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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017

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WILLITS WEEKLY REPORTER Mike A'Dair dug up some useful background concerning the ongoing dispute between County trash hauler Jerry Ward of Solid Waste of Willits (SWOW) and the County last week.

Newly appointed County trash czar Louise Moore told A'Dair that her demand that Ward pay $25,000 for a performance bond "would protect the County and ultimately Ward's solid waste customers. With the performance bonds in place if SWOW goes under then we have $250,000 that the county can use to help us find a resolution to the problem," Morris said, not explaining how $250k could be used in the absence of Ward’s county-wide operation and facilities, even for a short time.

According to A'Dair's backgrounder, Ward first applied for a rate increase in late 2015 while former Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority General Manager Mike Sweeney was still the County's trash czar. Sweeney hasn't liked Ward since back in the early 2000s when the County ultimately chose Ward's recycling facility in Willits over Sweeney's grandiose North-Ukiah proposal which was eventually blocked by a neighborhood group’s environmental lawsuit.

In early 2016 the Board of Supervisors created a special ad hoc committee composed of Fifth District Supervisor Dan Hamburg and then-Third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse to deal with Ward's proposed rate increase. They met with Ward several times but "had difficulty agreeing on the numbers in SWOW's financial books."

A'Dair points out that the franchise agreement that the Sweeney-written franchise agreement that Ward has with the County requires an independent audit to be paid for by the company "when a [financial] disagreement arises."

In May of 2016, five months after Ward's initial application, Sweeney proposed some concessions to Ward "that did not include the large rate increase Ward was seeking but which both Sweeney and the Hamburg-Woodhouse ad hoc committee maintained would provide Ward with $108,000 worth of increased revenue. Ward rejected the concessions stating they would not be enough to turn the company around."

The $108,000 was estimated by Sweeney, not Ward.

As the slow-motion train wreck proceeded down the tracks, Sweeney proposed that Ward pay for the audit required by the franchise agreement at an estimated cost of $25-$30,000. Ward refused.

More months went by. Supervisor Woodhouse stopped attending board meetings in late August due to his now well-known mental health problems. Sweeney retired in late September. Hamburg said nothing and did nothing about the issue over the ensuing months, nor did he report on status of the ad hoc committee which did not meet again — "resulting in a six month stalemate between Ward, the Solid Waste Management Authority and the County," A'Dair reported.

Nothing happened until Ward finally appeared before the Board of Supervisors on December 20 in a last-ditch attempt to get the board to pay attention to the problem. At that time Ward said that Sweeney's $108,000 estimate for the “concessions” was exaggerated, but even so it was far short of the $275k he said he needed to stay out of bankruptcy in 2017. "I don't have the money to pay for an audit," Ward told the Supes in December. "I cannot make payroll next week (the last week of December)."

Ward has asked for a 4% increase in collection fees in Anderson Valley and 9% increase on the South Coast including Point Arena and Gualala. He also wants to close three recycling buyback centers — in Westport, Boonville and Gualala — because the recycling market has fallen way off.

In other words, most of the responsibility for the long delay in dealing with the problem can be attributed directly to Supervisor Hamburg who irresponsibly did nothing for months at a time while the problem went unaddressed, and Ward’s losses continued to mount until Ward himself made his appearance at the Board of Supervisors meeting in December to try to get some attention paid to the problem.

This year in the wake of Ward's December appearance, the Board belatedly re-activated the dormant ad hoc committee, appointing Supervisor John McCowen to replace Woodhouse. The Hamburg-McCowen "committee" has reported met with Ward a couple of times but has made no progress so far other than demanding the performance bond and a promise from Ward that he not sue the County for any financial damages the County may inflict on his business.

According to a letter in this week’s Independent Coast Observer concerning the ongoing dispute and the status of Ward's company (reprinted below), letter writer Jennifer Washick of Point Arena said that Ward's 80 dedicated employees worked without pay over the holidays.

We've been keeping a close eye on Board meetings and Supervisors reports and the only subjects that Supervisor Hamburg has spoken about in his "Supervisors Reports" have been the attempts of people other than himself to get better broadband service in the County and Mendo's tenuous connection to a Sonoma County Clean Power program which Mendo is riding the coat-tails of.

Other than that, Hamburg has done nothing for the Fifth District or the County besides draw his nice salary and benefits, appear at a few meetings with nothing to say, denounce the Sheriff’s sorely needed Mental Health Initiative without substantive reason ultimately leading to its narrow defeat, and personally intervene with County officials to have his mentally ill son fast-tracked through the Mental Health system to save Hamburg a few bucks.

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We are in imminent danger of losing our refuse company, Solid Waste of Willits.

I was shocked to read about the dispute that Mr. Ward is having with the County. I thought immediately on my fixed budget that I can afford another $5 a month. After speaking to owner Jerry Ward he said it would only be one or two dollars a month. Who would say no to this?

No one else bid on his contract, I learned, and Anita recommended we all contact Dan Hamburg and Jerry agreed. We are so grateful we have these workers! They are out there on holidays in the freezing rain and snow and in the dark. These workers are not taking vacations, not buying fancy cars and are getting by like everyone else.

Sometimes their trucks even break down and they still make it!

This problem started on December 15, 2015 and now has become very bad. We need to all support them immediately! We already have increased trash from tourists and even locals. This would be a nightmare. Please tell everyone to call and write an email now to Supervisor Hamburg at 707-463-4441 and email

Thank you to everyone who picks up all the trash like me! I see you!

In some newspapers it says that the problem is with Ward’s Willits company. I don't care: it's about to be our very serious problem. The 80 workers at Solid Waste of Willits — including a percentage in Gualala — went without pay for the holidays! It is so hard to get workers here! We are so fortunate to have them! We support Solid Waste of Willits!

Love this Coast, not losing it!

Jennifer Washick, Point Arena

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A READER sent along this FaceBook post by Junice Gleason of Fort Bragg:

"Shout out to all Mendocino Coast Hospital Board members. If you signed a retainer agreement with John Ruprecht [Fort Bragg attorney] on behalf of MCDH [Coast Hospital], you may very well have signed personal liability for payment of his services. Read your retainment agreement very, very carefully for if MCDH does not have the money to pay him, he may put a lien on your personal residence if MCDH happens to default on payments for his services.

"I signed such an agreement on behalf of Fort Bragg Footlighters [an amateur community theater group]. Footlighters could not pay him another $83,000 after we had already paid him $71,000.

"John Ruprecht has put a lien for $83,000 on my home, a lien on my cousin Joseph Sverko's home, and another $83,000 on our Footlighters theater. [Presumably the real property on Laurel Street.]

"He is a great lawyer but he may cost you, your cause, your home, your community hospital. Wow! He is a very highly paid parasite on our community, in my opinion."

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IT WAS A LONG and winding path to get to the liens against Gleason's and Sverko's properties, highlighted by a battle for title to the old theater on Laurel.

RUPRECHT managed to retrieve title to the building, with Gleason and Sverko personally guaranteeing his legal fees, perhaps assuming eventual sale of the Footlighters building would, if necessary, pay them back. A third Footlighter, Bob Armitage wisely refused to sign the fee agreement with Ruprecht as a personal guarantor as Ruprecht battled to recover title to the theater, valued at somewhere between $400,000 and $600,000.

JUDGE CLAYTON BRENNAN SUMMED UP: "Finally, it was clearly demonstrated at trial that defendant Sverko, who grew up with and is related to Gleason, understood the personal nature of his obligation to the contract. He advanced over $50,000 of his own funds toward the litigation…. He testified that he was willing to do so because ‘the Footlighters mean everything to me…’

"On an emotional level one cannot help but be touched by the passion and love the defendants have for the Footlighters. However, it also appeared that the overarching theme of defendants' case was that it is not fair to hold a non-profit mutual benefit corporation of artists accountable for a large debt. Obviously, this notion is untenable."

SEEMS TENABLE from here and only became untenable when the legal profession assumes that exorbitant legal fees are more tenable than a community theater group.

GLEASON and Sverko didn't sign up for personal liability to make money; they signed up to save the Footlighters and to save the building the Footlighters performed in.

PREDICTION: Ruprecht will wind up owning the building, thus making a lot more money from its sale than he would make tossing an old lady out of her home.

IT SEEMS UNLIKELY that Coast Hospital trustees, mostly doctors, would assume any kind of personal liability. Doctors read the small print on contracts even more assiduously than lawyers.

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THE WILLITS WEEKLY reports that in addition to Holly Madrigal and Willits veterinarian Georgeanne Croskey, Willits Teachers Association President John Haschak has applied to be appointed to the Third District Supervisorial seat recently vacated by the resignation of Tom Woodhouse.

"Haschak has been a bilingual teacher in the Willits Unified School District for 27 years. He also has been active in union activities and has been chapter president of the Willits Teachers most of the last 13 years. Active in the teachers labor union at the state level as well, Haschak was chairman of the Redwood Service Center (a regional division of the California Teachers Association) for four years and served as vice chairman of the CTA budget committee for six years. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from UCLA in 1981 and his teacher's certification the following year. A member of the Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee, Haschak has not run for public officer before. He said he is seeking Woodhouses's seat on the board of supervisors because 'we need progressive leadership' in that office. 'I think I'll be able to work with people in the Third District and on the board of supervisors,' he said, 'so we can get things done and move the county forward'."

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According to Transparent California, Haschak made $72k per year in 2015 as a "languages teacher" — plus $19k worth of benefits. We could find no record of Mr. Haschak taking a position on anything in Mendo, Willits, or elsewhere, besides his and his fellow teachers’ possible pay cuts back in 2010 during the boycott of an open house at Baechtel Grove Middle School.

WE ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT JOHN PINCHES has confirmed rumors that he would like his Third District seat back, and he's our preferred candidate. But he's a long shot, a very long shot because he's variously a Republican or a Libertarian up against Democrats, including Holly Madrigal who, by rights, should get the nod since she ran for the seat, narrowly losing to Woodhouse in 2014. And she's a Democrat hard-wired to the Northcoast's party apparat.

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I'm very concerned by that "One Taste" thing in Philo. Perhaps you should send a reporter up there to find out what is going on!

Jenny Sims


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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “The sun was finally out all day today. Gave me some time to practice my double-overpaw choke slam submission hold.”

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RAILROAD GULCH, Mendocino County (CA) — Sierra Club Redwood Chapter filed an amicus brief today in support of legal action against a plan to harvest 758 acres of forest in Railroad Gulch.

The lawsuit was filed by the Forest Preservation Society, a local nonprofit, to challenge the Timber Harvest Plan (THP) approved by CalFire and to be carried out by Mendocino Redwood Company.

Sierra Club member Linda Perkins said the destruction of the forest will cause many ecological and water quality problems and enhance fire danger. “The lawsuit was initiated with a single litigant, and our group is very happy to have the opportunity to add Sierra Club's voice and support to their efforts,” said Perkins, who lives in the nearby community of Albion.

Tucked in a valley within the coastal range, Railroad Gulch sits between commercial forests and neighborhoods about six miles southeast of the city of Mendocino. It is a major tributary to the Albion River, which flows west toward Albion.

The legal opposition challenges that CalFire failed to address cumulative impacts of the plan on greenhouse gas emissions and the habitat of the Northern Spotted Owl, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The lawsuit also outlined failure to comply with watershed rules.

Mendocino County Superior Court ruled against a temporary stay, and the case is now in District 3 of the Appellate Court. Sierra Club and Forest Preservation Society hope this case will set legal precedent on environmental regulations.

“We hope the litigation will result in more accurate methodologies to assess and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our timberlands and allow the forests to play their very effective, critical role in sequestering carbon and helping meet California's goals in combating climate change,” said Perkins.

For more information, please contact Linda Perkins at or (707) 937-0903.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 14, 2017

Aadland-Breen, Borger, Gomes, Jarvis


PHILIP BORGER, Ukiah. Meth possession for sale.

RYAN GOMES, Fort Bragg. ID theft, impersonation of another person, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

HEATH JARVIS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, resisting, probation revocation.

Lopez, Marizette, Molina, Page

RYAN LOPEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

TEVIN MARIZETTE, Talmage. DUI, probation revocation.

RHEANNAH MOLINA, Ukiah. Under influence.

MARTIN PAGE, Willits. Failure to appear.

Patty, Perez, Ritter

FRANKLIN PATTY, Willits. Community supervision violation.

JEANNETTE PEREZ, Philo. Counterfeiting, making or passing counterfeit note, check or bill, county parole violation.

GEOFFREY RITTER, Ukiah. Loitering.

Scott, Valdez, Villanueva

ASHAKI SCOTT, Antioch/Gualala. Arson.

BARDO VALDEZ, Ukiah. DUI causing injury, probation revocation.


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"I hooked up the accelerator pedal in my car to the brake lights. I hit the gas, people behind me stop, and I’m gone." — Steven Wright

The recording of last night's (2017-01-13) KNYO (and, three hours in, also KMEC) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download and enjoy, via

Also, at you'll find thousands of links to not necessarily radio —useful but certainly worthwhile things to see and/or do and learn about, such as:

Chaud Lapin (say SHO-la-pa).

The glorious Venturi cathedrals left behind by nuclear technology.

Sexy LED hula-hoop dance.

And, Jesus, be careful, man. You get sucked into there, you end up on that planet Gemma was trapped on with Hydra’s horror god.

Marco McClean

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The Republicans are having trouble with the “replace” part of their promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. One of their solutions, health savings accounts, is not insurance and benefits those who already have money to set aside for health insurance. If you have medical expenses that exceed your savings, you’re on your own in the GOP’s Darwinian world.

Bill Collins, Pacifica

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“A FEW OF US BEGGED AND PLEADED with Obama to break with the Wall Street priorities and bail out Main Street. But he followed the advice of his ‘smart’ neoliberal advisers to bail out Wall Street. In March 2009, Obama met with Wall Street leaders. He proclaimed: I stand between you and the pitchforks. I am on your side and I will protect you, he promised them. And not one Wall Street criminal executive went to jail… Obama’s lack of courage to confront Wall Street criminals and his lapse of character in ordering drone strikes unintentionally led to rightwing populist revolts at home and ugly Islamic fascist rebellions in the Middle East. And as deporter-in-chief — nearly 2.5 million immigrants were deported under his watch — Obama policies prefigure Trump’s barbaric plans.”

— Cornel West

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"THINK OF IT, SMALLWAYS: there's war everywhere! They're smashing up their civilization before they have made it. The sort of thing the English did at Alexandria, the Japanese at Port Arthur, the French at Casablanca, is going on everywhere. Everywhere! Down in South America even they are fighting among themselves! No place is safe — no place is at peace. There is no place where a woman and her daughter can hide and be at peace. The war comes through the air, bombs drop in the night. Quiet people go out in the morning, and see air-fleets passing overhead — dripping death — dripping death!"

— H.G. Wells, ‘The War in the Air,’ 1907 (the year the Wright Brothers first production Model A Aeroplane was put on sale)

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California’s bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more. And that’s just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion. California’s bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more according to a confidential federal report obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The federal document outlines far­reaching management problems: significant delays in environmental planning, lags in processing invoices for federal grants and continuing failures to acquire needed property. The California High­Speed Rail Authority originally anticipated completing the Central Valley track by this year, but the federal risk analysis estimates that that won’t happen until 2024, placing the project seven years behind schedule.

The report, the most critical official assessment of the project to surface so far, is labeled a “confidential­draft deliberative document for internal use only” and was presented by senior Federal Railroad Administration executives to California rail authority board Chairman Dan Richard and Chief Executive Jeff Morales on Dec. 1 in Washington. This analysis puts the state on notice that it could face bigger cost overruns than anticipated and much longer delays than have been made public, a troubling critique by an agency that has been a stalwart supporter and longtime financier of the nation’s largest infrastructure project...

The Federal Railroad Administration is tracking the project because it has extended $3.5 billion in two grants to help build the Central Valley segment. The administration has an obligation to ensure that the state complies with the terms, including a requirement that the state has the funding to match the federal grants. Rep. Jeff Denham (R­ Turlock), chairman of the House rail subcommittee, said Friday he would conduct an oversight hearing in the near future and fight any further federal funding. “Despite past issues with funding this boondoggle, we were repeatedly assured in an August field hearing that construction costs were under control,” he said in a statement. “They continue to reaffirm my belief that this is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars.”

...Other recent documents, however, paint a dark picture of California’s ambitious transportation project and help explain some of the performance problems. Audit reports last year, for example, found that the rail authority lacks consistent management processes, takes on unnecessary contract risks, does not have orderly records and is short on clearly defined responsibility for its top officials.

And an internal report obtained by The Times notes a just­ completed survey in which employees complain that morale is low and has declined in each of the last three years. Employees interviewed by The Times say turnover is consistently high, leaving staff overworked. The rail authority’s senior deputy, its chief administrative officer and its top information technology executive recently left. Rail authority spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley said that the authority takes the issue seriously and that it is “currently making changes that we expect will help in that regard.”

About 80% of all bullet train systems incur massive overruns in their construction, according to Bent Flyvbjerg, an infrastructure risk expert at the University of Oxford who has studied such rail projects all over the world. One of the biggest hazards of such mega­projects is a government agency that is attempting to do something highly complex for the first time. The California system is being built by an independent authority that has never built anything and depends on a large network of consultants and contractors for advice.

Engineering and construction experts have warned that early cost and schedule problems will be difficult to reverse and that early cost increases likely will drive up the final cost of the project. Proponents of the project, including many veteran transportation experts, have said that California’s massive economy can handle higher costs for the project — even more than $100 billion — by increasing sales taxes or making firm commitments for additional future funding from the state’s general fund.

But the Legislature already has balked at giving the rail authority the ability to borrow against future state revenues, saying it would have to make do with existing allocations. And that was before Gov. Jerry Brown warned Tuesday that California’s projected 2017/­18 budget shows a $1.6­ billion deficit. Proponents say short ­term financial concerns are more than offset by the future value of a transportation system connecting the state.

Brown, meanwhile, has sought to shield the project from interference. He vetoed a bill with bipartisan support in September that would have increased oversight of the project and clarified estimates of how much the project will cost. And last January, a joint committee rejected a proposal to ask the California state auditor to examine the project for the first time in four years.

The federal risk analysis identifies several major problems that have dogged the project for years and proved difficult to remedy. In January 2012, the rail authority said it would start construction in Fresno by June, but it had not purchased a single piece of land. Farmers resisted from the start, saying the route would cut diagonally through some of the nation’s most fertile acreage, devastating their operations...

The federal report also raises concerns with the rail authority’s billing system. It found that the state authority requires three months to process an invoice — too long, the report suggests. State employees say they are stymied by high turnover, cumbersome computer systems and poor record keeping.

The effort to get through environmental reviews also has taken much longer than expected and is getting worse, according to the federal review. The rail authority has said for at least two years that it would have all of its environmental statements and decisions completed by this year. But the federal review projects that all of the environmental work will not be completed until 2020...

Possible delays do not surprise community activists in the San Fernando Valley. David DePinto, an opposition leader in Shadow Hills, has noted that the rail authority is still conducting geological soil investigations in the San Gabriel Mountains to determine the routes for lengthy tunnels that will pass through the range.

(Los Angeles Times)

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by Clancy Sigal

Meryl Streep makes a beautiful, heartfelt (“sank hooks in my heart”) speech at the Golden Globes eviscerating Trump for mocking the disabled who lack “the power and capacity to fight back.”

Whoa there, Meryl. You’re talking about a 2015 incident when Trump ridiculed New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski who has limited use of his right arm and hand.

We heartily applauded Meryl, forgetting that she was patronizing us up the kazoo.

Oh, who says we don’t have the “power and capacity to fight back”? When that’s exactly what we’ve been doing for decades?

Come on, Meryl, what world do you live in?

For example, in our own entertainment field, disabled performers have been fighting producers, directors and casting agents for years and years to get roles and TO BE SEEN. We need paid jobs more than condescending love.

Which brings me to our loser’s habit of raking up Trump’s disgusting past – yes even that unsourced CIA bilge about golden showers – while ignoring the urgent present.

In last November’s campaign Mrs. Clinton thought she was damaging Trump, and would poll big numbers, by calling out his sheer nastiness. Ho ho.

Turns out a bad electoral bet. While Hillary was beating up Trump for personal stuff that many of his supporters smirkingly approved, he was merrily selling, selling, selling bringing jobs back to the United States. J.O.B.S.

Who won that argument?

So, at the Golden Globes, we’re back to the same old lemonade stand that lost us the election.

While from her heart Streep attacks Trump for being the miserable sonofabitch he is, he’s blackmailing Ford Motors into canceling a Mexican factory to keep it in Detroit. And uses a border tax threat against Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors to keep stuff here.

Remains to be seen if any or how many jobs are actually saved. Donald is a pathological liar so we must depend on the Bureau of Labor Statistics which now will be sabotaged by Trump’s new Labor Secy, fast-food czar Andrew Puzder, who hates the minimum wage and whose workers hate him.

Do we want to win or just feel paternalistically good?

(Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset.)

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by Dan Bacher

Environmental politics in California is known for the strange bedfellows that collaborate on some issues.

The latest case in point is the statement issued on January 10, 2017 by Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), supporting Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed continuation of California's cap-and-trade-program, providing that it “protects” the economy and “California families, consumers and businesses.”

Reheis-Boyd chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called “marine protected areas” in Southern California from 2009 to 2012, as well as serving on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast from 2004 to 2012. These “marine protected areas” fail to protect the ocean from fracking, offshore oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

Many environmental justice and indigenous organizations oppose cap-and-trade, calling it “carbon trading” or “pollution trading,” because of the tremendous adverse impacts the program has on indigenous communities throughout the world.

Reheis Boyd says a "well-designed cap-and-trade program is the prudent approach to meeting the state’s climate change targets." Reheis-Boyd states:

"The Governor, as part of his 2017-2018 Budget, has proposed to authorize California's cap-and-trade program beyond 2020.The proposal would include a 2/3 vote to allow the State to continue to raise billions of dollars.

WSPA and its member companies believe focusing on a market mechanism to achieve California's climate goals is the prudent approach. In 2016, California adopted one of the most stringent GHG reduction targets in the world. Achieving this target will be difficult and costly. Achieving the reductions through a well-designed cap-and-trade program will minimize those costs. Where today's proposal falls short is that it simply layers the cap-and-trade program on top of costly and counter-productive command-and-control measures, disregarding the increasingly important role of cost containment.

WSPA looks forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature on a climate program that works towards achieving California's climate goals while protecting the economy and California families, consumers and businesses."

In his proposed state budget released on January 10, Jerry Brown proposed the introduction of two-thirds urgency legislation in the State Legislature to continue the cap-and-trade program.

“The state has appropriated $3.4 billion in cap-and-trade auction proceeds to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with funding prioritized in disadvantaged communities," according to the Governor’s Office. “With volatility in recent auctions due in part to uncertainty about the program’s post-2020 future, the Administration proposes two-thirds urgency legislation to confirm the program’s continued authority beyond 2020. Assuming approval, the budget proposes $2.2 billion in expenditures from auction proceeds, with a continued emphasis on low-income and disadvantaged communities.”

Indigenous leaders strongly oppose carbon trading and REDD

Opposition to carbon trading policies this year led to the California Legislature removing cap-and-trade programs — and the related REDD policies — from green energy and climate change legislation Governor Brown signed into law in September 2016. Indigenous leaders and environmental justice defenders from throughout the world have strongly opposed cap-and-trade policies for the devastating impacts that they have on indigenous communities.

The growing opposition to carbon trading was spotlighted at the end of Governor Jerry Brown's keynote address at the World Climate Summit in Paris on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, when indigenous leaders heckled Governor Jerry Brown, challenging him on his support of controversial carbon trading polices that represent “a new form of colonialism” that could potentially cause genocide.

Brown had just finished his brief remarks when Penny Opal Plant of Idle No More stood up and shouted, “Richmond, California says no to REDD and no to evacuating indigenous people from their forests. NO REDD!”

Indigenous leaders and environmental activists in the room around her joined her in yelling, "NO REDD!"

REDD is the acronym for “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.” It is used by the Governors’ Climate and Forest Task Force, including California officials, to describe programs to promote reduced emissions from deforestation and land use, but Indigenous leaders say REDD really means "Reaping profits from evictions, land grabs, deforestation and destruction of biodiversity.”

A joint news release from the Indigenous Environmental Network and Friends of the Earth International described REDD as a “carbon market mechanism, land-grabbing false solution to climate change that could potentially cause genocide.” (

“Instead of cutting CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, the UN, the US, the EU, China, Norway and climate criminals like BP, Total, Shell, Chevron, Air France and BHP Billiton are pushing a false solution to climate change called REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation)," according to Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

"REDD is a carbon offset mechanism which privatizes the air that we breathe and uses forests, agriculture and water ecosystems in the Global South as sponges for industrialized countries pollution, instead of cutting emissions at source," said Goldtooth. "REDD brings trees, soil, and nature into a commodity trading system that may result in the largest land grab in history. It steals your future, lets polluters off the hook and is a new form of colonialism. NO to Privatization of Nature!”

For more information, go to:

Western States Petroleum Association is most powerful corporate lobbying group in West

In case you weren't aware, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) “is a non-profit trade association that represents companies that account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing in the five western states of California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Nevada."

It is the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in the West and Sacramento — and has spent more than other lobbying organization in Sacramento in recent years to exert control over the Governor’s Office, regulatory agencies and State Legislature.

From January 1, 2009 to November 8, 2016, the oil industry spent $112,371,214 on lobbying expenses in California, according to a new report, “The Chevron Way: Polluting California and Degrading Democracy.” The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) Sydney Office produced the report, in collaboration with a coalition of conservation, consumer and environmental justice groups.

The Western States Petroleum Association led the oil industry lobbying expenses with $49,491,104 during this period, followed by Chevron with $24,035,901 and Phillips 66 with $4,821,144. For more information, go to:

To view the original version of the WSPA statement on cap-and-trade, visit the PR Newswire:



  1. LouisBedrock January 15, 2017

    Poem for February 14th

    And what are you that, wanting you,
    I should be kept awake
    As many nights as there are days
    With weeping for your sake?

    And what are you that, missing you,
    As many days as crawl
    I should be listening to the wind
    And looking at the wall?

    I know a man that’s a braver man
    And twenty men as kind,
    And what are you, that you should be
    The one man in my mind?

    Yet women’s ways are witless ways,
    As any sage will tell,—
    And what am I, that I should love
    So wisely and so well?

    (Edna St. Vincent Millay)

  2. Bruce McEwen January 15, 2017

    I had always thought I’d as lief be tortured at Abu Ghraib prison as be the guest of a couple of lawyers on public radio, but the experience proved enjoyable after all, and I’d like to thank KPFZ Lake County Community Radio for having me on the air yesterday; especially, World Weavers host William Conwell and co-host/chauffeur Michael Shambrook. There were no callers, and maybe no listeners, either, but it was entertaining nevertheless. Great fun!

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