
Knowing I had some sailing experience, he asked me if I wanted to go with him down the coast, thru the Panama Canal, and across the Gulf to Florida when he finished the boat. I said, sure, I mean, how could I turn down a sailing adventure fantasy that could happen several years into the future?
A decade or so later he calls me from San Diego and tells me the couple that said they would go backed out and it was just him and Donna and she was pregnant, so they really needed my help.
A few years before when I heard the other couple were going I was relieved because I didn’t really want to go sailing anymore, assuring myself that they didn’t really need a fifth crewman, and they understood. Not to mention I had enough scary adventures back in the day, and I was now a happy landlubber, living on my new property up in the hills of Mendocino County, a bit north of Willits.
But in this new scenario I couldn’t say no. He said he’d get back to me with more info soon. A few weeks later I got a letter from Donna.
Chris was going to write this letter but time is slipping by and he doesn’t seem to be getting around to it. He’s simultaneously hooking up the Sat-Nav (Satellite Navigator) and the AUTOPILOT. They are both things we wanted for a long time so we’re thrilled to have them. Now if they would only work…The Sat-Nav is a pretty direct installation, but the Wagner Auto-Pilot is a hydraulic/12V/computer component conglomeration. He’s been spending hours in the stern cabin, crouched up on our bed, while looking at the quadrant and trying to sort out the lot.
I just spent $300 or more at a discount house for food and packed it into the bilge. It’s beginning to look as though we have enough food for 4 months rather than 3. I have to get all the fresh stuff just before we leave.
We will be leaving San Diego in approx. 10 days to 2 weeks. We will be in Cabo a week later and hope to be in Ziuatenejo around mid-January to pick you up.
Then we will head offshore after the Gulf of Tehuantepec to pass Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua. We will probably be in Costa Rica by late January. It shouldn’t take too long to pass from Costa Rica thru the Canal to the Yucatan Peninsula, and from there we pass by the western end of Cuba to Key West, Florida.
Pack your duffle bag with gear and be ready!
Well, time to get rolling on this fine day—all this was written before 7 AM. We’re on a 5 AM wake up program. Serious business.
It sure seemed like this sailing adventure was on course, and I actually started looking forward to it. The three of us had taken vacations together before, to Hawaii in ’86 and Puerto Vallarta in ’85, where Donna’s bilingual abilities really made it more of a fun, learning experience.
Only problem was I met a woman at the North Coast Strider’s Resolution Run in Redwood Valley who I started dating without telling her I had to go off sailing within the next few weeks. My New Year’s Resolution was “A date in ’88,” as ’87 had been a very dry year. To then meet the woman of my dreams right away was awesome, but would she wait for my return?
The day after my first Log entry (see top) when I was temporarily stuck in Aero Puerto Mexico City, I wrote the following…
1-25-88 Monday — Almost ready to turn in for the second night on the Constance. Everything is perfect—the temp, the water, the town, people…always a nice breeze, no mosquitos, plenty of cold beer, good food, papayas the size of footballs…for the second day me and Chris ran barefoot to the far beach and back a few times for about 3 miles (22 minutes)—then back in the surf!
Earlier today we were visited by Pat and Dan from their boat anchored nearby. They plan to stay here a month because this is the best spot they’ve found. While they were visiting, a woman came swimming between our boats and Dan said, “She’s naked!” Then invited her to come aboard. She climbed up the boat’s ladder, dripping naked, saw my face and asked, “Are you from Willits?”
I said, “What’s your name?”
She answered, “Marlena River.”
Turned out she and her husband Larry and their two kids live just down the road from me. Small world. She climbed aboard and we chatted for a while. She said her and her girlfriend are renting a little bungalow on the beach for $50 a night. They’ve already been here a month.
I mentioned the time we ran into each other in Kona. It was February ’86 at the Keauhou Triathlon. I was the runner on our relay team. While I was getting ready for my leg, my son Eli came running up and said, “Hey dad, there’s a woman over there from Willits.”
Again, she was with a woman. Hmm…I guess she and Larry like separate vacations.
When everyone finally left this afternoon Chris told me we’d head out Wednesday to test my sea legs and check out a little island just 10 miles north called Isla Grande, with a beach called Playa Linda that Marlena said was really great.
Then we will head south to Acapulco, which according to a Coast Pilot-type book called Charlie’s Charts, is “One of the world’s finest harbors and most popular tourist resorts…”
1-28-88 — Thursday Left Ziuat yesterday at 4:24 pm. I was at the helm as we headed out and I remember looking at my watch. We hoisted the sails, but continued to motor, as the seas got heavier. We stayed on deck most of the time, as it is hard to stay down below under passage without unloading your stomach a few times, as Donna did. Surprisingly enough I didn’t get seasick. I took a few 3-hour watches, and a few short siestas on deck and down below. No problema.
We pulled into Acapulco around noon. Beautiful entrance. Great houses up on the cliffs. I took some photos, in fact, at one point, as I was trying to steer and take a photo, the boat swung hard to port toward a big party boat. Needless to say, I had to drop the camera and grab the wheel. Whew! Party on amigos!
We had trouble setting anchor, so we put the dinghy in the water and Chris dropped the Danforth off the starboard bow, giving us two anchors out just to play safe.
Shortly after setting anchor a couple pulled up on a trimaran from San Francisco called the Bona Venture, introduced themselves as Glen and Barbara, and said they were from Willits. Unbelievable! For those who don’t know, Willits is not a port town on the California coast, but a cowboy town 35 miles inland.
After they moved on Chris looked up at the cliffs and told me he heard divers are known to dive off those tall cliffs, as if daring me to do it. Donna laughed and read from the Chart Guide the following:
“DIVING: This coast is rarely visited by divers because of very turbid waters, bull and other sharks, black and yellow sea snakes, and a general lack of access and good diving. The snakes are members of the cobra family, forming masses on the surface to attract fish to eat.”
1-29-88 Friday — We’re paying 15,000 pesos per night to anchor the boat and use the facilities here at Club de Yates de Acapulco, which include poolside amenities, telefono, and hot showers—a real luxury after being out at sea. The plan is to watch the Super Bowl Sunday and head out Monday…
2-1-88 Monday — Woke up because Chris killed the engine…now I hear the water slapping against the hull as I lay here in my bunk…it’s 7:30 am and Donna’s playing with the ham radio (it doesn’t pick up well with interference from the engine) trying to get the Class of ’88 Net—which includes the other cruisers planning to go through the canal together and split the cost.
Guess I’ll drag my ass up on deck…I had the 1am to 4 am watch so I feel a little groggy, which makes me think of a way to describe to my boys what it’s like cruising out here on the ocean. Think of it as a big motor home with mushy, worn out suspension, driving up and down, back and forth on Highway 20 between Willits and Fort Bragg for days without stopping.
Like Chris says, “It’s not bad in strong winds, it’s the big waves that do you in.”
Up here we’re beating into an 8-10 knot wind and going only about 3 knots with the engine off. When it’s on we average about 5 knots. This boat was designed for motor sailing. It’s a long and narrow (55’ X 10’) double-ended three-masted schooner.
Anyhow, the seas are fairly flat and nothing on the horizon for 360 degrees, except now the sun is coming up and we’re heading right into it. Going to be a hot one today. We’ve noticed more humidity as we head south. The present reading is latitude 15 degrees north and longitude 99 degrees west.
2-2-88 Tuesday — Pulled into Bahia Guataleo, the only sailboat in the bay, but many little pangas (fiber glass fishing boats with big outboards). Happens to be a new tourist spot with mucho construction. Chris and I went for a short run and then had lobster and shrimp in a little restaurante right on the beach.
We couldn’t get ice until manana and figured why buy beer if we can’t keep it cold. Then as we got ready to leave a federale asked us if that was our “barka.” He followed us out to look at our papers. All good.
So we’re under way again, chugging along at 5.5 knots and under full sail. Weather is good and we should be through the treacherous Gulf of Tehuantepec in a few days to arrive in Puerto Madero, our last stop in Mexico.
Conventional wisdom says that boats heading through the Gulf of Tehuantepec should stay close to land because of the “Tehuantepeckers,” up to 60-knot winds that scream across the narrow, flat spit of land separating the Gulf of Mexico from the Pacific.
Three people lost their boats last year making this same run--two in February, the worst month, and they all tried to take the short-cut straight across.
Only problem is by hugging the shore to avoid the Tehuantepeckers you’re on the drug route, the active smuggling route between Columbia and California, where more boats laden with cocaine have moved to the Pacific from the Caribbean because of an ongoing crackdown. Then there’s the local traffickers making quick trips over the Guatemalan border.
We will stay about a mile from shore for the duration of this leg to avoid the strong off-shore winds and big seas that could send us down to Davy Jones Locker…and hope we don’t run into any pirates.
(To Be Continued…)
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 31, 2016
JOSHUA ADMIRE, Fort Bragg. Loaded firearm in public, probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER BROCKWAY, Little River. Under influence, vandalism, witness intimidation, county parole violation.
MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
ROCKY DUMAN, Ukiah. Parole resentencing.
STEVEN GREEN, Ukiah. Receiving stolen property, offenses while on bail, probatioin revocation.
DOUGLASS HILL, Eureka/Potter Valley. DUI.
RICHARD PAGE, Ukiah. Battery.
by James Kunstler
What was with James Comey’s Friday letter to congress? It looks to me like the FBI Director had to go nuclear against his parent agency, the Department of Justice, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, his boss, in particular. Why? Because the Attorney General refused to pursue the Clinton email case when more evidence turned up in the underage sexting case against Anthony Weiner, husband of Hillary’s chief of staff, Huma Abedin.
Over the weekend, the astounding news story broke that the FBI had not obtained a warrant to examine the emails on Weiner’s computer and other devices after three weeks of getting stonewalled by DOJ attorneys. What does it mean when the Director of the FBI can’t get a warrant in a New York minute? It must mean that the DOJ is at war with the FBI. Watergate is looking like thin gruel compared to this fantastic Bouillabaisse of a presidential campaign fiasco.
One way you can tell is that The New York Times is playing down the story Monday morning. Columnist Paul Krugman calls the Comey letter “cryptic.” Krugman’s personal cryptograph insinuates that Comey is trying to squash an investigation of “Russian meddling in American elections.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid chimed in with a statement that “it has become clear that you [Comey] possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers and the Russian government.” How’s that for stupid and ugly? It’s the Russian’s fault that Hillary finds herself in trouble again?
Earlier this week, lawyers at the DOJ attempted to quash a parallel investigation of the Clinton Foundation. They must be out of their minds to think that story will go away. Isn’t it about time that a House or Senate committee subpoenaed Bill Clinton to testify under oath about his June airport meeting with Loretta Lynch? He doesn’t enjoy any special immunity in this case.
Speaking of immunity, when will we learn what kind of immunity Huma Abedin may have been granted in previous cycles of the email investigation? Plenty of other Clinton campaign associates got immunity from prosecution earlier this year, rendering bales of evidence on their own laptops inadmissible in the email server case.
Things as yet unknown: Where is US Attorney (for the Southern District of New York) Preet Bharara in this case? He works for the DOJ, but he is known to be an independent operator, and he must be already involved at least in the underage sexting case against Weiner, meaning he’s had access to an awful lot of collateral evidence from Weiner’s laptop, and must have obtained some kind of warrants of his own.
What appears to be unraveling is the AG Loretta Lynch’s effort to protect Hillary Clinton and now, in this Alfred Hitchcock movie of a presidential election, she’s trying to make it look like James Comey is stabbing Hillary in the shower. (Film buffs note: in Hitchcock’s Psycho the character played by Janet Leigh made off with a bundle of money from her place of employment before Norman Bates worked his hoodoo on her at the motel.)
Trump, of course, is playing the escapade up in his usual idiotic way. It would be unfortunate if it ended up getting him elected — but how would it not be unfortunate for Hillary to wind up in the White House under a cloud of possible indictment? She will be doing Chinese fire drills with a special prosecutor the whole time she is in office, tempted at every moment to start a war with the Russians to divert attention from her legal problems.
Soon we will learn what kind of tensions are roiling between the FBI and the DOJ, and internally within each of these agencies. There are too many pissed off people there to prevent leakage, and probably plenty of email memoranda among the officials that would nicely lay out a trail of incrimination leading into the Attorney General’s office itself.
What a fine mess. And anybody who thinks that any of it might be resolved before November 8 will be disappointed. This story has so many legs, it looks like an Amazonian centipede compared to the lumbering cockroach that was Watergate. The awful proceedings will grind on and on while the US economy and its vampire squid matrix of financial rackets implode in 2017 along with the European Union and global trade. How do you like The Long Emergency now?
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page at: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
WANNA BE A COMMISH?
Mendocino County Executive Office is accepting applications for anticipated vacancies on the following Boards or Commissions:
In-Home Supportive Services Advisory Council: 1 Current or Former IHSS Recipient
Mendocino County Fish and Game Commission 1, 4th District Representative
Noyo Harbor District 1 Commissioner
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
So now Russia, WikiLeaks and the FBI have tried to impact our presidential election. Why did the FBI not find these emails during the original investigation? That’s scary. This is the leading law enforcement agency responsible for our national security. And the FBI went directly against its own policy to not confirm or deny ongoing investigations. Our democracy truly is at risk.
WE MAY BE OLD, and easily confused, but…
Art Appreciation Class
Wednesday, November 2
at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance
204 N. Cloverdale Blvd
Mystery Of A Masterpiece: The Forensics Of Fine Art
The Cloverdale Arts Alliance invites you to attend this lecture and DVD, a PBS NOVA special, on the discovering of a possible lost Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, and efforts taken by its new owner, an art dealer, to authenticate it. We will look at the world of provenance, and techniques of imaging analysts, art historians and costume historians as they attempt to discover if this drawing is real or a clever fake. Come and see what you think about its authenticity.
Join the stimulating discussion that follows!
The fall lineup is as follows:
Nov. 2 - Mystery of a Masterpiece: The Forensics of Fine Art
Nov. 16 - Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens Attendees are invited to join all the classes, or choose those that interest them the most. Discovering Art is meant for a wide audience, from those who are discovering art for the first time to those who have experienced art their entire lives and realize that it is a journey of constant discovery.
A nominal donation ($5 per class for CAA members, $7 for non-members) will be requested. Seating is limited to the first 40 participants. Call 894-4410, or visit cloverdaleartsalliance.org, for more information about this program.
Visit http://cts.vresp.com/c/?CloverdaleArtsAllian/e723ed40b2/316e594065/ce216d15d8 for the full schedule and further information regarding this or the many other fine Cloverdale Art Alliance programs.
US COAST GUARD REPORTS RECORD YEAR IN COUNTERDRUG OPS
“The Sweet Life: Cherry Stories from Butler Ranch,” offers a rich bounty of tales with a common thread: our community’s deep respect, gratitude, and love for a pair of Ukiah ranchers and their cherry orchard. Storytellers recount the joys of picking cherries at Butler Ranch and remember the warmth and openheartedness of George and Ella Butler. The book, including seventy-five photographs, also features ranch history, family biographies, and poetry.
“The Sweet Life” is the culmination of The Butler Cherry Ranch Project’s recognition of the Butlers’ commitment to the land and our community. To pre-order, contact La Vida Charter School at email@example.com or call 459-6344. It also will be available at Mendocino County Museum and the Mendocino Book Company. “The Sweet Life” book launch with cherry pie takes place at the Ukiah bookstore November 19 at 2:00 p.m. For further information, call La Vida or Landcestry at 272-8305.
TWO ITEMS FROM BROADBAND ALLIANCE
Tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 1st) AT&T will make a presentation to the Board of Supervisors <http://www.mendocinobroadband.org/topics/special-sessions/> at 10 am on their network upgrades and Connect America Funding plans for Mendocino County. They have plans to deploy "fixed local loop" to locations throughout the county, so if you want to hear more, please plan to attend (or you can live-stream the proceedings
We also have our Public Outreach meeting on Friday <http://www.mendocinobroadband.org/topics/public-outreach/>. I have only been holding a meeting every 2 months (instead of monthly) but it seems like having the meeting every 2 months allows it to fall off the radar for a lot of people. We need your input and participation, so please try to attend (or call in) if you can. The agenda is attached.
Thanks, and have a Happy Halloween :)
* * *
Broadband Alliance Public Outreach Meeting
Friday, November 4th, 2016 10 am-11:30 am
Community Foundation of Mendocino County
Call in Number: 641-715-3341 Access code: 108 1131#
- Call to Order
- Additions to the agenda
- NBNCBC News and updates since last meeting on Sept 9th, 2016
- Consortium grant update
- OverSight Committee meeting on Oct. 20th to discuss JPA
III. BAMC/County News
- BAMC website -new content
- County joins Next Century Cities (nextcenturycities.org)
- Oct 4th - county filed comments in Rural Call Completion Proceeding
- County broadband goals and strategies/broadband working group
- Legislative issues and updates
- BAMC/NBNCBC letter for re-appointment of CPUC Commissioner Sandoval
- FCC privacy letter from Public Interest Groups
- “The Public Lands Telecommunications Act” (Huffman) introduced into House on 9/21/16.
- “Broadband Connections for Rural Opportunities Program Act” (U.S. Senators Shelley
Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)) introduced on 9/28/16.
- Updates from elected representatives present
- Assemblymember Wood’s AB 1549 (Broadband Map Act)
- Broadband deployment updates and data
- AT&T - CAF 2 funding update - Nov. 1st presentation
- Other provider updates
- Other updates - Executive Office, Libraries, Public Safety, EDFC, SMEDD, other organizations
VII.Access Sonoma Broadband Update - Mike Nicholls
VIII. Outreach and future agenda items
- Final comments
- Next meeting: January 6th, 2017
Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County
MendocinoBroadband.org ⬧ 707-354-3224
EARTH & SKY
Mushroom appetizers, migratory bird talk on Museum's First Friday Art Walk
by Roberta Werdinger
The Grace Hudson Museum will serve as a cozy perch on the eve of Friday, November 4, from 5 to 8 p.m., when it will once again welcome the public for its First Friday Art Walk event. Mushroom appetizers will be served to celebrate the Mendocino Mushroom, Wine and Beer Festival, a popular annual event running November 4-13 with activities throughout the county. At 6:30 p.m., bird expert and longtime Peregrine Audubon Society member Bob Keiffer will be on hand to provide a short presentation about migratory birds in the region. Hannah Bird, community educator at the Hopland Research Extension Center (HREC), which conducts extensive research into migratory species, will also be on hand throughout the evening. She and Keiffer will preside over tables of educational materials to engage museumgoers in local avian-related activity.
The Peregrine Audubon Society contains many active and enthusiastic members, who have recently reported sightings of bald eagle, red phalarope, burrowing owl, and Say's Phoebe among others. Mendocino County lies in the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south pathway that extends the entire range of the Americas. A billion birds make their way along the Pacific Flyway every year (a reduced number, actually, compared to a century ago), on journeys extending thousands of miles and traversing a wide range of ecosystems.
Hannah Bird explains, "We look forward to introducing the audience to the research work of the UC Hopland REC, particularly that relating to birds and to our feathered seasonal visitors that face such challenges on their journeys."
Visitors can extend their own journeys by viewing the Museum's current exhibit, "Instinct Extinct: The Great Pacific Flyway," a multidisciplinary art installation exploring and celebrating the Pacific Flyway through a range of lenses including scientific, agricultural, cultural and spiritual. The exhibit runs through November 27.
The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. For more information please call 467-2836 or go to www.gracehudsonmuseum.org
SPECIAL FUNDRAISING CONCERT FOR UCCA
Ukiah Community Concert Association and Ukiah Joel Present Scottish Fiddle Legend Alasdair Fraser & young cello ace Natalie Haas
Special Fundraising Concert for Ukiah Community Concert Association
Ukiah, California- (October 31, 2016) The musical partnership between consummate performer Alasdair Fraser, “the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling,” and brilliant Californian cellist, Natalie Haas, spans the full spectrum between intimate chamber music and ecstatic dance energy. This special concert will be held at Ukiah High School Cafetorium on Sunday November 13, at 4:00 pm.
Over the last 16 years of creating a buzz at festivals and concert halls across the world, they have truly set the standard for fiddle and cello in traditional music. They continue to thrill audiences internationally with their virtuosic playing, their near-telepathic understanding, and the joyful spontaneity and sheer physical presence of their music.
“While his fiddle dances, her cello throbs darkly or plucks puckishly. Then [Haas] opens her cello’s throat, joining Fraser in soaring sustains, windswept refrains, and sudden jazzy explosions.”
– The Boston Globe
Fraser has a concert and recording career spanning over 30 years with a long list of awards and accolades. In 2011, he was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. Haas, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, is one of the most sought after cellists in traditional music today. She has performed and recorded with a who’s who of the fiddle world including Mark O’Connor, Hanneke Cassel, Laura Cortese and many more.
Ukiah Community Concert Association has been presenting nationally acclaimed talent since 1947. This all-volunteer nonprofit’s mission is to build and maintain a permanent concert audience and cultivate an interest in fine music among the citizens of the community and surrounding area. It is also their goal to encourage music appreciation in the schools of the community.
This is the second time Alasdair and Natalie have agreed to a special fundraising concert for the Ukiah Community Concert Association. Advanced tickets available at Mendocino Book Company, in Ukiah, Mazahar in Willits and on our website. Single tickets are $30 (adult) and $10 (youth). For more information call 707-463-2738, or visit the association’s website at www.ukiahconcerts.org.
CALIFORNIA'S SCARIEST HALLOWEEN HORROR SHOW: JERRY BROWN'S DELTA TUNNELS
by Dan Bacher
While adults and children alike dress up as vampires, ghosts, zombies, extra-terrestrials and other creatures on Halloween, Governor Jerry Brown is busy promoting his own real life horror show that exceeds the terror found in any scary movie that’s ever appeared on the silver screen — his Delta Tunnels of Death.
Like an evil vampire that you just can't seem to kill, the Delta-destroying tunnels plan keeps coming back.
Jerry Brown is no stranger to vampires and “dark energy" himself.
In a pre-recorded interview with Chuck Todd this August, Brown “compared the controversy surrounding Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s email server to a vampire plot,” reported Politico on August 21. (www.politico.com/..”.
“It has some kind of dark energy that gets everybody excited,” Governor Brown said. “It’s almost like a vampire; she’s going to have to find a stake and put it right through the heart of these emails.”
The California governor also said the email controversy “has kind of a mystique to it.”
I think I will take the good advice that Brown had for the email controversy and apply it to his Delta Tunnels plan. We must find a stake and put it right through the “heart” of the California WaterFix project.
As you may remember, the voters overwhelmingly defeated the water-sucking and fish-exterminating vampire project, originally known as the Peripheral Canal, in November 1982.
However, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger resurrected the undead project from its electoral tomb starting in 2007 under new, less scary-sounding names - the Delta Vision Plan and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan - and did everything he could push the plan through without allowing the voters to vote, including pressuring the Legislation to pass a water policy/water bond package in November 2009 that cleared the path to the construction of the peripheral canal.
Jerry Brown embraced the water-guzzling vampire project of Schwarzenegger's as his own "legacy" when he entered his third term as Governor in January 2015 - and in fact fast-tracked the project as the peripheral canal became the twin tunnels. .
I’ve published hundreds of articles about the Delta Tunnels, Governor Jerry Brown's plan to divert Sacramento River water 30 miles under the California Delta to facilitate its export to corporate agribusiness and Southern California water agencies, in a wide array of publications.
In my reporting, I’ve covered many of the horrors of the deadly, estuary-killing plan. These include:
- How the project won’t create one drop of new water while spending up to $67 billion of taxpayer and ratepayer’s money.
- How the project’s former point man Jerry Meral, in a moment of candor in 2013, claimed the Delta “cannot be saved,” after years of promoting the peripheral canal and tunnels as the solution to the co-equal goals of water supply reliability.
- How the reports of scientific panels, ranging from the Delta Independence Science Board to federal EPA scientists, that have given the alleged “science” of the tunnels project a failing grade.
- How the California WaterFix is a massive water grab for corporate agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies, subsidized by the taxpayers.
- How the project won’t help Californians during the drought, fund innovative water conservation, storm water capture, or water recycling projects that are desperately needed.
- How the plan will push endangered fish species, such as Delta and longfin smelt, winter Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead and green sturgeon, over the abyss of extinction, while failing to address the state's long-term water supply needs.
- How the project will devastate not only San Francisco Bay and Delta fisheries, but recreational, commercial and subsistence fisheries up and down the West Coast; the salmon fishery alone is worth $1.5 billion annually.
- How the tunnels will also imperil the salmon, steelhead and other fish populations on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers that are an integral part of the culture and livelihoods of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley tribes.
- How the tunnels would devastate the Delta’s $5.2 billion agricultural economy and $750 million recreation and tourism economy.
- How the Winnemem Wintu Tribe and other California Indian Tribes have been excluded or marginalized in the Delta Tunnels process.
- How documents for the tunnels projects, in an overt case of environmental injustice, have not been translated into Spanish and other languages, as required under an array of state and federal laws.
- How the current petition before the State Water Resources Control Board and all of the previous plans, EIRs and documents of the plan have failed to address other alternatives, such as the Environmental Water Caucus’ Sustainable Water Plan for California, for achieving the dual goals of ecosystem restoration and water supply.
I’ve also covered the lack of scoping meetings for the new plan; lack of details regarding financing, addition of 8,000 new pages for public comment on top of the existing 40,000 pages that were previously submitted by the state and federal governments last year; and the lack of a cost-benefits analysis.
But in the many hours I’ve spent covering the California WaterFix and its predecessors, there’s one deadly flaw with the project that stands out among all others: the false assumption the project is based upon.
The Water Fix is based on the absurd contention that taking up to 9,000 cubic feet per second of water from the Sacramento River at the new points of diversion, as requested in the petition by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to the State Water Resources Control Board, will somehow “restore” the Delta ecosystem.
I am not aware of a single project in US or world history where the construction of a project that takes more water out of a river or estuary has resulted in the restoration of that river or estuary.
Based on this untenable premise and all of the flaws that thousands of Californians have uncovered about the project, I am strongly urging the State Water Resources Control Board to reject the petition of DWR and Reclamation requesting permits for new water diversion intakes on the Sacramento River and water quality certification under the Clean Water Act.
This vampire project will make the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, San Francisco Bay and our ocean waters into a giant aquatic graveyard. We must drive a stake into the heart of this project of multiple horrors and stop it from pushing Delta and longfin smelt, Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, green sturgeon and other fish and wildlife species into the dark abyss of extinction.
LAST MISSIVE ON 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
You may thank the supreme being this is my last Presidential politics missive before election. It will be refreshing & valuable for me to hear from friends voting for Hillary in response to this piece: “Yes, we know that everything Jeffrey Sachs says here is true, but war is not the most significant issue.”
Who’s Jeffrey Sachs? Now at Columbia University after 18 years as Harvard Professor of Economics & Director of the Harvard Institute for International Development. Twice named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. Now Director of the Earth Institute of Columbia University, he is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Sustainable Development Goals; he previously advised UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals.
In CA we can and should cast a vote against war, call it a protest vote if you will. Green or Libertarian. Mine’ll be Green.
Almost all of the Clintons’ gross income after deducting expenses ($28,020,811) was derived from self-employment: with the biggest amounts for making speeches (slightly more than $8.7 million made by Hillary and $8.4 million by Bill), consulting ($6.1 million made by Bill,) and writing ($4.6 million made by Hillary.)
All of their speaking income is paid by The Harry Walker Agency. However, under IRS rules, who paid the agency or to whom they spoke is not disclosed.
TAKE CARE OF CREEKY
Please Give Mark Creekwater Cash for His Use
Warmest spiritual greetings. Please know that our comrade Mark Creekwater recently informed me via email that he is in Berkeley serving the masses free meals as a participant with East Bay Food Not Bombs. As you no doubt recall, EBFNB neglected to reimburse me $55, after I contributed that amount to Berkeley's Acton Street House to cover an excessively high utility bill which resulted from EBFNB's irresponsible behaviour while cooking meals there. The group, which I was a part of at the time, split into factions, did not behave collectively, and ultimately it was not possible for me to get reimbursed. Asa Dodsworth (who owns Acton Street House) said to me that the reason that I could not get EBFNB to reimburse me the money [which I temporarily gave to the house, because I was asked to do so when I was living there, in order to get house bills paid so that we did not lose any essential services, particularly concerned about the unusually high utility bills which were due to EBFNB's irresponsible behaviour, the group never remembering to turn off the oven before leaving the house to go to People's Park to serve the meal, etc.] is because some of the individuals who were involved with EBFNB at the time were insane! Thus Asa explained to me what the the root of the problem was. If Mark Creekwater needs anything while in the Berkeley area, it is my request that he receive it. That will satisfy me, in regard to the Berkeley anarchist milieu's need to apologize to me for the utterly stupid relationship I ended up with in association with East Bay Food Not Bombs. Take care of Creeky, and you are good with me. You may contact him to see what his present requirements are at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Nota bene: If Creeky has left Berkeley, feel free to contact him, and then mail him some money. It's the proper anarchist thing to do. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
Craig Louis Stehr