Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016
by AVA News Service, October 23, 2016
ART VOLKERTS, long-time editor of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, has died on the family homestead west of Sebastopol. He was 96. Mr. Volkerts is survived by his wife of 78 years, Tess Volkerts. Mr. Volkerts lived all his life on property homesteaded by his family. He commuted to Santa Rosa where, for 30 years, he edited the paper when it was at its best as the voice of the Northcoast, with close and comprehensive reporting on everything from local events and personalities to local sports. He retired when the New York Times bought the paper.
MIKE GENIELLA worked for the Press Democrat under Mr. Volkerts for many years. Geniella was the last reporter to thoroughly cover Mendocino County for the PD. "Bless him. He was a good, decent man who cared about newspapers and his community. We were invited to his 95th at the house. It was a swell time, and he was alert and laughing with the group about the newsroom stories of old. Art hired me, you know that. And he backed me in the crazy Redwood Summer debacle of new management. ‘What the hell are they thinking,’ he thundered into the phone the day he called me after learning I had been taken off the timber beat. I was honored to be among his cadre of handpicked reporters.”
UNDER MR. VOLKERT'S spine-free successors at the Press Democrat, the paper succumbed to timber industry pressure to get Geniella removed from covering timber issues. The industry claimed Geniella was too friendly with, ahem, the Boonville weekly and some of the protesters, especially Judi Bari of Earth First! We often consulted, certainly, and I can say we shared a healthy skepticism about many of Mendocino County's personalities, but Geniella always drew his own conclusions. During his years in Mendocino County, Geniella wrote the history of the place as it was at that time. The rest of us in print media filled in a few of the blanks, but Geniella was the author.
BUT GENIELLA merely did what all conscientious reporters are supposed to do — must do — if they are going to accurately tell their stories; he maintained cordial relations with everyone, and his work, particularly during the tensions of the Redwood Summer period, will be crucial for years to come as essential to an understanding of what happened and who made it happen.
BACK TO GENIELLA'S memories of Art Volkerts. "Art was a home grown newspaperman. I think I recall correctly that when he went to enter the service at the outbreak of WWII it was discovered he had TB. During his subsequent hospitalization, he took some journalism courses and when he got out he went to work for the Sebastopol Times, and later the PD. He didn't fancy the god complex that enveloped the PD in later years. My favorite story is how I got the Ukiah bureau post. It took two three-martini lunches at the old Topaz Room to convince Art to let me have the transfer. Everyone else in the main office thought I was crazy wanting to go up to the boonies in Mendo. He had two thoughts then: does [my wife] Terese want to go? (Yes, we wanted to raise our boys in a small town environment), and do you know anything about redwoods? ‘If you don't, learn something and start writing about the timber industry. I think there's big changes coming,’ he advised me. One year after my arrival in Mendoland, Charles Hurtwitz took over Pacific Lumber. Over copious amounts of wine, Art and I used to laugh our butts off about the timing, and the huge stories that came from that era. The main office editors with all their credentials had no clue. But the Sebastopol boy did, and he egged me on.”
MORE RAIN NEXT WEEK. Looks like another two or three inches of rain will fall on most of Mendocino County starting Monday when over an inch is expected just that one day, followed by another inch or two with some rain falling nearly every day through next Friday. Winds are expected to be relatively light, below 20mph.
SATURDAY NAVARRO RIVER CONDITIONS
The sandbar has not budged despite the recent rains. (Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)
CONGRESSMAN HUFFMAN touched down in Boonville Tuesday for a carefully orchestrated "public" meeting at the Boonville Hotel. Roughly 40 people showed up for the 11am coffee-and-cliches non-event. Those who had questions for the people's tribune were asked to write them on cards handed out at the door. Leading questions, of course, did not get asked.
ONE ALMOST SYMPATHIZES with public figures, especially in an area home to so many… so many people who do not understand the pure virtue of getting on and getting off. Unless public events are mercilessly organized, here they come, The People Who Know No Restraint.
FROM THE HOTEL, Huffman drove to the high school for a brief appearance before an audience of young people briefly held captive in the gym.
David Severn managed to get into the room, but that's as far as he got. “I was prepared to ask a question that I wanted to preface with a statement to the effect that I was born into a working class family of Democrats in a time when Democrat stood for the little guy and Republican supported the bosses, business and the monied class, but my question had to be brief: ‘How do you justify the Democrat Party supporting GOP economics?’
SEVERN AGREED his question was more of a rhetorical one, that Huffman wouldn't be likely to agree “with my premise and my question did not get handed to him to address.”
HUFFMAN HAD APPEARED out of a back room at exactly 11:00, started talking and continued to talk without pause until exactly 12:00 when he disappeared through the same door that had produced him.
THE CONGRESSMAN called his monologue a "conversation" but, except for one stunted clarification of a single question from the group, nobody else said anything. It was all Huffman.
THE GROUP WAS ASSURED that all un-addressed questions would be responded to by email or phone.
THE CONGRESSMAN CONCEDED that Congress hasn't achieved very much lately, and later on got an ovation when he mentioned the sit down on the House floor by Dems over a gun control vote that never happened.
SEVERN said a local woman he talked with afterwords said she liked everything she heard. “Me? I got what I expected going in; smooth talk without any pertinence or insight into the real, life-threatening situation we face today that will be handed over to our children and grandchildren.”
FROM THE KELLEY HOUSE MUSEUM - THIS DAY IN COAST HISTORY. SCHOONER 'CASPAR' CAPSIZES, 13 SOULS LOST. 119 YEARS AGO
On this day in 1897, the steam schooner Caspar capsized at Saunder's Reef, near Point Arena. Thirteen lives were lost as she piled onto the rocks and turned over. Before that fateful day, she had spent nearly ten years steaming the redwood coast. The Caspar was the first of three steam schooners owned by the Caspar Lumber Company. She was built of wood in 1887 at San Francisco by Hansen & Frazer. She traveled between the mill at Caspar and the retailers' wharves on San Francisco Bay. The image is a painting of the Caspar.
PARKED IN FRONT OF UKIAH TRUMP HQ ON FRIDAY.
PROPOSED CASINO SITE FOR SALE IN UKIAH, CASTING DOUBT ON PINOLEVILLE TRIBE'S PLANS
by Glenda Anderson
A former Ukiah car dealership that was slated to become a casino is now for sale, casting doubt on the future of the proposed gambling operation.
It's unclear exactly what the sale means for the Pinoleville Pomo Nation's casino plans. Tribal officials did not respond this week to multiple phone calls seeking comment.
For five years, the tribe held a lease option on the 8.8-acre parcel, which was once part of the tribe's rancheria, now about 99 acres in size. That option expired this year, apparently without a purchase agreement and the property, which includes three buildings with 27,000 square feet of space, is now listed for $3.2 million. The property is owned by Kandy Investments of Rohnert Park. Representatives of the company could not be reached Thursday for comment.
The tribe in 2009 announced it had plans to build a $50 million casino and hotel on the property, located just north of Ukiah's city limits and near Highway 101. In 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a gambling compact allowing the tribe to build a casino with up to 900 slot machines at the location.
Pinoleville Pomo leaders at the time said the project would provide jobs and independence for the tribe while critics wondered whether the Ukiah area needed another casino.
There are two nearby, one to the north in Redwood Valley and another just east of Hopland. Concerns also were raised about water and traffic impacts from a casino near an already congested intersection.
Meanwhile, two larger casinos exist to the south, River Rock Casino outside Geyserville and Graton Resort and Casino outside Rohnert Park.
The casino project failed to gain traction, reportedly for lack of investors. In the meantime, the tribe initiated plans for a commercial medical marijuana operation within the Pinoleville Rancheria. Those plans were cut short when Mendocino County Sheriff's officials raided the site, saying it was out of compliance with county and state regulations.
Deputies eradicated some 400 pot plants from an outdoor location on the reservation. Inside the former car dealership, they reported finding a chemical laboratory where honey oil — a sticky, concentrated pot product used to make edible medicine — was being manufactured and marijuana plants were being dried.
The tribe claimed it had a right to the operations and threatened to sue the county, but a lawsuit has yet to be filed, county officials said.
Other recent tribal issues have included a lawsuit filed by the company that prepared the impact report for the casino, alleging nonpayment, and turmoil inside the tribe which resulted in numerous members being disenrolled.
(The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
A CULVERT located on U.S. Highway 101, just north of the Willits Bypass Project, has been identified as needing immediate replacement. During a yearly routine inspection after last weekend’s rains, the Willits Maintenance crew discovered that the culvert is beginning to fail. Engineering staff were notified, and their inspection resulted in the initiation of an emergency replacement contract, and the culvert was shored up with timbers to ensure the integrity of the highway.
The 5’x6’ concrete box culvert was originally built in 1917, and was extended in 1984 to allow the addition of shoulders to the two-lane highway. Replacing the culvert will require 24/7 one-way traffic control for about two weeks, although it is hoped that the traffic control will no longer be necessary by the time the Willits Bypass opens on November 3.
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 22, 2016
Adams, Barondeau, Cunnan
AMOS ADAMS, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.
CASANDRA BARONDEAU, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, resisting, probation revocation.
JOHN CUNNAN, Covelo. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
Dahlund, Frease, Gonzalez, Gonzalez-Alvarez
KEVIN DAHLUND, Willits. Probation revocation.
AUGUSTINE FREASE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
JAIME GONZALEZ, Ukiah DUI.
RODOLFO GONZALEZ-ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
Guerrero, Haley, Halvorsen
SHAYLA GUERRERO, Covelo. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.
ASHLEY HALEY, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
NICHOLAS HALVORSEN, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
Kennedy, Miller, Reeves
MALLORY KENNEDY, Gualala. DUI-drugs.
CORT MILLER, Covelo. First degree robbery, suspended license.
CECELIA REEVES, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
Rivera, Rojas, Rose
ALEJANDOR RIVERA, Redwood Valley. DUI.
ANTHONY ROJAS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
PETER ROSE, Point Arena. Pot possession for sale.
Turner, Walker, Watson
DANIEL TURNER, Willits. Child endangerment.
TALEA WALKER, Hopland. Contributing to delinquency of minor.
VAUGHN WATSON, Willits. Honey oil production, child endangerment.
YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS THIS ONE!
Cassatt String Quartet
November 6 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Preston Hall, 44831 Main St., Mendocino
Four women make up one of America's outstanding string quartets. They are winners of numerous awards in international string quartet competitions. Their program includes the Mendelssohn Quartet Opus 13, the Tchaikovsky Quartet, Opus 11 and "Voyage" by Pulitzer-winner Ellen Zwilich. Come join us for the first Coast Chamber concert of our 28th season. Advance tickets ($22) are at Harvest Market, Fort Bragg, and Out of this World, Mendocino. Tickets are also available at the door for $25. For additional information contact Sue Goodman, 707-937-1018, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
20 REASONS NOT TO VOTE FOR HILLARY
by Piers Morgan
Hillary Clinton is now red-hot favorite to become the first female President of the United States.
Virtually every poll has her with a commanding lead over Donald Trump.
Of course, it’s not over yet.
The polls might be as hopelessly wrong as they were about Trump’s chances of winning the Republican nomination.
(The world’s No 1 electoral prediction expert Nate Silver gave the tycoon a 2% chance of achieving that target.)
There might well be a large number of people in the bowels of Middle America preparing to vote for him whilst pretending not to when asked.
We saw this phenomenon recently with the EU Referendum in Britain where nobody thought we would actually BREXIT from Europe until we woke up on June 24 and discovered we had.
This has been a highly erratic and unpredictable race and with 18 days left to go, anything could still happen to change the dynamic and result.
As the former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan once said when asked what he feared most in politics: ‘Events, dear boy, events.’
So yes, Trump could still pull off one of the biggest shocks in American political history. He has, after all, spent the past 16 months confounding all logic about US presidential elections.
But let’s assume for a moment that Hillary is going to win.
I’ve made it clear that whilst Trump’s a friend of mine, I wouldn’t vote for, or endorse him even if I could, which I can’t. I simply don’t agree with him about too many issues from guns and Muslim bans to climate change.
However, I wouldn’t vote for, or endorse Hillary either.
I think she’s a dreadful candidate, a sentiment clearly shared by many others as she has attracted the worst approval ratings of any major-party presidential nominee in history — rivalled only by Trump.
Here are 20 reasons why I think Hillary Rodham Clinton would make a terrible President.
One) I don’t trust her. The email scandal just about summed up her complete inability to tell the truth. An expert lawyer who became Secretary of State with multiple BlackBerries but didn’t have a clue how emails or servers work or what constitutes classified material? Oh pul-lease, Madam Pinocchio, do you think we’re all completely stupid?
Two) She’s greedy. I mean properly, outrageously, snout-in-the-trough avaricious. A woman who for decades has exploited her political status to fill her boots with tens of millions of dollars, fuelled by $200k-a-pop-plus speeches from her Wall Street chums like Goldman Sachs.
Three) Hillary’s a rank hypocrite. She bangs on ad nauseam about women’s rights but sucks up to and solicits cash for the Clinton Foundation from draconian regimes like Saudi Arabia that stone women to death and refuse to let them even drive cars.
Four) She’s a dangerous war-mongerer. The Iraq War was an unmitigated fiasco that led to turmoil throughout the Middle East and spurred the rise of ISIS. It was the biggest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam and Hillary voted for it. She was also heavily responsible for the dismal Libya invasion. When people say they don’t trust Trump with his finger on the nuclear trigger, I suggest Hillary the Hawk is far more likely to press it.
Five) She’s a flip-flopper extraordinaire. On endless issues from Iraq to gay marriage, Israel to TPP and the Keystone Pipeline, Hillary will say one thing but think nothing of saying the complete opposite later if it’s politically expedient.
Six) She has a chronic superiority complex. Never was this more vividly exposed than with her disgraceful comment that half of Trump’s supporters were “a basket of deplorables.” That’s tens of millions of fellow Americans she was insulting, many of them honest, hard-working people.
Seven) She’s an embellisher of stories to make herself look better. We all remember her heroic tale of having to flee sniper fire in Bosnia with her daughter Chelsea in 1996. There was just one problem — she didn’t.
Eight) She’s held lots of jobs but performed none of them particularly well. As Secretary of State she was widely considered inefficient, ineffectual and complacent — sometimes to lethal consequence as we saw with the Benghazi fiasco that cost the lives of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans. Hillary’s undeniably very experienced, but how valuable is all that experience if you’ve never excelled at anything you’ve done?
Nine) She’s oddly charmless. I’ve watched her speaking at the debates and various rallies, and indeed at the recent Al Smith dinner, and she exudes the warmth and wit of a sour-faced Pit Bull terrier. As for that perpetual creepy Jack Nicholson “Shining” smirk she does: UGH.
Ten) Her health remains a major concern. That video of her keeling over after leaving a 9/11 memorial service was deeply troubling. Particularly when we know she had a serious head injury after passing out in 2012. Hillary is 69 next week and doesn’t exude good health, fitness or vitality, which are fairly essential components of being a modern day President. Trump’s 70 but has extraordinarily impressive energy.
Eleven) She carries with her a dripping sense of entitlement based on her gender that is deeply irritating. Hillary may as well have two tattoos on her forehead proclaiming: “Born to be First Female President” and “Vote for me – I’m a woman!”
Twelve) She wouldn’t inspire me to open a cookie jar, and I normally need no encouragement to do that. Contrast her oratory style with someone like Michelle Obama — whose fire and passion has electrified this race in recent weeks. Hillary’s a dull, lifeless, robotic speaker by comparison.
Thirteen) She’s not Bill, one of the smartest, most brilliantly charismatic politicians America has ever seen. There’s a sense with Hillary that she’s riding on the coattails of her husband’s huge popularity. Would she be anywhere near winning the presidency if many Americans weren’t thinking this was a way of getting Bill back to the White House too? I don’t think so.
Fourteen) I fear that beneath the constant, smug, apple-cheeked smirk lies a fairly unpleasant piece of work. Former Secret Service agents have painted a picture of a vengeful, mistrustful, abusive, angry, sarcastic, demanding, disorganized, unpunctual boss.
Fifteen) She would push for a new cold war with Russia in an effort to prove her toughness with Vladimir Putin. You can tell this by the hateful rhetoric which spews from her mouth every time she mentions his name. This is a very worrying thing for the world.
Sixteen) Republicans hate her even more than they hate President Obama. This will be a massive issue if she wins. Obama’s woeful inability to do business with the opposition rendered him incapable of even passing a single new gun law after Sandy Hook. What hope for Hillary, with all her Washington enemy-making over the past 40 years, to achieve any meaningful deals?
Seventeen) Her baggage is horrendous. From Whitewater to Vince Foster, Hillary’s past is scandalously dubious and troublesome. Does this matter? Yes. It goes to the heart of her character. She’s dodgy, period.
Eighteen) The way she attacked Bill’s lovers in the past leaves an unedifying taste in the mouth given all her lofty moral pronouncements about the way Trump treats women. Hillary didn’t just stand by her philandering man, she trashed the women he bedded. Very unfortunate for the self-styled Emmeline Pankhurst of US politics.
Nineteen) She’s chillingly ambitious to the expense of anything else in her life. It seeps from every pore. This is a career politician who has repeatedly shown she will trample over anyone and anything that gets in her way, and who conveniently overlooks moral and ethical issues if they don’t suit her agenda or progression to power.
Twenty) Madonna has offered to perform free oral sex for anyone who votes for Hillary. I literally cannot think of a single more compelling reason not to vote for her.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Ben Stein said it best. Hillary was imminently beatable, had the GOP put up a viable candidate. Instead they nominated a nutcase. Now on stage full of 16 or 17 other nutcases, the nuttiness is not apparent. But take the nuttiest of the nutcases and put him up next to a reasonable adult, and you’re gonna be in fruitcake heaven, which is where Hillary is now. She stares across the stage and thanks her lucky stars for Donald J Trump. This is going to be a landslide.
by Tom Wodetzki
Below are my voting recommendations. I formed them after researching and talking with folks I respect. They are not infallible, believe me. But lots of people ask for my recommendations, so here they are, in the order they appear on the ballot. I hope they are useful to you. Forward it on if so. Tom
President & VP: Jill Stein. Were I in a swing state I would vote for Clinton, but polls show California will go Clinton 55% to Trump’s 29%. So we have the opportunity to show Clinton and the Dems that there is a growing progressive segment, including most Millennials, on their Left that they had better respond to, and move away from her/their historic hawkish, pro-Wall St. positions.
Senator: Kamala Harris
US Representative: Jared Huffman
State Assembly: Jim Wood
Coast Health Care: Kaye Handley and Steve Lund
Coast Health Care: Tanya Smart
Coast Rec District: Kirk Marshall
* * *
Below is a summary of how the 14 progressive-to-liberal organizations suggest similarly-minded folks will want to vote, based on the ElectionInfo.org spreadsheet.
Prop 51: YES for a $9 billion school bond (6 of the 8 orgs which took a position recommend a Yes vote)
Prop 52: YES for extending private hospital fees for Medi-Cal (6 out of 7 orgs recommend Yes)
Prop 53: NO to require a pubic vote for large state bonds (11 out of 11 orgs said No)
Prop 54: NO but close re requirement to post online legislative bills (3 of 6 orgs said Yes, 4 said No)
Prop 55: YES for extending a tax on high incomes (13 out of 13 orgs said Yes)
Prop 56: YES for increasing the tobacco tax on cigarettes (8 out of 9 orgs said Yes)
Prop 57: YES for reforming parole, prison sentencing and court procedures (9 of 9 orgs)
Prop 58: YES for English language teaching flexibility (12 out of 12 orgs said Yes)
Prop 59: YES for overturning Citizen United decision and for election spending limits (9 of 10 orgs)
Prop 60: NO on requiring condoms in adult films (4 out of 5 orgs said No)
Prop 61: YES but close re prescription drug costs (3 of 5 orgs said No, 3 of 5 said Yes)
Prop 62: YES for repealing the death penalty (9 out of 9 orgs said Yes)
Prop 63: YES for restricting gun and ammunition sales (6 out of 8 orgs)
Prop 64: YES for making recreational marijuana legal (8 out of 8 orgs)
Prop 65: NO on diverting carry-out bag fee (6 our of 6 orgs said No)
Prop 66: NO on shorting the time allowed for death sentence appeals (9 of 9 orgs)
Prop 67: YES for enacting the statewide plastic carry-out bag ban (10 out of 10 orgs)
AF: NO because this pot growers’ initiative has weak community & environment protection regulations
AG: YES for Sheriff Tom Allman’s plan to build a county Psychiatric Treatment Facility via a half-cent sales tax
AH: YES to allow the collection of the above half-cent sales tax for 5 years
AI: YES to institute a business tax (not a sales or income tax) on marijuana cultivation & dispensaries
AJ: YES for using the above tax for pot enforcement, mental health services, fire & emergency services
You MAY have your recommendations wrong on Props 65 and 67. These are devilishly tricky. The key to be sure the bags are banned (who cares where the money goes) is to be sure 67 passes. If 65 also passes it may kill the ban making the bags available again. Here is the clearest thing I have read on it.
John Steiner, Gualala
ED NOTE: Yeah. You're right. I didn't read them closely enough. Thanks for helping an old man negotiate all this gol durn trickery.
LITTLE DOG READY TO CRUISE
FITCH RATINGS DOWNGRADES WESTLANDS WATER DISTRICT'S NEXT BOND SALE
by Dan Bacher
It looks like the politically powerful Westlands Water District, one of the main backers of Governor Jerry Brown's Delta Tunnels and Congressional legislation to eviscerate protections for Sacramento River Chinook salmon and Delta smelt, is in more financial trouble.
Fitch Ratings downgraded the scheduled October 26 bond sale by Westlands from 'AA-' to 'A+'.
Among the issues facing Westlands Water District, Fitch cites shrinking irrigated acreage, previous financial obligations, and the potential for increased “leveraging” to pay for the Delta Tunnels," according to Restore the Delta (RTD).
The downgrade reflects Fitch's view that district operations face increased pressure over time," reported Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, on October 17. "Despite improvements to the district's debt profile following this transaction and potentially lower leveraging related to a drainage settlement with the U.S. than previous estimates, the prospect of ongoing escalation in district charges coupled with probable declines in irrigated acreage heightens concentration risk and affordability concern."
The statement includes a warning that overcommitting to the California WaterFix could push the rating even lower.
“Public reports now estimate the district's share of future costs of the California Fix at $2.5 billion… Significant further leverage by the district in support of the California Fix could apply downward pressure to the ratings," the Business Wire reported.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta executive director, quipped, “Bond ratings agencies are like Mom and Dad. Westlands is asking to raise the limit on their credit card again, despite questionable earnings potential. At some point Mom and Dad get out the scissors."
“Tunnel proponents cannot demonstrate how $17 billion, before cost overruns, will be raised to build the Delta Tunnels. The public does not have a completed and vetted finance plan for the project to examine. When asked who commits to paying the bill, all the water districts point to someone else," she said.
"What is clear is that ‘someone else’ includes federal taxpayers, California taxpayers, Southern California and Silicon Valley property taxpayers, and urban water ratepayers. These folks will end up subsidizing large agricultural interests like Westlands growers," Barrigan-Parrilla concluded.
The downgrading follows a huge financial scandal that Westlands has been enmeshed in. The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 10, 2016 charged Westlands, California’s largest agricultural water district, with “misleading investors about its financial condition as it issued a $77 million bond offering."
In addition to charging the district, the SEC also charged its general manager Thomas Birmingham and former assistant general manager Louie David Ciapponi with misleading investors about its financial condition.
“Birmingham jokingly referred to these transactions as ‘a little Enron accounting’ when describing them to the board of directors, which is comprised of Westlands customers,” the SEC reported.
The SEC said Westlands agreed to pay $125,000 to settle the charges, making it only the second municipal issuer to pay a financial penalty in an SEC enforcement action.
Birmingham agreed to pay a penalty of $50,000 and Ciapponi agreed to pay a penalty of $20,000 to settle the charges against them.
“The undisclosed accounting transactions, which a manager referred to as ‘a little Enron accounting,’ benefited customers but left investors in the dark about Westlands Water District’s true financial condition,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division. “Issuers must be truthful with investors and we will seek to deter such misconduct through sanctions, including penalties against municipal issuers in appropriate circumstances.”
For more information, go to: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/3/10/1499271/-Federal-SEC-Charges-Westlands-Water-District-for-Enron-Accounting
MASS ARRESTS AT MANDAN
MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — More than 80 people protesting the Dakota Access pipeline were arrested Saturday during a demonstration that gathered about 300 people at a construction site in North Dakota and prompted law enforcement officers to use pepper spray.
Morton County sheriff's office spokesman Rob Keller said authorities were called at 5:20 a.m. Saturday to a pipeline construction site located about five miles from an area where protesters have been camping out for weeks near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers. The confrontation between officers and protesters lasted five hours.
The sheriff's office released a statement, saying officers used pepper spray when some protesters attempted to breach a line that law enforcement officers had formed between demonstrators and construction equipment. The statement said one protester attempted to grab an officer's pepper spray canister, spraying the officer in the face and blinding him for five minutes.
Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said Saturday's incident showed that "this protest is not peaceful or lawful."
"It was obvious to our officers who responded that the protesters engaged in escalated unlawful tactics and behavior during this event," he said. "This protest was intentionally coordinated and planned by agitators with the specific intent to engage in illegal activities."
Protests have drawn thousands of people to the area where Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners is trying to finish building the 1,200-mile pipeline. More than 220 people have now been arrested since demonstrations began in August.
The sheriff's office said four people who attached themselves to a sport utility vehicle parked on private property near construction equipment were among those arrested Saturday. Two of the individuals attached themselves to the outside of the vehicle, one person was attached to the steering wheel, and another had his body outside of the vehicle with his arm fed through a hole in the door and his hand in a bucket of hardened concrete.
Those arrested Saturday are facing charges including assault on a peace officer, engaging in a riot and criminal trespass.
LIKE US, lots of people are aware that the NFL is a major taxpayer rip-off (except for the publicly owned Green Bay Packers). But the degree of rip-off wasn’t always clear, particularly with the “San Francisco” 49ers and their move to Santa Clara.
According to recent stories in the Atlantic and Sports Illustrated:
The Atlantic: “… the City of Santa Clara broke ground on the $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium for the 49ers in 2014. Officially, the deal includes $116 million in public funding, with private capital making up the rest. At least, that’s the way the deal was announced. A new government entity, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, is borrowing $950 million, largely from a consortium led by Goldman Sachs, to provide the majority of the “private” financing. Who are the board members of the Santa Clara Stadium Authority? The members of the Santa Clara City Council. In effect, the city of Santa Clara is providing most of the “private” funding. Should something go wrong, taxpayers will likely take the hit. The 49ers will pay Santa Clara $24.5 million annually in rent for four decades, which makes the deal, from the team’s standpoint, a 40-year loan amortized at almost nothing — less than 1% interest. At the time of the agreement, 30-year Treasury bonds were selling for 3%, meaning the Santa Clara contract values the NFL as a better risk than the United States government. Although most of the capital for the new stadium is being underwritten by the public, most football revenue generated within the facility will be pocketed by Denise DeBartolo York, whose net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion, and members of her family. York took control of the team in 2000 from her brother, Edward DeBartolo Jr., after he pleaded guilty to concealing an extortion plot by a former governor of Louisiana. Brother and sister inherited their money from their father, Edward DeBartolo Sr., a shopping-mall developer who became one of the nation’s richest men before his death in 1994. A generation ago, the DeBartolos made their money the old-fashioned way, by hard work in the free market. Today, the family’s wealth rests on political influence and California tax subsidies. Nearly all NFL franchises are family-owned, converting public subsidies and tax favors into high living for a modern-day feudal elite.”
Sports Illustrated: “…the NFL cartel is a self-contained, risk-free economic island, a natural-born automatic moneymaking machine disconnected from the cultural fabric and the economic grid. New venues are hermetically sealed to capture all economic gains for the home club and the rest of the monopoly cartel. There are few, if any, economic spinoffs, multipliers or indirect effects, because the league gets everything while it passes the stadium funding bill to local taxpayers. Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College, said, “The scholarly research on this is very clear: There’s no evidence that bringing a football team to a city boosts the local economy. You’re playing 10 games a year in a stadium that’s generally built with public money and goes unused for 350 days a year. So you’re using 20 or 30 acres of scarce urban real estate to entertain football fans 10 days a year. … The gross domestic product of many of these cities is into the hundreds of billions of dollars, while NFL teams are generating, say, $350 million. And a lot of that money doesn’t go to the city, anyway; it leaks out, goes someplace else. So the actual economic impact that an NFL team has on a city is very small.”
(PS. You will never read anything that blunt in a modern conventional major newspaper. — Mark Scaramella)
LET'S GET THIS NIGHTMARE STARTED, SHALL WE?
The recording of last night's (2016-10-21) KNYO and KMEC Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available to download and keep and skip around in via http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Seven full hours of quality edutainment, in part of which Doctor Donovan Spencer stopped by to demonstrate his remarkable new phone and its, shall we say, specialized attachments, and Stuart Cohen played a few of his brand-new songs. Some election information. A lot of material about the science of the way we think, and why and how it always goes so wrong. At the end I read Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado, and it occurred to me that, since I read it last, years ago, the central idea and horror of it has been done and done and done again so many times in the flawed-superhero stories I like so much, that the effect has been somewhat muted. Remember how in Torchwood Jack, who can't die, or rather can't stay dead, is taken back in time 2000 years and buried fifteen feet deep, to awake renewed (but still pressed flat in earth, with his mouth and nose and eyes packed with dirt and his lungs unable to expand) and die again over and over and over until being detected and freed in 1912? And in one episode he's explosively disassembled so all that's left is, I think, part of his head, and his head is imprisoned. And in X-Men Wolverine is repeatedly trapped in a similar situation (at one point impaled and then twisted up in rebar and concrete and sunk in the river) and his super healing power just keeps starting him up again. Claire in Heroes. Sleeping What's-her-name in Once Upon a Time. Professor Hawkline (in Richard Brautigan's The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western) transformed into an elephant-foot umbrella stand but with his consciousness intact. Uma Thurman karate chopping her way out of a coffin and up out of the grave. The Doctor in Doctor Who taking literally four billion years to punch his way out through twelve feet of diamond. Things like that. So one ordinary drunken man being walled up in a niche in a tunnel and dying once and getting it over with doesn’t give the same chill anymore. Hmm. I just noticed that these are all stories that really go back to the beginning of the history of recorded imagination. Sisyphus. Prometheus. Tantalus, Merlin, Woden, Jesus, Cthulhu, Corwin of Amber, so on. They all eventually get out, but the experience for them is arguably worse. Maybe not so bad for Jesus. This deserves some more thought and development.
And instead of Boston Blackie I played an episode of The Weird Circle done entirely with real Scottish actors, where every time anyone says the arr sound, even the whispering Mysterious Bride of the title of the show, it rolls around for a while like a baseball on a bodhran. I’ve never been able to learn to make that rolling arr sound, and now that thanks to Dr. Mattson's dental tools I can finally say the letter ess without waking up all the dogs in the neighborhood. I suppose I'll have to renew my efforts in this other direction. Arr. Arr... Arrl... Dammit. I'll get it. Arr. Arrl...
Besides all that, also at http:MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find links to a wunderkammer of things to read and play with and learn about, that wouldn't necessarily work via radio but that are nonetheless worthwhile, that I found while putting radio shows together, and all of it for free. Items such as:
The old hokum bucket.
I haven’t seen any of this famous show. I’m good, as they say, to just enjoy John Cleese talking about it for four minutes.
A 3-stage model rocket. Slo-mo camera in both top stages. Then views from ground. Pretty impressive. A fully realized project.
And a lesson in why not to let a chiropractor yank your noodle loose.
GEORGE PATTON’S PRE-D-DAY SPEECH
June 5, 1944
Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit.
Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle.
You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else.
Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight.
When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards.
Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.
You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are.
The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared.
Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they are He Men.
Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen.
All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call “chicken shit drilling.” That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. I don't give a fuck for a man who's not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready for what's to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you're not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit!
There are 400 neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on the job. But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did.
An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is pure horseshit. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about fucking! We have the finest food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we're going up against. By God, I do.
My men don't surrender, and I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That's not just bullshit either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man!
All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain.
What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn't like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, “Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.” But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would we be now? What would our country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be like?
No, Goddamnit, Americans don't think like that. Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war.
The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns and machinery of war to keep us rolling. The Quartermaster is needed to bring up food and clothes because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man on K.P. has a job to do, even the one who heats our water to keep us from getting the “G.I. Shits.”
Each man must not think only of himself, but also of his buddy fighting beside him. We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the Goddamned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men.
One of the bravest men that I ever saw was a fellow on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of a furious firefight in Tunisia. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at a time like that. He answered, “Fixing the wire, Sir.” I asked, “Isn't that a little unhealthy right about now?” He answered, “Yes Sir, but the Goddamned wire has to be fixed.” I asked, “Don't those planes strafing the road bother you?” And he answered, “No, Sir, but you sure as hell do!” Now, there was a real man. A real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time, no matter how great the odds.
And you should have seen those trucks on the rode to Tunisia. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-bitching roads, never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting all around them all of the time. We got through on good old American guts. Many of those men drove for over forty consecutive hours. These men weren't combat men, but they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it, and in one hell of a way they did it. They were part of a team. Without team effort, without them, the fight would have been lost. All of the links in the chain pulled together and the chain became unbreakable.
Don't forget, you men don't know that I'm here. No mention of that fact is to be made in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell happened to me. I'm not supposed to be commanding this Army. I'm not even supposed to be here in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the Goddamned Germans. Some day I want to see them raise up on their piss-soaked hind legs and howl, “Jesus Christ, it's the Goddamned Third Army again and that son-of-a-fucking-bitch Patton.” We want to get the hell over there. The quicker we clean up this Goddamned mess, the quicker we can take a little jaunt against the purple pissing Japs and clean out their nest, too. Before the Goddamned Marines get all of the credit.
Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler. Just like I'd shoot a snake!
When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a German will get to him eventually. The hell with that idea. The hell with taking it. My men don't dig foxholes. I don't want them to. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. And don't give the enemy time to dig one either. We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have; or ever will have.
We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cock suckers by the bushel-fucking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you'll know what to do!
I don't want to get any messages saying, “I am holding my position.” We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like shit through a tin horn!
From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard. I don't give a good Goddamn about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder WE push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that.
There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that 20 years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you won’t have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, “Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.” No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, “Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!”