Mendocino County Today: Thursday, June 15, 2017
by AVA News Service, June 15, 2017
THE COUNTY'S "Cannabis Track and Trace Program's informational workshop" this afternoon (Wednesday) in Boonville, impressions of...
THE COUNTY CREW responsible for aspects of what is essentially a registration and hefty fee process with, as County CEO Carmel Angelo put it, "No County authority over public safety" numbered about 8. Translation: We have no control over what the cops do whether or not you jump through the County's hoops.
MS. ANGELO'S TEAM had been in Fort Bragg this morning from ten to noon, meaning a leisurely tax-paid lunch and drive to Boonville for Boonville's 3 o'clock meeting, which started twenty minutes late and went on until…. I don't know. (I don't do public meetings that last more than an hour.)
MS. ANGELO suggested her frustration with the law enforcement end of the County's marijuana licensing project. This is not a coordinated effort in Mendocino County between the registration program and law enforcement. In other words, not much has changed. You, the producer, can negotiate a lengthy and expensive process with no guarantee you won't be busted either here at home or on the road by other police agencies.
AS A NON-CANNABANOID, I see no advantage in going quasi-legal in this context, but from the questions asked by thirty or so other persons in the Boonville Vet's Building, a number of people do seem to intend to pay their money and take their chances.
MS. ANGELO pointed out that adding to the confusion are pending state regs which, it seems, may supersede Mendo's rules which themselves, are a work in progress. She said she hoped it was all moving in the direction of respectability and acceptance, "like any other industry."
THE ETHNIC COUNT: No Mexicans, two Chinese, one of them a portly fellow with a large knife strapped to his belt, no sinister aspersions intended. Few stereotypical hippies in attendance, lots of "straight" people, whatever that term implies anymore.
MY FEELING, as a non-participant, insofar as anyone in the County can be a non-pot participant, was of one of those police stings where the cops rent a big room and invite all the crooks in for a party and free Super Bowl tickets. I'd say a solid third of the attendees did not sign in.
THE COUNTY may have over-reached. They've hired a half-dozen people or so to carry out the licensing, but preliminary sign-up figures indicate not enough signees to cover the cost of the new employees. Most Mendo grows will stay "illegal."
REX'S BOAT, AKA THE SAN JUAN. A knowledgeable person writes: "It could be done at almost no cost to raise it if the harbor people wanted to. The ship is not fully sunk so bladders could be put into the hold and inflated, forcing the water out of the ship. It would then be lifted as a balloon lifts, but from inside. Next, once it is floating, would be to remove it to land. This would require moving the ship about 300 feet to the landing where a newly custom built trailer on wheels is positioned under the hull and the entire ship is pulled out of the water onto the trailer by some big rig like an 18 wheeler or industrial tow-truck. So if you have volunteers it all could be done for $25-50,000. Otherwise the Harbor Commission figures the grant money needed is around $150,000. That’s the deal. Not likely that there are locals who are itching to volunteer. It is a 200,000 ton vessel with 100,000 gallons of water in it. Not a simple task, but back when men were men and mechanical was king and big trees were chopped down (not chain sawed), this rising would be a piece of cake."
MARK SCARAMELLA ADDS: On two occasions while I was an aircraft maintenance officer in Biloxi we had to bring a ditched T-28 (large two seat trainer aircraft, probably at least as big as the San Juan) up out of about 15 feet of water from the Back Bay of Biloxi as salvage operations. We used airbags and straps which were kept in base rescue/salvage equipment inventory for just that purpose. We hooked them up and then towed the floating aircraft to shore, hooked up a tow bar and brought it back to the Hangar with a large aircraft tractor-tug for repair and re-introduction to the fleet.
A QUICK ON-LINE CHECK shows that such flotation bags are now a commercial product, fancier than in those days, and could probably be used to raise the San Juan with a little bit of ingenuity as described by the reader.
I don’t think you’d need to put any airbags inside the boat, by the way. Once floated with airbags, a standard conventional bilge pump, probably easily obtained around the harbor, could be used to pump the internal water out pretty routinely. Here’s a link to one of several salvage equipment company catalogs:
PS. EXACTLY how those two planes ended up in the Back Bay of Biloxi (two separate incidents) is a story for another day. Suffice it to say, it had nothing to do with maintenance or mechanical malfunction.
MASSIVE LAKE COUNTY POT BUST. Six arrested, 45,000 plants seized.
TODAY'S events — mass shooting at the UPS work site in San Francisco, the Bernie guy opening fire on Republicans playing softball — are more confirmation of a country coming apart, reminiscent, you historians might agree, with 1905 Russia where assassinations, strikes, insurrections, the czar's cossacks opening fire on a peaceful demonstration, the wonderful mutiny of the Potemkin's crew, and food riots added up to a dry run for the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. What the prevalent chaos here in Kardashian Land will result in remains to be seen, but it won't be happy.
WHICH brings me to Recommended Reading: "The Dilemmas of Lenin — Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution" by Tariq Ali, a well known Brit leftist long affiliated with the New Left Review and a left leader in England during the 1960s. (Uh, yes, the Brit left is a lot smarter than the American left.)
AS A CASUAL student of the Russian Revolution, I found this book absolutely riveting, with lots of stuff I hadn't known, including this dead-on assessment of Lenin by Winston Churchill: "He was at the age to feel. His mind was a remarkable instrument. When its light shone it revealed the whole world, its history, its sorrows, its stupidities, its shams, and above all its wrongs. It revealed all facts in focus — the most unwelcome, the most inspiring — with an equal ray. The intellect was capacious and in some phases superb. It was capable of universal comprehension in a degree rarely reached among men. The execution of the elder brother deflected this broad white light through a prism: and the prism was red." (This quote is also on the book jacket.)
IT'S CONSTANTLY annoying to hear and read politically-minded people conflate communism, Marxism, Leninism, socialism, liberalism, anarchism. This book is a good place for you C students on the political right, which is all of you or you'd be on the left, to begin to learn to make basic political distinctions.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I see the Warriors voted unanimously not to go to the White House. I'm not going either until Trump gets a dog.”
MENDOCINO LAFCo formally approved the activation of the AV Community Services District’s latent powers to add Ambulance Service/Emergency Services to the CSD’s charter on June 5. The merger is moving forward and expected to begin July 1. Existing memberships with the former non-profit AV Ambulance will be honored by the CSD as before and will continue. The Ambulance Service will continue as a non-profit entity but its role will shift to a fund-raising or foundation role and will no longer have an operational role. Ambulance Service Manager Clay Eubanks will continue in essentially the same role but under Fire Chief Andres Avila. Ambulance Service Assistant Manager Aaron Martin has resigned for unspecified reasons and the CSD is looking into replacing him with a part-time employee hired preferably from existing emergency responders.
MENDO LAFCo (The County’s Local Agency Formation Commission) has refunded abut $2850 to the Community Services District for time LAFCo spent on ambulance service annexation which turned out to be unnecessary for latent power activation. (The CSD had been required to advance $6,000 to LAFCo to cover their staff costs before they would even consider the annexation/merger.) After a lot of back and forth at the June 5 LAFCo meeting, the $2850 was approved as a compromise amount after Supervisor John McCowen expressed doubt that LAFCo would have required annexation (which ultimately fell through because there wasn’t enough tax benefit) and a concern about a “gift of public funds” if the $3761.57 originally requested by the AV Ambulance was refunded.
MENDOCINO COUNTY HAS PAID the AV Fire Department almost $1000 for an out of district emergency response way up Mountain View Road in the vicinity of Hanes Ranch, a first in recent memory. Apparently County employee driving a County vehicle during one of this winter’s rainstorms ran off the road. No one was injured, but AV Fire responded and assisted with traffic control. Technically, the area where the incident occurred was in what is known as “County Responsibility Area,” and therefore “out of district.”
ON THE OTHER HAND, the Community Services District paid a whopping $1200 for an extremely ordinary legal opinion that the District did not have to put its fleet mechanic service out to competitive bid.
GREENE SENTENCED to two years in prison for attempted rape
UKIAH, Wed., June 14. -- A Lake County man was sentenced to state prison yesterday for 24 months following his conviction for felony assault with the intent to rape.
Under the guise of stopping to help a stranded motorist in March 2016, Alex Joseph Greene, age 36, of Kelseyville, instead assaulted with the intent to rape a 19-year-old woman whose car had broken down at the turnout north of the Green Bridge on Highway 101 south of Hopland. Greene, a driver for the Schwan's Food Delivery company, was later apprehended still driving his distinctive yellow company truck.
Because the offense for which the defendant stands convicted is characterized in the Penal Code as a violent felony, the defendant should be required to serve 85% of the sentence that was imposed. This conviction also constitutes a Strike under the modified Three Strike law, which means any punishment for a future felony conviction will also be doubled.
The attorney who prosecuted this case is Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox. The investigating law enforcement agency was the California Highway Patrol. The state prison sentence was imposed by Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman.
(District Attorney Press Release)
PACK TOWN HALL FOR THE VOTE!
URGENT ACTION! THE BOARD OF THE HOSPITAL WILL VOTE ON CLOSING OB AT THIS MEETING.
We need to fill town hall so that the Board knows that the public supports the OB dept, the hospital and the women, babies and families who will be impacted by a closure. Come and bring your signs and your support.
SAVE THE HOSPITAL!
SAVE THE COMMUNITY!
(by Vicky Conrad, via MendocinoSportsPlus)
GERALD STILLWELL, wanted for DUI with great bodily injury.
Bail - $75,000
Age: 59 years old
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 190 lbs
If you recognize this individual or have information which could lead to their arrest, please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at (707) 463-4086
(Sheriff’s Press Release)
SOCIALISM STRIKES AGAIN
About six weeks ago while I was in Marseille, France, after suffering about TEN days with some kind of flu (only in my lungs, no headache, no runny nose, no sore throat, no fever), I checked into the emergency room (urgent care) at the Hospital European. I was there from 9 AM to 9 PM (with two hours out for lunch) during which time they did a full blood panel, had me hooked up to various inhalation masks (one was cortisone), did the CAT scan (i.e., spinner) and a did urine test. I finally checked myself out at 9 PM against their wishes. I was 90% better.
They were incredibly kind. (I speak good French which helped.)
The bill? 66 Euros, or about US$73!
France usually comes out number 1, 2 or 3 in universal health care charts. Their taxes pay for this.
We can't we have this?
Thought you might be interested.
WHY WERE THE BAINBRIDGE PARK TREES CUT DOWN?
Derek writing about the Tree Removal at Bainbridge Park in Fort Bragg on the MCN-Listserve:
… multiple public meetings concerning the tree removal (and replacement), and I know who was at those meetings, because I was.
OK, person who was at those meetings: sarcasm and insinuation aside, what was the stated justification for the removal of those trees?
From page 15 of the Bainbridge Park Master Plan
"Landscaping — The trees along the park’s Harrison Street frontage are fully mature and near the end if their lives. Most attendees at the community workshop voted strongly in favor of including landscape improvements in the Bainbridge Park Master Plan, specifically recommending the addition of native trees. City Council recommended the removal of the aging trees along Harrison Street in conjunction with a vegetation plan replacing the existing trees with appropriate species that are drought tolerant and allow visibility beneath the canopy. Additional, but limited, new landscaping can also complement the entry Sunapee at Harrison and Laurel Streets, and the proposed art installation at the Bainbridge Parks northwest corner. Any future landscaping should be native and drought tolerant, and of growth habit such that it does not become an attractive nuisance for camping."
It was to get rid of the homeless who hang out at the park.
Those trees were perfectly healthy and provided very nice afternoon shade for the entire western section of the park. It was absolutely stupid to cut them down. New trees could have been planted next to and around the old ones until such time as the city wanted to remove them. But they were apparently considered "attractive nuisance for camping." We need new leadership at City Hall.
THE GALESBURG CONNECTION
Three of the four suspects arrested following the murder of Sunni Grant of Klamath have been released. On March 20th, Grant was shot at her Klamath residence on the 100 block of Silver Side Circle. Later that morning, a silver truck that left the scene was located in McKinleyville. Along with the four suspects, a gun was found inside the truck. 32-year-old Cinique Pratt, 33-year-old George Johnson, 25-year-old Marcaulius Woodard and 36-year-old Natalie Wright were all arrested. However, following recent testimony, Wright, Woodard and Pratt have been released, with the agreement they will return to testify. Johnson, who is from Galesburg, Illinois, is now the only suspect for the murder and remains behind bars. Johnson’s defense attorneys claim he was stabbed by Sunni’s partner, Michael Grant, “because he was black.” They said Johnson then fired a gunshot that went through a wall and fatally struck Sunni.
(Background and photos at: http://kymkemp.com/2017/03/21/victims-name-and-suspects-photos-released-in-klamath-shooting/
THE THREE young men who robbed the pot dealer on Harrison Street, Fort Bragg, last week were also from Galesburg, site of the first anti-slavery society in Illinois, a pivotal stop on the Underground Railroad, and birthplace of Carl Sandburg.
NEARLY 600 California-based U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighters and support personnel have been mobilized to wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico. The personnel that are part of this mobilization come from all 18 national forests in California (Pacific Southwest Region).
Among the firefighting resources are 19 engines, 18 fire crews (20-person), including 3 hotshot crews, a helicopter and over 100 specialists such as dispatchers, safety officers, aviation managers and fire prevention patrols. The Mendocino Hotshots are one of the three hotshot crews assigned to the Southwest.
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 14, 2017
Allen, Black, Caradine
VIANNA ALLEN, Tucson, Arizona/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.
JENNIFER BLACK, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
DARRELL CARADINE, Fort Bragg. Malicious mischief to vehicle.
Cross-Sturges, Donahe, Gallegos
MAKAYLA CROSS-STURGES, Ukiah. Criminal threats, false personation of another, failure to appear.
MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
MANGUS GALLEGOS, Covelo. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, elder abuse.
Holliday, Jack, Leggett, Loflin
ALAN HOLLIDAY, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
RHANDA JACK, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
SAMMI LEGGETT, Covelo. Probation revocation.
LAWRENCE LOFLIN, Eureka/Ukiah. Suspended license, false ID, resisting.
Padget, Roberts, Roeder, Sanders
RYAN PADGET, Laytonville. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
JOHN ROEDER, Fort Bragg. Pot possession for sale.
THOMAS SANDERS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
THE DYNAMITER WITH A CIGARETTE IN HIS LIPS
by Manuel Vicent
(Translated by Louis S. Bedrock)
The entire French Resistance against the Nazis can be encapsulated in this film sequence: a man—a loner, standing and leaning on his bicycle, smokes a cigarette alongside of the railroad tracks. He carries a newspaper folded up beneath his arm that perhaps serves as a countersign. A freight train passes with a brazen whistle and shortly afterwards, not far away, a loud explosion is heard. Then the voice of Yves Montand is heard intoning the song of the partisans in honor of the comrade dynamiter who blew up the convoy. The station chief winks at him. The man gets on his bicycle and rides off singing softly to himself.
The people of my generation, who danced cheek to cheek to “Les feuilles mortes”, sampled their first Calvados in the Quartier Latin while listening to “Sous le ciel de Paris” played on the accordion, will never forget the expression of panic on the face of Yve Montand as he drove a truck loaded with vials of nitroglycerine over an impassable road in order to put out a fire in an oil well in Clouzot’s film, The Wages of Fear. The movie was filmed in a South American jungle.
Later, Yves Montand, who came from the loving arms of Edith Piaf—that badly wounded cat who had taught him to sing the partisan song, “Alla mattina, appena alzata, o bella ciao, bella ciao” with a very seductive romanticism, would win the love of the progressives when his friend Jorge Semprún wrote scripts of movies for him about sinister dictators in dark glasses that were filmed by Costa Gravas; movies in which one hears the sharp cracks of the locks on cell doors and screams of torture victims from the end of the corridor.
He was named Ivo Livi. He was born in Monsummano Alto in 1921. Monsummano Alto was an Italian village in Tuscany. He was the son of antifascist workers who had to emigrate to Marseilles fleeing Mussolini.
The boy had to leave school at the age of eleven and he worked at various menial jobs before he appeared one day singing in bars and sleazy gambling dens with his lover Edith Piaf.
He was a skinny kid with long legs. He was a sentimental tough guy whose voice seemed to emerge from a throat that had been seasoned with that strong anise which truck drivers drink at day break. The girls at that time would lean their necks on the shoulders of their boyfriends as they danced to his songs and the progressives rejoiced when he married the Jewess Simone Signoret, daughter of Reds, whose father had been exiled in London and would later enter Paris with De Gaulle.
Signoret & Montand, 1959
In 1955, Simone Signoret was the protagonist of a movie called Diabolique —a horror film that has never been surpassed. Yves Montand and Simone Signoret belonged to us, a pair of antifascists who embraced political commitment according to the agenda of Sartre. It was impossible to imagine any demonstration without them present and standing behind a banner. The progressives of the time did not allow them any frivolity.
Yves Montand was already famous when he went to New York to perform in a Broadway musical. Marilyn Monroe liked his songs; she knew that, like her, he came from a poor family; she admired his social commitment. Above all, the fact that he physically resembled her old love, Joe Dimaggio, was the reason that she was undeterred in her effort to win his heart.
—Along with my husband and Marlon Brando, I think Yves Montand is the sexiest man I’ve ever met —she said in a toast.
Our hero was sentenced.
For the European progressives, lovers of the French New Wave, Marilyn Monroe was merely a sex symbol and epitomized the blond bimbo inside and outside of the movie screen even though, at that time, she was married to Arthur Miller, the leading intellectual of North America.
In 1960, she and Yves Montand starred in Let’s Make Love. In the movie, Marilyn played the role of the middle class peroxide blond who uses nylon stockings and make up—a living pastel available to anyone who reaches out for her, “Jello on springs,” as Jack Lemmon described her; a girl who wanted to catch a wealthy European gentleman, helpless in the face of the weapons of a woman. This happened within the movie and it happened in real life causing a scandal among the fans of Goddard.
Monroe & Montand, 1960
Marilyn’s marriage with Miller was going through a stormy period. While the movie was being shot, the two couples had moved into apartments that were contiguous and connected amid the gardens of the Hotel Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. After an argument, Miller left for Ireland where he was working on the script forThe Misfits, which would be directed by John Houston.
In addition to that, Simone Signoret had to go to Hollywood to receive an Oscar for her role in the movie, Room at the Top; then she had to return to Paris to honor another contract. Yves and Marilyn wound up alone. In this case, the temptation didn’t come from upstairs—as in The Seven Year Itch, but rather from the next door bungalow, separated by a lone hallway.
One must imagine the imminent explosion that would be produced between this lonely woman, filled with self-doubt, longing for love, and the ladies man who was accustomed to this type of conquest. They gave the Oscar to Simone Signoret but Marilyn got Yves.
The scene occurred during an evening when both were suffering insomnia after a boring day of filming which both found humiliating because of the inanity of the story. Yves Montand in pajamas approached the door of Marilyn to say goodnight, sat down on the edge of her bed, and the two began an innocent conversation. How are you? Do you have a fever? Don’t worry, I’ll be okay. It’s been a hard day. I’m glad to see you. Thanks for coming.
Yves Montand went to kiss her on the cheek to say goodnight; Marilyn turned her face toward him and her lips cast their spell. That night was the beginning of a love story that lasted several months. Once again, Marilyn needed desperately to love someone; Montand, having satisfied his tough guy pride, tried to free himself from this woman who called him at all hours of the night, stalked him in airports, and would react to his lack of affection by consuming vials of pills.
Marilyn Monroe, who only played at being a dumb blond and who was actually a gifted actress, ended up making Yves Montand world famous— as she had done with Arthur Miller. The progressives of Paris forgave their hero for that frivolous incident, as did Simone Signoret after she had shed a few tears. She was more offended by the humiliation of the public scandal than her husband’s infidelity.
We already know what happened in filming sessions. Montand redeemed himself: he purified himself working with Costa Bravos. He once again became the guy who sang “O bella ciao, bella ciao” with even more conviction—that song of the partisans of Italy, his country of origin, this time against the fascism which had spread among the Greek colonels.
Many generations retain in their memory, alongside Melina Mercouri, Simone Signoret, and Edith Piaf, the image of this movie star who embodied the mythology of the Resistance whom one must imagine under the autumn skies of Paris, with accordion music in the background, walking over dead leaves through the gardens of Luxembourg.
He died in Senlis in 1991. He is buried in the cemetery of Père Lachaise alongside of Simone Signoret and a few steps from Avenida de Muertos Combattants Étrangers par la France; however, in any location of the world there may still be a train passing by and in some remote station there will be a member of the Resistance leaning on his bicycle with a cigarette in his mouth.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
So what do we mean by Deep State? Is it a cabal of shadowy operatives who live by black-mail and threats and by the law of the knife and the gun? There’s situations, after all, where the only due process is a bullet.
More than that though, the Deep State operates in plain view. It’s just your ever day government bureaucracy. Do you file taxes? Sure you do. The boffins at the IRS, they do their thing and you pay every year and life goes on. Mostly, that is. Because the IRS also has got enormous power to screw up your life if they want.
Same with law enforcement. You stay on the right side of the line, you stay under the radar and mouth the right words and your life goes on. Mostly. Because, for people in certain positions, attacks of conscience just won’t do. If they speak up the whole apparatus crashes down on them. Their house will suddenly be crawling with Virginia farm boys with guns and badges. There’s certain things not meant to be known.
Like what? Like, that old example, surveillance. Terror, they claim, or drug running or money laundering. Right-o, no doubt, there’s nasty people that need watching. And besides, it’s just “meta-data”, as if that was an accurate characterization.
But it wasn’t. They knew what number you called and what day and what time. The data gathered was very specific which by itself could be used to wreck lives even if they didn’t listen in and record the call.
For example, the middle-aged married guy that repeatedly called the number belonging to that sweet young thang. Imagine that information presented to Mr. Middle Age as a threat. Do this or do that or else this goes to your Mrs. So no more of that meta-data nonsense.
Or imagine Mr. Middle Age as a closeted gay who called that man-for-hire not, as Seinfeld would say, that there’s anything wrong with that. Well, in NYC maybe and its big-city anonymity, it’s no big deal.
But not every place is like NYC where people pretend to be relaxed and ok with everything. Tough as it is for a New York liberal to grok, in some societies in the US people don’t make-believe about being all casual and intellectual.
Why? Because not every place is as socially fragmented as the big city, some places are much closer knit and more personally connected and action has consequences. You know every other face on the main-drag, they know you. Woe to the cheated-on wife or cuckolded hubby. Or worse, woe to the cheater. Or to the gay, un-closeted against his-her will.
Such things aren’t celebrated, they’re not shrugged at, careers are damaged, friendships come apart, families disintegrate. Yeah, some small towns are worse than Peyton Place and their denizens Harper Valley hypocrites. But they still ain’t Paris where you and your babe and your wife and her lover have croissants together every morning. That shit just don’t fly over here. Unnerstan’ boy?
Hey seniors, caregivers, senior service groups, community service clubs:
Saturday July 1st, 1pm, Mendocino Art Center. Mark yer calendars for free concert. The Swingin' Boonville Big Band only has one gig left for the year. Most of our gigs are late at night and so the senior element is largely shut out. Fortunately, our annual senior and other morning persons friendly performance is coming up on the 1st of July at the Art Center in Mendocino and it is a Free Concert starting at 1 PM.
KICK-OFF PARTY FOR THE SUMMER READING PROGRAM
Win prizes for reading this summer!
Our All-Ages Summer Reading Program: Reading by Design kicks off on Saturday, June 17th — sign-up & earn prizes by reading and playing games this summer. The day starts off with an Xtreme Science Magic Show with Don O'Brien @ 10:30am, who will astonish us with a vast repertoire of exciting experiments like flying toilet paper, bouncing bubbles, and a fire tornado! This event is family-friendly and free to the public. Then join us from 1pm-3pm @ Todd Grove Park for the official Kick-Off party for Summer Reading, with free BBQ, bubble wand-making, a photo booth, and sign-ups for the Summer Reading Program. Then join us from 3-8pm for a Video Gaming Tournament at the Ukiah Library. Summer Reading's not just for kids anymore! Kids, bring your homegrown produce, eggs, honey, and handmade crafts.Learn how to display and sell your products while you have fun with other young farmers. Test your gaming skills against some foes. There will be a $5.00 entry fee with the top three winners taking the payout. Register for the tournament with the Ukiah Library at 707-463-4490. The age limit is 12 and up, and is free of charge for spectators. The Ukiah Library is proud to partner with Mendo Training Center to offer free jiu-jitsu/self-defense classes for teens this summer as part of the Library's Summer Learning Program! Classes will be taught by Nate Ducharme. Registration is required, please call 463-4490 to sign up! For more information about the Ukiah Library Summer Reading Program, please contact: Melissa Eleftherion Carr at 707-467-4634 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY IS JERRY BROWN GETTING OIL WELLS EXEMPTIONS FROM THE SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT?
The Trump Adminstration has granted requests from Jerry Brown’s regulators to exempt three aquifers near the Fruitvale, Round Mountain and Tejon oilfields in California’s Kern County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. According to Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity, approval of these “aquifer exemption” applications by Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “gives oil companies permission to dump contaminated waste fluid into these underground water supplies.”
by Dan Bacher
As soon as I heard on election night that Donald Trump was going to be the next President, I predicted on Twitter, Facebook and in conversations with friends that Governor Jerry Brown, in spite of his “green” image, would try to make a deal with Trump to build his legacy project, the environmentally destructive Delta Tunnels, and expand fracking and other oil drilling in California.
Sure enough, JBrown has been working hard since the election to pressure Trump to support the Delta Tunnels, going so far as to praise Trump’s infrastructure plans in his state of the state. Departing from his prepared remarks, Brown remarked, “I say, ‘Amen to that, Brother!’” in reference to Trump’s focus on new infrastructure.
And now he’s asking for exemptions from the Safe Drinking Water Act for oil drillers, too.
“Gov. Brown’s legacy will be deeply tarnished by this deplorable decision to let the most anti-environmental administration in history decide the future of California aquifers,” said Cassie Siegel, Climate Law Institute Director and General Counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Trump’s EPA is clearly eager to help state oil regulators give California’s water away to the petroleum industry. In the dry decades to come, we’re going to bitterly regret the governor’s willingness to sacrifice this water to oil companies.”
The oil companies, led by the most powerful corporate lobbying group in the state, the Western State Petroleum Association (WSPA), drafted the regulations and the California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources submitted them to the EPA.
“California officials plan to submit dozens of additional exemption applications for other aquifers across the state, including underground water sources in Alameda, Monterey, Ventura, Kern and other counties,” said Siegel. (See interactive map.)
“If the EPA approves the state’s applications, oil companies would be allowed to operate injection wells and dump waste fluid into these underground sources of drinking water. Oil waste fluid commonly contains cancer-causing benzene and other pollutants,” she explained.
“The aquifer exemption process also shrugs off the risk that oil industry injections could trigger manmade earthquakes. Scientists recently linked oilfield injections in the Tejon area to an earthquake swarm. Even minor tremors could endanger other nearby water supplies by opening up pathways to contamination,” Siegel said.
Brown administration misses deadline to shut down 1,650 illegal oil injection wells
Then on February 15, the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), the same agency that submitted the aquifer exemptions to the Trump administration, failed to meet their own deadline for shutting down 1,650 oil industry injection wells that are violating water-protection laws by dumping toxic fluid into protected California aquifers.
“Governor Brown’s administration has decided not to protect our water from illegal contamination by the oil industry,” said Hollin Kretzmann, also from the Center for Biological Diversity. “By failing to meet their own lax deadline for shutting down these polluting wells, state oil regulators have given Californians another reason not to trust a word they say.”
According to a promise that DOGGR made two years ago, all illegal oil-industry injection activities were supposed to be halted by Feb. 15, 2017. Kretzmann said the state could be imposing fines of up to $25,000 a day for every well that continues to operate in a protected aquifer.
“But as of today, the state has shut just a portion of wells operating in aquifers that should be protected by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. State officials quietly announced the indefinite delay in enforcing the law in mid-January,” said Kretzmann.
In March of 2015, state officials testifying before the California Senate pledged to adhere to the February deadline and other aspects of a schedule approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
John Laird, the California Secretary of Natural Resources and one of the key cheerleaders of the Delta Tunnels and other controversial Brown administration environmental policies, told senators that the Brown administration was “fully committed to meeting these deadlines.”
Kretzmann said the promises came in the wake of admissions by the Brown administration that state regulators had let oil companies operate thousands of injection wells that have been dumping wastewater into “scores of protected underground water supplies in Monterey, Ventura, Kern and other counties.”
“But instead of halting most of the illegal injections, state officials have moved forward with plans to exempt as many as 40 of these aquifers from water-protection laws. If these ‘aquifer exemption’ applications are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the oil industry would be allowed to make permanent use of these water supplies for the disposal of contaminated waste fluid,” he said.
“The Brown administration will go down in history for this failure to enforce the law and safeguard our water from oil industry pollution,” Kretzmann concluded. “It’s a shocking abdication of the governor’s most fundamental duty to the people and environment of this state.”
Big Oil has captured the regulators. Who watches the watchmen?
Why is the Brown administration siding with the oil industry and teaming up with President Donald Trump to fail to enforce the law and safeguard our water from oil industry contamination?
Well, in spite of California’s reputation as a “green leader,” Big Oil is the largest corporate lobby in the state and exerts enormous influence over the Governor’s Office, Legislature and regulatory agencies.
The California Oil Lobby was the biggest spender in the 2015-16 legislative session, spending an amazing $36.1 million as of December 31, 2016, as usual.
The spending amounts to $1.5 million per month — nearly $50,000 per day — over the last two years. The $36.1 million surpassed the $34 million spent in the prior session, according to a report by the American Lung Association in California.
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) was the top overall oil industry spender during the 2015-16 session, spending $18.7 million. As is normally the case, WSPA ranked #1 among all lobbying spenders this session.
Read the complete report here.
WSPA’s membership includes a who’s who oil, energy and pipeline corporations including Aera Energy LLC, Chevron, Californian Resources Corporation (formerly Occidental Petroleum), ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Noble Energy, Inc., Phillips 66, Plains All American, Inc. Shell Oil Products US, Tesoro Refining and Marketing and Valero.
WSPA and Big Oil use their money and power in 5 ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) getting appointed to positions on and influencing regulatory panels; (4) creating Astroturf groups: and (5) working in collaboration with media.
Big Oil and other corporate advocates have dominated appointments to Commissions and regulatory panels in California under Governors Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, ranging from the Department of Conservation, to the California Public Utilities Commission, to the California Energy Commission, to the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force.
In a classic case of the “fox guarding the hen house,” Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Forces to create faux “marine protected areas” in Southern California from 2009 to 2012 at the same the oil industry was fracking South Coast ocean waters. Reheis-Boyd, appointed by Schwarzenegger, also served on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast, and North Coast from 2004 to 2012.
The Brown administration, in spite of numerous complaints of conflicts of interest, tainted “science,” and violations of tribal gathering rights made by grassroots environmentalists, Tribal leaders, recreational anglers and commercial fishermen, “completed” the network of so-called “marine protected areas” in California in December 2012. These “marine protected areas,” created under the helm of a Big Oil lobbyist and other corporate operatives, fail to protect the ocean from fracking, offshore oil drilling, pollution, military testing, aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.
It gets worse. Reheis-Boyd’s husband, James D. Boyd, first appointed by Governor Davis, sat on on the California Energy Commission from 2002 to 2012, including serving as Vice-Chair of the Commission from 2/2007 to 1/2012.
Public interest groups issue report card challenging Brown’s green record
The abdication by Jerry Brown of his duty to safeguard California’s water supplies from oil industry pollution occurs in the larger context of his questionable record on many key environmental issues. Brown and administration officials, now under scrutiny by local, state, national and international media for their handling of the Oroville Dam crisis, have continually portrayed their environmental policies as “green.”
However, twelve public interest groups, led by Consumer Watchdog and Food & Water Watch, challenged Governor Brown’s “green” credentials at a press conference in Santa Monica on February 4.
The groups unveiled a comprehensive report card on theBrown Administration’s environmental record showing he falls short in six out of seven key areas, including fossil fuel generated electricity, oil drilling, and coastal protection.
The report calls for a moratorium on the building of natural gas powered electricity plants, given what they described as “the glut of electric capacity” and calls for an outside audit of state’s energy needs. The groups showed how California can improve its environmental protections to meet standards set in other states.
The report, noting that Brown’s infrastructure projects, led by the California WaterFix, “deplete water resources and threaten wildlife,” also urges the Governor to abandon the Twin Tunnels project.
The public interest groups concurring in the report’s analysis, assessments, and recommendations include: Food & Water Watch, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, Restore The Delta, Rootskeeper, Powers Engineering, Basin and Range Watch, Aguirre & Severson LLP, Public Watchdogs, Southern California Watershed Alliance, The Desal Response Group, Committee to Bridge the Gap, and Consumer Watchdog.
“Far from the environmentalist that Brown claims to be, Brown has expanded the burning of heat-trapping natural gas and nurtured oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing while stifling efforts to protect the public from harm,” the report says. “The Public Utilities Commission has approved a slew of unnecessary new fossil-fuel power plants when the state’s three major investor-owned utilities have overbuilt their generating capacity by nearly triple the minimum extra capacity that the state requires. Under Brown, the number of active onshore oil and gas wells jumped by 23 percent since the year before he was elected Governor in a bid to produce more oil.”