Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016
by AVA News Service, March 30, 2016
GREENWOOD RIDGE VINEYARDS SOLD
Greenwood Ridge Vineyards 2.0
by Alan Green, Proprietor of Greenwood Ridge Vineyards 1.0
Looking back, it doesn’t seem possible that I’ve been in the wine business for more than forty years, but it’s true. Recently, since I don’t have kids to take over, I’ve been trying to find someone to continue what I’ve worked to build over the years. Now I think I have. I am pleased to be able to pass the reins over to Ken Wilson and his family and staff.
The Wilson family is known throughout Sonoma County for their small, artisan wineries, which produce award-winning wines with loyal followings. In addition to Diane and Ken, their three children, Sydney, Victoria, and Sawyer, are involved in all areas of running the company. As a family-run operation, I am confident they will honor the legacy of Greenwood Ridge Vineyards and our reputation for producing high-quality, award-winning wines representative of Anderson Valley.
As the new owners of the Greenwood Ridge Vineyards brand and tasting room, the Wilson family will carry on and enhance the much-loved traditions of our winery. The property on Greenwood Ridge remains in my family—my brother Frank now owns and operates the vineyard in addition to his fine furniture business.
I’d like to thank everyone for their many years of support for our wines and events such as the California Wine Tasting Championships, Wine Pairing Championships, and a myriad of winemaker dinners. By everyone I mean our loyal customers, suppliers, friends, neighbors and family (especially my wife Marianna). I can’t think of better way to spend forty years than in the wine business in Anderson Valley, and I will miss all of you, my co-conspirators.
Fortunately Elaine and Nancy will be staying on. I’m not going anywhere, so I’ll be here to advise and assist if needed. In case you’re concerned that I might not have enough to do now, please rest assured. I’ve just signed a contract with a publisher for another book, this one on my father’s architectural work. And it’s a new baseball season for the Dragons…
See you at the Wine Pairing Championships on August 13!
Lame Duck Vintner-in-Chief
ANOTHER LAYTONVILLE FAMILY MURDER
On Monday, March 28, 2016 around 03:30 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a reported altercation between a father and son in the 35500 Block of North Highway 101 outside of Laytonville that resulted in the death of Sanford Sternick. Sternick was 58 years of age. Deputies responded to the location where they located and confirmed the death of Sternick from what appeared to be blunt force trauma. The decedent's son, Jewel Dyer, 25, was detained at the scene. The Sheriff's Detective Unit was called to the scene to conduct an investigation into Sternick's death.
A witness indicated Dyer claimed there was an argument in the early morning hours between he and his father. That argument lead to a physical altercation, which resulted in the father suffering blunt force trauma about the head. A baseball bat, located at the crime scene, was believed to have been used during the altercation. Dyer was transported and booked into the County Jail where his bail will be set at $500,000. An autopsy is being scheduled and the case will be presented to the District Attorney's Office for review. Anyone with information related to this case is requested to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives Unit or by contacting the tip line at (707) 234-2100.
THE AV WINEGROWERS’ EMPTY CLAIMS
Call the Officials At Home And Complain When the Fans Come On
* * *
Dated: Feb 1. 2015
“…Mendocino County is the only county in California to require a permit for the installation of wind machines. They take into account placement, noise and need when considering the application.”
This is exactly what the Major sued for.
Trouble is, the Planning Department is on record saying they only address pad construction and electrical system adequacy.
So here we have:
- A planning department that already processes construction permits for post-and-pad fans but does not address the noise that the avwine growers brag is a major consideration.
- The only “in-the-system” option that could do any good for anybody;
- A Supervisor who can’t or won’t even ask the planning department to look into what the winegrowers say they are doing.
- An Ag Commissioner who is on record (in the Major’s depositions) saying he has done absolutely nothing about the issue beyond talking to the winegrowers with no tangible result.
- A planning department that won’t even reply to complaints that they themselves agreed to process.
- A bunch of wind machine OPPONENTS who -- while claiming to support the Major's lawsuit -- NEVER brought up the permit process and who resolutely refuse to go on record complaining about Supervisor Hamburg's failure to even ask the Planning Department to implement the winegrowers alleged process.
And 7. A wine growers group that won’t even suggest that their own process be implemented.
PS. When the Major’s attorney attempted to introduce the above avwines.com statement, Judge Henderson cut him off saying that the av wines statement had not been officially introduced as a legal document and did not have a name on it.
* * *
FOR THE SECOND MORNING in a row frost fans roared up and down the Anderson Valley. We suggest that the disturbed legions call Supervisor Hamburg, and Ag Commissioner Chuck Morse, at their homes the instant the fans go on in the early hours after midnight.
HAMBURG: Home: (707) 467-0329; Cell: (707) 489-1422.
MORSE: Home Phone: (707) 275-9779
THE RAILROADING OF MICHAEL FRANCE
Occasional AVA correspondent Michael France was in court Tuesday hoping to delay his impending prison sentence, the result of a conviction for colorfully over-the-top threats to kill his pregnant former girl friend, along with other ludicrously violent acts. France said his mother was ill and needed him back in Ukiah, not in prison.
But apparently Monday night at the jail he went off on one of his signature tantrums and had to be brought in to court wearing the fluorescent chartreuse coveralls of the mentally unbalanced, under close security escort. An incident report was put in his file and he was taken back to the jail, as the judge was in the middle of a trial.
France has also made an attempt to have his conviction overturned by alleging his prosecutor was out of line. The investigator from the California State Bar Association called me on this matter, since I had reported on his trial, and asked if I’d noticed the prosecutor “leading any witnesses?” I told the investigator I wasn’t a lawyer, and therefore didn’t know the rules well enough to say one way or the other, but had every confidence in France’s lawyer, Jona Saxby, to object to any such carrying on. Hence, the case against the lawyer was closed, and France went back in line for prison.
“I was railroaded,” he snarled as the corrections officers took him away.
“Yes, but you laid the track yourself,” a lawyer commented dryly.
Watching most of the men who get sentenced to prison is a lesson in humility and dignity. Most are stoic. They take it like a man, we used to be able say. But who is going to envy Michael France? Let us admit at once the virtues of Mr. France, his learning and the width of his interests, his acuteness in some things. Let us concede the lumbering geniality that has been said to exist deep below his rough surface. Let us admit that the surface itself must have been, at first sight, sometimes impressive – how else could he have taken in, even temporarily, so many excellent lawyers? Let us concede, as a mitigating factor, that for prison no man was ever, by physical or mental constitution, less fitted.
We don’t want to draw a cartoon, but how can we deny his comical swagger — the "punk strut," I believe it’s called — his readiness to take others too lightly, and himself too seriously. And what are we to make of that teardrop tattooed on his face? Isn’t that the badge of a killer? Is that why he’s scrambling so desperately to avoid prison? Is he afraid he might have to explain it to a real killer? I’m afraid so; and, apparently, so is Michael France.
MENDOCINO REDWOOD COMPANY BREAKS THE RULES, AGAIN
Proponents of Measure V announced today they have filed a formal complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission against Mendocino Redwood Company for failing to properly report political spending.
Measure V is the initiative that declares intentionally killed trees left standing a public nuisance. The measure was brought forth by a group of volunteer firefighters alarmed by the risk millions of dead trees pose to both firefighters and residents. During the period in question – July through December, 2015 – proponents were collecting signatures to qualify the initiative for the upcoming June 7, 2016 ballot.
During that period, it appears Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) spent over $52,000, largely on a media campaign urging voters not to sign the petitions that would put the measure on the ballot, but did not report this political spending to the Mendocino County Elections Office as required by the California Fair Political Practices Act (FPPC).
Allen Cooperrider, treasurer for the proponent group Citizens for Fire Safe Forests, said, “We filed a complaint with the FPPC because MRC had a clear obligation to file disclosure statements at the local office the same way we are required to do. It seems disingenuous of the company to go around talking about how transparent they are and then try to hide their expenditures from the local people.”
Mr. Cooperrider, who filed the complaint, received an acknowledgement from the Enforcement Division of the FPPC that they have started an investigation into the allegations.
This is not the first time Mendocino Redwood Company has run afoul of these laws. In January of 2015 the California Fair Political Practices Commission fined Mendocino Redwood Company on 13 counts of failing to report political spending (2010-2014). “MRC seems to think that they can thumb their nose at the rules that all the rest of us have to abide by,” said Mr. Cooperrider.
* * *
- FPPC Response
- Previous Violations
A WILLITS READER comments on Scott Peterson's recent Mendopia post where he takes on Willits, and the famously noxious, now closed, Remco plant in the middle of town:
Peterson says, “It’s so toxic it can poison the unborn for generations…”
What does that mean? “40 times” the poison as in Hinkley? Can’t say I’ve heard that before. Implication of dead fish in Humboldt County and Mendocino village due to chromium pollution? News to me. (Reminds me of all those who are convinced about giant cover-up of radiation from Fukushima is causing sea star wasting and dead sea lions and the rest, instead of such problems being due to the ocean getting warmer and more toxic due to climate change).
“The poison hasn’t gone away”?
So Scott Peterson thinks all the reports from the trust cleaning up the Remco site are a total lie and a front? Making fun of “molasses” as a clean up agent just shows he doesn’t know a lot about chemistry, I’m afraid. He’s entitled to his opinion, but a few words on a screen don’t a persuasive argument make. Worrying about chromium poisoning your marijuana? I’d worry about pesticides myself, if I was going to smoke any marijuana grown anywhere near Remco.
“The plume has grown…”
According to who? Certainly not what the trust reports, but property values haven’t…
No, I will dispute that: property values in the City of Willits are back up bigtime, if you can find something to buy, which is easier said than done. Somebody told me the other day there wasn’t a single home to be sold in town proper; the last one had just been sold. I’m not sure that’s true, but I do see that houses are selling fast, and close to all, if not all, the lots out at Haehl Creek have also been sold too.
* * *
I know this sort of thing appeals to those who like to believe all the explanations can be found in secret cabals controlling everything, but I don’t believe history or even current events is as tidy as all that. On the other hand, obviously, we’ve been 'poisoned' for many decades now with chemicals that were supposed to be New! Bright! Modern! Safe! Effective! – including all the poisons you find in the food in the grocery stores today – and of course, given the science, it’s clear the Remco plant had adverse health effects on any number of Willits residents at the time, and still has an effect on those who worked there and those who went to school right behind there when Remco was operating and when the old Howard Hospital was burning medical waste right there with little concern for the health of the neighbors. (Bob Harrah’s own family among the school kids on the playground breathing it all in and drinking from the water fountains, no doubt.)
ISN'T IT CLEAR that the internet has spawned millions of crackpots? In an on-line exchange with a reader the other day that was the point I'd made. Hardly original with me, but the pure volume of misinformation and lunatic conspiracy stuff now instantly available to the global millions of the credulous with a concomitant decline in basic literacy…
MY CYBER-PAL agreed:
I dunno, maybe I was younger and more naïve, but seems like back in the most of the rest of my life, when I read something about an industrial pollution scandal or some kind of corruption scheme — or about mainstream media ignoring such which, of course, they did — those who put the stories out, even if it was in the form of a mimeographed newsletter, realized the need for some kind of reference materials, attributed quotes, some kind of factual material to back their assertions up.
Now it’s all “Facebook memes” (almost always wrong even when you agree with the sentiment). It agrees with what I already believe is right, so it’s “truthy” and who cares if it’s not true. I have literally had the gist of that said to me, by right and by “left,” on line.
Another thing I find really annoying (which is quite ironic, really, given my work for and admiration of and realization of the need for an independent press) is the constant outraged refrain about how reporters are double-plus ungood, paid-off (that’s a laugh) tools of the “corporate media” deliberately censoring the shining truth, and the news is a lie, when what the complainers are really thinking about are the idiot bobbleheads on cable TV, and the national op/ed pundits.
No, Nicholas Kristof and David Brooks and Chuck Todd are NOT reporters. They don’t do NEWS. You may get your “news” from cable TV talk shows and links to op/ed columnists, but most Americans don’t. Don’t throw the goddamned baby out of the bathwater, please.
And that’s not even to mention the apparent inability of even my bright and very capable young colleagues under 40 to read more than the top few lines of anything. I think it’s a technical problem: stuff floats into their cell phones and they read what they can on the top of that tiny screen, and leave it at that, maybe meaning to get back to read it later, but they never do) Old curmudgeons we are.
A CERTAIN MS. BAUMGARTNER appeared before the Fort Bragg City Council last night. The poor thing had invested heavily in a Segway hoverboard business, for which she received a permit from the City. But it seems no one told her that the things are not allowed on the coastal trail, which was the focus of her enterprise. She seemed to have in mind a rental kiosk out on the bluffs, with bands of Segway tourists merrily zipping up and down the smooth surfaces of the fresh new trail. But the Coastal Conservancy forbids motorized vehicles, and anything of a commercial business out there is also forbidden. How this one will play out is up in the air.
RICHARD LEON FULLBRIGHT
Richard Fullbright passed away peacefully at home on March 7, 2016 of natural causes. He was born in Healdsburg to Marion (Doodles) and Edith Fullbright. He grew up and went to school in Boonville.
He joined the Army in 1971 and proudly served his country in Okinawa where they maintained all equipment used in the Vietnam War at that time.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Susan, his sons Cory and Ted (Christina), five grandchildren, Allison, Jay, Danika, Kaela and Devon. Three great-grandchildren, Zander, Daniel and Celab. He also leaves behind a brother, Robert, sisters Roberta, Carol and Linda (Bob). He was preceded in death by his son Jason, both his parents, sisters Karen and Darlene. There will be a family gathering this summer to celebrate his life.
BACKYARD BUZZ — The second of a two-part series on the lives of native bees will be hosted by Anderson Valley Land Trust on Sunday, April 10th from 12:30-3:30 in the afternoon. Sara Leon-Guerrero, from AV and now a scientist at the Urban Bee Lab at UC Berkeley; Chris Bing, local potter and teacher; and Linda MacElwee, a native plant specialist will lead a native bee and wildflower interpretive walk. The first venue will be a mature garden designed and planted with bee-friendly plants and the second in a more natural setting. There is no charge charge for the event, but reservations are requested. To RSVP or for more information, contact AVLT at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 895-3150. (Please note that April 10th is a change in date from the previously announced April 23rd)
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 29, 2016
Becker, Bray, Burgess
JOHNATHAN BECKER SR., Fort Bragg. Burglary, burglary tools, dirk-dagger, vandalism, probation revocation.
JAMES BRAY JR., Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
JOELLE BURGESS, Potter Valley. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
Carrigg, Chiles, Dyer
SONO CARRIGG, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
CHRISTOL CHILES, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
JEWEL DYER, Willits. Murder.
Gardiner, Guerrero, Moore
MATHEW GARDINER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
SHAYLA GUERRERO, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JOSHUA MOORE, Willits. Meth for sale, county parole violation, community supervision violation.
Rexrode, Rucker, Stanton
MIKEL REXRODE, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
MATTHEW RUCKER, Leggett. Failure to appear.
KELLY STANTON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, resisting.
Taylor, Venturi, Vigil
PATRICK TAYLOR, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.
JOSEPH VENTURI, Ukiah. Community Supervision violation.
ELOY VIGIL, Laytonville/Redwood Valley. DUI.
TAKE BACK OUR TOWN: THE TRANSIENT PROBLEM AND ONE GROUP’S SOLUTIONS
by Kym Kemp
Travelers from Oklahoma. [All images provided by readers.]
“Just hungry,” reads the sign in front of the travelers from Oklahoma. “Divine Origin,” reads the sign in back. For various reasons these travelers and others, trimmigrants (migrant marijuana labor), and homeless come to Humboldt County.
However, divine origin or not, local residents are still feeling increasingly frustrated by the stress put on their community by the large numbers of people sitting on their sidewalks and camping nearby.
A popular new sign reads, “No work here keep moving.”
A number of locals from the Garberville/Redway area have formed a group to “Take Back Our Town.” Sisters Tara and Melissa Sutherland have been a driving force behind the movement.
“There has just been a lot of things going wrong,” she said in frustration. “In the middle of daylight, there was some guy masturbating, other people smoking pot right there on the sidewalks, blocking the sidewalks, [and] their dogs not being on leashes.”
Travelers sitting on the sidewalk in front of a store with their dogs.
Business owners have expressed concern that tourists would not want to stop in the small community if they saw the large numbers of folks wearing backpacks and the trash the travelers often leave behind.
Tara Sutherland said she wanted to “make ourselves and our friends safe in the town again” so she and her sister as well as others organized a meeting last week. At the meeting, several goals were decided on.
First, there would be a town patrol with an emphasis on walking the streets as students get off the school bus to make sure the children feel comfortable as they head home.
Melissa Sutherland explained, “What we’re trying to do right now is make our community safe again to walk to the bus.”
Another goal, Tara Sutherland said, was to get sheriff’s deputies to enforce the law that “all dogs must have leashes and proof of rabies shots.”
Homeless encampment outside of Redway.
In addition, the hope is to get video surveillance on the front of more stores, possibly by holding fundraisers to help business owners purchase the needed equipment.
Further, the Sutherlands say, they “want a crew to go to encampments.” The group wants to evict those in the camps around town and clear away the trash. They say they have received permission from some of the landowners. “We’re willing to pay to get the trash off the property,” explained Melissa.
In addition, the Sutherlands say they want to warn trimmigrants that working in the hills with employers they don’t know could be unsafe. Melissa said that marijuana manicurists should “know what you are doing and who you working for.” She pointed to a pamphlet by a Southern Humboldt group called CHILL that encouraged trimmer safety saying, “I think it is a good start. We’re thinking about doing something similarly….We want people to know the risk they take.”
Homeless woman with neck brace and white cane pushing a shopping cart loaded with her belongings through town.
Homeless advocate Debra Carey is worried the Take Back Our Town group could escalate the tensions between the homed and the un-homed. She recognizes that adding large numbers of trimmigrants to the already large number of homeless is problematic. “I don’t think the front of Rays [grocery store] should be the employment office,” she explained. “That is where everyone goes and that is uncomfortable to the community.”
Nonetheless, she said, the rising tensions could lead to violence. Some homeless and trimmigrants have been shot with paintballs. In fact, she says, because she is a homeless advocate, her vehicle has been targeted. When the numbers of trimmigrants rise during harvest season, the community traditionally gets very frustrated. “At this time of year people get ready to be violent,” she said. In an apparent reference to a previous time of high tension between the residents and the transients when local youths killed a homeless man, she said, “It scares me that our youth will be the ones that will make the big mistakes.”
However, the Sutherland sisters say they don’t want violence. “We are trying to make changes peacefully,” said Melissa Sutherland. “We are not trying to enact vigilante justice. We don’t want to see anybody get hurt.”
Over the weekend the Take Our Town Back group discovered a photo of a crumpled flyer that was on the internet. It showed a pair clippers and asked for trimmers to show up at the Ray’s grocery store in Garberville where a “50 seat capacity bus” would be waiting to pick people up for a job.
In response, Tara Sutherland said about 25 members of her group met early in the morning in front of the store. “There was a bunch of transients,” Tara said. However, no bus showed up. “A couple of them had basically asked us about it,” she said. She thinks that a lookout car was scared away by her group.
There was a confrontation eventually. Tara Sutherland said that four or five transients were in the walkway. “Where they were sitting, there was a bunch of trash,” she said. Tara said her group asked them to “respect our town–our streets.” But, she said, “[o]ne pulled out a pipe getting ready to smoke. One of my friends asked him not to smoke pot on our streets.”
According to Tara Sutherland, “One of them began yelling and basically freaking out. The two cops that were on duty showed up. And basically told them that we were concerned citizens, that we had the right to demand respect for our town. They told the officer they didn’t want to be there anymore anyway. Basically, we picked up their garbage. There was a lot of people who were extremely respectful about it. I think it helped out.”
On Friday, the group plans to begin town patrol. “[We’ll start the walk through when the kids come off the bus. We’ll try to get people there around 2:30.”
“We’re not going out with pitchforks and guns and axes and knives,” Tara said. “We’re going to ask people to not block sidewalks, keep dog feces off the sidewalk, stop smoking where it goes into businesses and tell them doing drugs [on the streets] is not okay.”
She says the group will call the sheriff if people don’t comply with their requests. “We’ll walk away. Document it. We’re not trying to get in any altercation.”
“What we’re trying to do right now is make our community safe again to walk to the bus,” said Melissa. “It is not okay to have a festival-like atmosphere in our town.”
After Monday’s incident (and a clean-up by the ERCP on Sunday) local resident Andrea Boldt wrote on Facebook, “I went to town [Tuesday] and WOW!!! town was so different. It didn’t have that toxic energy and no loitering people!!! It reminded me like back in the 1980’s. Thank you for letting me have a wonderful experience today with your positive energy for the town we all Love.”
In front of Ray’s grocery store on Monday morning after the Take Back Our Town group patroled.
If anyone is interested in learning more about the Take Back Our Town group, there will be a meeting at Amelia’s tonight at 6 p.m.
(Courtesy, Redheaded Black Belt. www.kymkemp.com)
HOMELESS CAMPS, two tons of garbage cleared from Sonoma’s Montini Preserve
WARPED TO THIS DAY
"Nixon's Drug War Was (and Still is) a Racist Tool to Disrupt and Neutralize Black Communities" was the headline of an article published this week by Melissa Franqui, communications director of the Drug Policy Alliance. She was literally stating a half-truth. Her hook was a comment made in 1994 by John Ehrlichman, a top Nixon aide who had done time for his role in the Watergate cover-up, to a very good journalist named Dan Baum. Baum had used the quote at the time, Dr. Sunil Aggarwal cited it in a scholarly article in 2012 (and I cited it, too), but Ehrlichman's blunt confession remained below the radar until Baum recounted it in the new issue of Harpers:
"I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Reading Franqui's headline and article, you would never know that the gang in the White House was targeting not just black people but "the antiwar left." And what a success they made of it! Today the US military has bases in more than 100 foreign countries and US armaments manufacturers are selling weapons of mass destruction to governments and insurgents waging war from Afghanistan to Nigeria. (Who says nothing is manufactured in the US anymore?) The military-industrial complex is so thoroughly in charge that Barack Obama was compelled to replace Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, a soldier, with Ashton Carter, an arms salesman.
The DPA's right-on analysis of Prohibition entwined with racism should not stop there. What other purposes were and are being served by proponents of the War on Drugs? The federal government spends trillions of dollars — we, the people, are not allowed to know how much — making the world safe for corporate investment. It is very heartening to hear homeboy Bernie Sanders ask, "Who made us the police of the world?"
Now obstructing Sanders' path to the White House are the Democratic Party "super-delegates" — office-holders and party functionaries who are not obligated to abide by the will of the rank-and-file as expressed in the primaries. The super-delegate mechanism was created by party insiders in response to "antiwar leftists" nominating a candidate in 1972, Senator George McGovern, who was slaughtered by the Nixon gang in the 1972 general election. The strategy described so succinctly by Ehrlichman achieved both its goals, and the electoral process is warped to this day.
One in every eight black men has been disenfranchised by a felony conviction. Rank-and-file Democrats don't get to choose the party's candidate for president.
THE HAIR THEORY
by Valeria Luiselli (translated by Louis Bedrock)
Our four-year old daughter is convinced that she is Afro-American. Although her family tree does not support her conviction, it is certain that her hair is inexplicably curly, beautiful and abundant; that her thing is the gospel; and when she scolds us she does so shaking her torso, with one hand folded against her waist and the other pointing with an admonishing index finger: “Don’t aks me dat, mamma and papa, aks ya’self dat.” She moves through the neighborhood with the insouciance of a queen, greets the transit police by name, and if someone asks her where she’s from, she says without hesitation: “West Ha’lem”.
The other day I had to take her to the beauty parlor. I sat her in a high chair, I told the Dominican hairdresser, “just the tips’ and lay back in the armchair with a book, until I fell asleep. They returned her to me without curls and bathed in tears.
“Why did you straighten her hair?” I asked the hairdresser, assuming that was the reason for my daughter’s tears.
“To make it pretty, señora.”
“We relax the bad hair.”
That night, while I bathed her, she explained that she had started crying because the hairdresser hadn’t given her a lollipop like, for example, the doctor usually did. Worried, I tried to confirm that there wasn’t a deeper motive—for example when they straightened her “bad hair” they had momentarily stripped her of her identity. I went off on a diatribe against the hairdresser that had done the straightening until my daughter stopped me dead:
“Just slow down, mamma, slow down.”
It’s clear that my daughter believes she is Afro-American, and I suppose that her curls have nothing to do with her sense of belonging to the community in which she lives.
MILLENNIAL VOTING GUIDE
THE CHARTER PROJECT of Mendocino County is hosting a series of 9 Town Hall meetings around the county to introduce people to Charter Commission candidates for the June 7th election, and also to canvass the public about what they would like to see in a county charter.
What is a charter, anyway? What does home rule mean to Mendocino County? Get the answers at one of these Town Hall meetings.
The seventh Town Hall meeting will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 3pm to 5pm at the Redwood Coast Senior Center, 490 N. Harold St., in Fort Bragg.
A READER WRITES:
I found this interesting, and don’t think it’s been spread around much yet, denunciation of Trump by the just-resigned “Communications Director of the Make America Great Again Super PAC.”
She says, as I’ve always believed, that Trump, of course, “never intended to be the candidate.”
(just ignore the ignorance about the “silent majority” – I doubt this writer has ever even realized just how few Americans vote in the primaries: with 20 million total voters in GOP primary in 2008, 18+ million total GOP primary voters in 2012, even though GOP turnout is up, Trump will get less than 10 million total primary votes: and there’s 350 million Americans, with 20-25 percent of such population being children too young to vote.)
HILLARY’S LATEST BOW TO AIPAC
by Ralph Nader
It is well known to Washington political observers that politicians invited to speak at the annual, giant AIPAC convention ask for suggested talking points from this powerful pro-Israeli government lobby. Hillary Clinton’s pandering speech must have registered close to 100% on AIPAC’s checklist.
Of course, both parties pander to AIPAC to such depths of similar obeisance that reporters have little to report as news. But giving big-time coverage to sheer political power is automatic. Compare it to the sparse attention given to the conference a few days earlier at the National Press Club on the Israeli lobby featuring scholars, authors and the well-known Israeli dissenter, Gideon Levy of the respected Ha’aretz newspaper (see israellobbyus.org/).
But Mrs. Clinton’s speech was newsworthy for its moral obtuseness and the way in which it promised unilateral White House belligerence should she become president. A reader would never know that her condemnation of Palestinian terrorism omitted any reference to the fact that Israel is the occupier of what is left of Palestinian lands, colonizing them, seizing their water and land, brutalizing the natives and continuing the selective blockade of Gaza, the world’s largest Gulag ever since Israel closed its last colony there in 2005.
Clinton emphasized her condemnation of Palestinian children being taught “incitement” against their Israeli oppressors and the recent deplorable knife attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. She neglected to point to massive, daily Israeli incitement backed up by U.S.-supplied deadly weapons that over the last decade have caused 400 times more Palestinian fatalities and serious injuries to innocents than the defenseless Palestinians have caused their Israeli counterparts. One of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition partners, for example, from the Jewish Home Party, called for the slaughter of all Palestinians, the elderly and women in general. “Otherwise,” the partner said (in an English-language translation from the Hebrew), “more little snakes will be raised there.”
Clinton did not mention any of these brutalities, though they are components of what is an illegal occupation under international law and the United Nations charter. The Yale Law graduate simply chooses not to know better. Instead, she told her wildly-applauding audience of her support for increasing the amount of U.S. taxpayer spending for the latest military equipment and technology to over $4 billion a year. For the record, Israel is an economic, technological and military powerhouse that provides Israelis with universal health insurance and other social safety nets that are denied the American people.
In an obvious slap at President Obama, whose name she never mentioned (even Netanyahu thanked Obama in his address to AIPAC), Clinton almost shouted out: “one of the first things I’ll do in office is invite the Israeli Prime Minister to visit the White House.” This was a thinly-veiled reference to Netanyahu’s trip to a joint session of Congress, where he tried to undermine President Obama’s negotiations with Iran in what was an unprecedented interference by a foreign leader. Not surprisingly, Obama did not ask Netanyahu over to visit the White House for a drink before he headed back to Israel.
High on AIPAC’s checklist is to insist that all speakers condemn what Clinton called the “alarming boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as BDS.” She then twice slanderously associated this modest effort (in which many Jews are active participants) to get Israel to lift some oppression from the occupied Palestinian territories, with antisemitism. However, by totally erasing any nod, any mention, any compassion toward the slaughter of Palestinian children, women and men in their homes, schools and hospitals, Hillary Clinton makes a mockery of her touted Methodist upbringing and her declared concern for children everywhere.
For repeated applause at AIPAC’s convention and its associated campaign contributors, she has lost all credibility with the peoples of the Arab world. Moreover, such hostility in her words registers “the other antisemitism,” to cite the title of an address by James Zogby before an Israeli university in 1994.
With all her self-regarded experience in foreign affairs, Mrs. Clinton could pause to ponder why she is backing state terrorism against millions of Arab Palestinians trapped in two enclaves, surrounded by walls, military outposts, and suffering from deep poverty, including widespread diseases and severe anemia among Palestinian infants and children.
Unlimited is her militant animosity toward Iran, bragging about crippling sanctions that she spearheaded (which caused untold harm to the health and care of civilians), and threatening military force “for even the smallest violations of this [nuclear] agreement.” Yet for decades Israel has violated numerous U.N. resolutions to withdraw its occupation and repression of Palestinians without a murmur from Secretary of State Clinton, who as a candidate opposes a role for the U.N. Security Council (over which the U.S. has an often-used veto) in the peace process.
There were some restraints. She repeated her support for a Palestinian state but wondered whether the Palestinian Leadership was up to the negotiations. Also, she resisted going along with recognizing the shift of Israel’s capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Her very oblique reference to illegal, expanding Israeli settlements did not amount to anything more than a wink, foreshadowing no action on her part to stop the expansion of colonies in the occupied territories should she reach the White House.
Near the conclusion of her deferential remarks, she stated “If you see bigotry, oppose it. If you see violence, condemn it. If you see a bully, stand up to him.” Some courageous Israeli human rights groups, such as B’Tselem, who defend Palestinian human rights, might view her words as applicable daily to how they perform their noble work.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
JERRY BROWN'S DELTA TUNNELS PLAN IS COLLAPSING
by Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown’s California Water Fix to Build the Delta Tunnels, a plan to divert Sacramento River water to corporate agribusiness interests, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting fracking and extreme oil extraction methods, is “broken” and in “chaos.”
That’s the assessment of a coalition of fishing, environmental and farming groups, including Restore the Delta, the Planning and Conservation League, the Local Agencies of the North Delta and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA.)
On Monday, the petitioners for a “Change in the Point of Diversion” permit before the California State Water Resources Control Board have requested a second delay in the process, this time for an additional 60 days.
“The petitioners, the California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation were to present, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 evidence that the Delta Tunnels plan would impose no significant harms to Delta water users or to protected fish and wildlife,” according to a statement from the four groups.
“After previously receiving a 30-day extension, the petitioners can’t produce the evidence that the project won’t cause serious harm,” the groups said. “Besides pushing endangered fish species into extinction, harming Bay-Delta communities and agricultural water users, the Delta Tunnels do not comply with the Delta Reform Act of 2009. The California State Legislature mandated 'coequal goals' of providing a more reliable water supply for California AND protecting, restoring and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. However, the tunnels cannot produce the amount of water that the exporters want, especially with climate change.”
The California Water Fix is based on the untenable concept that diverting more water from the Sacramento River before it reaches the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta will “restore” the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary.
“The California WaterFix cannot be fixed,” said Bill Jennings, executive director of California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. “The idea that you can divert millions of acre feet of water under an estuary that is already suffering from lack of flow without grievously harming existing water users, communities and already degraded fisheries and water quality is fundamentally absurd.”
“We’ve been saying for a long time that there is not a workable project,” said Jonas Minton of the Planning and Conservation League. “The petitioners have spent 10 years, a quarter of a billion dollars, and still cannot produce a plan that meets environmental or economic muster, or comply with tax law. They should admit the project is not defensible and get on with plan B.”
“They have tried every way possible to get permits before a long-overdue water quality control plan update for the Delta is finished. The Delta Tunnels are in complete disarray today,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta.
“The Delta Tunnels proponents already got a 30-day extension, now they want another 60-day extension,” said Osha Meserve, an attorney with Local Agencies of the North Delta. “The Petition was incomplete when they submitted it last August and they are no closer to having a complete Petition today. That is because the Tunnels are unpermittable under existing laws that protect the Delta, the environment and endangered species. After the federal contractors failed to disqualify the hearing officers last week, their only option was to request yet another delay.”
The collapsing Delta Tunnels scheme faces another major hurdle when the terminally flawed “science” of the California Water Fix will face independent review by a scientific panel convened at the request of NOAA Fisheries on April 5-6.
“At the request of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), select staff from the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program will convene an independent scientific peer review for the joint Biological Opinion and 208 1(b) Incidental Take Permit analyses of the California WaterFix aquatic science,” the notice from the Delta Stewardship Council states.
It is very likely that the independent review panel will give a failing grade to the “science” concocted to justify the Delta Tunnels Plan, just like US EPA scientists did last year — and just as every panel of state, federal and independent scientists has done previously. For more information, go to: deltastewardshipcouncil.cmail20.com/…
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
If we can keep the EBT Cards charged up, the Section 8 payments rolling, the Food Stamps coming in (50 million strong), SS Disability payments going out, unemployment checks in the mail, you will know the Proles are still under control, pacified, and safely confined to their Zones, and you are safe. But if you get word this stops happening, the $$$ stops flowing from City Hall, State Capitols and Washington DC, brother, drop everything and head for the hills, because it means show is over! And don’t forget pot legalization. Then they can legally get stoned and play video games. Total pacification.
YOU WOULDN’T KNOW IT to read the corporate media coverage of Bernie Sanders’ blow-out 50%-margin wins Saturday, March 26 in the three states of Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. While purported “news” organizations like the New York Times and CNN are propagandistically reporting Sanders having won just 25 delegates in Washington, and on that basis are claiming that he only gained some 30 or so delegates on Hillary Clinton, the truth is that he won 72 of Washington state’s delegates along with 17 in Hawaii and 13 in Alaska, for a total of 102 new pledged delegates, compared to just 39 for Clinton, and that as things stand today, the tally stands like this at Clinton: 1266 pledged delegates, Sanders: 1038 pledged delegates. The difference between the two? Clinton is down from a high at one point of some 330 to just a 228-delegate lead, with 1638 pledged delegates yet to be chosen in coming primaries and caucuses.
While Sanders, who has to win the remaining primary contests by an average of 60%, still has to be considered a long-shot, the fact that he has won the last five of six contests by scoring in the 70-80% range, in some cases reducing Clinton to percentages in the teens, shows this is doable. Plus, his recent big wins actually brought his performance requirement for winning the nomination down from an earlier need to win remaining contests by an average of 68% to “just” 60%.
What this means is that if Sanders can manage to win by a significant amount in New York and Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other eastern and central states, as well as in Oregon, in April and May, this campaign could come down to California on June 7, when 475 pledged delegates are at stake.
— Dave Lindorff
PILE DRIVIN' BLUES
Drove so many piles / my hammer's all worn out
Drove so many piles / my hammer's all worn out
That's when I do my driving / they began to jump and shout
Want all you people / just to understand
Want all you people / just to understand
That's when I do my driving / drive just like a man
When I was young / driving was my crave
When I was young / driving was my crave
You drove me so hard / drove me to my grave
Get you a hammer / you can drive all the time
Get you a hammer / you can drive all the time
You have broke my hammer / my hammer's out of line
–Joe McCoy, 1930
UPCOMING EVENTS AT UKIAH LIBRARY
Celebrate Women's History Month with special movie screenings of the fabulous MAKERS documentary series! Wednesday, March 30th @ 7pm we will show one hour-long film about women who have been pioneers in the fields of business, entertainment, comedy, or politics.
Explore our new exhibit with your whole family. Lynn Zimmerman & Eduardo Alatorre will be here to explain the exhibit and answer questions about astronomy in English and Spanish. Explore space computer games & activities. Make a toy telescope for your little ones or or help your kids experiment with balloon rockets. Refreshments will be served.
Makers: Women in Space is our final film celebrating Women's History Month and the first of three First Wednesday documentaries celebrating our Explore Space exhibit. The screening begins at 5:30 pm to allow time for a discussion following the film. The discussion will be recorded for future broadcasting on KZYX.
Space is limited. Please call to reserve a place. Luke Robinson and his cohort of high school engineers, Misha Zaied, Garret Hatch, Morgan McMilin, and Desmond Turner, will be leading the classes.
For a full list of events, check out our website
A TINY ORCHESTRA AND SOME BIG SCULPTURES
First Friday provides art and entertainment
The Grace Hudson Museum will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 1, for Ukiah’s First Friday Art Walk. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. The Museum is featuring /In the Construction Zone: Mendocino County Assemblage Art,/ which closes on April 17. The Ukeholics and the Tiny Orchestra of Boonville CA will play from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., providing high-energy gypsy punk with an eclectic blend of instruments, including ukuleles, electric guitar, horn and violin. Band member Denver Tuttle is also one of the seven artists whose work is shown in /In the Construction Zone. /He creates open-form, trompe l’oeil sculpture that is inspired by the interplay of light and space. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. For more information please call 467-2836 or go to
Writer, Publicist, Editor
* * *
NO FOOLIN' FOLKS; April 1st is the date for April's First Friday Art Walk
Enjoy an evening of art, music and refreshments as you stroll from one venue to the next; each showcasing local art, artists and artistry. Held in Historic Downtown Ukiah on the first Friday of each month, the First Friday Art Walk is the perfect way to relax your body, mind and soul. Whether it's the Assemblage Art exhibit, accompanied by the Ukeholics and Tiny Orchestra of Boonville, at the Grace Hudson Museum or the sights and scenery captured by artist Tim Poma on exhibit at the offices of Connect Insurance and Ukiah Massage, First Friday Art Walk is sure to please the senses. Perhaps the scenes emphasizing lakes, trees, skies and hills brought to life in acrylics and glazes by artist Pat Elliott is your cup of tea? If so, check out the Corner Gallery, and while you're there, enjoy the Pomolita Art Exploration Show, showcasing more than 100 works of art by local middle school students. Speaking of students, the Main Branch of the Library will be featuring a unique art display of silly glasses; the April Fools artistry of the students from River Oak Charter School. What goes good with silly glasses? Why Marino's Pizza of course. W/E Flowers is pleased to host Watercolors by Sharon Fenton, and the hand painted floral images on luxurious silk fabric by artist Sulin Bell. Stop in to see Chiah at Paradigm and Leslie at Bona Market Place; both shops will be featuring local art as well. The fun and festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. and continues until 7:30, and in many cases 8:00 p.m. Mark your calendar and make First Friday a monthly habit. For more information about the First Friday Art Walk call (707) 462-1400.
REVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGISTS CONFRONT BIG ENERGY IN AMERICAN NATIONAL CAPITAL
On Friday, March 25, six of us from BXE went to Duke offices at 325 7th Street NW in Washington (ironically named "Liberty Place") and let Duke know that they are vulnerable in DC as well as all over NC. Here's a short video of our action in the lobby of the office building. We were not allowed to get close to their offices. That's how scared the big corporations are of we the people and of energy democracy.
Lee Stewart took the video. From left to right the participants in the action are: Clarke Herbert (Virginia); Kendall Hale (NC); Ted Glick (NJ); Steve Norris(NC); Craig Stehr (California, DC). Lee Stewart lives in DC. — Steven Norris, 828-777-7816, Fairview, North Carolina