Mendocino County Today: Monday, May 23, 2016
by AVA News Service, May 22, 2016
I WAS DRIVING through central San Rafael the other afternoon when, out of the corner of my eye, I thought I caught a glimpse of a communist, facsimile thereof. "Communists in San Rafael? Couldn't be." There were communists in Marin up through the 1960s. During the 1950s when there was still a Communist Party they called themselves "progressives," a vague designation since appropriated by Democrats to distinguish themselves from Democrats like Hillary.
AS A KID I remember seeing "Save the Rosenbergs" stencil-painted on the old wood bus shelters. When I asked the usual unreliable adult authority, school type, who the Rosenbergs were, they said something like, "They betrayed our country. Now sit down and shut up." It was a time when little kids not only pledged allegiance to the flag, we sang America the Beautiful every morning. God had not yet made His appearance in the Pledge or the money. America was still beautiful in 1955 but you have to search it out sixty years later. A woman named Ann Smart went around Marin bullying school boards into banning certain books from the high school libraries. At my high school you needed parental permission to read the dangerous books, which were kept in a locked case behind the librarian's desk. Of course lots of kids, me included, got the required permission and plowed through what my father called, "crank literature," by which he meant stuff by vegetarians and pacifists, which made up the bulk of the banned books. Mrs. Smart saw communists everywhere, much like some people see terrorists everywhere today.
THE ONLY for reals communist I personally knew who lived in Marin was Alvah Bessie, a very nice man who fought fascism in Spain and then fought off the FBI here in Liberty Land when he tried to find work after a stint in federal prison for refusing to name names before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.
ANYWAY, at 1000 5th Avenue, San Rafael, there's the darndest little museum you'll see anywhere in the Bay Area. It's called the Museum of International Propaganda, open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10-3, with Thursday and Friday evening events. It consists mostly of posters from around the world, both fascist and leftwing. The proprietors are a pleasant Czech couple who were busy with other visitors the day I dropped by so I wasn't able to ask them what had moved them to rent undoubtedly expensive space to exhibit propaganda art which, as art, is quite good. But as Czechs I'm sure they couldn't be Stalinists. For Marin, where Bernie, a Roosevelt Democrat, is as radical as it gets, there's never been anything like this very interesting exhibit.
A READER passes along this story of his real life encounter with our political leadership. "I live in a rural subdivision south of Ukiah. The road is narrow, winding and unpaved. All of us who live there proceed with extreme caution, and because of the poor condition of the shoulders it's basically a one-way road, so we drive right down the middle to avoid the shoulders. The other evening I come around the corner and there's a car stopped in the middle of the road with its door open and no one in sight. I make my way around it and drive around the next bend in the road where there are two vehicles completely blocking the road. Are they law enforcement? Was there an accident? That's my first thought. Nope, there's a Prius and a guy with salt and pepper hair holding a tiny rat-looking dog chatting with an attractive middle age woman who also has a tiny rat-looking dog. She's in a Subaru. I ask them, "What are you guys doing in the road?" The guy with the salt and pepper hair says, "Don't worry, we're not doing it. Hah hah hah." His attempt at the lamest of lame jokes annoys me. I say, "Hey, can you move your cars so I can get by?" They turn on me, and almost in unison, bark, "What's your problem?" I reply, "My problem is you're blocking the road." Mr. Salt and Pepper replies, "No we're not." I say, "If you two are just socializing move aside so I can get through." Salt and Pepper says, "Wow, don't you have an attitude?" I ask him if he's a landowner and if he pays road association dues. The woman hustles over to my window carrying her rat dog and leans in at me. Rat dog tries to nip my nose. "O look at you," she says like I'm being totally unreasonable. Salt and Pepper demands, "Who are you? What's your name?" I answer, "I don't have to tell you, Dan, but I'm a guy who doesn't answer to you." The woman had moved her car so I could pass. She glares major hate vibes at me as I drive on with a merry, "I love you guys. Bye."
AT THE BERNIE RALLY IN VALLEJO ON WEDNESDAY.
Photos by Karen Rifkin, Ukiah
WHERE WERE THE COPS?
Ahhhhh, Pinot Fest!
Pinot Fest was here yet again last weekend. Or, as I have come to call it: “DUI-Free Weekend.”
I spent all day Saturday for the fifth year in a row shitfaced drunk, cruising up and down Highway 128, screaming “[BLEEP] THE CHP” at the top of my lungs. The fact that I’m not writing this from the friendly confines of Low Gap says it all!
The ONLY CHP vehicles I encountered were graciously helping host the “Heroes of Health and Safety” event at the Fairgrounds. Had a dozen or so of them been posted up along “Pinot Alley,” the state of California would have enjoyed quite the windfall. However, it would seem that enforcing the law where rich caucasians from points south of Anderson valley are concerned, is bad for business!
For obvious reasons:
Name withheld, Philo
AT LAST AN HONOR FOR A TRULY DESERVING PERSON
Plaque honoring Judy Pruden to be dedicated on Thursday, May 26th
In addition to working tirelessly for her community, Judy never hesitated to honestly voice her opinions, making her a modern day rarity, definitely not a lib
Please share this information with other members of City staff and with members of the PumpkinFest committee
The public is invited to attend a dedication ceremony in honor of local visionary Judy Pruden. In recognition of Ms. Pruden’s unwavering commitment to the goals and objectives of the Ukiah Main Street Program, and the community at large, a plaque has been placed on the southwest corner of School & Perkins Street in Historic Downtown Ukiah.
The plaque unveiling will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 26th, marking the one-year anniversary of Ms. Pruden’s passing. Hers was a life of commitment to community; a life cut short, but one that accomplished so much for so many.
For further information regarding the dedication ceremony contact the office of the Ukiah Main Street Program at (707) 462-6789 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE FOLLOWING is what passes for positive progress regarding "affordable housing" in Mendocino County:
"Matters from staff: Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Fund Balance and Potential Uses."
Chief Planner Andrew Gustavson: "There is more money in the fund than I thought. A couple of years ago it was about $34,000. Now we have $65,926.37, so it's been growing, it's a good trend. At some point we will be coming back with modifications to the existing inclusionary housing ordinance, but at this point it is not yet scheduled to come before you, but we do have to address some minor changes to make it consistent with state law."
Commission Chair Madelyn Holtkamp: "I would love you to share what you told me yesterday about there actually will be some affordable housing."
"Yes, we have one project that will be coming before you. RCHDC [Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation] is acting on a proposed senior housing project on the south side of Brush Street, adjacent to the Brush Street Triangle. It's been long slated for multi-family housing and now with potential funding available to complete the project we have a proposal that will be brought before you and that is on June 2. It will be brought to you as a use permit plan development CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] document. We have had an inquiry, and I must underscore that it's only an inquiry, for a development within the property on the R-3 [residential zoning] portion that your [the Planning] Commission and ultimately the Board [of Supervisors] approved for the mixed-use designation. And that would be potentially as many as 80 or more units. And it would be a blended market affordable project. So it's really encouraging to have that type of discussion. It tells us that the site itself as well as the local economy and the market is creating opportunities and we are starting to have some active inquiries. We are hopeful that we will be able to continue our discussion with the developer when they review a revised plan development."
ED NOTE: The so-called Brush Street Triangle is owned by a development group lead by the late Ukiah uber-realtor Jack Cox. Mr. Cox’s daughter, Kerri Vau, along with former Ukiah Area Supervisor John Mayfield were constant presences at Ukiah Valley Area Plan meetings. The Cox family and Mayfield, along with one of the Thomas brothers (former pear growers in Ukiah Valley), control the Brush Street Triangle, now slightly less triangular since Cox sold the piece of it mentioned above to the Rural Communities Housing Development Commission based, naturally, in Ukiah. The Cox realty group has made it clear that they’d be happy to sell some of their land in the Brush Street Triangle to any government agency that’s interested because the government pays full market prices. (These people are otherwise opposed to government.) The Cox combine stands to make a nice buck off of any "affordable" project in that area and is active behind the scenes trying to get something moving.
CATCH OF THE DAY
still unavailable due to server errors on the Sheriff’s Booking Log website.
CLINTON TO CALIFORNIA: ‘DROP DEAD’
WHAT ABOUT HOME TEAM BROADCASTERS?
It's unfair and annoying to many fans of the Golden State Warriors and the fans of other teams: After broadcasting all 82 of the regular season games, the home team broadcasters are pushed aside in favor of network bigshots. I want Fitzgerald and Barnett to do the games when the Warriors are in the playoffs, not Reggie Miller and Marv Albert.
Same goes for the Giants during the MLB playoffs, not to mention the World Series. I want Kruk and Kuip to do those games, not big network names who haven't done a Giants game all year.
My proposal would be like the designated hitter rule: In baseball when National League teams play American League teams in American League stadiums, the designated hitter rule is observed but not in games played in National League stadiums.
The same principle should apply during the playoffs: hometown broadcasters should do the games played in the home team's stadium.
— Rob Anderson (Courtesy, District5Diary)
MAN’S DISAPPEARANCE NEAR COVELO DEEMED SUSPICIOUS
Law enforcement is looking for a missing man who apparently disappeared under suspicious circumstances near the Covelo area earlier this week.
Timothy Sweeting was last seen Tuesday, and on Thursday, his 1999 white Chevrolet Tahoe was found abandoned at milemarker 32 off Highway 162 near Round Valley, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
Sweeting, from New Hampshire, has reportedly been living in Covelo for at least a month. He has also resided in Lake Tahoe in the past.
Anyone with further information on the disappearance of Sweeting, or who saw his vehicle between Tuesday and Thursday, is urged to contact MCSO Detective Luis Espinoza via the tip line at 707-234-2100.
WHY IS MODERN ART SO BAD?
FAULDER FOR JUDGE, BROWN FOR SUPERVISOR
Voters in Mendocino County have two good candidates running for Superior Court judge in the June 7 election. We endorse Keith Faulder for the job.
Mr. Faulder has been in this community a long time and has served as both a public defender, a district attorney and a private attorney. He also has experience as a judge, serving as a judge pro tem for juvenile cases in another county.
Mr. Faulder has the life experience and the legal experience to make a reasonable and compassionate judge. His experience as a defense attorney gives him insight into the responsibility to defendants in our justice system. Serving as a district attorney gives him the experience of thinking on behalf of the community at large and the victims of crime as well.
Mr. Faulder believes in fairness and equality in the courtroom and equity in judicial outcomes.
That is likely why he is endorsed widely by local law enforcement, including our Sheriff, District Attorney, Ukiah Police Chief, Deputy Sheriff’s Association and Ukiah Police Officers Association as well as a sitting Mendocino County judge and a retired local judge.
We think Mr. Faulder will make a wonderful judge and we urge a vote for him.
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We are happy to endorse Mendocino County Supervisor Carre Brown for another term in office. Mrs. Brown has been a good supervisor, one who has been a leader for agriculture and is an expert on water issues, which has been so important as this county continues to face water shortages and drought. Mrs. Brown chaired the countywide drought task force, pushed for the county to declare a drought emergency (the first county to do so), and helped bring in funding from the state to carry out drought planning.
She was also part of the effort to turn the county’s finances around when the economic crisis hit in 2008 and she took office in 2009 with a county deficit of several million. Not only has the county now got a reserve fund, she helped get the county to create a more transparent budget book on behalf of the public.
There’s lot of work still to do as the county struggles to meet the challenges of economic development, possible marijuana legalization and pension debt.
We are certain that Carre Brown is the person in the 1st District best able to meet those challenges and we urge a vote for her.
— K.C. Meadows (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
Cali isn't just gorgeous on the outside, (and just look at her!) but has a lovely temperament too. She is young, energetic and playful and needs an active home where she gets daily exercise and love. She's smart and eager to please and we think she will enjoy training and learning tricks. She seems to like other dogs and might enjoy a friendly canine housemate. She'd be a great adventure buddy for kids. Cali is a Shepherd mix dog, 58 pounds and spayed, so she is ready to go home ASAP. To speak with the shelter Adoption Coorindator, call 707-467-6453. To see all of the dog and cat guests currently at Plant Road, check out the shelter's website: www.mendoanimalshelter.com.
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Twinkle is a shorthaired black kitty with white speckles. She is a darling and very affectionate, and LOVES to sit on your lap and get lots of love. Also she’s a drooler — which makes her even MORE adorable. We are guessing that she is a senior, perhaps 7 years old, however that is a guess! Twinkle is spayed, and ready to take up residence on your lap. To speak with the shelter Adoption Coorindator, call 707-467-6453. To see all of the dog and cat guests currently at Plant Road, check out the shelter's website: www.mendoanimalshelter.com.
IN 2011 Governor Schwarzenegger's economic adviser David Crane could itemize the result of Schwarzenegger's time in office: a long list of depressing government financial statistics. The pensions of state employees ate up twice as much of the budget when Schwarzenegger left office as they did when he arrived, for instance. The officially recognized gap between what the state would owe it to workers and what it had on hand to pay them was roughly $105 billion, but that, thanks to accounting gimmicks, was probably only about half the real number. "This year the state will directly spend $32 billion on employee pay and benefits, up 65% over the past 10 years," said Crane later. Compare that to state spending on higher education which was down 5%, health and human services which were up just 5% and Parks and Recreation which was flat — all crowded out in large part by fast rising employee costs.
Crane was a lifelong Democrat with no particular hostility to government. But the more he looked into the details, the more shocking he found them to be. In 2010 for instance the state spent $6 million on fewer than 30,000 guards and other prison system employees. A prison guard who started his career at the age of 45 could retire after five years with a pension that very nearly equaled his former salary. The head parole psychiatrist for the California prison system was California's highest-paid public employee. In 2010 he had made just over $838,000. The same fiscal year that the state spent $6 billion on prisons, it had invested just $4.7 billion in its higher education — that is, 33 campuses with 670,000 students. Over the past 30 years the state's share of the budget for the University of California had fallen from 30% to 11% and it was about to fall a lot more. In 1988 University of California student paid $776 a year in tuition. In 2012 he would pay $13,218. Everywhere you turn, the long-term future of the state was being sacrificed.
This same set of facts and the narrative that it suggests would throw an ordinary man into depression. He might conclude that he lived in a society that had become ungovernable.
— Michael Lewis, "Boomerang"
AX’S FIRST BALL GAME
SPACE GROUNDBREAKING PHOTO OP
MAY 27 at NOON
Ladies and Gentlemen - SPACE (School of Performing Arts & Cultural Education) Friends & Supporters:
SPACE will be breaking ground on or about June 1 for the Final Stage of our theater construction — a bigger and better Stage and new and much needed lobby.
We will launch this project with a Photo Shoot at 508 West Perkins. Bring your favorite shovel and hard hat and a smile at 12:15pm (just past noon) on Friday, May 27.
You are part of the long and happy journey to this final (we promise) stage of the SPACE Theater and we would Love to have you join the SPACE staff and board and Cupples Construction for this short celebratory event.
Mark your calendars now. Cheers from all of us at SPACE.
WHERE TO INVADE NEXT
Movie Night June 2nd, 2016 RV Guild
There we will be showing the new Michael Moore film "Where to Invade Next" just before the primary election. The screening is Thursday June 2nd at 6:30 PM (doors open at 6 PM, film starts at 7 PM with discussion from 9-9:30. The subject is a bit different than might be guessed from the title: It is a comic look at social programs still in effect in other nations that the USA has been abandoning. There is a $10 suggested donation. We hope to see you June 2nd! Thank you! The building is just north of the center of Redwood Valley at 8650 East Road; it has changed its name to Redwood Valley Community Guild.
Bill Taylor 707-272-1688
BIG OIL HAS SPENT $25 MILLION LOBBYING DURING 2015-16 LEGISLATIVE SESSION!
by Dan Bacher
Underneath California’s veneer as a “green leader” is a dark and oily reality — the state is the third largest petroleum producer in the nation and the oil industry is California’s largest and most powerful political lobby.
In fact, last year’s oil industry “gusher” of lobbying expenses ensured that no environmental bill opposed by Big Oil was able to make out of the Legislature unless it was amended, as in the case of SB 350, the green energy bill. The oil lobby broke its prior spending record, spending $22 million over the past year.
The oil industry’s chief lobbying group, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), headed by Association President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, spent around $11 million alone during this period. (www.eastbayexpress.com/...)
The lobbying figures for the first quarter of 2016 are now in, revealing that lobbying expenses by the oil industry have continued to soar in the 2015-2016 Legislative Session.
The Big Oil heavy hitters - WSPA, Chevron, Phillips 66, AERA Energy, Exxon and Shell - have spent more than $25 million so far in the 2015-16 legislative session. The oil industry has been spending an average of $55,000 per day since January 1, 2015, according to the latest report on oil industry lobbying by the American Lung Association in California. So far in 2016, Big Oil has reported $3.5 million in lobbying expenses.(www.lung.org/...)
WSPA has spent $12.8 million so far in the session, making them, as usual, the top California lobbying spenders of the session, noted Stop Fooling California. They have paid $1.9 million of this money to KP Public Affairs, the top grossing California lobbying firm.
WSPA’s lobbying expenses are millions above the other top lobbying organizations in the 2015-2016 session. Behind WSPA are:
- The California Hospital Association $9,783,211
- The CA State Council of Service Employees $8,174,785
- The California Chamber of Commerce $5,057,612
- Chevron $4,780,466
From January 1 through March 31, 2016, WSPA has spent $1,895,815. Chevron was the second biggest oil industry spender in 2016 so far, with $797,795 spent.
The oil industry expenditures on lobbying are even more alarming when you look at the national figures. The oil and gas industry spent over $141 million lobbying Capitol Hill in 2014 - more than $350,000 a day, according to Clean Water Action. This money helps elect candidates who support pro-industry legislation and weakening regulations and landmark environmental laws that protect our air, water, fish and wildlife. (www.cadelivers.org/...)
But lobbying is not the only way the oil industry exerts its influence in California and the nation. Big Oil contributes millions of dollars to political campaigns to effectively buy off politicians and weaken environmental laws, pressures government officials to put its friends and supporters on regulatory panels, funds at least 16 Astroturf groups to push its agenda, and collaborates with corporate media, mostly notably the Los Angeles Times, to promote its propaganda.
In California, oil industry officials have actually served as regulators, as in the case of WSPA President’s Reheis-Boyd’s “service” on the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Forces to create faux “marine protected areas” in California.
Reheis-Boyd chaired the MLPA Task Force for the South Coast, as well as serving on the panels for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast, at the same time that the oil industry was fracking like crazy in Southern California ocean waters.
The so-called "marine protected areas” created under the “environmental stewardship" of Reheis-Boyd, other corporate operatives and political hacks fail to protect the ocean from oil spills, fracking, oil drilling, pollution, corporate aquaculture, military testings and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and tribal gathering.
To read my in-depth investigation of the five "wonderful” ways that Big Oil and WSPA have captured California politics, go to: www.dailykos.com/...