Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Mar 6, 2016
by AVA News Service, March 6, 2016
ANDERSON VALLEY'S scrappy boy's basketball team pulled within 3 points of host Emeryville, but Emery pulled away in the second half to win the small school Northcoast sectional championship, 59-46. A combination of missed free throws and turnovers sank Anderson Valley. The Boonville boys were competing in the school's first championship round ever.
A SERIES OF STORM SYSTEMS will bring significant precipitation to the Western U.S. during the next few days. Drought-stricken California and Nevada will experience copious, beneficial rain and mountain snow, although isolated flash flooding is possible in portions of California where Flash Flood Watches are in effect. This storm will also be quite windy, so Wind Advisories are also in effect.
Heavy rain and mountain snow are in the forecast for much of the West Coast region through Monday. A strong storm system is expected to bring on the order of 1 to 3 inches of rain to northern California and the Pacific Northwest Coast through Sunday. With the passage of the cold front Saturday evening, snow levels will drop and heavy snow will become more widespread for the mountain ranges, including the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades. Parts of the Sierra Nevada could get in excess of two feet of snow with this event. Winter storm warnings are in effect for those areas. Another storm system is projected to reach the coast Sunday night with more significant precipitation expected.
On Saturday nearly three inches fell on Anderson Valley (Yorkville reported 3.6"), and the rain is expected to continue, off and on, for at least the next seven days with several more inches of accumulation. Evening temperatures are expected to drop into the 30s in some areas Sunday and Monday.
PG&E HAS REPORTED as of 7pm approximately 600 customers without power in Mendocino County: 130 are in the Mendocino/Big River area, 200 in the Fort Bragg area and 100 in the Elk area. There are various other outages scattered throughout Mendocino County. PG&E is working to have up to 50% back in power by midnight, and the rest by 7 a.m. tomorrow. As of 8:00 p.m. the Russian River at Hopland was recorded on the National Weather Service Website at 7.57 ft and the Navarro River at 7.69 ft. (Mendocino Emergency Services office)
CHP PREVAILS AGAINST TWN PHOTOJOURNALIST
by Linda Williams
On March 1 a federal jury ruled TWN photojournalist Steve Eberhard failed to prove that the actions of three California Highway Patrol officers in 2013 were specifically aimed at “chilling” his First Amendment newsgathering rights. Eberhard’s photos were part of the locally intense media coverage about the Willits bypass construction and protests and were widely featured in The Willits News, the Ukiah Daily Journal, the Fort Bragg Advocate, Chico Enterprise Record, the Eureka Times Standard, KGO ABC news and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, among others.
The jury had to determine, based on a “preponderance of evidence” presented in the five-day trial, whether the officers acted “under color of law” and that “the Officer’s action would chill or silence a person of ordinary firmness from future First Amendment activities; and causing the chilling effect was a substantial or motivating factor for the Officer’s action.”
In the jury instructions, US District Judge James Donato stipulated as fact that the CHP officers were acting under the color of law; that Kory Reynolds and Christopher Dabbs arrested Eberhard on July 23, 2013 for misdemeanor trespass and that there had been a meeting on April 12, 2013, between Caltrans representative Phil Frisbie and TWN editor and publisher to discuss access to the Willits bypass construction site.
During trial testimony the third officer, Teddy Babcock, admitted he “made physical contact” with Eberhard on May 21, 2013 at the construction site. Eberhard was wearing a hard hat and vest and was authorized to be at that location by his Caltrans escort. Eberhard testified Babcock shoved him from behind while taking photos on the Willits bypass project site.
Babcock asserted he “made physical contact” out of a concern for Eberhard’s safety, while Eberhard contended the incident was in retaliation for several prior interactions with Babcock associated with the Willits bypass. Under cross-examination, Babcock stated he did not push Eberhard and that he did not confront the two other persons taking photos in the same location.
Dabbs and Reynolds testified that when they arrested Eberhard on July 23, 2013 they believed he had violated trespassing laws. While the protocols Caltrans and CHP had provided officers at the Willits bypass site stipulated they should attempt to minimize arrests by having officers read a formal dispersal order and then provide an opportunity for the protesters to leave; the officers did not deem these protocols applied to the photojournalist. Their understanding was that any member of the media had to have a Caltrans escort or be subject to arrest.
The day of the arrest, a group of protesters, carrying a banner, were on the bypass site more than an hour prior to Eberhard’s arrival. As demonstrated in an amateur video of the event, CHP officers read them the official dispersal order and over a period of about 20 minutes, the group backed out of the construction zone. Two other protesters remained on the job site chained to the equipment.
Eberhard came to the site after receiving a tip about the protest. On the video he is seen approaching Dabbs and shaking his hand and 43 seconds later he is being handcuffed.
Based on testimony, Eberhard approached the first officer on the site, introduced himself, told Dabbs he had called and left a message for a Caltrans escort and asked to photograph the persons chained to equipment. Dabbs told Eberhard he needed to leave or he would read him the dispersal order and arrest him if he failed to leave after that. Eberhard said he would leave if Dabbs read the dispersal order. Dabbs was in the process of taking out his cell phone to pull up the dispersal order when Reynolds arrested Eberhard. The 128 word dispersal order was issued to each CHP officer as part of the Ukiah CHP Operations Plan and takes about 50 seconds to read.
Eberhard testified that Reynolds came from behind and began handcuffing him. Reynolds asserted in his testimony that he told Eberhard to leave and gave him an opportunity to leave but Eberhard kept talking. Dabbs could not recall what Reynolds said. All in less than 43 seconds from Eberhard’s handshake with Dabbs.
Eberhard was the only person booked into Mendocino County Jail for the incident. The two protestors chained to the equipment were merely cited and released. None of the protesters, who had been on the site for a significant period of time were either arrested or cited.
Deputy Attorney General Harry T. (Chip) Gower, III asserted that the officers’ conduct was due to where the actions occurred rather than why. While he continued to assert that Eberhard was trespassing at the time of his arrest, the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office and Judge Donato did not agree. Donato in a November 2015 ruling stated, “whether Eberhard actually violated (the trespassing statutes)... is rather doubtful.” The DAs office refused to file trespassing charges.
One of the keys to determining whether any animus directed toward Eberhard by the officers was due to media coverage of the bypass project, was the testimony, under oath, by Reynolds, Dabbs and Babcock that they had not seen nor discussed any of the media coverage of the bypass containing Eberhard’s photos prior to their actions.
Construction began on the nearly $200 million Willits bypass project in March 2013. The early days of construction were met wth numerous protests, including tree sitters and persons blocking Caltrans and contractor access and protesters locking themselves to trees and equipment. The CHP arrived with a substantial force in March 2013 and have provided security for the bypass site since. Protests continued through 2015. The roadway is expected to complete in September 2016.
(Courtesy, The Willits News)
OAKY JOE MUNSON SOLDIERS ON
by Bruce Anderson
OAKY JOE MUNSON stopped by last week. On the marijuana fame meter, Oaky is about a 9 headed for 10 where he'll join the legends of the Northcoast business — Eddy Lepp, Pebbles ‘Pebs’ Trippet, Matt Graves, Denis Peron, Tim Blake.
"I'm 52 and I've been growing for 30 years," Joe booms. He's a medium sized, tow-headed, always smiling, ebullient dude whose Southern-accented voice comes with high decibel amplification. Joe apologizes. "I don't mean to yell but I'm deaf. Years ago, I got beat down in a bar fight with a big guy who hit me so hard he punctured by ear drums." The accent comes from his home state of Virginia, hence the 'Oaky' tag.
A dedicated family man, Joe's been married to Atsuka, a native of Japan, for many years. They have two children whose prowess in the martial arts the proud father mentions often. "I've never been convicted, no sir, not once," reports the son of a West Point father.
Oaky Joe is 3-0 in Mendocino County, 1-0 in Marin, 1-0 in San Francisco. Humboldt never knew he was there. He has learned the fine art of growing medicine by doing. His first grow was on the serene slopes of Mount Tamalpais. "Those plants just disappeared, roots and all. I don't know what happened there," he laughs. "Then I tried an indoor grow in San Francisco, but our equipment was all screwed up and we drowned all our plants."
In Mendocino County, where he's racked up the most acquittals, Oaky Joe, new to Redwood Valley, established a large-scale grow next door to the home of Mendo narc, Peter Hoyle, infamous among growers as The Man who seems to be everywhere, kicking in doors and taking names.
Joe hits himself on the head every time he mentions Hoyle, but Hoyle probably also hits himself in the head at the mention of Oaky Joe. They've been on a first-name basis for years, and Oaky Joe has beat Hoyle in court every time Hoyle has arrested him.
"Of all the places I could have rented in Mendocino County I set down next to him, "Joe laments, adding a string of unflattering descriptives for Hoyle and prosecutor Kitty Houston. "She called me, sarcastically, 'the Santa Claus of medical marijuana,' but I'm the grinch who stole her Christmas for sure when we went to court."
JOE'S in trouble again. Well, half-trouble. He gets busted a lot but never convicted because juries agree that Joe is growing medicine in exact legal proportion to his roster of patients and in scrupulous compliance with fluid marijuana laws. And when he goes to court, lots of his patients go with him, filling the courtroom with canes, walkers, wheel chairs, and every single one of them says that without Joe's primo medical marijuana, their lives, already made difficult by illness, would be intolerable.
Joe posts his acquittals on his front door. Just inside the door he keeps a scrupulously maintained binder containing the names and addresses of all his patients. He's ready round the clock for a compliance check by the forces of law and order, who invariably ignore the paperwork, arrest him, and rip up Joe's thriving field of meds outside. The cops say Oaky Joe is growing to get rich. Joe says he grows to help people who depend on him to keep them alive.
Most recently, at his carefully documented medical grow in West Sonoma County near Forestville, Joe, along with his workers, was arrested, his crop mostly destroyed.
According to California's medical marijuana laws the police are supposed to do the math. If the patient-to-plant ratio adds up, the cops are supposed to go away. If it doesn't, the plants are seized and everyone goes to jail.
Oaky Joe is in the Everyone Goes To Jail Whatever The Paperwork category.
SONOMA County's Cultivation guidelines are quite clear. "A qualified patient or a person holding a valid identification card or a designated primary caregiver, or primary caregivers or qualified patients whom associate collectively or cooperatively, may also cultivate cannabis in an amount not to exceed more than one-hundred (100) square feet total garden canopy, per qualified patient, as measured by the combined vegetative growth area."
OAKY JOE is designated primary caregiver for about 60 people, and he's got the required proof that he's the primary caregiver and they are qualified patients, and they're all in Oaky Joe's collective.
Which means he grows a big garden, a very big garden, maybe the biggest garden in Sonoma County, so big he employs four young men to keep it green and curative. And there it is right out there in the open, a vivid cannabis green provocation to the aerial police surveillance that constantly buzzes Joe's pharm.
A year ago, the flyovers stopped and the invasion commenced.
"The fall of last year," Joe recalls, indignant at the memory, "they came and took all my plants and charged me with four different counts of stuff, including a gun charge. I don't have guns. I've never had guns. I have kids, and kids and guns don't mix. The charges are already down to one for cultivation. They kept me in the Sonoma County Jail for a day and a half, and all I wanted was to get out and get back with my wife and kids. I didn't have enough money to bail out my four guys, none of whom had any kind of priors with law enforcement. One kid was a dropped out nuclear physicist who was afraid of getting blown to smithereens. I invited him out to work under the organic sun growing medicine for people who need it. There were three kids from Virginia, an engineer working as a cab driver, another engineer working as a caretaker for a paraplegic law professor.' They were released without being charged.
Joe, still angry at the memory, says the invasion force "put the cuffs on everybody from the five businesses on the property, but none of the other people were growing. 30 armed cops show up. They even had a tank, one of those assault vehicle things. They told my neighbor, 'We've been watching Mr. Munson get bigger all the time.' But there are 60-plus people in my collective and I have 215 cards for every one of them. But the cops didn't bother with compliance. They had a whole buncha trucks and trailers, and one of them joked that they couldn't use a grenade launcher because we were compliant. One cop said it was 'the nicest garden I've ever been to,' but they came to wreck me and that's what they did without bothering to see that I'm legal. It was eradicate first, ask questions later.
"This cop said to me, 'Aren't you afraid people with guns are going to come up here and rob you? I told him, 'That's what's happening right now! People with guns and uniforms are robbing me.'
"This huge guy with big scythe-like blade on a big stick knocked all the plants down, and off they went in the trucks. I can see a couple of armed guys coming in first to make sure there's no tweekers with pit bulls once they get there, but they came with enough people and guns to invade a small country."
The raid team, inexplicably, dumped about forty plants over the side of the road not far from Joe's garden. Joe and his workers hauled them back up the hill, salvaging what they could. Later, in jail, there was still so much resin on his crew's forearms the whole unit smelled like marijuana, causing a jailer to bark out a lockdown warning over the PA. "I call that hairy hash," Joe says.
"I don't deal with criminals," Joe insists. "The only criminals I see are the cops when they show up at my house and ignore my paperwork. They're breaking the law, not me."
Oaky Joe Munson goes to court Tuesday, March 29th, 8:30am, Room One, Sonoma County Superior Court, Santa Rosa. He is defended by Keith Faulder of Ukiah. Joe says "a whole lotta my patients will be there."
* * *
ADDENDUM: A letter to the Ukiah Daily Journal described an early Mendo case brought against Oaky Joe:
"I was present the day the District Attorney's office dropped the charges against Laura Hamburg. While sitting in the courtroom after the decision, I noticed a couple [Mr. and Mrs. Munson] who were beginning their preliminary hearing for cultivation and cultivation with intent to sell. I had not read about this case in the paper, so I stayed to listen.
"When the state opened the hearing, they stated that the defendants were growing 137 plants, approximately 10,000 grams of marijuana were found along with cash and a pay/owe sheet. Wow! Sounds like a big bust. Until the defense began to question the State's expert witness. The deputy from the major crimes task force testified under direct examination that they seized approximately 10,000 grams of marijuana, then stated there was approximately 905 grams of shake.
"Upon further testimony as well as evidence listed on the return from the search warrant, the total dried marijuana flowers weighed only 3 pounds 2 ounces. The pay/owe sheet was not found, and the amount of cash that was present was $1,426. The defendants had 11 patient notes. Judge Brown dismissed the case at the preliminary hearing because he didn't feel the case would hold up at trial.
"This is an example of a case that was not reported in the papers, no high profile defendants with "daddy's get out of jail free card" as some readers have portrayed other defendants to have.
"I understand that law enforcement, upon arriving at the scene, needs to make a decision at the time. The State, however, should have done a better job investigating this case instead of taking the written report from a cop and going ahead with a case. If the DA [Lintott] would spend more time looking deeper into a case rather than flying by the seat of their pants, we could save a lot of court time as well as money.
— Jeanette Bogue, Ukiah
MAKE AMERICA GYRATE AGAIN! The Swingin' Boonville Big Band will be performing at the Anderson Valley Grange in Philo on Sat., April 2. Music starts at 7:30, tickets at the door are $10. Bring you dancing shoes and swing the night away!
WILD DOGS are a recurrent problem in northern Mendocino County, southern Humboldt County. The following are comments from Kym Kemp's website, Redheaded Black Belt:
(1) There are people who think that dogs kept under control will not enjoy Freedom. These are the same people who do not castrate their male dogs, or spay their females, because the owners confuse their own testicles with the testicles of their dogs; and owners of unsprayed females have actually told me that a bitch who has not had a litter of puppies is not “fulfilled.”
In the US, ten thousand puppies are euthanized daily as a result of these citified cretins and their abysmal treatment of their pets. Really. Unfortunately for everyone, dogs allowed to run “free” are rarely vaccinated or licensed. Why? Because the tags, if worn, can be traced to their owners. And if the dog(s) are caught, they are not claimed because the owner can be charged with huge fines to cover the livestock losses. (Last time we had a nut-case like that in our neighborhood, the restitution for a weaner pig was $1200…) The fine was paid, and then the dog was shot. The kids got a hamster instead. Good call.
(2) I have cows and what dogs do to them is terrible, they kill for sport, first, if it is a adult cow they will rip off the milk bag or tear off the penis and sack if a bull. then they go for the ears, tail. a lot of times they never eat the cow just leave it for the owner to shoot.
by Malcolm Macdonald
Under the moniker, “Just in From Fort Bragg,” last week's AVA carried a submission that in its very first sentence asked readers to grasp, without any prior reference, that the stand alone word “Council” meant the Fort Bragg City Council. The piece went on in this vein, springing names on us without connecting civic titles like Council member. Despite a lack of coherent chronological order, the piece rambled between a hodgepodge of meetings, presumably all located in Fort Bragg (the name of the city does not appear until the tenth, and final, paragraph unless you count the title applied by AVA staff), California in January and February of 2016 before the author honed in on the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center (MCHC) holding abbreviated meetings. “A member of our community did in fact go to the Board meeting last week [third week of February] and got there at 9:00. By 9:10 she was asked to leave and was in fact in her car on her way home. The extent of her attending the meeting was a prayer and then she made a statement. That’s it.”
From this report it is not clear whether the “member of the community” or a MCHC Board of Directors member offered the prayer, but we'll get back to that subject in a bit. The AVA submission in question goes on, “According to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act these meetings should in fact be open to the public if for no other reason than the amount of public funds they receive. That in fact makes this the rule. I would go a step farther and say if in fact The Board is discussing the clients of this organization perhaps they themselves are violating confidentiality laws.”
First, as I learned at my pappy's knee long ago, anyone who resorts to the phrase “in fact” thrice in a three sentence passage is automatically suspect. Secondly, the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act says the following in California Government Code Section 11120, “It is the public policy of this state that public agencies exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business and the proceedings of public agencies be conducted openly so that the public may remain informed.
“In enacting this article the Legislature finds and declares that it is the intent of the law that actions of state agencies be taken openly and that their deliberation be conducted openly.
“The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”
The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act goes on in Code Section 11121, “As used in this article, 'state body' means each of the following:
(a) Every state board, or commission, or similar multimember body of the state that is created by statute or required by law to conduct official meetings and every commission created by executive order.
(b) A board, commission, committee, or similar multimember body that exercises any authority of a state body delegated to it by that state body.
(c) An advisory board, advisory commission, advisory committee, advisory subcommittee, or similar multimember advisory body of a state body, if created by formal action of the state body or of any member of the state body, and if the advisory body so created consists of three or more persons.
(d) A board, commission, committee, or similar multimember body on which a member of a body that is a state body pursuant to this section serves in his or her official capacity as a representative of that state body and that is supported, in whole or in part, by funds provided by the state body, whether the multimember body is organized and operated by the state body or by a private corporation.”
Misconstruing this last paragraph into some sort of half-truth is where some critics of the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center travel far afield from reality. Simply because the MCHC has received Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money does not satisfy the Bagley-Keene Opening Meeting Act. In order to compel the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center to conduct thoroughly open public meetings of its Board of Directors MCHC would have to have a voting member of its Board also be a member of a city, county, or state entity and that Board member would have to be specifically appointed to the MCHC Board by such a city, county, or state entity.
If one wants to use the term “in fact,” the Brown Act comes closer to what critics of MCHC are looking for. California Government Code Section 54952 states in part that open meeting laws must be adhered to by any governing body that “Is created by the elected legislative body in order to exercise authority that may lawfully be delegated by the elected governing body to a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity...” and “[r]eceives funds from a local agency.”
However, the Brown Act of CA Government Code 54952 goes on to immediately add an important and... “ the membership of whose governing body includes a member of the legislative body of the local agency appointed to that governing body as a full voting member by the legislative body of the local agency.”
Unfortunately, this is not the case with the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center. I say unfortunately because MCHC does offer itself up to question when one examines its bylaws. Article I, Section 1 of the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center bylaws is headed, Qualifications for Directors, with the following language, “Directors of the Board of Directors will adhere to these by-laws in personal life and behavior. Failure to do so and/or immoral, unethical sinful, illegal or shameful behavior or activities shall be just cause for dismissal by the remainder of the Board.” Critics of MCHC should be careful in noting that this clause only refers to the Board of Directors, not employees of MCHC.
Perhaps MCHC's “sinful… shameful” wording can be written off as odd, overly faith based lingo. If one is out to get MCHC, one has to move on in their bylaws to Article II, Section II, headed Composition of Board of Directors. “The Board of Directors shall consist of not less than seven (7) persons, to include the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. The Board may contain no more than thirteen (13) members. It shall be at the discretion of the Board to expand or contract within these parameters without further amending these by-laws.”
Pretty straight forward, but if you're laying in the weeds ready to yell, “Gotcha,” at the MCHC Board, here it comes: Again quoting from the MCHC by-laws, Article II, Section II, “An Advisory Board of unspecified number shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. Advisory Board members are non-voting members of the Board who act at the discretion of the Board of Directors on an advisory capacity.”
Let us turn to state law, specifically to California Assembly Bill 1233 (AB 1233) signed into effect six years ago in 2010. There is quite a bit to the entire bill/law, so we'll turn to Public Counsel Law Center for their language pertinent to non-profit Board of Directors: “Many nonprofit corporations give titles to advisors or major donors that suggest they are directors (“honorary directors,” “directors emeritus,” “advisory directors,” etc.). Additionally, many non-profit corporations have “non-voting directors” that have the same rights and responsibilities as the other directors, except the power to vote. AB 1233 clarifies that a director is a person who has been elected (or designated or appointed, as provided in the bylaws) to act as a member of the board and vote on actions or decisions taken by the board. Thus, a non-profit corporation may not have non-voting members on its board of directors.”
This might be instructive information to other non-profit organizations locally, who like the Mendocino Coast Hospitality are continuing to employ advisory boards long after AB 1233 became the law.
WHEN LOVE HAS FLED
On March 1, 2016 at approximately 12:08 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate a reported incident of domestic violence that occurred around 10:00 PM the night before in Covelo. Deputies learned a 26 year old adult female and her husband, Sergio Nunez-Davila, 22, of Covelo, were at their home in the 76000 block of Short Creek Road when they began to argue. The argument grew more heated until Nunez-Davila reportedly grabbed the adult female in a head-lock with his left arm. Nunez-Davila punched the adult female several times in the head and face with his right fist. The adult female was able to pull away from Nunez-Davila and the attack stopped but not before she suffered a bruising injury to her face. Deputies responded to the couple’s Short Creek Road residence and arrested Nunez-Davila for domestic violence battery. Nunez-Davila was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was held on $10,000.00 bail.
WELCOME TO MENDOCINO - WE'VE GOT HELPERS.
My latest Mendopia video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEouW3edeKA&list=PLWTKx4OwAkBEZRZB07aPOA237QV8BS-b0&index=1
MRC RESPONDS MRC responds MRC responds MRC responds MRC responds…
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 5, 2016
Alcantra, Barnett, Cochran
CORREY ALCANTRA, Santa Rosa/Redwood Valley. Trespassing.
CRAIG BARNETT, Fort Bragg. Community supervision violation.
KEENAN COCHRAN, Fort Bragg. Vandalism.
Flinton, Hastings, Ishay
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
REX HASTINGS, Scotia/Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
STUART ISHAY, Chicago/Ukiah. DUI.
Iversen, Mora, Neagle, Sperling
KURT IVERSEN, Point Arena. Probation revocation.
PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Court order violation, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
RICHARD NEAGLE, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
CHARLES SPERLING, Willits. Protective order violation, resisting, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Trump, for me, it's a way, the only way, to show the elite the middle finger, to say a hardy FU to the big business elite, media elite, big govt., big academy, Hollywood, big tech, the c-cksuckers who in the past 25 years sold us down the river, shipped our jobs overseas, flooded the country with third worlders — in short shoved it up our ass, and when we complained dismissed us as racists, luddites, neanderthals and mocked our concerns, at the same time walling themselves away from the world they themselves created by living in gated communities and sending their own children to exclusive private schools. Some times the truth seeps out and reality is crystalized, like when we learn big pol operative like John Podesta has villas in Italy and Switzerland, or that billionaire Michael Bloomberg, Mr. Gun Control, is surrounded at all times by 17 armed security agents. So to the elites I mention above, F-ck all of ya’, you haven’t loyalty toward us, don’t expect any loyalty from us. That goes for the Republican Party too, who are just as happy to keep the borders wide open for the cheap labor it provides as the Dems are for the cheap votes. You can all go to hell as far I’m concerned.
WHAT WILL THE SANDERNISTAS DO AFTER JULY?
by Ralph Nader
The hard-bitten, corporatist Democrats are moving Hillary Clinton through the presidential primaries. They are using “Republican-speak” to beat down Bernie Sanders as favoring Big Government and more taxes and they may unwittingly be setting the stage for a serious split in the Democratic Party.
What is emerging is the reaction of millions of Sanders supporters who will feel repudiated, not just left behind, as the Clintonites plan to celebrate at the Democratic Convention in July. The political experience gained by the Sanders workers, many of them young, helped Sanders register primary victories over Hillary in Colorado, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Vermont and New Hampshire with their energy and votes. They came close in Nevada and Massachusetts and probably won in Iowa.
Hillary’s rhetoric has outraged Sanders’ supporters. She berates Sanders regularly for not being practical or realistic about his Medicare-for-all, breaking up big banks, a $15 minimum wage, a tax on Wall Street speculation and carbon and getting big money out of politics. Clinton’s putdowns exemplify why so many people who back Sanders want to defeat her. Clinton is the candidate of the status quo, favored over all other candidates from both parties by the Wall Street crowd and quietly adored by the military-industrial complex who see Generalissima Clinton as a militarist who would maintain the warfare state.
Democrat Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton, derided this “We Shouldn’t Even Try” attitude common among many frightened Democrats. These are, in Reich’s words, “the establishment Democrats – Washington lobbyists, editorial writers, inside-the-Beltway operatives, party leaders and big contributors who have grown comfortable with the way things are.” These hereditary Democrat opinion-shapers tell their audiences that Hillary personifies experience and electability. They argue it is either Clinton or Trump or some other crazed Republican.
Here we go again. Every four years, the Democratic leaders define the Democratic candidate by how bad the Republicans are. This is designed to panic and mute their followers. Every four years, both parties become more corporatist. Sanders’ voters want to define the Democratic Party by how good it can be for the people. And these Sanders voters may not go back into the Democratic Party fold.
Low turnout for the Democratic Party’s primaries is being compared to a much higher Republican voter turnout for their candidates. Low turnout in November would dim Hillary’s chances in an electoral college, winner-take-all system.
Such Democratic Party misfortune can become more likely should Bernie endorse Hillary at the Democratic Convention without any conditions or her acceptance of his agenda, assuming she is the nominee. Last year he declared that he would endorse “the Democratic nominee.” Certainly, all the Democratic politicos in the Congress who endorsed Hillary set no conditions. The large labor unions that went with Hillary are known for giving their endorsements without receiving any benefits for workers. So, Hillary would have no mandate should she win the election. And you know that Clintons without mandates tend to bend toward Wall Street and rampant militarism.
It is doubtful whether Hillary will credibly adopt any of Bernie’s agenda, considering where her campaign money is coming from and how unwilling she is to alienate her circle of advisors.
Where does this leave the Sanders people who see Hillary as experienced in waging wars, qualified as an entrenched pol, and realistic to suit the plutocracy’s tastes, and not really getting much of anything progressive done (alluding to the ways she has described herself)?
The energetic Sanders supporters, including the Millennials who voted so heavily for Bernie, could form a New Progressive movement to exercise a policy pull on the establishment Democrats before November and to be a growing magnet after November with the objective of taking over the Democratic Party starting with winning local elections. This will have long-term benefits for our country.
To those who point to history throwing water on such a potential breakout, I tell them to look at the 2016 presidential primaries. All bets are off when political debates become big media business with huge ratings, and when a gambling czar and builder of expensive real estate, Donald Trump (a hybrid Rep/Dem), is overturning all the old homilies about presidential politics, and is in a primary contest with two freshmen Senators whose vacuous ambitions are their only achievements.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
SACRAMENTO AND KLAMATH RIVER SALMON OCEAN ABUNDANCE FORECASTS ARE DOWN IN 2016
by Dan Bacher
Hundreds of people, including commercial fishermen, charter boat skippers and recreational anglers, packed a large room at the Sonoma County Water Agency offices in Santa Rosa on Wednesday, March 2, to hear the discouraging news from state and federal scientists about the prospects for this year’s ocean and river salmon seasons.
Low ocean abundance forecasts for Sacramento River and Klamath Chinook fall-run Chinook salmon point to restrictions in the recreational, commercial and tribal fisheries this upcoming season, according to data released in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual salmon fishery information meeting.
Agency scientists estimate that there are approximately 299,600 adult Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon and 142,200 Klamath River fall Chinooks in the ocean this year, based on the returns of two-year-old salmon, called “jacks” and “jills,” The salmon from these two rivers comprise the majority of salmon taken in California’s ocean and inland fisheries.
“The forecasts are lower than in recent years and suggest that California fisheries may see salmon seasons in 2016 that have reduced opportunities over last year,” said Brett Kormos, a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the moderator of the meeting, in a news release issued right after the meeting.
“We’re in an unprecedented situation where fishermen face constraints both in the north (Klamath) and the south (Sacramento),” said Dr. Michael O’Farrell of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
These forecasts, in addition to disturbing information on endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon, will be used over the next couple of months by federal and state fishery managers to set sport and commercial fishing season dates, commercial quotas and size and bag limits.
A total of 112,434 Sacramento River fall adult salmon and 19,554 jacks returned to spawn in the river in 2015, according to Vanessa Gusman, CDFW environmental scientist. Seventeen percent of these fish were from the American Basin, 32 percent from the Feather and 49 percent from the Upper Sacramento.
The Upper Sacramento Basin saw a total of 59,507 fish, including 15,712 hatchery fish and 43,795 natural spawners. Of these fish, 54,711 were adults and 4,796 were jacks.
In the Feather River Basin, a total of 47,333 fish came back, including 20,200 hatchery fish and 27,073 natural spawners, returned to spawn. 38,710 were adults and 8,623 were jacks.
In the American River Basin, 25,548 salmon, including 11,762 hatchery fish and 13,786 natural spawners, returned in 2015. 19,913 were adults and 11,167 were jacks.
The total escapement fell short of the targeted escapement of at least 122,000 salmon, according to O’Farrell.
This lower return of fall-run Chinooks is unlikely to constrain the 2016 fisheries, however. “If the 2015 regulations were in place this year, there is a preliminary escapement prediction of 153,300,” said O’Farrell.
The winter run’s impact on the regulations are a different story, even though only two coded wire-tagged winter-run Chinook – one caught by a recreational angler and one taken by a troller – were reported in the ocean fishery last year. O’Farrell said the winter run’s precarious status is “likely to constrain the fisheries below Point Arena.”
“The maximum allowable age 3 impact rate of winter run is 19.9 percent,” explained O’Farrell. “If the 2015 regulations were in place, there is a preliminary prediction of 17.1 percent impact rate.”
Approximately 95 percent of winter run juveniles in 2014 and 97 percent of winter Chinook juveniles in 2015 perished in the Sacramento River above Red Bluff, due to warm water conditions spurred by widely-contested water management practices by the Brown and Obama administrations. Anglers are prohibited from targeting winter Chinooks on the ocean and on the Sacramento River.
Dan Kratville of the CDFW explained his hypothesis for the massive mortality of winter run Chinook eggs and juveniles in 2014 and 2015.
“In 2014, we think that the loss of temperature control by the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) was the major cause of the loss from egg to juvenile life stages. In 2015, While the USBR never fully lost control of the temperature, we believe that the average temperatures were too high, resulting in similar losses as 2014,” said Kratville.
Leaders of fishing groups, Indian Tribes and environmental organizations have criticized the Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Water Resources for draining Trinity, Shasta, Oroville and Folsom reservoirs during three years of a record drought to export water south of the Delta to agribusiness, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting fracking operations.
The abundance of Klamath River fall Chinook salmon is looking worse than for the Sacramento stocks. O’Farrell said the 2016 abundance forecast for Klamath River fall Chinook is 93,393 for age 3, 45,105 for age 4 and 3,671 for age 3, a total of approximately 142,200 adults.
“Our potential spawner abundance forecast is 41,211 and we must target an escapement of at least 30,909 fish,” he said. “That’s a 25 percent exploitation rate.”
If the 2015 regulations were in place this year, the natural area spawner prediction would be only 14,540, a 65 percent exploitation rate, and natural spawner target would not be met, according to O’Farrell. The allocation of fish to the Yurok and Hoopa Valley Tribes is always 50 percent of the total harvest, so the river recreational allocation would be 32.4 percent of the non-tribal harvest.
“This no doubt will constrain the fisheries south of Cape Falcon, Oregon,” he concluded.
After the abundance forecasts and harvest model results were reviewed, anglers asked questions and made suggestions to the California Salmon Management Panel, comprised of Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), CDFW, NOAA Fisheries, and fishing group representatives. The suggestions included were delaying the opening of salmon season north of Pigeon Point to avoid winter run impacts; using the 24-inch size limit throughout the recreational fishing season; and the use of sportfishing gear and downriggers by commercial fishermen to minimize fishery impacts.
After the meeting anglers commented about the prospects for the recreational and commercial salmon seasons.
“I’m concerned about the 2016 season,” said Dick Pool, President of Water for Fish. “We have looked at the environmental conditions in 2013 when the juveniles were trying to make their way down the river through the Delta. We know a lot of fish didn’t make it.”
“I’m not optimistic that we’ll get much improvement in the salmon harvest in 2016. The biggest problem is that we need to get to work on salmon recovery projects as soon as possible,” noted Pool.
“I heard two great ideas proposed by fishermen today – the first being the 24 inch size limit to reduce impacts on winter run Chinook,” commented Mike Hudson, commercial salmon fisherman and President of the Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fisherman’s Association. “The second is the concept of commercial anglers using sport gear to minimize impacts upon the winter run.”
Dan Wolford, President of the Coastside Fishing Club, said, “Both sport and commercial fishermen will have an opportunity to fish, but it will be less than last year. There are two things we don’t know yet – how much – will we be restricted a lot or a little. Second, if we have a season, will there be fish there to catch?”
He noted that although the trucking of salmon, as evidenced by the high return of Feather River hatchery salmon to fishing “is good for catching fish, I’m not so sure it’s good for the fish themselves with the straying data we have. It does clearly help the ability of us to harvest fish.
John McManus, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA, emphasized that the projection for 2016 salmon “makes clear the damage done by water diversions and drought the last several years.”
“The 2016 salmon number means more protections are needed in the Delta and Central Valley salmon habitat, not less. Any politician proposing more water diversions now from the Delta needs to look at the salmon numbers and stop proposing more harm to salmon and our coastal communities,” concluded McManus.
In addition to the salmon suffering from poor river conditions over the past three years, the CDFW noted the fish, once in the ocean, experienced El Niño conditions that “are not favorable for salmon or its prey.”
Season dates and other regulations will be developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and California Fish and Game Commission over the next few months. For more information on the salmon season setting process or general ocean salmon fishing information, please visit the Ocean Salmon Project website or call the salmon fishing hotline at (707) 576-3429.
As recreational, commercial and tribal fishing families face restrictions this year, Governor Jerry Brown continues to promote his “California Water Fix” plan to build the Delta Tunnels. The project, estimated to cost up to $68 billion, would hasten the extinction of Sacramento winter Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species. The tunnels would also imperil the salmon and steelhead fisheries of the Klamath and Trinity rivers.
GARCIA GRANGE MONTHLY BREAKFAST SUNDAY, MARCH 6
8:30 until noon
Adult $10, kids $5
This month all you can eat buffet breakfast features: Frittata (meat and vegetarian options), The Garcia Grange's "famous country sausage", biscuits and gravy, eggs, and citrus polenta cake.
The Garcia Grange is on Crispin Road at Highway 1 in Manchester. You do not have to be a Grange member to enjoy this wonderful community breakfast.
THE MARCO PAPERS
On 3/4/2016 10:56 AM, John Redding wrote:
And yet we all use some form of robots, don't we? Cars, washing machines and the like are just a less sophisticated version of the machines we now call robots. We use them because they make our lives better.
Marco here. John Hodgman, former professional literary agent, and PC of the "I'm a Mac" "I'm a PC" commercials, advice columnist, film actor, bestselling author of the Complete Knowledge of the World series of books (including Areas of My Expertise), was also for a time a judge. In 2010 he ruled on the case Are Machine Guns Robots? Here's the recording of that:
PS. I'm doing my 9pm-to-4am KNYO (and midnight-to-3am KMEC) show by live remote from Juanita's tonight, so not at the station, in case you were planning to visit in person and play music or at least breathe the echoey studio air and bathe in the envigorating WiFi there; adjust your plan. I'll probably be back there next week. Anyway, among other material and people I have lined up for tonight, Norman deVall will connect to talk about the campaign to make Mendocino County a Charter County, whatever that means; we'll all find out together.
PPS. I caught bits and snatches of the KZYX candidate-for-board forum last night. Interesting.
and scroll down to play Thursday, March 3, 2016 7:00 pm.
— Marco McClean
* * *
BLEACH BLANKET BLOODBATH. “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” (Easy for Ralph Waldo Emerson to say.)
The recording of last night's (2016-03-04) 107.7fm KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available to download and keep or just listen to via
That recording was made on my end of the chain, so it’s complete and unbroken. For the first forty minutes of the show the connection via the web to the transmitter was switching on and off like, um- I say like a crazy monkey too much, but that's what it was switching on and off like. I put on a fifteen minute recording of Orson Welles excoriating not just a bad but an evil Southern police chief who literally beat the eyes out of a black soldier returning from the war, and while that ran I called Bob Young, and Bob turned the buffer time way up at the transmitter end and that helped; it stayed on for the rest of the night. The failure log* shows that most of the problem must have been the internet service on my end, at Juanita’s house. Time to call for that excellent tech support Sonic is famous for.
*Net Uptime Monitor is a tiny program that notices second-to-second problems with your internet service. You install it and forget it, and it keeps a record in a log file that you can entirely ignore until there's a concern, and you can use it to help your help help. $10 for a lifetime license.
Multi-term county supervisor Norman duVall called and talked about the campaign to make Mendocino a charter county.
Later Mitch called, distraught about what he saw as Bernie Sanders’ flame-out and impending tailspin. Trump and Hillary are both bad choices for president -- or for any god damn thing else. Trump is insanely, horrifically, bizarro-world bad, of course. But Hillary, yeesh. Bernie Sanders is good in every sense of the word. You'd think that eventually, in all these years, one of these times the grinding machine would pop its gears and collapse and let something right happen, but no. Oh, well. There's always dollar-store chocolate-covered Graham crackers - strictly speaking, not crackers, per se, but pleasantly reassuring to nibble on during a break, and science continues to point up their life-enhancing qualities.
Anyway, also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a yuuuuge number of rainy-day or rainy-night links to interesting things to see and do and learn about, such as:
Secret society art.
Beautiful old silver airplanes.
Is it okay to torture a robot?
Circle of Abstract Ritual.
And big tears in the fabric of the universe.