Mendocino County Today: Saturday, July 23, 2016
by AVA News Service, July 22, 2016
PUBLIC HAS NO RIGHT TO KNOW who is funding Hillary Clinton's $60 million coronation at Democratic National Convention, Democratic Party says in bid for secrecy on donors
Hillary Clinton will be crowned the Democratic presidential candidate in Philadelphia next week at event costing estimated $60 million.
Democrats have a $15 million credit line with the city in case their fundraising falls short.
Independent journalist is fighting for names of the donors to be made public before convention begins.
But host committee tells court hearing that donations should be kept secret.
The host committee for the Democratic National Convention wants to keep its donor list under wraps until after the convention even though a state open records agency has ordered its release.
A Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee lawyer told a judge Thursday the release of fundraising records could harm the organization's last-minute efforts to seek donations and negotiate vendor contracts.
Lawyer David Pittinsky said those efforts were still ongoing even though the four-day convention starts Monday.
The host committee set out to raise about $60 million from private sources, but secured a $15 million line of credit from the city as a safety net. The committee must therefore file financial updates with the city.
Independent journalist Dustin Slaughter considers those filings public, and the state's open records agency agreed with him last month. He said his interest in the event's potential cost to the city stems from the fact the pope's visit last year ultimately cost the city $8 million.
“In light of the fact that the host committee is still short on its fundraising goals, that $15 million (loan) could still come into play. The public has a right to know what's happening behind the scenes,” Slaughter said after Thursday's hearing.
A host committee spokeswoman said the group has raised $56 million in cash and pledges and $16 million worth of in-kind contributions.
“The host committee's fundraising has been on track and, moreover, successful, with no city dollars spent to cover any of our obligations,” said Anna Adams-Sarthou, the committee's communications director.
The committee appealed the open records ruling to city court, arguing that federal election law takes precedence and gives them until September to disclose their final numbers.
“They want the information before the convention starts. We are going to take advantage of the federal legislation that gives us the right to file it no later than 60 days (after the convention),” lawyer Pittinsky argued for the committee.
Common Pleas Judge Abbe Fletman promised to rule quickly.
The four-day convention will see Hillary Clinton crowned as the party's candidate to take on Donald Trump.
It will be held in the city's Wells Fargo Center, which is also home of the city's hockey, NBA and indoor football teams.
A ring of steel is already being put around the event space in preparation for the arrival of thousands of delegates, lobbyists and reporters for the convention, which formally begins on Monday.
The contest to host the convention saw Philadelphia defeat other cities including New York and is seen by the city authorities as a huge economic boost.
The RNC was held in Cleveland, Ohio, where Trump on Thursday night made his acceptance speech as the party's official candidate.
(Courtesy, the Associated Press)
A BLACK COUPLE caused a brief stir in Boonville last week when they paused at Pic 'N Pay last Tuesday. They told passersby they were "walking to Jerusalem" to "return to the place our people were taken from." They were large people who didn't look like they walked all that much, but the previous night they'd been in Ukiah and now they were in Boonville. "A good man gave us a ride this morning out of the mountains," said the woman, gesturing to the modest east hills behind us. The couple was friendly and forthcoming. I was unable to make out their names clearly but they sounded Old Testament. The man pulled a cart with their belongings piled neatly and high on it, and she carried an infant in a sling stretched across her chest and pushed a stroller with a small boy in it. They said they'd begun their journey to the Middle East two years ago in Cleveland. "Our people belong to the lost tribes of Yaweh. We trust in our creator to carry us safely." She did most of the talking while he smiled and nodded agreement. "We gave everything up in our previous life, tore up our social security cards." They said they accept rides and donations, and that "good people" often give them a place to stay, but most nights they pitch a tent and sleep wherever they find themselves. Have you had much trouble? I asked. "The police in Texas were very unkind," the woman said, "but they are helpful in California." I asked if I could take a picture. "No," she said, citing what sounded like the Biblical injunction against graven images. He said, "The people in Boonville are kinda mean. All the nice people we've met here are from Philo." I said I agreed totally. She cited Biblical verses much faster than I could write them in support of their journey, which is clearly going to be a long if not endless one. Wednesday morning the travelers were just emerging from their tent where they'd pitched it on the Paget property on Anderson Valley Way.
UPDATE FROM MENDOCINO SPORTS PLUS:
Found Family Walking
A Mendocino Sports Plus viewer was out trying to get blimp photos Wednesday and sent along these photos of a family walking north on Highway 1. They wrote: "I saw this family (with a baby and a small child) traveling north towards Westport. This was taken around mile marker 73.00 on Highway 1."
DA EYSTER ON PROP 57:
Let's assume for the sake of discussion that Prop 57, the so-called Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016, had become the law of the land in January 2011.
Using that as a hypothetical, we have been wondering how many inmates sent to state prison from Mendocino County since January 2011 would have been or will be eligible for bureaucratic sentence reductions (unilateral after-the-fact changes by a prison clerk to a sentence imposed by a judge) with accelerated release eligibility to get back to Mendoland.
Approximately 689 men and women have been committed to state prison by Mendocino County judges from January 2011 through July 20, 2016. Of that sum, at least 82% of these state prison inmates -- yes, at least 82% -- would have been or will be eligible for Prop 57 relief. What is meant by Prop 57 relief? We mean the inmate is not required to serve the actual sentence that the judge imposed; rather, as re-calculated by prison record clerks, he or she need only serve a fraction of the punishment originally ordered by the judge in order to make the inmate eligible for accelerated release on parole. (As an aside, has anyone considered that the state-wide parole offices had their parole officer staffing cut after the Realignment laws were passed in October 2011? As a result, there are not enough parole agents currently employed to adequately supervise number of parolees currently needing supervision, yet Prop 57's goal is to significantly multiply the number of parolees roaming the streets?)
Prop 57's deceptive and slippery definition of "violent" is one of the keys, as well as the proposed constitutional mandate that inmates who have been convicted and sentenced on multiples crimes and cases will have their cumulative sentence recalculated by Prop 57 in a way that treats all inmates as "first-timers, one-offense only" defendants. Let's say that a different way ... the career criminals and those who have gone on a serious crime sprees -- defendants who pose a much greater on-going risk to the community if not incarcerated -- will receive the greatest reductions and benefits from Prop 57.
The Mendo DA is busy compiling background information on current state prison inmates housed from Mendo to share as fact-specific examples of what Prop 57 outcomes will look like should this bad social experiment not be defeated. Stay tuned and be ready to hold on to your chair. Some old-timers will understand what we mean when we equate what is being proposed as an "E-ticket ride" but without the fun.
LEAKED DOCS REVEAL DNC DETERMINED TO UNDERMINE SANDERS CAMPAIGN
Trove of emails, released by WikiLeaks, reveal how higher-ups in Democratic National Committee sought to boost Clinton's campaign
by Andrea Germanos
WikiLeaks on Friday published roughly 20,000 leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
The whistleblowing organization describes the trove, which includes over 8,000 attachments, as "part one of our new Hillary Leaks series," and is just the latest in a series of document dumps that show the DNC—which, as the The Intercept notes, "isn't supposed to favor one Democratic candidate over another until they receive a nomination"—seeking to bolster the candidacy of the former secretary of state and working against that of rival Bernie Sanders.
It is unclear at this point whether the hacker known as Guccifer 2.0, who claimed responsibility for two previous leaks from the DNC servers, provided the latest documents to WikiLeaks.
The new leaks span from January 2015 to May 2016, and come from what WikiLeaks describes as "the accounts of seven key figures in the DNC: Communications Director Luis Miranda (10770 emails), National Finance Director Jordon Kaplan (3797 emails), Finance Chief of Staff Scott Comer (3095 emails), Finanace Director of Data & Strategic Initiatives Daniel Parrish (1472 emails), Finance Director Allen Zachary (1611 emails), Senior Advisor Andrew Wright (938 emails) and Northern California Finance Director Robert (Erik) Stowe (751 emails)."
WikiLeaks highlighted on Twitter a few of the emails, such as one dated May 21, 2016from DNC Deputy Communications Director Mark Paustenbach to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda regarding how to construct an anti-"Bernie narrative" focusing on the fact that he "never ever had his act together."
Another email dated May 5, 2016 (Subject Line: No Shit) from DNC Chief Financial Office Brad Marshall appears to show that the DNC sought to focus on Sanders' supposed atheism as a negative point.
It does not call the Vermont senator by name, but states: "It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist."
In another email dated May 19, 2016 from DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Miranda and Paustenbach, she writes, "The Israel stuff is disturbing," in reference to a linked Washington Post article which states:
Sanders plans an aggressive effort to extract platform concessions on key policies that could prompt divisive battles at a moment when front-runner Hillary Clinton will be trying to unify the party. Among other issues, he plans to push for a $15 national minimum wage and argue that the party needs a more balanced position regarding Israel and Palestinians, according to a Sanders campaign aide who requested anonymity to speak candidly.
Miranda responded by writing, "HFA [Hillary for America ] specifically pushed that part of it. At least that's what it seems like from when Mark spoke to the reporter."
Wasserman Schultz then responded by saying, "Wait, you mean HFA pushed that Sanders wants to moderate our Israel plank in the platform or that they do?" to which Miranda responded: "The Israel plank, that they see it as an ideal issue to marginalize Bernie on."
In another email in the batch noted by Politico, this one from May 17, 2016, Wasserman Schultz writes to Paustenbach that Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, is a "damn liar," and in another, dated May 13, 2016, she writes, "He is an ASS," again referring to Weaver, after being "informed by Paustenbach that Weaver had said the Sanders campaign should continue 'to the convention,'" Politico adds.
As RT also reports: "Another email shows officials of the DNC—the governing body of the party that is supposedly neutral when it comes to Democratic candidates—using 'us and them' language when referring to Sanders supporters."
Green Party party presidential candidate Jill Stein's reaction to the documents was along the same lines. They "once again prove the collusion between the Hillary campaign and the DNC," she stated of the documents.
Sanders, for his part, has previously charged that the DNC was seeking to undermine his campaign.
FOUR DAYS IN THE GARDENS OF LAYTONVILLE
Thursday 7-21-2016 concluded a four day marijuana eradication effort that took place in the northern end of Mendocino County in the areas of the Lodge Fire Complex, South of Leggett; Indian Springs, Dos Rios; and Shamrock Ranch, Laytonville. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank all the agencies who assisted in this operation; Officers from the Ukiah Police Department, Officers from the Willits Police Department, Officers from the Fort Bragg Police Department, Wardens and Biologists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the California National Guard Counter Drug Team, BLM Rangers, Prevention Officers with Cal Fire, Officers with the Siskiyou County Narcotics Task Force and members of the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force. Each of the agencies provided much needed mutual aid resources in a cooperative effort to assist the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.
On 7-21-2016 these officers served one search warrant in the Indian Springs area, north of Dos Rios and east of Laytonville. This warrant service resulted in the eradication of 240 Marijuana plants and the arrest of Adrian Glass, 31, of Sacramento. Glass was also arrested for possession of a butane "honey oil" lab and being armed during the commission of a felony. Glass's bail was set at $75,000.
In the same are three "open field" eradications took place as well. The results of those efforts include the following numbers being eradicated; Site 1- 57 marijuana plants, Site 2- 49 marijuana plants and Site 3- 105 marijuana plants. There were no suspects that could be connected to these three locations and at this point no arrests have been made. These investigations are ongoing. Also on 7-21-2016 eradication efforts continued in the burned area of the "Lodge Fire" several years earlier, in the area of the headwaters of the South Fork of the Eel River. Two "open field' sites were eradicated with the following numbers being eradicated; Site 1- 2139 marijuana plants and Site 2- 5666 marijuana plants. There were no suspects that could be connected to these two locations and at this point no arrests have been made.
These investigations are ongoing. One "open field" marijuana grow site was eradicated near the Shamrock Ranch area resulting in 300 marijuana plants being eradicated. There were no suspects that could be connected to this location and at this point no arrests have been made. This investigation is ongoing. The final results of the four day eradication effort was; -40397 marijuana plants being eradicated. -14 persons arrested. -7 firearms being seized. -37 environmental damage cases being discovered and investigated. These violations include; illegal water diversion, stream pollution, and solid waste violations.
(Sheriff’s Press Release)
MSP PASSES ALONG…
Chuckle For A Friday...
From the "Breed of Speed" Facebook page.
To the Editor:
I am deeply resistant to the suggestion that I have to either endorse Black Lives Matter or state my support for police in our society. I SHALL do both, and I hope others will join me. The path to progress and healing is open in front of us, more clearly than before. President Obama In Dallas quotes I John 3:18, “Let us love not with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.”
Benj Thomas, Ukiah
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 22, 2016
Ceja, Dishman, Duwe
ISABEL CEJA, Ukiah. DUI.
LEWIS DISHMAN, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, under influence, grand theft auto, vandalism.
ROBERT DUWE, Ukiah. Domestic assault.
Garcia, Glass, Sanders, Walrath
OTONIEL GARCIA, Ukiah. Arson, vandalism.
ADRIAN GLASS, Sacramento/Laytonville. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, honey oil extraction, armed with firearm.
THOMAS SANDERS, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
MERRILL WALRATH, Ukiah. ID theft, probation revocation.
DOMESTIC CATASTROPHIC RISK DEMANDS ACTION BEHIND THE TALK
by Ralph Nader
President Barack Obama, The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20500
July 22, 2016
Dear President Obama:
As Senators, you and Joe Biden were leaders in highlighting the threat of America’s hazardous chemical plants – and in calling for solutions that included moving these facilities to inherently safer technologies. In 2006, you bluntly stated “these plants are stationary weapons of mass destruction spread all across the country.”
Unfortunately, three years after the West, Texas, ammonium nitrate explosion, after you spoke at a memorial service for the 15 deceased individuals, and after you issued an executive order demanding action, your EPA has released a proposed rule that does too little to require a shift to safer technologies.
That is outrageous, given the risk of more catastrophes by negligent accident, natural disaster, sabotage, or terrorism. Since the West, Texas tragedy, which federal investigators recently determined was deliberately set, there have been more than 430 chemical incidents and 82 deaths. The EPA has identified 466 U.S. chemical facilities that each put 100,000 or more people at risk.
In 2005, the Homeland Security Council estimated that a major attack on just one of these chemical facilities would kill 17,500 people and injure tens of thousands more. Many of the first victims would be plant workers and people in the low-income communities that often are located near these dangerous plants.
Numerous experts are urging the EPA to issue a rule that focuses on safer technologies, often called materials substitution. They include your former EPA head Lisa Jackson; President Bush’s EPA head, Governor Christine Todd Whitman; retired generals like Russel Honoré and Randy Manner; the U.S. Chemical Safety Board; and a broad coalition of environmental, community, and labor groups.
You know who the opposition is: avaricious corporate interests like the Koch brothers. They don’t want to pay to shift to safer materials and technologies, even though other companies like Clorox, which eliminated the use of chlorine gas in favor of a safer process for making bleach, have already made the switch and are thriving.
How would our country view a weak EPA rule if one day there was a chemical catastrophe that killed thousands of Americans? More than twenty thousand people died as the result of the 1984 gas leak at a plant in Bhopal, India, in addition to many serious disabling illnesses. A U.S. company, Union Carbide, owned the plant.
If the plant was in the United States, and 20,000 Americans died, would not our country already have responded to this problem? We can’t wait for such a tragedy to explode before we take action.
Communities where the most dangerous plants are located – from Newark to Detroit, Mississippi to California – cannot wait any longer. For the facilities that have converted, the result is reliable protection for employees and communities against catastrophic disasters, and at low cost. Wherever this can be done, it should be a requirement.
The proposed EPA rule does take an important first step by mandating that certain high-risk chemical plants conduct a safer technology and alternatives analysis (STAA) and feasibility assessment on the use of inherently safer technologies. Perhaps that is one reason why Republican congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, in whose district Koch Industries is located and who has taken extensive campaign contributions from company officials, is pushing legislation to prohibit the EPA from issuing any rule at all.
But the Administration should not simply resist this industry-backed amendment; it should dramatically improve the rule by:
1. Requiring all so-called “Risk Management Plan facilities” — those that use extremely hazardous substances and thus are required to develop a Risk Management Plan (RMP) — to assess safer alternatives to existing chemical processes. The inadequate proposed EPA rule exempts 87 percent of the some 12,500 Risk Management Plan chemical facilities from requirements to conduct a safer technology and alternatives analysis. The exempted facilities include, for example, water treatment plants, some of which put major cities at risk of a catastrophic release of chlorine gas.
2. Require all these especially hazardous RMP facilities to send their safer alternatives analyses (STAA) to the EPA and readily share the information with nearby communities and other interested parties, such as emergency responders, vendors of safer technologies, facility employees and contractors, and safety researchers.
3. Establish a publicly accessible clearinghouse of safer available alternatives that could encourage and support the adoption of safer alternatives by more facilities as soon as practicable.
4. Starting with the highest risk facilities, require chemical facilities to actually substitute safer alternatives to their industrial processes, wherever feasible, that will eliminate or significantly reduce the consequences of a catastrophic release. The coalition of community, worker and environmental groups that has engaged the EPA on these issues has recommended that EPA at the very least begin a pilot program to require inherently safer technologies to be implemented in a subset of RMP facility categories, such as waste water and drinking water treatment plants, bleach plants and hydrogen fluoride refineries, and for those facilities among the 2,000 high-risk facilities cited in the EPA’s National Enforcement Initiative proposal.
The people must demand your EPA issue a stronger rule that moves industry to proven safer technologies and protects the public in every endangered community.
P.S. For a map of RMP facilities across the country, concerned citizens may visit https://preventchemicaldisasters.org/facility-maps/.
Citizens interested in contacting the EPA may do so by calling (202) 272-0167 or writing to:
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
THE WINDOWS OF THE WORLD
The windows of the world are covered with rain
Where is the sunshine we once knew?
Everybody knows when little children play
They need a sunny day to grow straight and tall
Let the sun shine through
The windows of the world are covered with rain
When will those black skies turn to blue?
Everybody knows when boys grow into men
They start to wonder when their country will call
Let the sun shine through
The windows of the world are covered with rain
What is the whole world coming to?
Everybody knows when men cannot be friends
Their quarrel often ends where some have to die
Let the sun shine through
The windows of the world are covered with rain
There must be something we can do
Everybody knows whenever rain appears
It's really angel tears
How long must they cry
Let the sun shine through.
–Hal David & Burt Bacharach
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
We live in a country that takes to the streets en masse with a Pokeman game, but sits on its hands when offered leadership of a Clinton or Trump. The problem is thinking we deserve, we are, better.
JACK AND PAT WERE IN THEIR SEVENTIES now and had no pets, although they had had several in the course of their days, mostly dogs, but once a bird as well. Their most remarkable dog, Jack and Pat said, was a pit bull, Peggy. She was the sweetest, smartest dog, they said.
This was long ago. The boy they adopted as an infant is in his thirties now. When they brought the baby home, Peggy was curious about him and protective and adoring in a way Jack and Pat increasingly found to be alarming. Jack, a physician, decided that for everyone’s peace of mind, Peggy should be put down. From the pharmacy at the hospital where he worked, he procured a large amount of expired Valium. The plan was to mix the crushed Valium with a pound of ground sirloin. Ground sirloin was Peggy’s favorite food. When she was a very good dog she received it, and Peggy knew that when it was presented to her she had been a very good dog or for one reason or another had pleased Jack and Pat.
Jack and Pat discussed at length the sad necessity of putting Peggy down for everyone’s peace of mind, but when the moment came, Jack could not bring himself to lace the ground sirloin with the crushed Valium. Nor could Pat perform this act. Peggy was a good dog, she would not harm their little child.
Relieved to have made their decision, Jack and Pat filled Peggy’s bowl with the untainted meat and placed it before her.
But Peggy would not touch it. She gazed at it, then gazed at Jack and Pat and left the room. Sometimes, for years, when Jack and Pat had friends over for dinner or cards, they would put a bowl of ground sirloin before Peggy and she would never touch it. Of course the story was told again and again. The guests were always amazed.
— Lee Williams
IN WASHINGTON DC I’m converting the Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue into one of the world’s greatest hotels. I got the building from the General Services Administration. The GSA sold it to me for four reasons. Number one—we’re really good. Number two—we had a really great plan. Number three—we had a great financial statement. Number four—we’re EXCELLENT, not just very good, at fulfilling or even exceeding our agreements. That’s the way the country should be run.
— Donald J. Trump