Mendocino County Today: Thursday, July 7, 2016
by AVA News Service, July 7, 2016
JUST IN FROM FORT BRAGG
Monday night the Fort Bragg city council approved an interim harbor commissioner to replace Tommy DeAnconia who recently passed. Tommy was indeed a cultured cosmopolitan gentleman who worked incredibly hard and who was doubtless a pillar of the fishing industry. In the harbor he played many roles and wore many hats. He was an intrepid entrepreneur and he gave all of his creative drive and energy to Noyo harbor. He owned Tommy’s where fishing cognoscenti of the first rank have coffee. He owned the only dry docks, now someone else owns them. He owned a bumping marine hardware wonderland / nautical instrument / map and paint business. To say that he will be missed is a grave understatement.
I personally disagreed with him on almost every issue pertaining to fishing and every policy and decision that came down he was on one side of and I was on the other. We were polar opposites politically and we both knew it. I was at first astonished by how utterly this rule held and later came to expect it.
I knew him and was his neighbor on the river for 15 years and in all of it he was unfailingly generous and gracious. For sure the passing of Tommy DeAnconia removes a powerful force for the supporters of profitable practices of harsh extractive fishing. But he himself was never harsh. Being civil and unpretentious and generally logical and somewhat informed and truly world traveled, he was powerful.
Truly Tommy was an influential force for the interests of the fishing community as they themselves see them. He sat on lots of boards. I know he was on the ground fish committee, which is very obscure and hugely influential in terms of overall biological restoration policy. He sat of course on the harbor commission where he and the rest have formed a bulwark against innovation and investment and improvement in the harbor in strong and unbendable favor of keeping control (and money) in a few local hands including the city’s. But in Tommy’s old school and almost old world way it looked gracious, like those local hands were the hands that mattered, Fort Bragg’s hands, our hands.
Tommy did not understand or choose not to see many obvious facts about the situation in fishing and ocean depletion, the mass die offs, the diminishment of nature which is upon us as a planet and which cannot be denied to have occurred massively and which have almost totally destroyed an immeasurable abundance of fish directly off our own coasts.
Tommy did not want to hear it. I think that Tommy, like the fishing community overall, was just burned out with being blamed. People observably deficient in the context of the problem were saying loudly that overfishing was the problem. The reaction to this was predictably defensive. Tommy said that the problem is not overfishing but over management. I think that both views are accurate. Disastrously the Department of Fish and Wildlife has been the driver of overfishing, while simultaneously strangling profits. A nice trick, but they manage it.
I don’t think that blaming overfishing means anything anymore. If Tommy could forgive me for bringing into any question at all an honorable, difficult dangerous and certainly noble way of life. I can forgive him and move on. But on condition that we restore the biological diversity and abundance of the ocean to what it was when our culture came here. That is to say to full biological abundance.
That was my beef with Tommy, that he would not see the loss of abundance. And he could not believe that it could happen again. I do believe it and tried to get him to see what full abundance could mean, strictly in terms of profitability if nothing else. He was content to take from the ocean and allow her to deteriorate. To diminish year after year. To lose species after species. And he unlike most folks really got to see that process of erosion first hand. And he got to see the local economy die off as the fishing community went broke. The great resource of money that the fish in the ocean have always been to the people of the city was lost and a mostly empty biological wasteland left behind. This is not totally true. There is some life and indeed some fishing, but it is largely true. It is hugely true. And yet Tommy with his vast capability for technical analysis and preparation and professionalism would not officially see or acknowledge what we were losing or even that we were losing anything. He stood instead for maintaining the existing balance of regulation and profit even though it was apparent that it could not last long. Preserve short-term profits. The rule of death.
Monday night the city council approved an interim Harbor Commission member to serve in Tommy's stead until October. The new guy is Mr. Forkner, president of the Salmon Trawlers Association. Mr. Forkner answered the questions of the commission but he did not have to work too hard. The council had each of them a list of questions that might have sounded pretty tough over the kitchen table when they were writing them with their wives, but when lobbed with sufficient softness were not threatening. Mr. Forkner apparently had no idea what was meant by any of the questions that he was asked and contented himself with a declaration that he was a commercial fisherman.
In the end they passed his solitary application with kind appreciation for an easy job. This is how the city council likes them, there was only one choice.
They might have wondered why there were not more applicants? The answer is that the insiders control the inside and this is not something that they want to trifle with. One application was deemed quite sufficient. In Fort Bragg, dear reader, polished insiders are not going to be stupid enough to allow the city council to pick between two candidates. They might get confused. Technically, there were two candidates but the other guy did not show by arrangement and anyway we were assured in public discussion he was so much in agreement with Forkner in every detail that the city was actually getting his brain for free.
Since there was no choice, the questions were pointless and the decision was easy. The council had that fat satisfied look that comes from having made an identifiable voting constituency happy with no apparent adverse grumbling.
In his halting way Mr. Forkner made it clear that he too would be a strong defense for the interests of the city in the suppression and misuse of the harbor.
What would he do, they asked? Clean up, he said. There were things laying everywhere where they ought not be and not where they ought to be. He had seen a great many harbors he cautioned the council and knows where a thing should be. Yea his heart hath a great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
Here is short list of the things that the Harbor commission did not discuss with him.
The financial collapse of the local fishing industry. (Any ideas?)
The biological collapse of the ocean.
The protection of our super valuable wildlife in the Noyo River itself.
What about wave energy? When the PG&E pirates tried to steal our wave energy they declared theft impossible because of crappy infrastructure in the harbor. Any ideas about that?
What about the sewage treatment plant? Not in your area, I know. But the multiple fines for the discharge of raw sewage and the continuing extraction of urchins from the very same area does seem to be something that you would involve yourself in possibly.
What about the collapse of the salmon population? Any thoughts on that?
These questions and there are many many more, pertain to the harbor, no one else will ask them or act in the name of our locality. Our locality is presumed to be represented in the process of decision-making that occurs at the federal and state and local level. This is nature of the Harbor commission.
But within the commission's mandate itself there is a conflict. The harbor commission is responsible community leaders with an interest in the harbor whose members are charged with the business operation of the city's properties in the harbor. And are somewhat incongruously also charged with the health and prosperity of our harbor as a whole. These interests are not always the same.
The harbor commission traditionally brings balance to this sometimes-thorny problem by an unusual technique of both doing and appearing to do nothing at all. Protecting the boat basin cash cow both from competition from the legally open federal channel to the west, or from any incursion on the funds allocated to the harbor is the true job of the commission. The rest of the harbor can rot — and it is.
I wondered if Harbor commission meetings were going to be included in the new city program to provide video access to committee meetings? If so they are going to have to bring in girls because there is no other content. Typically the honest commissioners meet at town hall, approve the zero content of the last meeting, and go home. There is little deviation. In some situations a chronic lack of initiative and even evidence of life itself would be an organizational problem. To them it is a method.
Mr. Armitage, the top commissioner, told us, and Mr. Forkner affirmed, that he would fit right in with this system. He has no intention of doing anything to upset the balance of power so hard won and so precarious and so disastrous to itself and the city and to the world. He will walk in Tommy's shoes.
OUR PRELIMINARY REVIEW of the Blackbird Ranch expansion plans, and their "Mitigated Negative Declaration" at the old Highland Ranch deep in the hills west of Philo, reveal at least three significant areas that need much more attention before any permit is granted. In fact, a partial EIR appears to be required because emergency ingress/egress over the narrow Shenoa Bridge could block people trying to evacuate in an emergency while at the same time blocking emergency vehicles coming in (fire or ambulance or law enforcement).
ALSO, the "mitigated negative declaration" says almost nothing about what the water and sewer systems will look like at full build-out. The Blackbird operation is going from a residential capacity of 36 to a much larger capacity of 292, which means water and sewer systems need major upgrades. Yet the EIR says nothing about septic systems, and for water it simply says that the Blackbird project needs a sign off from the Regional Water Quality Control Board. There's nothing indicating where the water will come from, if there's enough (the plans include a large commercial kitchen), and what the water quality is. Anybody else wanting this large an increase in capacity would have to submit full plans and specs about how water and sewer systems will be enlarged to handle the large increase in transient accommodations.
IN ADDITION, the methods of making sure the recommended mitigations and upgrades are actually conducted are in many cases limited to simple notification of the relevant County office. There's no specific schedule, no specific description of the nature of the mitigations (most having to do with road quality and width) and minimal enforcement mechanisms.
THERE’S ALSO NO MENTION of the obvious cumulative traffic impact of pending development at neighboring “resorts” such as the former Shenoa. Taken together with the large capacity increase at Blackbird, the traffic on rural Rays Road will represent a major safety hazard for the many families and children living along that road.
IN SUM, the "mitigated negative declaration" has some big holes in it and the project needs to be significantly reconsidered to make sure they're filled.
BLACKBIRD is reached two ways: off Greenwood Road and via Ray's Road in the heart of Philo. Ray's Road is County-maintained until the motorist reaches a year-round, one-lane bridge. As mentioned, in an emergency, this bridge could quickly become a lethal bottleneck. We don't pretend to speak for local people on this matter, but we think the County should compel Blackbird to use Greenwood Road for access rather than be allowed to radically increase traffic along the heavily populated (by rural standards) Ray's Road.
A DECADE or so ago, I often walked the Ray's Road Bridge when it was a swinging footbridge. Then, when some multi-bucks or other built the year-round bridge that spans that section of the Navarro, I walked it some more with my late dog, Roscoe-Cough. One afternoon, R-C and I were about mid-span when a sleek black Buick appeared just to our rear. A horn honked and the car pulled along side of us. An older woman glared at us and buzzed her window down. "You are trespassing!" she spat. "So?" I replied. "Get off this bridge right now," she said. I said, "If you promise to take care of my dog I'll jump if it would make you any happier." Having made her stand for the sanctity of private property, up went the old bat's window and off she flew. I assumed she was grandma to the mogul who built the bridge, but it was about that time that I fully realized a different kind of person was now dominant in the Anderson Valley, a money person with no sense of anything except maybe more money and a desire to prevent us unwashed from enjoying the natural beauty of our home ground.
RE LAST NIGHT'S REMARKS on the Ukiah Valley Visitors Center, a long-time resident of Ukiah writes: "If we’re talking about the old JC Penney building that the city took over, the idea was to let “starter” companies take retail space for free or very low rent so they would be able to grow, prosper, become independent and move out to some vacant lot and hire high paid workers to sell classy stuff without having to chop down trees or drill for offshore oil. They wanted people kinda like Ross Liberty but without the blue collar image and the Libertarian views. They called it “incubating” a business. Karen Record opened her “Mendocino Bounty” shop in the convention center about 15 years ago, and has taken over more and more interior space as walls get knocked down to accommodate her inventory. She’ll be leaving the nest any day now. Tom Liden opened a photography studio at the convention center even though he owned his own building a few blocks away (corner of Main and Church Streets) with an existing photo studio. The rent was so low, why not? (He still has the original studio.) Everything else seems to be local politician offices or empty “conference” rooms that can be rented out."
WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?
To the Editor:
There are some things that really bother me as I get older and as I go along through life I have a hard time understanding what causes all of us to do the things we do and why certain things are the way they are.
Why is it that when I get ready to park in any parking lot in Mendocino County there are always several selfish drivers that can’t seem to park between the lines of the spaces? I understand that the designers of parking lots are for the most part idiots and apparently these same designers all drive Subaru’s or Priuses that don’t need much room. But honestly how hard is it to park between the lines? Are we so self-adsorbed with our lives we can’t think about the other people that are sharing this living space with us?
Why is it that when we are driving and in a hurry to get somewhere, everyone in front of us is an idiot and must be a Sunday driver with nothing better to do than to hold us up? But when someone is crowding our rear bumper they are automatically maniacs, unsafe and shouldn’t be on the road.
Why can’t there be a standard to things we do, such as where the fuel filling cap is located on an automobile. Let’s make a decision and either put them all on the left side or all on the right side. It is incomprehensible to me that every auto manufacturer has a different idea of where to locate the filling spout.
Why is it when the communist, socialist, granola crowd in our county all got together and decided that it would be best for the rest of us to no longer use plastic bags because of the damage they were doing to the environment (which I agreed with, by the way). They decided to dispense with all bags unless one is willing to cough up an additional fee? Why is it all right to buy a paper bag to cause harm to the environment but it’s not all right for businesses to give away a paper bag (which is biodegradable by the way) to cause harm to the environment?
Have you had a chance to send a package to parts unknown from Ukiah? Apparently Fed-Ex doesn’t open until 9:30 in the morning, there are no time schedules on the door to their depot at the airport so who really knows what their hours are, I’m not sure they even know, it seems to be when the plane arrives. Big Brown (UPS) doesn’t open until 11 a.m. and closes at 1 p.m. then opens again at 3 p.m., the counter is manned from 1 to 3 p.m. but the gentleman behind the counter is not allowed to take money or help in any way during this time, but one can drop off packages if you don’t need help. I swear to you that is the truth, it doesn’t have to make sense, it’s just our policy. USPS is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and seems to the least expensive, but if your package doesn’t fit in your mail box, you have to do your own pickup. If the package is too heavy for the mail carrier to handle, well then you will find yourself “out-of-luck.” We don’t even want to talk about DHL which doesn’t even have a depot let alone an agent, you might be lucky to get a mechanic if you were to beat on the building walls long enough. What happened to customer service? We have finally arrived at a time when the “bean countering bureaucrats” are running the world…. But there is an alternative, I found that Staples will handle your packages from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or later, I’m not sure how much later and they may even open earlier than 8 a.m. They will give you the option to ship it with any carrier you desire, so one has some price options. One can also insure the package at Staples if one so desires. Apparently the management of Staples wants to do as much business as possible, what a novel idea. Customer service….who would have thought.
Then there are cell phones…..How did we ever get along without them? I can remember a time when there were no cell phones and as I recall we did pretty darn well without them. When someone was late we just assumed that they got held up and would be along soon. We didn’t have to put up with telemarketers, missed dialed numbers, annoying texts etc. etc.
What about the new Ukiah COSTCO, the one that’s supposedly coming to the Airport Boulevard Shopping Center, the same one that’s coming any day….or maybe not. I am all for a Costco closer than Santa Rosa, Eureka or Woodland but if I were the CEO of Costco and I had to deal with the brain trust of the Ukiah City Council and staff, I sure wouldn’t move to Ukiah, I would drag my feet until any contract obligations where over. Then I would open talks with the City of Lakeport or the County of Lake who I bet would welcome Costco with open arms. I’m sure Lake County or the City of Lakeport would love to have those jobs and especially those tax dollars that a Costco store would generate and Costco wouldn’t have to pave half the town to set up business.
Clyde Blundell, Potter Valley
UKIAH, Wed., July 6. -- Rape/Murder Judgment and Sentencing. Terrell James Marshall, age 46, formerly of Vacaville, was formally sentenced to 50 years to life in prison this morning in Mendocino County Superior Court. The sentencing judge was the Hon. David Nelson. The prosecutor who has been handling this case and also present was Deputy DA Scott McMenomey.
Marshall, a registered sex offender due to prior felony sex convictions in other county jurisdictions, stands convicted in Mendocino County of first degree murder for the Halloween 2014 stranger rape and murder of Kayla Grace Chesser, age 25. The defendant plead guilty to the murder (25 to life) and admitted a prior Strike conviction (x 2) last month to avoid trial and the risk of life in prison without parole. As it stands, the defendant was required by the terms of the negotiated plea to waive all of his earned pre-sentence jail credits. What that means is that the custody credits that the defendant may earn against his initial 50 years did not start accruing until today. Absent changes in the law, the defendant will be eligible for parole consideration at age 96.
Marshall will be transferred to San Quentin at the end of the month for classification and housing assignment to a final Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prison facility where we will serve his sentence.
(DA Press Release)
HEEEEERRRRRE'S NEVIN: NEVIN'S BIG DAY
On July 2-2016 at approximately 12:25am, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the 1500 block of Navarro Bluff Road in Albion. Deputies received information that suspect Nevin Appel, 49, of Albion, broke out a window and was trying to make entry into the reporting person's residence. After Deputies arrived they contacted victims Ruairi and Lucinda O'Sullivan. Deputies learned that Appel resided on the neighboring property and was suspected of being under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant. Appel was yelling incoherently and pounding on the O'Sullivan's exterior walls and front door before he broke out an exterior window. Fearing for their safety, the O'Sullivans called 911 and took refuge in a locked room inside their residence. Deputies observed wet blood on the victims' exterior siding and deck, along with cut marks in the siding and a broken tip to a large kitchen knife near the front exterior door. Deputies were then alerted by a male subject yelling near where they parked their patrol vehicles. Deputies returned to their patrol vehicles and found Appel attempting to enter one of them. Deputies observed that Appel had blood on his hands and arms and that he was holding a broken knife in his hand. Appel was secured in handcuffs and seated in the rear of a patrol vehicle without further incident. After Deputies determined that Appel was under the influence of a controlled substance and had committed felony vandalism, Appel was arrested and ultimately booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was held in lieu of bail set at $15,000. Appel posted bail and was released on 07-02-2016 at about 6am.
On 07-02-2016 at about 1230 hours, Deputies were advised that California State Parks Rangers had issued an order to arrest Appel for criminal threats in an unrelated incident that occurred in their jurisdiction a few hours before.
On 07-02-2016 at about 4:05pm, Deputies were again dispatched back to the 1500 block of Navarro Bluff Road. It was reported that Appel returned to the O'Sullivan residence and was causing a disturbance. While responding to the location, Deputies received updated information that Appel had left the location by vehicle. Deputies intercepted Appel driving northbound towards Fort Bragg and initiated contact with him in the 5000 block of North Highway 1. California State Park Rangers also responded and ultimately took Appel into custody for criminal threats and transported him to the Mendocino County Jail. Deputies continued their response to the 1500 block of Navarro Bluff Road and made contact with victims Ruairi and Lucinda O'Sullivan. Deputies learned that Appel arrived at the O'Sullivan residence at about 3:30pm. After arriving, Appel proceeded to yell at the O'Sullivans and made repeated threats to cause them physical harm. Based on this information, Deputies had probable cause to believe Appel had committed stalking and had commited a felony offense while released on bail. Appel was booked on these additional charges and held in lieu of bail set at $75,000.
DON'T MISS ‘BOB: A Life in Five Acts’
by Bay Area playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, currently playing at the Mendocino Theatre Company! Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm through July 17th at the Mendocino Theatre Company, 45200 Little Lake Rd. in Mendocino. Call 707-937-4477 for tickets and information. You can also
purchase tickets online HERE <http://mendocinotheatre.org/single-tickets/>.
MENDO DA'S POT STATS
UKIAH, Tuesday, July 5. – 2nd Quarter 2016 Non-medicinal Marijuana Prosecution Stats: Fifty (50) individuals charged in Mendocino County with illegal marijuana-related primary offenses had their case resolved during the 2nd quarter of the 2016 calendar year. The resulting conviction rate for the quarter was 92%. It is noted that convictions for BHO and other chemical extraction labs are not included in these stats.
Of the 50 people charged, four (4) individuals had all charges dismissed against them. Two (2) defendants were convicted of non-marijuana misdemeanors. One (1) defendant was convicted of a related non-marijuana felony. Thirty-one (31) defendants were convicted of a marijuana-related misdemeanor. Twelve (12) individuals were convicted of a marijuana-related felony. Seven (7) of the 12 felons (58%) received prison sentences, with one of that seven being sentenced to state prison. The other six received commitments in the local prison (jail), as mandated by the Governor's Realignment laws.
The 33 misdemeanants and 5 of the 12 felons are now on either supervised (formal) or summary (informal) probation. All 38 are subject to warrantless search and seizure on demand of any peace officers, as well as being subject to other terms and conditions. As one term of their probation, 27 of the probationers must perform a collective 3,670 hours of community service, with monitoring of their enrollment and completion of the hours undertaken by the staff of Mendo-Lake Alternative Service, Inc. (MLAS).
IT COULD HAPPEN HERE
A former pro football star and an advocate for athlete marijuana use have teamed up to open a gym in San Francisco that they say will be one of the first in the world to allow members to smoke pot while working out.
Former running back Ricky Williams and Jim McAlpine, a snowboard company executive, said Power Plant Fitness will open before the end of the year. It also will offer edibles and topical gels for those who don't like smoking the plant.
Members will need a medical marijuana prescription to join, but that could change if California voters legalize recreational pot in November.
Carla Lowe, founder of Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, said it's not clear how pot affects the body but there's "zero evidence" it helps a person focus. (AP)
DURANT TO THE WARRIORS?
I love the Warriors and will enjoy the next few seasons as much as anyone. We were able to attend a game this year and loved every minute of it.
But! A couple of things. The Sherman Antitrust Act states: “The purpose of the [Sherman] Act is not to protect businesses from the working of the market; it is to protect the public from the failure of the market. The law directs itself not against conduct which is competitive, even severely so, but against conduct which unfairly tends to destroy competition itself.” This is yet another bunch of rich white guys cornering the market.
And, they are also colluding with religion. Durant, Curry, and several other Golden State players are also Warriors for God, pointing skyward for every basket made, and huddling for prayer off-court in supplication to their very angry and vengeful lightening-thrower.
Praise Jesus! This is a match made in heaven…
FORMER SOCO DEVELOPER GETS THREE YEARS FOR TAX EVASION
Former Sonoma County developer and savings and loan officer Jay Scott Soderling, whose history of financial fraud dates back to the mid-1980s, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison for tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the United States government by hiding assets...
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 6, 2016
Arnold, Azbill, Clearwater
DESTINY ARNOLD, Ukiah. Domestic assault.
MERCILLENE AZBILL, Covelo. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
SAMAYA CLEARWATER, Willits. DUI with priors.
Davidson, Faas, Fuentes
JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
SCOTT FAAS, Klamath Falls/Willits. DUI, drunk in public.
LLUAN FUENTES, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.
Gazda, Griffin, Lancaster
DOUGLAS GAZDA, Willits. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.
ADAM GRIFFEN, Calpella. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
SAGEN LANCASTER, Petaluma/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
Sanchez-Herrera, Steffen, Wood
ROBERTO SANCHEZ-HERRERA, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, possession of controlled substance.
NATHAN STEFFEN, Willits. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.
KELLY WOOD, Willits. Under influence, trespassing.
by Jeff Costello
If I hear or read the phrase "presumptive nominee" again, I'll want to shoot somebody. But I don't have a gun, don't want one, and the other overdone phrase that drives me nuts is "second amendment rights." We all know what that means. It's just a glossy, official-sounding term for ego based on gun possession and desperation to be armed to the teeth.
1964, Farmington Connecticut. Genoa Montgomery - the first and only kid at the local high school of the dark-skinned persuasion. And in keeping with prevailing cultural imperatives he was forced to play basketball. I watched a practice session and saw that he was not good at the game. Not as bad as I was, but pretty bad. By then I had quit going to gym class because I did so poorly (one of 25 foul shots), and dodgeball, where I learned that most of the boys were serious about hurting each other, and because the coach, one John Grocki, was such an idiot ("If you have enough hair on your head to grab, you're a fairy-boy"). Genoa had a girlfriend in school, a cheerleader who later described him as "not very physical." Neither was I, but a skinny white kid was not expected to be athletic.
The republicans this past year have railed against "political correctness" as a fatal disease of liberals that is bringing the country to hell in the proverbial hand basket. PC, which started as a form of politeness, quickly became a poisonous cultural imperative. Political correctness, perceived as a left-wing construct, is, according to the Nixon-country crowd, responsible for the loss of freedoms we are experiencing in the USA. Does that mean if we could say "spic, nigger, chink" with impunity, and openly express our deepest, most manly convictions that women shouldn't be allowed to vote or drive, the terrorists would fear us enough to never attack again and we'd no longer need wiretapping, computer hacking, Mexican walls or long annoying waits and searches at the airport?
But what of right-wing cultural imperatives? In Colorado it's guns and big macho pickup trucks. The pawn shop where I bought a cheap guitar has almost eliminated its music department to make room for an expanded gun counter. Right here in greater Denver, home of the Columbine high school shooting and Aurora movie theater massacre.
Even my oncologist, who is happy to have been reassigned to a clinic in southern California, noted that "people drive like hell here." Legal pot has drawn an element of would-be moguls who want to be the Bill Gates of marijuana. Take note, California. And they're all in a hurry and driving housing prices through the roof.
The premier right-wing imperative is "protect my wealth." That'll get the votes. The mystery is how the rich got much of the lower class on the train by means of the public school dumb-down, TV, "second amendment rights," Jesus, football, the goddamn foreigners, the wars... These are all pretty severe cultural imperatives, the right-wing PC.
Placebo treatments are placebo treatments. And so what? I'm not going for laughs, nor to insult you, but only stating a fact. It's a matter of public education. Acupuncture has been shown to work exactly to the same degree whether the needles are put in the places acupuncturists are trained to put them or in wildly random other places. You might as well get a bag of pins from the fabric store, get drunk and stick them in yourself. It's pretend treatment. If people want to pay for pretend treatment, and they clearly do in great numbers, then they're welcome to. Tax money and medical insurance money shouldn't go into it, and real doctors shouldn't be burdened by figuring in time to let shamans and voodoo priests and astrologists scam their patients. And parents who opt against real, proven medical treatment and instead subject their truly sick children to pretend treatment should be jailed and not deferred to on grounds of so-called religious freedom.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
It has become more and more clear that cannabis is far safer than alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceutical drugs which according to the Center for Disease Control kill over 650,000 Americans each and every year.
So, Who is against cannabis legalization in our nation today? Why do they want to keep cannabis illegal? The answer is easy, just follow the money!
* Drug cartels and organized crime will lose multi billion dollar cannabis sales forever in favor of legitimate business, regulation and taxation.
* Court forced cannabis rehab centers will go out of business.
* Police and Private prisons will lose up to 30% of their drug related "customers".
* Big pharmaceutical corporations are scared witless that cannabis will replace many of their addictive drugs because it works better and has no physical addiction.
* International chemical corporations do not want hemp fiber competition.
* Logging companies serving the paper industry are poised to lose a big chunk to renewable hemp.
* The alcoholic beverage industries are the largest financial lobby against cannabis legalization. They know cannabis is safer and less toxic than booze and it is already being used as an alternative by millions of American citizens.
Legalization seems like a slam dunk considering the relative safety records of cannabis, booze and pharmaceuticals. Cannabis with zero toxic fatalities and almost no statistical record of traffic accidents, versus alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical drugs which kill over 650,000 US citizens annually plus another 21,000 in traffic deaths. Makes you wonder if our politicians and lawmakers answer to "we the people" or the corporations and criminals listed above.
Legalize, regulate and TAX!
‘EXTREMELY CARELESS' - WHAT FBI SAID HILLARY DID
'Extremely careless' with 'very sensitive, highly classified information'
Had 110 emails on private server with classified information
Oversaw 'generally lacking' security culture
Server had no 24-hour security
Emailed work information overseas while in countries with 'sophisticated adversaries' prone to snoop
'Hostile actors' gained access to people she contacted
Even private service like Gmail has better protection
* * *
CLASSIFIED MATERIAL ON EMAIL
CLINTON: 'I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.' News conference, March 2015.
THE FACTS: Actually, the FBI identified at least 113 emails that passed through Clinton's server and contained materials that were classified at the time they were sent, including some that were Top Secret and referred to a highly classified special access program, Comey said.
Most of those emails — 110 of them — were included among 30,000 emails that Clinton returned to the State Department around the time her use of a private email server was discovered. The three others were recovered from a forensic analysis of Clinton's server. 'Any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about the matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation,' Comey said. Clinton and her aides 'were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,' he said.
CLINTON: 'I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.' NBC interview, July 2016.
THE FACTS: Clinton has separately clung to her rationale that there were no classification markings on her emails that would have warned her and others not to transmit the sensitive material. But the private system did, in fact, handle emails that bore markings indicating they contained classified information, Comey said.
He said the marked emails were 'a very small number.' But that's not the only standard for judging how officials handle sensitive material, he added. 'Even if information is not marked classified in an email, participants who know, or should know, that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.'
'I PROVIDED ALL MY EMAILS THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE WORK RELATED'
CLINTON: 'I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work related' to the State Department. News conference, March 2015.
THE FACTS: Not so, the FBI found.
Comey said that when his forensic team examined Clinton's server it found there were 'several thousand work-related emails that were not in the group of 30,000' that had been returned by Clinton to the State Department.
JUST THE ONE? Or not - the FBI director demolished the claim Clinton made in march 2015 as he disclosed she had 'numerous mobile devices'
'I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE EASIER TO CARRY JUST ONE DEVICE'
CLINTON: 'I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for personal emails instead of two.' News conference, March 2015.
THE FACTS: This reasoning for using private email both for public business and private correspondence didn't hold up in the investigation. Clinton 'used numerous mobile devices to view and send email' using her personal account, Comey said. He also said Clinton had used different servers.
'THERE WERE NO SECURITY BREACHES'
CLINTON: 'It was on property guarded by the Secret Service, and there were no security breaches. ... The use of that server, which started with my husband, certainly proved to be effective and secure.' News conference, March 2015.
CLINTON campaign website: 'There is no evidence there was ever a breach.'
THE FACTS: The campaign website claimed 'no evidence' of a breach, a less categorical statement than Clinton herself made last year, when she said there was no breach. The FBI did not uncover a breach but made clear that that possibility cannot be ruled out.
'We assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's personal email account,' Comey said.
He said evidence would be hard to find because hackers are sophisticated and can cover their tracks. Comey said his investigators learned that Clinton's security lapses included using 'her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries.' Comey also noted that hackers breached the email accounts of several outsiders who messaged with Clinton.
Comey did not mention names, but a Romanian hacker who called himself Guccifer accessed and later leaked emails from Sidney Blumenthal, an outside adviser to Clinton who regularly communicated with her.
'ALLOWED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT'
CLINTON: 'I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department.' News conference, March 2015.
THE FACTS: Comey did not address Clinton's reason for using a private server instead of a government one, but he highlighted the perils in routing sensitive information through a home server.
The FBI found that Clinton's personal server was 'not even supported by full-time security staff like those found at agencies and departments of the United States government or even with a commercial email service like Gmail,' the director said.
A May 2016 audit by the State Department inspector general found there was no evidence Clinton sought or received approval to operate a private server, and that she 'had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices.' Courts have frowned on such a practice.
In an unrelated case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the purpose of public records law is 'hardly served' when a department head 'can deprive the citizens of their right to know what his department is up to' by maintaining emails on a private system.
(Courtesy, the Associated Press)
by Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis Bedrock)
When we were innocent, we would swim in the sea on the night of San Juan without any guilt at all. It used to be a ritual practiced by just a few initiates before crowds, swept along by the trend, began invading the beaches of the Mediterranean and roasting sardines around the fire with the intention of being happy at any cost.
This summer's solstice has coincided with the full moon, an astronomical event that hadn't occurred for 70 years. But this year, the night of San Juan has also been the occasion of a political occasion that is more ominous and irrational.
At midnight, as the full moon, red and amazing, was emerging with grand majesty from the dark edge of the sea, a group of British folk hoisted beers while loudly celebrating the defeat of Brexit, which appeared imminent from the early polls announced on the radio.
They danced, hugged one another, laughed raucously with their feet in the water; however, as the moon rose in the sky and the sun began to impose its light, the news came that those who wanted to leave Europe had won the British referendum. Their laughter turned to whispered curses as they contemplated the bones of the sardines.
Any referendum is always aimed at the limbic brain, which all humans, including British humans, share with the higher mammals: here reside all emotions--fear, hate, despair.
On this night of San Juan, with my feet in the water in the sea of Denia, surrounded by the crowd, I remembered the times of my youth in Malvarrosa when we were mere innocent shadows in the darkness.
This night of San Juan, I was unable to imagine, without feeling guilt, the other bank of this very same sea, filled with desperate people abandoned by the British--desperate people who risk shipwreck to reach the coasts of Europe.
This night of San Juan, the Mediterranean too recalled the names of all those who drowned in her waters.
DEAR DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY:
Our once-great country is at the point of a constitutional crisis. The failure by the DOJ to indict Hillary Clinton demonstrates a two-tier system of justice in America.
With your decision yesterday not to recommend indictment of Hillary Clinton -- after making a strong case for indictment -- it is clear that all Americans are not equal under the law. Clearly, Bill and Hillary Clinton are above the law. Clearly, the power elites are above the law. Clearly, the law only applies to the little people -- chumps like the rest of us.
With yesterday's decision not to indict Hillary Clinton for national security crimes -- coupled with Hillary Clinton's rigging of the Democratic Party nomination process against Bernie Sanders -- the FBI and you, Director Comey, have turned America into just another Banana Republic.
What's next? Obama declaring martial law? The writ of Habeas Corpus suspended? The National Guard in our backyards? The right to bear arms, and the right to maintain state and local militia, abolished? Freedom of the press abolished? Censorship? Military courts instead of the usual criminal and civil courts? FEMA camp detention for true patriots and constitutionalists?
I'm extremely disappointed in you. As a kid in New City, NY, my family lived next door to distinguished FBI agents, like Jack Danahy and Frank Torpey. They were the fathers of my childhood friends. I looked up to law enforcement, and, indeed, I am a former member of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. I respect the rule of law. And I respect law enforcement. It is the "thin blue line" that separates a civilized society from lawless barbarians.
I realized you were heavily pressured by President Obama and others to make yesterday's decision not to recommend indictment, but you should have resigned as director of the FBI rather than disgrace your badge. You can still resign and honor the badge. Please resign and honor those agents who came before you.
WHY HILLARY CLINTON SHOULD BE PROSECUTED FOR RECKLESS NATIONAL SECURITY ABUSES
by Jill Stein
Yesterday FBI Director James Comey described Hillary Clinton’s email communications as Secretary of State as “extremely careless.” His statement undermined the defenses Clinton put forward, stating the FBI found 110 emails on Clinton’s server that were classified at the time they were sent or received; eight contained information classified at the highest level, “top secret,” at the time they were sent. That stands in direct contradiction to Clinton’s repeated insistence she never sent or received any classified emails.
All the elements necessary to prove a felony violation were found by the FBI investigation, specifically of Title 18 Section 793(f) of the federal penal code, a law ensuring proper protection of highly classified information. Director Comey said that Clinton was “extremely careless” and “reckless” in handling such information. Contrary to the implications of the FBI statement, the law does not require showing that Clinton intended to harm the United States, but that she acted with gross negligence.
The recent State Department Inspector General (IG) report was clear that Clinton blithely disregarded safeguards to protect the most highly classified national security information and that she included on her unprotected email server the names of covert CIA officers. The disclosure of such information is a felony under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
While the FBI is giving Clinton a pass for not “intending” to betray state secrets, her staff has said Secretary Clinton stated she used her private email system because she did not want her personal emails to become accessible under FOI laws. This is damning on two counts – that she intended to disregard the protection of security information, and that she had personal business to conceal.
This is not the end of the Clinton email issues. Department of Justice officials filed a motion in federal court on June 29th requesting a 27-month delay in producing correspondence between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s four top aides and officials with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a public relations firm that Bill Clinton helped launch.
Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000 emails claiming they were ‘personal’. This is equal to the volume of her emails designated as department business. If half of an employee’s email volume is for their personal business, they are not using their time for their job.
If Secretary Clinton was conducting personal business for her family Foundation through the Secretary of State’s Office, this is a matter the American public deserves to know about. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton routinely granted lucrative special contracts, weapons deals and government partnerships to Clinton Foundation donors. The Secretary of State’s office should not be a place to conduct private back room business deals.
The blurring of the lines between Clinton family private business and national security matters in the Secretary of State Office underscores evidence on many other fronts that Hillary Clinton is serving the 1%, not we the people.
Hillary Clinton’s failure to protect critical security information is not the only thing in her tenure as Secretary that deserves the term reckless, including her decision to pursue catastrophic regime change in Libya, and to support the overthrow of democratically elected governments in Ukraine and Honduras.
"FOR OUR MONEY, the most revealing words in FBI Director James Comey’s statement Tuesday explaining his decision not to recommend prosecuting Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information were these: “This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”
So there it is in the political raw: One standard exists for a Democratic candidate for President and another for the hoi polloi. We’re not sure if Mr. Comey, the erstwhile Eliot Ness, intended to be so obvious, but what a depressing moment this is for the American rule of law. No wonder so many voters think Washington is rigged for the powerful."
(Wall Street Journal editorial)
THE RETURN OF FRISCO'S COYOTES
Where do SF’s coyotes roam? Urban study tracks wild creatures
by Peter Fimrite
Golf balls bounced nearby as Jonathan Young tromped across the fairways and beyond the rough of San Francisco’s Presidio Golf Course, an antenna held aloft, following an electronic signal. The scratchy beeping was a sure sign that coyotes lurked.
Young, the wildlife ecologist for the Presidio Trust, waded through heavy brush and poison oak in a forested area where the sound from the VHF transmitter got louder, revealing the hiding place of one of two canines he had affixed with radio collars.
“There she is,” he said, as the skinny, German shepherd-like animal broke out onto the rolling fairway, shooting wary glances backward.
Coyotes have moved back into San Francisco in recent years after being gone for the better part of a century, alarming residents who aren’t used to seeing wild predators roaming the streets, and sometimes killing small pets. Animal control officers have tried to ease concerns by assuring residents that, with certain precautions, it’s quite possible to coexist.
Amid the tension, experts don’t know exactly how many coyotes live in the city, and they don’t know much about their movements. That’s why, in May, Young launched the first comprehensive study of urban coyote behavior and ecology in San Francisco. The tagging and tracking program is part of an effort to educate the public about the creatures, which aren’t going away anytime soon.
Young has so far documented four adult coyotes in the Presidio, including one breeding pair with two or three pups. The animals mostly choose to live on the links, with golfers all around them.
“Coyotes and golf courses are like this,” Young said, holding up crossed fingers. “They really like the vantage points,” which allow them to see prey and potential predators over long distances.
The pilot study requires Young and his staff to trap as many coyotes as they can find, place colored tags on their ears and track them, using the collars’ built-in radio transmitters and GPS technology.
Young hopes to determine how many animals the Presidio can sustain, what percentage of pups survive, where young adults go when they disperse at 12 to 16 months of age, what they feed on, where they create dens and how many coyotes are killed by cars.
The idea is to avoid conflicts with humans and pets and identify abnormal behavior from disease or other causes. The ultimate goal is to inspire collaborative studies outside the Presidio and develop a citywide tracking system, including a database on family groups, dispersal habits, behavior and genetics.
“What people don’t understand, they often fear, so our goal is to push the information out to the public,” Young said. “We need accurate information.”
Creatures play dead
Young has captured one male and one female, using a spring-loaded cable loop that snags the animals’ legs. The trapped coyotes are not harmed, nor even tranquilized, as their habit is to submit and play dead as they wait for an opportunity to bolt. While the collars are put on, blood is drawn, measurements are made and plastic identification tags are attached to their ears.
The coyote that fled from the woods gave birth to three pups in April. During the day, Young said, she generally leaves her pups at their den, where they play all day, and periodically returns to drop off a dead squirrel, mouse or rat. He said one of the pups may have recently died, a common occurrence among urban coyotes.
The other collared coyote is a male, but it isn’t clear whether this coyote or another one with a chunk torn out of its ear is the father. Coyote packs have only one breeding pair, the alpha male and female.
Young trained his binoculars on a coyote lounging under a tree, quickly identifying it as Torn Ear. “The alpha is typically more aggressive toward subordinates,” he said, “so we’ll look and observe and see the behavior, but it can be a little challenging with the golf course and balls flying around.”
Coyote sightings and confrontations with humans have jumped over the past decade in the Bay Area. But the most remarkable change has been the migration from the suburbs into the city. San Franciscans have increasingly reported seeing the canines fearlessly sunning themselves on driveways, trotting across streets and poking around patios.
Wildlife experts say there are dozens of coyotes in the 47-square-mile city, but nobody has delivered a precise number.
Jonathan Young, wildlife ecologist for the Presidio Trust, searches for coyotes as part of his tracking project, following six of the creatures that are known to live in the Presidio.
“They are living here, they are thriving here, so the population is going to increase,” Vicky Gulbech, operations manager for San Francisco Animal Care and Control, said in a recent interview. “We are definitely seeing that and getting more calls.”
Coyotes are native to San Francisco, where the fossil record shows they were plentiful until the Gold Rush, but the yipping hordes were killed off in the city some 75 years ago. The first modern sightings were in 2004 in the Presidio, creating excitement and a good deal of puzzlement over how the creatures got there. Answers came when Golden Gate Bridge officials viewed video of a coyote dashing across the span in the dead of night.
Genetic testing of two coyotes that were shot by federal authorities in Golden Gate Park in 2007, after they attacked dogs, confirmed that the animals came from the north, but Young said coyotes have also migrated from the Peninsula.
All over the city
Since then, coyotes have been reported in neighborhoods and parks throughout southwestern San Francisco, in Bernal Heights, in Golden Gate Park and Stern Grove, at Lake Merced, and on Mount Davidson and the Olympic Club golf course. Experts believe the drought so reduced the primary prey of coyotes — mice, voles and rats — that they have been forced to look for food in neighborhoods.
There have been sporadic instances of aggressive behavior, including a few cases of coyotes charging pedestrians with pets. That usually happens, experts say, when coyotes try to drive a dog away from their den during pup-rearing season, from April through August.
The animals are opportunistic and, given a chance, will sometimes kill and eat small dogs and cats, but are not normally aggressive around humans. While family dogs kill an average of 20 people a year, there has only been one documented case of a coyote killing a human in the United States — the 1981 death of a 3-year-old who was dragged away from her house in Los Angeles County.
Reports of aggression typically involve the deliberate feeding of coyotes. Invariably, the feeders have said they they felt a kinship to the animals, which they believed were starving.
“These are wild animals that are perfectly capable of fending for themselves,” Young said, adding that coyotes are naturally skinny. The two coyotes he weighed in the Presidio weighed 25 and 29 pounds.
It is illegal to trap, relocate or kill wild animals like coyotes in San Francisco unless they are an imminent threat to humans. Moreover, leaving the animals to forage keeps populations of rodents and other mesocarnivores — like foxes, skunks and raccoons — in check, which in turn helps songbirds and ground-nesting birds.
Feeding causes problems
“Feeding makes them associate humans with food, and that’s when they begin approaching humans and getting aggressive,” Young said. “The ideal urban coyote is scared of humans all the time.”
City and Presidio officials are testing “hazing” methods, including paintball guns, flashing lights and noisemakers, to scare off the highly adaptable animals when necessary.
When he is not in the lab, Young visits the golf course or Mountain Lake four times a day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, when the electronic collars are programmed to send out signals. He hopes his study will help dispel the notion that coyotes are vermin that don’t belong in an urban area.
“This is not something that is happening only in San Francisco. These animals are thriving in urban environments all across the country, Canada and even into Mexico,” he said. “We’re trying to be proactive. We’re trying to do something.”
(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)