Mendocino County Today: December 5, 2013

by AVA News Service, December 4, 2013

JOHN HOGGATT has died. Known in Willits simply as John The Printer, John passed away Tuesday evening at his Willits home after a protracted battle with cancer. He has printed our newspaper for many years, buying the business from our previous printer, the late Jim Chase. Printing X-Press (formerly Willits Printing) maintains the last web press in Mendocino County. We hope to have a full obituary in the next few days.

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UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONAL ABUSE

The Case of Peter Keegan, Susan Keegan, and the Ukiah homicide

Dr. & Mrs. Keegan

Dr. & Mrs. Keegan

Before she was a victim of homicide, Susan Keegan was a victim of emotional abuse.

When we think about domestic violence, we tend to think about physical harm, but a victim can also be the target of verbal aggression, manipulative behavior, and deliberate efforts to humiliate or belittle. Contempt is often part of that package, with the abuser mocking or insulting his partner, demeaning her appearance, demanding obedience, even becoming enraged when chores are not done as requested. Sex may become a weapon — for example, when an abuser insists that marriage itself entitles him to sex where, when, and how he wants it.

These are not behaviors of an ordinary bickering couple. These are tools of psychological abuse and often a warning of violence to follow.

The research on emotional abuse and its consequences is wide and deep, but some helpful definitions are offered here: Abuse in Intimate Relationships: Defining the Multiple Dimensions and Terms

( http://www.musc.edu/vawprevention/research/defining.shtml )

(author: Vera E. Mouradian, PhD, National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center).

The following quotes — mostly from emails and letters written by Susan, Dr. Keegan and numerous friends and family members — highlight the emotional abuse to which Susan was being subjected. Some of these statements were included in letters to Mendocino County law enforcement authorities from the many people who urged a rigorous investigation of Susan’s death:

Violating privacy

* “He [Dr. Keegan] violated her privacy repeatedly, coming into her bedroom without knocking [they had separate bedrooms by then], reading her email without permission, mocking her behavior with contempt, reading her journals and taunting her with her most personal observations.” [as described by Susan to a friend, who reported it to authorities]

Sexual control

Dr. Keegan seemed increasingly manic, a state often accompanied by a heightened sex drive. Susan told friends he sometimes wanted sex more than once a day, and insisted on his right to it. After a vacation apart, Susan told her travel partner that she dreaded going home, because despite her exhaustion from the long journey, her husband would be certain to insist on sex.

Here is the language that Dr. Keegan used to talk about their sexual relations:

* Dr. Keegan described a session with their marriage counselor as follows: “The therapist agrees Susan is my wife, she needs to fuck me. That’s part of the marriage contract. The therapist said, ‘Susan, you need to fuck Peter’.” [a friend’s conversation with Dr. Keegan, later reported in a letter to authorities.]

* Dr. Keegan claimed their marriage counselor said to Susan: “Intimacy is part of the marriage contract. If you don’t want to have sex with him then divorce him.” [email from Dr. Keegan to a friend]

* “Peter did call me, and I took notes so I would be clearheaded… The big issue was that she didn’t want to have sex; a matter of high frustration for him; he stated that he was ‘entitled’ to sex.’ He said that Susan said he had an anger problem and this was a reason for refusing sex.” [reported in a friend’s letter to authorities]

Demanding obedience

* “He stressed at considerable length that she would not save the newspapers for him when he was gone to work a few days a week at an Indian reservation; that he wanted the papers folded and stacked for him on the table but found them in the recycle, under the couch.” [a friend’s conversation with Dr. Keegan, later reported in a letter to authorities.]

Berating and belittling

* Referring to Dr. Keegan’s behavior, Susan wrote to one friend, “much poisonous venom has come my way.” [email from Susan, reported in a letter to authorities]

* Susan told another friend, “he is doing everything he can to be mean to me and to hurt me. He unrealistically wants this divorce over by Christmas… He wants this to be over right now. He just can’t wait to be rid of me.” [a friend’s conversation with Susan, later reported in a letter to authorities]

* Dr. Keegan became increasingly angry about the financial ramifications of a divorce. Despite her legal rights to half the family assets, Susan began telling friends that perhaps she would settle for less — 40%, or even one-third — just to end the battle. [recollection of friends]

Laying blame

* “I especially noted that he blamed Susan for ‘aggravating’ him so much that he could not work at his profession.” [reported in a friend’s letter to authorities]

* “At one point in recent weeks [Dr. Keegan] accused Susan of ‘trying to make me have another coronary’ by putting stress on him.” [reported in a friend’s letter to authorities]

Safety fears

Susan’s friends recognized that emotional abuse could turn violent, and at least three of them urged her to leave the house and offered her a place to say. Susan refused, fearful that she might lose the house if she left it. “I am feeling like he is trying to push me out, so I am not going anywhere,” she wrote.

* “I offered her a place to stay because he seemed out of control and aggressively angry and hateful…. [Susan] said that he had been relentless in his verbal abuse, but not physical.” [reported in a friend’s letter to authorities]

* “It became clear from our discussion, that Peter was angry and being emotionally abusive to Susan.” [reported in a friend’s letter to authorities]

At one point, a Mendocino County law enforcement official said that Susan’s failure to recognize she was in danger made prosecution more difficult — it would have been useful evidence had she expressed fear or reported abuse. But she had seen this kind of behavior in her husband before and thought she could handle it. (“He has these brain stutters from time to time, and this feels very like the others,” she wrote to a friend. “They are not fun.”)

Certainly, her failure to recognize things were different this time was the biggest mistake of her life. But that error, in the midst of emotional turmoil, should not become an excuse to set this case aside.

(Courtesy, justice4susan.com)

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RMA&Obama1ROBERT MAILER ANDERSON and family with President Obama at SFJAZZ, November 2013. The Andersons are part-time residents of Boonville.

IT WAS AT an earlier Chinatown event that a young immigrant, Ju Hong, spoke truth directly to power when he interrupted Obama's cliche-ridden remarks to shout out a plea for real immigration reform. As fat cat Democrats demanded the kid be ejected, Obama, instructed the security goons to leave the boy alone and coolly lobbed a couple of cliches about how he was working on reform back at the lad.

Brown

Brown

A FEW DAYS LATER, Democratic Party fix-it man, Willie Brown, wrote this in his Sunday Chronicle column: “The White House is steaming over San Francisco's lack of vetting of the people who joined President Obama on stage in Chinatown for his immigration speech — especially after one of them started yelling at the president about halting deportations. Mayor Ed Lee is going to have to rethink whom he puts in charge of future presidential visits — assuming there are any. On behalf of the city, Mr. President, I apologize for our bad behavior.”

KINDA SAYS IT ALL about how monarchical government has become, doesn't it? You round up only the most dependably Up With People personality types for your multi-ethnic photo op backdrop, the kind of natural born serfs certain to cooperate with the illusion that the present front man for money and privilege gives one hoot about most of the people he allegedly represents. As for Willie Brown's pathetic apology, well, he's always served the One Percent.

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THAT FRONT PAGER in Tuesday's New York Times said that you pay $20 for a single codeine pill at Sutter Health's California Pacific Medical Center, $2,229 to get a few stitches in a scraped knee, $32,901 for a heart x-ray. The writer seemed surprised at these prices.

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ArcataBankRobberWE WANT to know the backstory. Santa Rosa police think Stephen Long, 63, of Windham, Maine, arrested Monday in Arcata for robbing a Bank of America branch in Arcata also robbed a BofA branch in Santa Rosa on November 27th. In both robberies Long made no effort to disguise himself, presenting in surveillance photos the very picture of depressed fatalism.

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FOOD & FORGETFULNESS

by Alexander Cockburn

(June 2001) Driving to town the other day I got stuck behind a livestock trailer taking calves to auction. Bumbling along at 30 mph I was forced to listen to an NPR interview, by Terry Gross I assume, with some fellow talking about his garden, about which he had evidently written a silly-sounding book.*

After firing off some well honed clichés about the importance of the garden in making us consider the role of culture in man’s relationship to nature, the interviewee said ponderously that these days most people don’t know where food comes from.

He and Gross, or the Gross sound-alike, chewed that one over industriously for several minutes, while the truck ahead of me bumped up and down on the road to the Fortuna auction yards, where the densely packed calves would be offloaded and bid at auction. These are one-year-old creatures, raised on our Humboldt county grass here on California’s North Coast, and then usually sent up to feedlots in the state of Washington prior to being killed and cut up (in that order if they’re lucky) by underpaid Hispanics at IBP’s abattoir in Pasco, many of them with fingers missing.**

IBPSlaughterhouseWhy would you want to know where food comes from? Ignorance is probably preferable, if not morally desirable. Better to think that New York strip or T-bone was put together in a lab, which is the way we’re headed anyway. Why be curious about where your broccoli comes from? In the old days a lot of it came from the Pajaro Valley just south of Santa Cruz on California’s central coast. The fellows picking it were undocumented workers, mostly from Michoacan, earning $6 an hour. Then the growers figured it was more profitable to relocate the broccoli farm down in Mexico, pay the pickers $6 a day, ship the vegetables up to the border, re-label it as natural-born American and ship it east. One trouble with this is that the broccoli or spinach is often laced with raw sewage. Uncomposted excrement isn’t good for you.

Potatoes? I heard an account not so long ago of the chemical conditions in which Idaho russets are raised, where the application of pesticides is so intense that when something screws up in the irrigation systems, they daren’t send out maintenance workers right away because the air is too toxic.

Who would have thought that eating broccoli or spinach is a high risk event, an X-treme sport right there in your own kitchen or dining room? The big food chains, Safeway, and the others, are trying to figure out a voluntary inspection system (i.e., one with their rules and not the feds’) that will spot a toxic vegetable before it gets onto the shelf. Trouble is, the political economy of capitalist agriculture is structurally tilted towards the likelihood that your spinach will be toxic. It’s become part of the price for cheap food.

The alternative is a different system of land ownership and farm production that would give you a better class of spinach at a higher price for the farmer. No chance of that in the foreseeable future. Food will just get more dangerous, because the conditions in which vegetables are grown or cows are raised and killed become increasingly noxious. The latest scare is a ferocious strain of E. coli (which is mostly benign and essential to our health) labeled E. coli O157:H7, that first became notorious in the Jack in the Box food deaths back in 1993. It’s a strain that has apparently flourished because of the intensive fattening methods of the modern feedlot.

On the other hand…

Sprey

Sprey

My mother took the view that people were excessively obsessed about clean food. Her view was that the human body needed a hardening daily dose of germs to build up a career of immunity. In the main it’s a sound position, though I don’t go as far as my friend Pierre Sprey who makes it a point to eat raw hamburger from his local supermarket at least once a week to keep his intestinal microbes in fighting trim. But then Pierre also ate canned pet food when he was at college on the grounds not only that it was cheap but made from nutritious organ meats no longer available for human consumption.

People are indeed too fussy, though not quite to the degree of Mrs. Deborah Wilkes, aged 44, of Pinellas County, Florida, who forced her husband of six years, Eric, aged 31, to disrobe when he came home from his work (as a surveyor) but not for the purpose of amorous diversion. He had to proceed directly to the shower, then re-attire in clean garments. She also forbade Eric the use of the domestic phone or computer on grounds that he might contaminate them. When visiting his parents for Christmas she would insist they sit with hands safely folded, then leave before the germ-laden perils of Christmas dinner.

Something snapped in Eric recently and he choked and stabbed Deborah until she was good and dead. He tried to make it look like a burglary, but messed up. The cops didn’t take long to figure it out and he’s now sitting in the Pinellas County jail, charged with first-degree murder. In the beginning, Deborah’s concern about cleanliness wasn't as severe, Eric’s mother, Barbara Wilkes told the Tampa Tribune. “He thought that was neat about her because she was tidy, he wanted the perfect wife, and this was the perfect wife for him.”

I imagine some expert testimony about obsessive-compulsive disorder will get the charges reduced.***

When I was a kid you’d often hear the squeals of a pig having its throat cut by Dick Cunningham, a farmer down the road, then bleeding to death. It would go on a long time and didn’t perturb us. “That’s Dick killing a pig,” we’d tell visitors from London who were wondering whether the Ripper was loose once more. Maybe every child should be taken on a tour of a slaughterhouse as a reality check. In Holland they have pig “facilities,” let’s call them condos, where an elevator takes the doomed creatures from let’s say the sixth floor down to the basement, where they’re killed and processed. There could be a viewing window, just like the one through which the Oklahoma families and some journalists watched Timothy McVeigh being killed last Monday morning.

Back in the nineteenth century, a trip to the killing floor at the Cincinnati or Chicago stockyards was a standard item on the itinerary of cultured folk exploring America’s hinterland. In the 1850s and 1860s (the Chicago stockyards opened in 1867) these two cities perfected the production-line slaughter of living creatures for the first time in the history of the world. At one end of the trail lay the prairies, the open range, the boisterous pastoral of the cattle drive, where the cowboys sometimes spared a longhorn.

There’s a marvelous book by J. Frank Dobie called The Longhorns which tells of Reed Anthony, Andy Adams’ cowman telling “how he and other Confederate soldiers guarding a herd of Texas steers saved the life of one because he would always walk out and stand atten­tive to the notes of ‘Rock of Ages’ sung by his herders. Thus spared were two or ten or a hundred or a thousand from among the millions and millions of creatures that plodded to rail heads like Abilene, and thence eastward, or to slaughterhouses nearer at hand and then bought up by government agents to be sent to the reservations to feed Indians who no longer had buffalo to hunt.”

William Cronon has a good chapter on the stockyards in his book on Chicago, Nature’s Metropolis. “In a world of farms and small towns, the ties between field, pasture, butcher shop and dinner table were everywhere apparent, constant reminders of the relationships that sustained one’s own life. In a world of ranches, packing plants and refrigerator cars, most such connections vanished from easy view. In the packers’ world, it was easy not to remember that eating is a moral act inextricably bound to killing. Such was the second nature that a corporate order had imposed on the American landscape. Forgetfulness was among the least noticed and most important of its by-products.” ¥¥

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*Note: This would have been Michael Pollan and his book “The Botany of Desire.” According to the NPR website Pollan’s book “suggests that plants have evolved to be attractive to humans.” The interviewer was Ketzel Levine, not Terry Gross. From Wikipedia: “Ketzel Levine is an American radio journalist who began her broadcast career in 1974. She joined National Public Radio (NPR) in 1977 and worked, variously, as the network's arts producer, sports director, features reporter and garden expert. From 2000 through 2008, she was senior correspondent for the NPR program Morning Edition. At the end of that year, due to cutbacks at the network, Levine was laid off while working on a documentary series about Americans coping with economic stress and job loss. Her final NPR broadcast was about how she, herself, had just lost her job.”

**Note: According to Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation,” the meat industry “is now dominated by casual, easily exploited immigrant labor and that levels of injury are among the highest of any occupation in the United States.” Schlosser specifically discusses IBP, Inc., recounting the steps involved in meat processing and reveals several hazardous practices unknown to many consumers, such as the practice of rendering dead pigs and horses and chicken manure into cattle feed.”

***Note: After telling police that her obsessive-compulsive disorder did indeed drive him to kill his wife Deborah, Eric Wilkes plead guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in May of 2002.

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SCIENTOLOGY IS BULLSHIT! MAN, I was there the night L. Ron Hubbard invented it, for Chrissake! We were sitting around one night…who else was there? Alfred Bester, and Cyril Kornbluth, and Lester del Rey, and Ron Hubbard — who was making a penny a word, and had been for years. And he said, “This bullshit's got to stop.” He says, “I gotta get money.” He says, “I want to get rich.” And somebody said, “So why don't you invent a new religion? They're always big.” We were clowning! You know, “Become Elmer Gantry! You'll make a fortune!” And he says, “I'm going to do it.”

—Harlan Ellison, 1978

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IN THE INTERVALS OF FITTING HER DRESS, and of superintending a simply colossal spring cleaning of the farm (the first it had received for a hundred years), Flora kept a weather eye upon the affair of Mr Mybug and Rennett. She thought it would be best, of course, if they got married; but she was well aware that marriage was not the intellectual's long suit, and she did not want Rennett landed with a shameful bundle. Mr Mybug, however, did ask Rennett to marry him. He said that, by god, D.H. Lawrence was right when he had said there must be a dumb, dark, dull, bitter belly-tension between a man and a woman, and how else could this be achieved save in the long monotony of marriage? As for Rennett, she accepted him at once and was perfectly happy choosing saucepans.

—Stella Gibbons, 1932; from “Cold Comfort Farm”

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DECEMBER 19: A DARK DAY FOR SCIENCE AND THE OCEAN

Former MLPA Science Co-Chair charged with conspiracy to embezzle

by Dan Bacher

December 19 will mark the first anniversary of the completion of the network of so-called “marine protected areas” off the California coast under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

On that date last year, nineteen “marine protected areas” went into effect in the Northern California coastal region between the California/Oregon state line and Alder Creek, near Point Arena in Mendocino County, amidst great jubilation by state officials and corporate “environmental” NGO representatives. The implementation of these “marine protected areas” (MPAs) was preceded by those created on the South Coast, Central Coast and North Central Coast.

“We have completed the nation’s first statewide coastal system of marine protected areas,” claimed Cat Kuhlman, deputy secretary for oceans and coastal matters at the California Natural Resources Agency. “What this means for the future of California’s oceans and the coming generations that will enjoy them, is thrilling.”

“Fish and Game is incredibly proud of the work that we did, along with the Fish and Game Commission and the stakeholders in each region to create these designated areas,” gushed Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham.

Yet the mainstream media, state officials and corporate “environmentalists” refuse to discuss one of the biggest scandals regarding the creation of these marine protected areas — the terminally flawed and incomplete science that these MPAs were based upon and the alarming news that Ron LeValley of Eureka, the co-chair of the MLPA Initiative Science Advisory Team that oversaw the crafting of these alleged “Yosemites of the Sea,” is now awaiting trial on federal conspiracy to embezzle charges.

On October 11, the U.S. Attorney formally charged Ron LeValley of Eureka with “conspiracy to commit embezzlement and theft from an Indian Tribal Organization,” the Yurok Tribe.

LeValley has pleaded innocent in the case, but is due back in court today, December 3, for a “potential” change of plea hearing, according to court records.

LeValley, of Mad River Biologists, served in his leadership role on the Science Advisory Team during much of the time that the alleged embezzlement occurred, yet none of the mainstream media accounts, with the exception of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, have mentioned this alarming fact.

Federal prosecutors charged LeValley with conspiring with Roland Raymond, former Yurok Tribe forestry director, to submit false invoices to the tribe for spotted owl surveys and other work that was never done. The invoices totaled nearly $1 million, according to federal documents.

William Kimball, LeValley's lawyer, declined to comment about the case to the Eureka Times-Standard, Associated Press and other publications.

Raymond pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to embezzle from an Indian Tribe. He was scheduled to be sentenced on November 5, but the Yurok Tribe requested a postponement of the sentencing, since the Tribe wants to file a victim impact statement in the case.

Then on November 19, the sentencing of Raymond was postponed again to allow him a chance to respond to allegations that he lied to a federal judge. Raymond is due back in court on December 9. (http://www.times-standard.com/news/ci_24560970/embezzlement-sentencing-postponed-yurok-tribe-forestry-director-under)

In the scandal that has rocked the North Coast, Del Norte District Attorney Jon Alexander on February 23, 2012 arrested LeValley and fellow Mad River biologist Sean McAllister on $1 million warrants accusing them of burglary, embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Spotted owl surveys that were never done 

The Del Norte County District Attorney alleged that the two well-known biologists participated in an elaborate embezzlement scheme headed by Raymond that bilked the tribe out of over $900,000 that was supposed to fund spotted owl research.

However, the District Attorney later dropped the charges to allow federal authorities to pursue the charges against Raymond and LeValley. Federal charges against McAllister haven't been filed yet — and it remains unclear if they will.

The document recently filed by federal authorities details how the alleged conspiracy proceeded. The link to the indictment is available at: http://noyonews.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/U.S._v._Ron_LeValley_As_Filed.pdf

According to the document, “Beginning on a date unknown, but no later than 2007,” Raymond told LeValley he wanted to pay him, other Mad River Biologists employees, and some tribal forestry and fire crew employees a bonus. Raymond suggested LeValley submit an inflated invoice to the Yurok Tribe for an additional amount to cover the bonuses.

“LeValley agreed to this arrangement, and caused such an invoice to be prepared and submitted to the Yurok Tribe, “ the document states.

At the end of October 2008, Raymond obtained tribal approval for $98,000 worth of Endangered Species Act (ESA) surveys to be conducted by Mad River Biologists (MRB).

Raymond told LeValley that the tribe did not have money to pay for fire prevention and other forestry work — and asked him to begin regularly submitting false invoices for work his company hadn't performed, according to the document.

LeValley allegedly funneled the money back to Raymond, less a percentage. This percentage was identified in other court documents as 20 percent, according to the Eureka Times-Standard. (http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_24368336/local-biologist-charged-embezzlement-federal-prosecutors-charge-ron)

During 2009 and 2010, as a result of the economic downturn, the price of timber fell significantly and timber harvesting declined dramatically. “The Yurok Tribe did not harvest much timber during those years and had little need for biological assessments,” the document states.

Nonetheless, Mad River Biologists nonetheless billed the tribe for approximately $852,000 worth of surveys. LeValley funneled at least $540,000 of this money back to Raymond, keeping the balance to pay his company's operations.

These expenses included his salary, “not less than $47,000 in total 2009 compensation” and “not less than $9,800 in total 2010 compensation,” the document claims.

Alleged embezzlement scam casts dark shadow over MLPA Initiative science 

The Yurok Tribe, fishing groups and grassroots environmentalists were outraged by the alleged embezzlement scheme from the moment it was uncovered, particularly in regard to the dark shadow that it casts over the “science” used to kick fishermen and tribal gatherers off the water in the no-take “State Marine Reserves.”

Many North Coast residents believe the charges against LeValley call into question the legitimacy of the “science” used to close vast areas of the North Coast to fishing and gathering under the MLPA Initiative — while doing nothing to stop pollution, fracking, oil drilling, wind and wave energy projects and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering in a classic example of corporate greenwashing.

“I would like to know how the state of California is going to revise the science advice LeValley provided for the North Coast MLPA Initiative process, based on him allegedly filing false documents,” said Jim Martin, West Coast Regional Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA).

He suggested forming a “truth and reconciliation commission” to unravel “what really happened” in the MLPA Initiative.

The validity of the science employed by the MLPA Initiative Science Advisory Team under LeValley's leadership becomes even more suspect when one considers that LeValley and the Team repeatedly and inexplicably refused to allow the Yurok Tribe to present their scientific studies regarding “marine protected areas.” The Tribe exposed the questionable science of the MLPA Initiative in a statement on June 6, 2012. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/17/18715613.php)

“Under the MLPA each marine species is assigned a certain level of protection,” according to the Tribe. “Species like mussels are given a low level of protection, which in MLPA-speak, translates to more regulation.

“To date, there has been no scientific data submitted suggesting that mussels on the North Coast are in any sort of danger or are overharvested. In fact, it's just the opposite. The readily available quantitative survey data collected over decades by North Coast experts shows there is quite an abundance of mussels in this sparsely populated study region,” the Tribe continued.

“Fish like Pacific eulachon, also known as candle fish, are given a high level of protection, or in other words, their harvest is not limited by the proposed regulations. Eulachon are near extinction and listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act,” the Tribe stated.

“Both of these marine species are essential and critical to the cultural survival of northern California tribes,” said Thomas O'Rourke, Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “However, under the proposed regulations they would be summarily mismanaged. It's examples like these that compel our concerns.”

The Tribe said it attempted on numerous occasions to address the scientific inadequacies with the MLPA science developed under the Schwarzenegger administration by adding “more robust protocols” into the equation, but was denied every time.

The Northern California Tribal Chairman's Association, including the Chairs of the Elk Valley Rancheria, Hoopa Valley Tribe, Karuk Tribe, Smith River Rancheria, Trinidad Rancheria, and Yurok Tribe, documented in a letter how the science behind the MLPA Initiative developed by Schwarzenegger's Science Advisory Team is “incomplete and terminally flawed.” (http://yubanet.com/california/Dan-Bacher-MLPA-Initiative-based-on-incomplete-and-terminally-flawed-science.php)

On the day of the historic direct action protest by a coalition of over 50 Tribes and their allies in Fort Bragg in July 2010, Frankie Joe Myers, Yurok Tribal member and Coastal Justice Coalition activist, exposed the refusal to incorporate Tribal science that underlies the “science” of the MLPA process.

“The whole process is inherently flawed by institutionalized racism,” said Myers. “It doesn't recognize Tribes as political entities, or Tribal biologists as legitimate scientists.” (http://klamathjustice.blogspot.com/2010/07/july-21st-2010.html)

It is clear that the allegedly “open, transparent and inclusive” MLPA Initiative process was anything but.

MLPA Initiative: A Parody of Marine Protection

The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) is a law, signed by Governor Gray Davis in 1999, designed to create a network of marine protected areas off the California Coast. However, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004 created the privately-funded MLPA “Initiative” to “implement” the law, effectively eviscerating the MLPA.

The “marine protected areas” created under the MLPA Initiative fail to protect the ocean from oil spills and drilling, water pollution, military testing, seismic testing, wave and wind energy projects, corporate aquaculture and all other uses of the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

The MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces that oversaw the implementation of “marine protected areas” included a big oil lobbyist, a marina corporation executive, coastal real estate developer and other individuals with numerous conflicts of interest.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the Western States Petroleum Association and a relentless advocate for offshore oil drilling, fracking, the Keystone XL Pipeline and the weakening of environmental laws, chaired the South Coast MLPA Blue Ribbon Task that developed the MPAs that went into effect in Southern California waters on January 1, 2012. She also served on the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces for the North Coast, North Central Coast and Central Coast.

While Reheis-Boyd served on the task forces to “protect” the ocean, the same oil industry that the “marine guardian” represents was conducting environmentally destructive hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations off the Southern California coast. Documents recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and media investigations by Associated Press and truthout.org reveal that the ocean has been fracked at least 203 times in the past 20 years, including the period from 2004 to 2012 that Reheis-Boyd served as a “marine guardian.”

The MLPA Initiative operated through a controversial private/public partnership funded by the shadowy Resources Legacy Fund Foundation. The Schwarzenegger administration, under intense criticism by grassroots environmentalists, fishermen and Tribal members, authorized the implementation of marine protected areas under the initiative through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the foundation and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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A LITTLE APPRECIATION, PLEASE

Going Beyond Postmodernism's Insanity

Warm spiritual greetings, As the great jnana yoga master Nisargadatta Maharaj said in Mumbai, India, "Remember the instruction: whatever you come across, go beyond." 40 years after taking responsibility as a global citizen on the earth plane, participating in countless radical environmental and peace & justice campaigns, 23 years of selfless service with groups such as Catholic Worker, Food Not Bombs, and Food for Life, plus creatively writing articles, poetry, plays, and hundreds of published letters, plus being an editor myself involved in publishing, while all the while cultivating a legitimate spiritual life, I have reached a nadir.    The present situation in New Orleans is almost impossible, in terms of establishing the "Neutral Ground Community Center". Also, I am being disrespected by the liberals in Washington D.C., who are apparently too stupid to appreciate what I've already done there since June of 1991, and they do not want me there because I reflect reality (as opposed to their fantasies of radical social change, which are bullshit). So, I am going to take the ferry boat ride across the Mississippi River this morning, and spend the day wandering aimlessly in the French Quarter. Beyond that, I have no idea where I am going to go, or what I am going to do.    I am consciously ending this absurd portion of my life's journey in postmodern America, and going on to a future which is not ridiculously beneath my level of intelligence. Even the liberals in Washington D.C. appreciate this!    For now, I share with you a poem that was graciously published on the Warrior Poets webpage. May you, like myself, never give up.  Poem for the Earth Warriors http://armedwithvisions.com/tag/craig-louis-stehr/  — Craig Louis Stehr, c/o Jamie Loughner, 333 Socrates Street, New Orleans, LA 70114 Telephone: (504)302-9951 Email: craigstehr@hushmail.com Blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com

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