- Mendocino County
- Anderson Valley
by AVA News Service, June 22, 2016
SF COURT UPHOLDS LAWSUIT DELAYING COSTCO, NEGATES APPROVAL OF PROJECT
by Justine Frederiksen
The First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco has upheld the lawsuit delaying the building of a Costco warehouse in Ukiah. According to court documents, the court reversed the May 2015 ruling in Mendocino County Superior Court that dismissed the 2014 lawsuit filed by William Kopper on behalf of “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First.” The court ruled that the city of Ukiah must “set aside its certification of the final (environmental impact report) and approval of the project and to bring the energy section of the EIR into compliance with CEQA before redetermining whether to approve the project.” The court also notes that “Citizens,” a group which consists of no known members other than Kopper himself, will “recover its costs on appeal.”
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
* * *
COSTCO, Where art thou and thy half-off Cheetos? Someone or someones continues to fund the Davis attorney who's keeping Ukiah's proposed Costco in court while most locals clamor for the bulk foods store. Ukiah, City of, predictably, hasn't convinced anybody except a local judge that another big box store on Big Box Row off Highway 101 is in any way, sensible.
UKIAH-BASED opponents originally got CostCo to drop its mega-gas station and to modify other areas of its plan. The initial suit to stop CostCo was brought by local, unionized grocery workers who pointed out that Ukiah's existing groceries will be severely impacted by CostCo's cut-rate, non-union prices. The original plaintiffs have since withdrawn their sponsorship of the suit, but the Davis attorney refuses to say who he's representing.
AN AS YET UNIDENTIFIED 62 year old Santa Rosa motorcyclist was driving his Harley Davidson westbound on Highway 20 with his passenger, Cindy Makinano, 60, also of Santa Rosa, riding on the backseat at milemarker 4.5. David Gillette, 62, of Sacramento was driving an International truck eastbound at the same point. As the Harley rider executed the right hand curve with the roadway he allowed his Harley to unsafely cross over the solid double yellow lines into the eastbound lane. Mr. Gillette was executing the same curve while traveling the opposite direction when he saw the Harley crossing the solid double yellow lines. Gillette attempted to avoid a collision with the Harley by swerving to the right and applying his breaks. Gillette’s evasive attempts were unsuccessful and the Harley collided into the front left portion of the International. The Harley with rider and passenger came to rest in the westbound lane of Highway 20. Gillette drove the International out of the roadway to a nearby turnout and remained on scene. The Harley rider and passenger were transported from the scene with major injuries. The 62-year-old Harley driver was later pronounced dead upon arrival at Ukiah Valley Medical Center. Passenger Makinano was flown to Santa Rosa Memorial to receive treatment for her major injuries.
(From a CHP Press Release by Officer M. Covington)
POINT ARENA CHARGING TO WATCH FIREWORKS THIS YEAR
We saw this post on the "Point Arena Update” page:
"I know some people are unhappy with the $10 charge to see the fireworks this year. I believe the fireworks cost $10,000 and people donate towards the cost. Could I just suggest looking at doing something different next year, something less costly, something better for the environment?
How about a laser light show with choreographed music? We could involve the Arena Tech Center, involve our youth. No pollution going into the ocean, no wildlife and pets scared by explosions. A onetime purchase versus $10,000 dollars every darn year."
POINT ARENA AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RESPOND to Grand Jury report about favortism toward councilmembers and illegal sewage dumping.
(Spoiler Alert: Total denial by City of Point Arena)
DEMOCRATS HOST SIT-IN ON HOUSE FLOOR FOR HOURS TO PROTEST REPUBLICANS' RESISTANCE TO HOLDING GUN CONTROL VOTES
by Nikki Schwab
Several dozen House Democrats are engaged in a sit-in on the House floor trying to push Republicans to debate gun control.
The protest started right before lunchtime — with Republicans gaveling out to take a break — and then later calling a recess.
The House's cameras were turned off with members using the web app Periscope to broadcast their speeches.
Both Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama tweeted their support of the Democrats' sit-in.
House Democrats today took a stand — by sitting down — to pressure Republican leadership to allow them to vote on gun control measures, two days after the Senate failed to pass anything new.
The Democrats gathered on the House floor for hours and took turns speaking. They were without lights and the usual House video camera — streaming the protest on their cell phones instead.
The sit-in was led by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a veteran of the civil rights movement, who shamed the Republicans for turning “deaf ears to the blood of the innocent” before asking his Democratic colleagues to join him in the well of the House chamber around 11:30am Wednesday (eastern time).
The Republicans responded with Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., acting as Speaker, gaveling out to let his peers head off to lunch.
After noon, Rep. Ted Poe, now with the gavel, noted that “the House is currently not in a state of order due to the presence of members in the well who are not recognized.”
Poe asked them to leave and when the Democrats didn't he called a recess.
While in recess each time, the House's cameras were shut off, with C-SPAN, which airs the proceedings, noting that they don't have control of the camera feed.
Individual members of Congress used the Periscope app to then broadcast the day's pro-gun control speeches from the floor.
Just moments before the sit-in, Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., played the role of opening act.
“This congress has no right to hold moments of silence anymore and then do nothing to prevent the next tragedy,” she said.
“This is a moment of truth for Congress,” she continued. “We cannot have another moment of silence without action.”
Passing the baton to Lewis, who spoke at the 1963 March on Washington alongside Martin Luther King Jr., said he had had “an executive session with myself” and decided to jump into action.
“We have lost hundreds of thousands of innocent people to gun violence,” he said.
“Tiny little children, babies, students and teachers, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, daughters and son, friends and neighbors,” he entoned.
House Speaker Paul Ryan blasted the protest, appearing on CNN Wednesday afternoon. He called it “nothing more than a publicity stunt,” adding, “This isn’t trying to come up with a solution to a problem.”
(Courtesy, the Daily Mail On-Line)
(Ed note: They were still at it late Wednesday night as we posted Thursday’s collection.)
* * *
HUFFMAN IS SITTING IN
I’m proud to join Congressman John Lewis & House Dems in a protest on the House floor as we urge an immediate vote on common-sense gun control legislation that has been stalled for years in Congress. A moment of silence is an insufficient response to tragedies like Orlando; Congress cannot just sit idly by. I urge Speaker Ryan to do the right thing and allow for a real debate on how to solve our country’s gun violence epidemic.
— Congressman Jared Huffman
HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN LYRICS
So long sad times, Go long bad times
We are rid of you at last
Howdy gay times, Cloudy gray times
You are now a thing of the past
Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let's sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again
Altogether shout it now
There's no one / Who can doubt it now
So let's tell the world about it now
Happy days are here again
Your cares and troubles are gone
There'll be no more from now on
From now on...
Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So, let's sing a song of cheer again
Are here again!
— Milton Ager, Jack Yellon (1929)
THE 2016-2017 UKIAH SYMPHONY SEASON
by Karen Rifkin
The Ukiah Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce its 37th anniversary season, once again working in collaboration with Mendocino College to bring to the community a full season of performances at the college’s Center Theatre. Mendocino College will offer its symphony orchestra classes in which both community members and traditional students will enroll as part of the instructional program.
To encourage a love of music, the Symphony has agreed that those under 18, as well as students of any age with an ASB student body card, can attend the concerts at no charge.
The season kicks off with a major fundraising concert performance of “Annie Get Your Gun” by Irving Berlin at Nelson Family Vineyards on Saturday, August 6th at 7:30 p.m. The 1946 Broadway hit musical originally starring Ethel Merman features Roseanne Wetzel and Pedro Rodelas portraying the fictionalized story of Annie Oakley’s romance with sharpshooter Frank Butler.
Our Own Back Yard! opens the season on September 10th and 11th showcasing original compositions by longtime orchestra members Jeff Ives and Clovice Lewis.
Fantasy Suite for Orchestra by Ives incorporates English Baroque fantasia, Balkan folk music and stately dance from Renaissance Europe with lively polyrhythms and Romantic swoon.
The Score by Lewis is a symphony — for a movie that does not exist — featuring a cello solo in one of its four movements which premiered in full in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 6th, under Leon Burke as part of a worldwide “Global Embrace” concert tour.
The program concludes with Joseph Haydn’s classical piece Symphony No. 103 in E-flat Major nicknamed “The Drumroll” because of the long roll on the timpani with which it begins. Haydn was a prominent and prolific Austrian composer of the Classical period who is known as “The Father of the Symphony.”
Rach III & the New World to be presented on December 3rd and 4th features solo pianist Lawrence Sarabi-Holmefjord on Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, one of the most difficult piano concertos ever written.
Sarabi-Holmefjord and his brother Julius cofounded the Aureus Academy in Singapore, a new music education center inspiring adults to take up a musical instrument for the first time or pick up where they left off as children. The accomplished pianist is quoted as saying, “Everyone deserves the gift of making music; I would make this my mission.”
The concert concludes with Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World,” America’s most popular and famous symphony. Dvořák was a Czech nationalist composer who directed the National Conservatory of Music in America in the late 1800s. After listening to Native American music and African-American spirituals, he was able to transfer that nationalist idiom to American soil in this great work.
The Dances of Argentina on February 11th and 12th brings to the stage Bay Area solo harpist Anna Maria Mendietta playing Alberto Ginastera’s Harp Concerto, Opus 25.
Mendietta and Marcelo Molina, a U.S.A. National Tango Champion, dance tango numbers accompanied by tangos of Argentina by various composers. The symphony performance concludes with Four Dances from Estancia by Alberto Ginastera.
Free school performances the week prior to the concert are being made available to over 1200 local students.
The Sublime, the last concert of the season on May 20th and 21st, features solo cellist David Michael Goldblatt who has been with the San Francisco Symphony since 1978. He will be playing Joseph Haydn’s technically difficult Concerto in D Major.
The Mendocino College Masterworks Chorale concludes this program in a presentation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem, the most performed and well-known work in the chorale repertory.
Adult season tickets for four concerts are $75; season tickets for seniors (65 or older) for four concerts are $65; season tickets for those under 18 or student body cardholders (ASB cards) for four concerts are free! You may go to http://www.ukiahsymphony.org/ to see dates for concerts and more ticket information. To request a 2016-2017 brochure, call 707 462-0236.
MEG COURTNEY! ARE YOU NOW, OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN, A RED STAMP?
Dear Ms. Courtney (Chair of the KZYX Board of Directors),
Thanks for posting the 'MCPB Budget as Passed' on the KZYX website:
The subheading reads, "MCPB FY2016 Budget As Approved 6-29-16".
That's a whole week from today. Has it already been approved?
You and your fellow Directors might want to check it for error. Just for example, it reports the actual 'Legal and Professional Fees' at $7,515 for last year. But according to last year's so-called audit, the amount was $17,914. You can see that here:
Also, the total actual expenses on your 2015 'Budget As Passed' are $568,912. Those on the so-called audit are actually $597,165.
So I'm wondering. Do you or your fellow Directors actually participate in passing budgets like this? Or are you a rubber-stamp board?
Scott M. Peterson
ARAGORN AND LOUIE at the Mendocino County Animal Care Services Shelter in Ukiah.
Handsome Aragorn is a black tabby waiting for a castle to call his own. He's an explorer at heart, and given the chance to roam the shelter's Cat Colony room, he will do so rather than laying in your lap. When he's done with his adventures, Aragorn enjoys playing with toys. We love his independent streak!
Louie is very friendly and social. He seems to do well around other dogs at the shelter; however due to Louie's history from his past owners, he will need to do a meet and greet with any potential doggie housemates. He probably would do best being an only dog. Louie is mellow and enjoys hanging out and being in the company of people. He doesn't seem interested in playing, but he does like affection. Louie is 70 pounds, 6 years old and neutered. Being an older guy, Louie is enrolled in the shelter's SENIOR DOG PROGRAM--which means his adoption fees are discounted. Call to find out more!
If you think Aragorn or Louie might fit into your family, call the shelter's Adoption Coordinator at 707-467-6453, or better yet, come on down to 298 Plant Road in Ukiah. Don't forget to visit and bookmark the shelter's official website: www.mendoanimalshelter.com. We're also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 22, 2016
JOHN BOLTON IV, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
KEITH BUCK, Willits. DUI, unlawful display of registration, suspended license, probation revocation.
CHAD CARVER, Willits. Burglary.
THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Camping in Ukiah, probation revocation.
JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
EMERY ELLINGWOOD, Willits. Drunk in public.
JAMES HUFF, Arcata/Ukiah. Controlled substance, more than an ounce of pot.
MICHAEL JACQUET, Potter Valley. Probation revocation.
LORENZO MARTINEZ, Navarro. Suspended license, parole violation.
FORREST SEWARD, Navarro. Domestic assault, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, false imprisonment, phone line vandalizing.
JORDAN SHAW, Talmage. Controlled substance.
THE BIKE PREDATORS
AVA et al,
I will open with the honorable Moses Maimonides from his Mishneh Torah on the 613 biblical commandments and that is quite simply to refer to one of the commandments that we have all heard and know, "Not to stand by idly when a human life is in danger."
On Tuesday June 21st at about 9:30pm there was a sexual assault at the Valero station on the corner of MLK and University avenue, less than a block away from the Berkeley Police Department.
Most shockingly when I heard of the assault I also found out that the woman who was being assaulted was yelling and screaming and fighting back as best she could and yet none of the many passersby on foot or in cars nor the gas station attendant — NO ONE — came to her assistance. I believe it is a sad day in our society when the passerby does not help someone being hurt right in front of their eyes. Are we all too distracted, complacent, self-absorbed, scared?
Why would no one help or come to her assistance? Is everyone so completely absorbed in their handheld device that they are too "busy" to even pay attention to anyone else? They say handheld devices create a lack of empathy in people. Well, this is a direct example of how. The perp was a tall, thin black male about 50 years old, riding his bike around wearing a green Oakland Athletics parka who did not appear to be one of the many homeless characters lurking about this town.
I have several conclusions.
First there is a subset of characters who are not homeless but who come from neighboring towns and ride their bikes around Berkeley looking for crimes to commit and use their bikes to escape. This is a finite group of characters so somebody knows this guy and this is not the first time he has been in Berkeley if he is comfortable enough to commit a sexual assault less than a block from the police compound. I'll bet the perp is known to the characters who hang out in the city center park and drink malt liquor purchased from the Valero station in question.
Second, do the police have a lock on BART surveillance and operations where they can stop and search trains forward several stations after leaving from Berkeley after the commission of a serious crime, and review tape to see the perp entering the station? Has BART taken out the dummy cameras and put real ones in?
Third, there are a lot of young women in Berkeley because of UC as well as Berkeley High and so I want to know how active the special crimes task force is on this issue? What is good police work and is it being done locally?
Fourth, are we beefing up the presence of closed circuit television wherever possible to capture perps on surveillance (it works wonders for the conviction rate in London)? Are local businesses canvassed and encouraged to possess an outward facing surveillance camera to capture video of criminals on the approach or escape? Trader Joe's and Valero should have street facing cameras.
Five, are we doing enough to raise the general awareness of the need to be active, vigilant and aware for ourselves and others when we travel the streets? Do we grasp the gravity and prevalence of these crimes and the fact that many go unreported?
Six, are we teaching our young boys that the objectification of women's bodies is demoralizing and wrong, even if it is glorified in popular culture? Again we are back to devices/internet as part of the problem on all sides.
Seven, are we targeting problem businesses that attract crime and fuel criminality? I believe the Valero station in question, which sells cheap malt liquor to be consumed on the streets and in our filthy parks to the detriment of our city, is a PROBLEM BUSINESS. I have personally seen a crime being committed on that corner that I chose not to personally get involved in, which is why modern societies employ police forces. When I went into the Valero station and insisted they call the police I was adamantly rebuked over and over again despite my insistence and eventual cursing.
This is a real sign of decline when women are so brazenly sexually assaulted in public and no one will help. The fact that the handheld device fuels the pervert, preoccupies the witness, and distracts the victim seems to be quite telltale in all of this. Anyone who saw that crime being committed and did nothing to help the young woman deserves a wicked slap in the face if not worse. Wake up, pay attention and get with it people!
Nate Collins, Berkeley
BERNIE IS DOING EXACTLY AS I PREDICTED two months ago, playing a role that has become almost standard fare in the Democrats presidential elections, the sheepherder, the piedpiper, the apparent revolutionary who walks onto the national stage like a warm up speaker for a year, promising great reforms and changes to come via his revolutionary movement within the Democratic Party, then when the electoral insurgency fails after the primaries, declares victory, pointing to the massive movement building, begrudgingly or belatedly endorses the choice of the liberal oligarchy, and proves to be True Blue, going out and campaigning like a demon on fire in the Fall to help the Democrats, Hillary in this case, win.
— John Stauber
SF’S HOMELESS CAMPING BAN
LIBS ALL THE WAY INTO TREACHERY MODE
During the presidential election cycle, liberals display their gutlessness. Liberal organizations, such as MoveOn.org, become cloyingly subservient to the Democratic Party. Liberal media, epitomized by MSNBC, ruthlessly purge those who challenge the Democratic Party establishment. Liberal pundits, such as Paul Krugman, lambaste critics of the political theater, charging them with enabling the Republican nominee. Liberals chant, in a disregard for the facts, not to be like Ralph Nader, the “spoiler” who gave us George W. Bush.
The liberal class refuses to fight for the values it purports to care about. It is paralyzed and trapped by the induced panic manufactured by the systems of corporate propaganda. The only pressure within the political system comes from corporate power. With no counterweight, with no will on the part of the liberal class to defy the status quo, we slide deeper and deeper into corporate despotism. The repeated argument of the necessity of supporting the “least worse” makes things worse.
Change will not come quickly. It may take a decade or more. And it will never come by capitulating to the Democratic Party establishment. We will accept our place in the political wilderness and build alternative movements and parties to bring down corporate power or continue to watch our democracy atrophy into a police state and our ecosystem unravel.
The rise of a demagogue like Donald Trump is a direct result of the Democratic Party’s decision to embrace neoliberalism, become a handmaiden of American imperialism and sell us out for corporate money. There would be no Trump if Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party had not betrayed working men and women with the North American Free Trade Agreement, destroyed the welfare system, nearly doubled the prison population, slashed social service programs, turned the airwaves over to a handful of corporations by deregulating the Federal Communications Commission, ripped down the firewalls between commercial and investment banks that led to a global financial crash and prolonged recession, and begun a war on our civil liberties that has left us the most monitored, eavesdropped, photographed and profiled population in human history. There would be no Trump if the Clintons and the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama, had not decided to prostitute themselves for corporate pimps.
Con artists come in many varieties. On Wall Street, they can have Princeton University and Harvard Law School degrees, polished social skills and Italian designer suits that are priced in the tens of thousands of dollars. In Trump tower, they can have cheap comb-overs, fake tans, casinos and links with the Mafia. In the Clinton Foundation, they can wallow in hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate and foreign donors, including the most repressive governments in the world, exchanged for political favors. But they are all crooks.
The character traits of the Clintons are as despicable as those that define Trump. The Clintons have amply illustrated that they are as misogynistic and as financially corrupt as Trump. Trump is a less polished version of the Clintons. But Trump and the Clintons share the same bottomless guile, megalomania and pathological dishonesty. Racism is hardly limited to Trump. The Clintons rose to power in the Democratic Party by race-baiting, sending nonviolent drug offenders of color to prison for life, making war on “welfare queens” and being “law-and-order” Democrats. The Clintons do a better job of masking their snakelike venom, but they, like Trump, will sell anyone out.
The Clintons and the Democratic Party establishment are banking that the liberal class will surrender once again to corporate power and genuflect before neoliberal ideology. Bernie Sanders will be trotted out, like a chastened sheepdog, to coax his followers back into the holding pen. The moral outrage of his supporters over Wall Street crimes, wholesale state surveillance, the evisceration of civil liberties, the failure to halt the devastation of the ecosystem, endless war, cuts to Social Security and austerity, will, the Democratic Party elites expect, airily evaporate. They may not be wrong. Given the history of the liberal class, they are probably right.
Sanders supporters, however, were given a stark lesson in how the political process is rigged. Some are disgusted and politically astute enough to defect to the Green Party. But once they no longer play by the rules, once they become “spoilers,” they will be ignored or ridiculed by a corporate press, excoriated by liberal elites and chastised by their former candidate.
Liberals, as part of the quid pro quo with the establishment, serve as attack dogs to keep us within the deadly embrace of corporate capitalism. Liberals are tolerated by the capitalist elites because they do not question the virtues of corporate capitalism, only its excesses, and call for tepid and ineffectual reforms. Liberals denounce those who speak in the language of class warfare. They are the preferred group — because they claim liberal values — used by capitalist elites to demonize the left as irresponsible heretics.
— Chris Hedges, Truthdig
WATER CONTRACTORS LAUNCH NEW ATTACK ON STRIPED BASS, BLACK BASS
by Dan Bacher
The Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, the Astroturf group bankrolled by Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon Stewart Resnick, on June 9 submitted a new petition to the California Fish and Game Commission to raise bag limits and reduce size limits on striped bass in an attempt to reduce their populations. This time they’ve added black bass also as a so-called “predator” in their petition.
The “Coalition” is joined by a who’s who of the state’s agribusiness, water agency and corporate interests, including the California Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California, San Joaquin Tributaries Authority, Southern California Water Committee, State Water Contractors, Western Growers Association, California Farm Bureau Federation, Northern California Water Association and Kern County Water Agency.
When the water contractors last tried to eradicate striped bass by slashing the size limit and increasing the bag limit, anglers were able to defeat their proposal with a large showing of people at the February 2012 Fish and Game Commission meeting after Fish Sniffer Editor Cal Kellogg and I helped organize a campaign mobilizing over 450 anglers to show up for a CDFW meeting on the issue in Rio Vista in November 2011.
Coalition for a Sustainable Delta spokesman Michael Boccadoro, the president of the Dolphin Group, claimed the purpose of the petition is to “help preserve” Sacramento River Chinook salmon and Delta smelt.
“California families, businesses and farms have sacrificed considerably during this drought to provide water to help preserve salmon and smelt,” Boccadoro stated. “Modifying size and bag limits for striped bass is an important next step to better protect and begin restoring these endangered species. It is clear that more needs to be done to halt the continuing declines.”
The proposed changes would increase the bag limits and decreased the size limits for black bass and striped bass in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and rivers tributary to the Delta, according to Boccadoro.
The black bass size limit would be decreased from 12 inches to 8 inches and the daily bag limit would be increased from 5 fish to 10 fish.
The striped bass size limit would be decreased from 18 inches to 12 inches and the daily bag limit would be increased from 2 fish to 6 fish and the size limit.
The Coalition also criticized state regulators for focusing on increased flows and water pumping restrictions while “predation by non-native species has gone largely unaddressed.”
Anglers oppose the proposal because they say it will reduce the population of stripers and black bass and not address the real causes of salmon, Delta smelt and other fish declines — water diversions, overpumping and mismanagement by the state and federal governments.
Dave Hurley of the Allied Fishing Groups explained the gravity of the matter in an action alert to anglers. “Those wanting to blame introduced species for the water contractors’ sins of overpumping the Delta are back on another attack on species that have co-existed in the Delta for over 100 years,” said Hurley.
At this time, it is unclear when this petition will be presented to the Fish and Game Commission, but it may be as early as July in Petaluma, according to Hurley.
Prominent scientists disagree strongly with the contention of Boccadaro and the water contractors that the proposed regulations would “help protect” endangered salmon and smelt, pointing out the lack of any peer-reviewed science backing this claim.
“There is NO new peer-reviewed science that would change anything regarding this issue from the last time they tried the regulation change until now,” said David J. Ostrach Ph.D., Chief Scientist of Ostrach Consulting. “There has been some special interest group directed ‘studies’ by the water contractors and their allies, most of which are bogus or focus on hot spots and then expand that notion to the entire estuary e.g. if they're eating them in mass at the hotspots there eating them everywhere.”
“Most importantly. predation at hot spots and throughout the Delta has not been shown to affect population levels of salmon or endangered species; it is a lower-level stressor. The biggest predators known to affect population levels of endangered species in the system are the state and federal water project pumping operations, where it's clearly documented that they've killed tens of millions of endangered salmon, Delta smelt, striped bass and any other fish that enters Clifton Court Forebay,” said Ostrach.
In fact, Ostrach points out that Dr. Sean Hayes, NOAA's lead scientist on this topic, made a 45 minute presentation to the State Water Resources Control Board concluding that removing striped bass are other predators from the system would likely not only do no good, but could potentially cause serious harm to endangered species and the ecosystem.
“So the federal agency's own scientists working on this problem have come to this conclusion, yet his words are twisted to suit the needs of the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta and others,” said Ostrach.
Ostrach emphasized that if the Commission does change the regulations so that smaller striped bass are being caught and kept, it would likely cause a decrease in striped bass predation on other fish more dangerous to the endangered species such as the inland silverside.
“If you remove young (up to 3-4-year-old) striped bass by fishing or otherwise reduce their numbers, then the silverside population would increase,” said Ostrach. “The silversides are direct competitors with salmon smolts for the same food sources, and they also are known to eat Delta smelt larvae, juveniles and eggs. This is just one example of how trying to perturb an ecosystem already in collapse would likely make things much worse rather than do anything better,” he said.
A UC Davis study released in May confirms Ostrach’s argument. The study, “Understanding predation impacts on Delta native fishes,” written by Peter Moyle, Andrew Sih, Anna Steel, Carson Jeffres, William Bennett, asked the question: Will endangered fishes, such as Chinook salmon, delta smelt, and longfin smelt, benefit from control of predators, especially of striped bass? (californiawaterblog.com/...)
After a review of the scientific literature and research, their conclusion was “unlikely.”
“It seems unlikely that a large-scale predator removal program focused on striped bass would have a sustainable, measurable effect on populations of its prey species, specifically protected smelts and salmon,” the scientists concluded.
Like Ostrach, they pointed out that predator control can have unintended consequences, including potentially adversely impacting endangered native species.
“For example, reducing striped bass populations might cause an increase in important prey species, such as Mississippi silverside, that prey on delta smelt eggs and larvae. In other words, controlling striped bass may backfire and increase predation on delta smelt,” they wrote.
“Striped bass get blamed for declines of native fishes because they are an abundant, voracious, non-native predator. Yet striped bass have been part of the Delta ecosystem for nearly 150 years, plenty of time for co-adaptation of predator and prey. In periods when delta smelt, longfin smelt, and salmon were abundant in the past, striped bass were much more abundant than they are today, suggesting that the same factors that drive native fish declines are also driving striped bass populations,” the scientists said.
Dr. Ostrach described the petition as “just another diversion by the water contractors and their allies to focus attention on predation rather than the real cause of the demise of the San Francisco Bay Delta ecosystem — mismanaging the water such that we have an environment very much similar to an Arkansas lake where things like egeria /water hyacinth and freshwater species like smallmouth bass largemouth bass can thrive and is not conducive to survival of plants and animals that live in an estuary.”
“The key to stabilizing the Delta would be to restore habitat, restore the appropriate flows to the river system, and in the case of hot spots, reengineer those places that have created a haven for predators rather than trying to do things that simply won't work like removing the predators and taking them to lakes and out of the system,” he said.
“Don't blame the fish — blame the structures in engineering and the way they are managed,” he concluded.
The composition of the Fish and Game Commission has changed dramatically since they last addressed this issue — and turned down a petition by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), under pressure by the water contractors, to increase striped bass bag bag limits and decrease size limits. Only one Commissioner — Jacqueline Carmenin Hostler- has been on the Commission for over two years.
Even more troubling, the two newest Commissioners, Russel Burns of Napa and Peter Silva of Chula Vista, work for or have worked for groups pushing Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels plan, a water grab by the same water contractors that have proposed changing the limits on stripers and black bass.
Burns works as business manager at Operating Engineers Local Union 3, a supporter of the California WaterFix, while Silva served as senior policy advisor at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, one of the sponsors of the petition and one of the leading backers of the Delta Tunnels.
As the water contractors submit their petition, the numbers of Delta smelt, once the most abundant fish in the estuary, have plummeted to a new low, according to this spring’s CDFW smelt survey. Only thirteen adult Delta Smelt were collected at 8 stations contributing to the index in 2016.
The Delta smelt collapse is part of an overall ecosystem decline driven by water diversions by the federal and state water projects. The CDFW’s 2015 Fall Midwater Trawl demonstrates that, since 1967, populations of striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, splittail and threadfin shad have declined by 99.7, 98.3, 99.9, 97.7, 98.5 and 93.7 percent, respectively, according to Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).
Stewart Resnick, the billionaire funder of the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta Astroturf group, is the co-owner of The Wonderful Company with his wife Lynda, and the largest grower of orchard fruit in the world. For more information about the Resnicks and their connections with the University of California system, read my piece, “The story that disgraced UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi didn’t want you to read,” at: www.dailykos.com/...
THE GENDER OF RANT
On 6/22/2016 8:23 AM, Thomas M. Grattan wrote: “How do you know the gender of the "rant"???”
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There are lots of cues and signs. Is it pure visceral stupid outrage or just florid huffiness? And examine the handwriting -- is the dot over every i a little heart, a star, a tiny picture of something? That's probably a girl, then. If the dots are all different tiny pictures, that's rare probably a redheaded woman. Doodles of guns/knives/rockets in the margins of a death threat: small boy /or/ really interesting older woman. Ponies or a sketch of a boy's face: a girl. Count the exclamation marks; a repeated odd number is a boy, even is a girl; a whole line of bangs is a woman in her forties. Aerobic capitalization: old woman or old man. All caps: a partially deaf old man.
The more material to work with, the better. If it's a very short rant and you're already certain the person is nuts, that's the hardest to tell. Also there's the name of the sender. Ezekiel, Q-Dog, Crash, Jenny, Phil, Pops, Nirmala, etc., are dead giveaways. Taylor, Morgan, Alex, Sam, not so much. Alix would be a 20-something young woman, slight, pretty, no makeup or facial mutilation (no wood plugs; no lip, nose or tongue rings).
Does the rant smell like a clove or menthol cigaret? Girl. Like a regular cigaret? Male veteran (or a creepy buzz-cut techie with a car trunk full of specialized tools). Smell like weed? Dude.
It's like any on-the-job skill. Experience furthers. You do it for awhile, faking it, wondering if you'll ever get it, and then one day it's like skating away on the ice and you're there.