Mendocino County Today: Saturday, June 25, 2016
by AVA News Service, June 25, 2016
SHERIFF ALLMAN. Today, the Sheriff turned in twice the required number of signatures needed to qualify his unique mental health proposal for the November ballot. The magic number is roughly 2100, Allman turned in 4300 signatures.
THE SHERIFF himself gathered 1500 of those qualifying signatures. "Only a few people wouldn't sign," the Sheriff said Friday afternoon, chuckling at the recollection. "An elderly woman said she wouldn't live long enough to see it, and another man said he didn't see a need for it."
SHERIFF ALLMAN'S PROPOSAL would, if realized, directly address the proliferating numbers of untreated mentally ill persons presently either housed at the County Jail, on the streets uncared for, or stacked up at emergency rooms where overwhelmed medical staff try to help them. Police and emergency room personnel have complained for years that the County's mentally ill are not being effectively treated.
IMPLICIT IN THE SHERIFF'S plan is the unspoken obvious — Mendocino County spends about $26 million annually for mental health services that are not being delivered, and that's the kind way of putting it. The unkind way of putting it is all this money is being spent while the County's police forces do almost all mental health's heavy lifting, and their only recourse is to house the mentally ill at the Mendocino County Jail which, of course, is not equipped or staffed to deal with the mentally ill.
THE ALLMAN PLAN would set aside five year's worth of sales taxes at a half-cent to develop a local mental health facility which will 1. Provide a psychiatric 72 hour hold capability, 2. Provide a 30 day transition and rehab facilility, 3. Provide outpatient treatment and drug rehab to walk-ins, and 4. Provide a place where the County’s far-flung emergency responders can learn how to handle and effectively deal with psychological meltdowns. The proposed facility will be staffed by existing mental health staff.
FOR MANY YEARS, Mendocino County has not had an in-County mental health capability. Our mentally ill have been largely privatized as funding units for dubious outside businesses at enormous cost to local taxpayers. An in-County mental health facility would save the County large sums of public money by treating our mentally ill here at home.
KATE GASTON, one of the persons who helped draft Allman's strategy, put it this way recently at a Board of Supervisors meeting: “I’ve visited the jail several times. Mental illness leads to jail if a person is not officially declared 5150. And when they are, we have no facility in town. We send people to out of county treatment that we pay dearly for. We need to be reimbursed for in-county services and lower cost services. All this involves lost lives, lost time and there are no services in jail. This proposal answers multiple levels of needs. And it’s all reimburseable with an admin fee. We also need the post-trauma services to reduce the return rates. I understand the request for particulars — our [Allman’s] team can work on that. But I support having it on the ballot. We have to stop filling the emergency rooms and jail for months, stop sending people out of county. We need local, earlier walk-in and outpatient treatment so that fewer people are sent out of county and stuck there with no contact with their family or friends and no easy way to get back.”
TWO SUPERVISORS, Brown and Woodhouse, signed the Sheriff's ballot-qualifying petition. The other three supervisors have not been heard from as yet.
SEEMS TO ME there was an election earlier this month? What happened? Anybody out there know the results? Oh, the votes haven't been counted yet? This is nuts, even by Mendo standards. Back in the day the County's politically interested people would gather in the County Courthouse. As the vote was tallied, a lady from the County Clerk's office would tally the vote on a big chalk board in the lobby. The vote was in by midnight, and we all had a grand time visiting and discussing the results as they were tabulated. Tabulated with a piece of chalk on a big chalkboard. What happened?
DON'T CRY FOR ME, POINT ARENA? So I will. The tiny town's $50,000-a-year, part-time manager, Richard Shoemaker, a guy mysteriously inflicted on PA after years of overpaid public work mostly in Ukiah, has, in various capacities, fended off Grand Jury criticism for many years by simply responding, and in the same language he deployed as a disastrous County supervisor, "I disagree wholly or partially…"
THE GRAND JURY accurately and irrefutably assessed PA's functioning this way: "The City has been inconsistent in code enforcement, providing preferential treatment for City Council members, while adhering more strictly to the code in the case of some members of the public…"
SHOEMAKER then says, "I have served as City Manager since October 1, 2015. During that time I have never experienced any sort of 'protocol violations' in regard to any Council members providing direction to city staff. I certainly have not felt pressured to do anything preferential or illegal."
BECAUSE he wasn't there when the incestuous teensy fog belt government was doing each other big illegal favors. Typical Shoemaker, typical evasion of an objective look at government dysfunction by an objective body.
Here's the link to the Grand Jury report:
Here is Shoemaker's response:
Here is the Planinng & Building response:
Here is the Environmental Health response:
A READER reacts to Jim Gibbons' memorable encounter with Will Shortz:
“Very fun read today. I loved the film about him and the xword contest. My mother did the nytimes xword EVERY day, in pen. Afterwards, she would get out her nytimes crossword spiral bound book and finish off those. She was a whiz. I did not inherit whatever it takes to do xwords, and avoided them? Last year I downloaded the nytimes crossword app and began doing the minis—five boxes across and down. I have only just barely made it to midis, and I only do easies. My brother and his wife, on their cross country visit, both brought clipboards along. They downoladed and printed the nytimes puzzle every day, clipped it onto their respective boards, and then walked around the house with martinis, shouting clues and answers to each other. I now understand, so many years later, my mom's obsession.
ANSWERS PLEASE, MS. SCHRAEDER
Letter to the Editor
Questions for Camille Schraeder of Redwood Community Services:
Redwood takes over Adult Mental Health Services July 1st. Redwood has not notified Medical Providers, Patients or Family Members about the new vision, the changes, and what to expect. All we know is that John Garrett MD will be providing services 1 day a week each in Fort Bragg and Ukiah and this is not enough patient care.
- Why doesn't Redwood provide Medical Outpatient in addition to Pre-Crisis and Crisis Care? They work best together as you know from providing those services to Children and Adults under 25. Fragmenting it with the County doing Medical Outpatient hurts patients and their families. Professional Crisis Workers are well aware of the need to access medical providers in order to stop a relapse or to get prompt treatment for someone who is psychotic and/or suicidal. The County has failed again and again to recruit medical staff, whereas Redwood (with a vision for adult MH services) has a chance at successful recruitment.
- Who are the other medical people that will be providing Medical Outpatient psychiatric treatment to patients, where will they work, and what is their phone number?
- Could Redwood and the seven Clinics cooperate to provide Medical Outpatient, with Redwood providing Telepsychiatry and the medical staff necessary to treat all the patients in Pre-Crisis and Crisis?
- How does a patient access 24/7 Pre-Crisis and Crisis medical treatment, who are the medical providers, what is their phone number and where are they located? Who are the nine Crisis Workers you hired and what are their qualifications? How many came from Ortner?
- Why is there a major decrease in 2016-17 County funding for Adult MH Services, down to $5.1 million? Why have Children's MH Services been significantly increased to $9.9 M. Adult MH patients need more treatment services, not less.
- The Mendocino County 2016-17 Budget for MH and MHSA (11% of total County budget) comes to almost $28 million. Isn’t this enough to hire psychiatrists, nurses, tele-psychiatrists, rent-a-docs and to have Crisis Residential Treatment Centers (to avoid hospitalizations) in Fort Bragg and Ukiah, as well as Intensive Day Treatment in both places with one and two day a week programs (classes and self-help support groups) in other areas.
- Why have you chosen to carry on Ortner's practice of using minimum wage employees of the Hospitality Homeless Center to provide MH services? Pre-Ortner, there were MH Clinicians to work with patients and most medical providers, patients and family members believe it is wiser to use MH Clinicians.
- When will you send a Press Release to all seven newspapers, seven Clinics, North Coast Family Health Center, and to all Adult Patients defining Redwood’s Vision and the specific MH Treatment Services that will be provided — who, what, where, and when? The Vision could clearly define Redwood’s differences from Ortner and the County, and could offer hope for provision of State Mandated Services and more, such as neuro-feedback and an exemplary Addiction Recovery Program, etc.
Sonya Nesch, Author
Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illlness
STAY AWAY, SHANNON
On 06-23-16 at approximately 5:11 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to a reported trespass at a residence in the 38100 block of Highway 162 in Willits, California. An adult male reported Shannon Marie Cosman, 45, of Willits, was currently at his residence and had been previously evicted from the property. Deputies researched Cosman and found that she had been legally evicted from the property during the past two months. Deputies responded and contacted Cosman regarding the reports that she was trespassing. Deputies discovered that Cosman was on active felony formal probation in Mendocino County for unrelated charges. During the investigation, Deputies determined that Cosman was knowingly trespassing at the property where she was legally evicted and also violating the terms of her probation. Deputies placed Cosman under arrest for Violation of Probation and Trespassing. Cosman was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held on a no-bail status.
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WHEN LOVE GOES AS WRONG AS IT CAN GO SHORT OF MURDER
On 06-18-2016 Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 29000 block of Highway 20 (Fort Bragg, California) after receiving a report of a domestic violence battery that took place on 06-17-2016.
Sheriff’s Deputies arrived to discover a 53 year-old female and her husband, Patrick Dennis Slaughter, 64, of Fort Bragg, had previously separated due to domestic violence issues and were no longer residing together. The 53 year-old female lived on the Mendocino Coast while Slaughter was living in the Sacramento area. On 06-16-2016, Slaughter arrived in Fort Bragg and contacted the 53 year-old female to make arrangements to pick up personal belongs. The 53 year-old female transported Slaughter to her residence to facilitate the property exchange. After the 53 year-old female and Slaughter entered the residence, he brandished and pointed a handgun at her and told her he intended to kill her. From approximately ten feet away, Slaughter aimed the handgun at the 53 year-old female’s face and fired a bullet that struck the wall near her head. On 06-17-2016 in the evening hours, the 53 year-old female was outside her residence when Slaughter appeared from the brush. Slaughter rushed the 53 year-old female from behind and struck her in the head with a small object in his hand. The 53 year-old female was knocked to the ground and was bleeding from the forehead. Slaughter physically assaulted the 53 year-old female and then directed her into the residence. Once inside the residence, Slaughter began making threatening statements towards to the 53 year-old female and thereafter sexually assaulted her. Slaughter bound the 53 year-old female’s arms, legs, and mouth with duct tape to prevent her from escaping or calling for help before he eventually left the residence. Slaughter was the restrained party in a served criminal protective order issued out of the Mendocino County Superior Court, allowing for peaceful contact only during the time of the incident. This order was a result of a prior domestic violence arrest. The criminal protective order prohibited Slaughter from possessing firearms. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies obtained an arrest warrant for Slaughter and began following investigative leads to locate him. On 06-23-2016 at approximately 3:45 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies located Slaughter driving the 53 year-old female’s vehicle in the area of Mile Post Marker 7 on Highway 20 near Fort Bragg. Slaughter was arrested for Attempted Murder, Penetration w/Foreign Object, Oral Copulation, Kidnapping, Domestic Battery, and being armed in the Commission of a Felony. Slaughter was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL has released names and details from last night’s solo vehicle accident in the Willits valley: 4 major injuries; 2 moderate injuries. All from Willits. Passengers include: Taylor Carter, age 14, moderate injuries; Alyssa Bacon, age 13, moderate injuries; Stevan Beers, age 13, major injuries, flown out to UC Davis; Shandra Silva, age 12, major injuries, flown out to Oakland’s Children’s Hospital; and Paris Yadon, age 13, major injuries, flown out to Oakland Children’s Hospital.
Driver Michael Cruce, 38, is also listed as having major injuries, and was flown out to Santa Rosa. As per the CHP: “It is believed at this time that the use of alcohol was a factor.”
More from the CHP press release: On Thursday, June 23, at 20:26 pm [8:26 pm], “there was a solo vehicle traffic collision resulting in multiple injuries on East Hill Road, just west of Eastside Road. Michael Cruce was driving his 2015 Jeep Patriot, eastbound on East Hill Road, west of Eastside Road at an undetermined speed. Cruce lost control of his vehicle and allowed it to exit the roadway, and onto the right shoulder. The vehicle continued in an easterly direction, traveling down a steep embankment, and overturned an undetermined number of times, coming to rest on its roof in the creek bed."
The collision is under investigation by the CHP Ukiah area office.
— Jennifer Poole (Courtesy, the Willits Weekly)
CALFIRE FIREFIGHTERS TO RAISE MONEY FOR MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY
Mendocino County - On Sunday, July 3, 2016 CAL FIRE firefighters will be out on the streets to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). There will be a “Fill-the-Boot” fundraiser set-up in Fort Bragg at the intersection of Main Street and Laurel Street July 3rd, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We are asking everyone to come out and help the firefighters support the MDA in fighting muscle disease. When you drop dollars into the firefighter’s boot, you are supporting local MDA services, research for neuromuscular diseases, the clinic at UC Davis, summer camp and community education. The MDA does not receive funding from state, federal or local governments, nor does it seek or receive fees for services. CAL FIRE took on the statewide challenge to support MDA in fighting muscle disease in 2008. This is Mendocino Unit’s sixth year of involvement with the “Fill-the-Boot “fundraiser. With the help of the community, CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit has made over $50,000 in donations to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Thank you for your support!
COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMIT FEE REDUCTION Program as a stimulus for job creation
As part of an ongoing commitment to support and strengthen the local economy, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has budgeted for a Commercial Building Permit Fee Reduction Program to stimulate the creation of new jobs. This program allows for a full or partial reduction of building permit fees for projects that meet the defined job creation criteria. Commercial building permit applications submitted after July 1, 2016 will be eligible for this new program; the program will conclude on December 31, 2016.
The number of jobs anticipated to be created by a development project will be used to determine qualifying building permit fee reductions, with fee reductions ranging from 10% to 100% as follows:
Creation of at least 5 Temporary construction jobs: 10% Fee reduction
Creation of 1 new job anticipated to last at least 5 years: 20% Fee reduction
Creation of 2 new job anticipated to last at least 5 years: 40% Fee reduction
Creation of 3 new job anticipated to last at least 5 years: 60% Fee reduction
Creation of 4 new job anticipated to last at least 5 years: 80% Fee reduction
Creation of 5 new job anticipated to last at least 5 years: 100% Fee reduction
To qualify for this building permit fee reduction, the applicant must provide information to demonstrate that a commercial project qualifies for a fee reduction. Building permit fee reductions will be applied to eligible building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical and plan check fees. While this program reduces or eliminates building permit fees for eligible commercial projects, there may be other development fees assessed by the County in the permitting process.
Please call Mendocino County Planning & Building Services at (707) 234-6650 to find out how your project may benefit from this program.
(County Press Release)
MENDOCINO COUNTY ANIMAL CARE SERVICES SHELTER
Mongoose is a smart dog who knows basic commands. He’s housetrained, observant, and an easy walker. He would be perfect for a family, as he has lived with children over 3. He also seems to do okay around other dogs, though a meet and greet prior to adoption, should you have any other dogs, is always suggested. With Mongoose and his smile around, life might seem a bit sweeter! Mongoose is a 3 year-old, neutered male who weighs 48 pounds. He needs some fattening up!
Precious: This senior gal is looking for a quiet home to spend her golden years. At 11 years old, Precious enjoys lounging around and soaking up all the love and attention she can. She would do best being the only cat in your home, as she doesn't seem to get along well with other cats. Precious would also enjoy a home with only adults or older children. The Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah. Call the Adoption Coordinator for more information--707-467-6453. 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 24, 2016
Arreguin, Benjamin, Brown, Campos
MIGUEL ARREGUIN, Redwood Valley. DUI-drugs, misdemeanor hit&run, driver with concealed weapon, loaded firearm in public.
BEAU BENJAMIN, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI-drugs, failure to appear.
JAMES BROWN SR., Redwood Valley. Drunk in public.
ROBERT CAMPOS, Covelo. Criminal threats.
Collins, Jimenez, Jones, Kull
ANTONIO COLLINS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
OSCAR JIMENEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
CHRISTINE JONES, Willits. Controlled substance.
JASON KULL, Ukiah. Under influence, paraphernalia.
Leggett, Pacheco, Zamora-Acosta
BUCK LEGGETT, Willits. Honey oil sale, parole violation, offenses while on bail.
NICOLE PACHECO, San Jose/Ukiah. Contempt of court, failure to appear.
LUIS ZAMORA-ACOSTA, Ukiah. No license, failure to appear.
SAVING WHAT'S LEFT OF THE EEL
The Eel River Forum, comprised of 22 public agencies, tribes, non-profit conservation organizations and other stakeholders, has released the Eel River Action Plan. The plan identifies priority actions needed to recover the Eel River watershed and its native fish. It aims to achieve these goals while maintaining multiple land uses and recreation in the watershed. Priority actions in the plan address water diversions, water quality issues, habitat restoration, community engagement and protecting the Eel River Delta.
“This plan is the culmination of years of hard work and collaboration among a broad group of stakeholders,” said Darren Mierau, North Coast Director for California Trout. “The Eel River has seen decades of resource extraction and land use changes. The Forum has identified numerous high priority actions that will allow the river to recover and native fish to thrive while we maintain many of its economic benefits to the region.”
The Eel River is the third largest river entirely in California. While it was once home to one of the most productive salmon and steelhead fisheries on the West Coast, the health of the watershed has been declining for the past century and a half. Conditions throughout the system are degraded, putting strain on native fish and other wildlife.
A wide variety of human activities have led to poor conditions along the Eel River and its tributaries. Competition for domestic and agricultural water supplies, increasingly for marijuana cultivation, have led to low flows during the hottest and driest months, which are also the times when native fish most need abundant, cool flows to survive. Water is also stored and then released during dry months to ensure sufficient flows to support hydropower generation at the Potter Valley Project.
Water quality has been compromised from everything from sedimentation from timber harvesting practices and poorly constructed and maintained road networks to the conversion of pristine old growth forests to crowded stands in a heavily roaded landscape.
The plan identifies targeted actions to address these concerns as well as specific activities aimed at habitat restoration in high-priority areas that are likely to provide the most benefits to wildlife. It also outlines specific actions to benefit the Eel River delta and estuary and opportunities for engaging the community in the recovery and restoration of the watershed. It identifies a unified vision for priority actions to ensure that small-scale efforts undertaken by a variety of public and private organizations will work together to address the most urgent restoration needs.
“What’s notable about the Eel River Action Plan is the degree of consensus we’ve achieved among the members of the Eel River Forum,” added Julie Weeder, a recovery coordinator for NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region. “The diverse nature of the Eel River Forum’s membership, along with the guidance of the Eel River Action Plan, means this group is well-positioned to pursue recovery at county, local municipality, and private landowner scales simultaneously, to restore ecosystem health to this important river basin.”
The Eel River Forum has been meeting over the past four years to create a unified vision for how to protect and restore this iconic river and the native fish that once teemed in the river and its tributaries. With the plan complete, forum member organizations can leverage the action plan to demonstrate support for their independent work to implement targeted, high-value improvements throughout the system.
The completion of the Eel River Action Plan is particularly timely as PG&E’s Potter Valley Project approaches re licensing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2017. The FERC re licensing project will consider how the management of the Potter Valley dam and diversion affects the health of the river and its native fish. By establishing clear baseline conditions and priority actions for improvement, the plan provides important data points for FERC and PG&E.
The 22-member Eel River Forum was convened by California Trout. Additional members include representatives from non-profit organizations Coastal Conservancy, Eel River Watershed Improvement Group, Environmental Protection Information Center, Friends of the Eel River, Friends of the Van Duzen River, Salmonid Restoration Federation; local tribes Round Valley Indian Tribe and the Wiyot Tribe; Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Potter Valley Irrigation District; and government agencies California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Parks, Humboldt County Resource Conservation District, Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, National Marine Fisheries Service, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, Sonoma County Water Agency, US Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Forest Service.
For more information about the Eel River Forum, go to: http://caltrout.org/regions/north-coast-region/keystone-initiative-eel-river-recovery/eel-river-forum/. A PDF of the Eel River Action Plan can be downloaded from this site.
Founded in 1971, California Trout is a non-profit conservation and advocacy organization that is dedicated to solving our state’s complex resource issues while balancing the needs of wild fish and people. The organization focuses on science-based, scalable solutions to California’s most complex water management challenges. CalTrout has five regional offices throughout the state, including one in Humboldt County. Its headquarters are in San Francisco.
VOLUNTEER OPENINGS AT MUSIC FESTIVAL PARTY
Mendocino Music Festival has openings for some more volunteers to work at the Closing Night Party (July 23rd) for the Orchestra and Chorus. As you can imagine it’s quite a celebratory evening and we do our best to show our appreciation for all the hard work and wonderful music the musicians and chorus have brought to Mendocino. Volunteers help make this event happen by picking up donated food, setting up the tables, helping prep appetizers, food layout, bartending and starting clean up. There are 3 shifts. For each 4 hour shift worked you will get 2 complimentary tickets from a select list of concerts. You can get more info and sign up at www.mendocinomusic.org – click on Support, scroll down and click on Volunteer, click on Volunteer calendar, look at July 23rd parties (5:30, 7:30, 9:00)
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY:
After the vote, the fury of the elites. Within minutes of it being clear that a majority of Brits had voted for Brexit, observers and politicians were denouncing the public, wondering about their IQ, musing out loud if they had any inkling of what a grave decision they had made. ‘People voted emotionally rather than considering the facts’, said Labour MP Keith Vaz. Green politicians talked about voters being consumed by a culture of fear.
Journalists were swift to denounce the old, who voted in large numbers for Brexit, and to accuse them of wrecking the futures of the young. It has been an ugly spectacle, all this sneering at the 17.5 million people who said No to the EU, this treatment of them as an ill-informed, scared and prejudicial blob. But, ironically, it has also shown why many people chose to vote in the way they did: as a screw you to a political class that now treats them with contempt. The demos strikes back. Politics just got interesting.
—Brendan O'Neill, Spiked
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JP MORGAN'S Jamie Dimon's note today about "dark pools" of capital and liquidity after Brexit — very curious; is Dimon hinting at a possible liquidity crisis?
RICK WEDDLE COMMENTS:
Subject: Ancestral Immigration Legislation (or not)
Yeah. We know what happened last time they allowed a bunch of undocumented aliens ashore, all heavily armed, unwashed, diseased, wild-eyed psychotic fundamentalist wackos, in 1492… But, hey… This current crop of “settlers” are actually fleeing explosive disruptions in their homelands. It might be well to ask, “Whose little disruptions are disturbing so much Peace, and profiting so mightily and unaccountably, up to and including Unthinkably?” You don't suppose this is a kind of backwash ripple effect, with a bigass vengeance, bouncing off the 1492 deal, do you? Like a shitsunami?
PIPELINE COMPANY RESPONSIBLE FOR VENTURA OIL SPILL HAS LONG HISTORY OF SPILLS
by Dan Bacher
Just thirteen months after the massive Refugio Oil Spill fouled the pristine waters off the Santa Barbara Coast, a leak in an oil pipeline in Hall Canyon in Ventura County was reported at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 23. As many as 700 barrels of crude oil — 29,400 gallons - have been spilled, according to the latest reports.
Fortunately, Ventura County Firefighters halted the oil from flowing towards the ocean, according to Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Mike Lindbery.
“The forward oil flow progress has been stopped,” said Lindbery. “There is no environmental threat to ocean and no evacuations in the area.”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Spill Watch has just reported that the oil from the spill has been isolated in Hall Canyon.
“There is no oil in the storm drain. Vacuum trucks are collecting the oil,” the CDFW stated.
Aera Energy — owned by affiliates of Shell and Exxon Mobil — said it was not the owner of the 700 barrels of oil that spilled in Ventura, challenging an earlier report by an official that Aera owned the oil. (www.reuters.com/...)
According to information released by the Center for Biological Diversity, the company responsible for the Ventura oil spill, Crimson Pipeline, has a decade-long history of oil spills in California.
“Crimson Pipeline has had at least 10 other spills caused by corrosion, ruptures, equipment failure and other problems in California since 2006, federal data show. These incidents resulted in more than $5.8 million in property damage and over 320,000 gallons of hazardous materials being spilled into California’s environment,” a Center statement revealed.
Feds have failed to take any enforcement actions against Crimson
The Center said Crimson operates more than 1,000 miles of pipeline in California, “yet the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration does not seem to have taken any enforcement actions against the company or conducted any inspections of its pipelines in the state since 2006.”
“This company has a disturbing history of dangerous oil spills, yet federal pipeline regulators seem to have done almost nothing to protect our state,” said Kristen Monsell, a Center attorney. “The new spill is another grim example of why we have to get pipelines and oil drilling out of California’s vulnerable coastal environment. We’ve got to stop thinking about these oil spills as accidents and start seeing them for what they are: completely predictable ecological tragedies that we can prevent with strong action.”
The Plains All American pipeline rupture in Santa Barbara County last year spilled more than 120,000 gallons of oil onto the California coast, killing hundreds of birds and marine animals in the pristine ocean waters.
The spill imperiled four “marine protected areas” created under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. Ironically, the so-called MPAs were crafted under the helm of a Big Oil lobbyist, the same lobbyist representing the Plains All American Pipeline, the company responsible for the spill!
An analysis of federal pipeline data commissioned by the Center showed there have been nearly 8,000 serious pipeline breaks nationwide since 1986. These caused more than 2,300 injuries and nearly $7 billion in property damage.
“The vast majority of those incidents have involved oil pipelines, spilling more than 2 million barrels — or 84 million gallons — into waterways and on the ground over the past 30 years. More than 35 percent of these incidents have been caused by corrosion or other structural failures,” the Center said.
Since 1986 pipeline accidents in the United States have spilled an average of 3 million gallons of oil or other hazardous liquids per year, the group concluded.
Environmental groups, oil industry respond to spill
In a statement, Director of Sierra Club California Kathryn Phillips also responded to the oil spill: “From Plains All American’s spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, to Shell’s spill in the San Joaquin Valley, to today’s in Ventura, it’s the unacceptable state of reality that oil spills have become the norm here in California.”
“Sierra Club praises the immediate action by Ventura’s first responders, but as we all know too well, there is no way to clean up all the destruction caused by crude oil spills,” she stated.
“Big Oil cannot be permitted to continue to act in such a reckless manner. Our Legislature, Governor Brown, and Congress must act swiftly to put our environment and our public health ahead of corporate polluters’ profits,” Phillips concluded.
Food and Water Watch also responded to the spill in a tweet: “A year after Santa Barbara spill, a Ventura Co. pipe leaks fracked oil. It’s time for 100% renewables.”
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), said the association “Is aware of an incident which occurred early this morning along a line owned by Crimson Pipeline.”
“We are working with our member companies to assess the situation as well as coordinating with emergency responders, local officials, and agencies. Our first priority – as it is in any incident – remains community safety and immediate cleanup efforts,” Reheis Boyd said.
Oil spill is no surprise under captured regulatory apparatus
The latest oil spill is no surprise in a state that prides itself on being a “green leader,” but is in fact the third largest oil producer in the country. The oil industry is the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in California — and the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) in the largest and most powerful lobbying organization. Jerry Brown, who styles himself as a “green governor” and “climate leader,” has in fact received millions of dollars in contributions from Big Oil.
The oil industry, including WSPA, Chevron, Phillips 66, AERA Energy, Exxon and Shell, has spent more than $25 million so far in the 2015-16 legislative session. WSPA has spent $12.8 million so far in the session, making them, as usual, the top California lobbying spenders of the session. (http://www.oaklandmagazine.com/Big-Oil-Spends-Big-Money/)
In a huge conflict of interest that exemplifies how thoroughly Big Oil has captured the regulatory apparatus in California, WSPA President Catherine Reheis-Boyd chaired the South Coast Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force that created the so-called “marine protected areas” that went into effect in Southern California waters on January 1, 2012. She also served on the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces for the North Coast, North Central Coast and Central Coast. (www.dfg.ca.gov/...)
Something we can live with?
After hearing from dozens of speakers at task force meeting on November 11, 2009, Reheis-Boyd and the other panel members selected a controversial plan that would close fishing in many areas, including waters off Laguna Beach and Point Dume, but do nothing to stop pollution, fracking, oil drilling, military testing or other insults to the ocean in Southern California waters.
"We're not going to make everyone happy, but this has to be done," panel Chairwoman Catherine Reheis-Boyd told the LA Times in an interview before the vote. "It's agony to weigh the environmental goals against people's livelihoods, especially here in Southern California, where the urban/ocean interface is greater than anywhere else in the nation."
"It's not perfect, but it's something we hope we can live with," said Reheis-Boyd, according to Sign on San Diego the same day.
Now not only are we forced to "live with" these faux "marine protected areas," but we are forced to "live with" the increasingly prominent role that the oil industry plays in California politics. Reheis-Boyd's rise to power and prominence in California politics was helped tremendously by the greenwashing of her position on the task forces by Brown and Schwarzenegger administration officials and MLPA Initiative advocates, who continually gushed that the corrupt process was "open, transparent and inclusive."
State officials and MLPA Initiative advocates have continually praised these faux “marine protected areas” as “hope spots,” “Yosemites of the Sea,” and “underwater parks,” when they are anything but. Let’s be clear: the “marine protected areas” created under Reheis-Boyd’s helm fail to protect the ocean from fracking, acidizing, other offshore oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.
While Reheis-Boyd served on the task forces to "protect" the ocean, the same oil industry that the "marine guardian" represents was conducting environmentally destructive fracking operations off the Southern California coast. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and media investigations by Associated Press and truthout.org in 2013 reveal that the ocean has been fracked at least 203 times in the past 20 years, including the period from 2004 to 2012 that Reheis-Boyd served as a "marine guardian.”
Federal regulators give OK to resumption of offshore fracking
Besides exerting enormous influence over state regulators, WSPA and Big Oil also wield enormous power over federal regulators. Claiming that fracking poses “no significant impact” to the environment, Obama administration officials on May 27 finalized their plans to allow oil companies to resume offshore fracking and acidizing in California’s Santa Barbara Channel after a moratorium on fracking was temporarily imposed as the result of a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit. (theecoreport.com/...)
As expected, Reheis-Boyd applauded the Environmental Assessment (EA) report by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement that ended the moratorium on offshore hydraulic fracturing in California:
“Today’s final report continues to reaffirm the sound science behind our safe energy production practices,” Reheis-Boyd said in a statement on May 27. “Offshore producers in California will continue to adhere to the strictest safety and operational standards in the world while delivering affordable and reliable energy to U.S. consumers.” (www.wspa.org/... )
WSPA and Big Oil wield their power in five major ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) getting appointed to positions on and influencing regulatory panels; (4) creating Astroturf groups: and (5) working in collaboration with media. For my in-depth investigation on the five ways WSPA and Big Oil have captured California politics, go to: www.dailykos.com/...
THE AGENDA FOR THE POINT ARENA CITY COUNCIL Regular meeting, June 28, 2016 6 p.m.
Important Discussions will include Proposed 2016-2017 Budget, November Election topics and Independence Weekend Celebration.
File "6-28-16 Agenda CC reg mtg.pdf"
Click on the link to view and download the file:
FUNKY SUMMER DANCE PARTY! Saturday, July 23, 2016 with DJ Sister Yasmin. Angelina's Grill And Bar, 400 South Main Street, Fort Bragg. 8:00pm-1:00am. No cover charge, tips encouraged, 21 and over. Dance to cumbia, salsa, reggae, funk, soul, r&b, oldies, & new music of all kinds, for dancing, listening and enjoying. Shine up your dancin' shoes and join the party! Information: 707-964-1700; 884-4703