- Hospitality Violation
- FB Deficit
- Gitlin Shelter
- Little Dog
- Invisible Deal
- AVCSD Hire
- Philo Warning
- Farm Produce
- Jury Trial
- Renter Assistance
- Emergency Training
- Lakeside Talks
- Power Bills
- Yesterdays' Catches
- Vietnam Encore
- Old Age
- Travelogue 4
- Looking Back
- Musical Chicago
- Recognizing Farmworkers
- Delta Docs
- Library Events
CRUCIAL Fort Bragg Planning Commission meeting tonight, 6pm City Hall. Hospitality House violation of use permit under discussion.
FORT BRAGG NOTES
by Rex Gressett
The City Council is a spectator sport. Like basketball, football or soccer things do not get completely exciting until a lot of people become engaged. Elegant ritualistic contests of physical power and strategic guile are more intense and focused when the vast crowds roar. So it is with the City Council. The basically volunteer Fort Bragg City Council does not achieve the juice it needs to operate effectively without the stimulus of engaged public attention.
The accessibility of the meetings on line and the now usually filled town hall are a powerful motiving context for City Council deliberations. They have discovered you are watching. They understand in fact that people are paying attention in some detail and they have even noticed that you vote. Firm and fixed public attention and a responsive City Council is a comparatively new thing in Fort Bragg. It stands in stark contrast to the happy-face impotence of twenty years of City Councils defined by no action, self satisfied smugness and underlined by empty City Council meetings and elections without candidates.
And yet two successful electoral victories for outraged dissent have not been enough to seriously affect city policy.
We are now at almost exactly the halfway point in the tenures of the two guys most recently elected to replace a discredited city council. Bernie Norvell and Will Lee were elected on the same wave of popular disenchantment but have emerged at half time quite opposite in their interpretation of the people’s best interests.
Lindy Peters, our esteemed mayor, was of course elected two years ahead of them. Mayor Lindy has demonstrated more than anything an aptitude for adaptive equivocation. He is friendly and attentive to the business of the council. He is both accessible and devoid of any fixed principle. He says what he thinks the most people want to hear. He avoids controversy and abhors confrontation. He has mastered the art of the gesture and with meticulous care dodged any position at variance with the City Manager.
Having nothing of importance to fight for, disliking and distrusting the concept of dissent and having every incentive not to interrupt the manufacture of friendly illusion and convenient make believe he has rejoiced to cast his lot with the hated policy juggernaut of the professionals at city hall. He doesn’t want you to notice that, and has made resounding efforts at distraction his principle policy.
Mike “Cueball” Cimilino, elected with Lindy, is almost weirdly opposite to the Mayor. Cueball has nothing going for him except principle. That and an in-depth understanding of the mechanics of the city plus a first rate intelligence. Not enough. To be effective he needs a voting majority.
When Bernie Norvell and Will Lee were elected, the voters thought that they had given him one. Bernie is if anything more principle driven than Cueball but equally without options. In effect he has backed himself into the same corner and for the same reason. They decline to get on the city manager’s bandwagon of orchestrated agendas, bland misrepresentations and outright deception. But without the power to effect independent policy they are hamstrung in even discussing options. In the absence of policy making capability they have marched reluctantly to the city manager’s beat, dragging both feet whenever possible and have at least made no secret of their dissatisfaction. It has become clear that without a voting majority they cannot oppose or even impede an agenda that has no relationship to the best interests of the city. Together Cueball and Norvell are encouraging to a long dissatisfied electorate but effectively powerless. Lindy and Dave Turner balance the recalcitrant dissenters and keep the City Manager’s program running smoothly. Will Lee is poised between the the two factions. He is the swing vote.
The voters supported Will Lee on the strength of his integrity and his personal charm. In his electioneering he did not express any profound convictions or pretend any capacious understanding or even the rudiments of Fort Bragg policy or politics. The voters thought that kicking the bums out would do it. A disgruntled electorate fondly imagined that the removal of Linda’s team of trusted and blithely venal councilmen would send a clear message to the new council. The rub was that Linda Ruffing herself is not elected. Being both subtle and relentless in her pursuit of power she immediately saw the weak link. Will Lee was a babe in the woods, Linda Ruffing a formidable political predator. She swallowed poor Will like a sandwich, understanding with the lucidity of long experience as Will could not, how much the city was losing and how much she personally stood to gain.
All of these dynamics came crashing to the surface last week in the surprise City budget. The stage had been carefully prepared by the City Manager for the unfortunate announcement of unexpected red ink. The May 24th annual budget meeting first disclosed the missing money. The blame had carefully been fixed on parties absent or remote from immediate responsibility.
Allocations of city revenue to the water enterprise, the sewer enterprise and the general fund had been botched. An accounting consultant was the culprit. Linda’s finance director discovered the innocent half-million dollar error. He declared no fault, no penalty. The city was asked politely to swallow the deficit. Bernie and Mike declined with no good grace. The emergent Fort Bragg voting majority probably privately cheered but the budget passed anyway. Will Lee and of course Mayor Lindy went down the garden path of unanticipated red ink hand in hand. Dave Turner in his new incarnation as x-mayor has been occasionally surprising, but his instinct for unqualified cooperation with city hall has deep roots. It was never in doubt. As the deficit budget no one expected went sailing by, Linda was not so much vindicated as exonerated. Linda did her best to keep on smiling and fluttering. Victor Damiani, Linda Ruffing’s finance director did his mumbling act. The city council split down the middle like a fractured coconut. Will Lee says they will now devote themselves to slashing expenditures.
UKIAH’S PUBLIC PRIVATE HOMELESS PROJECT
WHICH enriches a private individual named Gitlin by remodeling his property and paying him big rent out of public money. Read on:
THE UKIAH Planning Commission meets tomorrow (Wednesday, July 26) to rubberstamp a done deal on whether or not to issue a permit to operate both a permanent winter homeless shelter and a year-round daytime shelter on South State Street. The Commission is calling the done deal a "public hearing."
REDWOOD COMMUNITY SERVICES is proposing a second renovation of the 7,000-square-foot building at 1045 S. State St., the site where the emergency winter shelter in Ukiah was located.
RENOVATIONS to the privately owned structure include "adding covered entryways, a sitting area and fencing, as well as a parking lot and community garden. The motorcycle shop within the building will remain."
THE IDEA is to “provide a safe place for homeless people to receive services during business hours."
THESE SERVICES include "bathrooms, showers, laundry, counseling, education, Internet access and donated clothing. There will also be minimal food service in the form of snacks and microwaveable food with a microwave, toaster and sink provided."
"A COMMUNITY COUNCIL made up of facility staff, guests, neighboring residents, business leaders and partnering agencies," will oversee operations whose players include Ukiah Valley Medical Center’s Street Medicine Program, the Mendocino County AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Network and the Ford Street Program.
"THE SHELTER is expected to offer up to 60 people a night a cot and clean linen with men and women sleeping in separate quarters that have an observation room between them to allow staff to monitor guests overnight. Staff will be awake and are expected to address any problems and behavioral issues that occur during sleeping hours,” the report notes. The winter shelter proposes to operate “seven days a week between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m."
THE LUCKY OWNER of the Shelter property is a Redwood Valley doctor named Gitlin. The Shelter backers paid Gitlin $3,300 a month for use of property during the winter, magnanimously allowing Gitlin's non-profit but publicly-funded lessees to make the place habitable. Gitlin is the same guy who was sticking the Mendo College football players for $9,000 a month for a run down fire trap he owns on Hortense St., Ukiah, where, when the hot water heater went out, Gitlin didn't bother replacing it. The doctor is clearly well-connected to the Ukiah-area doers of good.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “That tears it! I was willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt until I read this:
“The news reader added: ‘Trump’s White House could be the first since James Polk’s — 168 years ago! — to have no presidential pets. The job of first pet — an enviable White House gig with luxurious live-in privileges, after-hours access to the president and guaranteed positive press coverage — is not currently available’."
DEPARTMENT OF HOLLOW LAUGHTER:
Promising 'A Better Deal' for American workers, Democratic Party leaders rolled out a new agenda with a populist pitch on Monday. But they did it as Jared Kushner spoke so weren't on live TV.
TO FRED GARDNER: I think "October" by China Mielville is even better than Tariq Ali's latest, "The Dilemmas of Lenin." Mieville's a Brit, too, and a young one. How come Americans don't write about the revolution? I'm deep into "Hue" by Mark Bowden. Hadn't realized before that battle was the slog Bowden vividly describes. We all remember '68 and the Tet Offensive that turned American public opinion against the war. I also enjoyed a learning experience via "On History, Oliver Stone in Conversation with Tariq Ali." The only thing lately to hold my tube attention is Anthony Boudain's Netflix series on eating in unlikely places, such as Libya and the Congo. Not a foodie myself, but the guy's very entertaining and food takes second place to Bourdain's tours of places we're unlikely to visit, complete with fascinating interviews with locals unconnected to eating.
FG REPLIES: You know damn well why. Americans can say all George Carlin’s once-forbidden words but are not allowed to say “Share the wealth” and “There is no God.” That’s seven words, too!
I think I once suggested to Zack a movie called “Lenin Belongs in the Earth!” Bill Murray is a Manhattan real estate mogul, as big as Trump (and Durst). His parents were low-ranking CPers for a few years in the ‘30s, a jewelry salesman and a teacher. It was obvious by the time he was growing up that it was a lost cause, but he didn’t reject the history lesson. In the bar of a fancy Kremlin hotel he runs into Julia Robertskinova, a lawyer with whom he has just started doing business. She asks what tourist-type things he does on his trips to Moskva —the Bolshoi? Lenin’s tomb? Bill Murray explains why he would never go to Lenin’s tomb. He concisely recounts the tragic story, the takeover by Stalin, offing the Bolsheviks. Robertskinova was taught that the terror started with Lenin. Bill Murray explains how the US, England, France and the Whites bled the Soviets dry, strangled the revolution in its cradle. Drunk, he declares “Lenin Belongs in the Earth!” She shshes him and says, teasingly, Couldn’t a man with all your power make that happen? Roll the credits…
The film is set in Moscow. The plot involves bribery of bureaucrats, hiring jewel thieves, planning a getaway with the sarcophagus in a pick-up truck... Something goes very wrong, there’s a key desertion from their team, and then Robertskinova is taken in for questioning. Bill Murray has no recourse but call Donald Trump, who he never much liked. Trump immediately starts talking NY real estate. Murray says he has a political idea that will be a win for Trump and a win Putin and the church and the people of both countries and the only people who’ll hate it will be liberals...: acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution by burying Lenin (back in Simbirsk? Is there still a graveyard at the Kremlin wall?). Murray sells it —Putin doesn’t like seeing the guy glorified, Robertskinova will released by the Moskva police (Trump asks, “Is she a fox?” Murray says “She’s a mink.”) Trump will get credit for diplomacy —a terrorist attack on the mausoleum was averted!—and an option to build on the mausoleum footprint… Or we could skip the thing going awry and the flick could end with a traditional chase scene and getaway.
THE AV COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT Board has authorized Fire Chief Andres Avila to hire a part-time administrative assistant for the Chief, and for Emergency Services Manager Clay Eubank (who is now in charge of the newly merged Ambulance Department of the Fire Department, having formerly been manager of the non-profit AV Ambulance Service). Three people have applied for the new position and one of them is expected to be on-board soon, bringing the AVCSD staffing to five: Chief Avila (full-time), General Manager Joy Andrews (part-time), District Secretary Patty Liddy (part-time, now on extended leave in Europe with her position being temporarily filled in by Erin Malfavon), Emergency Services Manager Clay Eubank (full-time) and the soon-to-be hired Administrative Assistant.
THE AMBULANCE MERGER was official as of July 1 and the Ambulance has responded to several calls already, not that patients have noticed any real difference. Chief Avila told the CSD Board last week that the merger, however, has created a number of additional administrative/technical tasks which are “stressful” and which are hard to complete with just himself and Eubanks who still have to do their regular day-to-operations, responses and management, thus creating the need for the part-time assistant. The assistant will also help with office and paperwork tasks, as well as checking on the District’s far-flung stations, equipment, personnel records, training programs, etc.
ENGINEERING AND PLANNING for the possible water and sewer systems for downtown Boonville is now well into its third month with the Sonoma County consultant having already mapped out service area options, water sources, capacities, requirements, comparisons with other water and sewer districts in the area, etc. They have also begun water quality testing at several existing wells in and around Boonville. The water planning project is supposed to be completed in the fall of 2018 followed a few months later by the sewer system planning which the State Water Board is funding to the tune of up to $1 million.
THE NEXT MEETING of the Boonville Planners, the ad hoc group of Boonville property owners who are semi-officially overseeing the local aspects of the planning, is set for Thursday evening, August 3, at 7pm in the Boonville Firehouse.
WITH THE ADDITION of the Ambulance Service to the Community Services District’s responsibilities, the budget for the District for July 2017-June 2018 has risen to about $725,000, but that includes $112,000 for a special Airport Layout Engineering Plan that is separate from the regular operations of the District. So the combined Fire Department/Ambulance budget is now around $600k per year. For more information go to the CSD’s website (avcsd.org) or the Fire Department’s website (andersonvalleyfire.org).
AND THE CSD would expand even further if or when a water or sewer or combo water-sewer district in downtown Boonville comes to pass.
NICE TRY, CALTRANS…
To: Beverly Dutra, Philo
Dear Ms. Dutra:
This is in response to your follow-up letter regarding "Speed Reduction in Philo-Engineering and Traffic" dated May 22, 2017. We share your concerns, but feel that the proposed speed limit changes that were implemented on June 8, 2017 are consistent with driver behavior and will result in a safe condition.
Staff visited Philo this weekend in a spot check on the new speed zone. They were able to document that current speeds have not changed from those observed prior to the speed zone adjustment. This demonstrates that the majority of drivers traveling through Philo are driving at what they consider to be a safe speed, and not just 5-10 mph over the posted speed limit.
Let me also attempt to clarify some of your questions:
- Factors not readily apparent to drivers: these would be things like a school or large development that is not visible from the roadway. Most of the time, those factors result in collisions and influence the engineering and traffic survey in that analysis.
- Free flow: when conducting the engineering and traffic study, only the first vehicle in a platoon is recorded, as the subsequent vehicles’ speed are influenced by the lead vehicle. Also, from a "basic speed law" perspective, special events or any other "non-normal" condition are not used to influence the engineering and traffic survey.
- CHP written comment: California Highway Patrol and or the local police department are contacted for their input into the engineering and traffic survey. While their concurrence is noted in the document, we do not require a written statement.
- Clarification on discussion during January 24, 27 meeting: Regardless of who started the discussion on fatal collisions, it is important to realize that we look at all collisions during the engineering and traffic survey process. While a fatal collision is the most significant, the absence of any fatal collisions does not mean we are not able to identify speed related collisions that are utilized to influence the proposed speed limit.
Thank you for sharing your concerns. I hope the information provided will help improve your understanding and resolve some of your concerns.
Sincerely, Mark L. Suchanek, Deputy District Director of Maintenance and Operations, Department of Transportation, District 1, P.O. Box 3700, Eureka, CA 95502. 707/445-6445.
* * *
BEV DUTRA REPLIES...
Dear Mr. Suchanek:
I was pleased to have your June 29, 2017 response to my letter about safety concerns at the Philo "downtown" site.
Thank you for the placement of the 45 mph calming signs. I hope that over time they will calm traffic. Unfortunately, as they were being installed there was an accident just down the hill from the southbound end 45 mph signage at Indian Creek Road and Highway 128. Additionally, the northbound sign site which has had seven accidents experienced its eighth accident. This time not only was a utility pole once again sheared off but a large tree was also destroyed. Inside the house "it sounded and felt like an earthquake." Luckily, the driver escaped unharmed. His large delivery truck was totalled. The new 45 mph calming sign was not sufficient. I wonder about the engineering on this particular stretch of road — and, it is very similar to the quirks that appear just down the road in "downtown" Philo.
I appreciate you sending staff for spot check in the new speed zone. Their documentation that speeds have not changed differs from those of us who view the road daily. Our anecdotal experience is that speed has increased and seems to do more so each day.
During the public hearing, resident Deputy Sheriff Craig Walker, speaking as a private citizen, warned about just such an increase. His warning was based on his experience with drivers through our the valley. Please have staff continue to monitor.
I suppose that most drivers believe that they are driving at a safe speed. It seems to me that drivers have a lot of other priorities in their minds as is partially evidenced by their statements of "I don't know how it happened." Drivers have all kinds of skill levels and perceptual abilities. The driver's consideration of safe speeds has more to do with his needs and wants than with a realistic assessment of the road. I am surprised that Caltrans relies so heavily on driver self-assessment.
You have still not address the unique nature of the Philo "downtown" site. Prior letters have described the multiple challenges and sudden surprises for the driver. Two large proposed new developments will affect ingress and egress on Highway 128 within the new speed zone. Winery tasting rooms sit immediately on the road. I feel that due to the very nature of the road and the entering incline we have a situation of "factors not apparent" to the driver.
The major value of the 30 mph zone and flashing light was that it alerted the driver to an unusual, perhaps dangerous, situation. I am sorry that we have lost that warning and feel that the loss may result in serious liability issues. Drivers have not been warned about a different road where condition which is not visible from the roadway as they approach.
Your letter has improved my understanding, but I feel I have failed to improve yours. I guess we have to agree to disagree and see where the subsequent liability falls.
Yours Truly, Beverly Dutra
THIS WEEK AT BLUE MEADOW FARM
Cherry, Early Girl & Heirloom Tomatoes
Walla Walla Onions, Zucchini, Zappallito
Corno di Toro, Gypsy, Bells, Pimento Peppers
Padron, Anaheim, Poblano Peppers
Rosa Bianca, Black & Asian Eggplant
Strawberries, Sunflowers, Snapdragons, Zinnias & starting 7/25, Misha’s lovely flower bouquets
Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo 95466 895-2071
THIS WENT TO A JURY TRIAL?
A Superior Court jury returned from deliberations Tuesday afternoon with a not guilty verdict in favor of Jared Robert Hundley, age 35, of Ukiah. Hundley was charged with willfully failing to appear in court after being ordered to appear on a date and at a time certain, a misdemeanor. The facts that Hundley, though living in Ukiah, had been ordered to appear, failed to appear as ordered, and then had to be arrested by law enforcement on a warrant did not persuade this jury that the failure to appear was "willful." The law presumes a failure to appear is willful if a defendant fails to appear as ordered and then does not arrange — personally or through his or her attorney — to get back on the court's calendar within 14 calendar days. In this case, Hundley was in fugitive status for 128 days. However, the defendant did testify that his vehicle had broken down on the day that he was suppose to be in court. The attorney who prosecuted this matter was Deputy District Attorney Adam Seraphin. The judge who presided over the short trial was retired Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Rick Henderson.
KAREN HANSELL’S RENTER ASSISTANCE
Karen Hansell doesn’t work in a mirrored high-rise or pace courtroom floors, delivering lawyerly speeches.
The Ukiah paralegal keeps a humble home office. She does her best work in clients’ living rooms, documents spread across floors.
IT IS FIRE SEASON. ARE YOU PREPARED?
Upcoming free CERT classes - Summer and Fall 2017
Emergencies occur in our communities, neighborhoods and workplaces every day. A large scale disaster (such as an earthquake) will quickly overwhelm local professional responders – especially in our rural Mendocino communities. This summer, wildfires have threatened several local areas. It’s important for us all to be prepared for the “next disaster”.
The County of Mendocino, in partnership with NCO Volunteer Network, is offering free, local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) trainings this summer and fall. These free trainings include disaster preparedness, survival skills, team work, fire safety and suppression (putting out a controlled fire with a fire extinguisher), basic disaster medical operations (triage and first aid) and light search and rescue operations. Community members learn how to take care of themselves in a disaster and how to help their family and community.
The 21 hour CERT training takes place over the course of three Saturdays. Participants can take the training to become part of a local CERT team, to become personally prepared or as part of a community or workplace group.
Local CERT trainer, Mike Carter adds “In our more remote areas, there will be a longer wait for assistance, especially in a disaster that involves a large geographic area, including more populated cities. The more trained and prepared the citizenry is, the better they will fare in a disaster”. Mr. Carter encourages community members to join in one of the upcoming trainings in Mendocino County:
Boonville - August 12, 19 and 26th - Anderson Valley Fire Department
Gualala – September 9, 16, 23 – location TBD
Covelo – October 14, 21, 28 – Covelo Volunteer Fire Department
WHAT THE BOHEMIANS ARE TALKING ABOUT
Partial list of LAKESIDE TALKS Bohemian Grove Encampment, July, 2017
Mary Moore, Bohemian Grove Action Network 707 874 2248
Bohemian Grove Action Network began protests at the Bohemian Grove summer encampment in Sonoma County back in 1980. Our point was to expose this very secret annual gathering whose members include the elite of the Corporate, Financial, Military and Government circles that create policy for this country. Every Republican president since Calvin Coolidge (except for Donald Trump) has been a member of the Bohemian Club based in San Francisco. Our goal was to show how a small group of men (no women are allowed membership) have outsized influence that effect us all. In 1942 the Clubhouse at Bohemian Grove was the site for the initial meeting that led to the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Bomb.
For years, thanks to a worker there, we were able to get the Lakeside Talks booklet with the daily list of who was speaking and their subjects. They are key to understanding the influence of these men as they are the only ones privy to these talks. This year we were not able to get the actual booklet but we did receive pictures of the list. We can make them available for anyone interested in pursuing this story. They do not show the exact dates of these speeches but this year¹s encampment runs from July 15 to July 29 so they are all within that time period. For more information about Bohemian Grove as well as a history of the protests please go to exposebohemiangrove.org A list of past Lakeside Talks is also available on that website. Below are just a few of this year's Lakeside Talks. Please note the handwritten notations on some pages.
- Policing in 2017: Everything Old is New Again, William Bratton, former NYC Police Commissioner [I believe he's the advocate of "Broken Windows Policing," part of which is Stop & Frisk]
- Why Museums Matter, Richard Lambert, Chairman, British Museum [NOTE: Also printed on this page is the 10:30 am "Museum Talk: The Case for Climate Engineering, David Keith, Professor of Applied Physics and Public Policy, Harvard." Climate Engineering is a lunatic approach to global warming involving worldwide applications of various chemicals or devices into the atmosphere or the oceans to reduce rising temperatures. The Law of Unintended Consequences is likely to crop up here but, by then, the "solutions" cannot be undone. See Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism and the Climate.]
- Disorderly Conduct--at Home and Abroad, Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense and Director, CIA [This page includes the penciled notation, "10:00 Bobby Inman @ Hillside 9:30." Inman may be former Secretary of Defense.]
- (4:30 pm) When Duty Calls... and Everything Changes Forever Jack Jacobs, Colonel US Army (ret'd) and Medal of Honor recipient. [This page includes the penciled notation, "5:45 Fireside Chat Paul Tagliabu [unclear]"
- An Actor's Life for Me, Charles Siebert, Bohemian, Actor, Director [This page includes the penciled notation, "Kissinger @ ? Midway" Question mark may refer to time.]
- When the Prosecutor is the Problem, David Boies, Preeminent Trial Lawyer [Boies was Al Gore’s top attorney in the Supreme Court case that gave the Presidency to George W.]
- The New Populism: Where It Came From & Where It's Likely to Go, JD Vance, Author and US Marine (Ret'd) [NOTE: This page has a penciled-in note, "5:15 Campfire Chat, Don Rumsfeld."]
- Why Music is Great, Victor Wooten, Musician, Educator & Author
- How Smart Could/Should/Will Cities Get? Steve Koonin, NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress
SONOMA CLEAN POWER & PG&E
I'd like to provide some clarification to the PG&E bill questions that were raised in the MCN Discussion on Sunday. As you may know, Sonoma Clean Power is now providing the generation portion of you bill that is denoted as a separate line item on your PG&E bill. We provide approximately a 1% savings for our customers. It was noted that customer bills were higher than the same time last year despite similar energy use. This is due to the collapsing of tiers on the distribution (PG&E) side of your bill.
As part of the residential rate reform that was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in July 2015, PG&E was required to restructure their residential rates. The multi-tier structure (for the delivery side of the bill) was established during the energy crisis in 2001. Over the course of the reform (2015-2019) PG&E is required to consolidate tiers from 4 tiers down to 2 tiers. The most recent collapse (from 3 to 2) happened at the beginning of this year. This caused higher users to see slower bills and lower users to see higher bills. More information can be found on PG&E's website at https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/rate-plans/how-rates-work/rate-changes/residential-rate-changes/residential-rate-changes.page.
The high usage surcharge was mandated starting March of this year to encourage conservation among customers whose electricity use is far higher than typical households. This surcharge is on the delivery (PG&E) side of your bill meaning regardless of who provides your electricity generation (SCP or PG&E) if you use more than four times the allocated baseline allowance you will see an increased price per kilowatt hour (kWh). More information on the surcharge can be found at https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/rate-plans/how-rates-work/rate-changes/high-usage-surcharge/high-usage-surcharge.page?WT.mc_id=Vanity_highusage.
If you have received your bill and would like us to do a savings comparison of SCP generation charges versus what you would have paid PG&E for generation please feel free to call us at the number below. For any additional questions please don't hesitate to contact us by phone or email.
Danielle | Sonoma Clean Power
Customer Service: 1 (855) 202-2139
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 24-25, 2017
BRENT BIRKLAND, Spokane/Potter Valley. Pot cultivation.
CHAROLET CORTEZ-FISHER, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
TRACY DEETZ, Corralitos/Ukiah. Domestic battery.
SERJIO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Fighting in public.
DENNIS HOAGLIN, Willits. Felon/addict in possession of firearm.
BRETT HOWELL, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, false ID, false personation of another, felon/addict in possession of firearm.
PHILLIP LOPEZ, Ukiah. Parole violation.
NICOLE ORELLANA, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.
DARIC PARDO, Covelo. Arson, vandalism of place of worship, interfence with emergency responders.
ROBIN PHILLIPS, Willits. Pot cultivation, felon/addict in possession of firearm, armed with assault weapon.
GUSTAVO RAMIREZ-LOPEZ, Potter Valley. Pot cultivation.
GARY ROBINSON, Willits. Pot cultivation.
ANTHONY ROJAS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
CODY SANDERSON, Laytonville. Probation revocation.
TIFFANY THOMAS, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia.
RICHARD THORNTON, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery, receiving stolen property.
AARON VARGAS, Fort Bragg. DUI, evasion, parole violation.
JONATHON WOLFE, Redwood Valley. Parole violation.
by Fred Gardner
The Ken Burns 10-parter is going to make the US role in Vietnam an “issue” again for a fleeting month or two. Pundits and politicians will soberly reflect, “We never finished our national conversation about Vietnam.” Pot people will single-mindedly repeat, "If anybody deserves to use cannabis for PTSD, it’s Vietnam vets.” Interviewers will say to vets, on TV, “Thank you for your service.” (How come they don’t say that every time they interview a nurse?) If you want to know what that war was really all about, here’s some relevant background.
- From Typee by Herman Melville
IT was in the summer of 1842 that we arrived at the islands; the French had then held possession of them for several weeks. During this time they had visited some of the principal places in the group, and had disembarked at various points about five hundred troops. These were employed in constructing works of defense, and otherwise providing against the attacks of the natives, who at any moment might be expected to break out in open hostility. The islanders looked upon the people who made this cavalier appropriation of their shores with mingled feelings of fear and detestation. They cordially hated them; but the impulses of their resentment were neutralized by their dread of the floating batteries, which lay with their fatal tubes ostentatiously pointed, not at fortifications and redoubts, but at a handful of bamboo sheds, sheltered in a grove of cocoanuts! A valiant warrior doubtless, but a prudent one too, was this same Rear-Admiral Du Petit Thouars. Four heavy, double-banked frigates and three corvettes to frighten a parcel of naked heathen into subjection! Sixty-eight pounders to demolish huts of coconut boughs, and Congreve rockets to set on fire a few canoe sheds!
… The expedition for the occupation of the Marquesas had sailed from Brest, and the secret of its destination was solely in the possession of its commander. No wonder that those who contemplated such a signal infraction of the rights of humanity should have sought to veil the enormity from the eyes of the world. And yet, notwithstanding their iniquitous conduct in this and in other matters, the French have ever plumed themselves upon being the most humane and polished of nations. A high degree of refinement, however, does not seem to subdue our wicked propensities so much after all; and were civilization itself to be estimated by some of its results, it would seem perhaps better for what we call the barbarous part of the world to remain unchanged.
One example of the shameless subterfuges under which the French stand prepared to defend whatever cruelties they may hereafter think fit to commit in bringing the Marquesan natives into subjection is well worthy of being recorded. On some flimsy pretext or other Mowanna, the king of Nukuheva, whom the invaders by extravagant presents cajoled over to their interests, and move about like a mere puppet, has been set up as the rightful sovereign of the entire island--the alleged ruler by prescription of various clans, who for ages perhaps have treated with each other as separate nations. To reinstate this much-injured prince in the assumed dignities of his ancestors, the disinterested strangers have come all the way from France: they are determined that his title shall be acknowledged. If any tribe shall refuse to recognize the authority of the French, by bowing down to the laced chapeau of Mowanna, let them abide the consequences of their obstinacy. Under cover of a similar pretense, have the outrages and massacres at Tahiti the beautiful, the queen of the South Seas, been perpetrated.
On this buccaneering expedition, Rear Admiral Du Petit Thouars, leaving the rest of his squadron at the Marquesas —which had then been occupied by his forces about five months— set sail for the doomed island in the Reine Blanche frigate. On his arrival, as an indemnity for alleged insults offered to the flag of his country, he demanded some twenty or thirty thousand dollars to be placed in his hands forthwith, and in default of payment, threatened to land and take possession of the place.
- From Ho Chi Minh, The Missing Years by Sophie Quinn-Judge
…He had worked for a wealthy family in Brooklyn in 1917 and 1918… A remark made to the US peace activist David Dellinger reinforces the notion that his stay in America came after 1916. Ho Chi Minh told Dellinger that when he was in America, he heard Marcus Garvey speak in Harlem. Garvey, the leader of the ‘return to Africa’ movement, did not arrive in the U.S., from his native Jamaica until 1916. In 1917 and 1918 he spoke frequently in Harlem on issues of racism, which had flared up in the US following the 1915 reappearance of the Ku Klux Klan. Ho Chi Minh published an article about the Ku Klux Klan in 1924, which described the practice of lynchpin gate American South.
…The official reason for Ho’s invitation to Russia was the first International Peasants’ Conference which opened on 10 October 1923… Ho did not waste his speech of greeting on formalities. He launched directly into a quick exposition of the situation of the peasants of the French colonies. ‘You are peasants and farmers of Europe and America. You are exploited as proletarians,’ he told the delegates.’But we others in the French colonies are doubly exploited as proletarians and as conquered races. A white owner can come and make a request to the government, and whole villages will be expropriated, villages which our fathers and ancestors inhabited and which we still cultivate. ‘
… In his view, the 95 percent of the French colonial populations who were peasants were ‘absolutely exploited.’ Land confiscation by French capitalists was at the root of their exploitation. In Vietnam, he said, ‘When the French conquered this colony, the war drove peasants out of their villages. As a result, when they returned home, they found their land had been occupied by concessionaires, following the victorious army. They handed out land which for centuries had been populated and worked by the natives.’ He painted a dark picture of abuse, worse of all for the peasants of equatorial Africa, where ‘the old folk, women and children are imprisoned, mistreated, tortured, starved, martyred and sometimes murdered.’
[Vietnam also had a growing number of industrial workers, including 30,000 employed by the Portland Cement Company.] These workers toiled in appalling conditions, according to Ho, for 12 to 14-hour days, with longer days on the plantations. There was no question of pensions or compensation for accidents; the workers had no right to strike. Worse still was the fact that there existed Vietnam three categories of forced labour, which Holds described as ‘three categories of slavery.’ First were the prisoners who were loaned to factories or plantations —they worked handcuffed and yoked at the neck. Next were those eligible for the corvée or labour contribution —all Vietnamese between the ages of 18 and 60. The number of days of free labour to be furnished was fixed only in theory, Ho said; ‘In practice, it is indefinite. When there is a canal to be drug or a road to build or repair,’ he explained, ‘there is a general mobilization which can last several months.’ Third were the laborers recruited to be sent to work in France’s Pacific colonies, where Ho claimed they were sold to planters and European factory owners.
- From The Devil and John Foster Dulles by Townsend Hoopes
In a major policy address before the Overseas Press Club of America, Dulles blamed Ho Chi Minh for “attempting to prevent the orderly development of independence.” Then he turned to developing the theme of Indochina as a vital economic and strategic asset of the free world. It is important, he argued, not alone because it provides vital raw materials, but because to sots strode “the,post direct and best developed sea and air routes between the Pacific and South Asia…
Although both France and Britain pressed Diem to open up consultations with the Vietnminh in July 1955 (as called for in the Geneva Agreements), looking toward the organization of all-Vietnam election in 1956, Diem refused to do so. Washington’s advice to Diem was, in effect, that he not openly refuse the elections, but that he demand conditions which excluded the possibility that he would lose them.,.. As Dulles said, “While we should certainly take no positive steps to speed up present process of decay of Geneva Accords, neither should we make the slightest effort to infuse life into them.” As the election date approached, Diem remained adamantly opposed, insisting that, as South Vietnam had not signed the accords, he was not bound by them… The United States backed Diem. When Ho Chi Minh, feeling betrayed, reopened the civil war two years later, the United States, along among the Western powers or indeed the SEATO powers, felt committed to uphold the regime in Saigon.
“English, German and French capitalists are all equal, as are their crimes, but the capitalists of other countries at least have the modesty not to dress up their egoism with the pompous phrase of ‘Civilizing Mission.’ But behind the three colors of liberty, equality and fraternity, France introduces alcohol, opium and prostitution to all of her colonies and sows misery, ruin and death with her ill-gotten riches. In the face of these hateful practices, does the Socialist Party have a colonial policy which is truly socialist? No.” —Ho Chi Minh
- From the New York Times. July 23, 2017
In Ethiopia, “As many as 1.2 million acres of land are thought to be devoted to khat, nearly three times more than two decades ago….The dwindling availability of land, has pushed thousands of farmers to switch to khat, he said. The changes have come as the government has pushed farmers off land that it has given to foreign investors in recent years."
LAST ONE STANDING
by Louis Bedrock
“We thought the years would last forever,
They are all gone now, the days
We thought would not come for us are here.”
(— Kenneth Rexroth)
“Taciturn, silent, numb to the new breath of vitality that shook the house, Colonel Aureliano Buendía barely understood that the secret of a decent old age is nothing more than an honest pact with solitude.”
(— Gabriel García Márquez)
* * *
A few years ago, I went to see a movie with my friend Stefan about singer and songwriter, Phil Ochs. The name of the movie was There But for Fortune. The film was playing at the IFC theater in New York. When we entered the mini theater, we found that the entire audience was made up of people our age—seniors between 60 and 80 — and that contrary to sociological norms regarding human spacing, they were huddled together in one area. We joined them.
As we went to sit among our compañeros, Stefan said,
—This is nice. Does anyone have a guitar?
—A guitar, hell —someone responded—: Does anyone have a joint?
—We’re a vanishing species —someone commented.
—I just don’t want to be the last one standing —said Stefan.
Nor do I; however every day it seems more likely. I used to have to turn off the telephone while I was writing so I wouldn’t be disturbed. I no longer bother to do so. Death and other forms of attrition has drastically reduced my circle of friends and loved ones. In the last five years, I’ve lost my mother, my sister, my favorite aunt, my favorite cousin, and five of my oldest and dearest friends. Some friends are busy caring for their children’s children. My closest living friend in Spain is raising a young daughter after having gone through a divorce.
Some people have moved far away to different time zones that make communication by phone very complicated. Some have just stopped calling or responding to e-mails. There are entire days when I don’t talk to anyone. This used to be very uncommon. Indeed, the secret of a decent old age seems to be “nothing more than an honest pact with solitude.”
I have a couple of friends who are much older than me. One is in his late eighties, the other in his mid eighties. They tell me that everything just gets worst—from the loss of friends and loved ones to the difficulty of doing things for oneself—like merely getting out of bed in the morning.
When I asked Bob, the younger of the two, whether he ever got tired of life, he answered, no, he didn’t. He wanted to see what happened next. I also want to see what happens next. I want to see how much longer I can ride a bike, walk two or three miles, or write a coherent essay or translation, or even read a challenging book. How much longer I can deal with the solitude that’s closing in on me.
There are a lot of things I don’t want to see: mass starvation, brutal wars, gratuitous cruelty, and bovine stupidity: however, these things are already here and seem to be getting worse. As the Kinks sang,
“I don't feel safe in this world no more
I don't want to die in a nuclear war
I want to sail away to a distant shore
And make like an Apeman.”
Me too. I wonder if Apemen can cobble “an honest pact with solitude.”
FEW COMFORTS FOR OLD MEN, A TRAVELOGUE. PART 4 OF 4
by Jake Rohrer
Major league baseball is sadly underrepresented in Hawaii. You could safely say that it's not represented at all, save the occasional scout who might drop in to appraise some high school or UH standout. The opportunity to see a major league ballgame with my daughter on Sunday afternoon before heading home Monday morning had for me a tremendous appeal. She could follow me to Oakland and we'd return the rental car before the game, enjoy a dinner after the game, and then she could drop me off at the hotel. The Detroit Tigers were in town to take on the Oakland Athletics in an afternoon contest.
I was mildly amazed that we could choose our seats and pay for them on line and they would magically print themselves from Tracy's computer. The Luddite in me salutes this aspect of the digital age. Field level, second row, just beyond third-base, a C-note each. I didn't care about the cost. This is such a rare opportunity for me, and the best seats we could get would be worth it. The real shocker was that two beers and a bag of peanuts set Tracy back $38, not realizing what she had stepped up for. I was prepared for something like that after the pirates (they weren't from Pittsburgh) at the entry gate demanded a twenty to park the car. The whole experience was a modern day economic wake-up call. Back home a day at the beach or a walk in the forest surrounded by magnificent natural beauty doesn't cost anything, although it's easy to spend twice what we did to be pampered for a couple of hours at a Wailea spa if that's your thing.
We were blessed with perfect baseball weather and I reveled in the game, soaking up every pitch and play, made even better by the company of my daughter who was a competent player in softball leagues and is herself a fan of the game. To watch a major league third-baseman, up close at field level, do his defensive stuff is breathtaking. These guys have physical skills—reaction times, balance and coordination—that belie human ability, not to mention an arm that can throw a baseball as if set in motion from the discharge of a canon. The Athletics won the game in the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off home run, a perfect ending to a great day, which was also blessed by the return of my jacket from the rental car people who I seemed to know would hold on to it for me.
* * *
I hope Oakland manages to keep the Athletics and builds them a stadium worthy of the fine teams they've put together over the years. It appears, for the second time, Oakland is losing the Raiders, and I've heard second-hand reports that the world-champion Warriors are casting an eye towards San Francisco. I don't know what to think of these corporate, dollar-inspired moves at the expense of the fans and municipalities who've supported them for decades. There's something contemptible, even vulgar, about a billion dollar-plus indoor stadium for pro football in Las Vegas, a town with a shady soul and a sport that is fast losing its once gritty and down to earth appeal. The Las Vegas Raiders? Maybe they mean panty-raiders. Real Raiders belong in Oakland.
I have a friend, a gentleman and a mild San Francisco elitist, who once put Oakland in its place by voicing his outrage over a man he encountered urinating in a wash-basin at a Raider game because there were long lines at the trough, vowing never again to return to the Coliseum, as though this were a common practice for Raider fans. I thought about using the basin myself if they tried to charge me to use the trough (“ … how much to wash my hands?”). How many times have I encountered people urinating on the sidewalk in broad daylight in San Francisco? Okay, I'll concede it was mostly in the Tenderloin, and that we don't wash our faces on the sidewalk, if you'll agree that maybe those packaged sanitary towelettes might be a good idea at public arenas.
* * *
Tracy dropped me off at the hotel after a fine Vietnamese dinner at a downtown restaurant. I gave my lovely daughter a parting kiss, ready now to steel myself for an early wake-up (1:30 AM Maui time) and again face the trials of boarding another plane. It's a little easier and less traumatic when you are headed for home and the comforts that await you there. Nonetheless I had a rough start.
The bedside alarm was deafening when it went off, ultra-loud high-pitched shrieks sounding as if from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I bolted from the bed fearing it would wake the whole wing of the hotel. Then I couldn't get the damn thing to stop shrieking, pushing every button I could find, finally jerking the chord from the wall to silence it. The back-up call of course came while I was engaged at the toilet. After my shower, which never got comfortably warm, and throughout which I couldn't stop looking over my shoulder for Norman Bates with his butcher-knife, I discovered that the coffee in the modern single-cup brew machine hadn't brewed. I tried again, going through the steps plainly set out on the machine itself. No luck. What am I doing wrong? It's as easy as one-two-three, but the damnable appliance again refused to go into its brew cycle. I give up, assuring myself that I had done everything right, but still wondering what it was I could possibly have screwed up. As civil as I could be, I informed the desk clerk about what I felt were shortcomings in their otherwise comfortable hotel.
I got to the airport, the shuttle van all to myself, and had some coffee before boarding my flight which departed without distraction or delay. I was still mildly ticked-off about my morning struggles at what was otherwise a well run hotel, but what the hell, I suffered no serious damage. I'm on my way home and the lady sitting next to me is a perky and friendly co-passenger; I am relaxed and immersed in a good book. About forty-five minutes into the flight, the overhead intercom came on:
“Ah, ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. We've encountered a mechanical failure in one of our generators and FAA regulations do not allow us to fly such a great distance over water with only one working generator. I'm turning the aircraft around and we are returning to Oakland. Every effort will be made to get you on your way with a minimum of delay.”
The hell you say? There was an audible groan throughout the plane, but anyone who'd like to bitch, argue or make a scene about this turn of events might have the feds waiting for them at the gate. I resigned myself to whatever would happen, deciding I should be thankful that it didn't appear that we were about to fall from the sky.
* * *
The confusion at the gate was crazy-making. No one knew how long it would take to fix the problem. We exited the plane and were told not to go far; be back in one hour. Another official said half an hour. After that half hour and the hour expired, some passengers with connecting flights were getting booked on other flights, but there were very few available alternatives. We finally learned that our plane was fixed but we now needed a new crew because regulations wouldn't allow crew duty to exceed a fixed number of hours. A new crew was being brought in from god knows where. Our flight was rescheduled to leave at 8:00 PM that evening, 13 hours after original departure.
Okay, at least now I know the score. They offered hotel accommodations to those who might want to go back to bed, not a likely scenario for me. BART comes right to the terminal and I am a born and raised Bay Area boy, at home here as anywhere. I knew right away how I would spend the time. First I would look up my old friend and employer, Michael, in whose downtown Oakland law office I had worked for a decade before escaping to Maui. Then I'd see if I could hook up with Stuart and Virginia, good friends who live in Berkeley and with whom I was overdue to visit.
It all worked out better than I had hoped. I found Michael in his office and my Berkeley friends at home. Michael was scheduled for an afternoon court date in Martinez and would drop me off in Berkeley on his way. The visits were unexpected, but warm and affirming, with people who maintain a place of importance in my heart and history. It was as though the mechanical problems with the airplane had happened for my benefit, giving me extra opportunity to connect with old friends, after which BART efficiently delivered me back to the airport.
Travel comforts may be few and logistics challenging, but worth all of the inconvenience and surprises when measured against the pleasures and rewards of reuniting with those who have made a difference in my life. An old man returns to the comforts of his wife and home in need of a good night's sleep but feeling recharged and carrying with him the spirits of those with whom he has reunited, somehow younger than he was when he first set out on his pilgrimage.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
When I look back on the decades, I have to say the 50’s look the best in the rear view mirror. The decade of Conservatism aged the best. I hate to say it because I am not a big conservative. The 60’s are just gross. The 70’s tacky. The 80’s garish. The 90’s are probably the closest to the 1950’s. Everyone doing well. Sense of well being. Imagine that decade without Ken Starr and you realize we never had to go through any of that. And then 9/11/2001 changed everything. At least W slammed the door on any future Bushes. Stick a fork in that family they’re done. I never got Obama, although I admit he is a lot more talented than I gave him credit for. I think he may be our last true president. Ultimately Trump will go down in Russian flames. Definitely feels like Watergate.
GLORIANA MUSICAL THEATRE IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE ITS PRODUCTION OF CHICAGO!
Directed by David Strock.
One of Broadway’s longest-running American musicals, Chicago is a dazzling and satirical look at fame, justice, and the media machine. Chicago follows Roxie Hart, a wannabe vaudevillian star who murders her lover and is arrested. In the Cook County Jail, Roxie meets her hero, the famed double-murderess and nightclub performer Velma Kelly. When both acquire the same lawyer, the greedy and lustful superstar, Billy Flynn, tensions come to a head as they vie for the spotlight and the flashbulb of the newspaper reporters. With catchy, sexy music and timeless lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and a funny, intelligent, and utterly engaging book by Kander and Bob Fosse, Chicago is a musical spectacular that is as unforgettable as any trial of the century. The show will be performed at Eagles Hall Theatre in Fort Bragg from July 27 to August 13 with performances at 7:30 p.m on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and Sunday matinees beginning at 3 p.m. Admission is $22 for the general public, $20 for Seniors and $12 for youth (17 and under). Chicago is recommended for ages 13 and up. Tickets may be purchased online at gloriana.org, at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg or at the door of Eagles Hall Theatre prior to each performance (we highly recommend buying in advance for this show!). Special preview night on Thursday, July 27 at 7:30. Tickets are $11 for general, $10 for seniors and $6 for youth. Get your tickets early! Be sure to join us for our Gala performance! On Sunday, July 30th following the performance celebrate with the cast and crew and enjoy Chicago style pizza, 1920's inspired treats, a champagne toast and more! Tickets are $30 for general, $28 for Seniors and $15 for youth (17 and under).
For more information, visit Gloriana.org.
HISTORIC STATE FAIR EXHIBITION RECOGNIZES FARMWORKERS
by David Bacon, Capital & Main, 7/25/17
For over 160 years the California State Fair/Cal Expo has been run by growers to showcase the wonders and wealth of the state's agriculture. And for over 160 years the fair did this without mentioning the people whose labor makes agriculture possible: farmworkers.
This year that changed. Rick Pickering, chief executive officer of the California Exposition & State Fair, and Tom Martinez, the fair's chief deputy general manager, asked the United Farm Workers to help put together an exhibit to remedy this historical omission. As a result, for the first time the fair, which runs through July 30, has an exhibition that not only pays tribute to field laborers, but also acknowledges the long history of their struggle to organize unions.
Growers are not happy, and fair organizers got some pushback. But at the ceremony inaugurating the exhibition, State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), the head of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, explained why they no longer have veto power. "We wouldn't be here without the work of farmworkers," he said. "The legislature now includes members who worked in the fields themselves, or have family who did, who know what it's like to work in 100 degree heat, to suffer the hardest conditions and work the longest hours. We want our families to work in better conditions and earn more money."
Some of the farmworkers who came as guests of the fair were veterans of that long struggle. Efren Fraide worked at one of the state's largest vegetable growers, D'Arrigo Brothers Produce, when the original union election was held in 1975. However, it was only after the legislature passed the mandatory mediation law, forcing growers to sign contracts once workers voted for a union, that the first union agreement went into force at the company in 2007, covering 1,500 people.
D'Arrigo workers maintained their union committee through all the years between 1975 and 2007, organizing strikes and work stoppages to raise conditions and wages. "I'm very proud to see that we're included here," Fraide said, gesturing toward the photographs on the walls in the cavernous exhibition hall. "It shows who we are and what we went through. Si se puede!"
As the workers were introduced by UFW President Arturo Rodriguez, they stood up from their seats to applause. Rodriguez noted that some farmworkers, like those working at Monterey Mushrooms' sheds near Morgan Hill and Watsonville, now make a living wage of between $38,000 and $42,000 in year-round jobs with benefits. "This exhibition recognizes that farm labor is important work, and that it can be a decent job if it includes labor and environmental standards. It can come with job security, and can be professional work," he emphasized.
"What's been lacking is an acknowledgment of the people who do the work," charged Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, son of the capital city's late mayor, Joe Serna, and nephew of former UFW organizer Ruben Serna. "This exhibition documents their political activism. We wouldn't be here if it were not for the farmworkers movement."
* * *
In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte; Photographs and text by David Bacon; University of California Press / Colegio de la Frontera Norte; 302 photographs, 450pp, paperback, $34.95; SPECIAL OFFER: order the book on the UC Press website: (http://ucpress.edu/9780520296077) use source code 16M4197 at checkout receive a 30% discount https://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2017/07/historic-state-fair-exhibit-recognizes.html(https://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2017/07/historic-state-fair-exhibit-recognizes.html)**https://capitalandmain.com/historic-state-fair-exhibit-recognizes-farmworkers-0725(https://capitalandmain.com/historic-state-fair-exhibit-recognizes-farmworkers-0725)
THE FIX IS IN: Brown administration approves environmental documents for Delta Tunnels (Updated version)
by Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown poses as the “resistance to Trump” and vows that he will “defend science” against the Trump administration, but the Brown administration on July 21 revealed the hollowness of that vow as it approved flawed environmental documents that clear the path for the construction of the Delta Tunnels.
The announcement follows recent biological opinions issued by the Trump administration claiming that the project, considered by opponents to be potentially the most environmentally destructive public works project in California history, “meets” environmental and wildlife protection standards under federal law.
During a press conference call, the California Department of Water Resources announced the certification of the environmental documents for the California Water Fix under the California Environmental Water Quality Act (CEQA).
Cindy Messer, Acting Director of the Department of Water Resources, called the certification a “milestone” and a “ benchmark” in the campaign to build the two massive 35 mile long tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
The project would divert Sacramento River water to agribusiness interests, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and other extreme oil extraction methods. Project proponents claim the project will create both water supply reliability and ecosystem protection.
“Today, we have reached our next important benchmark in moving California towards a more reliable water supply,” said Messer. “With this certification, our state is now closer to modernizing our aging water delivery system in a way that improves reliability and protects the environment.”
Messer noted that DWR, the operator of the State Water Project, screened more than 100 different proposals before “analyzing these 18 alternatives in depth” in the 50,000 page environmental impact report under CEQA. She said the combined public comment period on these environmental analyses lasted nearly a year.
She claimed the project was “refined several times to shrink its footprint, minimize impacts to Delta landowners, and consider a shift in the regulatory approach under the US Endangered Species Act and California Endangered Species Act.”
She also said DWR filed a “validation action” - a lawsuit - with the Sacramento County Superior Court regarding DWR’s authority to, among other things, issue revenue bonds to finance the planning, design, construction, and other capital costs of the California Water Fix.
Delta Tunnels opponents weren’t surprised that DWR issued the Notice of Determination (NOD) for the California Water Fix — and said they are “considering all possible legal and political options” to fight the project.
“We are not surprised that the Notice of Determination has been issued,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta (RTD). “The Brown Administration will celebrate this document as a type of victory regarding the advancement of CA WaterFix. But it’s not. The EIR and the plan for the tunnels are deeply flawed as the project will not create water supply reliability in a world with increased and prolonged droughts, but perhaps up to 75 years of debt to be paid back by water ratepayers as recently proposed by Goldman Sachs representatives.”
“We, other environmental organizations, and other parties in the Delta are preparing for litigation. We will expand our fight in the court of public opinion. We are considering all possible legal and political options to stop the project,” she stated.
Adam Scow, California Director of Food & Water Watch, said the certification “is very troubling, though hardly surprising, for Governor Brown to approve of building massive new tunnels that won’t fix any of California’s water problems.”
“This project would waste $25 to $67 billion, with interest, of taxpayer money and devastate the San Francisco Bay ecosystem. It would unfairly burden Southern Californians with higher water bills at a time when we must repair the aging and crumbling pipes under our homes and streets. What’s more, the tunnels would mostly benefit corporate agribusinesses that have over-planted water-intensive crops in the desert,” said Scow.
Scow urged local water districts, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Santa Clara Valley Water District, to prevent their ratepayers from being “unfairly burdened by this destructive project.”
On June 29, fishing and environmental groups filed two lawsuits challenging the Trump administration's biological opinions permitting the construction of the controversial Delta Tunnels.
Four groups — the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Defenders of Wildlife, and the Bay Institute — charged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service for violating the Endangered Species (ESA) a landmark federal law that projects endangered salmon, steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt and other fish species. The lawsuits said the biological opinions are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion."
Public trust advocates say the California WaterFix project would not only hasten the extinction of Central Valley steelhead, winter and spring-run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, but would also imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers that have been an integral part of the culture, religion and livelihood of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley Tribes for over thousands of years.
I predicted on election night that President Donald Trump and Governor Jerry Brown administrations would make a deal to fast-track Brown’s legacy project, the Delta Tunnels. That is exactly what has happened over the past several months. Now you can expect to see a series of lawsuits filed against both the state and federal governments to follow the June 29 litigation.
BOOK CLUB, DOODLING, TEEN LOCK-IN, POETRY & SUNDAY MOVIE MATINEE !
Wednesday, July 26th —6:30pm. The Wines & Spines Book Club will take place at the Ukiah Brewing Co. Adults 21 & over are invited to join our monthly book club for a discussion of Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith at Ukiah Brewing Co. (102 S. State St).
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Thursday July 27th : Come and Doodle-ee-do with 3D pens!
6pm to Midnight. Pizza, snacks, refreshments & materials will be provided. For teens entering 8th-12th grades. Parent/Guardian permission slip is required.
Sat, July 29th — 3:00-4:30pm LOBA Poetry Reading Series with Sharon Coleman. Join us for a special reading with author Sharon Coleman, with open mic for teens and adults to follow.
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Every Sunday, at 2 pm, Ukiah Library offers free screenings of great films. The series, Sunday Matinees at Your Library includes a rotation of PBS documentaries, Indie films, new releases, and PG rated films for families.
July 30th : A Street Cat Named Bob "The true feel good story of how James Bowen, a busker and recovering drug addict, had his life transformed when he met a stray ginger cat.” NR (1 hr, 43 min)