Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Apr 5, 2016
by AVA News Service, April 4, 2016
THE DEPARTED KZYX TEAM — Coate, Aigner and Culbertson — walked out the door with a very large payout in self-alleged accrued sick leave, vacation time and please don't say overtime, but the figure I'm hearing is around $76,000. No wonder Coate and his doppleganger, Campbell, didn't want anybody looking at the books.
Coate, Aigner, Culbertson
SUMMARY OF (KEMPER) RECOMMENDATIONS IMPLEMENTATION PLAN – APRIL 5, 2016 UPDATE
From Supervisors Mental Health Transition Plan (from Ortner to Redwood Quality Management Company) agenda summary
“Topic: County Financing, Budgeting and Financial Accounting for Mental Health Services
“Recommendation: County Executive direct BHRS/MH to present quarterly “Financial Summary Reports” that provide information on financing, budgeting, expenditure, and service delivery information on ASOs and county staff-delivered services; and, include a description and outline of the overall structure of financing and budgeting for ASO delivered services and county-staff delivered services.
“Status: In progress, April 1, 2016
“Responsible parties: Behavioral Health Director/HHSA Director, Executive Office”
NEVER HAPPEN. $50 bucks. Any takers?
AV WINEGROWERS’ EMPTY CLAIMS “…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.” — AVwines.com (the website of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association)
OUR HARD-HITTING Planning Department is on record as saying they only address pad construction and electrical systems, not noise.
SO, HERE WE HAVE:
- A planning department that processes construction permits for post-and-pad fans but does not address the noise that the avwine growers brag is their major consideration. But noise is the only consideration that would be of help to the long-suffering neighbors of avwine growers.
- A Supervisor, Hamburg, who can’t or won’t so much as ask the planning department to look into what the winegrowers claim they are doing.
- An Ag Commissioner who is on record saying he has done absolutely nothing about the issue beyond talking to the winegrowers about noise with no tangible (or audible) result.
- A planning department that won’t even reply to complaints that they themselves agreed to process.
- A bunch of wind machine opponents who whine privately about lost sleep but refuse to so much as call their supervisor to complain.
- A wine growers group that refuses to honor their own stated goals because they can do whatever they want in Mendocino County because they..... well, just because they're big and rich.
WHEN THE ATTORNEY for Mark Scaramella's lonely and mostly unsupported attempt to achieve noise abatement introduced 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.
FROST FANS roared up and down the Anderson Valley two early mornings last week. We suggest that the disturbed legions call Supervisor Hamburg, and Ag Commissioner Chuck Morse, at their homes the instant the fans go on.
HAMBURG: Home: 467-0329; Cell: 489-1422.
MORSE: 707- 275 9779
THE LONG ANTICIPATED draft of the Exclusive Operating Area ordinance for Mendocino County ambulance services has finally been agendized for the April 5 meeting of the Board of Supervisors. At first glance, it looks like the County is handing the whole process over to a private Sonoma County-based organization. Looks that way at second glance, too, but we're working on a coherent, clear explanation of what it all means.
WE CAN, HOWEVER, safely report that distant authority will decide what kind of ambulance service we wind up with, perhaps the same distant authority that seems to constantly change ambulance "protocols." Wasn't long ago when our stalwart volunteers were told not to apply tourniquets, which seemed to me not only to defy the "protocols" of basic human anatomy but dangerously nuts. Tourniquets were subsequently re-established as standard operating procedure, but the fact that tourniquets were temporarily put on hold translates as, "My Gawd."
USED TO BE the ambulance volunteers appeared at all hours out of the nights mists, scooped up the drunks, er, the injured, piled them into a modified ancient station wagon, and hauled them over the hill. How did we get from the simplicity of that to "protocols" and "exclusive operating areas"?
GIANTS: OFF TO A GOOD START
Giants Slug 3 Consecutive Home Runs on Opening Day vs. Brewers
by Katie Richcreek
It must be an even year.
The San Francisco Giants put together a dominant Opening Day performance against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park, slugging three consecutive home runs in the top of the eighth inning.
Center fielder Denard Span cracked things open for the Giants, driving in his three-run blast on a 3-2 offering from right-hander Ariel Pena.
Second baseman Joe Panik followed suit, crushing his solo shot to right field, while catcher Buster Posey rounded the trio out with a first-pitch homer. Matt Duffy knocked in four runs.
San Francisco came away with its first win, trumping the Brewers 12-3.
‘QUILLS’ ENDS SUNDAY
Mendocino Theater Company’s production of “Quills” — End of run! Thursday, April 7 through Sunday matinee. Directed by Ann Woodhead.
a review by Marylyn Motherbear Scott
I entered Charenton Asylum, the dark mirror of the soul. Found myself. Laughing! Doug Wright’s Quills is a comedy, despite the depraved subject matter. A Comedy of Manners, a touch of Theater of the Absurd. Mind-blowing portrayals of character reversals.
The doctor is more perniciously sick than the patient.
The priest more righteously devoted than the Marquis deSade HimSelf, to depraved sexual fantasies made more-or-less real.
The Marquis’s wife, HerSelf in ridiculous and ludicrous love, in the place it serves best – refined society, where art and love are the purview of power, money, and affection in the pathological sense of the word.
The angelic daughter turned to demonic mistress. The rapture within beats it’s wings, flies into the arms of all that is not holy.
And the holiest of all, the Marquis deSade, consistently himself. He is the writer and the playwright removed from sanity, from society, and ultimately from the tools he must have to pursue the driving force of his truth. Nothing is holy.
The play takes aim at the eccentricities of society, the hypocrisy of church and state, and the weakness of individual discernment. The question asked is, If we don’t like what the artist has to say, or what is seen through the brushstrokes of the painter, the words of the writer, the print of the commentator and journalist, shall then the tools that permit expression be taken away? The proverbial monkey who covers his eyes, his ears, his mouth. What then proceeds? Witness Charenton. Witness a society then plunges itself into greater insanity, deeper depravity, all the while laughing like hell. The play may not be so funny after all.
It is worth removing the blindfold and the gag, unplugging the ears. Though set in 18th century France, this is a modern play, perhaps a postmodern play. Satiric performance is a challenging task. Doug Wright’s characters have stepped inside the mind and body of the actors. More power to them! It’s a task! Here’s the cast: Mark Friedrich, Mark Marco, Janice Culliford, Steven Worthen, Phillip Regan (Marquis de Sade), Rachel Sparks. Well done.
This is the time to see this extraordinary play, its last four performances are coming up — Thursday, April 7 through Sunday matinee, April 10.
Call 937-4477 for tickets.
— Marilyn Scott
Talmage Peacock at the Land of 100,000 Buddhas*
(Photo by Susie de Castro)
ONE MORE WEEK OF ASPHALT POLLUTION
by Lyn Talkovsky
Grist Creek Aggregates (GCA) asphalt plant resumed operations on Monday, March 28th, after being closed for the season since late last November. The plant has been the source of much controversy after it was fast tracked last March by the Board of Supervisors without conducting an environmental review of the potential impacts of the new plant on the neighborhood. The plant is now operating under a special agreement between the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District (MCAQMD) and GCA in order to allow the company to finish up its Caltrans project along Highway 101 North of Laytonville. The project was estimated to take an additional 5-7 days to complete.
The agreement, signed by both parties, requires GCA to limit the asphalt plant's hours of operation to between 10am and 6pm in order to avoid the morning inversion layer that traps noxious fumes in the canyon at the same elevation as nearby residents' homes, and also to bring it into compliance with state carbon monoxide emissions which were found to be 2.5 times greater than allowed. Despite the limited hours of operation last week, neighbors were inundated by fumes and smoke most mornings between 7 and 9am. "Seeing the Canyon fill with oily smoke forced me to leave the area early each morning", said resident Amy Lee. The plant is allowed to heat the asphalt oil outside the agreed on 10am-6pm hours of operation, and this is what residents believe may be causing the pollution in the morning before asphalt production begins. Residents of the neighborhood suffered significant health impacts from the asphalt plant's emissions last fall during it's previous two months of operations.
Tuesday, March 29th at a public hearing to appeal MCAQMD's permit of the plant's crumb rubber, heating and blending unit, Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Scaglione presented the agreement which stipulated that GCA hire a third party to review the facility operations and equipment and prepare a report outlining recommended changes. As part of the agreement GCA will not operate after finishing the current project until recommended measures are in place and permitted by the County. GCA is also responsible for designating an employee as a point of contact for the Air District if any equipment breakdowns occurred, and for hiring someone certified in visual air emissions inspections to monitor air pollution from the site.
At the Hearing Friends of Outlet Creek and members of the community spoke out strongly against allowing the plant to continue operations and against the absurdity, given its poor track record, of having GCA in charge of it's own pollution monitoring and mitigation. Kirk Lumpkin with Friends of Outlet Creek stated, "We are very disappointed that the plant's permit has not been revoked considering the serious public health impacts, the serious nature of the permit violations and ongoing investigations at the state level of Mercer-Fraser, who owns and operates the asphalt plant equipment."
TOPIC of the day on the MCN chatline was Rupert Murdoch's recent marriage to Jerry Hall, a former wife of Jumpin' Jack Flash. I thought I would add pre-emptively here, that Murdoch's former wife, Wendy Deng, is now consorting with Vlad Putin. I've always suspected that these people simply rotate partners every couple of years, sort of like the old joke about Mendocino County in the heavy rain years — Couples are couples in September but by May they aren't.
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"While all of you all have been jumping up and down about such nonsense as vaccines and germ theory and whether the chicken came first, reality impinges on this little north coast bubble. Hard news. Jerry Hall has taken Rupert Murdoch down that long aisle to the matrimonial table where they are even now celebrating their love. Jerry who tamed that wild and crazy guy the Mickster has now breeched Ruppie. If that doesn't prove for all time that women run the known world, Ruppie's ex, Wendi Deng, has now taken up with Vladimir Putin! This is the loving hausfrau who nearly blocked the cream pie that Ruppert took in the face in London. And, National Enquirers, you thought you knew what was going on in this turning world. Heh heh. I'll bet you even thought that the Rolling Stones being scheduled to perform for the Communists in Havana was just something that happened!! Tut tut. Jerry and Wendi KNOW each other. Did Jerry call Wendi or did Wendi call Jerry? We'll probably never ! know but this is the question of the hour. It has eclipsed the previous question of the hour, whether The RNC called Donald Trump or Trump called them. Jerry Hall Queen of the World."
A WOMAN quickly responded, "Women run the known world. If only I could get the picture out of my head of Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch having sex, I might be able to think clearly about this…"
PUBLIC SAFETY #1 PRIORITY
Letter to the Editor,
On Jan. 2, Dennis Boardman, Fort Bragg native, was found murdered in his home by FBPD. Formerly homeless, he was known to shelter transients, and it seems likely one of them killed him.
On Jan. 7, the body of coast resident Anne Shapiro was discovered within city limits, at the south end of MacKerricker beach. Her death, ruled 'suspicious', is under investigation. An unidentified person drove her here that day from Willits.
On Nov. 24, 2015, a Tenn transient, Dakota Lee Miles, was arrested for alleged rape of an unconscious, underage homeless female. The rape occurred at Pudding Creek beach, also in Fort Bragg.
On Jan. 26, a local woman was attacked and stabbed multiple times in her home near Fort Bragg by a stranger with 2 large kitchen knives. She was able to fight him off and run to a neighbor's despite her wounds, the assailant in pursuit. Law enforcement soon captured the suspect, Nicholas Merrell, a transient with a Fugitive from Justice warrant from Montana.
Recent sweeps of large homeless encampments in Redway and Eureka are likely to drive more of their transients our way. As law enforcement in Humboldt Co. tighten policies regarding the homeless, we need to follow suit here. EPD Chief Andrew Mills has documented 87% of Eureka's homeless population as criminals, with criminal records and/or outstanding warrants, indicating that EPD runs background checks. Our local law enforcement has stated that a large segment here are “travelers,” the same criminal element.
If local law enforcement, as well as social services providing free meals, clothing, dogs, health services, and shelters, including Emergency Weather Shelters, transitional housing and motel vouchers, will run background checks here, public safety would be bolstered, and hopefully the recent wave of horrendous crimes in Fort Bragg would end. Public safety includes everyone, residents as well as the most vulnerable homeless, the elderly, women and children, plus the tourists we want to attract. If you agree, please contact City Council and FBPD and request routinely run criminal background checks.
Alice and Douglas Chouteau
INTERESTING exchange about local movers from the MCN comment line last week:
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I've had mixed results with U Ship.
Our son and his family were moving to the east coast and we went with a U Ship mover.
The guys were friendly and efficient and punctual. They did however have difficulty providing me with DOT license and insurance papers to cover all their worldly goods.
The lead guy tried calling his wife to have her fax it, but she couldn't be reached at the moment and I was assured the info would get to me later that day. These guys were driving a Penske truck and had a trailer attached to transport the kids car, as pre arraigned. Everything was loaded and they left. They also picked up some furnishings from two other households in this area to fill the truck.
I spoke with the guys the next day when they were heading into southern Calif. and the next day in Arizona, and then in Texas. Then I couldn't reach them again. I had a cell phone number and they had all the goods. After a couple days of no contact, I found the number of this guys wife. She was not immediately forthcoming with info and we assumed they were caught in an ice storm. Soon we found out the guys were in jail in Brownsville, Tennessee and the prisoners had unloaded the truck and the dogs were searching everything because one of the beds being shipped from Fort Bragg had come from the home of a grower. Turned out later I found out they took the transport trailer without the paperwork and it was reported as stolen. It tool many phone calls to DA in Tennessee and sheriff there to get the kids stuff released and hire Mayflower guys to load into another truck and get it delivered. All my other times with U Ship have worked fine.
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ANOTHER POSTER WRITES:
A few weeks ago I requested help finding a way to ship a large object out of the area. I appreciate all your suggestions - thank you.
I just completed a transaction using U-Ship and want to let others know how successful it was. Using their website, I simply described what I am shipping, from/to info, and any other pertinent information like value, deadline, etc.
U-Ship then puts it out for bids. I received several bids and chose the shipper best suited to my needs.
The entire process was positive and professional. And, I now have the ability to use this shipper again, contacting him directly without going through U-Ship, if our schedules synch.
This contact is definitely going into my Helpers/Laborers file.
POLLING PLACE INSPECTORS AND CLERKS NEEDED FOR THE UPCOMING
JUNE 7, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION
Susan M. Ranochak, Assessor-Clerk Recorder announced today; “Several polling places are in need of Poll Workers and/or Polling Inspectors. We have been unable to contact several of our normal poll workers and would like to encourage community members to call our office”. This could be a great community involvement day for service organizations throughout the County. We offer a small stipend to work for the day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day and we recommend attending a 1 to 2 hour training session the week before Election Day as well. Full day and half day positions are available. Please call Gina in our Elections office at (707) 234-6808 for more information. Below is a list of our polling locations, some of these polling places may be staffed, but we would like to add you to our list for future elections. If you are interested, please call our office.
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KATRINA'S DIRECT LINE
Mendocino County Elections Office phone number
The correct number to call the Mendocino County Registrar of Voters is (707) 234-6819 (tel:707/234-6819)
This is an updated phone number that will take you right into the Elections Department.
GUN PLAY UNDER THE BRIDGE
On April 3, 2016 at 9:49 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a report of gunshots in the area of the Russian River Bridge on Talmage Road in Ukiah. Upon arrival Deputies located an 20-year old adult female who was located with a gunshot wound to her upper arm. The adult female stated she was laying down in her camp when she heard 15 or more gunshots being fired from the pear orchard above her. The adult female indicated she then realized she had been shot in the upper arm. The adult female tried to walk out of the area but laid back down and yelled for help when someone called for emergency services. The adult female was subsequently flown out of county by air ambulance for medical treatment. The adult female was unable to give a description of any suspect(s) but the investigation into the incident is still under investigation. The Sheriff's Office is urging anyone with information that might assist investigators to call the Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.
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JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY
On 03-30-2016 at 3:12 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a person armed with a knife in the 3000 block of North State Street in Ukiah, California. Upon arrival Deputies were directed to a nearby apartment complex where bystanders pointed to a Hispanic Male Adult identified as Oscar Alvarez-Carrillo, 28, of Ukiah. Deputies were told Alvarez-Carrillo had come to the apartment complex and had threatened them with a large knife saying he would kill them while yelling a gang affiliation. Alvarez-Carrillo who was drinking a beer (in violation of his probation) was taken into custody without incident. Upon further investigation it was learned that a domestic argument had occurred earlier across the street from the location with Alvarez-Carrillo's ex-girlfriend. Deputies learned Alvarez-Carrillo had pulled a dog from the backseat over a child who was in the rear seat. The dog which was on a leash tore the skin from the 23-year old Ukiah ex-girlfriend’s hand causing a traumatic injury. Alvarez-Carrillo was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on $30,000 bail for domestic battery, criminal threats and violation of probation.
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IS THERE A GENTLEMAN LEFT?
On April 2, 2016 at approximately 11:21 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported domestic violence incident in the 38000 block of Old Stage Road in Gualala. While responding, Deputies were advised a female adult involved in the incident had relocated to a different location in Gualala. Deputies contacted the female adult and learned she and her cohabitating boyfriend, Justin Nichols, 33, of Gualala, had been involved in a domestic violence incident. Nichols reportedly became angry after discovering his dog was missing and blamed the 29-year old female adult. Nichols directed the female adult to get into his truck and the pair drove around looking for the dog. While looking for the dog, Nichols grabbed the female adult by her face, squeezing it resulting in pain and injury. When Nichols stopped the truck, the female adult exited the vehicle and hid in the woods until a passing motorist approached. The female adult summoned assistance from the motorist and subsequently called law-enforcement to report the incident. Deputies observed some blood, several abrasions and visible bruises to the female adult's face. Deputies located Nichols and subsequently arrested him in regards to the incident. Nichols was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for felony domestic violence battery and was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
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On April 2, 2016 at about 9:25 PM MCSO Deputies conducted a traffic enforcement stop on a vehicle near the intersection of Highway 20 and Main Street in Willits. As Deputies approached the vehicle the driver of the driver rapidly exited the vehicle and approached the Deputies in an aggressive manner. As deputies got closer to the subject, he appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. The subject, who identified himself as S-Blue Firecloud Abreu, 31, of Willits, was then handcuffed for his safety and the safety of the Deputies. During this contact S-Abreu began to yell and act irrationally. S-Abreu was placed under arrest for driving a motor vehicle with a suspended drivers license and for violation of his probationary terms. While transporting him to the Mendocino County jail S-Abreu started to spit on the transporting Deputies and he threatened to kill them. S-Abreu was booked into the Mendocino County for battery on a Peace Officer, threatening a Peace Officer, Violation of probation and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended drivers license. S-Abreu is currently being held on $15,000 bail.
SAVE OUR LANDLINES
I actually got a resolution through CSG (current name of the friendly state Grrrange). Aside from the fact that many of us do not have cellular or broadband, we need the redundancy of the fairly error free wired phone lines. The problem is ATT is not servicing their wired lines much hoping to skirt around this. Wired phone lines kept Tokyo and Fukushima communicating. Cellular almost shut down New York during Hurricane Sandy. Call your representatives and just say No to this attempt to disrupt a crucial service. Don't give up your wired phone line either.
As an important aside National Grange via its bloodless coup via its self appointed new Charter, (supporting the disgruntled minority that left the very successful growing state organization) has attempted to take over the Marshal Grange, it blackmailed a favored grange couple to take over the Grange; locking out its newly elected President and executive committee (Board). It seems to be National Grange’s MO; ignore democracy, push around members. A coalition of Granges not a part of the new charter are working together to avoid the divide and conquer strategies. Here is the bottom line and it is about that, money. National claims ownership of our property for which it has no precedent. They did it by changing bylaws at the national level without ratifying them in each state. The truth is that our land was donated, local folks built it with local materials and money and each generation has maintained the local hall for its community. It is our hall. We continue to hope that the National Master recognizes her responsibility to the real values of the grange and not to the fiscal attempt to keep a dying entity alive by eating its community's halls. Ironically CSG was doing the opposite, growing the granges freely and engaging many new folks. Why National has taken this approach is mind numbing but I have to say they are great Chronophages.
Greg Krouse (spoken as a member and not a leader)
Master/President of the 1st Solar Grange
Anderson Valley Grange 669
Executive Officer, Mendocino Somona
Co-musician with David Zinc State Grange
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 4, 2016
Buenrostro, Dahl, Gustin, Mather
YECENIA BUENROSTRO, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ANTHONY DAHL, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
RICHARD GUSTIN, Willits. DUI, Shoplifting.
SCOTT MATHER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia.
BIO-ENGINEERED FISH ARE TARGET OF LAWSUIT
by Peter Fimrite
Bay Area fishing groups joined environmental and consumer advocates Thursday in a lawsuit that aims to stop a genetically engineered fish infused with genes from other species from finding its way onto dinner plates.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, challenges the November approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of a plan by AquaBounty Technologies Inc. of Massachusetts to bio-engineer a sterile salmon that would grow extremely fast, be used solely as food and, if all goes as planned, never set a fin in a natural body of water.
The doctored salmon, engineered from both Atlantic and Pacific salmon and a slithery creature known as an eelpout, would be the first genetically engineered animal produced for human consumption.
Government regulators and the manufacturer insist the product is safe. But the notion of genetically altered seafood has created a furor among environmentalists, who have dubbed the species “Frankenfish” and say it could spread mutant genes and circulate diseases in wild salmon if an accident or sabotage ever set it loose.
“Our main concern is that the FDA approval was done without any consideration for what these Frankenfish might do if they escape into the wild in places where wild salmon live,” said John McManus, the executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, which joined the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, the Center for Food Safety and eight other environmental organizations in the suit.
“What has ended up happening in every place where there are farmed salmon is the nets rip and the fish escape,” McManus said.
The modified fish, known officially as “AquAdvantage Salmon,” is an Atlantic salmon that has been infused with a growth hormone gene from Pacific salmon, also known as chinook, and DNA from an eelpout. The DNA comes from what is called an antifreeze gene that allows the eelpout to live in ice-cold water.
Most to be sterile
AquaBounty, which first developed the salmon in 1989 and submitted its FDA application in 1995, intends to produce only female salmon, 95 percent of which would be sterile. The hybrid salmon would grow twice as fast as other salmon, allowing more lox, salmon steaks and other seafood to be produced.
The plan is to raise the eggs on Prince Edward Island and then, after they hatch, grow them in landlocked tanks in Panama, where they would be processed and shipped to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the United States and possibly around the world.
“AquaBounty is confident that the approval will stand, and that the FDA has been extraordinarily thorough and transparent in the review and approval of our application,” said Ron Stotish, the company’s chief executive officer.
FDA officials said they could not comment on pending litigation, but the agency’s environmental assessment declared the fish “safe as food” and downplayed concerns about mutant fish spreading into the environment.
The “salmon would be produced and grown-out only in secure facilities with multiple and redundant forms of effective physical containment that have been verified and validated by FDA,” the report said, adding that the likelihood is “very low” that “salmon could escape from containment, survive and become established in the local environments.”
AquaBounty said it chose Prince Edward Island because it is surrounded by saltwater, and the eggs can only survive in freshwater. Panama was chosen to grow the fish because the water there is too warm for the fish to survive were they to escape.
Stotish told The Chronicle in 2010 that the new fish product will reduce pressure on wild fish stocks and allow experts to focus more on recovery and conservation.
“At a time when our seas are fished to the verge of extinction,” he said, “we have an ethical obligation to use every tool in our toolbox to explore alternatives to meet demand for seafood.”
Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, an opponent of genetic engineering, said there are cracks in AquaBounty’s assurances.
“History teaches us that there is no such thing as a fail-safe,” Huffman said. “These fish can interbreed with our wild Pacific salmon and we shouldn’t start down that slippery slope.”
GMO corn crops
Genetically engineered food has become a lightning rod for criticism across the country and in Mexico, where environmental groups say bio-engineered corn has infected native crops, costing U.S. farmers billions of dollars.
Fourteen California lawmakers urged the FDA to deny the application for engineered salmon until all the ecological concerns could be addressed. Under pressure, the FDA banned the import and sale of the fish until the agency “publishes final labeling guidelines for informing consumers of such content.”
Huffman says the process was flawed because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service never got a chance to weigh in.
“The FDA was the wrong agency to be reviewing this,” he said, “because they know nothing about fisheries and the environmental impacts and risks.”
Besides the question of whether it is humane to engineer an animal for consumption, critics say it will take an incredible amount of seafood to feed the salmon.
Brettny Hardy, the senior associate attorney for Earthjustice in San Francisco, said the 5 percent of the fish that are not sterile could out-compete the critically endangered Atlantic salmon in Maine, the closest wild population, if they got out of their pens on Prince Edward Island.
“This sets a precedent for other applications to come,” Hardy said. “AquaBounty has talked about engineering trout and other kinds of fish as well. ... They are looking to produce these animals in the U.S. and other countries, so the risk of animals getting out of those facilities could be even greater.”
Even without the lawsuit, it could be a while before the engineered fish get into local frying pans. It will take up to 18 months to raise the mixed-breed critters and bring them to market, according to the company.
(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)
We should be honest about what accounts for a significant part of Trump’s rise: the very real, and growing economic insecurity of the white working and middle classes. One can see this anxiety, for example, in exit polling from Michigan, which suggested that both Trump and Bernie Sanders polled best among primary voters who felt they have been greatly hurt by “free trade” agreements. Furthermore, Trump gathers much of his support from working class Americans. Washington Post-ABC News polling from December 2015 finds that Trump’s support is greater among those earning less than $50,000 a year, compared to those earning more than $50,000, and among Americans with no college degree, compared to those with a college education. Trump builds consistent support from working Americans by stressing his opposition to the outsourcing of jobs to China, Mexico, and elsewhere, and promises to “make America great again” by returning manufacturing jobs to the US.
— Anthony Dimaggio
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
If the network program ‘Alaska State Troopers’ is any indication what Alaska is like, you can have it back. Meth cookers, meth addicts, drunks, poachers, heroine addicts, dealers in illegal narcotics, DUIs, wife beaters, murderers, lunatics, maniacs, knife fights, gang members, cabin fever sufferers, massive car wrecks, chronic alcoholism, rural poverty, winters that last 10 months, temps as low as 40 below … and everybody and their brother armed with a .357 S&W revolver or a Remington 870 shotgun. I know its just a TV program, and I never been there, but I think Seward got a raw deal.
DISCUSSION OF 'RAPE CULTURE' on Kym Kemp's always interesting site, Redheaded Black Belt (KymKemp.com):
Several years ago there were four reported rapes on the HSU Campus. All four of the victims recanted their allegations. The alleged perpetrator’s lives were thrown into turmoil, and if memory serves me correctly all four left the university because the campus is so small in student numbers everyone knew the accused. They were harassed beyond belief. The victims were not named, but the accused were named. Therefore the victims hide behind a cloak of secretiveness. Names were thrown around, but nobody knew for sure. My point is this; if a victim recants the allegation their name should be plastered across every building on campus. They should have been dismissed from campus as students. As far as I know they were not. Sexual abuse political students on campus were quick to vilify the alleged perpetrators but when the authorities announced the four accusers recanted there was no response from the students who were quick to find the accused guilty, but kept complete silence. There are definitely cases of sexual abuse. No question about that. But when the accused has no recourse after the accuser recants the allegations there needs to be a penalty for the accuser’s lying. I also refer to the Duke University case where three Lacrosse players were accused of raping a person. They were criminally charged and faced 25 to 40 years in prison. Evidence produced showed 100% that the victim had lied and that person later recanted the allegations. Two of the three suffered to the point to not being able to finish their degrees. Their names and photos were plastered in papers and on television. They and their families had death threats and community scrutiny to the point where one father was dismissed from his employment. The accuser was not charged with any crime, but later was sent to prison for killing her boyfriend. I think the laws need to be changed. And more importantly students should be instructed as to how to behave in situations where there is a potential for sexual behavior. As a woman I know I control my sexual activity. I say when it is to happen. That being said I also have the serious responsibility of guarding against misdirected sexual advances. My father told me that protection is the best defense. I limit my alcohol consumption, I protect my friends, and I state unequivocally and directly when a person begins hitting on me. To date I have not had a problem. Teach your children well!
AN UNFILTERED MIND
by James Kunstler
“He says what he really thinks.” That is the standard explanation for the astounding political rise of Donald J. Trump. Somehow the news media have missed the meaning of this: that the rest of political America refuses to say what it really thinks. Why is that and how can it be?
The simple answer: they’re afraid of how it will play on television. One error of the mouth and you’re politically crucified. You’re done. Taken out with the trash. Trump’s secret is that every error of his unfiltered mouth — and the hypothetical mind connected to it — emphasizes and celebrates his liberation from that fear. Trump is like the fabled Honey Badger of YouTube fame: he doesn’t give a shit. He just forges ahead through all the biting, stinging, snapping, yapping, odious, poisonous opposition in his dogged journey to the prize. As Trump might say: they love him and he loves them (for that).
The less simple answer is that America has become a matrix of rackets based on fraud, swindling, and extortion that can only support itself on lies, which form the armature that enables all the racketeering. That explains one of the central mysteries of Mr. Obama’s double term in the White House: why his Department of Justice never prosecuted (possibly never even dared to investigate) criminal misconduct in banking after the 2008 mortgage bond debacle. The Holy Trinity of Bank Fraud: Rubin, Geithner, and Summers paid him a call after election day and said, “Look here, fucker: one false move out of you in the direction of our friends doing ‘God’s work,’ and this whole house of cards comes fluttering down.” Hence, Obama appointed the trio to positions of authority and counsel, and the racketeering resumed without hindrance — to the greater affliction upon the common weal.
The issues at stake were apparently too abstruse for the public to grasp, so they just rolled with it clear to the statute of limitations and beyond. Of course, the trouble with operations based on lies is that sooner or later reality intrudes with all its implacable wrath and you get a mighty correction impossible to ignore. That is likely to be fate’s parting gift to Barack Obama. He will go out the way he came in: amidst financial maelstrom.
As only one example of the collateral damage to all this filtering of what’s real, note a consequence of zero interest rates (a swindle designed to prop up Too Big To Fail banks): ordinary people past their working years can’t earn any income from all the traditionally safe ways of doing this: savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and bonds. Due to my advanced age, I get vast and constant rafts of mailings from an outfit called AARP pretending to be the American Association of Retired Persons. (I don’t pretend to have any intention of retiring, by the way.) Not one of these incessant messages mentions the harm being done by zero interest rates to people of modest means beyond their earning years desperate to get by. If they happen to have, say, thirty-eight thousand dollars of savings, they can’t generate enough income off it to pay for their yearly ration of ibuprofen. That’s because AARP doesn’t represent the stakes of this group. AARP is an insurance racket. AARP is a charade designed for asset-stripping the hapless.
It’s most ironic, of course, that the perceived antidote to the pandemic of lying in America is this arguably crooked real estate developer and gambling casino tycoon Trump. The grand entrance of Trump, with his unfiltered mouth, into the political arena becomes a preliminary argument for sweeping away the accumulated sclerotic political baggage of four generations lucky enough to have lived in a world that briefly allowed fantasy to override the laws of physics and human nature. What we really ought to worry about is what follows in the foul wake of Trump, both in awful circumstance and the as-yet-unknown cast of characters who will have to grapple with it.
(To support Kunstler’s writing go to his patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
A HALF TRUTH ABOUT THE WAR ON DRUGS
by Fred Gardner
"Nixon's Drug War Was (and Still is) a Racist Tool to Disrupt and Neutralize Black Communities" was the headline of an article published recently week by Melissa Franqui, communications director of the Drug Policy Alliance. She was 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 years ago, Dr. Sunil Aggarwal cited it in a scholarly article in 2012 (and O'S 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 analysis of Prohibition entwined with racism is right on but incomplete. 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 Senator 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 to prevent a repetition of "antiwar leftists" nominating a candidate as they did in 1972, when Senator George McGovern, got slaughtered by the Nixon gang in the 1972 general election. The strategy described so succinctly by Ehrlichman achieved both its goals. Was only one of them objectionable? The DPA line amounts to: "Deplore Racism, Ignore Imperialism."
More than 125,000 members of the military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan —about 6.5% of the total can't get benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs due to "bad paper" discharges, according toa new report from Swords to Plowshares. Ten percent of Marine Corps enlistees become ineligible after service in combat zones. Attorney Coco Culhane observes, "We separate people for misconduct that is actually a symptom of the very reason they need health care."
SHEEP & GOAT MEETING
Mendocino and Lake County Sheep and Goat Producers Meeting
Attention sheep, dairy and meat goat producers of the North Coast!
Join us April 20th - 7pm in Ukiah
Plan now to attend a meeting on Wednesday, April 20th at 7pm at the UCCE Farm Advisors’ office in Ukiah. The goal of this meeting is to reinvigorate the Mendocino/Lake Wool Growers Association and include dairy and meat goat producers into the local association. With many new sheep and goat producers in the mix, opportunities for contract/targeted grazing, local wool, meat and dairy production and sales have increased. The new local woolen mill has financing lined up and is on track for opening this summer. 4-H and FFA small ruminant project members and leaders are encouraged to attend this meeting. Hope to see you there!
John Harper—UCCE Livestock & Natural Resources Advisor
Please RSVP by Phone or Email
DRILL BABY, DRILL!
Geotechnical Drilling to occur at several local bridges on Route 1 in Mendocino County
Beginning the week of April 11, and continuing through May, geotechnical drilling will occur at the Jack Peters Creek Bridge, Little River Bridge, Pudding Creek Bridge, and the Russian Gulch Bridge. Work will occur at one location at a time, and motorists should anticipate up to 15-minute delays. Work hours and locations will be published weekly in the Caltrans District 1 Road Information Bulletin at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1rib.htm
Phil Frisbie, Jr.
Public Information Officer for Lake and Mendocino Counties, Web Content Administrator
Caltrans District 1
(Caltrans Press Release)
For a summary of the many upcoming engaging library events go to their webpage:
* Yes, we know it's City of 10,000 Buddhas.