Occupy The Grove

There are probably three wacky conspiracy theories for every one realistic account of the Bohemian Club. It doesn’t help that what happens every summer at the Club’s “Grove” campground along the forested banks Russian River in Sonoma County includes a bizarre mix of silly druidic rituals that only feed the rumor mill of Satanism and sexcapades.

Modern Day Pinkertons

San Francisco’s Financial District has been a major locus of mobilization for the Occupy Movement. West Coast Occupy actions began in September of 2011 with a call to “occupy” the downtown because of its geographic concentration of powerful financial companies. The Bay Area’s first Occupy encampment sprouted in front of the Federal Reserve Bank on […]

North Coast Dems Tighten Their Grip

In what is probably a first in the history of wine’s conquest of all arable land in northern California, a 528-acre expanse of former wetlands in southern Sonoma County is set to be converted into a grape vineyard and olive plantation, with perhaps other crops in the mix. Or is that the plan? The developers […]

Huffman’s Money

The Speaker of the California State Assembly in the 1960s, Jesse ‘Big Daddy’ Unruh once announced that, “money is the mother’s milk of politics.” His was an era of unrestrained financing in state and federal elections. The wealthy and the powerful, and those who sought greater wealth and power, poured money into the accounts of […]

Public Power In Mendocino

Among the flurry of bills just signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown was SB 790, a twenty page string of amendments to the Public Utilities Code designed to level the playing field between nascent public power agencies and hostile big investor owned utilities like PG&E. Shepherded through the legislature by Senator Mark Leno (D-San […]

New Candidates, Old Money: The New Second Congressional Seat

Candidate for the newly created 2nd US Congressional District seat Norman Solomon visited the Mendocino coast last Thursday, appearing at the Caspar Community Center for an evening discussion with about fifty locals, half of whom trickled in late, as is the style up here. The audience was friendly, receiving Solomon’s opening remarks with nodding heads […]

Mendo’s Backward Energy Plan

Mendocino County has a plan for how it will power its communities and economy far into the future. It’s written into several chapters of the county’s newly updated General Plan. Unfortunately it’s mostly planning by means of inertia: patterns of the present weigh heavily upon the future, as it’s imagined. The General Plan’s recommendations for […]

In California’s Battered Education System, More Cuts & Privatization

The role of public higher education in California’s economy is well understood. The state’s enormous constellation of classrooms and labs are the engine of change, a vast idea factory where new technologies are created and entire business sectors emerge. The state’s three tiered system —split between the Community Colleges, State Universities, and University of California— […]

Big Wine & Global Warming

Mendocino County’s wineries have been among the most aggressive in branding themselves, and the rest of the haute alcohol industry, as ecologically sustainable. They’ve been successful enough so far that the ubiquitous vineyards dotting hillsides and carpeting valley floors, and the enormous stocks of fine vino lining store shelves receive little to no scrutiny from […]

What Is Mendocino County’s Energy Plan?

In the grand and tangled scheme that is California’s energy infrastructure, Mendocino County is but a tiny out of the way spur. As a market for energy the county is marginal: according to the California Energy Commission, Mendocino County businesses and homes account for only two percent of the state’s overall appetite for electricity, and […]