Mendocino County Today: October 1, 2013
by AVA News Service, September 30, 2013
DOUG MCKENTY has been fired by KZYX. An affable young family man who lives in Elk, McKenty was offed ostensibly because someone dropped the F-bomb during McKenty's twice-a-month Open Lines program, the only two hour-long opportunities listeners have each month to say whatever's on their minds. The true reason McKenty, a former station board member, was fired seems to be his affiliation with station dissidents who are launching “KZYX Members For Change,” the title a reference to the many station members unhappy with the station's crude management, specifically station manager John Coate and long-time station staffer, Mary Aigner. Many more Mendo people have simply given up on KZYX, dropping their memberships and only occasionally tuning in. A statistic station management, supported by an uninformed, apparently disinterested board of directors, seems oblivious of, is this one: More than 400 Mendocino County residents belong to KMUD out of Garberville in Southern Humboldt County while about 20 Humboldt County residents are members of KZYX.
McKenty, Coate, Aigner
JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY
On September 27, 2013, at about 1pm, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a Henderson Lane address in Covelo to investigate a reported incident of domestic violence. Upon arrival they contacted the involved parties, finding the 44-year old male victim to be severely intoxicated. The female suspect, Demeter McFadden, 39, of Covelo, did not exhibit symptoms of alcohol intoxication but appeared to be under the influence of some other drug or intoxicant. The victim told Deputies that he and his cohabitant girlfriend, McFadden, had argued and that she had struck him in the back with a board. Scratches and bruising were visible on the victim's back. The board was located and the victim's injuries were consistent with a blow from that object. McFadden was arrested for felony domestic violence with corporal injury and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on $25,000. (Sheriff’s Press Release)
WE'RE ASKING RANDOM MENDO PEOPLE how ObamaCare affects them. Our first respondent said, “Right now I personally don't have any idea how/if it will affect me. I've had my own insurance for years, a ‘grandfathered’ plan that doesn't include pregnancy benefits and is no longer considered a legal plan because of that, but that I can continue by choice (and it does save me some money). I plan to wait a couple of months for all the fall-out to happen and for everyone to figure out how it really works, then I'll look into whether a different plan will work for me or not. My boyfriend has very expensive insurance; his COBRA ran out recently. So now he's footing around $1,000/month for his insurance because he has a pre-existing condition; he will definitely benefit as he can look for less expensive insurance that can't deny his condition.
THE MERITS OF THE CASE FOR OR AGAINST OBAMACARE are almost impossible for even well-informed and educated citizens to parse. You start with a law roughly 2,000 pages long, cobbled together largely by lobbyists for the insurance and medical industries, both of them hideous rackets, and move to a labyrinth of 50 different state systems for administering the darn thing, combined with miscellaneous non-profits and for-profit contractors and subcontractors that the states hire to do computer and software implementation trying to standardize the non-standardizable, and then consider the supposed beneficiaries, namely young people so burdened by college loans in an economy that only offers minimum wage scut-jobs that, from one day to the next, they probably don’t know whether to shit or go blind. They don’t even have the scratch to pay the opt-out tax, let alone purchase an insurance policy. — James Kunstler
APPEARS TO BE…
The official name of Obamacare — the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — appears to be a cruel tactic to trick people into thinking they're going to save money on health insurance, much like early Scandinavian pioneers named the country of Greenland as a way to attract more settlers, obscuring the fact that the country is 80% covered by an ice sheet that's 1 mile thick.
I just received my Blue Shield health care premium notice for 2014, and I was stunned by what I saw. After reading media articles about how rates were going to climb, I fully expected my premium to go up more than the typical 20% annual increase I've seen in recent years. Still, I wasn't prepared for what I saw when I opened my email.
My current premium is $631.00 per month under my company's group policy, and my 2014 estimated premium is $1,596.00. That's a 152.9% increase! I was fortunate to take advantage of an early renewal program that Blue Shield offered, locking in a 2013 rate of $679.00 until December 2014. Until that time comes, I'll be scrambling to figure out where to find a policy that's truly affordable.
After the initial shock, I considered that I might be able to switch to a lower-cost policy offered by Covered California, our state's ACA insurance exchange. Since I'm very healthy, I choose a high-deductible health plan with the lowest possible premiums. On the insurance exchange, plans with the highest deductibles are labeled "bronze" plans. After entering all of my family information, I received six quotes from major carriers, including Blue Shield. The average of all bronze plans was $1,079.50, a full 71% higher than my current premium!
Because of new limitations on how insurance carriers can calculate premiums based on age, it's been forecasted that younger people would pay more for insurance, but older people would pay less. That doesn't appear to be true, either. One of my colleagues is a 28-year-old male, and when he heard about my rate increase he quickly checked his own state's exchange for a price quote. The exchange price quoted a 60% increase for a comparable plan compared to his own current individual policy.
It's hard not to feel betrayed by the hype that came with Obamacare. Covered California made huge claims about affordability in a May 23 press release:
”This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” said Peter V. Lee, Executive Director of Covered California. “Our active negotiating will not only benefit potential enrollees to Covered California, but will benefit all Californians by making health care affordable.”
However, Forbes magazine did some fact-checking by comparing Covered California's rates with what's already available on the open market. Their research showed that California premiums were going to increase by as much as 146%, with the San Francisco Bay area, Orange County, and San Diego residents getting hit the hardest. More specifically, “for the typical 25-year-old non-smoking Californian, Obamacare will drive premiums up by between 100% and 123%.” For a 40-year-old non-smoker, “Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by an average of 116%.” All of the articles I've read up until now were based on expected rate increases, with Obamacare supporters and detractors spinning their own forecasts for how rates would be affected. Now that people are starting to receive their 2014 premiums, there is no need for marketing spin. Numbers don't lie.
To put my 152.9% price increase into perspective, that's more than the total inflation (CPI) from 1996 to 2013 — 18 years' worth of inflation in a single price increase.
2014 will be a year of big change for patients, doctors, and insurance companies as they adapt to the new requirements under Obamacare. The details of 2014 health-care plans outside of exchanges won't be known until insurance companies roll them out. However, what is clear is that the political hype of affordable health care under ACA has now been debunked with actual published rates. Greenland isn't green, and health care under Obamacare isn't more affordable.
(Gary E.D. Alt, AIF, CFP, is the co-founder of Monterey Private Wealth in Monterey, Calif.)
BURN BAN LIFTED. CalFire Mendocino Unit Chief Christopher P. Rowney, in conjunction with the Mendocino County Fire Chiefs Association, and the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District (MCAQMD), will rescind the 2013 Countywide Burn Suspension of dooryard and large pile burning officially tomorrow morning Tuesday, October 1, 2013, at noon. The 2013 Fire Season has not yet been declared closed, so burn permits are still required. Residents who obtained a CalFire Burn Permit last spring are advised to check the dates on their Burn Permit to ensure it is still valid. Burning Permits can be obtained at CalFire’s Howard Forest Headquarters (459-7414) 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday. Additionally, permits may be obtained at the following CalFire locations: Boonville, 895-3323; Covelo, 983-6499; Fort Bragg, 964-5673; Hopland, 744-1111; Laytonville 984-6777; Leggett, 925-6414; Point Arena, 882-2151; Ukiah, 462-7448; Woodlands, 937-5765. County residents are reminded that burning must comply with MCAQMD regulations. Open burning will be allowed only with properly obtained permits, which provide regulations for safe burning and air quality management. While CalFire does not require burn permits from the end of fire season until May 1st, MCAQMD permits are required year round. Burn permits are available at the following local fire districts; Anderson Valley Community Service District, Brooktrails Community Service District, Covelo Fire Protection District, Fort Bragg Fire Department, Little Lake Fire Department, Redwood Coast Fire Department, Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Protection District, Ukiah City Fire Department or the MCAQMD. To further prevent unwanted wildfires, Chief Rowney encourages all residents to take advantage of the cooler months ahead and prepare your home for the 2014 fire season by creating 100 feet of defensible space around your home. Chief Rowney reminds residents preparing for a wildfire starts with three simple steps: “Ready, Set, Go”. Detailed information on “Ready, Set, Go” is available on our website at www.fire.ca.gov or contact CalFire Mendocino Unit Headquarters at (707) 459-7414.
AS THEN, AS NOW: “Our abundant society is at present simply deficient in many of the most elementary objective opportunities and worthwhile goals that could make growing up possible. … It is lacking in honest public speech, and people are not taken seriously. It is lacking in the opportunity to be useful. It thwarts aptitude and creates stupidity. It corrupts ingenuous patriotism. It corrupts the fine arts. It shackles science. It dampens animal ardor… It has no Honor. It has no Community.” — Paul Goodman, ‘Growing Up Absurd’ (1960)
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH CRAIG & ANDY
Warm spiritual greetings from Southern Humboldt county, District 2 congressional candidate Andy Caffrey (www.CaffreyforCongress.org) and I attended the GRASS marijuana dispensary open house Sunday afternoon in Garberville. The response to our presence was enthusiastic, since Andy is campaigning to legalize marijuana. Although I do not indulge, I did enjoy being there, and watching the crowd pass around a $4,000 ultra high tech bong pipe. Andy had a chance to address a different network than the Earth First!/Rising Tide/Climate Justice network, (which he has been doing because he is the only candidate running for congress who is demanding radical policy change in response to global climate destabilization); for an update on the melting Greenland ice sheet, check out the September 2013 National Geographic magazine, with “Rising Seas” on the cover. We are holding on here, having raised just enough money to get a campaign headquarters/community space rented beneath his apartment (the space is the former Garberville Record store located at 446 Maple Lane at Locust St. one block east of Hemp Connection). We must get in another $1,000 in one week to give the remaining deposit and October's rent. Please send in money to PO Box 324, Redway, CA 95560, checks made out to “Caffrey for Congress.” I wish you to understand that this is primarily a response to the global climate crisis, and the Greenland ice sheet is melting! Andy is running for congress to ensure that this most critical earthly disaster is represented in Washington DC, where it is not now taken seriously by the irresponsible United States congress. I ask you to come here and participate with us, help to get the community space secured, and if you really grok me, let's go to Washington D.C. to perform spiritual direct action/rituals/flat bed truck around the beltway featuring bands, encircle the capitol building, the white house, etc. Let's do this as soon as possible. This is a global crisis of unimaginable proportions, and all I am asking of others is to act as though we are all living amidst the planet earth climate crisis. Am I being too sane, y'all? Please telephone us at 707-923-2114, and speak with us. Yours for Self-realization and spiritual direct action, Craig Louis Stehr Craig Louis Stehr Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com
IDLE NO MORE PROTEST AT SHASTA DAM
Tribes Say No to Raising Dam
by Dan Bacher
Over 30 people, including members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, Hoopa Valley Tribe and their allies, protested government plans to raise Shasta Dam and build the peripheral tunnels under the Delta in front of the Visitors Center at the dam on Saturday, September 21 as the first rain of the fall poured down on them.
The protest was held as part of a series of events, including several film showings, to counter the Bureau of Reclamation’s 75th anniversary celebration of Shasta Dam the week of September 15-22.
The protesters wore raingear emblazoned with letters spelling out, “No Dam Raise, No Tunnels,” on the side of the Visitor Center. They also shouted out, “No Shasta Dam Raise, No Twin Tunnels” as they held an array of signs, with the dam in the background.
Tribal leaders say the dam raise will inundate many of the sacred cultural sites not already covered by the waters of Shasta Lake. They also oppose the dam raise because it is designed in conjunction with Governor Jerry Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels.
The construction of the twin tunnels would hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon and steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations of the Trinity and Klamath rivers. The “habitat restoration” proposed under the plan would also take huge areas of fertile Delta farmland out of production in order to continue irrigating selenium-filled, drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley
“We started out a small group on this rainy day – a day like the salmon like it! – but soon grew to be big enough to make a human banner saying ‘No Dam Raise; No Twin Tunnels! the Chief being the exclamation mark,” explained Misa Joo, a member of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe.
The tribe and their supporters spent the whole day at the dam telling their message. With placards and banners, they marched into the Visitor Center where they held an impromptu and thorough discussion on the road of destruction that California politicians, greedy water exporters and corporate interests are taking us down by supporting the raising of Shasta Dam and the construction of the twin tunnels.
During the discussion, Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk, referring to corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, emphasized, “Farms in the desert are killing our water systems. The selenium pollution of the water is only the tipping point, only an indicator of what is coming.”
“EVERYTHING is threatened if the water is not allowed to go to the sea. And the rainfall that falls in the desert is as the Creator has intended,” she said.
“People don’t even know what real water tastes like now,” she added, referring to the chlorinated and bottled water that people now drink.
She noted how the Bureau claims one of the two reasons for the dam raise is to provide a larger cold water pool to “restore” the salmon. “However, the cold water pool in place now hasn’t created more salmon,” Sisk said.
Sisk emphasized that the loss of salmon will result in a huge catastrophe for fish, people and the planet. “Who will turn over the rocks in the river when the salmon are gone? Who will provide the nutrients to the ecosystem? Without the salmon, there will be a major disaster,” she said.
Restore salmon by allowing passage over dam
Instead, David Martinez, Winnemem Tribal Member, pointed out the solution to restoring the salmon is not raising the dam and building the twin tunnels, but to provide passage over Shasta Dam so the winter run Chinook salmon can once again ascend the McCloud River to spawn.
“A half mile channel between Dry Creek and Cow Creek can allow the salmon to migrate upriver for a lot less money than the billions it will cost to raise the dam and build the tunnels,” supposedly to “restore” salmon, he noted.
Dania Colegrove, a Hoopa Valley Tribe member and organizer for the Klamath Justice Coalition, pointed out on the relief map of the Central Valley Project at the Visitor Center how Trinity River water is diverted through a tunnel from Lewiston Reservoir and exported into Whiskeytown Reservoir. From there, it is released into Clear Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento, to be used by Westlands Water District and other agribusiness interests.
The tribal members and volunteers also rented a houseboat, on which they erected banners proclaiming, “No Dam Raise.”
A group of environmental activists from the North Coast showed up to support the Winnemen during the protest.
Chad from Earth First! Humboldt, stated, “We are here because we believe it is really important to show solidarity with indigenous struggles like the Winnemem Wintu in their battle to stop the raising of Shasta Dam and the construction of the tunnels.”
Joo summed up, “It is up to each one of us to educate and activate. Water districts and political leaders are supposed to be making water policy that helps the people, serve the public interest, and protect resources for future generations. And that was the message we carried all day long, stopping in downtown Shasta Lake City by their mock dam and waterfall to hold our signs where the freeway empties into the town.”
Attendance at official “celebration” events was poor
Ironically, the Winnemem Wintu protest and their series of counter-celebration events appeared to draw many more people than the Bureau’s official events.
The Tribe and its allies held a series of film showings to show the other side of the anniversary, starting with the premiere of the wonderful film, Toby McLeod’s “Pilgrims and Tourists,” showing the commonality of struggles between the Winnemem in California and the indigenous people of the Altai Republic of Russia, at the Cascade Theatre in Redding on Saturday, September 14. They also held screenings of Restore the Delta’s “Over Troubled Waters” and Will Doolittle’s “Dancing Salmon Home.”
Sisk believes that the poor attendance at the official celebration events was probably because the “celebration” was created as political tactic to falsely portray the myth that local communities “support” the dam raise when they in fact don’t.
Before the Idle No More event, Sisk explained the reason for the protest. “We want them to know we’re not going to be idle no more and that they need to deal with us as real people,” explained Sisk. “There’s nowhere else we can go in the world to be Winnemem. If they raise the dam, they will be taking away our future as a people.”
“We can’t go to Hoopa or Navajo land to learn to be Winnemem,” Sisk said. “This is our Mother Country. We want our salmon back and we want access to participation in the process as a viable community. In their environmental impact report, they list everything we have as ‘archeological’ sites. However, that’s where we dance – that’s where we bring our girls across the river in the puberty ceremony.”
“We are not going to fall silent for this BOR organized celebration priming the pump for a further raise which will drown the rest of our sacred places, which will reduce the chance for introducing salmon above the dam, which will put a big ol’ gravel pit in our neighbors’ neighborhood and hugely and negatively impact the houseboater’s businesses and campgrounds,” said Sisk. “It’s not just our issue!”
“To make room for the reservoir, the BOR stole our lands, destroyed our salmon run, and submerged our burial grounds and sacred sites,” according to Sisk. “Many Winnemem were left homeless, and we still have yet to receive to the ‘like lands’ that were promised to use in the 1941 Indian Lands Acquisition Act, which authorized the stealing of our land.”
“The McCloud River, a world class fishing river, should have the wild Chinook back. The same ones that were sent to New Zealand are ready to come back,” Sisk concluded.
A short video on the protest is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxhEKI3kt8A&feature=youtu.be
Public Comment Period Ends On September 30!
The 90-day comment period on Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation began on Monday, July 1, and all comments must be received by midnight Monday, September 30. The Draft EIS documents the evaluation of potential effects of six alternative plans to modify the existing Shasta Dam and Shasta Reservoir Project, located approximately 10 miles northwest of Redding, Calif.
Written comments may be mailed or faxed to Katrina Chow, Project Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, Planning Division, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825-1893, fax: 916-978-5094 or email BOR-MPR-SLWRI [at] usbr.gov.
You can learn more at: http://www.shastadamraise.com
Also sign this petition to extend the public comment period by three months: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/please-save-the-delta.fb31?source=s.fb&r_by=2224310
For more information on the Winnemem Wintu, go to: http://www.winnememwintu.us
(Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento. He can be reached at: Dan Bacher email@example.com.)