Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017
by AVA News Service, February 1, 2017
NOT MUCH MORE need be said about the upcoming rain through next week than the Weather Service’s latest Navarro River gage prediction:
FORT BRAGG NOTES
by Rex Gressett
There are a million stories in the city, possibly fewer in Fort Bragg but still quite a few. I personally have my limitations. Every time I start to write a piece I find that there is one important thing that stands out and crowds everything else out, one thing that needs to be written and that is the only thing that I really can write.
I have been flatly amazed by the number of people who have responded to these articles. It is a rare thing that I go to Safeway or downtown to walk my dogs that someone does not remark on something that I have written.
If I had been doing these articles ten years ago, or even five it would not be happening — the AVA, mendocinosportsplus, wellness line and all of the readers and thinkers that use them have created a truly new thing, something that we can see is new, but which hath already been before us in former times had we cared to avail ourselves of it.
Old Solomon had it wrong in that instance, there are new things under the sun. Cellphones are something new, virtual reality is about to be new. And the AVA also is nothing like what newspapers used to be.
Whatever it is, the AVA is clearly is not a few professional spin-docs telling the rest of the people what is important. The chats (mendocinosportsplus is by far my personal favorite) are the same way. These new media are filled with stories, articles, posts and comments that come out of the whole mass of us, that float or sink without adult supervision that use the entire county as an editorial board.
Nothing in my lifetime has seemed as portentous. No evolution of politics has seemed as pregnant with possibility as this new kind of forum, this unifier of people. This new media in Mendocino is bringing us together and strangely sorting out ideas and stories and information.
The local politicians in Fort Bragg damn sure have taken attentive notice. Empty city council meetings are a thing of the past. We can pack city hall.
I am prouder of being a part of that than anything that I have done in a long life. I love what we are doing in this new media and I am blown away by the process that a community of readers and writers and posters are inventing.
So it is that I am very sorry to break an unwritten rule. I am ashamed to write what I have to write but it is that one thing, that one crucial thing, that has crowded out everything else, It is distressingly personal, it is not about us as a community, it is not informational or particularly perceptive. It is none of the things that make the AVA material so damn engaging
But I have to write it.
For those of you who do not know me personally I am an old man. And I live pretty close to the edge of destitution.
In New York where I lived most of my adult life that statement is called showing ass. This succinct and punchy phrase implies an unworthy and contemptible demonstration of those matters that properly ought to be a personal embarrassment and in courtesy and respect for social harmony if not hidden at the least not flouted.
I doubt that I would have ever said it if events had not transpired as they did.
Saturday afternoon the Mendocino County deputy sheriffs came to my old ship and took my old dog. They were very rough about doing it. I barely avoided being arrested and there was no sense that these deputies had the least regard or respect or even awareness of how deep a wound they were inflicting.
My dog had nipped another dog downtown, and I stupidly had thought nothing of it. I barely remembered it. Two days later I could not at first believe that they were going to take my beloved Olive.
Of course after they left, I talked at once to the Fort Bragg police who I know quite well having met them all through one political event or discussion or something. They told me that in Fort Bragg in such cases the dog is never actually taken but was required to remain at home for the ten-day quarantine period.
The sheriffs department had a different approach.
Later as I swam in the sea of frustration making calls to a diversity of bored and indifferent authorities pleading for acknowledgement, or some help, or even sympathy, I thought back and recalled more clearly the event.
But that Saturday my attention was pretty much taken up by the ruthless and callous invasion of my life and space and the taking of a friend.
The deputies who took Olive did not (of course) convey any sense of consideration or politeness and they made a few statements to me that turned out later to be lies. They said they would take the dog to our local shelter and then took her to Ukiah, which is far for me. They said I could get her back in ten days but it looks like I won’t.
That night I consoled myself that the dog could endure it and I could too. But when I called around to find her I found to my inexpressible distress that the fines they were charging me for keeping my dog in jail were more than my own total income. I was going to lose her. What would they do with her? Were the Mendocino County sheriffs going to kill my dog?
If I were to spend every dime I have on the dog fines I would never get her back. The workers at the shelter who told me this were hostile, contemptuous and without any regard at all of my personal loss. Hello.
I live all alone, I have no family and many books. And I have my dog. The dog is something to me that I cannot express, she is kind, she is gentle, she nipped a little yapper and I am deeply sorry for it. But now she is as alone as I am and it is a hard thing to take.
There are those moments that come to us in life where pain can show you things. As I thought back over the whole thing, I marveled at the cruelty of the people who had made this call.
But I already knew, I really did and so do you.
I was speaking with Carmel Angelo the County Chief Executive who I like and admire quite a bit and mentioned to her as a sort of prod to action that she was after all the most powerful executive in the county. She rolled her eyes in a meaningful way and told me I was a bit of a fool, the Sheriff was by far the most powerful official saith she. And so he is, but why?
Norman de Vall, long time supervisor, once told me that in our county 75% of the population does not have a high school diploma. I cannot fact check this right now, but I would be interested to know if that dismal figure is correct. We are the poorest county in the state. We have the highest number of homeless people per capita. We have the worst roads. We have an amazing abundance of addicted folks from all classes.
But for all of that we offer incentives to folks who want to retire here. Mendocino has a lot to offer for the rich folks who want to come here and retire in a beautiful place albeit among the peasants and the tweekers. Of course they must be carefully separated from the riff-raff physically.
To keep things rolling the tweekers and the poor feel the strong arm of the law in a routine and brutal way. The rich not so much.
As a county we are $149 million in the hole, I believe it is. And that deficit is what it is because privilege requires and can invoke armed protection, a lot of it. In our county this armed protection knows quite well who to demoralize and whose ass to kiss. The Sheriffs Department is a force that clearly understands the social and political value of demoralizing people. It is strange to think that the oppressed and beleaguered and addicted could in theory change the picture. The numbers are so skewed and the disenfranchised are so numerous that if by come miracle they awoke one day and actually voted we could in theory put a stop to the brutality.
Do you, gentle reader, think that I exaggerate this determined and joyous harassment of the poor? Perhaps my one bad experience losing my dog has made me petty and bitter and the facts about our Sheriffs Department are quite otherwise. Do you think that? If you live in our County you don't.
The SWAT team will show up if you deny a social worker access to your aging parent. They can take your money (anybody's money) if you have more than $750 in your pocket and never give it back, even if you are never convicted, even if you are never charged. They have paramilitary operations so called the LEAP program operating in our forests. Fall out of the class of the privileged and you have every expectation of a new perspective on the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department.
A READER TAKES EXCEPTION to the Pot Lobby's notion that taxing them is illegal:
"Pebs and Larry have obviously been vaping the full amount of medicine allowed to them by law. They are attempting to latch onto the coat tails of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association who are suing the City of Ukiah claiming their half-cent sales tax measure was a ‘special tax’ requiring a two-thirds vote instead of a ‘general tax’ that only requires a majority vote. The city tax measure, just like the county marijuana tax, was put forth as a general tax but each was accompanied by a non-binding advisory measure that allowed the voters to vote in favor of a statement about how the funds would be spent. The claim by Howard Jarvis is that the advisory measure misled the voters and converted the general tax to a special tax."
“Not to get too personal here, but Pebs believes marijuana is a miracle drug and Larry Rosen is a retired lawyer who moved to Mendocino County to grow weed. The quality of their legal research is questionable. Rosen claims the City of Ukiah tax that is being challenged by Howard Jarvis is a cigarette tax when in reality it is a sales tax. Pebs misses the mark by claiming that the marijuana tax needs a two-thirds vote just because it is a tax. In reality, it only needs a two-thirds vote if it is a ‘special tax’ with the proceeds dedicated to a defined purpose. It will be up to a court to determine if the Howard Jarvis claim (or one brought by Pebs and Lar) has any validity. But it is no surprise that anti-tax pot growers like Pebs and Larry are in bed with Howard Jarvis."
A READER WRITES:
I went to Ukiah the other day and hit Raley's. Christ. Was astounded and had to stand and stare at the double line of cars all the way around In and Out Burger where Fjord's used to be. Lit up like the Academy Awards! Everything but klieg lights. I guess it was all the headlights on the cars, double ringing the building!
I heard there were two-hour waits to fill orders, it was so busy. Nobody in line over at Mac and Don's Supper Club (McDonald's) nor Kinga Burger, just a hop, skip, and jump up road.
I have never had one, but am told they grill onions to put on the burgers, if you ask, and have a bunch of other stuff that's not on the menu.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Got my ball workout in early today before the big rains.”
A HEAVY HITTER named Rebecca Solnit wrote a long essay for the January 19th edition of the London Review of Books called "From Lying to Leering: Donald Trump's Fear of Women." I'll say out front I admire her work, and have been reading her for years, but I thought her essay for LRB was off in important ways, and I thought overall it was overwrought to the verge of candy-ass-ism:
"WOMEN TOLD ME they had flashbacks to hideous episodes in their past after the second presidential debate on 9 October, or couldn't sleep, or had nightmares."
I READ this lead sentence from Solnit to the women in my life and they just laughed, agreeing with me that if the image of Trump pacing and looming up behind Hillary during the so-called debate frightened women they must be short on traumatic experience. (For the record, the women in my life seldom agree with me about anything.)
YUP, I WATCHED that debate, and, naively, at least half-expected the great speakers-of-truth-to-power, the two multi-millionaires allegedly moderating the debate for CNN, Diane Ravitch and Anderson Cooper, to suppress Trump, to tell him that he couldn't undermine and attempt to intimidate Hillary or anybody else in a debate format by constantly looming up behind her with his childish pantomimes, pacing around the stage like he's the only person on it worthy of consideration. But that's what he does, and nobody stops him.
OF COURSE the pathetic moderators (and where was Big Bill Clinton?) let Trump do and say whatever he wanted because, I guess, the advertisers expected the show to go on. Trump was certainly outrageous with his strutting, neo-Mussolini performance, and for the first time ever I felt some sympathy for Hillary, but someone should have told the fat assed fascist to stay behind his own podium or we'll pull the plug on the event.
I THOUGHT Hill held up pretty well considering the context. But traumatizing for women watching? Please. Let's save the terror adjectives for women who endure peril as a condition of their lives, and there's millions of them right here in Liberty Land.
ADDITIONALLY, Solnit claimed, basically, that Clinton lost not on the issues and her political history but because of hysterical male rage, that inchoate male anger that hated her, a candidate so far superior to the orange sociopath that she only lost because white men can't tolerate strong women.
SOLNIT: "You could pick out a lot of feminist high points and corporate and neoliberal low points in her career, but for anyone more interested in the future of the US and the world her 2016 platform seemed most relevant, though no one seemed to know anything about it."
PROBABLY because it didn't exist beyond the usual platitudes that pass for a Democratic Party platform and Hillary's platform specifically: "We'll increase the marginal tax rates for people with incomes over $5 million; capital gains tax will go to 30%; every child deserves a fair chance; America's long struggle with race is far from finished."
PEOPLE who are barely getting by, or have already slipped through the cracks, a slight bump in taxes on people making more than $5 million a year has no meaning, no relevance. Struggling people are not going to bother to vote for this kind of vacuity.
BUT ORANGE MAN steps up with his transparent bullshit like, "We're going to build a wall and the Mexicans are going to pay for it" and, to millions of white people, male and female, he manages to sound to them like he's the guy who will solve all their grievances, especially their ethnic grievances. Mr. Take Charge, Mr. Tell It Like It Is, while to the leftover left, people like me, we know he's going to make everything worse faster than Hillary would have made things worse.
ONE LAST SHOT: Solnit, definitely an inside the bubble person, sees "heterosexual white men" as either overtly or covertly, Trumpian, that hetero Whitey's complaints about "identity politics" is a codeword for a secret Klan-like yearning to lynch black people and fag-bash. And, natch, oppress women.
I THINK a total focus on identity politics is code for refusing to talk economics, real economics about how it has come to be that Bill Gates is about to become the world's first trillionaire. When it comes to talking money, the Democrats always slip slide away because, like for Trump, the people outside Limo Land don't exist, except rhetorically, and even then just barely.
HILLARY LOST because she and the Democrats don't stand for anything. For people like me, the leftover left, she and the Democrats are monstrous across the board, everything from drone attacks on wedding parties to repeal of Glass-Steagall.
CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS AV PANTHER NARROW LOSS TO MENDOCINO CARDINALS — BUT…
Panther Basketball Coach Luis Espinoza Writes:
The Panthers lost a squeaker against Mendocino Tuesday night, 66 to 65. After having a night to think about how the game against Mendocino went, I keep going back to how great our Panthers played. There were multiple opportunities to put our heads down and give up but we didn't and we fought to get back in it each and every time. I can't begin to express how proud I am of our kids and our fans. I do think we're a step above the rest and sportsmanship in and of itself has always been my commitment to this sport. I believe we showed that last night when the winning team's fans were "jubilantly" expressing their teams win. What they do and how they celebrate or complain is on their administrators and parents. They aren't Panthers. There are rivalries and this is one I have known for a long time. It's ingrained in me, a part of me, and it will always remain there, but it's high school basketball plain and simple.
There are winners and there are losers in every contest. I'll briefly explain what happened last night: With 2.1 seconds left on the clock and a tie game, Mendocino inbounded the ball. With the dribbler making his way through two Panther defenders, he lost control of the ball and made contact with one defender. A foul was called as the clock stopped with 0.2 seconds (two-tenths of a second). Both teams were in Bonus which sent the Mendocino player to the free-throw line. He made his first shot putting them up by one. As he was preparing to take the second shot, a Mendocino player committed a lane violation causing a turnover. The ball should have been given to us for the inbound attempt with 0.2 seconds left. The head official then (incorrectly) assumed because there was not sufficient time left on the clock to inbound the ball, called the game. At that point emotions were high and I failed to recognize what the issue was; still in disbelief that (1) a foul was called (2) that the clock had not run out in the time the player was dribbling. Regardless, I did not take command of the situation and let the game end.
There are multiple scenarios that could have played out with 0.2 seconds left on the clock. A dead ball foul, a technical foul, even a long ball tip in could have been attempted. None of those opportunities came to pass because the referees walked off the court and hand shakes were exchanged.
Any Panther faithful who knows these boys: please take the opportunity to tell them how wonderful they played last night. There are so many good things to take from this game and, let’s be honest, we know who the better team is, when a 70% free throw shooting team shoots 12-26 from the line, you aren't going to win many close games.
In perspective, it's not the last shot that wins the game, it's everything combined. I spoke to the official last night who personally called me last night after I got home. We had a good conversation and I don't hold anything against him. We all had a job to do last night and in the end we all went home a little wiser.
Mendocino's coach came to me after the game and offered up that I should protest the outcome of the game.
(1) There is no protest in HS basketball and (2) what would it prove? I thought about it last night and this morning, I'm not going to act like the sore loser and complain about how the game ended. I'm going to take these boys to practice as usual and we'll get back on the horse, ready to take on the next team that decides to play us.
BTW: If Mendocino really feels bad about the outcome of the game, they are welcome to call it a wash and let’s play again. I mean technically the game NEVER ended — let's do it again and see what happens. What do you have to lose?
* * *
PS. If you want to see how the game ended feel free to look at the MendocinoSportsPlus Facebook page. A grainy video of the end will show you what happened.
Our next game is Friday night against Covelo. Games start at 3:30 pm.
ON THURSDAY, January 26, 2017, Marie Parisi, 37, of Fort Bragg, was driving her 2011 Honda Civic north on Highway 1 at about 40mph with her seatbelt on when Ms. Parisi made an usafe turn to the right, colliding with the concrete sidewalk. Her Civic overturned and landed on its roof. Alcohol was deemed a factor in the collision and Ms. Parisi was cited for DUI and taken to Mendocino Coast District Hospital for treatment of major injuries.
(CHP Press Release)
CATCH OF THE DAY
Bennett, Casey, Eaglesmith
ISAIAH BENNETT, Willits. Probation revocation.
JOHNATHAN CASEY, Willits. Failure to appear.
JEVON EAGLESMITH, Willits. Battery.
Escobar, Galindo-Hernandez, Guy
RUTILIO ESCOBAR, Redwood Valley. Criminal threats, probation revocation.
ISRAEL GALINDO-HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Attempted murder.
ANDY GUY, Los Angeles/Fort Bragg. Protective order violation.
Hanover, Hughs, Keyser, Pineda
PATRICK HANOVER, Covelo. Possession of meth, paraphernalia, protective/court order violation, probation revocation.
MARK HUGHS, Ukiah. Under influence.
CHRISTOPHER KEYSER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
LUIS PINEDA, Fort Bragg. Billy club (or similar), failure to appear, probation revocation.
FORTUNATELY, there is a band of heroic go-getters who can lead us out of this dark time: Congressional Democrats. Last night they held a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court, presumably to kiss it goodbye. And in this hour of crisis Nancy Pelosi rallied a troubled nation with these immortal words:
“Good evening, everyone. Thank you very much for coming out. Is the sound working? Got it? Is the sound working? No? I don’t know. I can hear you. Can you hear us? Is the sound working?”…
It’s like the battle cry in Braveheart: “THEY MAY TAKE OUR LIVES! BUT THEY WILL NEVER TAKE — Hello? [tap, tap] Is this thing on? Hello? Can you guys hear me in the back there?”
— Steven Colbert
THE FURTHER AWAY YOU GET from the hysterical liberal elite enclaves of places like New York, Los Angeles and London, the more calmer common sense prevails. Those people see a travel ban portrayed as a ‘racist Muslim ban,’ then work out for themselves that 85% of the world’s Muslims aren’t actually banned, and shrug their shoulders. They know President Obama had a shockingly poor record on admitting Syrian refugees, and let many of them die by not engaging with Assad when he crossed the fabled ‘red line,’ so they can’t get too worked up about Trump not letting any in. They remember Bill Clinton had ‘sexual relations’ with interns inside the Oval Office, so can’t get too wildly outraged by Trump saying women throw themselves at celebrities either. Just as they know Bill’s wife Hillary voted for war with anything that moved, so they rather like Trump not instantly nuking Russia but instead making friendly overtures to Putin.
— Piers Morgan
ZIGGY is a lovely, senior dog who was surrendered to the Ukiah Shelter when circumstances in his home changed. Ziggy is 15 years old, neutered, and 64 pounds. He is a gentle, calm dog. Senior dogs are not easy to place, but they can be a wonderful addition to a home. Ziggy’s senior status means his adoption fees are reduced (as are all our dog guests over the age of 6 years.) We're hoping that Ziggy's guardian angel is out there reading the Anderson Valley Advertiser today. You can find out more about Ziggy, and contact information for the shelter by going to: www.mendoanimalshelter.com.
To the Editor:
For anyone amazed, as I was, at Trump’s desperate fabrication about how big his inauguration audience was, followed by an even more incomprehensible blasting of the media by his press secretary for reporting the truth…welcome to a new reality.
At first I dismissed it as just another stupid but harmless boasting by someone with an oversized ego needing constant self-glorification. Does Trump and his team really think they can get away with creating these “alternative facts” as his spokesperson Kellyanne Conway called it?
An astute media observer Rascouet-Paz, however, has identified this instead as a shrewd political ploy designed to:
- Keep the media defensive and on its heels,
- Harden his base against his enemy, the “corrupt, dishonest media,”
- Confuse and numb the remaining public with conflicting realities.
- And worst, divert the Democrats and everyone else with these inconsequential sideshows so less energy gets paid to his real agenda … as, for example, little reporting last weekend went into his first executive order that would effectively gut Obamacare from the inside out.
For anyone interested in seeing just how clever and sinister this strategy is, please Google Anna Rascouet-Paz and her Jan. 21 tweet.
For me what stood out most in her tweet was: “The idea isn’t to convince (most) people of untrue things; it’s to fatigue them so they’ll stay out of the political process entirely. This is laying important groundwork for the months ahead. If Trump’s Whitehouse is willing to lie about something as obviously, unquestionably fake as this, just imagine what else they’ll lie about. In particular, things the public cannot possibly know the truth of. It’s gonna get real bad.”
Rick Childs, Caspar
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Well, here’s one result of this past week’s furor. I was born in the States but have been Canadian for the last 50 years. We moved here in ’68. My brother also lives in Canada. I was talking with him on the phone Friday night and mentioned that I might forgo any visit to our sister (living near Bellingham WA) for the next while. No particular reason beyond being a bit nervous to cross the border.
He replied he had already beat me to it. He informed our sister that he would not be visiting the US, “anytime, soon”. I mentioned this to my wife and she told me about her swimming group. They were all talking about Trump and the fiasco he is orchestrating and to a person they have also decided they would not, “Go down to the States”. In fact, most of them were now saying they have decided not to buy any ‘Made in USA’ goods if at all possible. Instead, they have now switched to buying just Canadian produce and products, and if they are seasonally unavailable, they would buy Mexican.
Obviously, no big deal for a US-centric people/mindset. In fact, I can hear the response now, “Well then stay home you Canadian commie pinko fags”. Sure, I accept that. But multiply this around the world and what do you have? Certainly, the Clintons were corrupt money grubbers dispensing inside access. But Trump is not only making America supposedly great, again? (hah), he is single-handedly making you into a hated people around the world. How long will it take before a common chant around the world is, “Fuck USA…Fuck Trump”…. And the problem is my friends, you need everyone else more than we need you.
SINGLE PAYER, DON BEYER & THE DEFENSIVE DEMOCRATS
Congressman Don Beyer (D-Virginia) says he's for single payer.
Then why hasn't he co-sponsored the single payer bill in the House (HR 676)?
Please take a moment today, give Congressman Beyer a call and ask him why. (DC office: (202) 225-4376. Alexandria, Virginia office: (703) 658-5403)
Don Beyer, you say you are for single payer.
Why don't you co-sponsor HR 676?
Let us know what he says.
See our most recent story on Don Beyer, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi and the defensive Democrats here:
Onward to Single Payer
Single Payer Action
FREE DOCENT TRAINING - BOTANICAL GARDENS
Each year thousands of children and adults visit the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, spending a few hours or the entire day exploring. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has something for everyone -- manicured areas with beautiful displays of perennials, fuchsias, and succulents, and nature trails along the creek to the ocean bluffs. Rhododendrons, camellias, and dahlias are also widely popular attractions. If you are passionate about these same features of the Gardens, consider becoming a docent. The Docent Program offers an opportunity for visitors to learn and experience more than what they would on their own. The Gardens will be holding a free Docent Training on March 15th, 22nd, and 29th in the MCBG Meeting Room from 10 to noon. Each session will include classroom instruction and a walk through the Gardens to become familiar with collections, trails, and MCBG history. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-964-4352 x10. It is strongly recommend you attend all 3 sessions.
Good news! Ten Californians Resisting Trump
State of Resistance: Ten Californians Who Will Take on Trump. Meet the leaders of the West Coast resistance.
Jerry Brown. At 78, Governor Brown remains a pugnacious yet mercurial politician whose career path is unlike any other in California history. He has already put Donald Trump on notice that there will be no retreat from his crowning achievements, including far-reaching climate change policies, and in the last two years of his final term, Brown has nothing to lose and a legacy to burnish.
Maria Elena Durazo. The longtime labor leader, raised in a family of migrant farm workers, will be a formidable opponent of Trump’s immigration policies. A chief architect of the 2003 Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, Durazo brings passion, authority and personal experience to the immigrant-rights movement, along with a track record of taking on and defeating powerful adversaries.
Kamala Harris. The charismatic successor to Barbara Boxer may be a junior U.S. Senator of a minority party, but she will command national media attention, and use it to fight the Trump agenda at every turn. Some believe Harris could be a future Democratic presidential standard-bearer, and her ability to eloquently yet forcefully convey progressive values could pave the way for a White House run — perhaps sooner rather than later.
Julie Su. California’s labor commissioner is known for her principled and unrelenting defense of exploited workers. Su will serve as a dramatic counterpoint to Trump’s labor secretary, Andy Puzder (should he be confirmed), underscoring the vast chasm between vigorous labor law enforcement and the new administration’s corporate approach to workers’ rights.
Xavier Becerra. Appointed by Brown to replace Harris as state attorney general after her election to the Senate, the veteran congressman is widely expected to do unto Trump what Texas’ attorney general did to President Obama — use the power of law to obstruct. As the top law enforcement official of the nation’s most populous state, Becerra will wield substantial influence and, if his past is any indication, will not shy away from even the most controversial battles.
Kevin de Lean and Anthony Rendon. The state Senate President Pro Tem and Assembly Speaker, respectively, drew a line in the sand with their defiant post-election statement, which went viral with its vow to oppose Trump on everything from immigrant rights to inequality. Products of the state’s remarkable political transformation, which has seen young leaders of color rise quickly to power, de LeÃ³n and Rendon are both highly skilled legislative strategists who will use their clout to push back hard against the White House.
Anthony Thigpenn. A legendary community organizer, Thigpenn is the founder of California Calls, perhaps the most effective low-income voter mobilization operation in the country. He is regarded as a visionary in the field of voter engagement and expanding the electorate, and his skills will be in heavy demand both inside and beyond California.
Tom Steyer. Billionaire activist and political donor Steyer has both the resources and the appetite to take on Trump —not only on his signature issue of climate change but also on economic inequality. Look for him to invest heavily in efforts to expand the Democratic electorate, as well as challenge every Trump effort to thwart California’s climate-change policy.
Laphonza Butler. Head of the powerful Service Employees International Union’s California State Council, Butler is a force to be reckoned with in one of the few states in the country where unions are growing rather than contracting. She and SEIU California have racked up a string of impressive victories, and played a key role in the passage last year of a statewide $15-an-hour minimum wage law, and though far from doctrinaire in her views on labor and business, she will be a thorn in the side of Trump for as long as he is in office.
SAYING GOODBYE TO SARA
CRCMC Invites Public to Retirement Party for Sara O’Donnell
Mendocino, CA – The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County invites the public to a farewell party for retiring founder Sara O'Donnell to thank her for her contribution to cancer care in our region during the past 20 years. The event will be held Saturday, February 18, 2017 from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at the Caspar Community Center. The event will feature a polenta lasagna dinner and attendees can purchase beer or wine. Music will be provided by Soul Survivor. “We are so grateful to Sara for her passionate dedication to the idea that no one in Mendocino County face cancer alone,” said board member Jendi Coursey. Learn more about the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County at crcmendocino.org.
GROUPS BLAST SENATE CONFIRMATION OF EXXON CEO AS SECRETARY OF STATE
by Dan Bacher
The U.S. Senate just voted to confirm former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State by a 56 to 43 vote.
During the 2016 election, ExxonMobil contributed over $350,000 to 39 Senators.
The three Democrats who voted for Tillerson are Senator Heidi Heilcamp (D-ND), Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.VA) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). One independent, Angus King (I-ME), also voted for confirmation. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) didn't vote.
Environmental groups responded quickly by slamming the vote as delivering U.S. foreign policy over to Big Oil.
“U.S. foreign policy is now being run by oil industry,” said the Center for Biological Diversity in a tweet. “Sad. Scary.”
In response to the vote, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:
"Make no mistake, just like Donald Trump, Rex Tillerson has no mandate. He was confirmed with substantially less support than any other Secretary of State in history. It’s unconscionable that the Senate confirmed an oil executive to be America’s ambassador to the world. And yet, that’s exactly what they have done. Perhaps it’s no surprise, since so many of those voting in favor of Rex Tillerson have benefitted from Exxon’s political contributions over the years.
“The Sierra Club is committed to fighting for our families, our communities, and our environment, and we will challenge any environmentally destructive policy Donald Trump or Rex Tillerson throw our way.”
Oil Change International responded to the confirmation in a tweet: “Things are very much NOT fine. We need to Separate Oil and State, not join it at the hip.”
Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International, also released the following statement:
“I, for one, welcome our new fossil fuel overlords. Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State makes it perfectly obvious who the rest of the world, and all of us, are dealing with. America appears clearly today on the world stage as a country that is sadly of, by, and for the oil industry.
“We are of course, much much more. America is a place where citizens value the water and air that the oil industry inevitably pollutes. We are a nation of ranchers and farmers and climate activists and native Americans who have beaten the oil industry before, and we will do so again, now for even bigger stakes.
“Rex Tillerson should know that we will be watching his every move, resisting every attempt to push his oily agenda, and standing up for the health and safety of our communities at every turn. All eyes are now on Russia, where it will be fascinating to see if U.S. sanctions are now lifted, and Exxon’s fortunes thus dramatically improve. We will watch the outcome of the case that accuses Exxon, during his tenure, of human right abuses in Indonesia. We look forward to Secretary Tillerson’s testimony in upcoming climate trials. We particularly look forward to exposing his ongoing denial of the billions of dollars the oil industry receives in taxpayer support every year.
“The divided vote in the Senate is historic, with more than 40 votes against his confirmation. This constitutes more opposition to a Secretary of State nomination than we have seen since at least World War II.
The Senators who voted to confirm Rex Tillerson voted for climate denial and we will make sure the public is aware of that fact. We will demand a Separation of Oil and State.”
350.org tweeted: “Today's vote shows that corruption works in Washington. Exxon has spent millions to influence Congress and this is the result.”
The three Democrats who voted for Tillerson are Senator Heidi Heilcamp (D-ND), Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVA) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). One independent, Angus King (I-ME), also voted for confirmation. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) didn't vote.
For a great infographic about Tillerson, go to: www.greenpeace.org/...
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that President Trump has left the White House on Marine One on “an unannounced trip. The White House has not disclosed destination.”
Okay, what are we going to do now? Anybody have a clear idea? Postmodern America is in chaos, like a roller coaster which has jumped off of the track! And this globalized society is occupying the seats. I have been spending Sundays at the Shiva Temple in Concord, CA because there isn't anything more worthwhile to do here, in a worsening national cultural death zone. Alternatively, I could walk around downtown Oakland which is mostly vacant on Sunday. And then walk around Lake Merritt ignoring the joggers. And then visit Walden Pond Books. And then visit The Coffee Mill which features alive jazz music. And then walk back around the lake to BART. And then visit Berkeley, go to People's Park which would accomplish nothing, and then by default find a watering hole full of sports fans and drink beer and cheer on local teams. Ya, I could do that. Or else I could just go to City Lights bookstore in San Francisco for a browse, and then drop into Vesuvio's next door and drink beer and cheer on local sports teams, eliminating entirely the trip to the east bay. Ya, I could do that. Or I could go to the Shiva Temple in Concord, CA and sit silent meditation in front of the elephant headed Ganesh murti, and then chant Shiva mantrams in front of the Murugan murti, (he with the vel weapon who leads Shiva's army), and then pranam the Durga warrior goddess murti. Ya, I could do that. And then go downstairs for a free cooked prasadam food feast with the mostly South Indian congregation. And then chant Om Namah Shivaya all the way back to the city on BART, arriving in time for the sunset at Ocean Beach. Ya, I could do that. I could do just about anything, because the revolution is now being televised.
Craig Louis Stehr