Mendocino County Today: Monday, Jan 18, 2016
by AVA News Service, January 17, 2016
HIGHWAY 128 CLOSURE UPDATE: Caltrans crews were arriving around noon on Monday to remove silt and flood debris from the roadway. They will probably reopen Highway 128 sometime early this afternoon. The Navarro River crested at 24.62 feet early Monday morning (2am).
UPDATE FROM YESTERDAY'S STORM EVENT
Rainfall totals for Mendocino County
Leggett 4.96 IN
Potter Valley 3.49
Willits Howard 2.92
Willits 1 NE 2.44
Dos Rios SSE 2.43
McGuires Raws 2.37
Potter Valley NNW 2.19
Potter Valley Powerhouse. 2.17
Ukiah 2 NNW 2.04
Covelo 8 ENE 1.92
Covelo 9 ENE 1.82
Cloverdale 5 NNW 1.80
Ukiah 4 WSW 1.66
Mendocino Pass Raws 1.64
Covelo 4 SE 1.46
The following message is from Scott Carroll, Senior Forecaster with the National Weather Service...
The flood warning on the Navarro River at Navarro was canceled at 8:21 am. The River stage is currently at 20.7 ft and falling steadily. Some flooding along highway 128 may continue until waters recede a bit more. The Russian River at Hopland is currently at 13.2 ft (below the advisory level of 15.0 ft) and falling rapidly. Any residual localized flooding should be coming to an end soon.
More rain is expected across the area through the week. Most of the rain is expected tomorrow (Tuesday) and again Thursday night through Saturday morning with the heaviest rains with the late week event. Additional river flooding is not anticipated with the Tuesday event. (Scott Carroll)
I would like to take the opportunity at this time to thank the National
Weather Service for the updated reports and quick response.
To my knowledge HWY 128, 175 and 1 still remain closed at this time.
Office of Emergency Services Coordinator
Mendocino County Sheriff's Office
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HIGHWAY 128 was closed Sunday evening in anticipation of flooding of the Navarro River near the coast. By about 9pm the river was rising fast and up to about 21 feet on its way to 23 feet where it starts to flood. More rain is expected Monday with a larger amount on Tuesday which will probably keep 128 closed for the next few days. At least a couple more inches are expected through Friday. Upwards of two inches fell on Sunday with about 8 inches since the first of the year. Locals are keeping a weather eye on it.
The latest forecast for the Russian River at Hopland is 17.8 feet. The National Weather Service will still continue the flood warning as it is very close to flood warning stage of 18 feet. This may still cause flooding at Highway 175 and Highway 222. The Garcia River has no changes. The Navarro River is nearing 24 feet causing road closure of Highway 128. At 30 feet the Navarro begins to flood private property, but it’s not clear if it reaches the actual neighboring homes or not until a higher stage. They are sure that it floods the homes at 34 feet.
MARSHALL NEWMAN NOTES Sunday re the rain: "Looking at the current numbers now, it is obvious the gauge isn’t working – it registers 0.01 inches of rain every six-eight hours and has for the past three days. As the saying goes, “Close enough for government work.”
WHENEVER the big rains fall, I think of my old friend, Pebbles Trippet, daughter of the mayor of Tulsa, former Trotskyist, groundfloor beatnik, oft-jailed marijuana crusader. She lives about a mile up from the mouth of the Navarro. Sunday's deluge might cause Pebs some serious anxiety, although she's tough to scare. She once told me she could swim to safety if she had to. I don't think she was kidding. Several years ago during a heavy rain, the redoubtable Pebs wrote:
“About an hour ago, I called 911 to report the wrecked vehicle that went off the road on 128 at the 1.7 mile marker from the coast. A fallen alder caught the vehicle on its slide down into the Navarro River or else the people and the vehicle would be floating down the muddy rushing river to the ocean. No one was hurt; they have the alder to thank. My backyard is starting to flood. The frogs are singing full throat, but the river is now 10 feet lower than last night due to the break in the weather. This is not yet like the Dec 31 2005 true flood that ran me out of my cabin, perched on five feet of stilts with two feet of water lapping at the calves of my legs and rising. I was rescued at dawn Jan 1 in a neighbor's canoe. Two of my three cats made it through the trauma. It'll take another long ferocious rain before anything like “floodstage” is reached for the people who live along the Navarro River, most of us off the grid.”
MALCOLM MACDONALD packs 'em in! Malcolm's Gallery Bookshop reading and signing Saturday evening was Standing Room Only. He writes: "Too many to accurately count (yet) books and Outlaw Ford tee shirts that made their way to the check stand and out the door. The audience was very appreciative to learn some of the true stories of Mendocino County history that link to the tales told in Outlaw Ford. Especially appreciative were those who won tee shirts and home made apple cider from the Macdonald Ranch. Visitors from as far as Anderson Valley (!) and Lake Shastina, near the Oregon border. Next up a similar event at Four-Eyed Frog Books in Gualala, 4 P.M., February 6th"
ACCORDING TO CEO CARMEL ANGELO’S January 12, 2016 report: “In August the Executive Office contracted with Kemper Consulting to perform a review of Mendocino County’s mental health services. At the time the intention was for Mr. Kemper to present a report on the review to the Board of Supervisors at the January 12, 2016 Board meeting. However, the scope of the report was broadened somewhat based on input received by local stakeholders and Mr. Kemper conducted many more interviews than originally envisioned. Kemper was granted additional time to include the extra interviews and review additional stakeholder input in the report. As a result, and due to the Board meeting schedule in February, the Executive Office will ask the Board of Supervisors HHSA standing committee to consider holding a special meeting in the second half of February to review and discuss the Kemper Report (February 19, 2016).”
* * *
“The scope of the report was broadened somewhat…” (So the cost has gone up “somewhat.”) “…based on input received by local stakeholders.” (What “input”?)
“Kemper was granted additional time to include the extra interviews and review additional stakeholder input in the report.” (The initial report probably had some mild negativity that needed to be “balanced” with input from other “stakeholders.” And County taxpayers will have to pay for this unnecessary extra work which should have been done by County staff for no additional cost AFTER the report was out.)
“The Executive Office will ask the Board of Supervisors HHSA standing committee to consider holding a special meeting in the second half of February to review and discuss the Kemper Report (February 19, 2016).” (The CEO “will ask”? Wait a minute, why is the CEO “asking” the HHSA Standing Committee to “review and discuss” the report? And why not the Board of Supervisors which was supposed to hear it on January 12? And when will the full board review and discuss? PS. When will the Ortner RFP go out? When will the Mental Health (or now “Behavioral Health Advisory Board”) get a look at the report? When will Dr. Barash and his dozens of other local doctors who criticized Ortner see it? When will Sheriff Allman who’s planning to set up his own independent Mental Health facility get a look at the report?
PPS. AFTER AN EXTENDED CLOSED SESSION on Tuesday (Jan. 12), the Board announced that the search for a new “Behavioral Health” Director is complete and the new Director is not Mr. Kemper, but former Director Tom Pinizzotto’s second in command, Deputy Mental Health Director Jenine Miller, PhD (a psychologist) who previously was “acting public guardian” before the County put Bryan Lowery into that position. (And yes, you can be excused for thinking that the Health and Human Services Department is just playing musical chairs with their most loyal senior staff.) This appointment indicates that at least a majority of the Board of Supes thinks the Mental Health Department (or whatever they call it) — despite the accelerating public outcry — is being run just fine by existing staff and no outsiders need apply.
After listening to CEO Angelo's summary of the status of the Kemper Report, Board Chair Dan Gjerde asked for schedule clarification, which sort of answered some of our questions.
Gjerde: "Just for clarification, are you recommending that the board have a special meeting in February, or just the Health and Human Services Standing Committee?”
Angelo: “We are planning on taking this to the Standing Committee on February 8 with the intent of having them make a recommendation to the full board.”
Supervisor John McCowen: “Just to clarify if I may. The intention would not be that the Health and Human Services Standing Committee would actually receive the report and review it and make a recommendation, but merely that they would receive an update on the report and then make a recommendation to the board as was mentioned earlier, and probably to call a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors given the importance of the report and the next steps the Board may wish to take and to ensure that we have an adequate amount of time to really hear in depth from the public, discuss it, and make our recommendations. So I think that's the intention: it would come to the Standing Committee for an update and a recommendation as to scheduling, not a recommendation on the report itself. Is that accurate?”
Angelo: “Yes. I have checked with Mr. Kemper and February 19 was the date that works. But if that is going to be a conflict then it won't work. As soon as your [individual supervisors] meetings are scheduled it would be good to know that. Probably by February 8 we will know. I hope. We could look at other dates. More to come on this. It's good to know what the schedules are.”
* * *
IF THE KEMPER REPORT is submitted to the Health and Human Services Standing Committee, then it should be subject to the Brown Act and the Public Records Act and made available to the public for review, at least. However, it’s still not clear when the Board will consider it or why it has been delayed and “expanded” (other than “additional scope”). We wouldn’t be surprised if the February 8 date was pushed back too. Delay seems to be the continuing theme in anything to do with Mental Health Services these days.
IT COULD HAPPEN HERE! The head of a mental health agency in Michigan is going to prison for nearly three years for using public money to hire a fortune teller. Ervin Brinker was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to embezzlement and a Medicaid fraud conspiracy. He had been the CEO at Summit Pointe in Battle Creek. He was accused of spending more than a half million dollars on a palm reader. Now he has to pay double that amount in restitution plus a civil penalty.
AMONG THE CHARGES roiling the Animal Shelter, count sexual harassment — female on female. The Shelter has never seemed sexually stimulating, but it apparently was in this instance, with the alleged harasser reassigned to other animal-related duties but forbidden from entering the premises.
Thanks to outside funding from the Sonoma County non-profit hoping to take over management of the Ukiah shelter, the Care A Van spay and neuter operation was restarted this summer. It's a valuable service because, Shelter critics say, the Shelter takes forever to spay and neuter dogs and cats. As one puts it, "They don't like to do it unless the animals are getting adopted. It's ridiculous how long dogs wait if they are not getting adopted. But they would be expedited much more quickly through adoption and transfer to rescues if they were all spayed and neutered immediately upon impoundment." Critics estimate a thousand dogs came through the facility in 2015, but how many of those left alive was not included in boss lady Sage Mountainfire's annual stats. One volunteer who asked why the numbers were excluded got herself banned from the facility.
ALICE CHOUTEAU points out:
"Regarding the attempted murder in Fort Bragg yesterday—
If FBPD and Sherriff’s Dept routinely ran background checks on transients, they would have learned that Merrell is on the Most Wanted Escapees list in Montana."
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 17, 2016
Bolton, Daugherty, Fischer
RICHARD BOLTON, Willits. False info to cop.
CHRISTOPHER DAUGHERTY, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
AARYAN FISCHER, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
BRYAN MARTIN, Ukiah. Dirk-dagger, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
STEVEN RICH, Clearlake. Drunk in public.
Ross, Schuman, Sperry
JOHN ROSS JR., Covelo. (Unspecified crime.)
LINCOLN SCHUMAN, Hidden Valley/Ukiah. Battery.
JONDIE SPERRY, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia.
Stroud, Teimoury, Toloy, Zurita-Paz
JAMES STROUD, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.
ALI TEIMOURY, Gualala. Suspended license, failure to appear, probation revocation.
TIMOTHY TOLOY III, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
MARCELINO ZURITA-PAZ, Drunk in public, probation revocation.
GO AWAY, ALBERTO
On 1-15-2016 at approximately 1:40 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a residence in the 20200 block of N. Hwy 101, Willits. A twenty-seven year-old woman had reported that a male acquaintance, Alberto Acosta, 28, of Talmage, was at her door, drunk and demanding to be allowed inside. He refused to leave and was trying to climb into the house through a window. Acosta fled prior to the arrival of the Deputies. They searched the area for him without success. At approximately 2:09 AM they were dispatched back to the same location. Acosta had returned and was demanding entry into the home. The Deputies contacted Acosta, who exhibited symptoms of severe alcohol intoxication. It was determined that Acosta was too intoxicated to care for his own safety. Acosta resisted handcuffing and threatened to kill one of the arresting Deputies. He is on Mendocino County summary probation with a "no alcohol" clause listed as one of the terms. Acosta was arrested for resisting or threatening a peace officer, public intoxication and violation of probation. He was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where is held in lieu of $15,000 bond.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I was thinking about how silly national party politics is. With only 2 real parties, citizens just have a winner-take-all choice, so if their candidate loses, they feel they have no representation in Congress. This means large swaths of the population feel alienated.
If we instituted a parliamentary, multi-party system, then special interest groups could be represented in Congress. For example, now Obama is instituting anti-gun EOs, and there is no effective representation for the significant minority (40%?) that is pro-gun. Under a parliamentary system, there’d be a 2nd Amendment party, which would be part of a congressional coalition giving the leader of such the majority to rule. That leader better listen to the pro-gun people, or else the party pulls out of the coalition and the leader no longer has the majority needed to rule.
Despite its flaws, parliamentary government would at least allow the citizenry to feel they have some power, no matter the reality. Today, many voters feel powerless (I understand that no matter what the system, TPTB have the ability to be the final arbiter of policy).
LUXURY CLOTHIER WILKES BASHFORD DIES AFTER BATTLE WITH CANCER
by Carolyne Zinko
Clothier Wilkes Bashford, who helped to change the world of high fashion in San Francisco when he opened his eponymous luxury store in 1966, died on Saturday after a brief battle with prostate cancer. He was 82. Late Saturday, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown confirmed the death of his longtime friend and favorite store owner.
Mr. Bashford’s store, where the city’s society set shops for clothes for work, weekends and opening-night galas, was one of the few of its kind in the nation when it opened and remains so today. Originally a men’s store, Wilkes Bashford opened under the Sutter-Stockton garage and was the first in San Francisco to promote an aesthetic he called “bold conservative,” carrying Brioni, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Versace and other designer brands, a contrast to the counterculture, hippie clothing of the day. He added womenswear in 1978 and later moved nearby to 375 Sutter St.
Brown, a Chronicle columnist and a famously natty dresser, told The Chronicle in October: “This town was devoid of any attention to quality of fabric or style until Wilkes came along. The first time I walked into the store, I was frankly blown away.”
But more than solely dressing people up, Mr. Bashford wrapped himself in the social fabric of the city.
He staged glitzy fashion shows in the 1970s and ’80s, and also engaged in philanthropic work for Partners Ending Domestic Abuse and PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support), among other causes. He was an ardent fan of dachshunds, which he kept as pets. His latest, Duchie, was a constant companion at work, sitting in his office every day.
“He was part of the heart of the city,” said Brown, reached by phone in Los Angeles on Saturday. “Every day there was something Wilkes would talk about or insist that we do for the city.”
Mr. Bashford was a presence at fundraising functions all over the city, as well as an almost daily presence for lunch at Le Central restaurant, where he ate and gossiped with friends and customers at a table near the window.
Every Friday for decades, his lunch crew in the front window included the late Chronicle columnist Herb Caen, man-about-town Harry de Wildt and Brown. The group also at times included the late Matthew Kelly and architect Sandy Walker.
After the downturn in the economy in 2008, he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009. His company was acquired by the Mitchells/Richards/Marshs group, a family-owned luxury clothier in Westport, Conn., which invested millions in a remodel of the seven-story store. This allowed Mr. Bashford to continue working, and until recently, he was still there six days a week, waiting on customers.
“How you look and how you feel when you go to present yourself affects your energy, your psyche, your outlook, your happiness, every day of your life,” he told The Chronicle in October. “Once people realize how their image is changed and how people react to them, it brings them a happiness. It’s a positive thing.”
Mr. Bashford was a native of Manhattan, and after studying in Cincinnati, moved to San Francisco, he said, to “be near the ocean.” He was engaged once, but never married. His philanthropic work allowed him to create a family of sorts that tied him to the community. In recent years, he devoted efforts to the War Memorial Complex in San Francisco to create a veterans monument, a 30-foot-long granite octagon between the War Memorial Opera House and Veterans Building. He co-chaired the monument committee with J. Michael Myatt, a retired Marine Corps major general.
The monument, built with $2.5 million in privately raised funds, is known as “Passage of Remembrance,” and the driveway that circles Memorial Court was named the Charlotte and George Shultz Horseshoe Drive.
At the time of his death, Mr. Bashford was listed as the president of the War Memorial & Performing Arts Center Board of Trustees. Of all his philanthropic work, “I think he was most proud,” Brown said, “of his presidency of the board, which had the stalwarts of the cultural philanthropy of the city. I appointed Wilkes to that body and he became the president of that body and in the process, did incredible things.”
But his store was his life, and he treated his products with the same care — requiring that sweaters be pristinely folded and suits and dresses be displayed on hangers to their best advantage. In social situations, he sported a smile, kept any negative thoughts to himself, and was old school when it came to manners, opening doors for others and always picking up the check at lunch.
Boaz Mazor, a longtime Oscar de la Renta executive who worked closely with Mr. Bashford on local fashion shows over the years, said the city has suffered a significant loss.
“He was a real gentleman — an icon of elegance, and his name and his store gave San Francisco the authority of style,” Mazor said. “He was an impeccable person and an impeccable professional. I was honored to work with him and be his friend. He is irreplaceable.”
(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)
THE LOCAL ANGLE: Nice man. I can say that off several enjoyable evenings spent seated next to Mr. B at city events. My nephew, Robert, was quite close to Bashford, which is how I met him and Willie Brown. Brown was quite cool towards me because he mentioned he'd met me "kind of" when a gang of local troublemakers, me among them, disrupted an event honoring Brown at the Mendocino Hotel some time in 1984 during which I was on Brown's case through a bullhorn I shared with the late Judi Bari as Brown and local libs grazed a lavish banquet table. That event occurred soon after Brown had unraveled Mendocino County's attempt at an aerial spray ban. Wilkes Bashford opened a store in the "village" of Mendocino as big money people became prevalent up and down the Mendocino Coast, but there weren't enough local clothes horses to support the store and it closed.
WHERE DO PROGRESSIVES GO AFTER BERNIE SANDERS?
He's the shot in the arm liberals have needed for a generation. Or a colossal letdown waiting to happen.
By Ross Barkan
Ralph Nader hopes Bernie Sanders doesn’t blow his big moment.
The original left-wing icon, blamed by some Democrats for costing Al Gore the 2000 election, is gratified to see that Mr. Sanders, a Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist, is electrifying liberal voters in a way few presidential candidates ever have.
But if Mr. Sanders, who did better than in previous debates on Sunday night, loses to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary and endorses her without demanding any concessions, like a pledge to push forward a single-payer healthcare system as president, he will have squandered almost everything, Mr. Nader fears.
“Politics is all about bargaining power. If you lose your bargaining power, you’re done. The person you lose to will never look back,” the consumer advocate and former Green Party candidate told the Observer in a recent interview. “There will be a wave of disillusionment if he holds up the arm of the militarist and corporatist Hillary Clinton whose record is diametrically opposed to Bernie’s entire political history.”
Few progressives, caught up in the thrill of Mr. Sanders’ chances of toppling Ms. Clinton, the former secretary state, in Iowa and New Hampshire, are thinking about what comes next. The odds are still very much against Mr. Sanders becoming the president of the United States, though this is not to say he can’t defeat the GOP nominee — in such a polarized environment, any warm body running on the Democratic line has a shot, and Mr. Sanders clearly has a base that cares more about him than just about anyone on either side of the aisle.
But Ms. Clinton’s stranglehold on establishment support, coupled with the loyalty potential minority voters have shown her, means she still can stop Mr. Sanders in his tracks, despite her own glaring flaws as a candidate. Spoken aloud, this amounts to heresy among the scores of Sanders fanatics who pack his rallies and town halls, and fill his campaign coffers at unprecedented levels.
A reckoning could come for the many organizations and people who make up this resurgent progressive movement in the United States, borne out of despair from the Bush years, the Occupy Wall Street protests and a political environment that rejects consensus in favor of ideological purity. How do you keep the momentum around Mr. Sanders’ candidacy from fading away? If the life-long independent does what he has promised to do and backs the Democratic nominee, what was the point of all of this?
“It’s gonna depend entirely on how long he stays in the race. If he stays in the race a long time, even if he loses badly when it gets to the convention — if he’s been in the race for more than a year, May to May, I think that it could have some spillover effect and could make a huge difference,” said Timothy Lange, a senior writer at the Daily Kos, a prominent liberal blog. “If he leaves the race early on, most advances we have seen on the progressive side are going to be lost.”
At the moment, Mr. Sanders looks built for the long haul, considering his decent and improving debate performances and the remarkable way he has kept pace with Ms. Clinton’s fundraising while shunning major donors and super PACs. Mr. Sanders’ support is a cocktail of eager millenials and New Deal nostalgists, along with people who hate the triangulating of the Clintons. He naturally filled a vacuum that could have easily been occupied by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who was the star progressive before Mr. Sanders exploded into the race.
Mr. Lange is rightly concerned with the fate of progressives beyond the presidential ballot, because that is where the future of the movement, far less inchoate than it once was, ultimately lies. The burst of enthusiasm for Mr. Sanders, like the Obama tide that washed across America in 2008, could be ephemeral, at least in terms of winning elected offices elsewhere.
Republicans will control Congress for years to come. Seventy percent of state legislatures, more than 60 percent of governorships, 55 percent of attorneys general and secretaries of state are all under Republican control. Young liberal voters, members of Mr. Obama’s two-time coalition, don’t show up in the off-year cycles when Republicans have made their biggest gains.
“I’m always a little suspicious when people depend on non-voters, and young people are non-voters,” Mr. Lange, an early Sanders supporter, said. “The Sanders campaign has not really energized the down-ballot candidates and I don’t think that’s the fault of the Sanders campaign. They started from almost nothing.”
The meaning of the Bernie Sanders moment depends on who is asked and what is expected. Winning beyond the presidency is a goal of Dan Cantor, the founder of the Working Families Party, a hybrid of progressive organizations and labor unions. New York-based with national aspirations, the WFP, as The Atlantic recently reported, dreams of becoming a Tea Party of the left, tugging the Democratic Party away from the Clintonian middle ground.
For Mr. Cantor, Mr. Sanders is already a victor because he has changed the terms of the debate. Occasionally risk averse, the WFP recently voted to snub Ms. Clinton and endorse her socialist rival.
“He’s made an immense contribution,” Mr. Cantor said. “Whether or not he’s the next president, he has shifted the debate, certainly among Democrats and progressives.”
There’s little doubt that liberal policy is more in vogue than it’s been in the last several decades. Even the word “socialist,” thanks to a generation of voters born after the fall of the Soviet Union, has lost much of its stigma.
The $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, and bemoaning yawning income inequality are all ingredients of the standard progressive stump speech. When Mr. Sanders declares he wants to make public colleges free for all, no one is laughing him off the stage.
Mr. Sanders is as much an avatar for these ideas as a living, breathing politician many thousands of people want to vote for. The 74-year-old slump-shouldered body and its dense political history — Brooklynite flees to Vermont, evolves from gadfly to popular power broker — is beside the point.
“What you’re seeing is the energy that animated the ‘Run Warren Run’ effort is very similar to what’s animating the Bernie Sanders campaign,” said Ilya Sheyman, the executive director of MoveOn.org, a liberal grassroots organization that first encouraged Ms. Warren to run for president and later endorsed Mr. Sanders. “What this race is showing is that if you speak authentically to the sense that the economic and political system is rigged in favor of those at the very top and offer real meaningful solutions, there’s a hunger for it from the American people.”
Observers outside the Sanders whirlwind aren’t sure 2016 will portend a greater, lasting shift to the left. In 1972, George McGovern seemed to herald the arrival of a more left-wing Democratic Party, winning the right to face Republican President Richard Nixon, symbol of reactionary conservatism. McGovern, a South Dakota senator, was routed, and centrist standard-bearers like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton arose in the ashes of his candidacy.
“The question is: is this lasting change?” asked David Greenberg, a historian at Rutgers University and author of “Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the Presidency.” “What will be more interesting to watch will be contested primary races among Democrats in the coming months.”
Mr. Greenberg argued the left flank of the Democratic Party “is greater than it has been in a very long time,” adding that “it’s quite possible in congressional races, senate races and governor races, you might see more staunchly left-wing candidates prevailing.”
If the political revolution is to last beyond 2016, assuming Mr. Sanders fails to reach the White House, it will need a leader interested in remaining a national spokesman. Would a crusty, career independent stay at the helm of such an enterprise? Or would he take his ball and go home to Vermont?
“To lead a movement all over the country requires a different kind of personality than Bernie has,” Mr. Nader said. “He’s a lone ranger. He’s not networking in Washington and had a hard time getting co-sponsors on his single-payer healthcare bill.”
Mr. Sanders has raised more than $70 million and built from scratch a campaign apparatus that is expected to power him through at least the early voting states. Though the Sanders campaign exceeded the Obama record for individual donations, it still does not quite rival the vast machine built by Mr. Obama for his 2008 and 2012 bids.
Yet the Sanders camp is quickly amassing the sort of valuable data that some progressives hope will be put to use for a wider grassroots movement in the future. The Obama apparatus never did this: after his historic election, Obama for America was folded into the Democratic National Committee and renamed Organizing for America, advocating for the president’s agenda alone.
“With the Obama approach, when the election was over, they picked up and went home and took data with the them, the software with them,” Mr. Lange lamented.
It’s worth remembering there’s a segment of the left that wants nothing to do with Mr. Sanders. Many socialists are skeptical of the Vermont senator because he supports Israel and has relatively little to say about the Palestinian struggle. Others see him as a socialist in name only, cajoling activists who may otherwise fight the power structure to enmesh themselves in the Democratic Party, ruining the opportunity for revolutionary change.
Chris Hedges, the former New York Times journalist and aggressive critic of American capitalism, excoriated Mr. Sanders for trying to work within the Democratic establishment he once vilified.
“All that energy and all of that money goes back into the Democratic party. He functions as a sheepdog to corral progressives, left-leaning progressives, back into the embrace of the Democratic establishment,” Mr. Hedges said in an June interview with The Stranger, an alternative weekly newspaper in Seattle.
For Robert Kuttner, the co-founder of The American Prospect, a leading liberal magazine, the central question of the Sanders moment is whether the progressive troops can stay mobilized, regardless of the outcome.
“Does he try to keep the volunteer army around for the next time?” Mr. Kuttner asked. “Next time he’ll be too old. Maybe Elizabeth Warren isn’t too old.”
(Courtesy, the New York Observer)
DON’T WANNA GO TO REHAB — No, No, No.
Rehabilitation? What's that?
How strong do you have to be to survive decades in prison? Not just physically but psychologically and emotionally. Believe me: the latter two are much harder to build and maintain than the former. They are also easier to fake and there's thousands of California prisoners with serious mental issues who are undiagnosed for various reasons. A person may fear appearing weak for seeking help or they may not trust the government doctors. If you've ever met a prison psych-tech you'd understand. Everyone of them has serious mental issues of their own. How are they going to help someone else? Plus, there's no confidentiality. Anything you say — and how the crazy psych-tech interprets it — will be viewed and held against you by the Board of Prison Terms. Five seconds of "venting" could kill your chances of ever seeing freedom. It's much safer to ignore the voices in your head (if you can) and learn to like nightmares. You have to accept the fact that nightmares are a part of sleep. And they are not even the worst part. The worst part of sleep is waking up in prison. Still. Every fucking time I wake up here I am again! Can you see how you can come to accept having nightmares every night? There's nothing as bad as waking up to this shit. Needless to say I'm not really a "morning person."
The state has budgeted $14 billion to the CDCR for prisoner "rehabilitation." The odd thing is neither myself nor anyone else I've talked to has noticed. $14 billion? California has a ridiculous 70% recidivism rate every year. It also holds the record in prisoner suicides and homicides. (I wonder if Guinness would accept that entry?) On a probably related note, California's prison guards are the highest paid in the world. Maybe the legislators don't know what "rehabilitation" means. Or they've confused it with another word like "reallocation." Because it seems like the "rehabilitation" money has been "reallocated" to somebody's wallet!
The CDCR is more committed to breaking the spirit of prisoners than rehabilitating. And the guards never miss an opportunity to make clear their stand: "It's not my job to rehabilitate you." So many of these "civil servants" feel it's their job to punish prisoners but no citizen in California was ever sentenced to prison to be punished. They've all been sentenced to prison as punishment. The state has taken all of our rights, our relationship with our families and our kids, our citizenship, etc. The only right prisoners really have is the right to remain silent. How magnanimous of them! It's really just the right to shut the fuck up! What are the repercussions of paroling prisoner unrehabilitated and with suppressed psychological disorders like PTSD? Well, to start with it's that 70% recidivism rate. The rest are obviously not going to all instantly become "productive members of society." After fighting through the brutally long sentences that state so freely doled out and being tormented by the wonderful people who are employed by the California Department of Corrections and Revenge, along with the joke of the $200 "gate money," how many of these nearly unrehabilitated "citizens" have a chance in hell of reintegrating into society?
While I'm on the subject of the rehabilitation lie, let me say a word on another lie: the CDCR claims that they "provide jobs for prisoners to earn money for their basic hygiene and dignity." The reality is that most prison jobs are without pay and even if you are one of the "fortunate" ones and manage to land a paying job, the average pay is about 9¢ an hour. And that is automatically taxed 55% for any so-called restitution that really goes into the state coffers. So what does Big Bank Hank buy with that 4¢ an hour? His hygiene or his dignity?
The state has to provide indigent inmates with 20 "indigent envelopes" per month but if you have any money ($1) in your trust account you are not eligible and must buy your own postage with the average inmate monthly pay between $4.80 and $5.40 after restitution? Basic hygiene items are pretty expensive, and I hear dignity ain't cheap either. So say I forego my dignity because it just isn't in the budget and I buy the most basic hygiene items. That's $2.40 for small tube of toothpaste and $1.30 for a cheap deodorant for a total of $3.70. Now say I'm at the high end of average at $5.40. That means I'll be able to buy three stamps this month. Like I said above: Dignity just isn't in the budget.
To live in prison with the basic bare minimum toiletries and be able to stay in contact with your loved ones there's only one thing to do whether you have a "paying" job or not: steal shit. Stolen supplies from the state get traded for the basic necessities — trashbags, cleaning supplies, tape, paper, extra laundry — all get traded for soap, toothpaste, stamps, deodorant etc. So that's what the CDCR's rehabilitation smells like. It's not hard to imagine what happens to a man when he has to steal to survive. It becomes normal to him. You may come to prison with good morals and ethics and some people do, but the state will quickly cure you of that! In prison you must maintain basic hygiene or you are in violation of the rules and regulations. So to follow the rules you must break the rules. After years of oppression this all begins to seem normal.
The CDCR does the opposite of rehabilitation. It's a farce and the only beneficiaries of the system are the civil service employees. Not the prisoners, and most definitely not society. The current system of "lock them up for ever and for everything" only makes good men bad and bad men worse. I think it's important for people to know that most first-time prisoners haven't committed violent crimes but most violent crimes are committed by people who have already been to prison. People become products of their environments and this environment sucks! No matter how hard the state tries I will not let them "rehabilitate" the dignity out of me.
CA REGULATORS PLAN TO DO REGIONAL REVIEWS OF MPAS ONLY ONCE A DECADE
by Dan Bacher
State officials had originally planned to conduct a regional review of the so-called “marine protected areas” created under the controversial Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative every five years, but they have now reversed course and have proposed doing the reviews only once every 10 years.
George Osborn of the California Sportfishing League spoke at the California Fish and Game Commission meeting in December to challenge this change in plans.
“As anglers know, the State of California designated over 800 square miles of the Pacific Ocean off limits to recreational fishing – in large part due to overfishing by the commercial fishing industry,” according to Osborn. “However, the State said these marine protected areas would be temporary and after five years, they would conduct a regional review to determine when they open to recreational angling once again.”
“Well.. that was then. Now, they want to extend this review process out another 5 years! Why? They don’t have the money,” he said.
In objecting to this move, Osborn asked, “When can recreational anglers again drop a line into an area now closed?”
“That’s not what the fishermen were told when the marine protected areas were adopted by the Commission,”added Osborn. “They are very disappointed in this change of plans.”
The Commission voted to notice the Master Plan for the February meeting, when it will be discussed. Then the Commission will act upon the plan in April.
“I’ve been told personally by commissioners who are no longer on the commission and commissioners still on the commission that so they couldn’t wait for the day to show the fishermen that the MPAs have worked and closed areas could be opened again to recreational fisherman,” he stated.
Osborn believes that this latest action confirms the suspicion of recreational anglers during the process that once the “marine protected areas” (MPAs) were put into place, the Commission and CDFW had no intention of opening them again.
The Initiative’s Master Plan was developed by the Department and adopted by the Commission, noted Osborn.
“The original plan provided for five year regional reviews of marine protected area. The new plan calls for only a statewide review every 10 years,” emphasized Osborn.
Commission’s executive director said five year reviews would be “huge workload” and “huge expense”
However, Sonke Mastrup, the Exective Director of the Commission, who recently resigned from his post after I interviewed him in December, claimed the Master Plan “is not really a new plan.”
“The Commission adopted a draft master plan around 2008 that was used to help build the network,” he explained. “Now that they’ve finished building the network, the plan has been redrafted to be an implementation plan for the existing network. We built them – now we have to refocus from the building to maintenance of the MPAs.”
“The question is what kind of maintenance will we do and how often do we have to check the status of how we are doing,” Mastrup noted. “The original draft plan was to review the MPAs every five years.”
“But we built the network not as one, but as four regions. If we reviewed each region every five years, we would be going through one of the four areas almost every year. It would be a huge workload and huge expense for the state,” he explained.
“When you talk to the scientists, you’ll find that recovery is a very slow process,” Mastrup said. “The reality is: How frequently are the reviews going to be so that we learn something that is actable by the commission?”
“There would have to be information to change it, based on cause or pursuant to need. I don’t foresee these MPAs changing quickly and there would have to be something sigificant for something to change an MPA, based on the goals and objectives of each region,” he noted.
For example, Mastrup said that if a marine protected area isn’t producing bigger fish, the scientists would have to ask: Why is it not producing?
“The MLPA contemplated that if particular MPAs are not doing what they’re supposed to do, then getting rid of them or modifying them would be options,” said Mastrup.
Commission’s direction is uncertain with three resignations
In addition to Mastrup resigning, two Commissioners, Jim Kellogg and Jack Baylis, also resigned suddenly, leaving the Commission in disarray. Kellogg, the senior and most experienced member of the Commission, resigned because of his frustration with what he perceived as the anti-science – and anti-fishing and hunting – direction the Commission was headed.
“I’m leaving pretty much out of frustration,” Kellogg said in an interview, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “http://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Upheaval-at-Fish-and-Game-highlights-shift-in-6759859.php
Kellogg, known for his fairness and independence while serving on the board for 14 years when he resigned on December 31, was the longest-serving member of the Commission.
“I’m just tired of being the only one fighting the fight for the hunters and fishers,” he said. “The first 12 years I won most of the battles, and the last couple of years I lost almost every battle.”
The three Commissioners remaining on the Commission are Jacque Hostler-Carmesin, Anthony C. Williams, and Eric Sklar. The future direction of the Commission, including their position of the controversial MPAs Master Plan, is very uncertain at this time.
Scientists can’t see much change on Central Coast due to MPA status
One thing is for certain: the MLPA Initiative has to date not yielded the results proponents hoped for in the one area studied for seven years, the Central Coast.
Dr. Rick Starr of California Sea Grant and Dean Wendt, dean of research at Cal Poly, led a team of marine researchers and more than 700 volunteer fishermen to sample fish within and outside of four protected areas: Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area, Point Lobos, and the Piedras Blancas and Point Buchon State marine reserves.
The conclusions of the study contrast with the claims of many MPLA Initiative Advocates that the creation of reserves would result in dramatically improved fish populations soon after implementation.
In the seven years of data examined, “We didn’t see much change that could be attributed to the MPA status,” Starr said. (https://caseagrant.ucsd.edu/news/study-for-central-californias-marine-protected-areas-recovery-will-take-time)
As fishermen pointed out in meeting after meeting, the entire continental shelf of California, the Rockfish Conservation Zone, was already the largest defacto marine protected area on the West Coast before the first MPA created under the MLPA Initiative went into effect in 2007. In addition, California already had the strictest fishing regulations anywhere on the planet before the MPAs created under the MLPA Initiative became effective.
The Rockfish Conservation Zone and the strict fishing regulations, along with favorable water and forage conditions, are undoubtedly the main factors behind the rebound of lingcod and rockfish populations in recent years – not the MPAs.
You can read the MPAs Master Plan at : https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/MPAs/Master-Plan
You can offer public comments by emailing: email@example.com
MLPA Initiative’s many flaws still not addressed
As I have pointed out in article after article, the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act Initiative was one of the most controversial environmental processes in California history. The Initiative did not fully implement the law as written, since it failed to protect the ocean from pollution, fracking, oil spills, military testing and all human uses of the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.
The process was characterized by numerous conflicts of interest, including the chairing of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast by a Big Oil lobbyist; the adoption of terminally flawed science that failed to include scientific data from the Yurok and other Tribes; and the violation of tribal gathering rights in State Marine Reserves.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and the lead lobbyist for fracking, offshore drilling and other environmentally destructive oil industry operations in California, not only chaired the South Coast MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force, but she sat on the task force to create “marine protected areas” on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.
For more information about the MLPA Initiative, go to: https://intercontinentalcry.org/the-five-inconvenient-truths-about-the-mlpa-initiative/