Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016
by AVA News Service, October 19, 2016
THE CITY OF FORT BRAGG got out a presser the other day saying how "thrilling" it was that Mendocino County got three Emergency Solution Grants to these three recipients: MCHC (Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center) raked in $128,725, Redwood Community Services, Inc. $128,725 both receiving Rapid Rehousing funds and Ford Street Project Ukiah) $200,000 for Emergency Shelter funds.
WHERE does this federal largesse wind up? A lot of it goes to the helping professionals who run various homeless programs. Fort Braggers are still muttering about the $180,000 Hospitality House garnered for its "Giving Garden," which went mostly for salaries to the Getting Gardeners and a few vegetable boxes.
FROM THE CITY OF FORT BRAGG:
“Announcement from our local homeless service agency:
Great News about Rapid Rehousing!
Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center (MCHC) is thrilled to announce that its application for federal funding called “Emergency Solutions Grant” was successful! Working within the Mendocino County Homelessness Services Continuum of Care, and with Redwood Community Services (who will provide the same program inland), the new Rapid Rehousing program will provide funds for rent deposits and for rental assistance, and assistance in locating housing. Those eligible for Rapid Rehousing will be selected county-wide through a program called Coordinated Entry. Both programs will start in late 2016 or early 2017, as soon as funds are released. Details will be available soon on MCHC’s website
This is the first time that MCHC, or any coastal agency, has successfully brought Emergency Solutions Grant programs to our area to help the coast’s homeless population. Rapid Rehousing is an example of the Housing First model, which has proved successful in placing people as fast as possible into housing. While the coast needs more affordable housing developed in the longer term, Rapid Rehousing assists people to move into currently available housing. Within MCHC’s range of programs to assist people who are without homes, this new Housing First approach and the new funding source for our coastal area is a huge step forward.”
IN LIVING FACT, it's another large step backwards, especially in the current context of Hospitality House's "service" priority being transients, the large majority of them from out of the area and drug and alcohol dependent. These large gifts of public money wafting into Fort Bragg ought to be prioritized to put the LOCAL needy first.
REX GRESSETT ON FORT BRAGG'S KUNG FU CANDIDATE
Rex Gressett Writes: Well, the ballots are out and therefore the election is effectively over. Now begins that period of reflection and waiting that may go on for quite a while after the final vote Nov 7, if experience is any guide.
The City of Fort Bragg is physically divided at Pine Street between the big fancy houses north of that east-west thoroughfare and the rather smaller and, to my way of thinking, more homey and intimate houses south of Pine. Every house north of Pine that has a campaign sign on the lawn is supporting Menzies. And, by an enormous margin, houses south of Pine, the far greater area of the city, have signs for Bernie Norvell and or Will Lee. The blue signs are to the south; the sort of orange/pink multicolor signs trumpeting Menzies to the north, like the Civil War with reversed colors.
Two of the four candidates who opposed Mr. Menzies in principle have removed themselves from the race to give the stronger candidates better leverage against him.
Menzies has wisely said nothing at all. Well, almost nothing. In Fort Bragg our most sacred election ritual is the public forum sponsored by The League of Women Voters and assisted somehow by the Fort Bragg Advocate-News newspaper. Menzies could not avoid it and was forced to speak a few words. They were his only public utterances in the campaign, although he must have been saying something to his not inconsiderable number of supporters. But the general public has no remote idea. His slogan is "Scott Menzies fighting for local solutions."
It would be convenient if we knew what problems there are that he seeks to address. He did not mention anything in the nature of a problem or a possible solution for it in his bewildering remarks.
I think I could recall what he said if I were to try. I know that it had to do with being an expert in an ancient and esoteric practice of meditation and hand-to-hand combat. This study consists in part of sitting for extended periods of time in intimate observation of one's bodily processes. I am quoting him on that. He did it more than once for 24 hours or some such sadistic period of time, and this process has conferred upon him a wisdom that singularly qualifies him to be on the Fort Bragg city council.
When he was finished no one remarked on the idiocy of his statements. Certainly the candidates did not. We were all nervous about our own impending blunders. But I sort of thought that having been painfully adolescent and hopelessly off point he would be avid to correct the record and make some comments rather more aimed to evaluate policy, as it is, or might be with himself on the council. But no. He seemed quite content to just let the whole kung fu councilman idea kind of gestate.
I would have expected all his yard signs to come down. Or else for the people who had them in their yards just to go whole hog and put on, "Kick me. I am an idiot" sweatshirts.
But no, not at all, in fact more signs went up in the posh areas where the overseers and foremen and owners of our town have always lived and where they live now as the proprietors and operatives of the new and idealistic social services industry hegemony.
Mr. Menzies supporters find it reasonable to support a candidate who intends to bring to our humble town the wisdom of the east and to use it to establish a budget and address a crisis in infrastructure. I can see him on the cover of Time. "Buddhist Warrior Fighting For Local Solutions."
The other candidates were more troubled with possibilities and more weighted with resentments. They were at once more optimistic out of necessity and fatalistic just out of honesty. Scott breezed through it with his offhand remarks in which he defined himself as a fool and apparently thought nothing of it and yet offended not one of his supporters. He did indeed stand out in the group and his supporters stand out with him.
Although I believe in the power of the people to decide ultimately, I do not always advocate for unrestricted populism.
But mostly I do, and I know that in America the iron fist of authoritarian rule, must enter into power in the form of an election.
Mr. Menzies’s every word — obtuse, vulgar and astonishing as they might be, are open announcements of his fundamental intention. He likes it that we have a political machine in Fort Bragg. He supports it without qualification. He works for it. He has made his little two year career carrying water for that machine, being the loyal naysayer, and flatterer of power in the face of any public opposition to policies often openly destructive of our liberties. His symbol ought to be the happy face. His politics are iron rule and few elections. Lack of transparency is not a problem; it is an advantage in getting things done to which the rulers are entitled. Obedience is the proper function of the ruled.
He has said all of this. If he doesn't believe any of it I would love to hear him say it. But he has said it, and loudly. He thinks the people of the town are “sodomites.” Meaning, I guess, that they are in defiance of Gods law. He is pretty sure that although he does not really buy into that whole “God” thing, he understands what he does not trust you to understand and should really therefore be your ruler. All the other candidates want to be your representative. But none of them know kung fu or Chinese. Your call.
KELLY BOSS, PHILO, an ambidextrous pot pharmer and wine maker, failed to appear Tuesday for another installment of his long, drawn-out court proceedings, which began in May of 2014 when his large scale pot pharm on Cameron Road, Elk, and his weaponized winery on the Holmes Ranch, Philo, were raided by the County's Drug Task Force. An arrest warrant for Boss was about to issued when Judge Moorman was called away by the death of her father. Boss's case drags on and on, and is shaping up as the longest-running pot case in County history.
Boss & Family
SOME INTERESTING POINTS WERE DISCUSSED at the Supervisors’ pot licensing/cultivation discussion on Tuesday and a very interesting person made an even more interesting statement.
For example, Supervisor Carre Brown wondered if the pot growers would get Williamson Act tax exemptions for “ag”? Answer: We’re not contemplating that at present.
Environmental Health Director David Jensen wondered about dosage/strength of “medicine.” And the timing of related standards. Supervisor McCowen thought that would be a state responsibility.
Jensen replied: “We’re ahead of the state at this point. I guess we can license for land use and regulation. But there should be product standards in place first. This is very different than what we’ve faced before. We have to think outside the box, to use a cliché. We have to defer standards until the state does it, I guess. But it’s a stretch. I’m uncomfortable. How do we know if infused edibles have pesticides or that processed products do not contain other toxins. And at what concentrations? What dosages? Is it safe?”
Supervisor Brown: “We’re not the only county worried about this,” adding comments about fire hazards, and so forth. “This is unknown territory. The state doesn’t seem to be doing anything. It’s a big question. Especially with medical products.
A County staffer said she expected draft regs by December. Then public comment. Noting also that Prop 64 (legalizing recreational pot) might affect it if it passes, which most people expect it will.
More meetings are planned as well as a “public workshop.” Among the topics to be discussed will be a requirement for a “disclosure statement” about what was or was not tested in a given product, and what to do about the upcoming “Gap year” between when Mendo starts regulating and perhaps 2018 when some state rules might kick in.
Supervisor McCowen noted that he thinks some dispensaries are already testing some products.
MENDOCINO COUNTY'S MOST INTERESTING PERSON and latter day Reefer Madness disciple, Mike Sweeney, said the following:
“We are discussing this topic today because we are assuming that Measure AF [the pot growers/Heritage Act] will fail. And it probably will, largely because we have pointed out to the voters that Measure AF lacks any credible enforcement — no criminal sanctions, a $100 fine which is appealable, appealable and ultimately uncollectible. But would your draft ordinance do any better? Remember that there are over 1000 commercial marijuana growers out there, most of whom do not want to pay for permits, don't want to comply with rules and don't want inspections. Remember that most of them are already in violation of 9.31. So they are going to watch very carefully to see what they can get away with. They will not automatically fall into this excellent regulatory scheme that your staff has laid out. Perhaps it's wishful thinking, in fact. Take a look at section 10.8.160 of your draft ordinance. Look at it and read it, the enforcement provisions. The enforcement is a public nuisance procedure of county code section 875. And we know exactly how ineffectual the public nuisance process is because of the failure of code enforcement to stop the illegal buildings, encroachments, and trash accumulations despite the best efforts of Angie Hamilton and her team. We know how slow the public nuisance procedure is. We know how few cases the County can handle at once and how expensive it is to hire a hearing officer. Who we know that fines under this procedure are not collectible until they are attached to property taxes five years later. With marijuana this would be nothing more than a logjam. I have heard the argument that we should not worry about enforcement because the Sheriff can always enforce state law. But the legislature has adopted — and prop 64 would adopt — a comprehensive civil procedure that creates plenty of room for doubt whether a violation is a civil or criminal matter. Peace officers often turn a blind eye to problem growers whenever they can use the excuse, "It's a civil matter." If you want your ordinance to work you have to include credible local enforcement. The civil public nuisance approach is okay provided that growing without a permit or in violation of a permit is instantly declared to be an imminent threat to public health and safety, and therefore subject to summary abatement. If the Sheriff tears out a few big grows, the commercial growers will realize that a county permit is not such a bad idea after all. The following acts in addition should be declared a misdemeanor under county code: growing without a permit, growing in violation of the terms of a permit, or interfering with a county inspector in the performance of his or her duties. This will clearly establish the Sheriff's jurisdiction in cases where it is needed as a backup to civil enforcement. We all hope that marijuana permits will someday become a routine civil matter and thus no more contentious than a building permit. But to get there the county must employ all its tools and include some enforcement teeth. Otherwise your ordnance will be another dead letter, a waste of time, and the betrayal of the citizens of Mendocino County who want personal protection and protection of their environment.”
SWEENEY makes valid points here. And we would add that if pot growing is considered to be “ag,” as it seems to be heading, the pot growers can argue that they are exempt from nuisance laws under the “right to pharm” law just like Mendocino Redwoods is arguing that they are exempt from Measure V which attempted to declare their hack-and-squirt practices to be a nuisance.
BUT TUESDAY’S WHOLE DISCUSSION demonstrated that this voluntary “excellent regulatory scheme,” that Sweeney referred to, will only help the well-heeled, corporate style pot growers and entrepreneurs who can attract the necessary bankrolls from the usual venture capitalists and bank loan officers to hire expensive attorneys, engineers, inspectors, accountants, consultants, and fancy corporate pot processing equipment, and so forth to apply and comply with the rules, then to operate in accordance with them — without enforcement, as Sweeney points out. And these bigger well-financed growers who come in from the cold to voluntarily apply for permits are not the ones creating the problems that the regulatory scheme is meant to rein in anyway.
WE HAVE PLENTY of on-paper rules for the wine industry but try enforcing any — the Water Board is woefully understaffed and the complaint process is cumbersome and expensive. Pesticides? The only requirement is that you report what you use to the Ag Department — never mind what it is or how much or if it gets into the wine. Nuisance? Two words: Wind machines. This no-brainer of a noise nuisance is allowed under the Right To Make Alcohol (by farming) law.
MRS. SWAMI, aka Mrs. Winans — Nicole "Nikki" Lastreto, Swami's (aka William Winans’) ex-wife and current business partner.
HARE CREEK COMMENTS:
(1) Hare Creek Center – Gateway
Dr. Richard Miller interviewed Fort Bragg’s Mayor, Dave Turner, today, on KZYX (go to the Jukebox to listen to the full interview), where he mentions the most important and pressing issues concerning Fort Bragg.
Mayor Turner talked about the importance of developing an infrastructure to make it possible for businesses to want to come to Fort Bragg. These businesses, in turn, would create jobs.
Please go to the AVA Mendocino County news October 16, where I’ve added more on Hare Creek. — Susie de Castro
(2) Re: Hare Creek – I don’t think there are unspent grocery dollars in Fort Bragg. So sales at Grocery Outlet will only take sales from existing businesses. The city’s staff report to the Planning Commission said as much. It seems to follow that sales moving to Grocery Outlet also means jobs moving, not new jobs. This project is no boon to Fort Bragg.
HIGHWAY 101 SHUT DOWN BY TANKER SPILL NEAR LEGGETT
A tanker carrying approximately 10,000 gallons of used motor oil overturned Tuesday on Highway 101 near the Mendocino County town of Leggett, spilling oil across the roadway and forcing motorists to find alternate routes through the county. The crash occurred around 11:30 a.m. on a windy section of highway near Dora Creek and Smithe Redwoods State Reserve, when the northbound big rig overturned for still unknown reasons, CHP and Cal Fire personnel said. There were no reports of injury or contamination of waterways, but the wreckage blocked the northbound lane and spilled oil across the road and onto the shoulder, the CHP said. The Highway Patrol said the highway might not be reopened until 4 a.m. Wednesday as crews cleared the wreckage and cleaned up the oil. Hazardous materials personnel used preventive measures to stop the oil from spreading further, the CHP said. Highway 101 remained closed between State Route 271 in Piercy and State Route 1 in Leggett. Detour options include Highways 20, 36 and 299, and Interstate 5.
(Mary Callahan, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
MS. CONTRERAS of PG&E sent us a presser having to do with storm outages. I commented that there would be far fewer outages if power poles were buried, and that I thought Boonville was already on some endlessly long list to get 'er done here. She wrote back with the following, and you can tune out right here unless you're interested in the issue. (Pick one. Rich neighborhoods in SF, for instance, lines are buried. Poor they aren't.) Truth to tell, I was surprised she wrote back:
PG&E Storm Preparations
A city, county or municipal agency determines the potential project location and the boundary is discussed with PG&E and other utilities in that area. The governing body of a city or county must determine after holding public hearings on the subject. Since you cover Mendocino County, I looked to see if there were any undergrounding projects (or called rule 20A projects) currently in the works in Mendo County cities. I didn't see any. You can view current 20A projects in the queue by downloading this: Rule 20A - Projects in the Queue (PDF, 41 KB)PDF. Opens in new Window.
All of this is listed on our website here:
Also pasted below. Hope this helps. Best, Deanna
* * *
Converting electric overhead lines to underground PG&E converts many miles of overhead electric facilities to underground annually. This work is completed by following the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Rule 20 guideline that is an electric distribution tariff.
Rule 20 has three sections (A, B and C). The use of a particular Rule 20 section is determined by the type of area to be undergrounded and who pays for the work.
Understanding Rule 20A A Rule 20A project is initiated by a city or county and typically occurs in areas of a community that are used by the public. Customer electric rates fund the projects after construction completion.
A city, county or municipal agency determines the potential project location and the boundary is discussed with PG&E and other utilities. The governing body of a city or county must determine, in consultation with PG&E and after holding public hearings on the subject, that undergrounding is in the general public interest for one or more of the following qualifying reasons:
- Such undergrounding will avoid or eliminate an unusually heavy concentration of overhead electric facilities
- The street, road or right-of-way is extensively used by the General Public and carries a heavy volume of pedestrian or vehicle traffic
- The street, road or right-of-way adjoins or passes through a civic area, public recreation area or an area of unusual scenic interest to the public
- The street, road or right-of-way is considered an arterial street or major collector as defined in the Governor's Office of Planning and Research General Plan Guidelines
Understanding Rule 20B
Rule 20B projects are typically in conjunction with larger developments and the majority of costs paid by the developer or applicant.
Undergrounding within Rule 20B is done when the area does not fit the Rule 20A criteria, but involves both sides of the street for at least 600 feet. Under Rule 20B, the applicant is responsible for the installation of the conduit, substructures and boxes. The applicant pays for the installation cost of the underground electric system, less a credit for an equivalent overhead system, plus the taxes, if applicable.
Understanding Rule 20C
Rule 20C projects are usually small projects that involve one or more property owners. The costs are almost entirely borne by the applicants.
Undergrounding within the provisions of Rule 20C occurs when neither Rule 20A nor Rule 20B applies. Under Rule 20C, the applicant pays the entire cost of the electric undergrounding, less a credit for salvage.
Understanding Rule 20A process flow A cross-functional team with representatives from PG&E, phone and cable companies, and local governments oversees the Rule 20A projects which are accomplished by:
- Identifying and reviewing potential projects
- Refining boundaries and costs
- Passing a municipal underground resolution
- Developing preliminary project costs
- Coordinating the schedules of other public works projects
- Developing project plans
- Developing an underground design
- Converting service panels for underground use
- Starting construction
- Installing underground services
- Completing street work
- Removing existing poles from the project area
HEATER FAILS TO REGISTER
On September 25, 2016, Officers were dispatched to the 200 Block of W. Elm Street for the report of a suspicious male following a jogger. Officers contacted the 15 year old victim, who reported that the suspect, Derrick Heater, 50, of Fort Bragg, attempted to speak with her in a secluded area near the North Coastal Trail. The victim fled the area in fear and contacted police from Denny’s. Heater was contacted and interviewed regarding the incident, however due to a lack of evidence of criminal activity, Heater was released at the scene. During a follow-up investigation, it was learned that Heater had failed to register as a sex offender with the Mendocino County Sherriff’s Office since 2013. Based on this new information, on September 27, 2016 Officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department arrested Heater at his residence (200 Block of S. Harold Street) and charged him with 290.018(b) PC (Failing to Register with a Previous Conviction). Heater was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the felony charge. On September 28, 2016 Heater posted bond and was released from jail. On October 17, 2016 Heater was again located at his residence and identified as having failed to register as a sex offender since his release from jail. Heater was again arrested for 290.018(b) PC with an additional bail enhancement of 12022.1 PC (Commission of a Felony while on Bond). Heater was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he awaits arraignment.
(Fort Bragg Police Press Release)
WANNA BE A RUBBERSTAMP?
Notice is hereby given that the Mendocino County Executive Office is accepting applications for anticipated vacancies on the following Board or Commission:
- Air Quality Management District Hearing Board: (1) Alternate Engineer Member.
- Community Development Commission . (1) District 1.
- Little River Airport Advisory Committee . (2) Pilot (two seats available)
- Mendocino Business Improvement District Advisory Board. (2) Lodging Association Representative, Coastal Region Representative.
- Potter Valley Cemetery District. (1) Trustee
- Workforce Development Board. (3) Mandatory, Business, Labor.
If you are interested in serving on this Board or Commission, contact your District Supervisor, or the Executive Office, at 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010, Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 463-4441. Last Date For Filing: October 26, 2016 or until filled. Carmel J. Angelo Clerk of the Board of Supervisors
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 18, 2016
Arriaga, Bell, Crumrine
MARIC ARRIAGA, Ukiah/Willits. Controlled substance, false ID, failure to appear, probation revocation.
JOSHUA BELL, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
MARIAH CRUMRINE, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, conspiracy, probation revocation.
Dalkin, Fernandez, Fred
JOHN DALKIN, Eureka/Ukiah. Burglary, appropriation of someone else’s property, possession of tear gas, parole violation.
LUIS FERNANDEZ, Stockon/Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting.
JONATHAN FRED, Nice/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
Griffin, Hawley, Melson, Steger
ADAM GRIFFEN, Calpella/Ukiah. Domestic battery, DUI-drugs, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
JESSIE HAWLEY, Ukiah. Honey oil manufacturing, pot possession for sale, conspiracy, parole violation.
JAMES MELSON, Blackhawk, Colorado/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
JENNIFER STEGER, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
CALIFORNIA’S WATER STORAGE
There’s a certain unreality to environmentalist concerns about Gov. Jerry Brown’s delta bypass tunnels. First, what’s left of the Sacramento River salmon runs will soon be killed by warmer water, caused by global warming — with or without the tunnels.
Second, 25 million people in Southern California are totally dependent on Sacramento River water for economic survival. With high sea levels spreading salt water higher up the delta, Brown’s tunnels are the only realistic answer. Desalinization is no answer — it’s energy intensive and just fuels more global warming. Smart agriculture in the Central Valley is worth saving. California needs the tunnels.
The Shasta Dam can and must be raised — the economic and environmental cost is minimal. It will increase water storage in Lake Shasta by 50 percent. We can save California’s future. Some local salmon will die, but Alaska’s salmon are expanding northerly as we dither.
Richard Covert, San Francisco
THIS WEEK AT BLUE MEADOW FARM
Pumpkins are gone, summer veggies thriving…..
- Heirloom, Early Girl & Roma Tomatoes
- Corno di Toro, Gypsy, Bell, Pimento Sweet Peppers
- Ancho, Anaheim, Jalapeno, Padron, Esplette Chilis
- Italian & Asian Eggplant, Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash
- Lettuce, Cucumbers, Parsley, Culinary Herbs
- Zinnias & last Sunflowers
Blue Meadow Farm 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo 895-2071
THE CEO REPORT, Oct. 18, 2016
CALIFORNIA BALLOT PROPOSITIONS RECOMMENDATIONS
THE WOKE TAILGATE
The Brave of Buffalo Kneel in Solidarity with Colin Kaepernick
by Dave Zirin
Sunday, October 16, was the 48th anniversary of that indelible moment in 1968 when John Carlos and Tommie Smith put their heads down and fists up on the Olympic medal stand as the anthem played, their friend the Australian silver-medalist Peter Norman standing in solidarity with their protest. Forty-eight years later to the day, in Buffalo, New York, Colin Kaepernick made his first start of the 2016 season as his 49ers took on the Bills.
He arrived at the game with his Afro picked out, wearing a Muhammad Ali T-shirt. Outside the stadium, in one of the most notorious tailgating spaces in the NFL, people were selling T-shirts showing Kaepernick with a rifle scope trained on his body and the phrase, “WANTED: Notorious Disgrace to America.” White fans were caught on camera “spearing” effigies of Kaepernick, complete with giant fake Afros. On social media there was tape of one fan yelling, before one spear, “Tackle the Muslim!”
Inside the stadium the Bills were not much more welcoming. The team’s coach Rex Ryan is a Trump supporter who has spoken at rallies next to the wannabe despot and supports him because he “has the courage to say what is on his mind.” Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito, who was suspended from the league for bullying, a swirl of sexual-assault accusations, and calling teammate Jonathan Martin, all in good fun, “a half n——,” was on the sidelines. He also supports Trump for president. And then there is Bills star running back LeSean McCoy, who mocked Kaepernick by inviting the local police to the game.
One could be tempted to just write off the Buffalo Bills franchise and their fans entirely. But not all fans were playing this game. A group calling itself Just Resisting (JR), a collective of organizers and artists of black people and other people of color, and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Buffalo, a chapter of the national organization of white people organizing other white people for racial justice—about 100 people in total—took to the stadium to fight back with what they called “a woke tailgate.”
The group wanted to not only show solidarity with Colin Kaepernick but also to raise the issue that was the catalyst for Kaepernick’s protests: police violence and the devaluing of Black Lives. They gathered three hours before kickoff “in lot 4a behind the Louie’s Hot Dog.” At noon, they rallied, drummed and chanted by Gate 5, with signs that read #BillsFansForBlackLives.
“This protest is about the values we have as people,” said JR organizer, Shaketa Redden. “The head coach of our NFL team endorses an openly racist candidate. Rex Ryan can go home and rest after the game but, as blacks in America, we are not afforded that luxury. We can’t be silent in one of the most segregated and poorest cities in the country. That’s why I’ll be taking a knee.”
If you have ever tried to bring a protest to any football tailgate, then you know how brave these people are. The threat of violence was ever-present, but they were ready. Over 75 people took de-escalation training to prevent being brutalized by the aggro drunks of Bills-nation. It is difficult to not think about the early civil-rights activists who practiced being on the receiving end of torrents of abuse in church basements before sitting in at whites-only lunch counters. Sure enough the abuse came, but not unlike the Bills coach or Trump himself, it was more tough-guy posturing than any actual heart to challenge the people who had arrived unified and ready to make a stand.
At 1 pm, as the anthem played, Colin Kaepernick took a knee with two teammates, linebacker Eli Harold, and safety Eric Reid. Fitting for this anniversary of 1968, cornerbacks Keith Reaser and Rashard Robinson, safeties Jaquiski Tartt and Antoine Bethea, and running back Mike Davis raised their fists. As Kaepernick kneeled, Buffalo fans chanted “USA,” less as a point of pride than a threat. A police officer consciously photobombed Kaepernick’s protest, standing a few feet behind him with a salute. A friend’s parents who were at the game said to me, “It was scary. It was the closest I will ever come to being at a Trump rally.” A beer bottle was thrown at Kaepernick, but it did not connect.
Kaepernick and the other 49ers were not alone. As the anthem played, the 100 people with JR and SURJ, took a knee.
“Taking a knee in solidarity with Kaepernick during the anthem is one of the most American and patriotic actions that one can take,” said Cai Blue, an organizer with Just Resisting. “We would be doing a great disservice to the people who have suffered unjustly by the hands of others by not calling attention to the issues that continue to persist.”
The fact that so many white anti-racists took a knee in support of black activists also was the perfect way to remember not only John Carlos and Tommie Smith but also Peter Norman and the idea that white people have a responsibility to support anti-racist struggle.
As for the game, the slumping 49ers lost to the surging Bills 45-14. But the final score was about as important as John Carlos’s winning bronze instead of silver in 1968. This was bigger than sports. After the game, Kaepernick was asked about the virulent fan reaction and he said, “I don’t understand what’s un-American about fighting for liberty and justice for everybody.” That’s a question a great many people in Buffalo and around the country should have to try to answer.
UKIAH AS LAB MONKEY
Dear AVA braintrust,
"In a small, bare, windowless room in Newcastle University's Institute of Neuroscience, Ukiah, a six-year-old monkey, is playing a computer game."
There's a story here, but I'm not sure where to begin. Opening line for a novel, or an inquiry into who had the dark sense of humor to name the monkey "Ukiah".
HILLARY TO PIPELINE OPPONENTS: “Get a Life Environmentalists!”
October 17, 2016 - Democracy Now!
WikiLeaks is continuing to publish more emails from the account of John Podesta, the chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. One newly published email revealed that Clinton privately bashed environmentalists opposed to fracking and the Keystone XL pipeline. During a meeting with the Building Trades Union in September 2015, Clinton said the environmentalists should “get a life.”
Hillary Rambo Clinton
“YOU SEEM KINDA COLD, DEAR. IS IT SOMETHING I SAID?”
WHEN IT ALL JUMPED OFF
(Divide & Divide & Divide & Rule)
Ten minutes into Elia Suleiman’s film The Time That Remains, the Palestinian city of Nazareth officially surrenders to Israeli military forces on 16 July 1948. In the town hall, the Israeli commander reads out the bill of surrender to the gathered Arab-Palestinian notables. It’s in Hebrew and they don’t understand a word. The commander tells the mayor to sign the document, and then to join his soldiers for a ‘historic photo’. A military cameraman points his camera at the soldiers. But when the black and white photo appears on screen it isn’t the soldiers we see: it’s the puzzled group of Arab-Palestinian figures at the other end of the room, ordinary people, onlookers. They, and others like them, are central figures in the work of Hillel Cohen. Neither the conventional ‘winners’ nor the stereotypical ‘losers’, they play a part in the grand political story which, though crucial, is often overlooked.
Cohen was born in 1961 into a National Religious family; his father was of Jewish-Afghan origin, his mother of Jewish-Polish descent. As a teenager he lived in a settlement in the West Bank. He left school at 16 and began to explore the neighboring Palestinian villages. He made friends, learned Arabic, and by being there found out about the lives of Palestinians under the occupation. He worked as a floorer before beginning his academic career. He reads the Bible but no longer considers himself "religious." He goes "more often to Hebron than to Tel Aviv and more often to Bethlehem than to Heifa." He believes in a one state solution (at least in the long term) and supports Israeli human rights organizations such as Anarchists Against the Wall and Hamoked, which works with Palestinians in the Occupied Territories whose rights have been violated by Israeli policies. He writes in Hebrew — unusually for an academic, he doesn't have an international audience primarily in mind. In half a dozen scholarly books covering the history of Palestine and Israel from 1929-1967 and beyond, he has consistently written about ordinary people, something no other Israeli historian has managed to do.
Cohen identifies 1929 as the year that gave birth "to the Zionist military ethos." The Arab-Israeli conflict probably doesn't have any "year zero" — its roots go back at least as far as the 19th century — but 1929 should certainly be seen as a landmark. Between August 23 and 29 that year, 133 Jews and 116 Arabs were killed. Hundreds more were injured. The worst violence was in the old city of Jerusalem and near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Cohen shows how the violence was connected to the threat — real or imagined — of a change in the status of a religious site that served as a symbol of political hegemony. In the 1920s, the Western Wall in Jerusalem was a Jewish prayer site in an Arab area where "Jews were allowed to pray … on the condition that they not disturb the residents of the neighborhood and on the understanding that they not claim title to the site."
On August 15, 1929, following months of tension, Jewish demonstrators marched to the wall, raised the Zionist flag, singing the Zionist anthem and claimed ownership of the site. The effect on relations between Jews and Arabs was dramatic. There was an Arab counterdemonstration the next day, which within a week had escalated into full-blown anti-Jewish riots. (More recent violence in Jerusalem has also been a consequence of Israeli attempts to change the status of the Haram-al-Sharif/Temple Mount site. The Second Intifada was sparked in 2000 by Ariel Sharon's decision to visit the site to prove Israeli sovereignty; and the latest cycle of violence in Jerusalem follows 15 meetings at which the Interior Committee of the Knesset discussed changing the site's status to allow Jews to pray there.)
Drawing on a wide range of sources in Hebrew, Arabic and English, Cohen argues that neither side includes in the history it tells itself the massacres and murders committed by its own members. He juxtaposes Hebrew and Arabic accounts of particular incidents — for example, the murder of the Palestinian "Awn family in Abu Kabir village by a Jewish policeman named Simha Hinkis — and shows how Jews and Arabs described them at the time, and how they have been remembered, and forgotten, since. In Biladuna Filastin ("Our Homeland Palestine") Mustafa Dabbagh describes the murders of the "Awn family and the way Hinkis mutilated their bodies: Jewish newspapers didn't report the crime at all, and when they covered the trial referred to the murder as the "Hinkis incident."
The division between the two communities — Jewish Zionists on one side and Arab Palestinians on the other — "grew ever more salient," Cohen argues, "as national identity grew stronger." At the beginning of the 20th century many of the Jews in Palestine, not to mention the wider Middle East, had no Zionist national aspirations. The riots of 1929 change that. "No other factor was more influential in bringing the established Jewish communities in Palestine and the new Zionist community together under a single political roof."
— Yonatan Mendel, reviewing “1929: Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict” by Hillel Cohen, translation by Haim Watzman. Brandeis, 312 pp, November 2015. (London Review of Books.)
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Public Meeting On Local Planning Efforts
On Thursday, October 20, 2016, Mendocino County officials and other local groundwater managers will host a public meeting on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). SGMA is a new law that offers local opportunities to achieve sustainable groundwater conditions and support Mendocino County’s vital agricultural economy, industry, and domestic and public water uses.
Topics will include steps towards forming a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) for the Ukiah Valley. The public is encouraged to attend to learn more about SGMA and ask questions of local water managers and submit comments.
“SGMA implementation has begun throughout California,” says Supervisor Carre Brown. “We hope groundwater users throughout Mendocino County will attend to learn more. SGMA is an important change in how groundwater is managed and everyone needs to be aware and involved to manage and sustain our precious water resources.”
To support local planning efforts, the County has secured facilitation support from the Department of Water Resources (DWR), hosted workshops to educate the community on SGMA and received a groundwater planning grant through the Water Bond. The County is committed to sharing these resources with local SGMA partners.
The Mendocino County Water Agency SGMA workshop will be held at the County of Mendocino’s Agriculture Building, 890 N. Bush Street in Ukiah. The discussion will begin at 1:00 p.m. This meeting will be open to the public. Stakeholders and all interested parties are encouraged to attend.
For more information, please contact Sarah Dukett at the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441 or email@example.com.
Carmel J. Angelo, Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
My brother in law, Peter, has never said the word dullard. He always says “dillard.” As many times as he has said dillard in our 44 year association, I have corrected him with the dictionary spelling, pronunciation and definition:
dull·ard n. A person regarded as mentally dull; a dolt.
dullard n a dull or stupid person dull•ard n. a stupid, insensitive …
I might add: “Peter, this is not complex, it makes sense, does it not, that a dull person would be called a dullard? So, what is a dill person? An aficionado of a certain pickle?”
Nothing works; it is forever dillard. Likewise a chimney is forever a chimley. There are a hundred such in Peter’s repertoire.