Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016
by AVA News Service, September 7, 2016
DEBATE ON PROP 64 MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
Tonight at 6 pm, the Progressive Alliance Center Mendocino will host a forum discussion/debate on Prop 64 (Recreational Use/Legalization of Marijuana) at the Center located at 328 N. Main Street (next to Egghead’s). Criminal defense lawyer Rod Jones & local Cannabis entrepreneur David Ayster will address the pros & cons of this proposed complex system of regulation that follows similar legalization efforts in Colorado and Washington state but which California voters have so far refused to approve. Polls show the Proposition winning by a significant margin but it is still early in the campaign effort and controversy exists about the impact of small-time pot farmers in Mendocino and Humboldt counties. Seating is first-come and capacity limited to 50.
CHARLES REYNOLDS, 32, the man who killed Kenneth Fisher, 29, with one punch in Laytonville on Sunday, August 28, will be in court next Wednesday (September 14th) for a preliminary hearing.
TODAY (Wednesday, September 7) there was a prelim on the way to the prelim where, as our ace court reporter Bruce McEwen, puts it, "This was called a PX confirmation. It means there's been enough time since arraignment, to convey any offers, from either side. Usually, there hath been intimations, and a continuance will be asked by one side or both, for further negotiations. When both sides confirm, on the first occasion (10 days) it generally means defense has a case worth fighting for — this is all breezy speculation on my part and the bs be paramount, but it's one of those historic cases, my nose for news tells me…"
FISHER'S MOTHER, Allison Doran of Santa Rosa naturally thinks the charges against Reynolds aren't sufficient to the loss of her son for what may turn out to be an unprovoked attack. (See below)
IN FACT, given the absence of reliable eyewitness testimony, DA Eyster has charged Reynolds to the max allowed by law.
HOMICIDE — the unlawful death of a human being — is broken into four categories, sometimes characterized as the rungs of a "homicide ladder," moving down from the top of the ladder (most serious) to least serious.
THE MOST serious form of homicide is murder in the first degree, premeditated and deliberate with an intent to kill. There is no evidence of premeditation in this sad event.
STEPPING DOWN A RUNG, murder in the second degree lacks the premeditation and deliberation but requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the intent to kill. Which is also not here given the known facts that it was a one-punch fight in a parking lot outside a bar.
STEPPING DOWN TWO RUNGS, we arrive at voluntary manslaughter, which is almost identical to murder in the second degree except the killing is "mitigated" by defense proof of the existence of a sudden fight/quarrel or heat of passion.
WHILE THE INVESTIGATION is ongoing, there still is no credible and admissible evidence of an intent to kill versus an intent to simply injure. So far as we know there isn't any evidence of a sudden quarrel or heat of passion. As described, this was a sucker punch without any apparent sudden quarrel or heat of passion. The defendant has claimed self-defense, but that claim is unsupported by the currently available evidence.
FINALLY, the bottom rung of the homicide ladder is involuntary manslaughter, or committing an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, that causes death; or committing a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection, all of which also don't seem to fit what we know. The unlawful act in this matter was the single punch that would seem to amount to a felony — force likely to produce great bodily injury.
THE FATAL PUNCH was certainly not lawful and certainly occurred without due caution or circumspection. Reynolds is for sure going to jail, and given the sad known facts, the DA has charged Reynolds as severely as the guy can be charged — assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.
OF COURSE, there’s also the possibility of a civil wrongful death suit after the criminal proceedings are over.
* * *
ALISON DORAN, Kenny Fisher’s mother, posted several comments about the case recently on her facebook page:
HE'S OUT!!! The suspect who sucker punched my son & killed him is out on $50,000 bail. This is Someone who has done it before. He was put on probation for stomping a homeless guy in Ukiah in 2013, almost killed him. The DA is not doing his job for allowing someone who is this dangerous to the community out on bail. If anyone has ever been witness to his violence please call 234-2100 and tell them what you know.
The alleged murderer of my son is free on bail. A hearing is scheduled where a plea bargain can be made. There is a possibility that the perp could walk away bragging that he got away with murder. This would be gross injustice. One must also be careful not to stage a witch hunt and prosecute him just because he has tattoos. I have heard many stories about how this suspect likes to pick fights but I need people to report actual incidents that they witnessed or experienced involving Charley Reynolds, the suspect. This needs to be done by calling 234-2100 before September 7th.’
WHO KILLED KENNY!!!!!!!
This is my son, Kenny, murdered last week. The man accused of killing my son, Charley Reynolds, is free on bail. There will be a hearing where a plea bargain can be made. This means there is a possibility that a murderer can walk away bragging that he got away with it. Many people have told me that the accused is "bad news" and "likes to pick fights" but what is needed is for the DA to know specific incidents. Anyone who has been attacked or threatened by the suspect, or has seen or heard him threatening or attacking someone else needs to report the details (who when where what) to 234-2100 before September 7th in order to prevent a man from getting away with murder.
Update: we went to the pre-preliminary hearing. Many Laytonville people showed up for support and 400 signatures & letters were handed over to the DA's office. There was no plea bargain and the preliminary hearing was confirmed for September 14, 1:30pm when additional charges can be made. Thank you, all who came!
ENTRANTS, ATTENTION Tomorrow (Thursday) is the last day to get most exhibits entered for the Boonville Fair. The Boonville newspaper will display a photographic collage called “The Faces of Mendocino County” certain to be the talk of the weekend.
IF YOU'RE WONDERING why CostCo has not yet arrived in Ukiah, look no further than Ukiah's windy and wacky mayor, Steve Scalmanini who, unfortunately for Ukiah, is running for re-election unopposed after his initial appointment to the City Council. He's also a prime example of the porousness of Mendocino County politics. The guy shows up from wherever, immediately affiliates with Ukiah's platoon of recreational exhibitionists, Ukiah division, and suddenly the guy's town mayor!
Scalmanini, pointing to elsewhere
SCALMANINI is also a fairly recent appointment to the Mendocino Council of Governments (made up of appointed city council members, a Supervisor or two and sometimes other elected officials like the County Clerk or Treasurer). MCOG oversees the allocation of transportation planning funds which Caltrans re-distributes to counties for local road maintenance. Until recently, MCOG gave all the “local” road money back to Caltrans as part of the “local matching funds” for the Willits bypass. This donation by MCOG to Caltrans is the major reason local roads are in serious disrepair.
ANYWAY, back to Scalmanini who broke into an otherwise inconsequential MCOG agenda on August 15 to ramble pointlessly at great length about greenhouse gases as they relate, at least in Scalmanini's fervid brain, to Costco.
Scalmanini: You [MCOG Director Phil Dow] said the magic term greenhouse gases a few minutes ago. I would like to explain something. I am the lone holdout on the Ukiah City Council on a project called the Costco Project. And it has to do with transportation issues, actually, or greenhouse gases, so transportation issues. The characterization of the greenhouse gas issue I think is not very good in the EIR for this, but that may be secondary. The technical issue is that the mitigations for the additional greenhouse gases for people driving relatively long distances to get to a Costco or what I prefer to refer to as a rural Costco, so people will be driving long distances as opposed to a metropolitan Costco where they won't be driving as far. Here the market for Costco is going to be up to Leggett and Laytonville and off to the coast and over in Lake County etc…"
And blah blah blah.
SCALMANINI goes on and on and on, frequently describing himself grandly as "the lone holdout" on the Ukiah City Council re CostCo as if he's doing something heroic while solidifying the obvious fact that he's really a pompous lone nut on a city council of relatively sane people. (Sanity is always relative in this county.)
Dan Gjerde finally broke in to ask Scalmanini a specific question: "When is the date for that?" (The end of the lawsuit Scalmanini and Friends initiated that's holding up CostCo for Ukiah's Big Box Row on Highway 101 along with all the other big box stores.)
Scalmanini doesn't know. "It's in the coming months. It may be — I don't actually know. It reminds me…"
Gjerde, in some haste lest The Mayor resume his uninformed monologue: "So in a couple of months it will be approved?"
Scalmanini: "I assume it will be approved in the coming months, somewhere, I believe, next year, probably three or four months. I can imagine something like that."
THANK YOU, MAYOR. And double thanks for holding up a store everyone wants.
Gjerde: I've heard that Costco would build in like 30 days. They are really quick at constructing?
Scalmanini: It would probably be fast, that's faster than I would think. But still that would be fast.
Unidentified Commissioner (perhaps Mr Stranske of Willits): What about the traffic getting on and off the freeway?
Scalmanini: Oh yes, that's an issue, that's a point," and off he goes again without any apparent awareness that traffic mitigations are a huge prob in that location where traffic already backs up off 101 for access to the existing Big Boxers. At one point Scalmanini suggested that Costco solarize a distant store in a “dirty energy market” to compensate for all the vehicle miles Costco customers will drive.
Phil Dow got in this zinger: So someday there may be a Costco in Fresno in your name? [Laughs]
Scalmanini: Some people might want to put my name up there with some other appropriate signage or something.
MOTHER OF GOD. Talk about not getting it. The Mayor seems to believe his name might be on a CostCo somewhere, memorialized in the same breath as Jack London State Park! We know the guy was off, but…
Gjerde: Do you know if the road out there in front of Walmart, in front of Costco, if that will be repaved? Because it's in really bad shape.
Scalmanini: It is in bad shape. But there are other parts of the city that are in worse shape. So I do not know the answer to that, you know, the November sales tax, we'll see what happens with that.
Unidentified Commissioner: I can't believe the cars that are going to be on that freeway.
Scalmanini: [Mystified] You mean the additional cars?
Unidentified Commissioner: Yes, they are going to have to redo that whole area because people are going to be stacked up to Gobbi Street waiting to get in there.
Gjerde: It seems to me that it's almost counterintuitive the way it is striped right now, whereas if you are going westbound on Talmage or whatever that is…
Dow: On Talmage Road.
Gjerde: Talmage, but you are going westbound. They have two lanes dedicated which later merge into one going west and you see very few cars there and you see all these cars stacked up into the single left turn lane. Instead they should have two lanes that are turn lanes to go South and they should others should go west.
Dow: Agree. And I think that's—
Gjerde: And that's just paint!
Dow: And I think that's the way it's going to turn out. No, you have to make some adjustments to the intersection so that once they make that left turn and move that median back and widen that out a little bit to make it all work. But that's the plan as far as I know.
Gjerde: I don't really see the value of having the two lanes westbound which then immediately then merge into one lane anyway because there's very few cars even in those two lanes.
Dow: There are some people coming southbound and turning westbound from the opposite side of the intersection. They're coming out of the residential area and turning right in there and it's kind of a merge for them to move into the westbound —
Gjerde: I see. Farther west.
And on it went until, finally…
Scalmanini: Thank you, I guess I got a little long winded there.
* * *
These people are paid officials. Scalmanini seems to have excruciatingly detailed knowledge of Costco’s greenhouse emissions, but when asked about the project or the on-ramp he doesn’t know — but proceeds to guess about it on the record anyway.
Then we have Mr. Dow who couldn’t deal with the very real problem at the Talmage/Walmart off-ramp-on-ramp because the unnecessary Willits bypass (which was entirely a Caltrans project) took up so much of his time! Dow, by the way, is a perfect example of rock-ribbed Republican who personally hates government but is happy to take a government paycheck so that he can jibe Scalmanini about his pointless ramble but does not even know the status or cost of the access problems for Ross Liberty’s attempts to kick-start industrial development at the old Masonite site.
IF THERE'S A BETTER ARGUMENT for the elimination of MCOG than the above exchange, we certainly don't know what it would be.
RECOGNIZE THIS TRIMMER MISSING IN THE GARBERVILLE AREA SINCE MAY?
Riley Bean, age 22, is missing. His last contact with his family was May 10 of this year when he texted his mom on Mother’s Day. At that time he let his family know that he was working as a trimmer in the Garberville area.
Riley is 6’2″ and weighed approximately 170 lbs. He has brown hair and hazel eyes, according to his family who are working with Cal-Advocates for Missing. They have set up a Facebook page to help spread the word.
If you have any information, please contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251.
DON'T TURN FORT BRAGG INTO ANYWHERE USA
The Fort Bragg City Council needs to adopt a completely new approach to the city's development and create a livable city with a positive future for its citizens and their children. The Council isn't serving our community by encouraging strip malls and fast food restaurants that provide low-paying service jobs. The Council is helping wealthy developers who don't live here and who only care about short term profits, not Fort Bragg's future.
Fort Bragg was built up by the extractive timber industry. The timber industry unsustainably mined its resource base of trees until it crashed, along with many local jobs. Worldwide fishing unsustainably depleted the Earth's oceans of fish, destroying the local fishing economy. This left Fort Bragg with mostly service jobs that won't support young families' future chances for a good life.
The most promising opportunities for creating meaningful jobs and a permanent, healthy economy are found in tourism, ocean research and sustainable organic farming to name a few. The Noyo Science Center could be greatly expanded. Switching from an extractive to a restorative economy is vital. Thousands of travelers come from all over the world to see the abundant natural beauty of the Mendocino Coast. Many come from ugly, paved over areas. Many have never seen a redwood tree or the Pacific Ocean. They come here for clean fresh air, natural beauty and serenity.
They also come to hike on our beautiful trails and walk on our unspoiled beaches. They don't come to see strip malls and fast food restaurants which can be found everywhere else. Fort Bragg sits along one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The Gray Whale migration passes our coastline twice a year from the Arctic to the Southern Hemisphere and back. Many permanent jobs could be created to observe and study this phenomenon. Bicycle touring companies (on and off road) and guided hiking businesses could create meaningful jobs for local residents.
Ventura, California takes full advantage of its beautiful coastline. A Ventura company, Island Packers, employs 56 employees on a full-time basis. Island Packers offers boat voyages for whale watching and marine life observation. Their employees earn more than temporary service workers at fast food restaurants. They're able to live on the Southern California coast where rents and real estate prices are much higher than in Mendocino County.
The drought continues in California and elsewhere in the United States. Fort Bragg could build a state of the art water capturing and conservation technology base on the old mill site. The Fort Bragg City Council should encourage this instead of rampant sprawl development.
We are in a severe drought. Incredibly, the Fort Bragg City Council voted to have a cheap, insufficient Environmental Impact Report done for the Hare Creek strip mall in the Coastal Zone. This is proposed while nearby residents are facing severe water shortages.
There are numerous empty spaces on already-paved land downtown. Group II developers already own the Boatyard Shopping Center with three vacancies. They also own the strip mall on Franklin Street where the DMV is located which has at least three vacancies.
If this kind of environmentally destructive development continues, there will be no future in Fort Bragg for young couples who want to start families or for the tourist industry. Our city will look like Anywhere USA, offering only low-paying service jobs. The City Council must work on restoring and sustainably developing the old mill site and leaving the Hare Creek site as open space. Fort Bragg could be an example of humans living within the limits of the ecological system that keeps us all alive.
Ed Oberweiser Fort Bragg
PS: BE THERE
Special meeting Sunday Sep 11
There will be a special meeting for those who want to organize against the Hare Creek Mall and the proposed transfer station on Highway 20. It will take place at the Alliance Center on main street (the old Bernie Sanders office).
The powers that be scheduled meetings about both proposals on the same day — September 19. The transfer station meeting of the joint powers is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Town Hall. The City Council meeting discussing the new Hare Creek proposal is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Town Hall.
Please attend if you would like to participate in these crucial decisions. If you cannot attend these meetings, please communicate with the City Council by email, letters or telephone before Sept 19
Ed Oberweiser, OPC Chair, oceanprotection.org
PPS. the City is having a closed session after the 10am Transfer Station session and before the Hare Creek 6pm session. They expect a lawsuit, or they are addressing a suit already filed by EPIC, an environmental group that stopped the destruction of Pygmy in 2015.
HERE WE GO! The attack of the middle of the road extremists is neatly expressed here on the MCN chat line: "Yes, and remember a vote for Jill Stein IS a vote for Trump, let's face reality here folks this country is a two party system. Not my choice, but the truth."
BULLSHIT! Horse pucky too. The comfortable, i.e., active Democrats, have said versions of this for fifty years, blithely ignoring their own rancid candidates, telling us we should abandon all principle because, well, capitulate because, you see, it is what it is. And what it is is our candidate is slightly less evil than the other guy.
THIS KIND of circular reasoning is why we are where we are at. Clinton, objectively, might even be worse than the other guy — Trump is correct about Nato, correct about Crimea, correct about NAFTA, wrong about lots of other stuff. But Clinton is wrong about EVERYTHING, everything Libs claim to be opposed to.
LET'S GO DEEP HERE. Let's get real, as the young people say as they go unreal, why do you think the Koch Bros, owner of Fort Bragg's oceanfront, support Hillary? Because, like the savvy oligarchs they are, they know Hillary is a dependable voice for the oligarchy that now owns us all. Why does Kissinger support Hillary? Because she can be, as per her record, depended on to to kill Arabs, and anyone else who gets in the way of the Imperium.
EVERYDAY PEOPLE are screwed either way. Stein has the ongoing handicap of the decaf latte people but she's correct on the issues. Vote Jill.
INTERESTING COMMENT on the dope economy of Humboldt County from Lost Coast Outpost:
I'd like to address a few of your thoughts, and instead of the usual LOCO way I'll try to do it civilly.
First off, cannabis has NOT been legal since 1996. The possession and use of medical marijuana has been an allowable defense against charges since 1996. That is a big difference and one that people conveniently ignore — fact is, you may not make one cent in profit from the cultivation or sale of cannabis, and since your argument seems to be that weed drives the Humboldt economy (which it largely does) then I assume you have tacitly admitted that our economy benefits from black market profit. Which it does.
What would be Humboldt be without weed? Hard to say, we'd still have a big economic driver in HSU, and a smaller one in tourism, along with many of the local startup businesses that aren't service related. Yes, there would likely be an even larger amount of poverty, though the local economic impact of MJ is vastly overstated. Sure, there are plenty of restaurants that might not otherwise exist — and they pay poor wages, as do most other service related jobs. Sure, all the grow shops generate money, as do many, many other things that benefit from the MJ economy — but few of those folks are doing well. Better than nothing, all give you that, but they ain't getting rich.
What we don't know is how much the MJ culture has depressed other ventures in our area. It is entirely plausible that some high-tech businesses, now that fiber optics into the county are more reliable, would move here to help their employees enjoy a outdoor adventure friendly quality of life, and it's entirely plausible that they won't do it because of the outlaw reputation we have. I'm not stating a fact, I'm saying that you cannot state that if MJ weren't here the economy would be as bad as you seem to think — we simply don't know, there are too many moving parts in this.
Maybe, just maybe, Humboldt is overpopulated for the actual carrying capacity of the region — maybe we SHOULD contract in population now that all the good timber, transportation, and fishing jobs are gone. Maybe that's the natural way of things.
What I do know is that the crime rate is up, both property and violent, and that a lot of that crime is generated by the weed business. I also know that the use of meth and heroin is made more culturally acceptable when entire segments of our population is involved in an illegal enterprise.
Weed should not be grown in our hills. Trees should. That's the set of resources that nature provided, and we are egotistical asses to think otherwise.
Your post makes it seem like you have all the answers. You don't, and neither do I. Look bigger picture.
You know, I was raised in North Mendo, went out in the world and came back to work a real world job in North Mendo. I have three boys now and they won’t be raised around people who think dope and guns are part of a good life. I have already left the area, figuring it would get worse, my mom also is leaving. Congrats peacelovers, dopelovers, gunlovers, we hope you love your new neighbors, the [bleep]; you have so much in common.
NOT JUST A LOAF
Mendocino County Jail – A Place Trying To Give Inmates A Hand Up
The Mendocino County Correctional Facility works hard to help inmates find jobs after they are released. This video is an example of our bakery that certifies inmates as safe food handlers and certifies then as bakers. We write letters of recommendation which help then obtain legal employment upon their release.
We bake approx 400 loaves 4 days a week, as well as make pizzas and rolls for the inmates meals.
Our rural county jail, which was built in 1985, has an average population of 304 inmates daily. We, as a society, must do better. We will continue to provide as much educational opportunities to inmates who have the desire to improve their lives, but we need help with Mental Health.
Mendocino County Voters will soon have an opportunity to vote for a TEMPORARY 1/2 cent sales tax to develop a Mental Health Facility right here, in Mendocino County. I hope that you will help me support Measures AG and Measures AH.
Thanks, one step at a time, we can make our county a better place to live, work and grow.
DISTANT FIRES GENERATE NORTH BAY HAZE
The good news is that offshore winds Thursday are expected to clear the skies and to lower temperatures.
GOOD NEWS FOR THE AVA!
How exercise undoes the harm from drinking: Adults who booze regularly but exercise for five hours a week are no more likely to die than teetotallers
BE THERE II
City of Fort Bragg to Address Agenda Changes
Tomorrow, Thursday September 8th at 10:00 AM, in the City Hall conference room, the City's "Finance and Administration Committee" will discuss changes to the official Agenda for City Council meetings. Since 2012, The City of Fort Bragg has been getting away with the corrupt practice of putting items on the Consent Calendar, and then having that list passed at the very end of city council meetings. They have also been ignoring and/or skipping over the second Public Comment period, as formally announced on their official agendas. Come to City Hall tomorrow, Thursday at 10 o'clock, to set the City straight on how properly and transparently conduct their meetings.
— David Gurney
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 7, 2016
Bacchi, Bruce, Carver
JASON BACCHI, San Matel/Ukiah. Suspended license.
DUSTIN BRUCE, Willits. Assault with firearm, under influence, suspended license, controlled substance.
CHAD CARVER, Willits. Burglary.
Delossantos,, DeWolf, Gomes
DENIEL DELOSSANTOS, Talmage. Under influence, probationi revocation.
HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
RYAN GOMES, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
Henderson, Lawson, Leach
KYLE HENDERSON, Mendocino. Drunk in public, resisting.
JAMES LAWSON, Tavares. Parole revocation.
JAMES LEACH, San Francisco/Laytonville. Drunk in public.
Cruz, Rymel, Surak, Willett
CRUZ REA, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
LOGAN RYMEL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
STEPHAN SURAK, Willits. DUI.
DARRIN WILLETT, Ukiah. Assault with firearm, ex-felon with firearm, false imprisonment, domestic battery, witness intimidation.
CITIBANK Targeted at Sacramento Picket Wednesday in Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux
by Dan Bacher
After news that Native Americans were attacked by dogs and private security guards at the encampment against the Dakota Access Pipeline on Saturday, a series of support actions in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and those fighting the pipeline will be held Wednesday through Friday this week in Sacramento.
On Wednesday, September 7, there will be a picket at Citibank (1116 Alhambra Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95816) at 12:15 p.m. For more information, contact, Phillip Kim, California Labor for Bernie Sanders, firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-518-2631.
Citibank is being targeted because it is one of the financial institutions whose loans have funded the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
There are also 2 solidarity events scheduled on Friday: 11 AM at the Sacramento County Courthouse, 720 9th St. 12 PM at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office, 1325 J St. www.facebook.com/…
On Sunday, September 4, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to “prevent further destruction of the Tribe’s sacred sites” by Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The U.S. District judge denied the TRO as requested by the Tribe.
“Today’s denial of a temporary restraining order against Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) west of Lake Oahe puts my people’s sacred places at further risk of ruin and desecration," said David Archambault II, Chairman of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “We are disappointed that the U.S. District Court’s decision does not prevent DAPL from destroying our sacred sites as we await a ruling on our original motion to stop construction of the pipeline.”
Thousands of people from more than 200 Native Tribes have joined the Standing Rock Sioux’s efforts to protect their lands, waters and sacred sites from harm during construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline. The Yurok, Hoopa Valley, Winnemem Wintu and other Tribes from California and the Klamath Tribes of Oregon have passed resolutions in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux while tribal members have traveled to the camp to join the defenders.
On Saturday, private security guards working for DAPL unleashed attack dogs on American Indian water protectors, drawing outrage from people throughout the country and world: www.dailykos.com…
On the same day, “Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts,” Chairman Archambault said in a press release. “They did this on a holiday weekend, one day after we filed court papers identifying these sacred sites. The desecration of these ancient places has already caused the Standing Rock Sioux irreparable harm. We’re asking the court to halt this path of destruction.”
After the initial destruction Saturday, Dakota Access Pipeline returned to the area and dug up additional grounds in the pre-dawn hours Sunday, Archambault said.
The motion sought to prevent additional construction work on an area two miles west of North Dakota Highway 1806, and within 20 miles of Lake Oahe until a judge rules on the Tribe’s previous motion to stop construction, according to Archambault. That motion is based on the Standing Rock Sioux’s assertion that it was not properly consulted before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fast-tracked approval of the pipeline project.
A decision on the case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is expected by Sept. 9.
“Destroying the Tribe’s sacred places over a holiday weekend, while the judge is considering whether to block the pipeline, shows a flagrant disregard for the legal process,” said Jan Hasselman, attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux. “The Tribe has been seeking to vindicate its rights peacefully through the courts. But Dakota Access Pipeline used evidence submitted to the Court as their roadmap for what to bulldoze. That’s just wrong.”
If built, the 1,200-mile pipeline would carry a half-million barrels of crude oil across the Tribe’s treaty lands each day, according to the Tribe.
In a message on Tuesday, September 6, Chairman Archambault said, "Today, as we remain peaceful and prayerful, I feel we are turning the corner! As the injustices implemented on our indigenous rights and lands start to surface, eventually, this great nation will do the right thing and stop the pipeline from crossing our water!"
As detailed in a report just released by Food & Water Watch, the Standing Rock Sioux are not just up against the oil and gas industry and the federal government. “They are up against the many of the most powerful financial and corporate interests on Wall Street, the profit- driven institutions that are bankrolling this pipeline plan and so many others like it throughout the country,” according to Jo Miles and Hugh MacMillan.
Seventeen financial institutions, including Citibank, Wells Fargo, and BNP Paribas,l have loaned Dakota Access LLC $2.5 billion to construct the pipeline. Banks have also committed substantial resources to the Energy Transfer Family of companies so it can build out more oil and gas infrastructure:
Energy Transfer Partners has a revolving credit line of $3.75 billion toward expanding its oil and gas infrastructure holdings, with commitments from just 26 banks. Sunoco Logistics has a credit line with $2.5 billion in commitments from just 24 banks. Energy Transfer Equity has a credit line with another $1.5 billion in commitments from most of the same big international banks. To read the full article, go to:
I WILL TELL YOU A FUNNY STORY. My dad died when I was pretty young and he was an attorney. He liked his Jack Daniel’s. I never acquired a taste for it. But when he died, I saw the will and he’d written into it that he wanted to be cremated and have his ashes put in a Jack Daniel’s bottle [to be] left on a chair in his law office. And if there was no Jack Daniel’s bottle around, he said just use a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can. I thought that was fantastic. My mom didn’t go for it. We didn’t end up doing that. But I think that’s what he would have loved.
— Carl Hiaasen
LEGION LIGHTS UP
American Legion Calls on Government to Remove Cannabis as Schedule 1 Drug
September 6, 2016
by Anthony Martinelli
The American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans organization with over 2.4 million members, has passed a resolution calling on the federal government to remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance which indicates it has no medical value. This is the first time the organization, formed in 1919, has passed a resolution calling on a reformation of cannabis laws.
Specifically, the resolution calls for the government to “amend legislation to remove marijuana from schedule I and reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value.” The resolution, which also calls on the DEA to “license privately-funded medical marijuana production operations in the United States to enable safe and efficient cannabis drug development research”, was given approval at the group’s annual meeting in Cincinnati which took place between August 30 and September 1.
The passage of the resolution comes less than a month after the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that they will be retaining cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug alongside hard drugs such as heroin.
* * *
The American Legion Retweeted FREEDOM LEAF
Fully support research into its potential effects on treating #PTSD.
And here apparently is the actual resolution
I CRACKED A BEER and turned on the TV. There was a fight on ESPN. They were really slugging it out. The fighters were in better condition now than in my youth. I marveled at the energy they could expand and still keep going and going. The months of road work and gymwork that fighters had to endure seemed almost intolerable. And then those last two or three intense days before a big fight. Conditioning was the key. Talent and guts were a modest but without conditioning they were negated. I liked to watch the fights. Somehow it reminded me of writing. You needed the same thing, talent, guts and conditioning. Only the condition was mental, spiritual. You were never a writer. You had to become a writer each time you sat down to the machine. What was hard sometimes was finding that chair and sitting in it. Sometimes you couldn't sit in it. Like everybody else in the world, for you, things got in the way: small troubles, big troubles, continuous slammings and bangings. You had to be in condition to endure what was trying to kill you. That's the message I got from watching the fights, or watching the horses run, or the way the jocks kept overcoming bad luck, spills on the track and personal little horrors off the track. I wrote about life, haha. But what really astonished me was the immense courage of some of the people living that life. That kept me going.
WORKSHOP — Growing & Using Medicinal Herbs
Sunday, September 11, 2016
10:00am to 12:00pm at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Meets in the Gardens Meeting Room with master herbalist Karin Uphoff Learn to better your garden, body, and mind... Join local herbalist and author, Karin Uphoff for this fantastic workshop! Discover how to grow strong medicine, when and how to harvest different parts of the plant, how to process herbs so their medicine keeps, and how to make a tincture. Sip herbal tea while Karin teaches you to how to incorporate herbs into your life. Class size is limited; SIGN UP by phoning in your payment at 707-964-4352 ext. 16 or reserve your spot in person at The Garden Store at MCBG.
The Hidden Potential of the Progressive Third Parties
by Jonathan H. Martin
Although the 2016 Democratic Convention came and went quickly this summer, disturbing questions that it raised for many U.S. progressives linger. How could Bernie Sanders, one of the most vocal critics of plutocracy, enthusiastically endorse Hillary Clinton? She is a classic corporate Democrat who defeated him in a blatantly rigged primary. And now that Bernie has backed such an establishment figure, is there any hope for a political revolution, if there ever was? To address these questions, we must look beyond Bernie as an individual and towards the larger left-liberal culture of which he is a part. Therein lays an insidious myth that binds most progressives to the political status quo, and an underlying truth that can help set them and the nation free.
Bernie justified his turn to Clinton with the same belief that keeps many left-leaning people firmly in the Democratic Party fold — the certainty that there are no viable alternatives. In fact, from the beginning of his presidential campaign he explained that running outside of the Democratic Party would be too hard, that he did not wantto indirectly help elect a Republican, and that therefore he would endorse the Democratic nominee if he didn’t win the primary.
Yet Bernie, a self-identified independent socialist, rose politically from the progressive third party movement in his own state. He used to strongly advocate third party politics. But that diminished after his election to Congress and growing collaboration with national Democrats.
What Bernie no longer articulates, and what relatively few of his new fans may realize, is that left third parties can be effective. Resisting the two-party system, even against the so-called odds, is not futile or irrational. Contrary to popular myth, it is a proven and still relevant method for advancing progressive change in the United States. Much evidence (documented in my new book and elsewhere) counters the pervasive dogma that progressive third parties “can’t win” and “can’t make a difference.”
Remarkably, the Republican Party itself offers the first and most striking example of what can be accomplished. In the mid-19th century it actually began as a third party with a central goal that was fairly progressive for its time. Galvanized by a national crisis over slavery, it opposed expansion of the practice, quickly replaced one of the two major pro-slavery parties, and elected a president who eventually signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Subsequent achievements by third parties further to the left are also particularly illustrative. Defending those hurt by corporate industrialization, Populists in the late 19th century and Socialists in the early 20th century won well over a thousand political offices combined. Most were at the municipal and county level, while more than a hundred were state legislators, governors, and members of Congress. Populists and Socialists thus gained enough power in some localities, leverage at higher levels, and public support in general to help bring about key progressive reforms that they originally proposed. Such nationwide advances included “the abolition of child labor, limitation of work hours, establishment of minimum wages and income taxes, broadening of access to public education, expansion of suffrage to previously excluded groups, institution of direct election of U.S. senators, use of public referenda, and a variety of other changes beneficial to low and moderate income people” (as stated in the introduction of my book). More contemporary left third parties, addressing modern inequities, also have demonstrated what may be achieved.
In the 1980s, Bernie Sanders and his allied Progressive Coalition gained enough power in Burlington, Vermont to implement a variety of substantial reforms that benefited ordinary residents. This required overcoming a deeply entrenched incumbent Democratic mayor and his network of cronies. Accomplishments by Mayor Sanders and Burlington Progressives included enlightened policies in the arts, youth services, child care, housing, economic development, land use, urban finance, and other areas.
In later decades, the broader Vermont Progressive Party has made other breakthroughs. It routinely has elected several state legislatorsacross Vermont. These statehouse members have advanced important initiatives on gay rights, workers’ rights, tax equity, campaign finance, health care, GMO labeling, marijuana decriminalization, and more.
Elsewhere in the country, the Green Party has also made significant gains. Since founding their party about 30 years ago, Greens have elected more than a thousand candidates—most of them to municipal and county positions, but also several to state legislative offices. The party currently holds over 130 elected seats.
One of Green Party’s more dramatic success stories concerns Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, California, a mid-sized SanFranciso Bay city. Having served as a non-partisan Richmond city councilor for a term, McLaughlin successfully ran for mayor in 2006 as a Green—against an establishment-oriented Democratic incumbent. She got re-elected and served until reaching her term limit in 2014. As mayor, she was strongly opposed by the powerful local Chevron Corporation and its imbedded Democratic allies. But backed by a coalition of committed progressives, she spearheaded a number of successful efforts on behalf of common citizens. These included passing a substantial minimum wage increase; getting Chevron to pay millions of dollars in back taxes; blocking construction of a casino; creating an effective crime intervention program staffed by ex-convicts; and making critical additions and improvements to outdoor public facilities. Today, McLaughlin continues her work as a key member of the progressive majority on Richmond’s city council.
A final contemporary illustration of grassroots left third party potential comes from Seattle, yet another place that had been dominated by Democrats. There, Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant won a 2013 city council race against a longtime Democratic incumbent, and she got re-elected in 2015. Once in office, Sawant quickly made an impact with big ripple effects. Among several progressive reforms that she helped orchestrate was the nation’s first $15 an hour minimum wage (passed in June 2014). It required mobilizing much public support to overcome substantial resistance by the local political establishment. Since then, this breakthrough has inspired similar struggles and victories elsewhere in the nation. In turn, that has heightened pressure for an increase in the national minimum wage. The surprising success of Sawant and the other candidates profiled above suggests that there could be additional left third party openings yet to be fully exploited.
Crisis can sometimes spark a dramatic minor party upsurge. This is how the Republicans, Populists and Socialists were born. In the future, increasing economic inequality, accelerating environmental destruction, or other mounting problems could encourage the rapid growth of progressive third parties. That especially could happen if these parties can demonstrate more often that they can be effective, even on a limited scale. They need to build a more critical mass of small successes, and in fact, there are considerable opportunities for them to do so.
Across the country, conditions are ripe for third party candidates to make local breakthroughs. In many locales, a one-party machine or old boy network has ruled so easily for so long that it has become overconfident, lazy, and vulnerable (as actually occurred in Burlington, Richmond and Seattle). Correspondingly, in recent elections about 40% of state legislative races have had only one (unopposed) major party candidate! Such absence of partisan competition prevents non-major party candidates from simply being dismissed as “spoilers” and “fringe” operators. Non-partisan municipal races, which are very common, can have similar advantages. Moreover, bottom-rung offices can sometimes be gotten very easily, such as when a low-profile municipal committee doesn’t have any other candidate for an open seat. Importantly, serving at this level can help strengthen one’s community connections, which usually are essential to being a viable candidate for other, more powerful offices.
The above local opportunities may present a gateway to higher level seats. The multi-step ascent of Bernie Sanders from mayor to congressman to U.S. senator illustrates that most vividly. Bernie’s long tenure and accomplishments at the municipal level in his state’s largest city gave him the reputation he needed to become a competitive candidate for federal office. Something similar could happen elsewhere. Kshama Sawant is a popular city councilor in the largest city in her own state. She could become a viable candidate for mayor or state legislator, potential springboards to running competitive races for governor or member of Congress. The fact that Gayle McLaughlin has been a well-liked city councilor and mayor in one of her state’s biggest metropolitan areas may also enable her to work her way up to a statewide or federal office. Other successful left third party officials at the local level could make a similar ascent.
Additionally, the possibility persists that certain longshot higher level candidates can help thrust progressive third parties forward. Such candidates who are better known, organized and funded can become significant party builders. For example, Ralph Nader did this for the Green Party through his 2000 presidential campaign. The myth that it “spoiled” the opposing bid of a Democrat (lackluster centrist Al Gore) obscures that fact. Nader’s rousing campaign actually fostered a large, enduring growth in Green Party members, chapters, funding, and candidates. Gayle McLaughlin says that his effort inspired her to run for office, and many other successful Greens have also stood on his shoulders. Since Nader had this sort of impact, so might other eminent progressives—if they run for any number of statewide or federal seats via a third party. Of course, these individuals would have to ignore perpetual pleas to focus instead on keeping Democrats in power.
Finally, ordinary progressives not running for office can help make all of the above breakthroughs possible. They can try to recruit a promising candidate, join or help fund a compelling campaign, or become active in a party chapter (which may spawn and support viable candidacies). In sum, from the grassroots upward there are many opportunities to sow seeds of a more powerful progressive third party movement.
Toward Political Revolution
The coming years could be fertile ones for much needed change in our political system. Popular demand for progressive reform is growing, especially among the young. However, irrespective of presidential campaign promises and the 2016 election outcome, the corporate core of the national Democratic Party will not lead a progressive revival. At best, it may make watered down gestures to the left, as it has done since at least the Bill Clinton era. Undoubtedly, it will keep using its vast electoral machine to seduce and suppress Bernie supporters by any means necessary. Consequently, more of them may become irreversibly disillusioned with the Democrats and start considering third party alternatives more seriously.
Meanwhile, progressive third party organizing has already been increasing. This year the Vermont Progressive Party has been runninga larger number of state legislative candidates and a highly competitive candidate for lieutenant governor. Baltimore has had a spike in left third party candidates, including several Greens and one affiliated with the Black-led Ujima People’s Progress Party. Jill Stein has been attracting the most interest and grassroots participation in a Green presidential campaign since Ralph Nader’s 2000 run. At the same time, Kshama Sawant has been actively calling for a new national umbrella “party for the 99%,” which she and Socialist Alternative plan to launch sometime after the election. Stein herself has endorsed the idea. Last, the Bernie or Bust community has been making a few of its own attempts to form a new progressive party, initially via Facebook. The most serious, sustained one is known as the Progressive Independent Party.
Such efforts address a rising public yearning for alternatives to the corrupt duopoly, which has tarnished even Bernie Sanders. These or other left third party challenges could spark a real political revolution—if enough progressives can see their true potential.
Jonathan H. Martin is Professor of Sociology at Framingham State University. He is the editor of and a contributor to the book Empowering Progressive Third Parties in the United States (Routledge 2016). He can be reached at email@example.com or his book’s Facebook page.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Jeez, more Clowns spotted, in the Piedmont area of SC.
Parents are getting nervous.
I might have seen one this morning on Asylum Avenue where it goes into Farmington Avenue, headed east, about 4:15 am, amongst the strange creatures one sees out on these city streets early in the morning before the sun come up, Vampires, Venutians, Hookers, Drug Addicts, Drunks, Lizard People, Ghouls and yes Creepy Clowns. He glanced back at me and ducked into an alley, this clown. It was a long night.
There’s a new evil clown movie coming out and I’m wondering if this might be part of some national promotion. In any case it might not be too healthy to dress up like a clown and creep around at night, if this is indeed what’s happening. Clowns seem to have no fear, but they cause plenty of fear in others. And even if these clowns are harmless, they might portend something coming down on us which isn’t quite so harmless: The Clown Apocalypse.