- Reckless Driving
- Barn Sale
- AVUSD Agenda
- Library Remodel
- Bishoff Grants
- Assisted Suicide
- Ed Notes
- Pinoleville Puncher
- Yesterday's Catch
- Civilization Collapse
- Propaganda Crusade
- No-Analogue Predicament
- Fire Preventions
- Gaza Conditions
- Interior Secretary
- Theatre Auditions
- Russiagate Narrative
- Pallet-House Workshop
- Perfect Distraction
- Beyond Protesting
- Naval Exercises
- Real Centrists
- Marco Radio
- Lynn's Byline
- Side Effects
- Earth Day
LOTS OF EXCITEMENT in Anderson Valley Friday afternoon. A high-speed chase rushed through town. Everyone turned on their scanners and started calling their friends. Of course, MendocinoSportsPlus covered it station to station from where it began on Highway 253 on the Ukiah side:
“The scanner said a vehicle was being pursued from the US-101 side of Boonville-Ukiah Road (CA-253) and they were at milepost 13.4 at 2:15 pm - 42 mph going up the grade. The vehicle is still refusing to pull over at mile post 12. … Now at milepost 11.53, refusing to yield and continuing west [toward Boonville]. … At milepost 10.41 at 2:18 pm. It is an extended cab pickup with tinted windows. There is no traffic. They are setting up a reception for the vehicle at the junction of CA-253 & Hwy 128. There’s a Fish & Wildlife unit available. … They are at milemarker 9.0 at 2:20 pm. Vehicle going over double yellow lines. … At 2:22 pm pursuit at milepost 8.0. At milepost 7.0, Vehicle description given out again, an black Dodge extended cab pickup with tinted windows driven by a white male adult. Plate comes back as a trailer. … Now at milepost 4.70, 70 mph with unsafe passing. … There’s stop & go construction at milepost 1.38. Pursuit headed into Boonville. … Traffic had been stopped going eastbound. … Coming into intersection of Hwy 128 - going westbound towards Philo. Fish & Game lead vehicle [in the pursuit]. Was 80 mph, now 60 mph crossing double yellow lines. Back up to in excess of 100 mph. … Mile marker 27.54 of Hwy 128 [near downtown Boonville] going 90 mph with light traffic at 2:31 pm. … Now at milepost 24.49 [heading toward Coast] of Hwy 128 - State Parks has units responding. Truck going 85 mph at Indian Creek Road. … Pursuit at milepost 22.50 going 70 mph. … Suspect vehicle still not yielding at milepost 21 – passing Gowan’s fruit stand at 60 mph. … Truck pursuit turned up Greenwood-Philo Road over the one-lane bridge at Hendy Woods. … They’re two miles up Greenwood-Philo Road at 2:39 pm. Milepost 16.65. … Now by Signal Ridge Road at 2:40 pm. … They are now switching to the “white” channel for better communication. … Now passing Milepost 14.02 Greenwood Aggregates. … Units will be informed if pursuit goes down Cameron Road or straight down [Philo-Greenwood Road] into Elk. … Now at milepost 13.0. Then 12.0, then 11.5 at 55 mph. … Now at milepost 10, 60 mph through construction zone. … Passenger tire out on truck. Got one out at gunpoint at 2:45 near 25690 Philo-Greenwood Road. One detained.
MSP heard some scanner chatter around 4:00 pm indicating this vehicle may have been an "unreported" stolen vehicle. The registered owner is the grandfather of the person who led the pursuit.
A Boonville commenter added in mid-chase: “I am on 128 and it flew by me. One sheriff and fish and game chasing a black pickup at over 90mph. Then two more sheriffs joined and fish and game dropped off. Truck turned onto Greenwood road, and yielded about five miles in. Subject arrested. The person was detained at mile marker 10. Up past Signal Ridge Road.”
In other words: a dumb reckless kid took off in his grandpa’s pickup and endangered the lives of half of Anderson Valley.
THE BARN SALE is this weekend on Anderson Valley Way in Boonville, 10 to 3. Look for banners & signs.
Multi item sale: furniture, clothing, accessories, jewelry, books, movies, tools, linens, dishes, and more. Look for the banners and signs just north o downtown Boonville.
FOR ANDERSON VALLEY PARENTS, teachers and community members:
Anderson Valley Unified School District
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 6:00pm
Anderson Valley High School Cafeteria
18200 Mountain View Rd Boonville, Ca
Board Meeting Agenda available to View or Print
If you require assistance to access the Board meeting room or to otherwise participate at this meeting, including auxiliary aids or services, please contact Veronica Barragan at (707)894-3774 Ext 607. You are encouraged to provide as much advance notice as possible to better enable the Anderson Valley Unified School District to provide reasonable accommodation to meet your accessibility needs.
THE NEWLY REMODELED Ukiah Branch Library looked pretty good to this old-line member when he returned an overdue book Friday. My late fee was magnanimously waived by the pleasant young woman at the desk because most of the overdue-ness was caused by the library being closed for several weeks for remodeling. I recognized about half a dozen frequent flyers from the booking log spread out comfortably on the Library’s new furniture and/or carpet. They wore sullen expressions to go with their tough guy postures. The AVA’s Ukiah Bureau, Mr. McEwen, says there's a cadre of these leisure class characters who use the library as their livingroom whenever the weather gets wet or cold; they also verbally abuse the Library’s one beleaguered rent-a-cop security guard who has to babysit them and their detritus. McEwen said he would fully support the Library (and the Ukiah Police Department) getting a big chunk of either the Continuum of Care funding or the Measure B funding because they spend a good part of their work days babysitting the street population. Meanwhile, the Library’s nice new décor goes underappreciated because the library’s regular patrons want to get out as soon as they can. (--ms)
COUNTRY LIVING, an on-line comment: They [rattlesnakes] are super tame. You only need a fishing license to legally keep two Rattlers. I caught one on our property in fall of 2017. I kept him for the winter and fed him lots of mice. I called him Charlie Manson. He only rattled once, and never struck at me. Grew from 29″ to 35″ over the winter, shedding 3 times to reveal 7 buttons on the rattle. Then in the spring, I turned him loose in the same rotten stump I found him in. It made me wonder if the instinct to rattle is being bred out of them since many of those who do rattle get killed. We’re up at 2500’ elevation, and there are scorpions up here too.
BISHOFF GRANTS TO MENDOCINO NON-PROFITS
ICYMI: The Community Foundation of Mendocino County announced recently the awarding of the first grants from the annual Jack and Chatter Bishoff competitive grant program. The program is open to ten coastal organizations to which the Bishoffs dedicated ongoing operating support through annual designated grants from the couple’s estate funds with the Community Foundation. The organizations may apply for grants to support special projects and capital campaigns.
The following grants have been awarded:
- Rotary Club of Mendocino County, to purchase a computer and software for club accounting, member support, and meeting presentations.
- Kelley House Museum, Inc., for the digitization of archives.
- Mendocino Art Center, for executive transition, capacity building and administrative improvements.
- Mendocino Music Festival, to replace the festival’s 830 folding chairs, otherwise known as “Chatter’s Chairs”.
- Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department, to purchase two 10,000 gallon water tanks to ensure reliable access to water on site for fire suppression.
- Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, for rehabilitation of all trails to provide safer access to the Gardens and coast.
- Mendocino Coast District Hospital, for strategic planning.
“Chatter was the Perle Mesta of Mendocino,” says longtime friend Gwen Jacobson, who sits on the Bishoff grant advisory committee. “She fell in love with this community and made a habit of donating generously to organizations she supported.”
This is the inaugural year of the Bishoff competitive grants, creating an exciting opportunity for those organizations important to Jack and Chatter to take on more broad-ranging projects. It was important to the couple tocontinue their legacy of giving after their lifetime, establishing endowments with the Community Foundation of Mendocino County to ensure the future success and growth of these organizations. These endowed funds are invested professionally with a percentage of annual income and asset appreciation used to make grants. They are managed so that the principal grows over time, allowing the funds’ distributions to keep up with inflation.
“It was important to Jack and Chatter to continue to care for the organizations that were important to them,” Jacobson shares, “and with an advisory committee made up of those that were close to them we can ensure their wishes are met by continuing to give the way they did when they were alive.”
OZ GRIMES: Petaluma veteran shares plans to end life under California assisted-suicide law
by Chris Smith
Taking it easy on the couch, about the most this 87-year-old, long-retired retailer and former political rabble-rouser can now do, Oz Grimes was feeling grateful for his life — and at peace with his resolve to end it a few days hence.
I DON'T GET a lot of things, probably as a consequence of age, but I especially don't get these frenetic morning television shows. Not that I'm a regular viewer, but I get glimpses, and the glimpses I get make me wonder, Why all the hilarity and everyone talking over each other like a bunch of speed freaks? What's so funny? Why do they act this way? As an experiment, I've watched three entire segments of Good Morning America, whole minutes of madcap laughter over topics which, among the sane, would elicit maybe a smile. In three hours of viewing I didn't hear anything interesting, let alone funny. Then there's David Muir on the ABC Evening News, each issue ending in pure bathos — an autistic kid helped by his teammates to shoot a hoop; a soldier re-uniting with his kid at a school assembly; a cop saying goodbye to his police dog; a little kid with cancer singing a song; a waitress giving a homeless guy a sandwich. All this pure mawk, I suppose, is to finish the thirty minutes of no context visuals of mayhem and catastrophe on an up note, but all it manages is to do is offend, deeply offend, and Muir, obviously some kind of cyborg, invariably wraps up by dropping an octave or two like he's really moved.
WORSE, the frenetic verbal delivery, and plenty of mawk-drenched stories, seems to have infected the general public. In any social gathering, the hyper-animated burble-gush often prevails.
YEARS AGO, maybe all the way back in the late sixties, there was a Bay Area news reader, a black guy, who resigned on the air. Maybe somebody else remembers him, and remembers him saying he just couldn't fake it any longer, that the phoniness was killing him, killing him in his soul. Into the early 70's, the Chuckle Buds would occasionally have an intellectual on, a real one, not Deepak and these other charlatans we see kicking it around with Oprah. I won't forget Norman Mailer rousing a whole audience of sleepwalkers with hard truths about Vietnam, but when's the last time you saw a serious person on television? Maybe the BBC, but KQED Television? There's Deepak!
PG&E'S NEW BOSS will make $6 million a year, an announcement we got this week along with the news of the latest additions to the — cough-cough — public utility's Yes board of directors, all of them handpicked from other corporate board rooms. We also learned that PG&E paid out a couple of billion in shareholder dividends just before last summer's fires, as always putting private interests ahead of tree-trimming and other safety measures.
JEEZ, here's one for your Ain't Fair book. An Anderson Valley woman was ticketed, and subsequently fined $260 for… driving too slow on Highway 253! She appealed to the County Courthouse where the judge essentially told her, "Tough cheese, lady. Fork over." The local admitted she was "going slow" at the request of her passenger who she was transporting to a Ukiah doctor's appointment. Isn't the law five cars behind you and you have to pull over to let them pass? In this case the only person behind the sedate driver was the CHP officer who wrote her the ticket.
BET HE DOESN'T PUNCH MEN
On April 3, 2019 at approximately 9:42 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a reported domestic violence incident at a residence in the 600 block of Pinoleville Drive in Ukiah. Deputies contacted a 24 year-old female in front of the residence and investigated the reported domestic violence incident. The Deputies learned the adult female and Victor Lucas, 22, of Ukiah, were involved in a cohabitant relationship.
Deputies learned the adult female had been reportedly physically assaulted Lucas approximately a hundred yards west of their residence on Pinoleville Drive. This included Lucas punching the adult female in the face, grabbing her neck forcefully and wrestling with her on the ground for a short period of time. The Deputies observed visible injuries to the adult female’s face and neck consistent with the reported assault. Deputies contacted Lucas inside the couple's residence and he was subsequently arrested for felony domestic violence battery. Deputies learned Lucas was on Mendocino County formal probation and he was also charged for violating his probation terms. Lucas was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for the listed charges and was to be held without bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 5, 2019
CHARLES AUSTIN, Covelo. Vandalism.
ZACHERY BENTZ, Cottonwood/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
LORENZO CRUZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
RICHARD FLORES, Redwood Valley. False ID, parole violation.
JUSTIN GARNER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MARK LONG, Willits. Trespassing.
VICTOR LUCAS, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.
JESUS MALFAVON-SANDOVAL, Philo. DUI-alcohol&drugs, probation revocation.
JAIME MARIN, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
WILLIAM MAYO, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon with great bodily injury, false imprisonment, criminal threats.
JUSTIN SCHAEFER, Eureka/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CHRISTINE SEIGLER, Potter Valley. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MARK SPITSEN, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocationi.
JUSTIN TULLOS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
TRISTIN WILEY, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Civilizational collapse doesn’t generally come out of one, all consuming fubar like a societal fireball. IMO collapse is a day-by-day degradation like a collective senility where people eventually forget what came before, that the boarded up buildings used to employ two thousand men at bread-winner wages, that no-go zones used to have family owned grocery stores and a multitude of other activities that formerly comprised the country’s productive ecosystem.
It’s the same with the infrastructure like dams. And corroding bridges, hundred year old water mains, twitchy electrical grids.
And the institutional infrastructure is just as decayed. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an example, but the farcical system of higher “education” is one. As is the just as laughable elementary system, whose main output is the opposite, ie semi-literate know-nothings.
How a country managed to devise these two money-pits is a cause for wonderment, and especially colleges where students emerge after four years no more intellectually adept than when they went in.
The degradation of the “justice” system is maybe even more alarming. What we’ve had with this years-long Russia collusion nonsense is various enforcement arms of the state doing their damndest to overturn an election, giving it a veneer of due process, but not fooling anyone anyone with normally functioning bullshit detectors.
But this is how collapse is, and maybe before we go too deep with the over-arching abstractions, maybe it would be useful to look at the contents – or lack thereof – of our own skulls.
Ask the guy beside you; how fucked up are you? Ask yourself the same thing.
It seems to me that collapse comes as much from collective sloth and indifference, a sort of mental or behavioral entropy, as anywhere else.
What to do, what to do. I dunno, maybe start small. And this is just a start: put down the fucking smart-phone. Better still, throw it in the lake. Then clean the house, rake the lawn, sit down with the morass of credit card balances and put some mental elbow-grease into figuring a way out of the mess.
Bring your lunch to work. Stop fucking burning money at Starbucks and instead bring a thermos.
Go to the library. Pick up Trollope, maybe something like The Way We Live Now. Or something by Dickens. If you really want to test your brain cells, get a translation of Dante’s Inferno. Or maybe get Paradise Lost. Lots to choose from. You’ll need the stamina of a canal horse to get through some of that old shit, but it’s worth the bother. And READ the fucking thing. READ. Don’t play fucking video games. Stay the fuck off you-tube and facebook. READ. READ what the old dead white guys wrote. They were smarter than we are. You can’t help but improve your mental function.
If civilizational collapse comes from an accumulation of small acts of laziness and idiocy then maybe small acts of sharpness and alacrity will stave it off, maybe buy some time.
Of course we carry the weight of a malevolent ruling class, a relative handful of self-dealing incompetents. What to do with those dick-heads?
by James Kunstler
Having disgraced themselves with full immersion in the barren RussiaGate “narrative,” the Resistance is now tripling down on RussiaGate’s successor gambit: obstruction of justice where there was no crime in the first place. What exactly was that bit of mischief Robert Mueller inserted in his final report, saying that “…while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him”?
It’s this simple: prosecutors are charged with finding crimes. If there is insufficient evidence to bring a case, then that is the end of the matter. Prosecutors, special or otherwise, are not authorized to offer hypothetical accounts where they can’t bring a criminal case. But Mr. Mueller produced a brief of arguments pro-and-con about obstruction for others to decide upon. In doing that, he was out of order, and maliciously so.
Of course, Attorney General Barr took up the offer and declared the case closed, as he properly should where the prosecutor could not conclude that a crime was committed. One hopes that the AG also instructed Mr. Mueller and his staff to shut the fuck up vis-à-vis further ex post facto “anonymous source” speculation in the news media. But, of course, the Mueller staff — which inexplicably included lawyers who worked for the Clinton Foundation and the Democratic National Committee — at once started insinuating to New York Times reporters that the full report would contain an arsenal of bombshells reigniting enough suspicion to fuel several congressional committee investigations.
The objective apparently is to keep Mr. Trump burdened, hobbled, and disabled for the remainder of his term, and especially in preparation for the 2020 election against whoever emerges from the crowd of lightweights and geriatric cases now roistering through the primary states. It also leaves the door open for the Resistance to prosecute an impeachment case, since that is a political matter, not a law enforcement action.
This blog is not associated with any court other than public opinion, and I am free to hypothesize on the meaning of Mr. Mueller’s curious gambit, so here goes: Mr. Barr, long before being considered for his current job, published his opinion that there was no case for obstruction of justice in the RussiaGate affair. By punting the decision to Mr. Barr, Mr. Mueller sets up the AG for being accused of prejudice in the matter — and, more to the point, has managed to generate a new brushfire in the press.
Mr. Barr could see this coming from a thousand miles away. I suspect he’s pissed off about being set up like this. I suspect further that he knows this brushfire is intended to produce a smokescreen to obscure the rash of grand jury referrals coming down in the weeks and months ahead against the many government employees who concocted the RussiaGate scandal. Personally, I think Mr. Mueller himself deserves to be in that roundup for destroying evidence (the Strzok / Page cell phones) and for malicious prosecution against General Flynn, among other things.
The reason Mr. Mueller did not bring an obstruction of justice charge against Mr. Trump is that the evidence didn’t support it. He didn’t have a case. In a trial — say, after Mr. Trump was impeached or left office — the discovery process could bring to light evidence that might embarrass and even incriminate Mr. Mueller and his staff, and cast further opprobrium on the federal justice agencies. For instance: why did Mr. Mueller drag out his inquiry for two years when he must have known by at least the summer of 2017 that the Steele dossier was a fraud perpetrated by the Clinton campaign?
Now the propaganda crusade has been initiated to defame Mr. Barr. The idiots running the budding new congressional inquiries are going to pile on him, with the help of the news media. Though he is said to be an “old friend” of Robert Mueller’s, I believe they have become adversaries, perhaps even enemies. Mr. Mueller is not in a position of strength in this battle. He has now officially exited the stage as his mandate expires, so he has no standing to oppose further consequences in the aftermath of RussiaGate. What remains is a dastardly and seditious hoax as yet unadjudicated and an evidence trail a mile wide, and no amount of jumping up and down crying “woo woo woo” by Jerrold Nadler, Maxine Waters, and Adam Schiff is going to derail that choo-choo train a’chuggin’ down the tracks.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
ATMOSPHERIC WARMING, ocean warming, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, deglaciation, desertification, eutrophication—these are just some of the byproducts of our species’ success. Such is the pace of what is blandly labelled “global change” that there are only a handful of comparable examples in Earth’s history, the most recent being the asteroid impact that ended the reign of the dinosaurs, sixty-six million years ago. Humans are producing no-analogue climates, no-analogue ecosystems, a whole no-analogue future. At this point, it might be prudent to scale back our commitments and reduce our impacts. But there are so many of us—nearly eight billion—and we are stepped in so far, return seems impracticable.
And so we face a no-analogue predicament. If there is to be an answer to the problem of control, it’s going to be more control. Only now what’s to be managed is not a nature that exists—or is imagined to exist—apart from the human. Instead, the new effort begins with a planet remade, and spirals back on itself—not so much the control of nature as the control of (the control of) nature. A Mississippi that’s been harnessed, straightened, regularized, and shackled can still exert a godlike force; it’s no longer exactly a river, though. It’s hard to say who, these days, occupies Mt. Olympus, if anyone.
Elizabeth Kolbert (The New Yorker)
PLAYING BASEBALL in Echo Park, 1907. Photo Los Angeles Examiner Collection.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT….
…. The climate/weather factors that led to the Camp Fire are undeniable. Severe drought, combined with higher temperatures and of course wind events, are part of the changing climate pattern attributed to climate change. There will undoubtedly be future “Paradises” across the West.
What I’ve seen is the focus on fuel reductions, particularly those occurring far from communities create a sense of complacency in communities. The average person thinks if we only log enough forest, do enough prescribed burning; large wildfires will be prevented. The scientific evidence for this is limited. Indeed, numerous studies conclude under “extreme fire weather” most fuel treatments fail, in part, because spotting of embers jumps all barriers. When you have situations like the Eagle Creek fire that jumped the complete absence of any fuels in the Columbia River or the Carr Fire that blew across the Sacramento River, it’s hard to argue that fuel reductions are a solution.
What does seem to work, to the degree that anything works, is efforts to reduce the flammability of homes. Studies by Dr. Jack Cohen and others have demonstrated that wooden walls require continuous heating to ignite. Most fast-moving wildfires like the Camp Fire do not linger long enough to ignite a wall. But if there are other flammable materials nearby whether it is firewood piled next to a house or a gutter full of pine needles and leaves, then the house is vulnerable to flames.
That is why working from the home outward is the only viable solution.
And one must think outside of the box. For instance, many pet owners have “doggie doors” that can swing open in a wind-driven blaze to allow embers into a home. Or the vinyl that holds “thermal” window glass can melt allowing flames to enter a home.
The second lesson of the Camp Fire and others that I have visited is that these fire reduction efforts must be made on a community-wide basis. They cannot be voluntary. Even if you remove the pine needles from your roof or put a girdle of gravel surrounding the foundation of your home, your place may still burn to the ground if your neighbor’s home catches fire. Structure fires put out more heat and more embers than a wildfire.
The third lesson is that communities must plan in advance for emergency evacuations. There must be a warning system in place that warns residents that a fire may be approaching. Keep in mind many of these larger fires had started when there was no lightning or other natural factors to signal a fire could start. Setting up a system of public alarms like the old air raid sirens that were used during the Cold War to alert residents of a possible air attack could be one answer. And as in Paradise, you cannot assume that electricity and things like cell phones will be working. So alternative means of communication must be set up—in advance.
Escape routes must be designated, and practice by community officials should be implemented. Can you get all the residents in Bend Oregon across the six bridges that cross the Deschutes River in one hour? I don’t think so.
You must also consider how the circumstances of the town might affect evacuations. Many communities, including where I live in Bend, as well as others mentioned like West Yellowstone, Montana, Sandpoint, Idaho, McCall Idaho, Whitefish, Montana, and so on are “tourist” towns. With thick smoke and people unfamiliar with local roads and routes, confusion about where to go for evaluation could be problematic.
Long term, the ultimate cure is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It should be pointed out that logging forests release far more GHG than a wildfire. For instance, logging is the most significant source of GHG emissions in Oregon. So keeping carbon in the forest just as keeping fossil fuels in the ground is a long term and practical means of helping to cope with climate change.
None of us wants to see a repeat of Paradise. But as long as politicians and others with a vested financial interest in logging/thinning that includes forestry professors, foresters, timber companies, and others continue to harp on “fuel reductions” as the cure, we will not see a significant reduction in death and home losses.
— George Wuerthner
COMMITTEE VOTES TO MOVE DAVE BERNHARDT'S NOMINATION AS INTERIOR SECRETARY TO FULL SENATE VOTE
by Dan Bacher
Washington D.C. - The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today voted 14-6 to move the nomination of Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former Westlands Water District and oil industry lobbyist, to a full Senate vote, setting the stage for a contentious and heated debate.
In his lobbying disclosures, Bernhardt has listed “potential legislation regarding the Bureau of Reclamation and the Endangered Species Act” under his specific lobbying areas, including trying to minimize protections for endangered salmon, Delta smelt and other fish populations due to limited water flows.
According to a story I broke here in January, a fish survey that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) conducts every autumn turned up zero Delta smelt — the very same fish that Bernhardt is trying to strip protections for — throughout the monitoring sites in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in September, October, November and December 2018. (www.dailykos.com/…)
“It’s no surprise that a group of Senators who owe so much to special interest lobbyists would support this choice for Interior Secretary,” said Western Values Project’s Executive Director Chris Saeger in a statement in response to the committee’s vote. “For the last two years, conflict-ridden David Bernhardt has tipped the scales in favor of former clients, likely violating his ethics pledge and responsibilities to the American people.”
“Western Senators Heinrich, Gardner, McSally, and Daines greased the wheels to push Bernhardt’s controversial nomination forward before getting clear answers to critical questions regarding his serious conflicts of interests. There is still time for them to reverse this mistake by voting to reject Bernhardt on the floor of the Senate. Until that happens, they will have to live with being known as full-throated supporters of Trump's conflicted ex-lobbyist pick to run our nation's public lands,” Saeger.
During Bernhardt’s hearing, Senators were unable to get clarification on several key conflicts of interest questions raised by Western Values Project. In addition, calls by Senator Wyden and others to delay his vote based on “serious concerns regarding Bernhardt’s culture of corruption” were ignored, said Saeger.
Two Democrats, Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Mark Heinrich (NM), and Independent Angus King (ME) joined with every Republican on the committee in voting to confirm Bernhardt. Western Senators Martha McSally (AZ), Cory Gardner (CO), and Steve Daines (MT) also supported the former lobbyist, according to Saeger.
The Washington Post reported this week that, at the request of two watchdog groups and several Senators, Interior’s Office of Inspector General is reviewing evidence that Bernhardt violated his ethics pledge when he acted on behalf of a former client, Westlands Water District.
Then today new details released by the New York Times revealed that Bernhardt had continued to associate with the water district at least until his deputy secretary nomination on April 28, 2017, according to Saeger. Within four months of his confirmation as Interior Deputy Secretary, Bernhardt pushed for a decision that would be beneficial for his former client.
“A 2017 invoice indicates that David Bernhardt, President Trump’s choice to lead the Interior Department, continued to lobby for a major client several months after he filed official papers saying that he had ended his lobbying activities,” said Times reporter Coral Davenport.
“The bill for Mr. Bernhardt’s services, dated March 2017 and labeled ‘Federal Lobbying,’ shows, along with other documents, Mr. Bernhardt working closely with the Westlands Water District as late as April 2017, the month Mr. Trump nominated him to his current job, deputy interior secretary. In November 2016, Mr. Bernhardt had filed legal notice with the federal government formally ending his status as lobbyist,” Davenport wrote.
Western Values Project (WVP) filed suit against the Interior Department in July of 2018 for public documents related to Bernhardt’s involvement with his former lobbying firm and clients. “Interior has been stonewalling the release of the documents and only now begun releasing preliminary documents related to the ten requests and comply with the joint status agreement,” said Saeger.
In response to the New York Times article’s revelations about Bernhardt’s lobbying for Westlands after he began working for Interior, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, said: “Our friends at Pacific Advocates confirmed what we suspected -- that Trump's nominee for Secretary of Interior, David Bernhardt, was lobbying for Westlands Water District after going to work for the Trump Administration. Invoices show he was busying lobbying for weakening endangered species protections and water rights for the Bay-Delta estuary.”
She also pointed out how Senator Dianne Feinstein was in contact with Bernhardt and Westlands regarding the weakening of Delta protections.
“During his period of double employment and conflict of interest, Senator Feinstein's office was in contact with him and Westland's General Manager Tom Birmingham on this weakening of Delta protections,” Barrigan-Parrilla stated. “This pains us because we thought we saw movement in Senator Feinstein's thinking on Delta management.”
“While she opposed the twin tunnels, she seems fine with just pumping all the water away and destroying Delta fisheries, part of our historical and cultural legacy, and our water quality for public health protections. That's not a better solution for the Delta. Her staff knew the nominee for Interior had conflicted interests and engaged with him regardless of his status, but Delta leaders seldom hear from her office. We expect better Senator Feinstein,” she concluded.
On March 19, a coalition of California fishing groups, conservation organizations and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe sent a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein seeking an investigation and public disclosure of acting interior secretary Bernhardt’s role in granting the powerful Westlands Water District a permanent water supply contract. The groups also demanded that taxpayers be repaid for Westlands’ Delta Tunnels’ bills before his confirmation hearing.
“In advance of Mr. Bernhardt's Senate confirmation hearing on March 28, we draw your attention to the dark ethical cloud that hangs over his nomination,” the letter states. “Questions about a broad range of potential conflicts have been submitted by other Senators to the Inspector General and there have been numerous, publicly-reported conflicts of interest, violations of ethics recusals, and a pattern of repeated favoritism Mr. Bernhardt has extended to almost all of his former clients.”
“All of the potential conflicts need to be assessed, but our specific emphasis herein is to urge you to investigate two concerns of unique importance to California: (1) Westlands’ pending request for a permanent water supply contract for more than 1 Million Acre-feet (MAF) and (2) the repayment of $84.8 million in federal taxpayer dollars, paid by Interior to cover Westlands' (and three other federal water contractors') Delta water tunnel costs,” the letter states.
The coalition sending the letter included: the Crab Boat Owners Association, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association, AquAlliance, Environmental Water Caucus, Winnemem Wintu Tribe, Sierra Club California, Southern California Watershed Alliance, Institute for Fisheries Resources, CA Save our Streams Council, California Water Impact Network, Save the American River Association, Local Agencies of the Delta, Restore the Delta, North Coast Rivers Alliance and California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and Planning and Conservation League.
Then on March 26, more than 160 conservation groups sent a letter to U.S. senators urging them to oppose the nomination of fossil fuel lobbyist David Bernhardt as Interior secretary, citing his “efforts to enrich corporations at the expense of the environment.”
The latest revelations about Bernhardt’s enormous conflicts of interest takes place at a critical time for salmon, Delta smelt and other San Francisco Bay Delta fish populations. For the first time ever, a fish survey that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) conducts every autumn turned up zero Delta smelt throughout the monitoring sites in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in September, October, November and December 2018.
The smelt, a 2 to 3 inch fish listed under both federal and state Endangered Species Acts that was once the most abundant fish in the Delta, is found only in the Delta estuary. It is regarded as an indicator species, a fish that demonstrates the health of the entire Delta ecosystem. For more information, go to: www.dailykos.com/…
To take action to oppose Bernhardt’s nomination, go here: actionnetwork.org/…
WORST GPS UNIT, EVER
Auditions for the play 4000 MILES at the Mendocino Theatre Company Auditions for the Mendocino Theatre Company's production of Amy Herzog's touching dramatic comedy 4000 MILES, directed by Betty Abramson, will be held on Tuesday, April 9th at 6:00 PM, with call-backs on April 10th The auditions will be held in the theatre; actors will be asked to read from the script. A familiarity with the script is encouraged; perusal scripts and audition sides are available in the box office. This play has three roles for young people; local youth, between 17 and 28, are encouraged to audition! For more information and to sign up, please go to mendocinotheatre.org/auditions or email Pamela Allen at email@example.com.
FORMER UK AMBASSADOR CRAIG MURRAY (who now works with Wikileaks) writes:
Robert Mueller repeats the assertion from the US security services that it was Russian hackers who obtained the DNC emails and passed them on to Wikileaks. I am telling you from my personal knowledge that this is not true. Neither Mueller’s team, not the FBI, nor the NSA, nor any US Intelligence agency, has ever carried out any forensic analysis on the DNC’s servers. The DNC consistently refused to make them available. The allegation against Russia is based purely on information from the DNC’s own consultants, Crowdstrike. William Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA (America’s US$40 billion a year communications intercept organisation), has proven beyond argument that it is a technical impossibility for the DNC emails to have been transmitted by an external hack – they were rather downloaded locally, probably on to a memory stick. Binney’s analysis is fully endorsed by former NSA systems expert Ed Loomis. There simply are no two people on the planet more technically qualified to make this judgement. Yet, astonishingly, Mueller refused to call Binney or Loomis (or me) to testify. Compare this, for example, with his calling to testify my friend Randy Credico, who had no involvement whatsoever in the matter, but Mueller’s team hoped to finger as a Trump/Assange link. The DNC servers have never been examined by intelligence agencies, law enforcement or by Mueller’s team. Binney and Loomis have written that it is impossible this was an external hack. Wikileaks have consistently stressed no state actor was involved. No evidence whatsoever has been produced of the transfer of the material from the “Russians” to Wikileaks. Wikileaks Vault 7 release of CIA documents shows that the planting of false Russian hacking “fingerprints” is an established CIA practice. Yet none of this is reflected at all by Mueller nor by the mainstream media. “Collusion” may be dead, but the “Russiagate” false narrative limps on.
BUILD YERSELF A PALLET HOUSE
Upcoming Pallet House Workshop!!
Hi Folks! A few seats left for the upcoming Pallet house ~ Earthen Plasters & Paints Workshop.
3-Day Workshop with Camping
Lunch Daily, community kitchen available, community campfire nightly ~ bring instruments!
Learn the basics on HOW to build a house out of pallets! This workshop will go over the basic steps, you will learn to make a cob mix appropriate for a pallet applications, and much more!!
Fire Resilient!!! Lean how to use a natural mix of Clay, Sand and Straw to create fire-resilient walls!!
Art & Beauty ~ we will be focused on teaching about Earthen and Lime Plasters and paints! Beautify almost any wall, with simple, affordable ingredients!
Low Cost ~ Only $275 for the entire weekend!
Read more here https://www.goldenrocksfarm.com/workshops-classes
Brenda Quintero firstname.lastname@example.org
DEMONSTRATIONS AND PROTESTS EVERYWHERE today. I've been in lots of them. Who lives in coastal northern California who hasn't? They're fun and inspiring. I remember a San Francisco demo that started on Market Street and went all the way out Geary Boulevard to the Polo Grounds in Golden Gate Park. Geary is a straight street. It goes straight, up and down SF's hills. Way out in the avenues you could look toward downtown and see the throng, filling that wide street (over 100 feet wide in many places) wall to wall for nearly six miles. Most impressive!
Just before we treated Iraq to Shock & Awe, in Rumsfeld's inimitable jabber, Planet Earth saw the biggest demonstration of human will in its existence--every continent but Antarctica (and I'm not dead sure they didn't have a little "do" down there). People everywhere did not want us to attack, invade and occupy the Cradle of Civilization. For all the good it did. W, with the admirable derision he was so famous for, dismissed the global protest as "a focus group" and pressed on with the lie-supported war.
So much for today's protests.
Don't get me wrong. Marches, protests, demonstrations are absolutely necessary. If nothing else, you want bad guys to see the size of the opposition, to have something for their imaginations to chew on, dreams of 25- or 30 million people coming at them. Plus, they give a sense of great power to the demonstrators. You look at all those people and say, "how can this many fail?"
Iraq, what's left of it, is still on fire. The opposition to the Vietnam War lasted a decade before a beleaguered Nixon watched the fall of Saigon and abandonment of Ike's, JFK's, Johnson's and Nixon's murderous folly. The Trump I felt sure would be gone by Christmas 2016 clings like Velcro.
Demonstrations come and go. I read an article recently by an activist who made a crucial point: AS NECESSARY AND VALUABLE AS DEMONSTRATIONS ARE, WITHOUT ACCOMPANYING STRATEGY, THEY FAIL!
The Occupy movement resisted leadership. They stubbornly refused any overall leadership. Leaders' feet so often turn to clay (or worse), I wished them well. They had no general leaders, no coherent, widely-disseminated strategy and, after a very promising start, they fell flat.
Speak, readers. What should be our strategy in dealing with the Trump phenomenon??
The picture below is London expressing its opinion on our plans to wreck Iraq.
"The U.S. Navy is planning to expand their war training exercises right in the path of the annual Gray Whale migration. These war training exercises include massive sonar, huge explosions and many harmful chemicals being released into the ocean. The Gray Whales will have to travel through this deadly environment two times a year.
The Navy could move these exercises somewhere else. The don’t have to be conducted in the Gray Whale migration path. Everywhere the U.S. Navy or other country’s Navies have conducted these war training exercises, there has been extra loss of marine life.
If you don’t want this to happen, please send written comments to:
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest
Attention NWTT Supplemental EIS/OEIS Project Manager
3730 N. Charles Porter Ave., Building 385
Oak Harbor, WA 98278-3500
The navy is going to send representatives to Dana Gray Elementary School in Fort Bragg on May 3, 2019 to explain the Navy's expansion plans.
Their notice announcing this neglected to mention what time the meetings start and finish. People can call the Navy public Affairs Officer at: 1-360-396-1630 to get more information."
AOC, SANDERS, AND WARREN ARE THE REAL CENTRISTS BECAUSE THEY SPEAK FOR MOST AMERICANS
by Mehdi Hasan
MEMO OF THE AIR FRIDAY NIGHT
Friday, April 5, which is my mother's 90th birthday, from 9pm to 5am I'm reading Memo of the Air by live remote from Juanita's apartment, not from the back room of the KNYO performance space at 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar, so alter your plans to instead show-and-tell there next week, Friday April 12, when I'll be there rather than here, and I'll be delighted to see you.
Deadline to get your writing on the air tonight is around 7pm. If you're still working on it after that, just email it whenever you're done and I'll save it and read it on the show next time. Or save it yourself for next time and come in and read it in person, accompany yourself on accordion, do a magic trick, whatever, see above.
The crux of the message: Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org and click on Listen.
And you can always go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's show, and shows before that. By Saturday night, tonight's MOTA will also be there, right on top.
Here are a few items to occupy your noggin while you wait for tonight: Auroras over the South Pole. With it sped up the way it is you can see that it really is fire. Gigantic electric fire. Fire is plasma.
Wow. It makes me want to see Game of Thrones. I did see part of an episode of the first season once, long ago, where a bewildered young lady with delicate features and bleach-blonde hair was forced to eat an entire fresh raw bloody horse's heart that was almost as big as her whole head. That had Jason Momoa in it, who I knew from /Stargate:Atlantis/. I think he was the one forcing her to eat the horse's heart. Maybe it was a family religious ritual. And, come to think of it, that was the same lady on the dragon-barrel-crane-thing in front of the green screen, here, but when she was a teenager.
And the trailer for an HBO miniseries about the horror of Chernobyl.
Marco McClean, email@example.com,
An upper limits problem, indeed. And in spades. An inside straight flush. Every day gets better and better and better. Yesterday, a renewal of friendship with an old friend and a new friendship with a new one. Her husband Fode, from West Africa. A drummer. A dancer. A buff athlete with lovely soft eyes and an ready engaging smile. Travels all over the world Onstage with Angelique Kidjo. My friend says that she will return, next time with her dog.
But that is only preface. My friend Lynn is in today's AVA. She is a fine writer. But most fine writers aren't there. She is a witness to the ICE debacle in Texas. I am so proud of her, I could spit. And that is a very strange way to express my swelling joy. I have just watched Leonard Cohen sing from London. Hallelulia.
And that is not the end. Not by a long way. My mind churns on. I say thanks. I bow. I inhale. And I am still laughing. It's not manic.
Have you ever thought of what's involved in the making of everything you own or have ever touched? Or course you have. Especially if you have made it yourself. Craft or art. Your children. Your opinions. Where you have lived. What you have chosen to do. This list will never end until we do.
I am sitting across from what I still own of most of my books. The trees. The ink. The bleach. The distribution. The economic system which determines their price. Their current worth. Look at the couch. My walking stick. My pills. To understand this is to be fully alive. To say thank you and how and laugh and renew friendships and to see Lynn's byline in the AVA is to touch grace. Halleliliah, eh?
EARTH DAY 2019
the garden's award are bean rows
next are lettuce and tomatoes
and so on until the fruit trees
the goat and sheep pasture?
it has no real beginning or end
the goat and sheep pens?
they are close to the compost pile
the chicken coop?
between the pasture and nut trees
this morning I am remembering
Mona Lee Brock
as I plant radish seeds
in a vegetable box by the porch
I built the boxes with my wife
from wood recycled
from the old barn we tore down
actually I am praying
as I plant the cherriette radishes
I am praying
with Mona Lee Brock:
let the air be good for breathing
let the water be good for drinking
let the soil be good for farming
let the dead think the living
are worthy of this planet and help us