Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016
by AVA News Service, October 5, 2016
NOT A PRETTY NIGHT FOR TIM KAINE: PENCE DECLARED LANDSLIDE DEBATE WINNER
by Richard Wolfe
Both Pence & Kaine beat their bosses
Mike Pence likes to shake his head in disbelief. It’s a nice touch, much like the permanently pained look on his face.
But at Tuesday’s vice-presidential debate, it wasn’t entirely clear why Pence was so unhappy. Was he opposed to every word coming out of Tim Kaine’s mouth? Or was he just dismayed at his own situation?
It’s not easy campaigning as Donald Trump’s running mate. You can’t admit the obvious: that your presidential candidate is hiding his tax returns, stoking racism and spooking allies around the world.
So you have to deny Trump’s quotes, or accuse your opponent of hurling insults. But most of all, you have to look affable while your running mate looked irascible.
In that sense, Pence succeeded in beating his boss. The problem is: so did Kaine.
If Kaine had one job, it was to repeat as loudly and frequently as possible all the dumb and offensive words that have tumbled out of Trump’s curled lips.
It wasn’t a pretty night for the Democratic veep pick. He interrupted too often and smiled too little. He was forced to repeat Trump’s worst insults. He looked and sounded too hot, where his rival looked and sounded too sincere.
But in truth, neither man seemed comfortable in their designated role. Like two insurance salesmen getting drunk at their annual trade conference, Kaine and Pence were just trying too hard.
Kaine tried to beat Pence into submission with pesky facts. Pence tried to smother his facts with a syrupy version of Ronald Reagan. “You can roll out the numbers and the sunny side,” Pence said, “but people in Scranton know different.”
It would be easy to dismiss Kaine-Pence as a sideshow. But given the likelihood that either President Clinton or President Trump gets impeached, we might have just seen the only debate with the ultimate winner of the 2016 election.
This was a disappointing night for the Clinton campaign. While Pence kept his cool, Kaine tried to imitate Joe Biden’s interruption-heavy performance against Paul Ryan in 2012 — without half his charisma. Kaine’s biggest downfall, though, may not have been about tone.
Compared to Kaine, Pence told a compelling — if terrifyingly cynical and blatantly false — story of a country that has lost its way, and how he and Trump intend to restore it. “Make America Great Again” might be one of the best political slogans of the past decade. But Trump owes its creation to people such as Margaret Thatcher and Reagan, who worked to spread the neoliberal gospel that’s now seeped into both parties. That evangelizing project has been incredibly successful, with each candidate airing concerns about government spending, personal responsibility and the limits of American coffers.
There were glaring emissions tonight, too. Despite a series of increasingly brutal projections about the likelihood of catastrophic global warming, talk of climate change was limited to a few coded words at the debate’s start, like the mythical “war on coal” and “clean energy jobs of tomorrow.” A cringe-worthy conversation about criminal justice reform somehow managed not to breach mass incarceration. And a brief discussion of reproductive rights — one that should have been up top given Pence’s deplorable record on the issue — got shunted to the very end.
The Democratic Party has spent the past several decades pivoting around terms of debate set by the right. Kaine’s loss in tonight’s debate showed just how much work the Democrats — and the social movements pushing them — need to do to recenter the conversation.
More than the “intelligence surge” Kaine and Clinton keep pushing, the Democratic party needs a surge in imagination, to do more than play defense against attacks from across the aisle and propose transformative solutions, in line with the pain many Americans today are facing. That was sorely missing tonight.
At the start, when asked what made him a good candidate for the vice-presidency, Kaine faltered. Looking down, he rushed a heavily scripted first answer, told through the filter of Clinton’s point of view, that took too long and strained to connect back to the question. Kaine directed his entire answer off camera, which greatly reduced his engagement with the television audience.
Pence restated Trump’s conservative positions, doubling down on wealth and whiteness for the win. Pence tried to spin away from Kaine’s points on policy, using plain speak — the common language of the Trump campaign. When Kaine pushed Pence on social security, all that Pence could offer was: “There they go again. We’re going to meet our obligations to seniors.”
It was on the topics of policing, immigration and women that the difference between the men and their campaigns was made most clear. Both men told personal stories of the national divide across policing. “Implicit bias” was the lightning rod for the discussion. Kaine spoke of “community policing” and “building bonds of understanding” while Pence seemed annoyed with the topic and impatiently attempted to dress down his opponent by saying “… enough of seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement broadly by making the accusation of implicit bias every time tragedy occurs”. A frightening reality check for minorities.
On immigration, Pence offered more thinly veiled hate with “too often with criminal aliens in the country, it’s bringing heartbreak.” If only Kaine had challenged him right then and there. As the debate went on, Kaine grew stronger, relying less on prepared statements and messages, and listening and responding in real time.
In the words of Kaine: “From the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks … Donald Trump is showing you who he is.” Pence speaks the same, only prettier and more practiced. Let us not be fooled.
Kaine attempted to act like a bulldog Tuesday night but instead came across as a nipping chihuahua.
The senator from Virginia entered the first and only vice-presidential debate intent on making the mild-mannered Pence defend his running mate’s most outrageous statements. But unlike Trump, Pence apparently isn’t prone to chasing shiny objects.
Constantly interrupting Pence and speaking at a mile a minute, Kaine tried for the life of him to get Pence to discuss Trump’s racist attack on Indiana Judge Gonzalo Curiel, Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims, Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin, Trump’s call to deport all illegal immigrants, and so on and so forth. Whatever the accuracy of Kaine’s attacks on Trump — and make no mistake, they were often accurate — Kaine’s style was excessive. By throwing out so many issues in one breath, he made his rhetorical assault hard for viewers to follow. He also made it easy for Pence to ignore him with a shake of the head — a nonverbal “there you go again”.
Kaine’s constant “I know it all” interruptions might be considered the 2016 version of Al Gore’s groans. It made him come across as a thoroughly unlikable figure.
By contrast, Pence was calm and cool. He methodically hammered home the Trump campaign’s positive themes — let’s get America’s economy moving again, let’s put American workers first, let’s bring back American jobs, let’s project strength in the world, America needs change.
Sure, these are broad themes, but presented in Pence’s confident manner, they resonate. Like Kaine, Pence had his share of canned lines. Unlike Kaine, he was able to deliver them in a way that made them appear sincere and sometimes even heartfelt. Performance matters.
Pence won the debate by a landslide, and it’s hard to imagine there will be many in the media who will even attempt to claim otherwise. The only question is how his running mate’s fragile ego will react when all those who panned his debate skills praise Pence’s.
(Courtesy, the Guardian of London.)
WHERE’S WOODY? Third District supervisor Tom Woodhouse was again a No Show at Tuesday’s meeting of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. Woodhouse has now missed four consecutive Supes meetings. We called the County CEO’s office at 3pm Tuesday afternoon for a comment about her statement at today’s meeting that Woodhouse has granted himself a leave of absence but would return by the first week in November.
WOODHOUSE, a resident of Willits, has not been seen or heard from in nearly a month. There are rumors that he has suffered a nervous breakdown, but neither he nor anyone from his family has explained his absences. Sheriff Allman did appear at an earlier meeting of the supervisors to announce that he’d spoken with Mrs. Woodhouse and that the supervisor would soon re-appear.
THE SUPERVISOR’S RULES on absences are as follows:
Board Rules of Procedure
“Rule 12: Roll Call: The Clerk shall call the roll at the commencement of each meeting and shall record each member as being present or absent. The Clerk shall further record, during the course of each meeting, the arrival of any member listed as absent and the departure of any member listed as present. Planned absences shall be communicated to the Chief Executive Officer/Clerk of the Board at least one week in advance. Unanticipated absences shall be reported as soon as possible. If a member is absent, he or she may have entered into the record the reason why.”
There is nothing in the rules about extended absences or what to do if a Board member consistently fails to appear.
Government Code Section 1770. “An office becomes vacant on the happening of any of the following events before the expiration of the term:
"(a) The death of the incumbent.
"(b) An adjudication pursuant to a quo warranto* proceeding declaring that the incumbent is physically or mentally incapacitated due to disease, illness, or accident, and that there is reasonable cause to believe that the incumbent will not be able to perform the duties of his or her office for the remainder of his or her term. This subdivision shall not apply to offices created by the California Constitution nor to federal or state legislators.”
(*Quo warranto is a special form of legal action used to resolve a dispute over whether a specific person has the legal right to hold the public office that he or she occupies. Quo warranto is used to test a person's legal right to hold an office, not to evaluate the person's performance in the office.)
. . . or
(g) “His or her ceasing to discharge the duties of his or her office for the period of three consecutive months, except when prevented by sickness, or when absent from the state with the permission required by law.”
. . .
And: Code Section 1772. “When any office becomes vacant and no mode is provided by law for filling the vacancy, the Governor shall fill the vacancy by granting a commission, to expire at the end of the next session of the Legislature or at the next election by the people.”
BEST TITLE for tonight's debate between Pence and Kaine comes from the Daily Beast: "The Thrilla In Vanilla." Here at the Boonville newspaper's global affairs desk, we have nothing to say about this depressing election that hasn't already been said. We haven't voted for a Democrat since McGovern, and have never voted for a national or state Republican unless it was as a protest vote. And, of course, we're voting for Jill Stein this time around whose positions on the issues, if she were the Democrat's candidate, would easily knock off Mr. Bluster of New York City.
LIKE THEIR running mates for president, Pence and Kaine are pretty much wrong on everything, Hillary/Kaine wronger than Trump/Pence. The latter, however, at least understand that the whole political show is rigged, and they say so. Hillary represents a continuation of disastrous policies, home and abroad and a level of personal arrogance and corruption that could be called "exciting" if she were an interesting person.
NEITHER CANDIDATE so much as acknowledges the looming financial crisis, and Trump thinks the rolling ecological catastrophes don't exist. Hillary says she "believes" in global warming but says nothing about how she might address it. I think Trump might actually be crazy, but all this talk about him being Mussolini or Hitler comes from lib hysterics who don't know any history. Adolph and Benito were writers and thinkers, albeit of wrong-headed thoughts. Trump is like some drunk bellowing at the end of the bar at Ukiah Rotary. There's no indication he knows anything except how to beat his taxes.
THE CLOSEST we've come to American fascists were the America Firsters, Father Coughlin, maybe Huey Long, but Coughlin and Huey were economic populists of a national type we don't see unless you count the pathetic sell-out and soft socialist, Bernie Sanders. Roosevelt thought Coughlin, Long and the Firsters were all dangerous enough to neutralize, which he did although Huey Long was stopped by an assassin, not voters. His economic ideas were right on the money, and boy did the money hate him.
TRUMP'S like one of these Infomercial shouters yelling about how much time you can save in the kitchen with a Salad Shooter. And he's a trickle-down guy who thinks Reaganomics was a terrific way to run an economy. "You see all these rich people out there? If you lower their taxes they’ll hustle out and build businesses and give people jobs." In fact, they buy more houses overseas, second and third yachts, and bad art like you see at SFMOMA. Democrats and Republicans of yesteryear taxed the rich at over 90% and socked them with big inheritance dues. The rich proceeded to buy the political system, which they now own.
WHY IS ANYONE surprised that villains like the Koch Brothers are for Hillary? The smart money is happy with economic disparity, happy that the system now exists to protect their castles. Hillary and Bill have always run errands for the One Percenters. Trump is a wild card, a guy who might be so incompetent he brings on major disasters a lot faster than they are going to occur anyway. (I know some lefties who are voting for him because they hope he'll blow up the system.) And Trump isn't the worst that could happen. The worst already happened with two terms of Bush and War Forever With The Arabs.
THE BEAST is loose, though, and lots of us feel that nothing good is going to happen in the world beyond Boonville.
AS IT HAPPENS, the current New Yorker (October 3rd), features a profile of the fascist of the future, a version of whom would go over boffo in the US. The article is called "Germany's New Nationalists" by Thomas Meany and centers on Frauke Petry of the Alternative fur Deutschland or AfD. Petry is called "Adolfina" and "die Fuhrerin" by her many critics, but her immigrant-bashing and her call for fewer restrictions on big business has made her party the fastest-growing in Germany. Petry is much like the other neo-fascists on the rise in Europe, Marine Le Pen in France for example, and like Le Pen, her inner circle contains straight-up, unreconstructed fascists of the World War Two type.
BILL CLINTON blasted ObamaCare yesterday (Monday) as “the craziest thing in the world.” Clinton said that the poor and the elderly are getting a good deal, but “The people who are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies.” Natch, Clinton didn’t mention that he and his wife had the chance to go for Single Payer when he was President but instead, and catering to the insurance corps as always, came up with an even more unfair version of what became ObamaCare.
A READER ASKS, “Aren't you afraid of being sued by Michael Emmitt (sp) Sweeney? Also don't forget this Maoist bureaucrat has a concealed weapons permit in order to protect himself from the Editor of the Anderson Valley ADVERTISER. And remember that it was his $econd wife who wanted to organize the pot trimmer$ into the one Big Union.”
I'VE ALWAYS hoped he would. Back in the day he used to threaten everyone who implicated him in the bombing of his ex-wife, Judi Bari, but he never sued anyone. If he did that person or media entity would have rights of discovery, and our hero would be discovered as a man who has committed major felonies all the way back to the middle 1960s. But here in Amnesia County where history starts all over again every morning, Sweeney, no questions asked, reinvented himself as a trash bureaucrat, created a County job for himself, and has presumably lived with an anxious eye on his rear view mirror ever since.
THE ENTIRE Bari-Sweeney saga can be found at http://theava.com/archives/1235.
Little Dog With Green Ball, another art photo by the Anderson Valley Advertiser
POINT ARENA CITY COUNCIL ELECTION PROSPECTS
by Debra Keipp
Since becoming top-heavy administratively, with both a City Manager AND a City Clerk, Jane Jarlsberg is the current office staff individual for the City of Point Arena. Jane is running for Point Arena City Council this November. While being a well-intended individual who wants good things for the City of Point Arena, she lacks level-headed business acumen and there is some doubt that she would fare any better than Deborah Heatherstone-Szantos in her ability to understand the depths of Muni-Code as it relates to State and Federal regulations. A grand-parent who raised her grand-children, kudos go out to her for her commitment in raising her grand-children for much of their lives. She may show some interest, therefore, in developing low-income housing - or any housing at all - in Point Arena, a town which is predominately, single mother-households with children, and without a man in the household. So far not one City Council member has given a damn about housing in Point Arena.
Scott Ignacio is a local, raised here and active in his community as a first responder/rescue EMT and as a thespian (he acts in local theatre productions with his children - also talented and having performed in several plays together). Scott is an experienced computer tech, and rescue paramedic. He is the best candidate for City Council in that he might be the least biased, possesses business acumen, and is intelligent(!). However, he is a homeowner in the City limits, and it pays to be on Council in order to get things approved, as has been proven by the City of Point Arena time and again.
Torrez is a new candidate. I know nothing about him, but would give him a try with my vote, as he sounds like the only minority of those running.
Richie Wasserman, "Again!?" Richie Wasserman gets on City Council so that he can be the LAFCO rep for the City of PA for a whopping $400/month! Best paid of all the City Council persons, I read his lame interview in the ICO a few weeks ago. Richie has been nothing but self-serving in all his years on Council and several shots at Mayor. I sat on Planning Commission when he recused himself from voting on approval of the Coast Guard Bed and Breakfast Inn's number of parking spaces, brought before City Council by the new owner, Kevin Gallagher, who'd just purchased the property from Wasserman and Whatley. Just as Mayor Leslie Dahlhoff opened the can of worms that became the great fiasco and slight of hand regarding two alleged missing parking spaces on the Gallagher's deed all of a sudden filed "at the last minute" by Wasserman sans enuf parking, as previously indicated to new owners, Wasserman got up and conveniently left the room as to not be required to answer any questions in that particular City Council meeting about his real estate shenanigans! He wound up paying the Gallaghers something on the order of $85,000 for his "error". Richie's worse than a band of gypsies. In fact, I'd put him up against an entire band of gypsies and woe the poor gypsies! And another thing, if Richie has not thus far (in all his times at bat!) procured any additional housing at all for the City of Point Arena's onslaught of newly arriving public, don't bet on it happening after he gets elected, because he's been elected so many times now, and been Mayor redundantly, also, that if he hasn't taken care of the housing problem thus far, you can bet it ain't gonna happen after he gets elected once again to sit, and be paid $400/month to sit on LAFCO. DO NOT VOTE FOR RICHIE WASSERMAN EVER AGAIN.
My vote is on Sherylynn Smith for newly elected by write-in vote! It's not that I'd vote for her, because she is one of the oddest people I've ever met, but I can see several Point Arena Pirates casting enuf write-in votes for her to win the election. Point arena loves pirates! If you haven't heard, Sheryl (who goes by several different names according to record checks) has some history with former mayor Doug Burkey (ex of Barbara Burkey, who is also running for elected office), as they were arrested August 21st for fraud and jailed for about a week while investigators investigated the fraud and possible murder (listed suspicious death) of her ex, who was allegedly defrauded pre- and post-mortem, in part. She says the case has been thrown out as a horrible misunderstanding, but when the AVA sent an intrepid investigator to Sonoma County to get a copy of her ex's (suspicious) death certificate, it was let known to her that the (suspicious) death was still under investigation. The paper trail on the fraud is absolutely damning (see ICO website for documents). Stay tuned on this one. Even tho Point Arenans suffer from an immense amount of apathetic doldrumism; fraud by lovers, after the suspicious, undetermined death of a missing person, reported by the man's actual ex-wife and mother of his children, doesn't bode well, or does it?... in the dumbed-down political ring of 2016. Well, ...Point Arena loves a pirate!
Speaking of which, Jim Koogle is still acting as Mayor without legal living situation within the City limits, a condition of elected office, if you're anyone but him, evidently. A bully, folks have been pushed around and intimidated by Koogle (See ICO regarding resignation of Phil Burfoot, Councilman), a large man with shit for brains. (I just say that, because he says that about others so often in his regular tirades.) Maybe he suffers from his own dissatisfaction. His stated "home" on his election application was 53 Lake Street, an abandoned building for about 30 years now. A blight on a community that is in dire need of housing for ...teachers, at least. DO NOT VOTE FOR JIM KOOGLE FOR ANY REASON. Definitely don't buy weed from him, because of mold...
Anna Dobbins is a great horse woman, so I'm already in her corner! She's been on City Council and Planning before as I remember, so she contributes to her community and has lived here for most of her adult life. Anna is aware of variances, building code and State and Federal regs, so that's half the battle. I'd vote for Anna for PA City Council even tho I don't know if she'll last once elected. Previously, she's tired quickly of the bullshit (a common City Council Cancer) and quit, replaced conveniently by another "appointment". Here's hoping she can last the limit.
Barbara Burkey is the former owner of the Point Arena Bakery and is currently scaring locals out of 215 Main, the restaurant and bar she manages for the new owner, former DEA agent just having moved to town a few years ago, known jokingly as "Terrorist Tim". (You're not real in Point Arena til you've been dubbed with an adjectively adverbial name.) It is true, Barbara has alienated most of the locals who frequented the bar on a daily basis. As quickly as she drives them out of the bar, tho, owner Tim is offering them a free drink to bring them back in. Barbara has business ability with numbers, but is either black or white with people. Having run the last Fishermen's Festival with the best budget yet, making a whopping $18K for the Pier Fund, which is frequently robbed for deposits into the City's General Fund budget, it is my hope that, in voting for Barbara Burkey, she will continue to run a tight ship and drive all those bad acting self-servers off City Council, to mostly include: Jim Koogle and Richie Wasserman, for whom no one should vote (I repeat)!
Shut Out Koogle and Wasserman for Point Arena City Council!!! They've had their turn!
NORTH COAST MOVES OUT OF HISTORIC DROUGHT
by Mary Callahan
A few spits of rain over the past two days have done little for the region’s water supply, but with the wet weather months still on the horizon, the North Coast is in far better shape at this point in the season than it’s been in several years.
Lakes Sonoma and Mendocino have rebounded from four years of historic drought and have emerged well-positioned to meet the area’s water needs even after the high-demand, hot summer months, thanks to a wet 2015-16 that brought rainfall totals within reach of normal.
“Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma water supply levels are where we had projected they would be, which means we are in a good place to start the new water year,” said Brad Sherwood, a spokesman for the Sonoma County Water Agency.
State and federal agencies use Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 to mark the water year used to assess rainfall and storage data.
Santa Rosa closed out the year Friday with 32.14 inches of total rain, or 89 percent of normal, meteorologist Bob Benjamin of the National Weather Service said.
The weather service uses rainfall figures taken at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport, where normal yearly rainfall is 36.28 inches, Benjamin said.
In 2014-15, the last year of drought, total rainfall was 25.01 inches at the airport, he said.
In Ukiah, near Lake Mendocino, total 2015-16 rainfall was 36.52 inches, or about 98 percent of normal, National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Carroll said.
The 2014-15 total was 26.75 inches.
Most of the rain fell during three or four winter storms that by March filled local reservoirs beyond official storage capacity.
The results are storage levels approaching 90 percent at Lakes Mendocino and Sonoma from which the Water Agency draws water used by the 600,000 consumers it supplies in Sonoma and northern Mendocino counties.
Lake Sonoma on Monday was holding about 212,000 acre feet of water, or 86 percent of the water supply pool, Sherwood said.
About 56,000 acre feet was in storage behind Coyote Dam at Lake Mendocino. That’s about 88 percent of the targeted water supply, which varies throughout the year, depending on the date. The storage capacity of Lake Mendocino is actually about 86,370 acre feet.
The last time Lake Mendocino was this high was in 2012. It dropped below 40,000 acre feet at this point in time during each of the three years thereafter.
Benjamin said the long-range forecast is for a neutral rainy season, neither an El Niño nor a La Niña year, “so we’re expecting a normal rain year.”
Sonoma County has been considered out of drought and designated “abnormally dry” by the U.S. Drought Monitor since mid-March, but Sherwood urged residents to continue to use water carefully, with conservation in mind.
Recent drizzle is a sign “we are heading into the fall season,” a reminder people should turn off their irrigation systems, he said.
“We shouldn’t be seeing folks irrigating their yards now,” Sherwood said.
(The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
CATCH OF THE DAY, Ocotber 4, 2016
Bosche, Brockway, Cracolici
ROBERT BOSCHE, Clearlake/Calpella. Domestic assault, domestic battery, criminal threats, probation revocation.
ROBERT BROCKWAY III, Albion. Vandalizing phone lines, probation revocation.
GIULIO CRACOLICI, Staten Island, New York/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, pot sale.
Hooks, Jerla, Keroack
MARCEL HOOKS, Vancouver/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, pot sale, conspiracy.
JEREMY JERLA, Bozeman, Montana/Willits. Fugitive from justice.
TRAVIS KEROACK, Vancouver/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, pot sale, conspiracy.
Leloup, Lincoln, Noble
CHRISTOPHER LELOUP, Willits. Probation revocation.
RUSSELL LINCOLN, Covina/Hopland. Pot possession for sale.
LARISSA NOBLE, Ukiah. Leaded cane/ billy/ blackjack/ slungshot/ sanclub/ sap-sandbag, false ID, smoking-injecting device.
Ray, Ray (March 2016), Rogers
DANNY RAY, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
(DANNY RAY upon first arrest in Ukiah in March, 2016. Mr. Ray has been arrested 17 times for various minor offenses since March. Clearly, Ukiah has taken its toll on Mr. Ray.)
SHAWN ROGERS, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
HEZEKIAH ALLEN OF THE CALIFORNIA GROWERS' ASSOCIATION Tells LostCoastOutpost Why He Won't Vote for Weed Legalization This Fall
by Hank Sims
Humboldt County voted against marijuana legalization last time it was on the ballot, in 2010, and Southern Humboldt — the weed-growing capital of the county — voted against it by a wide margin. This has given us a certain reputation.
”I can’t read an article about Prop 19 that doesn’t reference the fact that people up here voted against it,” said Jason Kinney, the lobbyist heading up this year’s legalization initiative, when he visited the Outpost a few months ago. “I am determined to turn that around.”
Kinney, then, must have been disappointed when he read this morning’s Reuters story featuring Hezekiah Allen, one of the most prominent Humboldt County voices in the state’s new cannabis industry, which is rapidly digging itself out from the underground. In the story, Allen — who serves as executive director of the California Growers Association — told reporter Rory Carroll that he would not be voting for Proposition 64, the initiative on this November’s ballot that would legalize marijuana for recreational use.
This surprised us a bit, given the growing momentum for legalization. But Allen knocks Proposition 64 for several reasons, all of which boil down to the position that the initiative doesn’t provide enough protection for small growers.
But why should cannabis legalization protect small growers? Why can’t legalization just be legalization? The Outpost caught up to Allen on Facebook chat this morning to ask him. Our exchange, lightly edited for grammar on both sides, is below.
Two things: Allen, in our interview, was speaking for himself, not his organization. And though he will not vote for Prop. 64, that isn’t to say Allen would vote against it. “Blank is an option,” he said.
LoCO: You say in this morning’s Reuters story, as regards Prop. 64: “I don’t want to replace a criminal injustice with an economic injustice.” What is the economic injustice that Prop. 64 threatens to bring about?
ALLEN: Prop 64 opens the door for consolidated ownership and market capture. Current law (MCRSA) has protections against this “business as usual” approach. Over the last several decades we have seen the destruction of the middle class — with this phenomenon especially pronounced in agriculture and farming. Cannabis has been insulated from this “profit first” culture because of prohibition. As prohibition crumbles the green rush mentality has taken over. The imperative is to get ahead of the green rush while rejecting prohibition; prop 64 opens the floodgates for the industrialization of agriculture — where workers and natural resources are secondary considerations and profitability reins supreme. I think the state legislature did a great job of balancing between private and public interests and the legislation passed last year should be the foundation for regulated adult use Cannabis.
This is the thing that’s always puzzled me about your position, though: It seems not to take consumers into account. Essentially, you are saying: The franchise should be restricted to small growers, and especially those who have flouted the law for the last 40 years. The government has provided us price support, in the form of prohibition, all this time; therefore, they must provide price support for us forever. We want weed to be legal, but we only want it to be legal for us to manufacture it. Don’t the consumers of marijuana deserve some economic justice as well?
Of course consumers deserve economic justice. In fact, the concept doesn’t put producers against consumers. That’s a false dichotomy. Have you ever heard of the high cost of low price? To assume lower prices is economic justice is simply ignorant.
And you are completely wrong about your assertion that only folks who have been producing should get to. We rejected protections for existing businesses in state law. Ensuring the marketplace is dominated by as many independent businesses as possible provides opportunity for more business owners — established and startups.
There is nothing in this position that is about protecting existing operators. It’s about protecting local economies and small businesses.
Lastly: A critical review of data regarding prices indicates that California has already seen the reduction in pricing to producers that legal states have. Supply chain inefficiencies have prevented these savings from being passed to the consumer.
Would the US economy be better off if all agriculture were regulated in the way you propose? Like: Farmer, you may only grow up to half an acre of lettuce. Rancher, you may run no more than 25 head of cattle.
Absolutely. Industrial agriculture is a failed paradigm. It has killed rivers and destroyed the middle class.
It seems inarguable that this would make the production of lettuce and beef massively inefficient.
The efficiency of industrial agriculture are not real efficiencies. They rely on externalizing costs.
I’d recommend you check in with economists on the subject. Here, I’ll get you a quick report: (LINK)
Also, would it not force way more people to become farmers than want to be farmers? If we want to grow enough food, I mean? It sort of smacks of one of Mao’s big ideas — the Great Leap Forward, I think. Or maybe it was the Cultural Revolution. [Ed. note: Maybe I was thinking of the “Down to the Countryside Movement,” or of Pol Pot.] If farmers could only grow half an acre of lettuce (or wheat, or corn, or turnips) we would need a lot more farmers.
I’m not saying a half an acre.
No, never suggested that the limits for Cannabis be applied across the board.
Well. When you and I were on Forum, you suggested that Humboldt’s microclimates produced superior product, and always would. Why, then, do you fear competition from Big Ag?
It’s not a fear, Hank.
Why do you need to legislate against competition from Big Ag?
It’s a recognition that treating farms as factories has failed our planet and our society. It’s a recognition that cannabis provides a unique opportunity to transform this critical segment of our economy
But on the backs of consumers.
No. Again, false dichotomy.
Someone has to provide price support for you to make this happen.
Who pays for the impacts caused by the reality that the Colorado river no longer meets the ocean? Society still bears the cost. The costs don’t go away. They are just externalized.
Sometimes the Mattole no longer meets the ocean.
I know. That’s what catalyzed me to work on this.
Water is water. You get it from one place or you get it from another. Plants drink.
I’m not sure why 300 acre-sized farms in a backwoods watershed are more water-efficient than a 300-acre farm in Fresno.
- Resource-efficient agriculture is labor intensive. The main “efficiency” of industrial Ag is mechanization and cutting labor. These methods are less efficient.
- Water can be stored on a small and micro scale with significantly more care to flow regimes. Industrial scale reservoirs are very different than on site storage.
Also, you’re making assumptions. Again: not advocating that “backwoods” growers have a monopoly. Quite the opposite. Advocating that all farmers have an opportunity to add some cannabis to their crop portfolios. The ability to catalyze the shift from industrial monoculture to sustainable polyculture is a unique opportunity to make progress toward a global imperative.
So you think this is a politically viable position: That cannabis, though an agricultural crop like any other, must be regulated differently and more restrictively not because it is a drug, but because it is a new crop, and therefore we can mandate that it be grown in a sustainable fashion. You’re saying: Perhaps it can be a model for how we regulate agriculture in the future.
The second one. Except “perhaps” is unnecessary. Cannabis — and the regulatory framework passed by legislature — is a model for how to regulate agriculture. One of the biggest challenges to transitioning our economy to a sustainable future is the disruption to existing businesses.
Cannabis exists independent of that system, and we have a small window of opportunity to ensure our communities and watersheds are of equal value to profitability. We need to fundamentally reconsider the way our farms and businesses relate to the natural world. Cannabis is an opportunity to do that.
It strikes me that though you often decry the criminalization of marijuana — the fact that it sent so many growers off to prison, over the years — you must in some sense be thankful for it. If there were never prohibition, then there would be cannabis megafarms all up and down the I-5 corridor right now. Or the I-70 corridor, more likely.
I am absolutely not thankful for it.
Didn’t it provide a middle-class lifestyle for small Humboldt farmers? Didn’t it prevent the corporatization of the crop?
Yes, it kept the crop insulated from the industrialization and it created the unique opportunity we have today.
It also led to a lot of negative impacts.
I’m not thankful for it, but it is what it is.
I believe we need to do a better job balancing between economy, ecology and society. Cannabis is a unique opportunity that I was born into. So I am making the most of it.
OK. I’ll let you get back to it. Thanks, Hezekiah!
(For a good, neutral rundown of Prop. 64, see Ballotpedia. The full text of the proposition can be found here. (Courtesy, LostCoastOutpost.com)
BONES FOUND IN NAPA COUNTY were missing Santa Rosa brothers
ON-LINE COMMENTS OF THE DAY:
(1) Dear Scotty,
You must be so tired of hearing this. It’s been written a gazillion times, it is on half as many t-shirts. It must make you crazy when we ask again and again after being confronted with endless moments of cultural insanity. But this time, I’m desperate and I really mean it. Please help me, Scotty, please. Beam me up. (—Head Captain)
(2) Head Captain, the transporter is out.
All the stuff that could be repaired on the old Enterprise was replaced by non-repairable junk from China. The latest Windows 10 upgrade has crashed. The password has expired and won’t let us reboot. Hardly anybody remembers how to fly the old Shuttlecraft.
[dramatic and gloomy music] Scotty, you’re fired.
[Scotty] Sorry Captain. You can’t fire me. Starfleet was privatized and I work for Halliburton now. They pay me and I’ll just take the Shuttlecraft myself and go home!
THE JOLTING GRAPHIC NOVEL OF OUR TIMES
by Ralph Nader
If there is one glaring omission among the daily declarations of both empty suit Donald Trump and hawkish Hillary Clinton, it is the strategy for peace. They’ll tell us they want to do more than President Obama is doing to go after ISIS. They’ll tell us they want a more robust military without calling for reducing the huge waste, fraud and redundancy of the military-industrial complex’s budget (a concern that drew a major warning from President Dwight Eisenhower). But how do they plan to wage peace?
Waging peace? In the current militarist climate of boomeranging perpetual war, expanding the geographic and devastating reach of adversaries, waging peace may sound vague, soft and squishy.
Have we forgotten about past peace treaties that have ended wars, followed by demobilization of the unneeded military might? The US is still a prominent signatory to the Kellogg-Briand Treaty Pact of 1928, in which signatory states promised not to use war to resolve “disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them.”
There are numerous active pro-peace, anti-war citizen groups in the US such as the American Friends Service Committee (a Quaker-initiated group) and Veterans for Peace. They are grossly underfunded and pretty much blacked-out by the mass media. Peace is so unexciting, compared to the visuals and visceral intensity of destroying lives and property.
On the other hand most people, when asked, prefer peace to war and militarism. They are not like the frothy, bloodthirsty, arrogant war-mongers that surrounded the Bush-Cheney war machine invading Iraq (which the 48 Democrats in the Senate had the filibustering votes to stop in 2003).
But being abstractly for peace without the requisite knowledge to focus and drive the urgent moral indignation that leads to collective action by the people tends to promote passivity and powerlessness.
A remarkable graphic novel titled Addicted to War: Why the US Can’t Kick Militarism — an illustrated exposé by Joel Andreas will inform and motivate readers. Since it was published in 2002 and updated in 2015, over 450,000 copies in multiple languages are in print worldwide. Only 74 pages with 164 footnotes at the back, this book is a remarkably accurate and comprehensive narrative. It is heavily endorsed with comments from veterans, scholars and clergy, among other notables.
Written with “humor, erudition and wisdom,” writes David Swanson, author of War is a Lie, “this is a book to buy in bulk and give to everyone you know.” Michael Parenti, author of History as Mystery called it “Political comics at its best. Bitterly amusing, lively, and richly informative… about the link between US militarism, foreign policy corporate greed at home and abroad” (you can obtain a copy for $12 from Oakland, California based AK Press).
The author, Joel Andreas, teaches Sociology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He divides the graphic novel into seven chapters. They are: “Manifest Destiny,” “The Cold War,” “The New World Order,” “The War on Terrorism,” “The War Profiteers,” “Resisting Militarism” and the final chapter, “Do Something About It!” lists active groups who would welcome your civic energy.
As a serious scholar, Mr. Andreas realized that entry-level education about peace cannot start with 500 page tomes on diplomacy, foreign policy and preventable wars. He presents documented historical facts from past to present that invite readers to make informed judgments and decide if they want to count among “the sovereign people” shaping our country’s drive for peace. No one else is going to do it for us. Major redirections and cessations from disasters must start with “We the People”. Get copies at bulk rates for your friends and neighbors.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
UNSOLVED MURDERS IN THE EMERALD TRIANGLE
OCTOBER 7th 'FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK'
Join artists and their hosts for an evening of art, music and refreshments as you stroll from one venue to the next; each showcasing local art and artistry. Held in Historic Downtown Ukiah on the first Friday of each month, the First Friday Art Walk is the perfect way to relax your body, mind and soul. This enjoyable evening begins at 5:00 p.m. and promises to delight your senses; all while enjoying the company of others. For more information contact (707) 462-1400
KOFFEE WITH KRISHNA
Subject: Notes from the Spiritual Platform Sitting here at the Safeway in Honolulu, enjoying a refreshing "Ginger Rush" made by Govinda's, associated with the local Krishna devotees. It is a mildly humid morning on O'ahu, in an isolated location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
On my laptop computer, I read the news items on the Earth First! newswire posted from around the globe. The collective which manages the sight is based in Florida. I post comments from here to there in regard to environmental campaigns everywhere. And it is all fun and good, during an increasingly irrational American 2016 presidential election season. I have asked recently why neither major political party has an environmental platform. And even more disturbing is the crazy behavior of energy corporations invading anyplace that they require to advance their business schemes, with racist overt tendencies in the case of native American land, and a complete disregard for established communities worldwide. In regard to self defense, the Oakland dudes are saying bluntly, "How about I kill your ass?" This is an indication of the direction in which direct action is headed. Indeed, ecodefense is now self defense!
A conundrum exists for the "non-violent", civil disobedient oriented protest groups. Whereas it is easy to understand why one would prefer to resolve conflict peacefully, the fact is that multinational corporations are not swayed by such tactics. Global capitalism has become an enemy of the planet earth, an enemy of communities, and serves only itself. Whereas previous protests have been successful using more benign tactics, the problem must be faced squarely that these tactics are not effective. The monstrous problem of global capitalism is not affected by these tactics, and therefore a new approach is needed. Nobody knows what this response will look like. Creative action is being taken in places, but there is no consensus other than to say that every tool in the tool box needs to be utilized. It is certain that insistence on "non-violent" civil disobedient oriented activism is no longer effectively realistic in the face of a self-serving insatiable materialistic machine, which is precisely what global capitalism is all about. That is exactly what multinational corporations are, what the collusion of corporations and nation states are, what all dictatorships are, and what materialism is. The enemy is fundamentally a deranged energy which must be forcefully grounded!
It is vital for the individual to strengthen his or her self, and engage in spiritual practices to realize a protective force field, as well as for being more powerful. This is basically a war between the spiritually righteous and the negative, adharmic forces. There will be no satisfactory consensualized resolution, because all parties are not reasonable. What we are in is an age of confusion, and the way to go is for the individual to cultivate a spiritualized life, and then work with others who are also clear. An uncompromising attitude is essential. Materialism is counter to spiritual reality, and the monster's heart needs to be cut out and burned!! It appears that the global situation is more unstable and dangerous than ever, that the planet earth's ecology is close to irrepairable, that civilization's center is not holding together, and that chaos is emerging.
The practical instruction of using every tool in the tool box makes sense. This is the time for creative ingenuity, and we are talking about using one's own spiritual power. One's innate spiritual power needs to be tapped, first and foremost. And then rituals may be enacted. A living theater may take the place of the mundane zombie waltz, which characterizes so much of postmodern life nowadays. The automaton-like going-through-the-motions in a multi-tiered shopping mall, the aimless drifting from cocktail lounges to gambling casinos to the race track before endless hours of television viewing while consuming barrels of beer and mountains of fast food while smoking a mixture of highly potent clone agricultural products, which themselves enhance an extreme LSD experience, and then it's time for dinner. After which, thousands drive into town for more alcohol prior to visiting a Hollywood style after hours club, which presages going to the beach to enjoy the sunrise, which of course heralds a brand new day.
It's morning on planet earth. A circle of ritualists are on the beach to greet the sun. Chanting from scripture whose origin is before recorded history, they sing and dance around a ceremonial fire. Incense is offered. Fresh fruit is set out for all to enjoy. Stories are shared and poetry is recited. Seabirds scurry about and a couple of crows arrive to caw and scavenge. A cargo ship goes by far in the distance. Clouds drift on by. More crows arrive to caw and scavenge.
Concentrating the mind at the gate where the mental factory churns out thoughts, at a place where there is no motion and nothing changes, just watching the formation of thoughts, is a practice recommended by jnana yoga. This is the solution to the serious problem of unconsciously acting out thoughts, with frequently disastrous results. Worse yet, is acting out thoughts in a condition approaching being possessed, due to having drugged oneself into a stupor. And continuing in an adharmic direction leads to one being a tool of the mechanical, and serving the adharmic on the material platform.
Opposed to this are the Children of the Light, the yogis, the zen cultivators, the kabbalists, the Sufi dancers, Christian mystics, pagan ritualists, and other traditions. These traditions, plus the direct action groups, together have a formidable collective presence. They represent two wheels on an ancient tribal cart, leading a procession to restore the world to righteousness. This is very important.
Chanting OM, which stabilizes the mind at the gate where thoughts emanate from, the individual is relaxed and in accord with the Higher Will. What is crucial here is the marriage of mysticism and direct action, which combined have great power. This is the remedy for the present imbroglio, insofar as ecodefense of the planet earth is concerned, and peace & justice.
There is a paradigm shift happening, as one time cycle moves into the next time cycle. The situation is never static. Opportunity of an avataric nature accompanies the abominable conditions. It is always a balance of opposites. Today is not to be wasted. Relaxed, centered, in motion while anchored prior to consciousness, energy from the spiritual platform is flowing. We form a circle, and then tighten it around the monster's huge mechanical heart.
Craig Louis Stehr