Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Aug 9, 2016
by AVA News Service, August 8, 2016
THE LIVE MUSIC presented at the Navarro Store by the enterprising Dave Evans has become a highly popular summer event in the Anderson Valley. Dave, a natural promoter whose persuasive ebullience draws first-tier musicians to appear under the store's redwoods, has been ordered by the office of Alcohol Beverage Control to fence his modest venue, a venue that draws everyone from senior citizens to passing tourists who can't believe that Charlie Musslewhite, for one, is playing live just down the road from their campground. (Last weekend’s Subdudes concert was a huge success.)
THE FENCE, you see, has been imposed on Dave by the ABC to keep under-21's apart from the adult persons enjoying a beer while they watch the performers. The ABC's barrier is a see-through cyclone job. It destroys what had been the most pleasant family entertainment ambience anywhere on the Northcoast, converting every few weeks a corner of redwood forest to a live music stage reminiscent of the old fashioned outdoor dance floors of gracious days gone by.
SO, who sicced the ABC on the Navarro Store? Patrick Pekin, a Fort Bragg lawyer? Maybe. Motive seems to exist. John Wolfe? Motive doubly exists. Readers will recall that Pekin was narrowly defeated by Keith Faulder for Superior Court judge in the recent election. Dave was and is a Faulder supporter who had diplomatically refused Pekin permission to erect a Pekin For Judge sign at the Navarro Store. Dave had explained to Pekin that he fully supported Faulder for judge and felt it would be disloyal to Faulder to also advertise Pekin’s candidacy.
PEKIN is also representing John Wolfe of Navarro. Wolfe claims he struck a Navarro grandmother, Ann Knight, in self-defense two hours after that night's concert at the Navarro Store had ended and more than an hour after Dave had closed his store. The assault occurred in an area that is assumed to be part of a CalTrans right of way, not Navarro Store property.
HAVE PEKIN AND WOLFE teamed up to suggest that Dave Evans is somehow responsible for Wolfe's vicious attack on Mrs. Knight, and Pekin gained a measure of petty revenge on Dave for Pekin's failed judicial ambitions?
THE NAVARRO GRANDMOTHER was struck with such force by Wolfe, the gallant self-defender, that she required 14 stitches in her face and is still not fully recovered a month later.
WOLFE has alienated the entire Anderson Valley community, has lost his job at the Boonville Brewery, and his preliminary hearing on felony assault charges is set for August 17 at Ten Mile Court, Fort Bragg. Wolfe is not in custody, having posted bail soon after the event.
Dear Mr. Anderson, I have never reported anyone to ABC. I did not report the Navarro Store to ABC and no one from my office reported the Navarro Store to the ABC. My wife and I enjoy the Navarro Store and we have absolutely no problem with them.
As regards the recent judicial campaign which I lost, I was never vindictive towards anyone. I never threw mud at my opponent or any of his supporters. I never engaged in any duel with your paper. I understood starting out that you might pick a side, and you did, and you would zealously support your man, and you did that too.
Your man won, and I congratulated him and all of his supporters for that. It was a fair win and a fair election, I requested no recount. I made it quite clear that I have no hard feelings. I’ve been a good loser. I think it’s time you, Mr. Anderson, worked at being a better winner.
Please be so kind and print a retraction for the August 8, 2016 Anderson Valley Today article regarding the Navarro Store.
RETRACTION? I am retracting, but only because the ABC, Santa Rosa branch, in the best snitch tradition, won’t tell me who the complaint came from. It’s possible, I suppose, that it’s all coincidence.
BOB DEMPEL of Hopland popped in Monday, fresh back from the Ukiah Fair where he said that Beth Swehla and her Future Farmer class from Boonville High School made an impressive presence. Bob reported that the animals raised by 4-H kids had garnered a record $700,000-plus in sales to sponsoring organizations.
Bob marveled at the 700k taken in by the much smaller Ukiah Fair to the just over a million in livestock sold by Sonoma County 4-H at the much larger Sonoma County Fair.
IS HERB DEAD? Herb Ruhs? Not that the Coroner can tell. Reacting to a rumor that the former Boonville resident and medical doctor had died at his new home in Fort Bragg, we called the County Coroner’s office to see if Herb was still among the living. As of Monday morning Herb lives, at least as far as the Coroner is concerned.
FREE DAY USE entrance to Hendy Woods State Park for local people will return again next Sunday, August 14. The Hendy Woods Community will pay the Second Sunday of the month day use fee for park visitors from Yorkville, Boonville, Philo, Navarro, Comptche, and Elk. Hendy Woods is Anderson Valley’s only large public open space (with disabled access as well) and we hope to ensure community residents can enjoy our park with its ancient redwood groves, miles of trails, lovely picnic area, and access to the Navarro River. See you there!
HARE CREEK TO GET SCOPED OUT
Dear community members, Citizens for Appropriate Coastal Land Use (CACLU) want to inform the community that the "scoping session" for the Hare Creek Shopping Center Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be September 19. It is scheduled from 6 pm to 8 pm and will take place at Town Hall in Fort Bragg. We are looking to the community in the hope that the community shares their key environmental concerns and issues in regards to this mall. We need to identify potential & significant impacts and determine the extent of those impacts. Please put this date in your calendar, show up early ready to speak and ready to turn in a written statement. We can share our concerns with the EIR consultants Michael Baker International who were awarded the EIR contract on July 25, 2016 The project entails three separate buildings totaling 29,500 sq. ft. and covers about 3.92 acres on the west side of Hwy 1 in Fort Bragg. The mall would be anchored by a Grocery Outlet, would have 99 parking spaces, and would be located at the gateway to Fort Bragg (corner of Hwy 1 and Hwy 20). The owner and developer of this project is Bill Patton who owns two other malls in Fort Bragg (Boatyard Shopping Center & Franklin Street Shopping Center where the DMV is located. There are at least 8 empty buildings in these structures and altogether the city has currently about 20 empty business spaces. It is good urban planning to fill the core, not the outlying areas of Fort Bragg with business. This creates a more livable town that appeals also to people who want to explore it by foot. The stores on Franklin Street started emptying when the Boatyard Shopping Center was built. Would the Hare Creek Center Shopping Center cause similar blight? Please attend the "EIR scoping session" and let the consultants know that there are visual & aesthetic issues and/or issues with sufficient water storage & supply. Do you believe that the neighboring shallow wells or the local rivers carrying endangered & threatened salmon and steelhead trout could be impacted? Do you think we should reserve this land for open space, or a performing arts center, or for the development of Mendocino College? Do you think that we need a new Cultural Resources Evaluation Report, and/or a new waste water, traffic, air quality and/or noise study? Do you think we need yet another corporate franchise business in Fort Bragg? Should the Grocery Outlet be located in that parcel? Is there a reason why development did not happen at that site so far even though the owner/developer wanted to develop this site since 1991? Would you like to see the new Coastal Development Permit, the new Use Permit, the new Design Review, and the new Lot Line Adjustment? Wou! ld you like to see the minutes of the Hare Creek Ad Hoc Committee? Do you have any other concerns? Please share them with the EIR consultants on September 19. There are only a few days left for candidates who want to file nomination papers in order to become city council members. Please share these news on face book, among your friends and/or any other way you can.
Citizens for Appropriate Coastal Land Use
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Here is the link for article about Hare Creek
CAUGHT IN THE ACT
On 08-07-2016, at approximately 6:00 PM Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff's were dispatched to a report of a residential burglary alarm activation at the residence of Diane Rubino, 67, of San Jose, in the 26000 block of South Highway 1, Point Arena. Upon arrival deputies checked the first residence on the property and located a male subject, (William Wilson, 26, a transient from Mariposa), inside and determined that he was not authorized to be in the residence. Deputies detained Wilson and continued to the other residence on the property and discovered that someone had forced entry into the residence. The investigation revealed that Wilson had broken into the residence and stolen items prior to the arrival of the Deputies. William Wilson was arrested for violation of Residential Burglary and lodged at the Mendocino County Jail with bail set at $50,000.
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HIT HIM AGAIN, PAULINE
On 08-05-2016 at approximately 9:17 P.M. Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate a domestic violence dispute. Deputies, once on scene, contacted a 50 year-old male in the 32000 block of Highway 1 in Gualala, California. Deputies learned on 08-05-2016 at approximately 8:30 P.M. the 50 year-old male was physically assaulted by his wife, Marie Barajas, 48, of Gualala. During the altercation Barajas scratched the 50 year-old male causing scratch marks, and puncture wounds to his face. The 50 year-old male had injuries consistent with the reported physical assault. During the investigation Deputies contacted Barajas and placed her under arrest for Felony Domestic Violence Battery. Barajas was transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
IT MOS DEF COULD HAPPEN IN MENDO
Exodus of Sonoma County employees retiring with worries that benefits are in jeopardy…
BUILDING AMNESTY PROGRAM. The Board of Supervisors has approved a Building Amnesty Program that will allow property owners to legalize unpermitted residential construction with a waiver of investigative/penalty fees. The Amnesty Program commenced on July 1, 2016 and will conclude on June 30, 2017.
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 8, 2016
Davis, Ellis, Hopkins
KATELYN DAVIS, Dallas, Texas/Redwood Valley. Pot sales.
EDWARD ELLIS, Hopland. Domestic battery, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
SAMMY HOPKINS JR., Willits. Drunk in public, failure to appear.
House, Jones, Lincoln, Little
JONATHAN HOUSE, Mendocino. Failure to appear.
CHRISTOPHER JONES, Laytonville. Domestic assault, battery, criminal threats, failure to appear, probation revocation.
SHERRI LINCOLN, Covelo. Suspended license, failure to appear.
JOSEPH LITTLE, Fort Bragg. Probation violation.
Marshall, Munguia-Garcia, Pontello, Wilson
WILLIAM MARSHALL, Willits. DUI-suspended license.
LUIS MUNGUIA-GARCIA, Ukiah. Domestic assault.
MARIO PONTELLO, Ukiah. Domestic battery, battery.
WILLIAM WILSON, Mariposa/Point Arena. Burglary.
by Fred Gardner
In December ’69 —the last month of the Sixties— I testified in the famous Conspiracy trial in Chicago. I’d been subpoenaed by the defense. They paid my fare and I flew into O’Hare, arriving on the afternoon before I was supposed to affirm that I had not seen Tom Hayden et al conspire to incite a riot.
I was billeted at an apartment on the South Side where Hayden and members of the defense legal team were staying. The pad had been put at their disposal by a University of Chicago grad named Bill Zimmerman, who someone described as “Tom’s gofer.”
After dinner Hayden and Zimmerman were going out to a meeting and I was going to sleep. Zimmerman handed me a phone number on a slip of paper and said, in reference to one of the lawyers, “Kinoy’s wife might call from New Jersey.” I was then supposed to say “He’s just gone down for a quart of milk,” and phone Kinoy at his girlfriend’s, so he could call his wife in New Jersey. I said I wasn’t going to answer the phone. I should have said, “Why do you think I would lie for him, or you, or anybody, you little prick?” But at the time I hadn’t split with them all the way.
I was scheduled to testify on the same day as Allen Ginsberg and Phil Ochs. I remember being with the two of them in a large, dark room, adjacent to the courtroom. Ginsberg asked Ochs where he was staying. Ochs told him —another defense crash pad, as I recall. Ginsberg asked if there was any room for him. Ochs said he was sure there wasn’t. Ginsberg asked if he could share Ochs’s bed. Ochs laughed it off. Ginsberg asked again. Ochs said no. Ginsberg asked again and again and again and again. I was embarrassed and I imagine Ochs was more so. I assumed he was straight but what did it matter, no means no, and the come-on was relentless (and not very poetic).
I have only one distinct memory from my time on the witness stand. After I’d be asked a question on cross-examination, grinning Abbie Hoffman would cup his mouth with his hands and give me a word of silent advice: “Lie.”
The Chicago 7 and their lawyers, Oct. 8, 1969.
(L-R: Lawyer Leonard Weinglass, Rennie Davis, Abbie Hoffman, Lee Weiner, David Dillinger, John Froines, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, Lawyer William Kunstler)
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This is from the Associated Press dispatches by reporter Tony Fuller dated 12/10:
“Gardner said that during the convention he was the editor of the Ramparts Wall Poster, a one-page newspaper which was circulated among the demonstrators. He said one of the defendants, Thomas Hayden, came to his office at 4 a.m. on August 26, 1968, and told him he had just been released from prison on bail.
“Gardner quoted Hayden as saying his ‘tail, Riccio and Bell, threatened to kill him.’ Frank Riccio has already testified in the trial that he is a Chicago policeman who was assigned to tail Hayden during the convention. Bell was not identified but was also reported to be a policeman.
“Gardner said Hayden told him he had ‘been told by Riccio and Bell that there was going to be an FBI cast against him for crossing state lines to incite a riot.’ It is on this charge that Hayden and the others are now on trial.
“Assistant US Attorney Richard Schultz objected that Gardner’s account of his conversation with Hayden was hearsay evidence. US District Judge Julius L. Hoffman ordered the defense to cease this line of testimony.
“Hoffman also warned Gardner against interjecting personal opinions into his testimony and added:
“’You look disturbed. You know you don’t have to testify.’
“Gardner said, “I feel ill at ease here.’
“’Well don’t be critical of me,’ Hoffman said. ‘I didn’t ask you to come here.
“Tuesday a member of the British Parliament testified she got mace in the face from a policeman when she tried to sing ‘We Shall Overcome’.”
DEMS LEAVING DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN DROVES FOR GREEN PARTY
by Scott Robbins
‘I am more engaged in the political process than I ever have been’…
People are exiting the Democratic Party in the thousands to join the Green Party…
AUG. 9, 1966: Superior Court Judge Francis McCarty announced yesterday he will ask the State Bar to conduct an investigation of California’s laws that make possession of marijuana a felony. The jurist announced his plans after making a speech in which he noted that numerous high school students here smoke marijuana cigarettes. “We ought not to make felons out of those stupid children,” he declared, “because in the first place marijuana is not addictive.” Judge McCarty told a luncheon meeting of the Hibernian Newman Club here that there is “a great deal of possession of marijuana in our Catholic and public high schools.” Youngsters who smoke this weed, seeking a thrill, “do not deserve to be branded as criminals for the rest of their lives,” he said — but “should be persuaded to forgo its use.” Smoking marijuana, he said, “leads to promiscuity.” Judge McCarty condemned the “horrendous mandatory state prison sentences for the tragic victims of the marijuana and narcotic peddlers.” He told his luncheon audience that the laws that severely punish marijuana users “betray a degree of hysteria.” Under California laws, said Judge McCarty, “a second conviction of possessing a fifth of a marijuana cigarette calls for a mandatory minimum two-year State prison sentence and a third conviction calls for a minimum five-year sentence.” He also observed that a person convicted of possession of this drug, on two occasions, “would face a minimum 15-year prison term if he were today convicted of possessing one codeine pill without a prescription.” In contrast the, the jurist said, the average State prison term served for first-degree murder is only 12 years.
REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS could have picked Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, whose personal summer hunting camp was called “Niggerhead.” He is the author of On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting for and Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington. He has said that “there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.” The American Cowboy Culture Association has given Perry its “Top Cowboy of Texas” award. He wears boots with the word “Liberty” embossed on them, and bragged that he shot a coyote that was bothering his dog when he was out jogging. (In Texas, one presumably jogs with weapons.) As he said, “I happily cling to my guns and my God, even if President Obama thinks that that is a simpleminded thing in his elitist heart.” At one point in 2012 he was the frontrunner, but his campaign crashed when, in a debate, he pledged to eliminate three cabinet-level government agencies, but couldn’t remember the third. Unfortunately this time, his frequent factual confusions (the legal voting age, the century when the US became independent, the location of Juarez, Mexico) did not dispel the rumors that, as a Republican governor anonymously remarked, “he’s like George W. Bush, but without the brains.” When asked how old the earth is — a Creationist litmus test — Perry said he doesn’t have “any idea’: “I know it’s pretty old. So it goes back a long, long way.’
— Eliot Weinberger
SCHOOLS OF HOPE & FOSTER GRANDPARENT PROGRAM
by Joan Reynolds
Schools of Hope: Time for Back to School
Become A Tutor And Change A Life
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." This popular quote written many years ago by Dr. Seuss holds as true today as the day it was written. Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success and reading is a core building block. Yet in Mendocino County, less than 25% of 3rd graders are reading at grade level. Those students who continue to struggle with reading into adulthood are likely to have trouble finding and keeping a job with a livable wage and health benefits.
In an effort to help improve student reading scores, United Way of the Wine Country is continuing to partner with NCO Volunteer Network and local schools to offer a Schools of Hope program, beginning in October at Calpella, Yokayo and Frank Zeek Elementary Schools. Schools of Hope is an early intervention strategy for children (K-3) who struggle with reading. This model is based off of best practices from Dane County, Wisconsin, where in 10 years it virtually eliminated the achievement gap.
The success of this exciting program depends upon volunteers willing to work one on one with students for 30 minutes a week. Those who wish to tutor more than one student may do so provided they are able to commit an additional 30 minutes of volunteer time per student. Training and materials will be provided so tutors can feel confident. Rebecca Enberg, NCO Program Director, says "Studies show that people who give back to their communities are healthier and live longer."
Is it successful? Yes! An evaluation of Schools of Hope by Sonoma State University in 2014 found that first and second grade students who received tutoring showed reading proficiency growth between 28% and 50% higher than non-Schools of Hope students who started with similar scores.
Teachers, students, and volunteers alike support Schools of Hope! 83% of our tutors surveyed reported that they would return to tutor again the following school year. 93% of classroom teachers expressed they were satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
An information and orientation session will be held at North Coast Opportunities (NCO) on Monday, August 15that 6:00 pm and on Wednesday, August 17th at 10:00 am. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer or hearing more about the program should plan to attend. NCO is located at 413 N. State Street in Ukiah.
For more information or to RSVP for the orientation/information session, please call the NCO Volunteer Network at 462-1959 or email Program Assistant, Kayla Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a tutor and change a life.
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Foster Grandparent Program: Helping Our Children to Thrive at School
As children get ready to start school this month, there are also very special "Grandparents" who are looking forward to the first day of school. For over 50 years the Foster Grandparent Program has been quietly changing the lives of some of our most cherished members of society; our youngest and oldest citizens.
The Foster Grandparent Program is a national organization run through Senior Corps. It pairs senior volunteers (ages 55 and older) with children who need extra attention, including Head Start students, English Language Learners, kids with health issues or learning disabilities and those in the juvenile justice system. A foster grandparent provides special attention which is often lacking at home.
"Many of these parents are working around the clock to put food on the table and find it difficult to fit in an adequate amount of quality time with their children" says Rebecca Enberg, NCO Program Director, "Foster Grandparents provide that little bit of extra attention some students need to succeed." North Coast Opportunities Volunteer Network administers the Foster Grandparent Program in Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, Del Norte and Sonoma counties. This year there is a focus on expanding the number of foster grandparents in all five counties, to serve more children in our schools.
The children are the obvious beneficiaries, but the program has a positive effect on the senior volunteers as well. For one, it creates meaningful work for an often disenfranchised population.
"It is contrary to the idea that seniors are frail and need services. Our volunteers provide a valuable service to children in our community", says Enberg. "This country is filled with vital, healthy seniors who are contributing to society through volunteer service. They make a real, positive difference in their communities." The oldest volunteer in the program is 98 and the oldest volunteer in the nation recently celebrated her 107th birthday. Foster grandparents develop the confidence and self-esteem of the children they work with, while also gaining a sense of personal self-worth and value.
"There are many children out there being neglected by their parents", says Jane Manz, a recently retired foster grandparent from Ukiah, who has spent 12 years in the program. "They get that extra one-on-one understanding from foster grandparents." Manz tells a story about a young boy she worked with a few years back who always came to school in dirty clothes. She got into the habit of taking his shirt home and washing it so that he'd have a clean one each day. "I can assure you I'm not the only person doing this," says Manz. "I've known volunteers who buy shoes and socks and belts for these children."
And while foster grandparents give love and support to at-risk children, the program also provides a vital safety net for some volunteers, many of whom live on less than $10,000 a year. All volunteers are given a meal at the site where they work - a true blessing for a food insecure population.
And low-income volunteers receive a stipend of $2.65 an hour. It may not seem like much, but for people who have to choose between turning on the heat or going to the dentist, a few hundred dollars a month is a lifesaver.
"A large percentage of our county population is aging and every year we are identifying more children in schools with exceptional needs," says Enberg. "This is a cost effective program that we need to grow to serve both of these populations." Joyce Komes, a Foster Grandparent in Willits schools, says "I tell these kids, 'I'm not a teacher, I'm a grandma. I'm here to love you and to keep you safe'." She gives one-on-one attention to students and helps with "everything" in her classes. "My favorites are math and art projects," she says. Joyce would like to see the program grow - "Every year we have more students who need help in deeper ways than ever before. People think prisons are crowded now...what's going to happen in 15 years if these kids are abandoned?"
North Coast Opportunities, in partnership with local schools, is expanding the Foster Grandparent Program this fall. For individuals that are interested in being a Foster Grandparent, or may know of someone that this program would benefit, please call Kayla Harrison at 462-1959 for more information and/or to schedule an interview.
(Joan Reynolds has recently joined the NCO Volunteer Network as the Volunteer Network Coordinator. Joan was the Healthy Start Director at Lake County Office of Education for about 20 years, focusing on services for low income student services and family engagement. NCO Volunteer Network is expanding school based programs in Lake and Mendocino counties, which is a good fit for Joan's background and experience.)
UPCOMING EVENTS HAPPENING AT THE UKIAH LIBRARY
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The media disconnect from reality was never more apparent than in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses. The media look at Iowa as if it’s still Mayberry USA, when in fact it’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate America.
Thousands of 160 acre family farms have been replaced by 2000 acre-plus mega operations with “farmers” driving 12 foot tall monster tractors spraying fossil fuel based fertilizer and chemicals in quantities that would make Fritz Haber, the father of chemical warfare (1915), insanely jealous.
And the two crops Iowa grows, corn and soy beans, do not feed people; they feed hogs, cattle, and ethanol plants.
Those not engaged in this industrial-scale “farming” work in office cubicles in the finance and insurance rackets, when they’re not driving on the freeway to their strand board housing that was built by bulldozing away the best farmland on Earth.
I refer to the lucky Iowans, of course. There is also a vast underclass: working multiple jobs at places like WalMart, and Olive Garden, while sliding ever deeper into debt and ignorance, and cigarette smoking. And forced to sink much of their meager funds into maintenance of an old car, because even they live a drive-everywhere society.
There is a bright side. My backyard garden, on a tiny patch of the best soil in the world, is doing very well. It’s chemical free and compost fed. A dry June encouraged the plants to put down deep roots. That was followed by major amounts of rain in recent weeks and the plants are going crazy with growth. (Tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, carrots and collards.)
by James Kunstler
Today we turn from the sordid dumbshow of Election 2016 to the parlous mysteries of finance and economics behind our sick politics. Most of the commentary in the mainstream special needs news media is based on the incorrect notion that the current disposition of things is sure to continue and therefore all we have to do is manage the familiar dynamics of the operating system in place. For instance, Grand Vizier Paul Krugman in today’s New York Times pimping for the US to issue ever-greater debt to repair US infrastructure. Does it seem like a sound idea? Borrow tons more money to get American running gear back in order so we can return to a growth economy. (There’s even a Trumpian gloss to it.)
Here’s the catch: the “growth economy” of which they chatter is done. You can stick a fork in it. The techno-industrial fantasia is drawing to a close. We are heading into a long term contraction of activity, productivity, and population and the salient question is how disorderly will the long emergency of the journey be to that new disposition of things?
The wish to keep all our rackets running is understandable. They have provided a lot of comfort, convenience, and luxury. But we are no longer in Alexander Hamilton’s world of cornucopian American abundance, just needing to borrow a little from the future to get at the gargantuan riches of a wilderness empire. We’ve been there and done that, and our present-day techno-narcissistic wish to replace all that spent material abundance with a Pokemon Go virtual reality economy is sure to lead to epochal disenchantment.
Borrowing from the future only works when you have some real prospect of paying the future back. The institutions that govern borrowing have been pretending for some time that our debts can be paid back. The untruth of this can be easily traced to the revocation of FASB (the Financial Accounting Standards Board) Rule 157 in 2009, which said that banks no longer had to report the market value of the loans on their books, but rather could make up any old number that made things appear to pencil out. In other words FASB decided that standards were optional. But that is only one cog in the great wheel of fraud that has rotated mercilessly with the seasons since the Fall of 2008.
What we face is discontinuity, the end of old spent dynamics and the beginning of new dynamics. Monetary deflation has been underway for years because that’s what happens when debts can’t be repaid: money vanishes. Now we will encounter the other dimensions of deflation: the contraction of manufacturing, trade, wages, and all the familiar markers of expansion in the waning techno-industrial era. The many dodges and stratagems tried by the supreme central bankers to work around contraction only produce ever greater distortions in markets, currencies, and the distribution of dwindling capital, leading to a grand battle over the table-scraps of history, i.e. the rise of radical politics world-wide, including Islamic Jihadism, and the western response in Trump, LePen, and the nascent Germanic right-wing. These current manifestations may be mild versions of what’s coming.
Nobody in power can come to grips with the reality of our situation. We have to salvage what we can and get smaller, becoming a more modest presence here, or the planet itself is going to hit the delete button on us. It rubs against the current religion of progress, which has replaced the other old cultic practices. The choice now is between time-out or game over, and the debate over these things is absent from the arena.
The aforesaid distortions in markets, currencies, and capital are spinning out in an ever broader, centrifugal gyre, coinciding, as chance would have it, with the most peculiar election in modern times. The incoherence and deceit on both sides is far beyond even the extravagant American norms of dauntless political bullshit. We literally have no idea what we’re doing in this country, or what we’re actually wishing for. The financial structures of everyday life look more fragile than ever. Gravity always wins.
(Support Kunstler’s Writing via his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
WATER CONTRACTORS LAUNCH ANOTHER ATTACK ON STRIPED BASS, BLACK BASS
by Dan Bacher
Corporate agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies have launched a new attack in their campaign to eradicate striped bass as they scapegoat the popular gamefish for salmon and Delta smelt declines caused by decades of water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
The Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, the Astroturf group bankrolled by Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon Stewart Resnick, on June 9 submitted a new petition to the California Fish and Game Commission to raise the bag limit and reduce the size limit on striped bass in an attempt to reduce their population. This time they’ve added black bass as a so-called “predator” to their petition.
The “Coalition” is joined by a who’s who of the state’s agribusiness, water agency and corporate interests, including the California Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California, San Joaquin Tributaries Authority, Southern California Water Committee, State Water Contractors, Western Growers Association, California Farm Bureau Federation, Northern California Water Association and Kern County Water Agency.
When the water contractors last tried to eradicate striped bass by slashing the size limit and increasing the bag limit, anglers were able to defeat their proposal with a large showing of people at the February 2012 Fish and Game Commission meeting after Fish Sniffer Editor Cal Kellogg and I helped organize a campaign mobilizing over 450 anglers to show up for a CDFW meeting on the issue in Rio Vista in November 2011.
Coalition for a Sustainable Delta spokesman Michael Boccadoro, the president of the Dolphin Group, claimed the purpose of the petition is to “help preserve” Sacramento River Chinook salmon and Delta smelt.
“California families, businesses and farms have sacrificed considerably during this drought to provide water to help preserve salmon and smelt,” Boccadoro stated. “Modifying size and bag limits for striped bass is an important next step to better protect and begin restoring these endangered species. It is clear that more needs to be done to halt the continuing declines.”
The proposed changes would increase the bag limits and decrease the size limits for black bass and striped bass in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and rivers tributary to the Delta, according to Boccadoro.
The black bass size limit would be decreased from 12 inches to 8 inches and the daily bag limit would be increased from 5 fish to 10 fish.
The striped bass size limit would be decreased from 18 inches to 12 inches and the daily bag limit would be increased from 2 fish to 6 fish.
The Coalition also criticized state regulators for focusing on increased flows and water pumping restrictions while “predation by non-native species has gone largely unaddressed.”
Anglers oppose the proposal because they say it will reduce the population of stripers and black bass and not address the real causes of salmon, Delta smelt and other fish declines - water diversions, overpumping and mismanagement by the state and federal governments.
Dave Hurley of the Allied Fishing Groups explained the gravity of the matter in an action alert to anglers. “Those wanting to blame introduced species for the water contractors’ sins of overpumping the Delta are back on another attack on species that have co-existed in the Delta for over 100 years,” said Hurley.
The petition will be addressed in a hearing at the California Fish and Game Commission meeting on Aug 25 at the Lake Natoma Inn and Conference Center, 702 Gold Lake Dr. Folsom Ca 95630.
The agenda for the meeting is available here: http://fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2016/index.aspx
Prominent scientists disagree strongly with the contention of Boccadaro and the water contractors that the proposed regulations would “help protect” endangered salmon and smelt, pointing out the lack of any peer-reviewed science backing this claim.
“There is NO new peer-reviewed science that would change anything regarding this issue from the last time they tried the regulation change until now,” said David J. Ostrach Ph.D., Chief Scientist of Ostrach Consulting. “There have been some special interest group directed ‘studies’ by the water contractors and their allies, most of which are bogus or focus on hot spots and then expand that notion to the entire estuary e.g. if they’re eating them en masse at the hotspots, they're eating them everywhere.”
“Most importantly. predation at hot spots and throughout the Delta has not been shown to affect population levels of salmon or endangered species; it is a lower-level stressor. The biggest predators known to affect population levels of endangered species in the system are the state and federal water project pumping operations, where it's clearly documented that they've killed tens of millions of endangered salmon, Delta smelt, striped bass and any other fish that enters Clifton Court Forebay,” said Ostrach.
In fact, Ostrach points out that Dr. Sean Hayes, NOAA's lead scientist on this topic, made a 45 minute presentation to the State Water Resources Control Board concluding that removing striped bass and other predators from the system would likely not only do no good, but could potentially cause serious harm to endangered species and the ecosystem.
“So the federal agency's own scientists working on this problem have come to this conclusion, yet his words are twisted to suit the needs of the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta and others,” said Ostrach.
Ostrach emphasized that if the Commission does change the regulations so that smaller striped bass are being caught and kept, it would likely cause a decrease in striped bass predation on other fish more dangerous to the endangered species such as the inland silverside.
“If you remove young (up to 3-4-year-old) striped bass by fishing or otherwise reduce their numbers, then the silverside population would increase,” said Ostrach. “The silversides are direct competitors with salmon smolts for the same food sources, and they also are known to eat Delta smelt larvae, juveniles and eggs. This is just one example of how trying to perturb an ecosystem already in collapse would likely make things much worse rather than do anything better,” he said.
A UC Davis study released in May confirms Ostrach’s argument. The study, “Understanding predation impacts on Delta native fishes,” written by Peter Moyle, Andrew Sih, Anna Steel, Carson Jeffres, William Bennett, asked the question: Will endangered fishes, such as Chinook salmon, delta smelt, and longfin smelt, benefit from control of predators, especially of striped bass? (californiawaterblog.com/...)
After a review of the scientific literature and research, their conclusion was “unlikely.”
“It seems unlikely that a large-scale predator removal program focused on striped bass would have a sustainable, measurable effect on populations of its prey species, specifically protected smelts and salmon,” the scientists concluded.
Like Ostrach, they pointed out that predator control can have unintended consequences, including potentially adversely impacting endangered native species.
“For example, reducing striped bass populations might cause an increase in important prey species, such as Mississippi silverside, that prey on delta smelt eggs and larvae. In other words, controlling striped bass may backfire and increase predation on delta smelt,” they wrote.
“Striped bass get blamed for declines of native fishes because they are an abundant, voracious, non-native predator. Yet striped bass have been part of the Delta ecosystem for nearly 150 years, plenty of time for co-adaptation of predator and prey. In periods when delta smelt, longfin smelt, and salmon were abundant in the past, striped bass were much more abundant than they are today, suggesting that the same factors that drive native fish declines are also driving striped bass populations,” the scientists said.
Dr. Ostrach described the petition as “just another diversion by the water contractors and their allies to focus attention on predation rather than the real cause of the demise of the San Francisco Bay Delta ecosystem - mismanaging the water such that we have an environment very much similar to an Arkansas lake where things like egeria /water hyacinth and freshwater species like smallmouth bass largemouth bass can thrive and is not conducive to survival of plants and animals that live in an estuary.”
“The key to stabilizing the Delta would be to restore habitat, restore the appropriate flows to the river system, and in the case of hot spots, reengineer those places that have created a haven for predators rather than trying to do things that simply won't work like removing the predators and taking them to lakes and out of the system,” he said.
“Don't blame the fish - blame the structures in engineering and the way they are managed,” he concluded.
The composition of the Fish and Game Commission has changed dramatically since they last addressed this issue – and turned down a petition by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), under pressure by the water contractors, to increase striped bass bag bag limits and decrease size limits. Only one Commissioner – Jacque Carmenin Hostler- has been on the Commission for over two years.
Even more troubling, the two newest Commissioners, Russell Burns of Napa and Peter Silva of Chula Vista, work for or have worked for groups pushing Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels plan, a water grab by the same water contractors that have proposed changing the limits on stripers and black bass.
Burns works as business manager at Operating Engineers Local Union 3, a supporter of the California WaterFix, while Silva served as senior policy advisor at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, one of the sponsors of the petition and one of the leading backers of the Delta Tunnels.
As the water contractors submit their petition, the numbers of Delta smelt, once the most abundant fish in the estuary, have plummeted to a new low, according to this spring’s CDFW smelt survey. Only thirteen adult Delta Smelt were collected at 8 stations contributing to the index in 2016.
The Delta smelt collapse is part of an overall ecosystem decline driven by water diversions by the federal and state water projects. The CDFW’s 2015 Fall Midwater Trawl demonstrates that, since 1967, populations of striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, splittail and threadfin shad have declined by 99.7, 98.3, 99.9, 97.7, 98.5 and 93.7 percent, respectively, according to Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).
The California Striped Bass Association (CSPA) has posted an on line petition to the Fish and Game Commission opposing the Coalition’ s proposal. Their petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/p/california-fish-and-game-commission-save-the-delta-fisheries.
You can also take action to save striped bass and black bass by sending a letter through the Water4Fish website: http://water4fish.org/savebass/
Stewart Resnick, the billionaire funder of the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta Astroturf group, is the co-owner with his wife, Lynda, of The Wonderful Company, the largest grower of orchard fruit in the world.
For more information about the Resnicks and their connections with the University of California system, read my piece, “The story that disgraced UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi didn’t want you to read,” at: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/05/22/1529480/-The-story-that-disgraced-UCD-Chancellor-Linda-Katehi-didn-t-want-you-to-read