Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016
by AVA News Service, April 11, 2016
THE DANES ARE COMING!
READ CAREFULLY. THESE PEOPLE MAY SOON BE RUNNING OUR AMBULANCES.
LifeStar Response of New Jersey is being sued on behalf of the federal government for "systematically falsifying patient and physician records to lock in millions of dollars of unjustified Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, according to a whistleblower lawsuit recently unsealed in federal court." (NJ.com)
"Centerra Services International Inc., formerly known as Wackenhut Services LLC, agreed to pay $7.4 million to resolve allegations that Wackenhut violated the False Claims Act by double billing and inflating labor costs under contract for firefighting and fire protection services in Iraq." (FCPA Blog)
On the opendemocracy.org website under a headline that reads "Concealment and trickery - that's G4S children's homes" an article begins: "The world's biggest security company hides its identity in applications to convert houses into children's homes in England. See also: G4S guard fatally restrains 15 year old - gets promoted."
Another website called PRWatch has an article titled, "Violence, Abuse, and Death at For-Profit Prisons: A GEO Group Rap Sheet." GEO Group is another Wackenhut derivative and "is the the world's leading provider of correctional, detention, and community reentry services". Here are two of many story heads from the article: "Jury awards over $40 million to inmate killed in beating" and "State of Texas fines company $625,000 and terminates $12 million contract for mismanagement of jail; 12 Employees charged with sexual assault."
So what's this got to do with Mendocino County? Well, all of these companies and many, many more are buy-outs, mergers and re-named entities associated with a Danish outfit called Group 4 Falck represented locally by Falck Northern California as VeriHealth.
VeriHealth under Falck leadership has invaded Ukiah and released a can of worms into our Emergency Medical Response system to gain lucrative contracts at the Sonoma Raceway and with higher profit-margin inner facility-transfers.
In response, the Mendocino Board of Supervisors has initiated an attempt to establish an EOA or Exclusive Operating Area, but its likely that the move is too little too late. Money wins - always does and Falck's pockets are as deep as "The largest in the world" and their ethics sink all the way to Hades.
LAST FRIDAY, the Navarro flow rate dropped below the critical 200 Cubic feet per second.
As per new Fish and Game regs issued last year, when this happens at the Navarro gauge between Oct 1 and April 30 all fishing must stop on all Mendocino County streams. Unfortunately for what remains of our fisheries, the unregulated draws on our rivers and streams by the wine industry is not suspended when the Navarro flows low and slow.
TRIAL BEGAN today in Ukiah for Christine Kelsay, a longtime employee and family friend of the Geigers, the prosperous little Laytonville Market. Long-time friend and employee is accused of siphoning off nearly a half-million dollars over a period of about seven years.
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BACKGROUND (Sheriff’s Press Release, June 2015):
On 1-19-2015 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the owners of the Long Valley Market in Laytonville California. They reported that the market had been the victim of embezzlement at the hands of an employee. The owners further reported they suspected the embezzlement had been occurring for approximately seven years.
The case was assigned to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives Bureau for investigation. Detectives identified the suspect as Christine Kelsay, 33 years of age, from Willits. Detectives obtained probable cause and authored 9 separate search warrants for the suspect’s residence, three different banking institutions, an internet service provider seeking banking, financial, and electronic evidence of the reported criminal activity.
After a four month investigation Detectives presented a case to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office alleging the suspect embezzled in excess of $450,000 dollars over a six year time frame. The District Attorney subsequently filed a criminal complaint, seeking an arrest warrant for the suspect.
On 6-4-2015 at 7:00 AM Detectives arrived at the suspect’s residence and placed her into custody without incident. She was transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail related to a felony warrant, charging her with embezzlement, grand theft, a special allegation of aggravated theft (white collar crime) and a second special allegation of theft in excess of $200,000. She was lodged into the Mendocino County Jail and her bail was set at $50,000.
MARIJUANA SMELLING LIKE BIG BUSINESS
by Ian Lovett
Adelanto, Calif. — After decades of thriving in legally hazy backyards and basements, California’s most notorious crop, marijuana, is emerging from the underground into a decidedly capitalist era.
Under a new state law, marijuana businesses will be allowed to turn a profit — which has been forbidden since 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis — and limits on the number of plants farmers can grow will be eliminated.
The opening of the marijuana industry here to corporate dollars has caused a mad scramble, with out-of-state investors, cannabis retailers and financially strapped municipalities all racing to grab a piece of what is effectively a new industry in California: legalized, large-scale marijuana farming.
And with voters widely expected to approve recreational marijuana use in November, California, already the world’s largest legal market for marijuana, gleams with the promise of profits far beyond what pot shops and growers have seen in Washington or Colorado, the first states to approve recreational use.
“People are definitely salivating over the California market,” said Troy Dayton, chief executive of the ArcView Group, a research firm in the Bay Area that specializes in marijuana. “It’s huge, and Californians love cannabis so much.”
In search of a tax windfall, cities across the Southern California desert, like Adelanto and Desert Hot Springs, have raced to be first to permit commercial marijuana cultivation. The price of land here tripled almost overnight as entrepreneurs bought up every inch of property where pot-growing was permitted — most of it bare desert dotted with only Joshua trees and tumbleweeds.
And celebrities who for years have supported the open use of marijuana are also seeking a piece of the action: Musicians like Snoop Dogg and one of Bob Marley’s sons, Ky-Mani Marley, have been meeting with officials about licensing marijuana grown here.
Amid the frenzy, though, anxiety is growing in some corners of the state that corporate money will squeeze out not only the small-time growers, but also the hippie values that have been an essential part of marijuana’s place in California culture.
Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong fame, has long been synonymous with California’s outlaw stoner culture, growing his own pot and crafting bongs from kombucha bottles at his Los Angeles home. Now he is negotiating with a corporate partner to license his own brand of legal marijuana.
“If conglomerates come in, my answer is: God bless ’em — it saves me the hassle,” Mr. Chong, 77, said in a telephone interview.
“Fashion changes, haircuts change,” Mr. Chong said. “We go through cultural changes.”
But Patrick Murphy, a cannabis farmer in Humboldt County, a lush area on the northwest coast long famed for growing high-quality pot, said he had already seen a “corporate takeover” of the marijuana industry in many other states.
“In California, especially in Humboldt, we have a code of conduct: Respect the land and respect the people,” he said. “I don’t want that culture to be replaced by guys in $5,000 suits.”
Twenty-three states allow some form of legal marijuana, and up to 20 will consider ballot measures this year to further ease restrictions.
California is now making the largest effort in the country’s history to pull marijuana out of the black market. Medical marijuana sales in California hit $2.7 billion last year, accounting for nearly half of all legal marijuana sales in the country, according to ArcView and New Frontier, another cannabis research company. Approval of recreational marijuana use in November could double the market here by 2020, experts said. (If legalized marijuana were to reach near the size of the alcohol industry, it could reach a retail gross of over $200 billion a year, 10% of which would be $20 billion per year. To put that in proportion, $20 billion would be x% of California’s $2 trillion gross domestic product or about one-one hundreth of California’s economy, and about 18% of the total annual expense budget of the State of California.)
The law will take full effect by 2018, when a medical marijuana czar will institute licensing, testing of products and tracking from “seed to sale.” Aside from the all-cash business model — banks are prohibited under federal law from doing business with companies that grow, sell or process marijuana — the entire industry will be out in the open.
“There has been a shadow cast over this industry,” said Rob Bonta, a state assemblyman who co-sponsored the new marijuana regulations, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in October. “This is more and more being seen as a legitimate business, and now we hope businesses can come out of the shadows.”
In Desert Hot Springs, CalCann Holdings, a medical marijuana holding company, is planning to build a high-tech greenhouse, along with a kitchen to produce edible products for its dispensaries in Orange County. The company expects to produce 8,000 pounds of marijuana a year over four or five annual harvests.
By bringing marijuana into a legal framework, said Aaron Herzberg, general counsel for CalCann, companies like his will be able to “bring modern agricultural techniques to the production of cannabis.”
“We’re transitioning out of the complete free-for-all, wild West,” he added. “It will be like alcohol — you can’t just set up a still and produce it in your garage. You have to apply for permits and pay taxes.”
A group of Humboldt County farmers, including Mr. Murphy, have agreed to sell their cannabis under a single banner, Emerald Family Farms, to compete with “mega-grows” like the one CalCann is planning.
“Cannabis started as a counterculture,” said Ryan McIntosh, a cannabis farmer. “I think there are some people who will have no desire to purchase from giant cannabis groups.”
Still, Mr. McIntosh, 42, said he was eager for a new era when he could stop worrying that his children would see him arrested in a raid. “I don’t want to hide anymore,” he said.
Adelanto, a rough-edged community in the high desert northeast of Los Angeles, is hoping to become a very different kind of pot mecca from Humboldt County. Envisioning a row of high-tech grow houses where there is now only a flat expanse of desert, Mayor Richard Kerr said that the growers might need to build solar plants to support all the energy it would take to produce more than 100 tons of marijuana each year.
He estimated that the annual tax revenue from the influx of marijuana growers could top $10 million, nearly the size of the city’s budget last year.
Given the state’s ongoing drought, farmers have already begun marketing themselves as environmentally friendly, despite all the electricity required to grow marijuana indoors.
“They all have irrigation systems, where the water goes down into the soil and they can recycle it,” Mr. Kerr said. “We’re trying to stay on the green side of things here.”
As she sold Girl Scout cookies outside a supermarket with her granddaughter, Sherree Harris-Johnson, 57, said she had changed her mind about marijuana after she heard that pot companies would be required to hire half of their workers locally. Unemployment in Adelanto remains above 10 percent, and prisons are the primary employers.
“All I want it to do is bring some jobs,” Ms. Harris-Johnson said.
(Courtesy, the New York Times)
YOU DON'T WALK OUT ON ME, MR. MAN!
On 04-08-2016 at approximately 8:07 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a reported domestic violence incident in the 32000 block of Highway 20 in Fort Bragg, California. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and contacted an adult male. Sheriff’s Deputies learned a verbal argument had ensued in the bedroom of the residence. The 40-year old adult male attempted to leave the residence when Aurora Sattish Allen, 40, of Fort Bragg followed the adult male and began striking him in the face, causing an injury. Allen was placed under arrest for Domestic Violence Battery. Allen was subsequently transported to the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
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DUDE! MIGHT BE TIME TO LOOK FOR A NEW RELATIONSHIP
On 04-08-2016 at approximately 9:24 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a domestic violence incident in the 31000 block of Highway 20 in Fort Bragg, California. Sheriff's Deputies were advised a 22 year old adult male had reportedly been physically assaulted with a knife by his girlfriend, Marietta Louise McKee, 23, of Fort Bragg. Sheriff's Deputies arrived and made contact with the adult male, who had dry blood on his hands. Sheriff's Deputies observed an approximate 1-inch laceration to the adult male's right index finger and an approximate 1-inch laceration to the right palm. Sheriff's Deputies learned McKee had been consuming alcoholic beverages while house-sitting a friend's residence. McKee had become intoxicated and belligerent resulting in her yelling at the adult male. McKee obtained a folding pocket knife and brandished the exposed blade toward the adult male. Believing he was going to be stabbed by McKee, the adult male reacted by wrestling the knife away from McKee, which caused the injuries to his right hand. Sheriff's Deputies determined McKee was on active Mendocino County summary probation for a prior domestic violence battery. McKee was placed under arrest for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Domestic Violence Battery and Violation of Probation. McKee was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on $35,000 bail.
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COME ON, MAN. DON'T DO THIS. IT'S NEVER THIS BAD.
On March 7, 2016 at approximately 1050 hours, corrections staff discovered a 46-year-old male inmate hanging in his cell in an apparent suicide attempt. Correctional staff made entry into the cell, cut the ligature and assessed the man who was the sole occupant of the cell. After discovering the man had no pulse, Correctional staff began life-saving techniques. Jail medical staff were also immediately on scene. Emergency medical services were summoned. After several rounds of cardiopulmonary resuscitation by correctional staff, medical staff determined that the individual had a pulse and was breathing. Emergency medical techniques were continued until Ukiah Fire personnel arrived and took over treatment. The victim was transported to Ukiah Valley Medical Center where he was evaluated and eventually flown to an out-of-area hospital for treatment of his injuries. The man’s condition was described as serious but stable. In investigating the incident, it was determined that the individual had been without oxygen for about 6 minutes. The man’s condition improved and he was returned to the custody of the Sheriff’s Office on March 9, 2016. He is expected to make a full recovery. Correctional deputies Steve Siderakis, Juan Zavala and Aaron Shaw acted in an exemplary manner in this situation. CPR was started promptly as has been trained and because of their efforts, a life has been saved. The victim’s name is not being released for privacy reasons.
HOW MANY TIMES do you hear, "He's the nicest man when he isn't drunk or on meth"? So, we have this local Nice Guy who beat his wife so badly five years ago he almost killed her. The court put him through the usual pro forma wrist taps — anger management class, probation and blah-blah. She filed for divorce but they continued as the couple they had been since high school and have two children together. She's smart and, goodness knows, resilient. She went on to college and earned an AA diploma from Mendocino College and now holds down a job with the County. Mr. Nice Guy works for a winery and mostly keeps himself together. Except when he doesn't. The other night Mr. Nice was loaded on whatever and started hitting his wife. Check that: he was beating the mother of his children with his fists when his little girl called 911 and held her phone up so dispatch recorded the audio and the visual of the attack. Senor Nice, even here in Anything Goes Land, is probably in serious trouble this time.
IN ANOTHER DISCOURAGING episode, Deputy Walker was summoned to the high school to explain to a male student why spitting on a classmate "for asking too many questions in class" was wrong, and that if it were to re-occur, spitting on or otherwise bullying a classmate would be legally considered an assault. The spitter is a Mexican boy, the vic is a white girl and, taken as a whole, it's a sad comment on (1) race and gender relations at a school where race and gender relations have always been pretty good and (2) just as sad a comment on what I guess you could call "the learning environment." Spitter Boy should be bounced on outta there, but he won't be.
THEN there's the kid who's managed to rack up something like 75 disciplinary referrals, and one wonders at what point does he get the heave-ho?
AS IT HAPPENS, I know the obstreperous lad. Or one of several obstreperous lads enrolled in the local schools. Our obstreperous lad does odd jobs for us, and a bunch of other locals. He laughs at the number of disciplinary referrals he's racked up. It's safe to say he's unrepentant. We all like him. He's a great worker and a hoot to have around. If the edu-apparatus had commonsense flexibility, the apparat would assign him to us during the school day. We'd keep him busy and pound a few edu-basics into him, too. But the edu-apparat ought to apprentice out lots of kids who aren't compatible with 12 years of seat time. But the schools suffer all manner of unacceptable student behavior just to keep that ADA (average daily attendance) money rolling in, and what was once considered the best public education system in the industrial world is now rightly regarded as the worst. (On-line, "cost per ADA." We read that AV Unified takes in $12,381 per student per school year for processing 502.9 students, K-12. $6.2 million a year! $11,000 was the national per-student average as of '08.
FORBES MAGAZINE is the latest national publication to discover the Anderson Valley. Over the past decade, we've been discovered at least a hundred times, with ever more intrepid explorers right now peering at us over the ridges from all directions.
THE FORBES pufferoo begins, "5 reasons to visit the Anderson Valley now. Once upon a time, in the not-so-distant past, the Anderson Valley used to be a brief stop on the way to Mendocino to stretch your legs, taste some wine, and get back in the car and head for the coast. But in recent years the Anderson Valley has become a full-fledged destination in its own right, with hip B&Bs, compelling restaurants, and cutting-edge wineries. It’s still a tranquil, lovely place where time slows down, but there’s more now to do in that time, and reasons galore to stop and explore. While Boonville is still the hub, Philo, population 400, is where all the exciting changes are taking place."
TRANSLATION: Stick a fork in us. We're cooked.
A CHILLING STORY of resource exploitation and destruction on Easter Island is beginning to come to light. The first westerners to discover the island wondered how any one could have survived on such a desolate, treeless place. Indeed, this was a mystery until recent core samples taken from the crater lakes showed that the island was heavily forested with a giant now-extinct palm while the Easter Island culture was active.
Apparently the islanders were greeted with a lush tropical paradise when they first discovered it. It must have seemed inexhaustible. The trees were cut for lumber for housing, wood for fires, and eventually for the rollers and lever-like devices used to move and erect the moai.
As the deforestation continued the moai building competition turned into an obsession. The quarry was producing moai at sizes that probably could never have been moved very far (one unfinished moai in the quarry is 70 feet tall!) And still the trees came down. Near the peak of their culture's prowess, the various clans on the island finally broke into civil war over the few resources that remained with the “bird cult” accusing the “fish cult” of using up all the resources so that they could take over. Then when the problems predictably worsened: vice-versa. The accusations and blame between the leaders of the clans meant that the underlying problems were ignored in favor of civil war and more resource loss. They battled each other fiercely and, during this period, most of the moai, once the symbol of their people's power and success, were toppled by rival tribes. With the loss of the forests, the land began to erode. The small amount of topsoil quickly washed into the sea. The crops began to fail and the decining clans turned on one another in a battle for the scarce resources. The symbols of the islanders' power and success, the moai, were toppled. Eyes were smashed out of the moai and often rocks were placed where the statue’s neck would fall so it would decapitate the moai. The violence grew worse and worse. It was said that the victors would eat their dead enemies to gain strength, bones found on the island show evidence of this cannibalism. With the scarce food supplies it may have been a question of hunger as well as being ceremonial. A spooky cave at the southwest corner of the island, Ana Kai Tangata, is translated to "cave where men are eaten." Inside are pictographs painted in ochre and white of ghost like birds flying upwards. With no wood left to build boats, all the Rapa Nui people could do was look enviously at the birds that sail effortless through the sky. The Rapa Nui culture and community, which had developed over the past 300 years, collapsed.
Their island was in shambles, and their villages and crops destroyed. There was no wood left on the island to build escape boats. The few survivors of the conflict, perhaps numbering as low as 750, began to pick up the pieces of their culture. One thing they left behind, however, were the moai statues…
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 11, 2016
Alfaro, Blanco, Brock
SERGIO ALFARO, Willits. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.
FELIX BLANCO, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI with drugs causing great bodily injury.
KRYSTAL BROCK, Morris, Oklahoma/Laytonville. DUI.
Davidson, Gandarilla, Jaurigue
JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
JESSE GANDARILLA, Clearlake/Ukiah. Shoplifting, under influence, drunk in public.
CARMEN JAURIGUE, Ukiah. Court order violation, failure to appear.
Johnson, Kennedy, Louwaert
BRANDON JOHNSON, Willits. Drunk in public.
KELLY KENNEDY, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MICHAEL LOUWAERT, Ukiah. DUI w/priors, drunk in public, failure to appear.
McGrew, Norton, Philliber
CHRISTINA MCGREW, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JAMES NORTON, Willits. Trespassing.
CYNTHIA PHILLIBER, Ukiah. Kidnapping, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, probation revocation.
Phillips, Sanchez, Smith
STEPHANIE PHILLIPS, Hopland. Child endangerment, suspended license, failure to appear.
SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
ANDREW SMITH SR., Willits. Failure to appear.
THE POSTER CHILD FOR WASTE in the first decade of the twenty-first century was certainly the billions of dollars a privatizing Pentagon handed out to up-armored companies like Halliburton that accompanied the US military into its war zones and engaged in Pentagon-funded base-building and “reconstruction” (aka “nation building”) projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) alone seems to come out with new examples of waste, fraud, and abuse on practically a weekly basis. Among Afghan projects that stood out over the years was a multimillion-dollar “highway to nowhere,” a $43 million gas station in nowhere, a $25 million “state of the art” headquarters for the U.S. military in Helmand Province, with all the usual cost overruns, that no one ever used, and the payment of actual salaries to countless thousands of no ones aptly labeled “ghost soldiers.” And that’s just to begin enumerating a long, long list.
“I CERTAINLY WOULDN'T WANT TO DISCOURAGE a good primary contest on their side, but I don't want to be in the position of endorsing Hillary Clinton. That might be the kiss of death for her.”
— Dick Cheney
A LAKE COUNTY READER reacts to a Press Democrat account of the recent difficulties suffered by the mayor of Lakeport:
His crane fell in the lake because the shitty old barge he had it on started to sink, and of course he didn't have the crane tied down and had no insurance. This place is insane Bruce, they made Scheel the mayor of Lakeport and the mayor of Clearlake is Russ Perdock, the cop who killed a woman when he ran over her sailboat with his speedboat. We just got a new county CAO hand-picked by Rob Brown just like he picked the sheriff, the hiring process of the CAO was the most obvious fraud I have ever seen here, and that's saying something.
Scheel is more than a fuck-up, he's the sock-puppet-in-waiting for Rob Brown, the lord and master of our BOS/county. The county is well on its way to exclusively being run by the wineries and cops with inputs from the realtors association and chamber of commerce - and god help anyone who gets in their way. Scheel has been leasing a boat slip for his ski boat from the county for years while he put his home in his wife's name to keep the county from taking it for the $56,000 plus interest he owes, then he publicly complained the county made a bad investment when they sold the marina he was using for a $2 million loss!
I pray for the big asteroid daily.
THE MYSTERY REVEALED
by James Kunstler
The mystery is at last revealed: why does the field of candidates for president score so uniformly low in trust, credibility, likability? Why are there no candidates of real substance, principle, and especially of real charm in this scrim of political basilisks? (Surely there are many people of substance and principle elsewhere in America — they just don’t dare seek the job at the symbolic tippy-top of this clusterfuck of faltering rackets.) The reason is that the problems are unfixable, at least not within the acceptable terms of the zeitgeist, namely: the secret wish to keep all the rackets going at all costs.
This is true, by the way, of all parties concerned from the 0.001% billionaire grifter class to the deluded sophomores crying for “safe spaces” in their womb-like “student life centers” to the sports-and-porn addled suburban multitudes stuck with impossible mortgage, car, and college loan debts (and, suddenly, no paying job) to the deluded Black Lives Matter mobs who have failed to notice that black lives matter least to the black people slaughtering each other over sneakers and personal slights. None of these groups really want to change anything. They actually wish to preserve their prerogatives.
The interests of the 0.001% are obvious: maintain those streams of unearned, rentier, notional wealth as long as possible and convert them as fast as possible into hard assets (Caribbean islands, Cézanne landscapes, gold bars) that will theoretically insulate them from the wrath of history when the center no longer holds. The poor (and ever-poorer) formerly middle class suburban debt serfs, for all their travails, can’t imagine living any other way or putting less of their dwindling capital into the Happy Motoring matrix. The Maoist Social Justice Warrior students are enjoying the surprising power and thrills of coercion, especially as directed against their simpering professors and cringing college presidents anxious to sustain the illusion that something like learning takes place in the money laundering operations of higher ed. The Black Lives Matter crowd just wants to be excused from their failure to follow standards of decent behavior and to keep mau-mauing the other ethnic groups of America for material and political tribute.
It must be obvious that the next occupant of the White House will preside over the implosion of all these arrangements since, in the immortal words of economist Herb Stein, if something can’t go on forever, it will stop. So the only individuals left seeking the position are 1) An inarticulate reality TV buffoon; 2) a war-happy evangelical maniac; 3) a narcissistic monster of entitlement whose “turn” it is to hold the country’s highest office; and 4) a valiant but quixotic self-proclaimed socialist altacocker who might have walked off the set of Welcome Back Kotter, 40th Reunion Special. These are the ones left standing halfway to the conventions. Nobody else in his, her, it, xe, or their right mind wants to be handed this schwag-bag of doom.
On Saturday, the unstoppable Democratic shoo-in Hillary lost her 7th straight contest to the only theoretically electable Vermont Don Quixote, Bernie Sanders. This was a week after it was reported in The Huff-Po that Hillary’s campaign crew literally bought-and-paid for the entire 50-state smorgasbord of super-delegates who will supposedly compensate for Hillary’s inability to otherwise win votes the old-fashioned way, by ballots cast. Wonder why that didn’t make nary a ripple in the media afterward? Because this is the land where anything goes and nothing matters, and that’s really all you need to know about how things work in the USA these days.
The Republican mandarins are apparently delirious over loose cannon Donald Trump’s flagging poll numbers in the remaining primary states. Should Trump fall on his face, do you think they’ll just hand Ted Cruz the Ronald Reagan Crown-and-Scepter set? (They’d rather lock Ted in the back of a Chevy cargo van with five Mexican narcos and a chainsaw.) The GOP establishment insiders are already lighting cigars in preparation for the biggest smoke-filled room in US political history, Cleveland, July 20. But what poor schmo will they have to drag to the podium to get this odious thing done? Who wants to be the guy in the Oval Office when Janet Yellen comes in some muggy DC morning and says, “Uh, sir (ma’am)… that sucker you heard was gonna go down…? Well, uh, it just did.”
As for the Dems: they are about to anoint the most unpopular candidate of our lifetimes. The BLM mobs have promised to deliver mayhem to the streets of the party conventions and don’t think they will spare Hillary in Philary, no matter how many chitlins she scarfed down last month in Carolina. The action in Philly will unleash and reveal all the deadly power of President Obama’s NSA goon squads when the militarized police put down the riots, and Hillary will be tagged guilty by association.
And that is how Kim Kardashian gets elected president.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Actually, the concept of free tuition at “public” colleges does not seem illogical, absurd or impossible to me at all.
Back in 1974 or so, the little woman and I were living in San Jose and she starting taking classes at De Anza Junior College. The tuition cost? NONE: it was free. Student ID card was about 10 bucks and you had to buy your books.
We moved to Minnesota, where she continued her education at Normandale Junior College (where tuition was very, very low at that time) and finally graduated at the Univ. of Minnesota without the burden of gigantic student loans.
Please recall that the universities in the Midwest were “land grant” colleges, meaning that the railroad Barrons (e.g., James J. Hill) who got all free land from Uncle Sam for the railroad, had to set aside a few acres to establish State colleges to provide free or cheap education to the great mass of the unwashed and “less educated”.
I also recall UofMn is where Dobie Gillis attented, along with Zelda and Maynard G. Krebs. (Thank you Max Shulman.)
FEDS TO PROBE DELTA TUNNELS MISUSE OF GRANT FUNDS
Inspector General to Audit California Water Resources Handling of Federal Aid
by Dan Bacher
Washington, DC — How the State of California spent millions of dollars of federal aid meant for improving fish habitat on preparing the Environmental Impact Statement for its controversial Delta Tunnel Project is under new legal scrutiny, according to documents posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Representing a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation employee, PEER filed a complaint detailing how a funding agreement with the California Water Resources Department is illegally siphoning off funds that are supposed to benefit fish and wildlife to a project that will principally benefit irrigators.
The Delta Tunnel is a massive engineering project to trans-ship vast quantities of freshwater from the reaches of the Sacramento River, its sloughs and Delta to the south. In support of this project, the state has received more than $60 million in grants authorized under the federal Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. The PEER complaint filed on February 19, 2016 charges that –
- Those funds are earmarked for fish habitat improvements but are instead being expended on work that will harm critical habitat for at least five endangered and threatened fish species. Out of millions spent not a dime went to habitat improvements;
- The state double-billed for work it supposedly already did with an earlier $50 million grant; and
- The state collected all of the federal funds when the agreement was executed, in violation of a 50/50 matching requirement. The Bureau of Reclamation also ignored its own rule barring all the federal money from being expended before receiving the non-federal share. Nor has Water Resources indicated when and from what source it will supply its overdue match.
In a letter dated April 8, 2016, Mary Kendall, Deputy Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Interior wrote PEER saying:
“We have carefully reviewed the information you provided to us and gathered additional information about the agreement. Based on this information we have decided to conduct a review into the issues raised in your letter and we expect to commence our work on this matter this month.”
“California is improperly diverting federal grants to a giant slush fund for the California Water Fix,” stated PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein, who drafted the complaint, using a nickname applied to the Delta Tunnel. “In this case, the Bureau of Reclamation is abetting the State of California in breaking laws designed to ensure that federal investments to benefit wildlife are not used to their detriment.” Currently, the Interior Inspector General is already auditing misuse of Reclamation grants also intended to benefit fish but actually benefitting irrigators, stemming from another PEER whistleblower complaint made in 2015. Deputy Inspector General Kendall indicates that she does not expect that earlier audit to be delayed, as it is slated to be submitted to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for her approval.
MAIN STREET PROGRAM ANNOUNCES COMEDY LINE-UP for April 23rd 'Comedy Alley' Show
The Ukiah Main Street Program caps-off the 2016 Comedy Alley Season on Saturday, April 23rd with what promises to be an evening of music and laughter.
From 'The Satellite' in Los Angeles, California comes the 'Imaginary Radio Show'.
You're in for real treat when Drennon Davis, Nick Stargu, Zach Sherwin and Sean Keane take the stage to perform songs and sketches looped together to create 'The Imaginary Radio Program'.
The Los Angeles Comedy Bureau says ~ "The 'Imaginary Radio Program' not only lives up to its name, but exceeds expectation in what you could possibly think it is."
This unique team of performers has brought 'The Imaginary Radio Program' to comedy festivals all over the world, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, SXSW, Riot LA Alternative Comedy Festival, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Vancouver Comedy Festival, the Oddball Comedy Festival, and many more.
Comedy Alley is held at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center in Historic Downtown Ukiah. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show starts at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are now On-Sale and can be purchased in advance for the discounted price of $18.00 at Mendocino Bounty, Dig Music or Creative Workshop. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the evening of the event for $20.00.
Special thanks to this month's featured sponsor Barr Family Chiropractic The 2016 Comedy Alley Season is made possible thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, which include Stella Artois, Price Waterman Financial Consulting and Pacific Internet. Additional support provided by Park Falls Dental, Mendocino Brewing Company, KWiNE & Max Radio, Ukiah's Super 8 Hotel, DFM Home Audio Video, KOZT "The Coast" and Eagle Distributing.
For more information about Comedy Alley call the office of the Ukiah Main Street Program at (707) 462-6789.
CASPAR UKEFEST Concert Celebrates the Ukulele at Caspar Community Center Saturday, April 30
The Fifth Annual Caspar UkeFest, celebrating the ukulele as a friendly and playful instrument, will wrap up a full day of workshops and jam sessions with an evening concert on Saturday, April 30 at 7 PM at the Caspar Community Center, 15051 Caspar Road in Caspar. Performers will include ensemble workshop students playing “Ode to Joy”, The Ukeladies, The Ukeholics and duo Pattie and Janna in the first set, with Del Rey headlining the second set. Ukulele virtuoso Del Rey takes the instrument to new musical heights, winning over listeners with arrangements that captivate contemporary ears with vintage sounds. From her first gig in 1974 to performances around the world, she plays music that is nostalgic, fresh and thoughtful. Tickets for this concert finale to UkeFest are available at the door, online at BrownPaperTickets.com, or included in the UkeFest all-day pass. For more information go to mendocinostories.com/UkeFest.html or call 707-937-1732.
LAKEPORT SPEEDWAY 2016 INAUGURAL RACE
With the flip of a switch, the 2016 racing season will once again roar to life. Crews have been getting the tracks ready for an exciting racing season bringing more classes than ever before to Ukiah and Lakeport Speedways
For racing promoter David Furia, its is business as usual. With a very brief hiatus between seasons, Furia’s crew put on an action packed indoor racing season at Lakeport Speedway. Kart and Motorcycle riders alike enjoyed the indoor track and local businesses reaped the rewards of out of town riders staying in local motels and patronizing local businesses. With the indoor season wrapped up, focus has shifted to the asphalt tracks. Tshirts are being made, sponsors are being gathered and the schedules are out.
Furia states “Not only is it a new racing season with a multitude of racing classes, but I am proud to be part of the 50th Anniversary of Northern California Racing Association.” Furia goes on to explain that NCRA was founded in order to give racers a voice in local racing. The membership of NCRA is made up of racers and fans who have their voice heard at meetings. While Furia is the track promoter, he runs Lakeport Speedway under the direction of the NCRA board. Furia goes on to say “50 years of anything is a huge accomplishment. But with the passion and energy surrounding this sport, 50 years of having a working racing organization is quite an accomplishment. Families have been part of local racing for generations. Kids grow up at the race tracks and they go on to bring their kids. Its amazing to be part of an organization that keeps the racing tradition as a high priority.”
The tradition continues this Saturday at Lakeport Speedway. The track will be busy with a night of racing featuring the Taco Bell Bombers, Bandoleros, Hardtops, Jammers, Legends and Pro4 Modifieds. The gates open at 3:30PM, qualifying starts at 5PM. Grandstand admission is $12 for Adults, $9 for Seniors and Students, $6 for Kids, First Responders and Military.
The first race of the 50th anniversary of Northern California Racing Association happens this Saturday at Lakeport Speedway and the drivers are going to put on a show not to be missed!
Mary Chadwick, 707.272.6514
UPCOMING EVENTS at the Ukiah Library.