Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, July 27, 2016
by AVA News Service, July 27, 2016
FOREGONE CONCLUSION NOW OFFICIAL:
Democrats Name Hillary ‘Rodan’ Clinton Their Presidential Nominee
Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic Party's White House nomination, coming back from a stinging defeat in her first presidential run in 2008 and surviving a bitter primary fight to become the first woman to head the ticket of a major party in U.S. history.
In a symbolic show of party unity, Clinton's former rival, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, told the chairwoman from the convention floor that Clinton, 68, should be selected as the party's nominee at the dramatic climax of a state-by-state roll call at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
Capping nearly a quarter century in public life, Clinton will become the party's standard-bearer against Republican nominee Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 election when she accepts the nomination on Thursday.
"If there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say: I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next," Clinton told the convention via a video satellite link.
In nominating Clinton, delegates made the point that the selection of a woman was a milestone in America's 240-year-old history. Women got the right to vote in 1920 after ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, portrayed her in a speech to the convention as a dynamic force for change as he made a case for her White House bid.
"Hillary is uniquely qualified to seize the opportunities and reduce the risks we face, and she is still the best darn change-maker I have ever known," he said, hitting back at Republican arguments she is a Washington insider tied to the status quo.
The Democratic nominee, who promises to tackle income inequality, tighten gun control and rein in Wall Street if she becomes president, is eager to portray Trump, a businessman and former reality TV show host, as too unstable to sit in the Oval Office.
Trump, 70, who has never held elective office, got a boost in opinion polls from his nomination at the Republican convention last week. He had a 2-point lead over Clinton in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday, the first time he has been ahead since early May.
Sanders has endorsed Clinton, but some of his supporters protested in Philadelphia against the party leadership's apparent backing of her during the Democratic primary fight.
Outside the convention hall, protests turned more heated late on Tuesday. Thousands of protesters gathered near a subway station close to the convention center although a heavy police presence and barricades kept them far from convention guests. Among the protesters were Sanders supporters and Black Lives Matter activists.
At least three people clambered over perimeter fences and were arrested. Some set up a candlelight vigil, sang songs and chanted "Election fraud," in apparent reference to leaked emails that showed the Democratic National Committee tried to undermine Sanders' campaign.
'The Real One'
Earlier on Tuesday, delegates from South Dakota had given Clinton 15 votes, formally ensuring that she had more than the 2,383 votes needed to win the nomination. She emerged with a total of 2,842 votes to Sanders' 1,865.
Two delegates held up a red banner emblazoned "History" in white letters as Clinton's face showed up on the screen.
In 2008, she lost a hard-fought nomination battle to first-term U.S. Senator Barack Obama, who went on to become America's first black president.
Bill Clinton's speech on Tuesday night offered an unusual twist to the warm spousal endorsement of a presidential candidate traditionally given at party conventions by a wife, not a man - let alone a former president of the United States.
He said Hillary had been a political activist since the couple's early days as law students together. He told how she gave legal aid services to poor people and went undercover to expose a segregationist school in Alabama in the 1970s.
Clinton put forth an alternative narrative to the Republican portrayal of his wife as a power-hungry politician who bends the rules and lacks transparency in her political dealings.
Polls show many Americans distrust Hillary Clinton. Controversy over her use of a private email server for official business while she served as America's top diplomat dogged her during the primary election season.
She came under relentless attack at the Republican convention in Cleveland, as speakers assailed her over the email controversy and her record as secretary of state and painted her as out of touch with ordinary Americans. Delegates weighed in with repeated chants of "Lock her up."
"They’re running against a cartoon," Bill Clinton said in his speech. "Cartoons are two-dimensional, they’re easy to absorb. Life in the real world is complicated and real change is hard, and a lot of people even think it’s boring."
Then speaking directly to the crowd, he said to cheers and applause: "Good for you because earlier today you nominated the real one."
President from 1993 to 2001, Bill Clinton, 69, left office with high approval ratings and is known as one of the most powerful political orators in the country.
Trump appeared to approve of Bill Clinton's appearance. "Smart move by the Democrats to have Pres. @billclinton play a key role in their convention," he wrote on Twitter.
Supporters of Hillary Clinton say her Washington credentials show she has the experience needed for the White House during tough times as the United States tries to hasten its economic recovery and tackle challenges abroad like Islamic State and the rise of China.
Detractors view her as too cozy with the establishment and say she carries political baggage dating back to the start of her husband's first White House term in the 1990s.
HEARTLESS POINT ARENA CITY MANAGER 'PILES ON' ANOTHER TAX FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS PATIENTS
Why? Because he can… (Richard Shoemaker, former supervisor from the Ukiah area, is Point Arena's "part-time" manager. He's paid $50,000 a year. His girlfriend is Fort Bragg City Manager Linda Ruffing, who makes three times that.)
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Point Arena and surrounding area! We are so grateful to this community and how you have supported us these first three months of providing you with a safe, clean and informative place to procure your cannabis medicine. We have met many amazing people and made many new friends. We have been humbled by all of you fighting serious health issues and inspired by the relief that cannabis has given every one of you. We've listened to you, our members, and a major concern that you have is continued access to affordable medicine. It is our goal to do everything in our power to keep your medicine affordable to you. And that is why we are asking you to come to the Point Arena City Hall tomorrow, Tuesday, July 25th at 6pm and let the city council know how you feel about another tax on your medicine.
You already pay 8.125% sales tax on cannabis, and California will soon start charging an additional 10% on all cannabis in addition to the sales tax, and then the City of Point Arena wants to charge an additional 3%. Who among us believes that people who are treating cancer and epilepsy with cannabis medicine should have to pay an additional 21.125% on their medicine?
The city has worked hard to create an ordinance that allows cannabis businesses to operate and for that we thank them.
We have petitioned the city manager to reconsider this tax that could potentially be one of the highest in Mendocino county on cannabis and could put patients and businesses in Point Arena at a disadvantage, but he is steadfast. Come and let the council and the city manager know what you consider would be a fair tax. Our recommendation to the city was to emulate the Mendocino Heritage Initiative at the very least, a democratic grass roots tax initiative that will be put before the county voters in November.
Thank you and we hope that you consider coming to the city council meeting!
— The Green Room, Medical Cannabis Dispensary, Point Arena
JOURNAL NOTES, TUESDAY, JULY 26TH: Just getting light when I walked from my sleeping cell to my office in Boonville's beating heart. The OPEN neon was already blinking out its four letter welcome next door at the Redwood Drive-In, whose hours are precisely, every day, 6am to 9pm. Two cups of Petrolia-roasted Gold Rush Coffee had fueled my fifty foot commute. Across the road, in the dust of Boont Berry Farm's parking area, a frenetic figure hurled itself to and fro in apparent argument with itself, arms gesturing wildly. In the faint grey of dawn the agitated form looked like an Indonesian puppet show. I walked closer. It was a young black woman. Her close-cropped hair was dyed blonde. "Can I help you, Miss?" She didn't even look my way when she said, "No." She was obviously deranged and, as she said, beyond any help I or probably anyone else might provide. She'd never stopped pacing, mumbling to herself, throwing her arms this way and that. Later, when the sun was up, I looked out to see her still pacing, still agitated. She'd arranged a picnic-like display in the dust of paper coffee cups and miscellaneous items that included sticks, a small rock, one shoe and one sock. I thought about calling her in but I knew lots of people had beat me to it. With menace always in the news, people would find this forlorn figure menacing. Finally, about 1pm, Deputy Orell Massey arrived to round her up. Formidably tall, fit, the very picture of the "lean, mean fighting machine" he'd been as a Marine. I wondered if Massey had been specially dispatched to assess Boonville's early morning mental because he, too, is black. And, I should say, not at all mean but certainly all business. Wasting no time, Massey assessed the young woman as 5150, meaning that in her altered state she was clearly a danger to herself and, perhaps, others. She gathered up her picnic and silently climbed into Massey's patrol wagon.
THE DAY GREW, and grew hot, about a hundred outside my office door. "I wonder if we can fry an egg on the pavement?" I asked my colleague, The Major. "Wrong kind of pavement, you need a cement sidewalk, not coarse asphalt," The Major said. I threw out a boring anecdote about how the newspapers of yesteryear always had a hot day picture of a kid frying an egg on the sidewalk.
THE AFTERNOON WINDS came up earlier than usual, and I feared what everyone fears on these hot, dry, drought days when the afternoon wind blows in off the Pacific and, sure enough, the scanner crackled with a fire call. A patch of grass directly across the road from CalFire's fascist-inspired stalag south of Boonville was quickly extinguished. The serious fires quickly draw CalFire's spotter plane and the scanner voices are excited, but this one, occurring almost simultaneously with a rear-ender at Ray's Road and 128, Philo, didn't go anywhere. An inattentive person at the wheel of a monster pick-up rear-ended a much smaller passenger car, hitting the little car so hard it was accordian-ed to its front seat. No one was injured, but the driver of the little car is now without his transportation.
AS THE DAY waned and me with it, I watched our Olympic basketball team wipe out the Chinese National quintet, switching back and forth to the Giant's game. Another day logged.
COMMENTS TO THE FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCIL AND MANAGER, JULY 25, 2016, RE: IMPROPER SCHEDULING OF CONSENT CALENDAR; CONFLICT OF INTEREST
At the last City Council meeting on July 11, four people including three elderly women and myself respectfully asked for an item to be removed from the Consent Calendar during the early public comment period. Instead of giving any kind of an answer, this Council forced all four people to wait for about three hours, until finally declaring that the item would be removed anyway due to a conflict of interest. When I had asked earlier for a motion to move the item off the Consent Calendar, a Council member shouted me down. This is unacceptable, and beyond being inconsiderate and disrespectful it creates a public safety issue when you force three elderly women to go home at around 10:00 pm at night, instead of resolving the matter at 7:00 and letting them get home in daylight.
As a result of this incident I did a survey of some twenty Northern California cities the same size or larger than Fort Bragg and found that not one puts the Consent Calendar at the end of council meetings, as is done here. Every single city schedules the Calendar at or near the beginning, before other items, so that issues can be legitimately reviewed and if need be discussed, without undue hardship or inconvenience to the public. Items pulled from the calendar can thus be placed on the agenda for discussion later on during that same meeting. This prevents non-transparent late night approval of questionable items as has now become the norm in Fort Bragg. It should also be noted that in many cities including Sebastopol, Cloverdale, and Santa Rosa, council members are required to declare conflicts of interest near the beginning of the meeting, not if and when they feel like it, as seems to have occurred on July 11.
So why does the Fort Bragg City Council continue to put the Consent Calendar at the end of meetings? Most people go home after their Agenda item of concern has been dealt with, so that by the end of the evening there is effectively no one from the public left in the room to scrutinize actions taken under consent. This Council has gotten used to the practice of playing late night political poker by wrongly placing the Consent Calendar at the end of meetings instead of the beginning.
I am preparing to file a formal complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission and the Attorney General regarding this latest instance of disrespect towards the public, including the tardy declaration of conflicts of interest, and the corrupt scheduling of the Consent Calendar at the end of City Council meetings, which defies the practice of democracy in nearly every other city of this state. I am asking for the City of Fort Bragg to quit being a rogue agency, and to stop playing games with the public on important issues by stacking the Agenda against the people of this city. Please come into compliance with the rest of the State, and put the Consent Calendar at the beginning of City Council meetings, not at the end. Thank you.
(— David Gurney)
LIVESTOCK V. WILDLIFE
The Indians who populated the eastern part of North America before the European colonization had a well developed agriculture based on hybridized native plants such as corn, squash, beans, tomatoes and peppers. They also practiced a form of siviculture creating fruit and nut orchards by selecting for preferred native trees. While these plant foods provided the bulk of the diet for most tribes, hunting and fishing for wild animals supplemented the diet with some meat and fish. There were no large domesticated mammals in North America until the arrival of the Europeans tn the 16th century.
With the Europeans came sheep, goats, pigs, cattle and horses. As the Indian population declined precipitously due to the spread of contagious diseases brought by the Europeans for which they had no resistance, Indian farmers were replaced by European pastoralists. After the American Civil War, sheep and cattle ranching moved onto the western plains displacing the once immense herds of native buffalo that were massacred to near extinction.
Between the 1880s and 1920s, state and federal agencies began to work cooperatively with western sheep and cattle ranchers to exterminate wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and grizzly bears that preyed on livestock. Poison was the weapon of choice with steel-jawed leg-hold traps and rifles as back up. Millions of America's native predators were killed as they too were hunted to near extinction.
Today the ranching profession has a very powerful romantic appeal to many Americans. Our frontier culture has bestowed an almost mythical status upon ranchers while conveniently ignoring the genocide against wildlife that was perpetrated in the name of animal husbandry.
Sheep and cattle ranchers began moving into Mendocino County in the late 1800s and the County's cooperation with ranchers in the extermination of predators began in the early 1900s. While wolves and grizzlies have long been exterminated from the County, there still exists a remnant population of mountain lions. Coyotes, owing to the absence of competing wolves and to their natural fecundity, have actually proliferated even under constant persecution. The County's lethal predator control program ran continuously for a century killing tens of thousands of wild animals including many non-targeted species right up until April, 2016 when it was finally halted through a lawsuit against the County brought by several wildlife protection organizations.
County government justified spending public tax dollars to kill predators on economic grounds claiming that ranching is an important contributor to the County's agricultural revenues and thus deserving of a public subsidy. The County's own agricultural records, however, tell a different story. The 2014 crop report listed County crop revenues as follows: fruits and nuts $106,699,000, forest products $74,980,000, livestock production $13,245,800, field crops $10,514,500, livestock and poultry products $6,204,600, vegetable crops $1,452,000 and nursery production $1,380,000. Of course this crop report does not include the County's largest agricultural crop which is cannabis conservatively estimated at over $1 billion. If cannabis is factored into the equation, as it rightly should be, County revenues from ranching shrink down to less than 2% of total County agricultural revenues.
The reason ranching fails to thrive in Mendocino County is not because we aren't killing enough coyotes and mountain lions. Our thickly forested mountainous terrain leaves little land suitable for grazing livestock and our long hot dry summers make growing pasture and feed crops very expensive. Due to these natural constraints, ranching in Mendocino County has always been a marginal business at best.
Pasturing sheep and cattle in the isolated valleys and meadows of Mendocino County leaves them highly vulnerable to predation by coyotes and mountain lions. While I lament the loss of these domesticated animals, such losses are to be expected when grazing livestock provide such an irresistible bait for these predators. It is not the responsibility of County tax payers to mitigate these loses by paying for lethal predator controls. As an alternative predator management strategy, I suggest the County issue “grazing permits” that would only be issued upon proof that the rancher has properly implemented state-of-the-art, non-lethal, predator control measures.
I can understand why ranchers feel threatened by wildlife protection advocates like me when they honestly believe they are doing nothing more than providing wholesome and essential foods for people. I can also understand why ranchers can't help but take my critique of their industry personally, but they can rest assured that I harbor no malice towards them, my only concern is that we all learn how to coexist with the wildlife who also call this County home.
TRANSPARENCY & KZYX
by Sheila Dawn Tracy
On the mild early summer evening of June 27th, the KZYX Board of Directors met at Anderson Valley High School. Approximately 15 people attended including four members of the Community Advisory Board (CAB). Excepting newly elected Director, John Azzaro, all Board members were present.
In the few minutes before I arrived the Board noted that the minutes to the March 7th meeting had not been approved at its previous meeting and Board President, Meg Courtney, made a motion to approve the minutes of both meetings which was agreed upon by the other members.
Upon arriving, I had been told by facilitator and Director Jenness Hartley, that the meeting had just begun but was not informed that the minutes had been approved. I requested that the minutes to the March 7th meeting be amended to correct the misstatement which read “a reporter and a candidate interrupted frequently and claimed the Board President was not following clear procedures.” I reminded the Board that I had called a point of process and was recognized to speak when I pointed out the lack of consistency in agenda protocol. I wished the minutes to reflect that President Courtney had agreed that the agenda had been “fluid” under past and present Board Presidents and made a commitment to stabilize the agenda format. It was the same Director Courtney who was noted in the minutes of a March 2014 meeting, a full two years prior, as having stated that as a part of “improved meeting protocols,” the Board had adopted a standard format for their agenda.
As the past several meetings have been contentious regarding several members' comments as to how poorly the meetings had been conducted, followed by requests for acknowledgement of what rules were being used to run their public meetings, the current Board reaffirmed the decision of the 2002 Board to abide by Roberta's Rules of Order by Alice Collier Cochran. Members had the support of General Manager, Lorraine Dechter, in urging the Board to take action in this area.
Courtney described the rules as less formal, more feminine and more flexible than Robert's Rules of Order which she described as antiquated, dating back to the Civil War era. Motions and seconds to motions are out in favor of making proposals. Final decisions when consensus can not be reached will be decided by majority rule. The cover of Roberta's Rules depicts a gavel encircled with a slash line through it. Consequently, the gavel has been retired.
While stating that the rules do not address interaction with the public, Courtney answered affirmatively to Director Hartley's question of whether Public Comment was permitted on Action Items. In response to the question of whether a point of process or clarification could be called by the public, she stated that such specifics were not addresses in the new rules.
Courtney reported on the success of the house party in Willits in April for “large donors.” According to Director Futcher, $400 was raised. The Church of the Boogie Woogie event in June featuring Wendy DeWitt and Spencer Brewer was a rollicking good time for all, bringing in a similar amount of funds.
She noted the Fundraising and Membership Committee is meeting monthly as is the Executive Committee consisting of herself and Directors Futcher, Campbell and Hartley. The GM has also been invited to attend.
The Bylaws and Policy Committee, chaired by Campbell has been delayed in meeting due to Campbell's duties as Finance Chair and the demands of developing a budget for fiscal year (FY) 2016-17.
Director Benj Thomas requested that the Board be informed through Committee Reports at its public meetings.
Matters from the Board
The Chair of the Audit Committee, Clay Eubank, stated that the same auditor that was used last year will be working again with the station's accountant. She believed her familiarity with the station's financial records will make the audit an easier process.
Director Jonathan Middlebrook helped Benj Thomas sort through personnel files at the station. He also tabled several times in front of his local market and did outreach to some “disaffected” community members resulting in what he determined to be moderate success.
Director Hartley chairs the Frequently Asked Questions Committee. Questions about the station will be solicited from the public, answered and put on the station's website. She plans to have a meeting in late July.
Board member, Futcher announced that a house party in Ukiah is planned for August 28th with friends of Director Ed Keller. Another party is scheduled in October for Fort Bragg.
As Chair of the Personnel Committee, Futcher stated that work is being done to create a “360 review” of the GM's performance. Asked for clarification, she explained the process will include interviews with colleagues as a way of getting feedback to the GM from staff. The same process may be used in staff evaluations. The Board is responsible for evaluating the GM while the GM evaluates staff.
The Finance Committee, composed of Chair Campbell, GM Dechter, accountant Dan McDonnell and Bob Bushansky worked for six weeks to develop the FY 16-17 budget. Last year's budget was $545.5k. This year's budget is $599.5k- an increase of 8.7%. Revenue increase is projected from pledge drives, (35k) underwriting, (20k) and fundraisers (9.5k). The budget includes funds to rent a Ukiah studio for news operations ($9600) plus $2k in equipment purchases.
Campbell stated that the Ukiah location has line of sight access to the station's transmitter on Laughlin Ridge. In response to Eubank's question of a separate funding source for the Ukiah studio, Campbell replied that a few people had made a commitment to provide funds to get the project started. Eubank asked that contributions for that purpose be tracked to insure that the Ukiah studio was affordable and that these funds were not diverted to other areas. Campbell agreed to make the finances of the Ukiah studio a regular part of his financial report. He concluded by giving the good news that the old NPR debt will be paid off in October. Quarterly Financial reports are planned.
In comparing the budget statistics received in June 2015 to the current printout, I noticed many line items had been combined into a single category or, in one instance in the 2015 figures, money moved into a different line item without explanation. Forty five categories were reduced to twenty seven, making analysis difficult. Staff direct costs (formerly gross employee wages) were $12k over the FY 15-16 budget at almost $264k. Projection for FY 16-17 increased to $312k including the formerly separate budget line for independent contractors. The increase of $62k indicates the additional cost of salaries for News Director, Sherri Quinn as well as several new reporters including Jason Wright who has been contracted to cover Lake County news. Meals and lodging were 33% over budget, amounting to $9.5k while only $500 of the $13k budgeted for equipment was spent.
Public Comment on the Budget
Tom Melcher wished to know the % of the budget that comprised the News staff salaries.
Tony Novelli felt that from his experience with nonprofits, it would be feasible to reserve funds for a specific purpose.
Accountant Dan McDonnell stated it would be easy to have separate fundraisers for the Ukiah studio but money raised for that purpose should be kept separate from the general membership drives.
Programmer Robert Vaughn did not want to see “popularity contests” for the different studios. He thought a grant fund could be established for the Ukiah Studio.
My comment was a reminder that over ten years ago, $6k had been raised by the Ukiah community in the hope of having a fully functional broadcasting studio. At the request of former GM, John Coate, that money had been assimilated into the general fund. When questioned by former Director, John Sakowicz in 2014, if that money would be returned for that purpose, he was assured by Coate that the money would be returned and matched by the station. I felt it was important to honor Coate's commitment of promised funding to make the Ukiah studio a community resource.
The budget was adopted by unanimous agreement of the Board.
Community Advisory Board Report (CAB)
CAB member, Tony Novelli read a prepared Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the CAB and the Board of Directors. It asked the Board to support an expansion and clarification of CAB activities to manage feedback to the Board more efficiently and transparently. Suggestions were made to improve what was noted to be “historically, a process without much structure.” The MOU requested that mechanisms be developed for managing the feedback received between the CAB and the BOD citing on air notification, printed handouts at BOD meetings and notices on the station website.
It also asked for a continuation of the process of providing information to the Board as a standing agenda item at public meetings.The request was made that all proposals be responded to in a timely manner--either 30 to 60 days or one to two Board meetings (60 to 120 days). The CAB expressed interest in discussing with staff an expansion of the CAB section of the website to better interface with the community. It is currently considering options for meeting frequency and location as it recognizes the importance of public meetings. Until a regular schedule is established, comments can be directed to email@example.com. Suggestions from the Board were to consider conference calls and online communication.
CAB member, Tom Melcher, said it was their intention to have an inclusive meeting. Novelli agreed saying face to face public meetings were more productive in acquiring in depth community input. Once again, the difficulty in scheduling public meeting dates was mentioned.
Board member Eubank thought the best strategy for scheduling was for the CAB to agree on a specific day, week and time and to meet consistently whether or not the full CAB could be present. He also stressed that someone on the Board had to take ownership of the task to get a Board response to the CAB.
The CAB, in its two years of existence in its current form has only met with the public three times. The two meetings with a quorum were both held in December in Boonville--an inauspicious time for public interest or availability. The coastal meeting in Elk, orchestrated by Ellen Saxe, failed to garner the interest of any of the Ukiah based members with only three of the seven members attending.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) regulations that govern the grant of Federal money stipulate that CAB meetings must be scheduled at regular intervals yet one of the CAB members is of the opinion the CAB is only required to have an annual meeting.
Another problem is that the Board liaison to the CAB--the person charged to keep the Board responsive to the CAB-- has changed three times in two years with even Board members being uncertain of who is the designated Board contact. Director Benj Thomas agreed to serve in that capacity with the caveat that he cannot attend any meetings outside the Ukiah area that require driving at night.
Public Comment on CAB
Former Board member, Doug McKenty, commented that programming suggestions from prior CAB's didn't get any results causing frustration. He wanted to know the process for turning CAB recommendations into policy. He suggested reviving the Program Advisory Committee and putting a CAB member on it.
Tom Melcher recommended having an on air CAB program that was open to incoming calls.
Ellen Saxe asked if her detailed summary of community concerns and desires was helpful. Courtney responded that the Board was uncertain of what was expected of them.
I commented that the elephant in the room was that radio was the best resource to communicate with the broadest spectrum of the public most efficiently. I thought the MOU should include the statement that all CAB meetings were open to the public and the minutes of all CAB meetings would be accessible to the public both on the website and also by request. I asked whether term limits for members should be discussed as well as what procedure was in place for filling vacancies. I noted at the first CAB meeting, member Bob Bushansky suggested that the process for choosing or rejecting potential programmers be put into writing. I thought I noticed an in house method of choosing programmers for open slots whether through the recommendations of other programmers or through being omnipresent at the station as volunteers or staff. Mr. Scott Peterson calls this practice “self dealing” and found through his research that the practice was prohibited in the station's Bylaws until it was removed in the 1990's.
I also stated that another mailer for donations had been sent out during the silent drive without inclusion of either a station newsletter or a CAB survey--another missed opportunity to give or get information to or from members.
Robert Vaughn stated that the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) was established to give advice and was not to be used as a platform for disgruntled individuals. The process to vet potential programmers has been to apply through an application, make a prototype of your program and wait for a reply.
Community outreach has been expanded under the management of Lorraine Dechter.
KZYX had booths at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, the Sierra Nevada Music Festival (SNMF) and will have a booth at the Not So Simple Living Fair in late July, sponsoring the latter event.
The SNMF was recorded and files were delivered to the station by bicycle. Despite some dead air problems, the audio files were of excellent quality and the musical performances were heard in near real time. Management wisely invested in a pop up carport which saved the recording equipment from the Friday evening rains. Dechter thanked Robert Vaughn for his help in engineering and manning the broadcast booth.
The station broadcast live for the first time in fifteen years on the opening night of the Mendocino Music Festival which featured the band Malanga.
On July 22nd, the first fundraiser was held to support the Ukiah news bureau and eventually, a satellite studio. Performing live was the duo Bird and Wag (Tricia and Peter Berkow).
Dechter confirmed that the cost of the news staff was $63k. Problems with the station's website in not downloading files easily, in not accepting video files and generally, what Dechter described as “clunky” performance of routine tasks led to a discussion of technical support and digital alternatives.
Angela DeWitt, the station's pledge coordinator, has experimented with live video on Facebook. The Boogie Woogie event reached over 15,000 people. Also live was a performance of the Choros Dos 3 from Brazil. New ways of connecting to an audience via social media are becoming possible through the new donor software purchased with funds from the Mendocino Community Fund grant.
The Quiet Drive raised more than $27k of the $75k needed to reach the June pledge drive goal. All this money is in house and contributes to the cash flow of the 2016 FY.
Programming--A programming team has been implemented to make programming decisions. Members consist of Interim Program Director, Alice Woelfle; Programming Assistant, Christina Gianelli; Operations Manager, Jerry Fraley and volunteer programmer, Fred Wooley.
Dechter announced that as of the evening of June 27th, Safe Harbor (allowing adult material from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M.) will return to the station. No details were given on who, when or where or how that decision was made. She also stated she planned to meet with Doug McKenty to explore questions of the degree of public participation in discussion format programs and whether or not more variety was desirable in the number of hosts of call-in programs.
Dechter was also responsive to requests that news of the station be given a more favorable time slot to be heard by the greatest number of listeners. In addition to the 7:06 morning airing, news about the station can also be heard at 5:50 P.M. In doing so, she has been the first GM to fully implement changes recommended by the CAB.
She thought the idea of sending printed copies of the station newsletter out in mailings to members was a good way to improve communication with members who are not internet users.
Returning from a leave of absence to help in membership and fundraising is former GM and long time staffer, Diane Hering. Plans are being made for bringing back both on air and off air auctions.
Dechter thanked the BOD for being great partners. She also thanked everyone for supporting the station and her personally during the past hectic six months. Problems with septic, phone lines, the internet and the hot water heater have burdened available energy and financial reserves. Dechter took on the job of Morning Operator to save money and ended up working seventeen hour days. With the help of Christina Gianelli who currently reads the morning weather reports, she has returned to working normal hours.
Tom Melcher belatedly asked the Board to introduce themselves as they wore name tags that were undecipherable at any distance.
Tony Novelli asked if there was consultant money available to help work out the website problem. He acknowledged the Board for its good energy and Dechter for the time and energy spent in dealing with multiple crises and keeping the station moving in a positive direction.
Robert Vaughn asked what the station was doing to engage the teen to 40 populace who are unfamiliar with the station. He thought having more live music at the studio and on air would interest a younger generation of listeners. He also questioned why the Programming Committee listed only new programmers as future members of the committee, asking “Don't older programmers count?” Vaughn asked for more representation of late night programmers and their need for greater infrastructure support in the production of their programs.
As a part of my comments, I handed the Board a formal written request for the minutes of three meetings: the December 2015 Hiring Committee; the June 16th 2015 informal private meeting of the CAB and the minutes of the Executive meeting that selected the members of the various committees. My request also included the fact that Board Bylaws (8.02 -2) states that all actions taken by the Executive Committee are subject to ratification of the Board at the next Board meeting. This would appear to apply to the decision regarding Safe Harbor.
I noted that all the committees were stacked with Board members, ex Board members and staff. Only the name of Katharine Keegan on the Fundraising & Membership Committee was unfamiliar. She is partnered with Tim Bray, the producer of ongoing Celtic concerts. The Board Policies encourage the inclusion of station volunteers and community members in the process of decision making. I asked that all Committee meetings be open to the public with the meeting schedule and meeting minutes posted on the station website. I cautioned the Board about assuming that the inclusion of community members would result in confrontation and less productivity as the root of the greatest criticism is in the exclusivity of many Board decisions. I thought the staff programming team would also benefit from having opinions from members who do not already work at the station.
I added that since it was pledge drive, I heard NPR news programming being praised and pitched for its diverse perspectives. I commented that I turn the dial to another public radio station to experience true diversity of news programming such as Alternative Radio, a show that is offered for free by its producer, David Barsamian. That show was once carried by KZYX but for unexplained reasons, was discontinued. I often keep the dial tuned to the other station rather than return to KZYX programming.
Ellen Saxe responded to my critique of the programming process by stating that she was aware of several new programming hosts. She offered, if one doesn't listen to the station, one isn't aware of what new programming is available. She commented on what she perceived as my anger, opining that I shouldn't expect to be selected to serve on any committees. She added that she had made contact with me by email, offering her notes of CAB meetings but I never responded.
As she was seated directly behind me, I wrote a quick note to remind her that I had responded, asking the notes to be sent to me by U.S. mail. To her credit, she followed through and her efforts to be transparent and responsive are appreciated.
The next Board meeting was scheduled for August 29th at the Point Arena Library at 6 P.M.
At the close of the meeting, I was approached by CAB member, Tony Novelli, who graciously asked that I write my comments down for him in order to receive an appropriate response. Noticing that he was literally getting “hot under the collar” with his face flushing deeply, he let me know that he was offended by my “accusatory tone” in my persistence in obtaining the minutes of the “informal gathering” at Stuart Campbell's home. He inferred that I had suggested that CAB members had acted with less than honorable intent in agreeing to meet without a public presence.
I tried to respond that my interest was in holding CAB meetings to a high level of transparency. I informed him my inquiry to the CPB had been at the request of fellow CAB member, Saxe. The CPB representative had affirmed my belief that a private meeting of a quorum of CAB members was “improper.” My feeling of unethical behavior was heightened as Campbell was no longer the Board liaison to the CAB but, at that time, held the position of greatest power at the station as Board President (the 1%) which I felt was a direct conflict of interest. The CAB, on the other hand, had a poor record of meeting its professed intention of meeting every other month with the community (the 99%).
After reading Saxe's notes of the July 16th meeting, it was apparent that the meeting was an organizational one--hashing out details of how to schedule meetings, setting up a CAB website and crafting a response to the lack of Board response to CAB input among other topics under discussion. None of that information made it into the November 2015 Board CAB report of Benj Thomas. It was also clear it was far from the feel good, getting to know each other over a discussion of favorite beers and barbecue recipes gathering that both Benj Thomas and Jenness Hartley had depicted. (Hartley was about to transition from the CAB onto the Executive Committee of the Board.)
Adding further insult to his defensive stance, Novelli condescendingly, though no doubt, with good intentions, offered his advice that if I tailored my tone, I would more likely achieve the results I was seeking.
If that was the proviso of change brought to the national stage, the black community would still be slaves, women would still be the property of their husbands and the working class poor would still be victimized by a 16 hour workday and the lack of child labor law protections.
Lest it be perceived that I am overly critical and devoid of positive suggestions to improve relations among those chosen or elected to represent me and the community at large, I propose that the Board create a Truth and Reconciliation Committee. Doing so would create a landing place for the disgruntled, disaffected and alienated former volunteers who could channel their unapologetic desire for justice and inclusion into developing a workable and fair grievance process. In the recent past, the broken grievance process, when used, often reflected a conflict of interest where the fate of those with grievances was decided by the very people with whom the grievance was against.
The wrongs of past power dynamics can be righted by recognition of the skills and talents of those in the community who have literally been excommunicated from their community radio station.
I look forward to the time when an emphasis on communication and respect for all community members is on an equal footing with a focus on fundraising as the two are mutually supportive.
Transparency is the ultimate goal.
In some areas, change at the station is swift and dramatic. In other areas, change is painstakingly slow, but it never occurs without concerted effort and persistence. With a conscientious and open minded Board of Directors, a hardworking and community conscious GM and staff, the productivity of a core of volunteers, the vigilance of watchdogs and the perseverance of record keepers who document not only the station's history but it's growing pains as well, movement in the right direction is tangible.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 26, 2016
(Not available: “Service Unavailable,” says the Booking Log.)
ARE AMERICANS ANGRY?
It's now conventional wisdom that explains Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders: American voters are pissed off. A few of the latest examples here and here.
Kevin Drum challenges the conventional wisdom:
So why are voters so angry? That's a good question, except for one thing: it assumes that voters are angry in the first place. It's true that if you go out and talk to people, you can find plenty of angry folks. That's always the case, but it's completely meaningless. The only interesting question is: Are Americans angrier than usual? It sure doesn't look like it, does it? You can take a look at every poll you want, and what you'll find is that, generally speaking, Americans just aren't unusually unhappy or unusually angry right now. They just aren't. There's virtually no serious data to suggest otherwise...
IMAGINE, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a bar. Donald leans over, and with a smile on his face, says, “The media is really tearing you apart for that scandal.”
Hillary: “You mean my lying about Benghazi?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “You mean the massive voter fraud?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “You mean the military not getting their votes counted?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “Using my secret private server with classified material to hide my activities?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “Using the Clinton Foundation as a cover for tax evasion, hiring cronies, And taking bribes from foreign countries?
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “You mean the drones being operated in our own country without the benefit of the law?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “Giving 123 Technologies $300 Million, and right afterward it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “You mean arming the Muslim Brotherhood and hiring them in the White House?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “Whitewater, Watergate committee, Vince Foster, commodity deals?”
Trump: “No the other one:”
Hillary: “The funding of neo-Nazis in the Ukraine that led to the toppling of the democratically elected president and to the biggest crisis that country has had since WWII?”
Trump: “No the other one:”
Hillary: “Turning Libya into chaos?”
Trump: “No the other one:”
Hillary: “Being the mastermind of the so-called “Arab Spring” that only brought chaos, death and destruction to the Middle East and North Africa ?
Trump: “No the other one:”
Hillary: “Leaving four Americans to die in Benghazi and go to sleep?
Trump: “No the other one:”
Hillary: “Trashing Mubarak, one of our few Muslim friends?”
Trump: “No the other one:”
Hillary: “Encouraging and supporting the murders of Palestinians and the destruction of their homes, towns and villages by Israel ?”
Trump: “No the other one:”
Hillary: “The funding and arming of terrorists in Syria, the destruction and destabilization of that nation, giving the order to our lapdogs in Turkey and Saudi Arabia to give sarin gas to the “moderate” terrorists in Syria that they eventually used on civilians, and framed Assad, and had it not been for the Russians and Putin, we would have used that as a pretext to invade Syria, put a puppet in power, steal their natural resources, and leave that country in total chaos, just like we did with Libya?
Trump: “No the other one:”
Hillary: “The creation of the biggest refugees crisis since WWII
Trump: “No the other one:”
Hillary: “Leaving Iraq in chaos? ”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “The DOJ spying on the press?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “You mean HHS Secretary Sibelius shaking down health insurance Executives?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “Giving our cronies in SOLYNDRA $500 MILLION DOLLARS and three months later they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought it?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “The NSA monitoring citizens?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “The State Department interfering with an Inspector General Investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “Me, The IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “Threats to all of Bill’s former mistresses to keep them quiet”
Trump: “No, the other one.”
Hillary: “I give up! … Oh wait, I think I’ve got it! When I stole the White House furniture and silverware when Bill left office?”
Trump: “THAT’S IT! I almost forgot about that one”.
— Pavel Leopold Cerny
COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS CELEBRATE!
The Alliance for Rural Community Health (ARCH) is pleased to announce that August 7-13th has been designated National Health Center Week by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). The purpose of this week is to raise awareness of the mission and accomplishments of the health centers across the county. In the United States, 9200 communities have health centers that serve 25 million people. The health center movement was a pilot project of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty as a way to bring primary health care to communities where there was no access. Not only was this pilot a success but 50 years later, it has grown to be an efficient model to provide health care services. Originally offering primary care, they have expanded to include dental, pediatric, reproductive health, behavioral health and in some cases, specialty services to areas where there is need.
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) receive government funds to ensure the most vulnerable people have the services to meet their health care needs. As a result of this funding, these centers are required to demonstrate they provide high quality care by meeting federal requirements. They help reduce unnecessary visits to emergency department, have proven to reduce costs of health care services. Health centers also promote prevention with education thus reducing chronic disease problems and the creation of a patient centered environment to engage them in their own health care. They assist patients with applying for health programs that cover medical costs, special programs that supply medications to those without drug benefits and help those who need to register to vote.
California has almost 1150 health center sites serving more than 6 million people throughout the state. In Mendocino County, ARCH represents 5 FQHC’s: Anderson Valley Health Center, Long Valley Health Center, Mendocino Coast Clinics, Mendocino Community Health Clinic, Redwood Coast Medical Services and two rural health clinics; Ukiah Valley Medical Center and Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic who serve almost 78000 people (88% of the population). Three health centers- Anderson Valley Health Center, Long Valley Health Center and Redwood Coast Medical Services- are referred to as ‘sole community providers’ which means they are the only source of health care in that area. The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County is also a member who help navigate patients through the world of diagnosis and treatment of their cancer.
Not only are these high quality providers of health care but they are an important economic force in the County. They have a work force of almost 700 full time employees and bring in $9,000,000 in federal grant dollars. A recent Capital Link survey cited the total economic impact contributed to Mendocino County income to be over $73,000,000 in salaries, purchases of goods and services in our local area.
If you are interested in more information about the health center movement check out www.nachc.org. To see our Congressman Jared Huffman’s personal appreciation for National Health Center Week and the important work they do, please watch the video here: http://tinyurl.com/jc6xw59. For more about your health center, contact Anderson Valley Health Center (www.avhc.org) to learn about their services.
Thank you to all of the health centers across the country and county for the valuable work they do for all of us.
If you would like more information about the health center movement, please feel free to contact me;
Paula Cohen, Executive Director, Alliance for Rural Community Health firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS
The Department of Planning and Building Services (PBS) has scheduled another round of Community meetings to provide an opportunity for interested members of the public to meet with the management of Planning and Building Services. During these meetings, PBS will discuss new department initiatives, process updates to improve permit streamlining, and provide an update on overall department functions in each division. There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions of the Director one-on-one, at the end of the meeting during closed session. I hope you will be able to join us.
These meetings have been scheduled as follows:
Monday, August 22, 2016
- Farm Advisor Conference Room
- 890 N. Bush Street, Ukiah
- 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
- Fort Bragg Public Library
- 499 E. Laurel Street, Fort Bragg
- 5:30 – 7:30 PM
by Jeffrey St. Clair
Debbie Wasserman Schultz was awful at everything she did except ensure HRC’s nomination. This was not lost on her own delegation in Florida, who shouted her down this morning. Two hours later she had been removed from her position as chair of the DNC, banned from the stage at the convention and rewarded with an obscure position with the Clinton campaign. After Debbie loses her primary contest to Tim Canova, she’ll land some kind of position with the Clinton administration. So…
Don’t cry for me, DNC!
I’ve still got my jewelry
and part of an oil refinery…
Hillary’s going make me an Ambassador
and not to some shithole like El Salvador.
I’m thinking Luxembourg or Monaco
Where I’ll be driven around in a pink El Dorado…
Failing that, there’s always the Ambassador to Nordstrom’s.
According to MS-DNC, the whole story of the DNC email dump exposing how Party elites tried to rig the primary elections for HRC is about how Putin and his hackers are trying to fix the fall election for Trump. How bad do Democrats hate Wikileaks and Julian Assange? Well, here’s Democratic fixer Bob Beckel on Assange: “The guy ought to be and I’m not for the death penalty, so if I’m not for the death penalty, there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”
Remarkable, Bernie Sanders is getting shouted down by his own delegates this morning for pushing Hillary & Kaine down their throats!
If the double blows of the DNC email dump and the Kaine pick didn’t push Bernie over the brink, nothing will. He made his Faustian pact and now he is just another Clinton surrogate.
Misogyny, Liberal-style: I think it’s unfair that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is taking all the heat for the DNC email scandal. After all, Obama is the real leader of the DNC. Debbie is Obama’s hand-picked surrogate. Obama should follow Debbie’s lead and cancel his speech tomorrow night. It’s only just.
According to a report in the New York Times, the “LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP!!” chant has spread to Philly: “The reaction from Mr. Sanders’s supporters was consistent with the anti-Clinton message delivered by demonstrators earlier in the day. Some pro-Sanders protesters took a harder turn on Monday, chanting ‘Lock her up’ in an echo of the message of the Republican National Convention a week earlier, fueled by the resignation of the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.”
After a supposedly disastrous, widely ridiculed convention, Trump is now up 5%. He might well be up 10 after the Democrats finish theirs…They continue to ignore working class issues and the rising animus toward interventionist wars at their peril. The fact that it all seems inexplicable to them will help seal their fate.
According to CNN,
“Trump’s new edge rests largely on increased support among independents, 43% of whom said that Trump’s convention in Cleveland left them more likely to back him, while 41% were dissuaded. Pre-convention, independents split 34% Clinton to 31% Trump, with sizable numbers behind Johnson (22%) and Stein (10%). Now, 46% say they back Trump, 28% Clinton, 15% Johnson and 4% Stein.”
Note that MS-DNC is reporting only a 3% Trump lead, because they stubbornly ignore the presence of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. But both of the third party candidates are drawing more votes from Clinton than from Trump.
Nancy Pelosi was booed as she addressed her own California delegation. Who wants to be the next Democratic power broker to step up to the microphone? Chuck Schumer, stop hiding behind the curtains, you’ve never been shy before!
Michael Yates sent me this note: “Pelosi is a real slimeball. No doubt Sanders will have good things to say about her.”
Benediction booed. Barney Frank booed. Marcia Fudge booed. Next? Could this convention be fun, after all!
After waiting three days to apologize to Sanders and the Sandernistas for rigging the democratic process against his campaign, Democratic leaders now urging Sandernistas to be “respectful” of the “democratic process!”
Sanders in Full Clinton Mode, just texted his delegates to sit back and take it in silence: “I ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest on the floor.”
Imagine what the scene on the floor would be like had Sanders not endorsed. What a monumental failure of nerve on his part.
Will the Sandernistas have to stop calling themselves Sandernistas?
Sanders: “Friends, settle down! Settle down! When I said ‘revolution’ I didn’t mean a cap-R ‘Revolution'. It was a METAPHOR!”
How badly did the Clintons misread the mood of their own rapidly-dwindling base when they picked the pro-TPP Kaine, after knowing that the DNC’s emails had been released. There’s stupidity. And there’s hubris. She’s got massive quantities of BOTH.
The TPP bait-and-switch is crucial here because it exposes Hillary lied about her own position and thus confirms everyone’s belief in her mendacity.
Hillary seems to have spent more time courting Michael Bloomberg than the Steelworkers.
The DNC, with the help of the hired Sanders flacks, just pushed through the platform on a voice vote, steamrolling effort by the Sandernistas and Labor to get a floor vote on the TPP.
Hillary delegates are holding up signs reading “Love Trumps Hate.” Now can’t that be read two entirely different ways?
The Democratic Convention is highlighting the drug war. Not eliminating it, mind you, but extending it to the so-called “opioid epidemic.” Will they call for ending the Afghan War which has accelerated the poppy trade? Will they go after prescription-pushing Big Pharma, which has been coddled so tenderly by Tim Kaine? Dream on, Dems. Where’s Tipper Gore?
Rules of Engagement for HRC’s Drug War: If you take your opioids in pill form (i.e., white people) you go to therapy, if you use a needle (blacks and Hispanics) you go to prison. Shoot them only if you see them shooting up.
Fascinating interview with Julian Assange on NBC about the DNC email dump. Assange said the Russian hack of the DNC computers occurred before many of the emails in this document dump were even written. He said that the DNC’s email system was almost transparent. The system had very little security and that the emails were there for the taking. He said the RNC system is equally vulnerable. (Look out Reince Pribus.)
What a triumph for Assange and Wikileaks. The fact that the CIA hasn’t been able to eliminate Wikileaks is a real & tangible sign of hope. You can bet they’ll be near the top of Hillary’s hit list, if she’s elected.
Does Sen. Kristen Gillibrand not know that after college Hillary DID in fact go to work for “a fancy law firm,” called Rose Law, where she toiled, not on behalf of “the children”, but for some of the South’s most vicious corporations and did a good enough job that she was invited to join the board of Wal-Mart?
Listening to Clinton’s campaign guru Robbie Mook mewl about possible Russian meddling in US elections is like listening to Trump whine about income tax rates, when he apparently pays nothing. Shall we recall HRC’s direct intervention in the Russian elections? Her financing of the opposition in the Venezuelan elections? Her role in the Honduran coup? That’s essentially the job description of the Sec. of State, isn’t it? What goes around comes around, Hillary. (If that is, in fact, the case.)
It’s 9 PM in Philly and all is quiet on the eastern front. Has the steam gone out of the Sandernistas? After a raucous morning, I hope they didn’t spend the afternoon sharing bong hits of DNC Trainwreck or Burlington Kush. Did they all mellow out? Popping a few Bernie Bennies would have been a better choice….
Sarah “Sandernista” Silverman just slammed Sandernistas as being “ridiculous.” Make her a diplomat in the Clinton State Dept. We’ll be going to war with Grenada again before you know it….
Enough with dreary Paul “Way Back Machine” Simon. Bring back, Demi “I Have a Mental Illness” Lovato.
Cory Booker has none of the oratorical gifts of Obama. He’s more of a second rate blues shouter than a true master of political soul.
Did Booker flub the line about Hillary has been “paying it forward” her entire life? Surely he meant she’s been “getting paid” forward her entire life?
Booker: “Hillary doesn’t believe in scapegoating people over their religion.” Did Mrs. Clinton come to this position after or before she fired Debbie Wasserman Schultz for plotting to scapegoat Sanders over his religion?
Look, there’s Bill Clinton lustily applauding Michelle Obama. Recall when he slandered her husband’s campaign for race-baiting. “I think that they played the race card on me. We now know, from memos from the campaign, that they planned to do it all along.” And, unforgettably, telling Joe Biden: “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags”.
Michele’s got the gift. She understands, as McLuhan said decades ago, that TV is a cool medium. She’s the coolest thing they’ve got going. Too bad she’s squandering it on someone who led her husband into the Libyan debacle.
Once again, Michele invokes HRC’s book “It Takes a Village.” But as Secretary of State, Hillary’s playbook was “To Drone a Village.” My friend Carl Estabrook (il miglior fabbro) amended this to: “To Take Out a Village.”
Michele’s going to take shit tomorrow for saying she “wakes up every morning in a house built by slaves.”
Pretty low-wattage speech from Warren. Probably a bad move to put her after Michele. The Bernie or Bust block has thrown off her rhythm a few times with the Sandernistas screaming: “We trusted you!” Her heart doesn’t seem to be in her blurbs for HRC and Kaine.
Biggest applause line for Warren came when she quoted Trump’s line about the “system being rigged.” But the crowd seemed placid and unimpressed. Warren’s encomiums for Hillary on economic justice and trade fell flat, with the crowd chanting “Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs.”
Sandernistas crying as Bernie takes the stage. Too bad it’s not the Clintons crying. If only Picasso were around to paint Bernie’s weeping women…What a strange magnetism he has, especially the appeal to younger women, who were the backbone of his campaign. Is it a longing for the lost grandfather? The appeal is almost mystical. Patrick Flatherity suggested that it was: “a longing for a sincere, strong, open-hearted male, which is all too rare in popular culture.” But look where he led them. Right into the arms of the Wicked Stepmother.
The boos began the moment Bernie began his refrain: “Hillary understands…”
Bernie’s vouching for Hillary, the Secretary of Fracking, on climate change rang pretty hollow, especially when she doubled-down w/ Tim “Offshore Drilling” Kaine. What’s worse? Someone dismisses the science and supports the oil, gas and coal industry or someone, like Clinton and Kaine, who understand the science and still support the fossil fuel industry?
Sanders is no Jesse Jackson in the rhetoric dept. Although with both of them you end up in the same place. Back where you started. He sounded like a political prisoner reciting lines written by James Carville. A willing prisoner.
Bernie kept repeating the withered platitude that; “We’re stronger when we stand together.” But together with whom? For what? Perhaps all the crying was at the ragged spectacle of Sanders humiliating himself for 50 straight minutes on behalf of a ticket which has only contempt for him and his followers.
Read it and Weep. Here’s the text of Sanders speech to the Convention (Minus booing, crying and shouts of “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me, Bernie!”)
The New York Times headline on Sanders’s political role at the Convention pretty much it: “Leader of a Revolt Now Must Put One Down.” Poor Bernie: he started out as Danton and ends up as Edmund Burke.
Mike Whitney sends me note from the backwoods of northwest Washington State: “As has happened so often before, the Democratic Party has become the graveyard of a movement of social protest, with Sanders serving as the undertaker.”
This was a fun but exhausting experiment in trying to annotate an entire day at the Democratic convention. I have a new respect for obsessive Tweeters like Doug Henwood. It reminded me of how different things are now from 2000, when I was the “color commentator” for BBC Radio on the final night of the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles and the BBC announcer kept trying to get me to say that Al Gore had suddenly found a new spark of energy. I replied to his displeasure, “Yes, like the Mummy after his reanimation.” That was the night Al tongue raped Tipper Gore in front of an international TV audience. I doubt Hillary will tongue rape Bill on Thursday night. But we can always hope. To paraphrase Alexander Cockburn on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, if anyone ever deserved to be raped on live TV it’s Bill Clinton…
(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: email@example.com. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)
“IN SUCH A WORLD OF CONFLICT, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.”
― Albert Camus
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I can’t remember why Rather lost his job. I have totally forgotten, but Rather is a rather forgettable person. The Dan Rather moment that stands out in my memory was in a war correspondent situation or maybe it was a terrorist attack………. Oh, wait it was a California earthquake, with the freeway overpass collapse. The network was going to a station break (commercial) and Rather said “We’ll be right back with more death, damage, and destruction.” Then he flashes his best prima donna, plastic bullshit smile as if he were covering a good ship lollypop convention.
TEARS, TENSION from North Bay Democratic convention attendees over Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton
Tears welled in Deborah Burger’ eyes Monday night as she listened to Bernie Sanders tell her and the roaring crowd that packed the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia — including many of his most die-hard supporters — to back Hillary Clinton this November.
WARNING FROM MENDO DISTRICT ATTORNEY OFFICE: IF PROP 57 PASSES IN NOVEMBER, THIS MAN MAY BE FREED
See Who May Be Moving In Next Door Come November: Steven Gean Hensley, Convicted Arsonist And State Prison Inmate
Arson is one of America's costliest crimes. According to findings of U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a division of FEMA, the national loss due directly to arson was estimated at $11.5 billion in 2013. This does not include additional undeterminable costs to the community, such as increased insurance premiums, increased taxes, erosion of the tax base, loss of jobs and business venues, and permanent loss of community landmarks and historic structures. The danger to human life is simply off the charts.
As part of our educational outreach re Proposition 57, the so-called Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016, an initiative that we believe is grossly misleading but needs to be voted on in November, we have been researching current inmates housed at state prison to see who may most benefit should Prop 57 pass. Here’s the first of a continuing series:
During the hot and dry months of July and August in 2011, local firefighters in and around Willits were being kept busy and on the run by an arsonist intentionally setting fires on public and private lands. The estimated dollar damage caused by these multiple fires exceeded $350,000.
Ultimately, Steven Gean Hensley, currently age 40, then of Willits, was arrested by CalFire arson investigators for intentionally setting nineteen (19) separate fires. While Hensley was suspected of setting additional fires, DA Eyster went ahead and charged Hensley with the 19 counts of felony arson of range and forest lands. At the time he was setting fires, Hensley was on formal (supervised) probation, having been convicted earlier of a felony domestic violence causing a traumatic injury. Thus, Hensley was also charged with having violated the terms of what was suppose to be supervised probation.
On December 22, 2011, Hensley pled guilty to having intentionally set each of the 19 fires. He also admitted having violated his felony probation by setting the fires. After considering the probation department's background study and sentencing recommendation, and after further hearing arguments from the defense and prosecuting attorneys, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman, a widely-respected judge, sentenced Hensley to 20 years in prison – four years on Count One, with a consecutive 16 months each for each of the fires charged as Counts Two through Thirteen. The remaining Counts 14 through 19 were run concurrent, as was the sentence for the violation of Hensley's felony probation.
If Proposition 57 becomes law, the sentence imposed by Judge Moorman will be wiped away and recalculated to ignore the consecutive time ordered for Counts Two through Thirteen. Despite what the local judge thought was the appropriate punishment, Hensley will be immediately eligible for parole and expedited release back to Mendocino County, having served only a small fraction of the sentence that was originally ordered.
How could this be, you ask? Because the language of Prop 57 mandates that, “Any person convicted of a nonviolent felony offense and sentenced to state prison shall be eligible for parole consideration after completing the full term for his or her primary offense” [in the singular] and that “full term” means full term for the “primary offense” [again singular], meaning “the longest term of imprisonment imposed by the court for any [single] offense, excluding the imposition of an enhancement, consecutive sentence, or alternative sentence.”
In the real example outlined above, Hensley’s arsons are deemed “serious offenses” by the Penal Code, but not “violent” offenses. While a serious offense is a Strike under the Three Strikes Law, it is not one of the very special and very limited 23 or fewer felonies listed in the Penal Code as expressly violent. The full term of Hensley’s “primary offense” in this real life example means the four years imposed for Count One only. The 16 months imposed consecutively for each of Counts Two through Thirteen are to be excluded “consecutive” sentences. Under Prop 57, consecutive sentences shall literally be ignored (“excluded”) by the prison records clerks when recalculating when the state prison inmate will become eligible for release. Thus, a well-crafted prison commitment of 20 years, as was imposed by a fully-informed and knowledgeable local judge, will be unilaterally changed by a records clerk at the prison – without notice to or the right of any victim to be heard – to just four (4) years, which further means that with credits Hensley need only serve half of the four years, or a grand total of two (2) years, down from the original twenty (20). Hensley has already served more than two years so if P57 becomes the law this particular arsonist would be immediately eligible for a windfall release back to Mendocino County on parole.
The 20-year commitment was ordered by the local judge to send a message and to protect the community – a community that is put at risk every summer by the threat of uncontrolled fires set by arsonists like Hensley. (Please remember the tragedies experienced by Lake County in 2015). Has Hensley been receiving adequate counseling and rehabilitation while he has been in prison? Doesn't matter because that question will never be asked. His expedited eligibility for parole will be formulaic, and not subject to a parole board hearing where victims, firefighters, prosecutors, and others could object.
Finally, consider this fact. The changes to the law proposed by Prop 57 will operate to encourage -- not discourage -- criminals to commit as many crimes as possible. Like in the example, crime will be cheaper by the dozen because release dates will be based solely on one crime (with the remaining convictions to be ignored). Instead of promoting public safety and rehabilitation, Prop 57 will benefit all career criminals and those inmates who find themselves convicted of serial criminality, nineteen separate fires in our example. Why? Because under Prop 57 an inmate will only be incarcerated for one "nonviolent" crime at a time ... no matter how many crimes the inmate stands convicted of. Across the board, career criminals and serial offenders will all be treated like first-time, one-crime offenders.
From where we stand, this is not sound public policy and it is not supportive of public safety! Ask any local firefighter if this makes sense. Please help educate your friends and neighbors about Prop 57 -- the wolf in sheep's clothing initiative -- by clicking the share button.
War was for revenge and revenge only. It was a warrior's duty; mercy was not viewed as a virtue. Torture had long been a common practice among the Apaches, but they practiced it on the Spanish with a vengeance. A chief of the Aravaipa Apaches once bragged of how he had buried a captive live up to his neck and then watched the ants devour his head. Prisoners were often staked out on anthills with their mouths propped open to allow ravenous insects easy entry. Men were tied naked to cactus or thorn-laden trees and then skewered with lance and arrow. Teamsters were tied upside down to their wagon wheels with hot coals placed under their heads. Men were flayed alive until they slowly bled to death. Female relations of slain warriors were given captives to torture to help assuage their grief. They proved particularly ingenious at this work, often ornamenting the mouths of male victims with their own penises. "Every expression of pain or agony is hailed with delight," noted a frontier soldier, "and the one whose inventive genius can devise the most excruciating kind of death is deemed worthy of honor." It was not good to be taken captive by the Apaches.
The threat of mutilation only enhanced the spiritual power of war, but it was not common among the various bands until their Spanish enemies introduced the practice to them. Because Apaches had an almost pathological fear of ghosts and the walking spirits of the dead, they did not care to touch those who had fallen, even among their own people. Scalping was never an Apache custom, but once the Europeans had introduced the horrific act, it was sometimes practiced. While the Mescaleros scalped more than other Apaches, it was not uncommon by the 19th century for even Western Apaches to take scalps, a practice they called bitsa-ha-digihz or "his head top cut off." Scalps were displayed during a victory dance but immediately discarded afterward, then those who had touched the scalp underwent a purification ceremony to ward off the spirits of the dead.
The land itself was the Apache warrior's greatest ally. He knew where the life-giving springs were and could find the many caves that might hide him. Often bleak, arid, and cut by innumerable ravines, canyons and mountain outcroppings, this land offered sanctuary to the Apache. In the land he knew best, he could hide or wait in ambush for his enemies.
Mobility was always the key to Apache success. If pressed, warriors might make a stand on a rocky hillside, throwing up boulders to form rough defensive works. The Spanish call these spontaneous fortifications refugios, and they were extraordinarily difficult to assault. The Apache warrior did not throw his life away with careless bravado, but carefully sought just the right time to strike, flee, or make a stand.
The primitive firearms of the Spanish were cumbersome, inaccurate and difficult to reload. The lance and bow and arrow were better weapons. Especially with the iron tips acquired from the Europeans. An experienced Apache warrior could fire four to ten arrows in the time it took a Spanish soldier to load and fire his muzzle-loading musket once. "The bow is always ready for use," noted a Spanish officer. "The first arrows shot from it carry a powerful force, which many times neither the shield nor the leather jacket can withstand." The Apaches even used a form of chemical warfare, dipping their arrow points into poison collected from plants, venomous snakes, or the putrified flesh of dead animals. The Spanish never had a chance.
Not only did the Apaches live off the land with ease, but they also made almost all of their own weapons. They had no supply lines, towns, or fortifications, and no centralized leadership to take hostage or kill. It was impossible for the Spanish to destroy so elusive an enemy, noted the Viceroy, for "having no towns, castles, or temples to defend, they may only be attacked in their dispersed and movable rancherias."
— Paul Andrew Hutton, "The Apache Wars"
TEN MILE ESTUARY ACQUIRED BY MENDOCINO LAND TRUST
Last Friday July 22, Mendocino Land Trust accepted a gift from The Conservation Fund - a beautiful 49-acre property at Ten Mile River. The property lies east of the Ten Mile Dunes, on the southern bank of Ten Mile River estuary near the Ten Mile River Bridge, ten miles north of Fort Bragg, on the Mendocino Coast. The Land Trust will eventually provide public access along the south side of Ten Mile River and under the highway bridge, into MacKerricher State Park’s Ten Mile Dunes Reserve. This acquisition marks the successful completion of a six year effort to permanently protect the 1,340 acre Smith Ranch.
“We’ve been working for several years with The Conservation Fund, landowners Maggie Perry and Susan Smith Lampman, the State Coastal Conservancy, and the Nature Conservancy to complete the acquisition of this beautiful property,” said Mendocino Land Trust’s Executive Director Ann Cole, “and we are grateful for the generous land donation and the landowners’ patience through all the project’s twists and turns. We are pleased to add this gorgeous property to the portfolio of lands we are protecting forever. It’s been great to work with such incredible partners and to be part of a larger conservation effort in the Ten Mile watershed.”
The property includes sand dunes, grasslands, fir forest, riverside habitats and of course, a portion of the gorgeous Ten Mile River estuary. The Land Trust has already started work to obtain necessary permits for a new trail, a parking area and a small picnic/viewing area. Funding for the Conservation Fund’s purchase of the property was provided in part by the State Coastal Conservancy. The State Coastal Conservancy has provided the land trust with funding for the planning and permitting for the public access areas as well. For more information about this exciting project, please contact Louisa Morris at the Mendocino Land Trust, (707) 962-0470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PROSECUTION UPDATE: The People of the State of California v. Christine Kelly Kelsay.
Ukiah — Tues., July 26, 2016 — The District Attorney yesterday filed a felony complaint in the Mendocino County Superior Court charging previously-convicted embezzler, Christine Kelly Kelsay, of Brooktrails, with perjury and creating false financial declarations for use in a family law court proceedings.
Tuesday morning Kelsay was transported from jail and arraigned on the new felony charges by Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman. Pursuant to a pre-arranged plea bargain between the prosecutor and the defense, Kelsay entered three guilty pleas and admitted two sentencing enhancements. Kelsay admitted first to having committed perjury during her testimony before the jury on April 19, 2016, the first day of her testimony in the earlier embezzlement trial. Kelsay also entered a guilty plea to having committed perjury during her testimony before the jury on April 20, 2016, the second day of her testimony in that same trial. In the course of a post-verdict investigation, the prosecution identified at least 23 separate instances of provable and specific perjury committed by Kelsay during the April jury trial. Kelsay also plead guilty to falsifying under oath a financial declaration she proffered in a separate family court proceeding in 2010.
After accepting the guilty pleas and admissions, Judge Moorman referred the matter to the adult probation department for a further background investigation and sentencing recommendation. Kelsay's "exposure" from today's guilty pleas and admissions is nine years, 8 months in state prison.
Formal sentencing will occur on September 13, 2016 at 9 o'clock in the morning in Department A of the Ukiah courthouse. Any person interested in this matter is welcome to attend that public hearing.
The law enforcement agency that investigated the particulars of the perjury and false financial declaration cases was the Mendocino County DA's Bureau of Investigations. The prosecutor directly involved in the investigation and the person who personally negotiated today's speedy disposition was DA Eyster.
DON'T FORGET TO REGISTER, GAR
On July 21, 2016 at approximately 01:20am, deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office performed a security check at the Buckhorn Bar (76360 Highway 162 in Covelo, CA). When conducting the security check, deputies contacted Garrie Hoaglin 63, of Covelo, in the bar, whom they knew from prior contacts to be on parole and a sex registrant. Deputies performed a record check on Hoaglin with dispatch and discovered that he was on active parole for failing to register as a sex offender and was currently out of compliance for his sex offender registration. Hoaglin was placed under arrest for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender and Parole Violation. Hoaglin was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was held on a no-bail status.
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WOMAN BEATER COLLARED
On July 22, 2016 at about 08:15 AM Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to G&W Storage in the 100 block of Parducci Rd. Ukiah, for an unwanted subject. When deputies arrived they made contact with Robert Fackrell, 29, of Ukiah, at location. During the contact Deputies determined that Fackrell was wanted for an outstanding felony arrest warrant for Spousal Battery. Fackrell was subsequently placed under arrest without incident and booked into the Mendocino County Jail, to be held without bail.
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On July 22, -2016 at about 2:20 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded to the 6100 block of N. State Street, Calpella regarding a report of a physical altercation. Deputies contacted both parties at the location and during the investigation learned there was a ongoing civil dispute over the purchase of a vehicle. The suspect, Aaron Black, 24, of Ukiah, confronted the female victim when he saw her at the location and told her to give the vehicle back to him. When she refused, Black removed the keys from the vehicle. During an attempt to retrieve the keys, a struggle ensued and the 67-year-old female sustained injuries when she fell to the ground. Deputies also learned the female received threatening text messages regarding the dispute from Black. It was also discovered that Black is on active Mendocino County probation. Black was arrested for Battery with serious injury, Criminal Threats, Elder Abuse, and Probation Revocation and ultimately booked into Mendocino County Jail where he was held in lieu of $55,000 bail. The victim was treated by emergency medical personnel at the scene and released.
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On July 22, 2016 at approximately 04:00 A.M., deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported intoxicated and combative subject at the Enchanted Forest Music and Art Festival in Laytonville, CA (50350 N. Highway 101). Upon their arrival, deputies were informed that Christopher Favela, 32, of West Hills, California, was found on the ground by security personnel at the festival. Favela was reportedly under the influence of a controlled substance and became uncooperative and refused to leave when asked by security. Deputies contacted Favela and determined that he was under the influence of multiple drugs. Deputies learned that Favela had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest from Ventura County for an unrelated crime. Favela was placed under arrest for Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance and the misdemeanor warrant from Ventura County. Favela was transported to the Mendocino County Jail and searched during the booking process. Favela was found to be in possession of a controlled substance and charged with Bringing a Controlled Substance into Jail. Favela was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
MENDOCINO COUNTY ASSESSMENT APPEALS BOARD VACANCIES AND RECRUITMENT
The Assessment Appeals Board (Board) of Mendocino County currently has three vacancies. Effective immediately, the Board is seeking a member and two alternate members. The Board meets a minimum of four times annually with hearings lasting between thirty minutes and up to two hours. The hearings are typically held at 9:00 a.m. on the third or fourth Monday of the month in January, April, July, and October.
An appeals board is an independent entity created to adjudicate disputes between taxpayers and the county assessor, and, in the performance of its duties, functions in conjunction with other county and state officials and departments. The function of an appeals board is to determine the full value of property or to determine other matters of property tax assessment over which the appeals board has jurisdiction. The term of office for members selected to serve on the board is three years.
Assessment appeals may involve complex issues such as the valuation of large subdivisions in various stages of development, industrial developments, shopping centers, undeveloped land in transition, possessory interests, view site property, and motel and apartments with large vacancy factors. Since most persons have limited experience in complex appraisal matters, the Legislature enacted eligibility requirements for assessment appeals board members. Section 1624 sets forth the eligibility requirements as follows:
A person is not eligible for nomination of membership on an assessment appeals board unless he or she meets one of the following criteria:
(a) Has a minimum of five years professional experience in this state as a certified public accountant or public accountant, a licensed real estate broker, an attorney, a property appraiser accredited by a nationally recognized professional organization, or a property appraiser certified by the Office of Real Estate Appraisers.
(b) Is a person who the nominating member of the Board of Supervisors has reason to believe is possessed of competent knowledge of property appraisal and taxation.
The newly appointed Board member must complete a training course prior to commencement of his or her term on the Board or as soon as reasonably possible within one year thereafter.
Interested parties can inquire about applications through the Mendocino County Clerk of the Board’s office at (707) 463-4441 or by reviewing the application on the Mendocino County’s official website at http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/bos/aab.htm.
Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer