Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016
by AVA News Service, November 15, 2016
THE CHP reported early Saturday morning that there was about 200 feet of roadway under water at the junction of Highways One and 128. The sandbar at the mouth of the river, thicker and more impenetrable than anyone can remember seeing it, had quickly re-solidified after a breach following the rains a week prior, backing up the Navarro River into a virtual lake that now includes the roadbeds of the roads near the river mouth. And as of Monday morning, according to Paul McCarthy of MSP, a guy who keeps a close eye on the river, the mouth was still closed and water still covered the roadbed to a depth of about a foot. Caltrans subsequently closed the roadway in that area.
This was the look at the scene Sunday @ 10:45 am (photo courtesy MSP)
CURRENT STATE ROUTE 128 CONDITIONS: Before driving, check with the Caltrans Highway Information Network (CHIN) 800.427.7623 SR 128 [in the Central California area] No traffic restrictions are reported for this area. [In the northern California area] is closed from the jct of Sr 1 to 1 mi east of the jct of Sr 1 (Mendocino Co) - due to flooding - motorists are advised to use an alternate route.
ATTENTION! At The Anderson Valley CSD meeting, Thursday, November 17th, 7:00pm at the Anderson Valley Fire Dept. Conference Room, the requested expansion of the Black Bird Farm, Philo, formerly the Highland Ranch, will be discussed. AV Community members have raised valid concerns with this plan and have requested that Black Bird Farm spokesperson attend this meeting to advise and to answer these concerns from the Community. If this in anyway affects you, your neighbors, your concern for the environment or the safety on our highway system then please attend. Share this invitation with any and all community friends that you know. Facilitated by Anderson Valley Community Service District and supported by AVCAC (Anderson Valley Community Action Coalition).
NIGHTMARE INCIDENT under investigation in Boonville. Late Wednesday afternoon-early evening, a group of children enjoying an after school party at the Anderson Valley Elementary School ran playfully into the dark of the lower field at the school. It was about 5:30 and dark enough to obscure visibility. The child in the lead, a girl of 11, upon reaching the lower field, was suddenly grabbed by an adult male described only as bearded and smelling strongly of cologne. The girl screamed, he ran off. The child's arm was reddened where the man had grabbed her. The incident was witnessed by at least one other child. A search of the area did not reveal any unwanted persons. Some people speculated that teenagers may be responsible, having thought it was funny to frighten the child, but no old person was seen in the area immediately after the episode. That area of the schoolyard is not illuminated and seldom used after school hours, although it is often the site of gatherings of young people drinking and smoking marijuana. The party was supervised by numerous adults, but the lower field at the school is a good fifty yards from the school playground and schoolrooms. The schoolyard is fenced on both sides as far west as Anderson Creek, but the fencing is no match for nimble intruders who can also enter the back field the fencing ends and the creek banks fall steeply off into the creek bed. There is an unworked vineyard on the far side of the creek, and lightly inhabited private properties on both sides of the field where the child was interfered with. Deputies with police dogs searched the area after the incident, which remains under investigation.
A LESS DRAMATIC version of events was relayed to us Monday morning by AV School Superintendent Michelle Hutchins: On Wednesday night, the elementary school sponsored a PJ and Family Literacy Night. All the activities were planned for inside the school buildings. Many students went outside (some with parent permission, some without) to play on the basketball court. In Dr. Reddick's [elementary principal] investigation, she discovered that the kids were playing ‘Truth or Dare.’ It is clear the female student was ‘dared’ to go to the lower field. Within minutes the student screamed and ran back to her friends reporting that a man had grabbed her. The authorities were called and a thorough investigation was completed. At the end of the investigation, it was believed that a student from the group rather than an adult scared the female student in what began as a prank. While I believe our campus is safe, this is a reminder to always keep an eye on your children during school events. Some fact checks: The description received the night of the incident was a male in dark hoodie, the beard and cologne are new additions. The female student went alone to the lower field (she went twice).”
THE ROSSI FAMILY has arranged an affecting memorial window display at Rossi Hardware representing the major events in the life of their late patriarch, Emil Rossi. And just down the street at the Ward Hanes Gallery, a descendant of the Farrer family has displayed a nicely wrought marker commemorating the Farrers, who were commercially central in the life of the Anderson Valley for three generations.
Descendents of Sir James Farrer of England
The John Thomas Farrer Sr. family came to Boonville from Green River, Utah, in the spring of 1906. They were some of the first commercial settlers. They thrived as merchants, ranchers, farmers and were deeply involved with social and commercial activities. John Thomas Farrer Sr. was the Postmaster in Boonville from 1909-1916. The Farrers had the first automobile, tractor and telephones in the Valley. They helped build the first Anderson Valley High School and were active churchgoers and teachers. This plaque is on one of the many parcels of commercial buildings, lands, orchards, and ranches owned and operated by the Farrer family. The Farrer General store on the main street was most prominent and operated by J.T. Farrer Jr. and Florence Deady Farrer until their deaths in 1971.
Leland Melvin Farrer Great-grandson of J.T. Farrer Sr.
YEARS AGO, I was moved by a hand-wrought marker on the Mina Road, Covelo, which described the names of all the family who’d owned a ranch for many years including their dates of birth and death. I still remember it although the last time I was on the Mina Road it was gone, but someone in that family felt what we all feel in these unsettled and transient times, that their lives weren’t for nothing, and the place they had lived all those years was significant. I think it would be good for all of us if we left our personal histories and our histories of the places where we lived them.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, "So I see this guy coming up the walk at me. He's wearing a cop's uniform and carrying a gun. I figure he's looking for the galoots next door, Dumb and Dumber, the pitbulls. They're always in trouble. But darned if it isn't the Sheriff! He says he came to see me, to meet me, me, me! I'm so excited I shake his hand and roll over a couple of times for him (my main moves) and he goes away happy. I haven't had a day like this since the time I met Pee Wee Herman!"
NEW DETAILS EMERGE IN KILLING OF LAYTONVILLE POT GROWER
by Randi Rossmann
New details emerged Tuesday about the death of a Mendocino County pot grower who was viciously attacked, allegedly by workers hired to trim his valuable crop, during a robbery that sharpened tensions between residents of the Emerald Triangle and the seasonal “trimmigrants” who flood the region during harvest.
Mendocino County sheriff’s detectives are looking for five people they suspect were involved in the death and robbery of Jeffrey Quinn Settler, 35. Settler had hired the five out-of-state residents to trim marijuana plants at his Laytonville pot field, and they worked for him within days leading to the slaying, according to sheriff’s officials.
Detectives suspect the trimmers surprised Settler during the night as he slept in a shed on the property, which also housed the marijuana. He died early Friday and was found later that day by a worker also staying at the remote property, officials said.
Sheriff’s officials have released little information about the killing, including whether a weapon was found, other than to say Settler was “violently assaulted.” But a law enforcement source Monday said the man was beaten and stabbed, suffering defensive wounds as well as more lethal injuries as he fought back during the attack. Sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Barney declined to confirm the report.
An autopsy was conducted Monday afternoon but the results weren’t released.
Detectives believe the suspects — four men and one woman from New Jersey, Illinois and Virginia — took about 100 pounds of processed marijuana and left the area. Law enforcement agencies nationwide have been given their identities and alerted to watch for them.
The worker who found the body walked several miles into Laytonville to report the death, Barney said. Deputies were called at 3:40 p.m. Friday to the property north of Laytonville, in the 49000 block of North Highway 101. The property is about 5 miles down a dirt road west of the highway.
They found an unsophisticated growing operation, including a shed, some tents and the pot field, with the body inside the shed.
Other people also had worked for Settler on the commercial grow and were able to help detectives with information, Barney said.
Wuester, Gaestel, Weist
Detectives have an arrest warrant for Zachary Ryan Wuester, 24, of Haskell, N.J., suspecting him of murder and robbery.
“We have information he is one of the involved parties. We think the others were with him as well,” Barney said.
The other suspects are Frederick Gaestel, 27, of Clifton, N.J.; Gary Blank III of Elgin, Ill.; Gary Lynn Fitzgerald, 23, of Roanoke, Ill.; and Amanda Weist, 26, of Fairfax, Va., according to sheriff’s officials.
The homicide is a major topic in rural Laytonville.
“He’s (Settler) a local here. It is being discussed around downtown. People are concerned about it although they (the suspects) are believed to be out of the area,” said Rick Davis, a paramedic for Laytonville’s fire department.
“Everybody is talking about it, but we’re not getting much information,” said Kaye Kuykendall, owner of Laytonville’s Boomers Saloon.
The five trimmers were part of the annual influx into marijuana country at harvest time when seasonal workers are needed to trim the plants.
Known as “trimmigrants,” the growing numbers coming from across the nation and abroad for jobs has been a growing problem in numerous Mendocino communities including Laytonville. Many people don’t end up with jobs and expand homeless issues for the mostly rural communities, according to residents and law enforcement officials.
“It’s not only us. Willits, Garberville, all have major issues with the influx of trimmigants,” Davis said.
In Laytonville, local residents had put together a sort of behavior brochure and passed them out to people “basically saying you’re a guest in our community. We expect you guys to be respectful and take care of the community,” Davis said.
“They’re hiring these trimmigrants to come up here, helping them out, giving them a job and they turn around and are getting killed,” Davis said.
Detectives suspect the five left the property in two cars, including a blue, four-door 2017 Volkswagen Golf sedan with a Virginia license plate of VHR5611.
Officials are asking anyone with information about the car or the suspects to contact detectives at 707-463-4421 or 707-234-2100.
(The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
MENDO COUNTY is dispatching eco-activists for North Dakota and the Standing Rock pipeline protests. One group left Ukiah on Saturday but is stranded in the literary town of Livingston, MT because their truck hit a deer, "about totaling it," according to a vague account reaching Mendocino County. Another group leaves Ukiah today. It includes Will Parrish of the AVA and Aaron 'Cob' Martin of the Anderson Valley.
THE STRANDED Mendo delegation wrote Monday: "Will — if you are en route and plan to take the northern route, please bear in mind the locals are saying SNOW is on its way by Tuesday night. You should be prepared with a 4wd and chains."
THE MESSAGE concluded with a notice of Monday's send-off rally at Wells Fargo, Ukiah: "We are having a send-off gathering tomorrow for Cob, Loren, Burl, and Will, who are taking a bunch of winter supplies to Standing Rock, many of which came from the November 6th 'Mendo Stands with Standing Rock' gathering in Redwood Valley." We understand about $10,000 cash-money was raised at the Redwood Valley event.
PARRISH explains why his group is rallying at Wells Fargo, Ukiah, before departing for North Dakota in this week's paper and at the CounterPunch website.
ANOTHER FIRST FOR MENDO?
First Person To Be Released Under The New Law Of Proposition 64
Ukiah, CA — Due to the new law outlined in Proposition 64, which just became California law in last Tuesday's election, Micheas Lehnherr may be the first person to be released from jail in Mendocino County, if not all of California. On Wednesday, November 9, one day after Proposition 64 became law, Lawyer Macci Baldock of Ukiah, filed with the Mendocino County Courts a request that Micheas be released under the new law. This was the first appeal filed under Proposition 64 in Mendocino County. The Proposition makes the possession of marijuana a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 6 months in jail and a $500 fine. Micheas appeared in court on Thursday, November 10, when the Judge continued the case until Tuesday, so that the DA had time to read the Proposition. Micheas was originally arrested in 2014 for possession of marijuana, which at that time was a felony. [CORRECTION - The charge must have been felony “possession with intent to sell,” since possession per se wasn’t a felony - D.G.] He has served more than 6 months and is expected to be released on Tuesday, time served. This case serves to be a landmark case and set precedence for future appeals under the new law outlined in Proposition 64.
Beth Trachtenberg, Drug Policy Forum of California (DBFCA)
* * *
NOT EXACTLY: DA DAVID EYSTER COMMENTS:
First person released under Prop 64 in Mendocino County, if not California? Get real. Not even close. For example, six defendants fashioned plea bargains last Thursday that implicated Prop 64. The misdemeanor pleas allowed each of them to be released from jail.
This is a presumptuous press release from a court-appointed private attorney seeking free advertising in an effort to drum up non-appointed (read "cash") business.
Here's the reality of this particular case. Lehnherr has been on felony probation for possession of marijuana for sale since September 4, 2015 and has done poorly from moment one. He was originally ordered to serve 220 days jail and given permission to serve that time in a residential drug rehabilitation program. He was released from the jail to a program of his choice but he then walked away from the program. On October 14, 2015, the defendant was back in custody and admitted violating his formal probation by failing to complete the program, and providing a false name to law enforcement in an attempt to avoid being arrested on the outstanding warrant. Judge Nelson decided to give Lehnherr another chance to enroll in and complete a residential program. Yep, you guessed it. The defendant failed again. On November 2, 2016, the defendant was back in custody and admitted failing to complete a different program that he had chosen with his second chance. He also admitted having failed to report to probation as ordered, failing to keep the court advised of his physical address, and failing to appear in court when ordered.
Last Tuesday's proceeding (Tuesday, Nov. 10th) was the sentencing date on the latest admissions of violating supervised probation. If the defendant is released, it will be because he has already served 45 actual days plus 45 days good time/work time for a total sentence of 90 days, which means we have run out of time to keep him in jail. Candidly, this is hardly something to be celebrated in a press release or by the media. If anything, the exact opposite should be the case. This is a defendant who has alcohol and drug addiction problems, and it is quite possible he may be released without further treatment to once again drive a motor vehicle amongst all of us. With the passage of Prop 64 (as was also the case of Prop 47 (both converting prior felonies to misdemeanors)), Lehnher will now be on his own, cannot be forced to undergo needed alcohol and drug treatment, and the wise money bets are that he will not voluntarily seek the treatment he needs and the treatment that would help protect the community.
As additional background, Lehnherr's criminal record is long-standing, going back to 1991. Before the instant marijuana for sale case, the defendant suffered three prior drug felonies (one in San Francisco and two in South Carolina) for non-marijuana ("hard drug") offenses. In addition, Lehnherr has been convicted of 12 separate misdemeanors, including four involving driving under the influence. One of the four DUI convictions was in Federal Court in San Francisco. In that case, Lehnherr was ordered to complete an alcohol education program. Guess what? He failed to do so and the federal judge sent him to the federal penitentiary in Lompoc for six months.
SUPERVISOR JOHN MCCOWEN, asked to comment on the glacial pace of Mendocino County election returns, had this to say: "Count me among those who believe the problem can best be addressed by increasing the number of traditional polling place voters and hiring extra help to process mail in ballots that arrive before election day. It is simply not in the public interest to count less than a third of the votes on election day and wait weeks for the final returns. Any issues involving cost, staffing, logistics, and security can be addressed if there is a willingness to do so. Any voter can vote by mail if they choose, but the thousands of voters who prefer voting at a neighborhood polling place on election day should have the option to do so."
MCCOWEN ALSO COMMENTED on the countywide ballot measures: "It was gratifying to see the voters strongly reject Measure AF, the so-called Heritage Initiative. Despite trailing with less than 35% of the vote, the yes on AF campaign team thinks it still has a chance — which just shows how out of touch they are. Thanks to the voters, the county process for adopting regulations that protect our communities and the environment will keep moving forward. And, unlike AF, the county ordinance will be subject to full community and environmental review. The draft ordinance is scheduled to be presented to the Planning Commission Dec. 1 for discussion, and Dec. 15 for possible action before going back to the Board of Supervisors for final review and possible adoption.
"MEASURE AG, with 65.19% of the votes so far, is still in the running. [Because the proceeds from AG are dedicated to a specific purpose, it requires a two-thirds vote to pass.] The mail in ballots and polling place votes that get counted on election day are broadly representative of the total vote, but there is one possible exception. [McCowen has been a close observer of local election results for decades.] Mail in ballots that get dropped off at polling places on election day, or that go in the mail at the last minute, have an overall tendency to trend slightly more to the liberal or progressive side of things. The corollary is that early vote by mail voters tend to be more conservative. Were there enough last minute voters who favor raising taxes for mental health facilities to put AG over the top? I'm not ready to say it's a sure thing, but I believe the odds are much better than 50-50.
"ODDLY ENOUGH, Measure AH, the enacting clause for Measure AG is lagging behind with only 62.86% of the vote, probably too far behind to reach two-thirds. Some voters must not have understood that if they wanted AG to go into effect they also needed to vote for AH. What happens if AG gets two-thirds and AH does not? I don't know the answer, except that I believe the vote for AG would still be valid. In that case it may be possible to put an enacting clause on the ballot at the next election.
"MEASURE AI, the marijuana tax, and Measure AJ, the advisory measure passed easily. Because AI is a general tax, and can be spent for any county purpose, it only required 50% of the voters plus one. The advisory measure is non-binding but expresses the will of the voters to spend "a majority" of the revenue for marijuana regulation and enforcement, mental health services, repair of county roads and fire and emergency medical services, which are all underfunded, so any additional funds will be welcome."
MCCOWEN ADDED A PS objecting to speculation that he was a closet Trump supporter. "I voted for Sanders in the primary. I voted for Clinton in the final. I don't watch TV so the only political ad I saw was election eve when a friend showed me a Clinton ad on her phone. The image that stuck with me was of a young man of color with the caption: 'I'm voting against hate.' That's good enough for me. I don't think we know where Trump really stands on almost any issue but we know he appealed to the basest instincts of many people."
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 14, 2016
Roberts, Rojas, Sams, Watson
CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
RICARDO ROJAS, Willits. Drunk in public, resisting.
CHARLES SAMS, Willits. Failure to appear.
DAYLEE WATSON, Covelo. Failure to appear.
by James Kunstler
Not to put too fine a point on it, America coughed up Hillary Clinton like a hairball last week — the catch being it then had to swallow the Cheeto-colored bolus called Donald Trump. It was worth it to see the fog of Hillary-smuggery lift across the cable TV networks since the “I’m With Her / It’s Her Turn” fog was a cover for the looting operation that the permanent Washington DC establishment had turned into, including the Clinton Foundation.
Obviously, the nation is reeling from this emetic, struggling to process the meaning of it all. The big “tell” for me came at a moment in last week’s Slate Political Gabfest, a leftish-oriented podcast, when moderator David Plotz asked his sidekicks John Dickerson (of CBS News) and Emily Bazelon (of The NY Times) what the Democratic Party might do to regain legitimacy after this electoral disaster. Dead silence on the air. Nothing came to mind.
Something came to my mind as a long-time disaffected (registered) Democrat: jettison the stupid identity politics and get back to reality. Alas, that may be too much to ask. For now, the party lies in ruins without a single figure of stature to represent a coherent set of ideas other than boosting the self-esteem of its favor-seeking constituent groups. Here’s my idea: how about forming a credible opposition to the so-called Deep State, the matrix of racketeering and empire-building that has drained the life out of this polity. That was impossible with the racketeer-in-chief leading the blue electoral ticket, but now the dynamic stands naked and obvious, answering the question: what to do next?
Another catch, of course, is that opposing the Deep State of Rackets is pretty much what Mr. Trump has promised to do, if “draining the swamp” means anything. He never quite articulated it clearly beyond that metaphor, but you can bet that’s what the DC establishment is so alarmed about. Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail is now being hailed in the media as a kind of genius. To me, it still seems oafish to an extreme, and it remains to be seen how such a blunderer might finesse our escape from the empire of rackets and the racket of empire. He begins to look like a man in a tunnel staring down the harsh light of the onrushing gravy train.
Mr. Trump might not know it yet, but his chief task will be managing contraction. It would appear to be problematic, since his chief promise — “to make America great again” — is based on restarting the epic expansions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Well, things have changed. This is no longer a virgin continent filled with motherlodes, untapped oil bonanzas, and fabulous soils begging to be exploited. In fact, we’re close to being played out where those resources are concerned. And the techno-industrial economy engineered out of those assets is wobbling badly.
There is a Great Wish that this system might be replaced just-in-time with some as-yet-unrealized Green Alt Economy of solar-charged driverless electric cars — but, of course, the unchallenged pathetic idiocy of the assumed car dependence at the center of this fantasy ought to tell you how exactly unreal it is. The contraction we face has mandates of its own, and it doesn’t include the continuation of Happy Motoring on any terms. I’m quite certain that the Trump forces haven’t even imagined it.
I would propose three meta-matters in consideration of how America might survive the disorders of the Long Emergency: the financialization of the economy, the burdens of empire, and the fiasco of our suburban living arrangement.
The financialization of the economy is already playing into its disastrous climax as I write, with bond markets tanking all over the planet. What this means is that the long-ignored chickens of risk associated with debt are coming home to roost. As they do, they are going to shit over everything on the financial landscape. Industrial societies have been borrowing from the future to a grotesque degree for decades, pretending that these debts were assets rather than liabilities. That perception is about to change, and with it an enormous amount of presumed notional wealth is going to disappear. That will manifest in rising bond yields (and falling bond values), cratering currencies, panicked capital flows, banking emergencies, and weird action in markets. If that seems too metaphysical, you can also think of it as contracting economies and the withering of global trade relations. There’s also the chance it will express itself in kinetic conflict, i.e., war.
My sense of things is that this meta-predicament alone could overwhelm the Trump government from the very start. We could have problems with money orders of magnitude worse than anything FDR faced in 1933, with bank closures, the seizing of accounts, and the paralysis of everyday business. That would easily lead to civil disorders, a breakdown in law, and the immiseration of most Americans. It could also lead to previously-unimagined political outcomes, such as a discontinuity of government. This is connected with the second meta-problem, the burdens of empire.
The USA is squandering its vitality trying to maintain a half-assed global empire of supposed interests, economic, ideological, and existential. Lately, this hapless project has only resulted in wars with no end in places we don’t belong. It includes reckless experiments such as the promotion of regime change (Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Egypt, Syria), and senseless, provocative exercises such as the use of NATO forces to run war games near Russia’s border. The monetary cost of all this is off the hook, of course, redounding to the financial mess. Reigning in these imperial impulses could be on the Trump agenda, but his own gold-plated imperial pretensions suggest that he might actually make the situation worse by conflating a reduction of our empire with a loss of the very “greatness” he wants to reclaim. As it happens, America may be forced by economic circumstances to yield the burdens of empire. The world is about to become a bigger place again as globalism winds down and the larger nations establish more realistic spheres of influence. We better get with the program.
Thirdly comes the question of how Americans inhabit the terrain: the suburban fiasco and all its accessories and furnishings. You can just stick a fork in that. The great project awaiting this country is how we might redistribute our people into re-scaled walkable communities with re-localized economies, including re-scaled agriculture. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not. It’s only a matter of how disorderly the process may be. Obviously all the suburban crapola out there also represents a tremendous load of presumed wealth. The vested “value” in suburban houses alone is the underlayment of structured finance. There is almost no conscious political awareness in any party — including the Greens — as to how we might attempt to work this out.
But, for example, and for a start, Mr. Trump might consider the effect that national chain “Big Box” shopping has had on Main Street America. It literally destroyed local commercial economies all over the land, and with it numberless vocational niches and social roles in communities. He can’t sign an edict against the Big Box empire, but his people might start imagining the process of rebuilding local networks of commerce and actively de-incentivizing the Big Box business model. That model has many other ways to fail, incidentally, and already is failing to some degree between the impoverishment of its customers and the growing problems with global supply lines. But anything that might lubricate the transition would be better than the stark collapse of the current arrangement.
The chatter this week has been all about the upcoming “infrastructure” orgy that Trump will undertake. That depends first of all on how badly the financial sector cracks up. I hope we do not squander more of our dwindling capital on the accessories of car dependence, because that addiction is on the way out. One thing Mr. Trump might get behind is restoring the passenger railroads of America so that we can at least get around the continental nation when the Happy Motoring fiesta grinds to a halt. It would put an awful lot of people to work on something with real long-term benefit — it ties into the restoration of Main Street towns and their economies — and it is a do-able project that might give us the needed encouragement to get on with the many other necessary projects awaiting our attention.
In case you were wondering, I was not jumping up and down cheering the Trump victory, amazing as it was. I figured the good news was that Hillary lost and the bad news was that Trump won. Now, we just have to roll with it.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Tired of all the elites — Regarding the various “What it means” editorials — they further demonstrate that the only people who fail to understand that this election was a complete repudiation of the elites are the elites. Ordinary, working-class people were tired of being told by the elites that they were bigots if they thought males should use the men’s room. They were tired of elites telling them they were racist if they thought it was the federal government’s job to protect the borders.
They were tired of being told by elites that Michael Brown in Ferguson was a martyr and that Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco was an unfortunate incident. They were tired of being told by elites that police are waging war on the black community. But mostly they were tired of people like Attorney General Loretta Lynch thumbing her nose at them by meeting with the husband of a woman being investigated by the FBI and later thumbing it again by telling us they only talked about grandchildren and golf. We voted with our middle finger and won.
GOOD FARM FUND 3RD ANNUAL WINTER FEAST!
Thursday December 8, 2016, 5pm - 9ish (Dinner served from 6-8)
Barra of Mendocino Event Center | 7051 North State Street, Redwood Valley
Farm to Table Dinner featuring locally raised meat, produce, grain, beer, & wine. Plus... an auction, live music by The Thin Air String band and great company.
Tickets $30 adults | $15 youth (<15)
Tickets available soon at Westside Renaissance Market, the Mendocino Book Company, and Mendocino County Farmers Markets and online. Email us
to RSVP now and save your plate!
A back-by-popular-demand highlight of the local holiday season! Proceeds support Good Farm Fund's mission to provide assistance to local farms and fund the Farmers Market Food Stamp Matching program, which makes nutritious local food more affordable in our community.
In 2016, we are giving out $20,000 in grants to local farms, which was raised through events like this dinner. Grant applicants will join us at the Winter Feast to talk about their exciting farm projects!
The event is sponsored by North Coast Opportunities, MendoLake Credit Union, First Five, Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op and Thompson's Party Rentals.
Thank you for supporting our work to help local farms thrive!
Caroline Radice, Sarah Bodnar & Scott Cratty
Good Farm Fund Steering Committee
GEDENKEN THOUGHT EXPERIMENT
This is philosophical exercise, also used by scientists, attempting to free up their thinking by selecting a problem or question to be addressed that challenges the thinking process of the questioner and their community. The scientist would set up a question that poses a problem for colleagues or students in such a way as to provoke exploration of other possibilities then the one usually taken.
The question posed is based on an observation of existing conditions. It questions those existing conditions without arriving at an answer although one can assert with justification that any question implicitly has an answer. However with a little looseness in thinking ‘crude thinking’ as BB liked to say, one might come up with more than one answer to the question.
Given the existence of a political situation in the US where the elite of – the elite that is the leadership and cohorts of both parties both the Democratic and the Republic parties disliked Trump and in many cases assisted in trying to defeat him: Why is it that the elite members of both parties opposed Trump?
To the reader: Stop here, your answer would be interesting, write it down what you think is a fair answer. And as I have done this before there are assuredly a number of answers to the question but not an infinite number since the question relies upon the agreed recognition that elites of both parties objected to Trump.
So I will proceed:
In questioning a friend who thought of himself as Green I asked the question but he didn’t answer, rather asked me what I thought? I repeated the question he wouldn’t hazard a guess. I thought he might be suspicious that I was presenting a trap. After all every question has an implicit answer. Then again he might not have wanted to expose his own prejudices about political issues –safety-first suspicion, and no answer. Also he might have feared being thought dull because he himself hadn’t thought of the question.
Yes, people who have never wondered why there was so much opposition to Trump, may have thought the two parties were different. They would stop right there and therefore doubt the question's assumption that both parties did in fact object to Trump.
The second time I asked the question why is it that elites both the Democratic and Republican parties objected to Trump my Marxist friend said: “He must be doing something right.”
Surprised, I agreed with that answer because I thought that Trump did not appear to follow the scripted trajectory of Hillary Clinton the warmongers neo-liberal program that had been worked out for the last 16 years under Bush and Obama. Both parties agree on foreign policy; more expansion, more wars, more military, along with trade deals, expulsion of immigrants, destruction. Hillary’s contribution to the coup d’état in Honduras, leveling of Libya, continued weapons and support for military action in Afghanistan & Iraq more in Syria funding for all sorts of reactionary regimes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and of course Israel/Zionists out to destroy the Palestinians: Not much disagreement by both parties. Trump didn’t appear to fit into it.
He had doubts about provoking a war with Russia, as Clinton and Obama pushed to have NATO close to Russia, along with the subversion in the Ukraine, and a Navel build-up in the China Sea. Trump might well retreat from the expansionist Empire and return to latter day isolationism, such as spending the billions at home, almost an act of sedition.
His statements appear to be along lines that worry the military-industrial-congressional complex all benefiting from wars and necessary pentagon-military trillions. This is not just political-economics in command; rather our military foreign policy is packaged in patriotism, nationalism and the Empires international identity requirements, which trumps I.D. divisive politics.
PUBLIC HEARINGS SET FOR RUSSIAN RIVER LOW-FLOW PLAN
The idea is to cut releases from the river system’s two dams to benefit fish, but summer recreation and water quality could be on the line.
KARUK, YUROK AND KLAMATH TRIBES OPPOSE PACIFIC CONNECTOR PIPELINE
by Dan Bacher
The Karuk Tribe, located on the Klamath River in Northern California, today announced its opposition to the Jordan Cove LNG terminal and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline projects, joining the Yurok and Klamath Tribes in officially opposing the controversial project.
“The proposed pipeline would carry fracked natural gas across or under 400 bodies of water in the Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua, Coquille and Coos watersheds,” according to a statement from the Karuk Tribe. “The 36-inch underground pipeline would travel from Malin, OR to a proposed terminal in Coos Bay and require a permanent 232-mile long and approximately 100-foot wide clear cut through these already impaired watersheds. The terminal, built in the tsunami zone, would export liquefied natural gas abroad.”
“With our fisheries and water quality already compromised, we simply cannot afford the risks associated with running a natural gas pipeline beneath the Klamath River,” said Karuk Chairman Russell ‘Buster’ Attebery.
Area Tribes and conservation groups see this issue as very similar to the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL) struggle in North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies have been faced with police brutality, rubber bullets, dog attacks and other violence as they fight to protect their land, sacred sites and nation’s second longest river, the Missouri.
Many in the Karuk Tribal community will join members of the Yurok Tribe, Klamath Tribes, Klamath Riverkeeper and the Klamath Justice Coalition at the capitol building in Salem, OR today, Monday, November 14 at 1 pm to demand that the Oregon Department of State Lands put an end to the project.
The Yurok Tribe announced its opposition to the terminal and pipeline in a statement issued on November 9.
“The impacts to salmon, other fish and native wildlife, in combination with the inherent risks to human populations, are unacceptable,” the Tribe stated.
You can expect to see campaigns against fracking, the construction of oil and natural gas pipelines and the expansion of offshore drilling to build momentum as incoming President Trump promotes increased fossil fuel extraction across the nation.
On Friday, Trump’s transition team released their “energy” plan that proclaims their plans to expand onshore and offshore oil drilling on federal lands and waters — and to “streamline” the permitting process for all energy projects. Their statement is absolutely chilling for anybody who cares about fish and wildlife, people, water, the environment and the public trust:
‘Rather than continuing the current path to undermine and block America's fossil fuel producers, the Trump Administration will encourage the production of these resources by opening onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands and waters. We will streamline the permitting process for all energy projects, including the billions of dollars in projects held up by President Obama, and rescind the job-destroying executive actions under his Administration. We will end the war on coal, and rescind the coal mining lease moratorium, the excessive Interior Department stream rule, and conduct a top-down review of all anti-coal regulations issued by the Obama Administration. We will eliminate the highly invasive "Waters of the US" rule, and scrap the $5 trillion dollar Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan and prevent these unilateral plans from increasing monthly electric bills by double-digits without any measurable effect on Earth's climate.’
Also on Friday, Representative Devin Nunes (CA-22), one of the most extreme Congressional opponents of fish and wildlife restoration in California, the West and the nation and one of the strongest backers of increasing Delta water exports to corporate agribusiness, joined the 16-member executive committee of Donald Trump’s transition team.
“Today I was honored to have been named to the executive committee of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team,” said Nunes. “In this role, I will advise President-elect Trump on the appointments of his Cabinet members and on appointments to other top positions in the new administration. I look forward to helping to assemble an energetic and forward-looking team that will capably lead our country toward more economic growth, greater opportunity, and a safer homeland for all Americans.”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Politico reported Wednesday that David Bernhardt, a lawyer who co-chaired the natural resources department at the firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and served as a George W. Bush Interior Department official, is leading the transition's Interior Department team.
According to Congressional disclosures, his current lobbying clients include the Westlands Water District, considered the Darth Vader of California politics by Tribes, fishermen and environmentalists, and one of the biggest proponents of exporting more Delta water. Bernhart represented the Westlands Water District on litigation involving the Delta and the Endangered Species Act. (www.politico.com)
ATTENTION WHEEZERS AND GEEZERS
The Garcia Grange is hosting this Friday's (November 18) Coastal Seniors dinner at the Point Arena City Hall/Veterans Memorial Building from 5pm until 7pm. Adults $9, children $3 and wine at $4 per glass or $20 per bottle. All money benefits the wonderful Coastal Seniors and their many great programs.
UKIAH TO HOST: RICK STERLING ON SYRIA
County Supervisor Dan Hamburg and former Ukiah Mayor Phil Baldwin are hosting Rick Sterling, founding member of Syria Solidarity Movement steering committee. In Ukiah, Thursday, December 1, Sterling will discuss his 2014 and 2015 visits to Syria and provide a view on the Syrian crisis rarely heard in the mainstream media. Sterling, retired electronics and aerospace engineer, in addition to leadership with the Syria Solidarity Movement, currently serves on the boards of the Mount Diablo Peace Center and the Task Force on the Americas in Marin County. His articles have appeared in Counterpunch, Consortium News, The Duran, Antiwar.com, Dissident Voice, Off Guardian, The Real News, PBS Ombudsman. Syria Solidarity Movement is committed to respect for and protection of Syrian sovereignty and territory in accordance with international law. The movement supports provision of humanitarian aid for all displaced Syrians and advocates a Syrian nonviolent national dialogue without the exclusion of any parties. This event, open to the public at no charge, will take place in the Ukiah United Methodist Church Social Hall on Bush Street between Smith and Standley. Rick will respond to questions after his presentation which begins at 7pm, Thursday, December 1.
JUDGE ORDERS MAKING A MURDERER 'ACCOMPLICE' BRENDAN DASSEY RELEASED AFTER 10 YEARS IN PRISON
A federal judge on Monday ordered Making a Murderer’s Brendan Dassey released from prison.
The Wisconsin man, now 27, was serving a life sentence for the 2005 murder and sexual assault of Teresa Halbach after confessing as a sixteen-year-old.
In August, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin ruled that police tricked the intellectually disabled teenager into describing how he supposedly helped rape, stab, shoot and dismember Halbach on his uncle Steven Avery’s orders.
And he today ordered Dassey released while prosecutors appeal that ruling.
Dassey has until noon Tuesday to provide the address of where he plans to live and his lawyer said he hopes to have him out by Thanksgiving.
But hours after the decision to release Dassey, the Wisconsin Attorney General said he would file an emergency motion to block Dassey's release.
Dassey's supposed confession to the murder of Theresa Halbach was one of the most shocking moments of the December 2015 documentary Making a Murderer.
Halbach was killed on Halloween 2005, after she visited the Avery family's salvage yard in Manitowoc County. Investigators allege Avery lured her there by asking her to take photos of a minivan.
Dassey (top L&R), Halbach, Avery
Theresa Halbach (pictured, lower left) was killed on Halloween 2005, after she visited the Avery family's salvage yard in Manitowoc County. Investigators allege Avery lured her there by asking her to take photos of a minivan
Viewers saw police officers apparently coerce Dassey - the teenager with an IQ of 70 - into confessing to the murder of Halbach along with his uncle Steven Avery.
The documentary also heavily suggested that Avery was framed for the murder by police officers with a grudge.
In freeing Dassey, Magistrate Judge William Duffin held that investigators made specific promises of leniency to Dassey and that no 'fair-minded jurists could disagree.'
He cited one investigator's comment early in the interview that 'you don't have to worry about things,' plus repeated comments like 'it's OK' and that they already knew what happened.
Dassey was memorably shown complaining in the documentary that he would miss Wrestlemania after his confession.
Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 after his arrest in March 2016. Court documents describe him as a slow learner who had poor grades and has difficulty understanding language and speaking. Avery was convicted in a separate trial and was also sentenced to life in prison. He's pursuing his own appeal.
Dassey's Attorney Steve Drizin, would not say where Dassey plans to live and said he had not spoken yet with Dassey.
'That's what I'm focused on right now, getting him home, getting him with his family and then helping him to re-integrate back into society while his appeal plays out,' Drizin said.
Dassey's brother Brad also issued a statement, saying, according to Channel3000.com: 'My brother is one step closer to the freedom he DESREVES! My heart is pumping beyond belief and I'm extremely ecstatic to hear he'll finally get a taste of freedom until things are completely resolved. Despite what people say, I love and care about my brother, Brendan. I always have and always will.'
Dassey will also be barred from obtaining firearms or controlled substances and has been ordered not to have contact with Halbach's family, or Avery.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a statement Monday that he will file that motion with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A federal judge ordered Dassey released while prosecutors appeal a ruling that overturned Dassey's conviction in the 2005 slaying of photographer Teresa Halbach.
U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin ruled in August that investigators tricked Dassey into confessing he helped Avery with the crime. The state has appealed that ruling.
Avery's lawyer Kathleen Zellner had earlier tweeted that Dassey would be released today, but then deleted it.
Making A Murderer was a Netflix crime documentary that aired in December 2015 and transfixed millions.
Armchair detectives binge-watched as they followed the fortunes of two convicted killers Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.
The show told how one man, Steven Avery, spent 18 years in jail for a rape he did not commit, only to be arrested along with his nephew Brendan Dassey for a still more terrible crime – just weeks after he filed a wrongful imprisonment case against police and prosecutors.
In perhaps the most shocking scene, viewers of the show had seen footage of officers pressuring Dassey, who has a mental age of nine, into a making a ‘confession’.
The boy was also shown being bullied and manipulated by his own defence team.
Avery was the first to be charged with the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, a 25-year-old who was last seen heading to take pictures of a vehicle at Avery’s yard for a car magazine.
The story is told through police interrogations, recorded prison phone calls, interviews with family and lawyers and courtroom footage. There is no narrator.
While police were convinced that they had the right man – Halbach’s burned remains had been found in a fire pit on Avery’s property, and her car keys were discovered inside his mobile home – many believed he had, yet again, been framed.
Avery’s blood was found inside Halbach’s car, but then a vial of his blood from the previous case was found to have been tampered with.
The box in which it had been stored had the taped lid removed and a tiny needle mark was found in the top of the vial, suggesting blood could have been removed via a syringe and ‘planted’ at the murder scene.
Manitowoc police officers, who at the time were in the middle of being deposed in his wrongful imprisonment lawsuit, had been involved in gathering evidence in the murder case, and defence lawyers insisted they might have planted evidence to frame him.
It was, however, the ‘confession’ by Avery’s then 16-year-old nephew Dassey which proved the most damning.
The youngster who was ‘deeply impressionable’, confessed that he raped Halbach and saw his uncle shoot her dead.
He also admitted helping dismember and burn the body.
Dassey immediately recanted his confession, but it was too late.
He was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse. Avery was tried and convicted separately.
In a letter written after his 2007 conviction, Dassey said: ‘The investigators tormented me until I said what they wanted me to say.
'The investigators got into my head saying that if I confessed they would let me go, but when I did they locked me up. They tricked me. I was afraid of them back then.’
He called the trial a ‘witch hunt’ and added: ‘The prosecutors don’t care what they do. They just want a conviction.’
CAL FIRE MENDOCINO UNIT TRANSITIONS OUT OF FIRE SEASON
Willits – Recent rains and cooler temperatures across the region have lowered the threat of wildfires allowing CAL FIRE’s Mendocino Unit to transition out of fire season effective Monday, November 14th at 12:01 A.M. in Mendocino County.
Acting Unit Chief Eric Hoffmann encourages all residents to take advantage of the cooler months ahead and prepare your home for the 2016 fire season by creating 100 feet of defensible space around your home. Detailed information on defensible space is available on our website at www.fire.ca.gov or contact CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit Headquarters at (707) 459-7414.
As drought conditions continue to have a hold on California, CAL FIRE is maintaining staffing to meet the current threat, as well as strategically moving resources to areas that remain at a higher threat level. CAL FIRE will also continue to monitor weather conditions closely and still has the ability to increase staffing should weather conditions change or if there is a need to support wildfires or other emergencies in other areas of the State. The 2016 fire season has been an extremely active year, even more so than in 2015. Statewide, CAL FIRE and firefighters from many local agencies battled over 5,585 wildfires within the State Responsibility Area that burned nearly 148,000 acres. This is over 1,170 more wildfires this year than normal. In the Mendocino Unit, CAL FIRE responded to 136 wildfires that charred approximately 248 acres.
During the cooler winter months, CAL FIRE will be focusing efforts on the implementation of fire prevention and fuels treatment activities as guided by the State’s Strategic Fire Plan and localized Unit fire plans. These activities are aimed at reducing the impacts of large, damaging wildfires and improving overall forest health.
Residents are urged to still take precautions outdoors in order to prevent sparking a wildfire. A leading cause of wildfires this time of year is from escaped landscape debris burning. Before you burn, ensure it is a permissive burn day by contacting the Mendocino County Quality Air Management District and then make sure you have any and all required burn permits. For more information regarding burning regulations go to the MCQAMD web site at www.mendoair.org or call the District office at (707) 463-4354. Recorded Burn Day status is available 24/7 on the Burn Information Line at (707) 463-4391.
During burning, make sure that piles of landscape debris are no larger than four feet in diameter, provide a 10 ft. clearance down to bare mineral soil around the burn pile and ensure that a responsible adult is in attendance at all times with a water source and a shovel.
For more ways to prevent sparking a wildfire visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.
SCAM RED FLAGS AND HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
A scammer tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if payment isn't made through prepaid cash card - usually within an hour.
- PG&E never requires a customer to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection. Customers behind on their bill receive multiple advance disconnection notifications - never a single notification one hour before disconnection. Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.
- Hang up on suspicious calls. Contact local police on their non-emergency number and then call PG&E.
- Never dial phone numbers scammers provide or assume caller ID is accurate. Scammers use sophisticated systems where they can mimic caller ID that appears to be PG&E's number.
- An in-person scammer wears a hard hat, an orange vest and holds a clip board and asks to see your utility bill or to be let inside your home.
- If someone is at your door claiming to represent PG&E and is unwilling to show their ID or is otherwise making you uncomfortable, don't let them in and call local law enforcement immediately. PG&E employees carry identification and are always willing to show it to you.
- Expect to receive an automated call from PG&E 48 hours before a scheduled visit. You may also receive a personal call from a PG&E gas service representative before a scheduled visit. You can also call PG&E to verify an appointment.
- A scammer sends an email that demands immediate payment, asks for financial information or contains suspicious links.
- Beware of emails requesting your personal information. Never click on suspicious links or open attachments that demand immediate payment or financial information. Customers who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during contact with one of these scammers, should contact local authorities and then PG&E 1-800-743-5000.
For more information visit www.pge.com
AS LEONARD COHEN WROTE:
"I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair
With a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere."
We may be living in a kakistocracy come January, but we are not helpless.
— Norma Watkins
WE STAND WITH STANDING ROCK PROTEST — TOMORROW!
This is just a reminder that tomorrow at noon we gather to support the Lakota Sioux at Standing Rock in their efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Please join us at noon in front of the Army Corps of Engineers office at 1325 J street in Sacramento.
We will hear from Carol Standing Elk who has just returned from Standing Rock in North Dakota; there will be song and prayer, and we will be carrying signs. Please remember that we gather nonviolently, in a spirit of prayerful support as requested by the Elders Council. We want to uplift and embody the values expressed at Oceti Sakowin Camp throughout our demonstration. The values to uplift are Prayer. Respect. Compassion. Honesty. Generosity. Humility. Wisdom.
Please bring signs, or if you don't have them, come and stand in witness and support. More than 400 of us have signed up to witness for the Standing Rock Sioux who have been beset by militarized police, seen their burial sites defaced and who protect the Missouri River. We support their calls: #NoDAPL and Water is Life. There are likely to be some extra signs and banners you can help hold if you do not have time to make one yourself.
Since we expect so many, we will probably need to stand on both sides of J in order to peacefully witness without blocking the streets or the sidewalks. When you arrive, please look for the most obvious place to join the line. We may stretch for more than a block!
Thank you for your spirit and willingness to show that we stand with those who stand for clean water and a halt to the Dakota Pipeline. Now more than ever we need to stand together.
Here is some info to help you get there: If you take mass transit, the numbers 30 and 62 buses go down J street; and the Blue Line is the nearest light rail. If you drive, there are several parking lots within a block of the site, on 13th and 14th streets. There is also on street parking at meters in the several block radius north of J street.
See you tomorrow to raise our voices together: We Stand with Standing Rock and #NoDAPL.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more info.
Sacramento Climate Coalition