Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016
by AVA News Service, April 26, 2016
SHOOTING IN THE ANDERSON VALLEY
by Bruce Anderson
A young Philo man was forced to shoot a knife-wielding drunk Saturday night when the man attacked his mother and another woman in a home near Hendy Woods. Details are just now becoming known, but the shooting occurred about 8pm on property owned by the Gowan family and occupied by Cathy Gowan, 26, and just after the courageous young shooter had ensured the safety of the eight young children in the home by directing his younger brother to hide the children away from the house.
The wounded man is identified as Lorenzo Gomez Rodriguez, 34.
The spectacular series of events culminating in the nearly fatal gunfire began about 5pm with a report of a drunk driver rolling his vehicle into a ditch near Reilly Heights Ranch. That driver apparently was Rodriguez, a determined, long-time resident of the Anderson Valley despite several deportations to his native Mexico.
Rodriguez, having abandoned his car at Nash Mill, made his way to the Gowan home where he passed three youths near the Greenwood Road Bridge. Rodriguez paused to engage in an amiable conversation with the three boys, among them Bobby Kuny, 18, a senior at Anderson Valley High School. The boys said later they were unaware that Rodriguez had been drinking, that he'd been entirely non-threatening at this earlier encounter.
Bobby Kuny (L) with Grandad Danny Kuny
Bobby Kuny, his mother Lisa Kuny, and Bobby's siblings share the two-story Gowan home with Cathy Gowan and her three children, the youngest an infant. Rodriguez also lives at the home with Ms. Gowan.
Rodriguez is described by people who know him well as "a sweetheart when he isn't drinking or on drugs."
Once he reached the Gowan home, an amorous Rodriguez, perhaps eroticized by rolling his truck at Reilly Heights, climbed to the second floor of the house where Ms. Gowan lives and attempted to force himself on her. Rejected, the enraged Rodriguez began to shout vile insults at both Ms. Gowan and Ms. Kuny, who had rushed to aid Ms. Gowan in ejecting Rodriguez from her area of the home.
Refusing demands that he leave, Rodriguez soon attacked Ms. Kuny. During the ensuing struggle with Ms. Kuny, Ms. Kuny was able to knock Rodriguez down. Rodriguez then began to threaten Ms. Kuny's oldest son, Bobby, who had interposed himself between his mother and the rampaging Rodriguez. Bobby had already instructed his brother to get the 8 children in the home out of the house and hide them in the brush by the Navarro River.
Rodriguez stumbled into the kitchen where he armed himself with a 14-inch chef's knife and bellowed that he was going to kill Bobby. Bobby, meantime, had armed himself with an old .22 revolver that had belonged to his great-grandfather, retrieving the gun from its lock box in his bedroom.
Wielding the knife, Rodriguez headed for Bobby with a clear intent to stab the young man, and it was then that Bobby emptied his gun into Rodriguez, who, hit at least four times, stumbled toward the front door where he attempted to grab a pair of scissors, thought better of it, staggered to his second vehicle, a van, and drove off toward Philo.
Here's where the post-shooting Rodriguez itinerary becomes confused. In the sequence of events we have he next appeared on the Smith property just west of the Madrones, a high-end tourist complex near Indian Creek. (Rodriguez is related to descendants of Lester Smith and the Ruddock family.) Rodriguez was still behind the wheel of his van.
The police say that Rodriguez, finally beginning to fade from the several gun shots he'd absorbed, either was driven from the Smith property or continued to drive himself to Anderson Valley Way and Fitch Lane from where a 911 call located him and police soon found him "non-responsive."
A medical helicopter was unable to fly to Boonville so Rodriguez was transported to the Ukiah hospital by the Anderson Valley Ambulance, and from there to Santa Rosa where he remains as of Monday morning in improving condition. He is expected to fully recover.
Following the bloody whirlwind in his home, Bobby Kuny had calmly handed the unloaded .22 handgun to one of the officers when a CHP patrolman, Sheriff's deputy Craig Walker and Sheriff's Detective Luis Espinoza arrived at the Gowan home.
The popular young man was briefly detained and questioned. Deputies quickly determined he'd in fact behaved honorably in defense of his mother and Ms. Gowan, not to mention the numerous children he'd had to evacuate from the home as Rodriguez attempted to take out his self-induced rage on the two families.
Bobby Kuny has received threats from persons associated with Rodriguez; these persons have somehow convinced themselves that Rodriguez is the victim in this discouraging episode.
The Kuny family is temporarily staying with relatives out of the Anderson Valley.
The Kuny family's roots go deep in Mendocino County where they settled several generations ago in Comptche and Boonville. Patriarch Danny Kuny, a logger, is probably best known as the football coach at Anderson Valley High School, and is a popular figure in sports circles throughout Mendocino County.
* * *
The Sheriff's Department issued the following press release Monday morning:
On April 23,2016 at approximately 7:45 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were summoned to a reported disturbance in the 18500 block of Philo-Greenwood Road in Philo. While Deputies were responding, an additional call was made reporting Lorenzo Gomez Rodriguez, 34, of Philo, had been shot. Sometime thereafter an additional 911 call was made from the 14100 block of Anderson Valley Way (Boonville) of a gunshot victim requesting medical assistance. Deputies arrived along with members of the California Highway Patrol. The person found suffering from gunshot wounds, was identified as Lorenzo Gomez Rodriguez. Rodriguez was subsequently treated by medical personnel and ultimately transported to an out of county hospital where he was last known to be in stable condition. Detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office responded to investigate the incident. It was determined Rodriguez was a suspect in a domestic violence incident with a 26 year-old female adult in the 18500 block of Philo Greenwood Road. When other persons present attempted to intervene, Rodriguez then armed himself with a knife and attempted to assault an 18-year-old adult male and a 42 year-old female adult. The 18 year-old male adult armed himself with a handgun and defended himself and the 42 year-old female adult by shooting Rodriguez multiple times. Rodriguez fled the scene and was subsequently transported by private vehicle to the 14100 block of Anderson Valley Way (Boonville). The investigation into this incident is still ongoing. Anybody with information that might assist Sheriff's Detectives is encouraged to call the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip Line at 707-234-2100.
Female Adult [26 years-old from Philo, CA]
Female Adult [42 years-old from Philo, CA]
Male Adult [18 years-old from Philo, CA]
* * *
RE SATURDAY'S SHOOTING near Hendy Woods, I should say I've known the Kuny family all the way back to when patriarch Danny Kuny was a freshman at Anderson Valley High School. Our families have been friends for fifty years. It follows that I've known Bobby Kuny all his days, and all his days he's been the nicest kid any of us could imagine, an usually gentle kid who is popular among his peers and pulls good grades at the high school. When Bobby's name appeared as the shooter in the first reports of Saturday night's events, my first thought was, "If Bobby shot someone he had to have had a good reason." As things have turned out, Bobby in fact behaved heroically. If he hadn't shot the rampaging Rodriguez there could well have been three dead bodies by the time police arrived, Bobby's among them.
I'M NOT EXACTLY what you'd call a Gun Guy. I learned military weapons as a kid in the Marines, but I've seldom fired guns since, beyond test-firing the ones I own. I know guys who treat their guns better than their wives and girl friends. I own guns because I know the police are at least a half-hour from where I am and, in my capacity as newspaper person and as an aggravating personality type, I get my share of threats, some of them credible. I understand and support bans on automatic weapons, but it seems to me only prudent to have a gun handy in a rural setting — a shotgun in my case — especially in a time of crazy-making drugs and free-range psychos.
BOBBY KUNY'S GUN was more of a barely functioning antique than it was home defense unit. And to give you an idea how responsible the kid is, he kept his gun in a lockbox in a drawer near his bed. If he hadn't had that inherited keepsake and been willing to use it, I might be writing his and his mom's obituaries instead of writing how proud I am of him.
MURDER IN UKIAH
On April 24, 2016, at 6:48 PM, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call of a stabbing in progress in the 3300 block of North State Street in Ukiah. The caller identified the suspect as Oscar Alvarez Carrillo, 28, of Ukiah, and stated that he was in the act of stabbing a male adult. Deputies responded to the scene and located a 62 year-old Hispanic male adult lying on the ground, non responsive and suffering from multiple stab wounds. Deputies on scene attempted life saving measures while additional Deputies were checking the area for Alvarez Carrillo, who fled the scene on foot prior to their arrival. Medical personnel ultimately arrived and further attempted life saving measures on the 62 year-old Hispanic male adult, who was later declared dead at the scene. Additional Deputies who were searching for Alvarez Carrillo located him running nearby in the area of Portlock Lane and Lake Mendocino Drive. Alvarez Carrillo, who was known from multiple past contacts, was pursued into a home that was vacant and under construction in the 3200 block of Portlock Lane. Alvarez Carrillo barricaded himself inside a room inside the home. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office K-9 "Doc" was deployed and he successfully apprehended Alvarez Carrillo who was later booked into the Mendocino County Jail on a charge of murder. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detectives, assisted by investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office responded to further investigate the incident. This investigation is ongoing and the victim's name is not being released at this time, pending notification to his next of kin. Anyone who has information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip Line by calling 707-234-2100.
FORT BRAGG (A photo essay)
EATING OUT WITH BB GRACE
by BB Grace
Ay Carrumba! Arriba Cinco de Mayo on the Mendocino Coast; La la la laaaa....
If it wasn't for the Fort Bragg mayor's award, Taco Bell would get no award at all according to Mexican Food Lover's poll last March that lauded Dallas based Taco Bueno the BEST Mexican food in the USA. Taco Bueno has 175 locations, none in CA, where Chipolte's owns hundreds of their 1500 franchises, and placed second. Taco Bueno accepted their award saying their customers weep for us. Silly Texas corporatists! Don't they know that when it comes to food in California, “Mexican” might as well be another word for “Mother”, as in the birthplace of new taste? Presently CALMEX is teased with terms like Con-Fusion, or CALfusion cuisine. The first rule in Mexican food is what is good is personal. Mexican food is an art that explores the combining of spices and herbs, seasoned and heated or not just so, abetted by various methods embellished with modern tools that enable a chef to earn culinary acclaim for example, and no kidding, to emulsify reused pork fat with mint to the point no one could guess that's pork fat, and watch modern foodies award this Mexican cuisine for food creativity, seeking the next food hit out of the ball park so to speak. A Californian Mexican Chef is a modern day alchemist in a baseball cap. Allow me to explain:
The perfect example of Mexican cuisine begins with the Chef of all Mexican Chef's, Italian immigrant to Tijuana, Caesar Cardini, known for Caesar's Salad. Each lowly ingredient was to find a place among the culinary classics because of the bottom line, the sauce, or to correct myself, la salsa. I hope I'm expanding your idea of salsa beyond the tomato, for you must go beyond the tomato to know Mexican food.
Salsa is very personal, so personal, it could be translated to “Mexican Mother's Milk” if the original wasn't sacred, which it is. How many ways can you make salsa? Try to count. Take a toque, a chef's hat by Escoffier's measure, as each fold represents the mastering of an egg recipe. It would be impossible to wear a toque if each fold represented a salsa recipe. This is why you will find most chefs of Mexican cuisine, and their impostors at Taco Bell, wearing baseball caps. That's how they cook. On one hand, like Mama, who could careless about collecting folds in her hat, with hungry family to feed all wanting something different, including chocolate for dessert, culinary genius winds up pitching us awesome food combinations that become classics from mind blowing complex moles, surreal endiablados, to simply mouthwatering mojo de ajos and prickly pear jellies, or pumpkin candy. On the other hand we have chefs wearing baseball caps aimming to create the next Mexican food out of the home team ball park, and into the corporate majors sold at local Safeway under various Mexican sounding names, because Central and South America become Mexican when they come to California. California's objection over the deep south runs, well, deep.
Another important ingredient to understanding what is Mexican cuisine is understanding that Mama, or a female representative, especially favored is Our Lady of Guadalupe, must be named, or on location. This is why so many Fort Braggers will confidently tell you when you ask, “Where can I get some good Mexican food?”; “Taqueria Ricarda's! Best in CA”. Number two recommendation I get is for, “Los Gallitos!” They swear there's none better. I don't know why La Playa or Angelina's are not often mentioned except the fact they have bars and Fort Braggers really don't like the idea they're setting someone up for a DUI stop and search certified with a, “Welcome to Fort Bragg recipt, AKA DUI ticket”. This explains Purple Rose's popularity.
Purple Rose is very Mexican in that it appears as an outsider. In reality Purple Rose corners the market of Mexican food North of Fort Bragg because the Rose serves amazing margaritas that are so delicious you'll want more than two, and that's a mistake too many people make, and why parking your car in their lot is taking a chance on getting your car scratched or dented by the many who've had one too many margaritas. I can't recommend their food, with one big exception: Purple Rose's Baja Chowder. It's worthy of mention for being the only red seafood chowder on the Coast, and I'm saying it, the best chowder on the Coast, beating out the white sauce based non indigenous clam chowders. I suspect folks come to the Coast wanting seafood, and Purple Rose's Baja Chowder is easy to recommend, though their opening hours make it hard because most folks want more than chowder after 5 PM when they open. I can't recommend much else on their menu if one is going to trust me on the margaritas. Just know this, Purple Rose margaritas make everything taste good.
When people ask me where they can get good Mexican food, I tell them, “La Bamba!” Just like the lines in Richie Vallen's song, “If you want to dance La Bamba you got to have a little grace”, “If you want to eat La Bamba you have to have a little grace!” La Bamba Imports (707) 964-7747 124 North Franklin Street.
La Bamba has a small dining area, where if they could just allow a cat or two, few hens and a rooster, you could pretend to be anywhere in Baja. The only thing missing from the menu is fish tacos, but that's a relatively new Mexican classic circa 1980s Ensenada. This is how you eat La Bamba with a little grace: Call a half hour before you intend to arrive and order the Mojarra Dorada, whole fried fish ($12.00); Coctel Camarones and Pulpo/ Shrimp and Octopus Cocktail ($15.00), Carnitas tacos ($2.00 each). When you pick up your order, check out the self serve refrigerators on your way through the grocery store to the cash register, usually manned by a very nice bi-lingual woman. You'll find a wonderful and fresh assortment of home made salsas, flan, and desserts, tamales and much more to explore and enjoy. Mexican beverages, coconut water, agua frescas, and cold cerveza are available. Take your goodies from La Bamba and drive North three miles to MacKerricher State Park Laguna Point parking lot and claim a picnic table. Now, taste California the way the natives enjoy it, outdoors, surrounded by natural beauty, with a post card view of the lost coast, crashing surf filling the air with salt, sea birds dance, seals bark, flowers bloom, ferns unravel as you completely sate your senses with old Mexican family recipes and a little creative exercize for innocent wonderful fun. This is the way eating in California was meant to be and why Taco Bueno customers don't need to weep for Fort Bragg, except for the Taco Bell which by long lines stands as the most popular Mexican restaurant in Fort Bragg. Go figure. Have a safe and happy Cinco de Mayo!
WILL PARRISH WRITES: "Some readers of the AVA online edition deduced that my story of last week, "Who Funds Mendo Politics?" was part of a conspiracy that I undertook, as a known or suspected member of the North County's liberal fifth column, to undermine Third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse for the benefit of Holly Madrigal who ran against Woodhouse a couple of years ago for the Third District Supervisorial seat vacated by John Pinches. From what I can gather, the readers made their determination after I mentioned that Supervisor Woodhouse's issues-devoid 2014 campaign got “minor sums” from a few people who benefited from positions he’s taken as a supervisor, including Brian Hurt of Grist Creek Aggregates asphalt plant fame. On the other hand, I failed to mention that Madrigal's largest 2014 campaign donor, a woman named April Twedell, is actually Madrigal's mother, as readers like "halnoevil" boldly alerted me under the auspice of issuing a "Boner Alert!!" These folks should know that, while I personally favored the AVA's endorsement of Madrigal in 2014, I'm a South County guy, and the last time I used the word "liberal" as an intended compliment was probably when I was 19 years old. The piece had nothing to do with supporting Madrigal. I do have one substantive correction from that piece: the Madrigal campaign's second biggest 2014 donor was not Gabriel Madrigal but rather the California Federation of Teachers, which gave $2,500."
AT THAT FORT BRAGG Measure U meeting at the FB Senior Center last week, a guy named Scott Menzies, opposed to U, went on at suspicious length about "sodomites." He was apparently linking a Yes vote on U to an imaginary measure, existing only in his fevered head, that might also dare to remove sodomites from downtown Fort Bragg. Menzies' sodomy musings seemed to have been provoked by a disabled woman's remarks in favor of U. One member of the audience said she half expected Menzies to leap from his chair shouting, "Give me sodomy or get this old lady outta my ear!" Menzies, natch, is signed on to give the the homeless tai chi lessons at Old Coast.
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 25, 2016
OSCAR ALVAREZ-CARRILLO, Ukiah. Murder, use of deadly weapon, offenses while on bail.
JONATHAN BRADBROOK, Gualala. DUI, probation revocation.
ANTONIO COLLINS, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
MILES GIOVANETTI, Cazadero/Calpella. DUI.
JEREMY KENYON, Anchor Bay/Fort Bragg. Meth, paraphernalia.
KEVIN LITZIN, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
JACQUELINE SMITH, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
DANNY SPEAR, Fresno/Willits. Burglary, vehicle theft, receiving stolen property.
DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
STEEP RAVINE TO PLAY IN CLOVERDALE MAY 19
Don't miss Cloverdale Arts Alliance's last Americana Night of the season!
Cloverdale, April 25, 2016 -- On Thursday, May 19, the Cloverdale Arts Alliance is pleased to present Americana Night with Bay Area favorite, Steep Ravine.
Steep Ravine's soulful sound takes roots music in compelling new directions. Fusing elements of bluegrass, folk-rock, and jazz, the band continues to enthrall audiences with their uniquely Californian sound. Songwriter Simon Linsteadt (guitar, lead vocals) and Jan Purat (violin, vocals) began playing music together in high school in Northern California, later moving on to study music at UC Santa Cruz and the California Jazz Conservatory. They fortuitously met bassist Alex Bice (bass, vocals) through jam sessions in Santa Cruz. Percussionist Jeff Wilson, a close musical compadre, is the band's most recent addition. Steep Ravine has released two full-length records of all original material. After the release of their debut record TRAMPIN' ON, the band went on several national tours, including notable performances at High Sierra Music Festival, Four Corners Folk Festival, Outside Lands and Strawberry Music Festival. In 2015, Steep Ravine released their second record THE PEDESTRIAN, diving deeper into new musical terrain. The Cloverdale Arts Alliance is located at 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd. Tickets are $15 for Cloverdale Arts Alliance members and $20 for non-members. Doors open at 7:00pm; music from 7:30 - 9:30pm. Americana Night takes place the third Thursday of each month from October through May. To receive reserved seating privileges purchase advance tickets online at www.cloverdaleartsalliance or at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance during normal business hours. Tickets are available at the door. Americana Night is a program of the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, a non-profit arts organization bringing cultural arts to northern Sonoma County. Other CAA programs include Friday Night Live at the Plaza, Art Gallery, THE Jazz Club, Sculpture Trail, Music Workshops, Discovering Art Series, Art Classes, The Blues Session, and Special Events.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I just took and early flight out of Las Vegas airport. You should have seen the sorry looking people lined up at Starbucks to buck their hangovers. First time in Las Vegas, which I only used as a jumping off point for hiking in the remote Parashant Monument area. I know that people like to pick on Las Vegas as the perfect representation of America’s Get-Something-for-Nothing culture, but I just had to spend a few hours walking the strip while passing through. Holy crap! I had no idea just how depressing a place could be, especially after emerging from a wilderness area. Tens of thousands of people, most of whom have utterly lost (or never had) any sense of dignity. Ferraris cruising by the homeless. Street fights. Eight acres of Bellagio fountain water and a swimming pool in every other back yard, in the middle of the desert, while Lake Mead is 151 feet below full. The image I can’t get out of my head of a man, about my age (early 60’s), a huge belly hanging out of his flowered shirt, wearing a big plastic Donald Duck hat and carrying a 3 foot high container of some putrid looking turquoise alcoholic concoction. An image I just can’t un-see, and two hours of my life I’ll never get back. We’re so f&cked.
ANNUAL FUNDRAISING EVENT: MOTHER'S DAY CARD 2016
Mother's Day, May 8th, is quickly approaching!
The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County offers a wonderful way for you to honor your mother, a person you admire, or any woman in your life with whom you'd like to share your love. For a donation of $25, CRCMC will send a card designed by Mendocino Coast Photographer, Jendi Coursey, to someone special whom you'd like to acknowledge. Each card will include the message, "Your loving kindness has inspired a Mother's Day donation to the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County. You are loved and appreciated!" These cards are the perfect way to let someone know how much they mean to you. Your purchase of this heartfelt gift helps support services that are provided free of charge to those in Mendocino County faced with cancer.
Cards can be purchased online: www.CRCMendocino.org/Mothers-day-cards
or by calling or visiting either of our two offices:
- 590 South Dora Street, Ukiah (707-467-3828)
- 45040 Calpella Street, Mendocino (707-937-3833)
Thank you for your support!
Since 1995, the Cancer Resource Center has been a persistent advocate for those in Mendocino County faced with cancer. For more information about the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County and our services, please call either our Coastal office (707-937-3833) or our Inland office (707-467-3828) or visit our website at: crcmendocino.org
Handsome is a 2 year old, mixed breed dog, weighing in at about 90 lbs. He's neutered, so he is ready to go home. Handsome is a social, easy going guy who came to the shelter because, unfortunateley, his owners had to move and could not take him along. He appears to be playful with other dogs and he lived with a dog in the past.
However, he would do best in a home with no puppies. Handsome is easy to handle, enjoys the company of humans, and is an all-around happy guy waiting to meet you at the Ukiah shelter! For information on Handsome, call the shelter Adoption Coordinator--707-467-6453. You can find information on all the dog and cat guests at the shelter on the shelter's webpage: www.mendoanimalshelter.com
THE AWFUL LULL
by James Kunstler
Spring unfolds at last in all its loveliness and Hillary sits back in repose like the matriarch of toads with a clear path to her toadstool throne, having swallowed the mouse-king Sanders. (She forgets that there are millions more mice under the thatched grass, including new mouse-kings awaiting.) And Trump with his bullfrog smile now casts his baleful eye on the two remaining gnats circling his lily pad. Yes, this magical week when the world bursts into leaf and flower, the life of our nation seems like a fairy tale.
Weeks from now when we’re used to the mild air and the greened world, going coatless and care-free, is when the storms of summer strike and the life of the nation turns from fairy tale to horror comic. Both Clinton and Trump are perfect representatives of the nascent forces moving towards some kind of civil war in comic book America.
Clinton perfectly embodies the fortress of the status quo, including especially her praetorian guard of black ghetto grandmothers, giving Hillary the false appearance of some sort of righteousness when, really, she has nothing to offer the greater crisis of black manhood, boxed into prison by the ancient crippling rules of federal welfare policy with its extreme penalties on active fathering. Otherwise, the stone wall of her status quo fortress conceals her privy council of Wall Street necromancers, and the fortune they have helped her lay up in the vaults of the Clinton Foundation.
All of which is to say that Hillary represents the forces that want to keep things just as a they are: rackets rampant. What can crush her triumph of fakery is the sudden manifestation of rackets collapsing under their own weight — a set of awful probabilities waiting to happen, ranging from riots at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia to an accident in financial markets jerry-rigged to mis-price everything for the purpose of funneling carry-trade gains into East Hampton. Look how she croaks about the triumph of the Affordable Care Act, as though it’s a great thing that Americans can shell out $10,000 a year for medical coverage that only kicks in after you rack up the first $6,000 in charges. (Forgetting for a moment that the costs are an hallucination of the “ChargeMaster” system designed to lavish six-figure salaries plus bonuses on the maestros in the hospital executive suites.) What a demonic fraud this woman is.
In terms of sheer persona on persona, Trump is not much better, a walking hood ornament on the faltering beater car that America has become. But at least he recognizes that the beater beneath him needs a complete overhaul, even if he can barely cobble up a coherent list of particulars, or name the mechanics who might be able to fix the damn thing. And, of course, a broad swathe of Americans whose lives have also come to resemble beater cars are very sympathetic to the impulses Trump radiates.
For example, I happen to agree that the nation needs to act on immigration, both on the problem of illegal immigrants and on limiting the quotas of legally admitted newcomers. The Left, sunk in its sentimental sob stories of “dreamers,” and its nostalgia for the Ellis Island romance of 1904, can’t conceive of any reason why the nation might benefit from, at least, a time-out on invitations. The idea undermines their world-saving fantasies. In my little corner of America, the computer chip factory run by Global Foundries (owned by the Emirate of Dubai) has just laid off the majority of its homegrown American technical labor force and replaced them with foreign technicians on H1B visas, thus creating x-number of new Trump voters among the laid-off, and rightfully so, I think.
Really, who says we have to invite every striver from other parts of the world where striving is more difficult? Let them improve the strive-osity of their own nations. Do the citizens already here not have any right to halt the influx and take stock of the nation’s circumstances for a period of time? If only Trump could speak clearly about these issues instead of simply issuing crude and rather dumb threats.
Enjoy this end-of-April lull in the action. Use the moment to gird your loins and perhaps get the hell out of the financial markets while the getting is good. I think you will see things liven up a lot as the heat rises and the seventeen-year locusts emerge from their long sleep underground in frightening storms.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
BREAKING THROUGH POWER: HISTORIC CIVIL MOBILIZATION NOW
by Ralph Nader
Ever wonder why Presidential and Congressional election campaigns fail to meaningfully connect with civil society? Candidate rhetoric is designed to attract voters and campaign contributions. Candidates go out of their way to ingratiate themselves to their corporate paymasters, whose monetized minds want nothing to do with the civil society. Civil society leaders at the national and local levels and their nonprofit citizen groups form the bedrock of democracy. These civic leaders have significant expertise and experience and are meticulous and precise in their written and oral presentations. They do not traffic in false statements that are unfortunately routine for many candidates for federal office. And unlike most major party candidates who receive round-the-clock coverage for every campaign utterance, the civic stalwarts are too often left on the sidelines by the media during the campaign season.
For example, check out the Sunday morning network shows. It’s all about the horserace, the money raised, the tactics and the gaffes or outrageous slanders. Such “content” is the grist for the commercial media’s ratings and profits, especially in the 2016 presidential year. The head of CBS, Leslie Moonves said, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”
Well, the civil society is fighting back with four full days (May 23, 24, 25, 26, 2016) at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. with a civic mobilization designed to break through the power of the corporate/political complex.
Breaking through power means securing long-overdue democratic solutions made possible by a new muscular civic nexus connecting local communities and Washington, D.C.
On these four days, speakers will present innovative ideas and strategies designed to take existing civic groups to higher levels of effectiveness.
Day One — May 23, 2016 will feature an unprecedented series of presentations by seventeen successful citizen advocacy groups of long standing.
Day Two – May 24, 2016 brings together a large gathering of authors, documentary filmmakers, reporters, columnists, musicians, poets and editorial cartoonists who will demonstrate the need for wider audiences over the mass media.
Day Three – May 25, 2016 will be dedicated to enhancing the waging of peace over the waging of war. We will assemble leading scholars having military and national security backgrounds such as ret. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State, Colin Powell, veterans groups such as Veterans For Peace, and long-time peace advocacy associations to explain how peace is more powerful than war.
Day Four — May 26, 2016 will unveil a new Civic Agenda (much of which has Left/Right support) that could be advanced by engaged and enraged citizens in each Congressional district. The agenda includes recognized necessities ignored by Congress for decades and will be presented by a veritable brain trust of recognized advocates for the well-being of present and future generations.
The idea on this day is that each speaker presents the substance of each demand for later pickup by citizens back home serving their Senators and Representatives with formal summons to their own town meetings to educate these politicians and instruct their duties on their return to Congress.
Revitalizing the people to assert their sovereignty under our Constitution is critical to the kind of government, economy, environment and culture that will fulfill human potential and respect posterity.
The participating citizens will be asked to support the creation of several new organizations. One will be a Secretariat to facilitate action to stop illegal wars and their quagmires (e.g. the wars on Iraq and Libya and their brutal aftermaths) by retired military, national security and diplomatic officials who have great credibility for waging peace and also significant influence, if organized, for the media and the Congress.
These Americans did speak up in unprecedented numbers in 2002-2003 against the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq but had no infrastructure to increase their numbers and reach to the American people and the cowardly politicians in Congress.
It is also vital to return today’s circuses of elections marinated in commercial interest and cash back to deliberative events that invite the best of our people to run for elective office with its public trust.
If the foregoing whets your civic appetites, go to our website,breakingthroughpower.org to see how you can obtain tickets for these four days of events at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. or participate in other ways.
We can make it happen; you can make it historic!
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
SAN FRANCISCO TORN as Some See ‘Street Behavior’ Worsen
TRIBUNAL TO HEAR DELTA TUNNELS CASE
by Dan Bacher
A lot of folks have opined on Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels Plan, but nobody, including the Brown and Obama administrations promoting the plan, have asked the alleged “beneficiary” of this project — the San Francisco Bay-Delta Ecosystem - what the estuary has to say about the tunnels.
That will all change on April 30, 2016, when a panel of judges convening in Antioch will consider the question: “What would the San Francisco Bay-Delta Ecosystem say?” when examining a case brought before them in the first-ever Bay Area Rights of Nature Tribunal based on an international rights of nature tribunal held in Paris during the Paris Climate Talks last December.
“It’s a question gaining ground as dozens of U.S. and international communities and a handful of countries have begun recognizing rights and legal standing for ecosystems as a new framework for environmental protection," according to a news release from the Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance (BARONA.)
The tribunal will be held at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center in Antioch, CA on April 30 from 9:30 AM-2 PM.
“The case being brought before the tribunal address nature’s, community, and human rights violations presented by Governor Brown’s water policies, and particularly his proposed Twin Tunnel plan, which would significantly reduce flows needed for Delta waterways and fish. The tribunal is being put on by the Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance (BARONA) —a network of organizations seeking to explore how recognizing legal standing for ecosystems can put new governance tools in the hands of communities,” the release stated.
In addition to detailing rights violations, Tribunal witnesses and experts will also offer solutions to water flow and economic development challenges that protect, not injure, human and nature’s rights.
“The proposed project not only violate nature’s rights and human rights, but also illustrates that our laws legalize such harms,” said Linda Sheehan of the Earth Law Center. “This Tribunal is about confronting a system of laws that places people and nature in harm’s way, and demonstrating a new way forward.”
“We are pleased to work with BARONA to make the case for the San Francisco Bay-Delta,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director for Restore the Delta, a group that has been working to fight the governor’s plan and support sound water alternatives.“The Delta is an imperiled national treasure — a home for wildlife, fisheries, and human culture. After 30 years of over-pumping, the Delta Tunnels proposal would complete the destruction of the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas. Those who view the Delta as simply another water source to be drained are in for a fight. The people and wildlife of the Delta will not be erased.”
Judges for the tribunal include: renowned eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, governmental liaison for the Winnemem Wintu tribe Gary Mulcahy, Movement Rights director Shannon Biggs and others to be confirmed.
“Rights of nature” is a global movement that has been named one of the Top Ten Grassroots Movements Taking on the World by Shift Magazine. International Tribunals in Paris, Lima and Quito have recognized nature’s rights, as has the Pope and other leading figures, according to BARONA.
“Rather than treating nature as property under the law, rights of nature acknowledges that the ecosystem—in this case the Delta itself—is a rights-bearing entity,” concluded Shannon Biggs, Director of Movement Rights, a group that assists California communities pass laws that place the rights of communities and ecosystems above corporate interests. “Mendocino County and Santa Monica have already recognized these rights in order to ban fracking and develop sustainability initiatives.”
Ecuador under President Rafael Correa is the first county to recognize the Rights of Nature in its Constitution, rewritten in 2007-2008. The people of Ecuador ratified the Constitution in 2008. (therightsofnature.org/...)
In Bolivia under President Evo Morales, the Plurinational Legislative Assembly in December 2010 passed the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth (Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra). The law defines Mother Earth as "a collective subject of public interest," and declares both Mother Earth and life-systems (which combine human communities and ecosytems) as titleholders of inherent rights specified in the law.
The Antioch event is free and open to the public, but will require an RSVP. Donations encouraged. Please mark your calendars and join the growing movement for nature’s rights.
Brown Celebrates World Water Day As He Promotes Salmon-Killing Delta Tunnels
Governor Jerry Brown on March 22 issued a statement celebrating World Water Day and the White House Water Water Summit as he continues to promote the most environmentally destructive public works project in California history, the California Water Fix to build the Delta Tunnels.
“On World Water Day – as California’s drought stretches on – we’re reminded that no matter where you live, access to water is not guaranteed,” proclaimed Brown. “With today’s Summit and the Federal Action Plan, the Obama Administration is confronting this reality and planning for the future.
“The White House Water Summit focused on water challenges throughout the country, including California’s drought, and ways to build a more resilient water future," according to the Governor's Office.
Ahead of the Summit, the Obama Administration released a Presidential Memorandum and Federal Action Plan that aim to bolster long-term drought resilience in the United States by setting drought resilience policy goals, directing specific drought resilience activities to be completed by the end of the year and permanently establishing the National Drought Resilience Partnership as an interagency task force responsible for coordinating drought resilience, response and recovery efforts.
The Governor's Office proclaimed, “These efforts complement the state’s updated California Water Action Plan, released earlier this year, which lays out the actions that must be taken to protect water supplies for people and the environment and to fix the state’s critical water resource problems.”
One of the key components of the California Water Action Plan is the California Water Fix to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to export Central Valley and Trinity River water to corporate agribusiness interests, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting fracking and other extreme oil extraction methods in Kern County.
The Delta Tunnels Plan, with an estimated cost of up to $67 billion. would not yield one single drop of new water. Yet it would hasten the extinction of Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, along with imperiling the salmon and steelhead runs on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.
THE MOON'S REFLECTION IN B FLAT
Dropped by Loewe's theater on 34th Street yesterday in Manhattan, and took in the "Miles Ahead" motion picture. A wonderful tribute (and graphically accurate) portrayal of the music icon post 1975 until he resurfaced anew. It's a real treat that musicians who recorded with Miles Davis are featured. This flick is not for the faint of heart. Later, met with my friend Genea Barnes who moved to Brooklyn from San Francisco, where she had managed the Crow Bar in North Beach. Her book about ghost bicycles has been published, and seriously needs to get out to the general public. If you can help with distribution please contact her at email@example.com. We divine anarchists are duty bound to assist one another, ya know. After having an enjoyable reunion with her at Floyd in Brooklyn Heights (which has indoor bocce ball), I headed off in the dark using an inadequate subway map in search of a means of returning to Hostelling International. On a dark street, I did quickly take a pee next to a small tree. Looking up, there was a Brooklyn police car with two officers looking straight at me. I was asked to explain what I was doing. So, I replied that I was returning to my travel hostel. The curt response was: "I'm not asking you where you are going. Why are you urinating here?" I quickly said: "I'm sorry about this, officer. I apologize." And the response from law and order was: "You need to get going where you need to go", and they drove away. Two blocks later, I discovered that I was on the street which is home to the police station. The cops were probably more surprised to see me there, than I was in being caught. Fortunately, two Lagunitas IPAs and a hearty Glenfiddich scotch whiskey on the rocks enabled me to handle the delicate situation without it turning into a complete disaster. Will spend today at Poets House writing, having now acquired a better subway map. Realizing that we are not these bodies nor these minds, but the immortal Absolute which is working through them, I recommend that everybody be established in the continuous superconscious state of Sahaj Samadhi Avastha.
Craig Louis Stehr