Mendocino County Today: Saturday, July 15, 2017
by AVA News Service, July 15, 2017
POT MESS GETS MESSIER
by Mark Scaramella
After Tuesday's presentation about the county's new cannabis cultivation program by the people administering it, newly seated Third District Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey asked interim code enforcement chief (and former Ukiah police captain) Trent Taylor how the system was working. The recently appointed new supervisor specifically wanted to know how supervisors might answer questions from constituents about the status of their marijuana-related complaints concerning aspects of what amounts to local legalization.
Taylor responded that he and his colleagues "keep track of complaints and we farm some of them out to the Sheriff's department, or the Planning department, or the Air Resources Control department or the Ag department for disposition."
Supervisor Croskey then asked whether any complaints had been resolved.
Taylor's Zen-like response was, to say the least, opaque.
"Oftentimes we get many complaints about the same case. We track every complaint. And we respond to every complaint. As of today [Tuesday] we had 127 complaints related to cannabis since May 4. We may not be responding back to the person who complained as quickly, but we are responding to the complaint very quickly and we are assigning cases to an officer. If it turns into something that Ag needs to know about or the Sheriff's department or other regulatory agencies, we would refer that out to them. But we would still keep responsibility for the management of that complaint until we either close it or open a case that turns into a code enforcement case or another regulatory case. Does that answer your question?”
It didn't, but Croskey, undeterred, pressed on.
Croskey: “Do we have any closed complaints thus far?”
Taylor: “Absolutely. And most of them are closed because we opened a case. They go into a complaint system which is a robust system that manages complaints. And we also have a case management system that interacts with each other and many of the complaints were closed because we've opened a case and of course we follow up. I encourage my officers that when we get a complaint that is either called in on the hot line or dropped off or called into myself or the supervisor that when we assign that to the code enforcement officer we want them to call the complainant back for further information as necessary. In some cases there are a lot of complaints in one particular case. So we may only talk to one or two people in the group of complainants that are interconnected just as a tie-in, just as a management tool, but we are trying to respond to all of those. So we close complaints when we open the case or we close them because they're unfounded. But in many of the cases the complaints we have closed so far is because we've opened an enforcement case and are taking enforcement action."
Apparently, an entire more or less circular series of non-actions is triggered when a complaint is lodged. First, the complaint is closed and a new case is opened which could be followed by a "notice of violation," and a threat of "further action." Then if that's not enough, after it’s re-closed, it might morph into an "administrative citation" which could lead to a hearing which could lead to some kind of court action. (Meanwhile whatever offending pot may have started the process is probably long gone.)
Supervisor Dan Gjerde asked, "You said that 31% of the total number of cannabis complaints received are related to the 20 [grow] sites. And those 20 sites are approximately 5% of all applicants. Does that mean that 69% of the complaints are for properties that are not in the permitting process?”
Taylor: “That's correct. And we are dealing with those outside agencies. We are dealing with other regulatory agencies and going and dealing with those and actually since I wrote this report on the first [of July] we have abated even more grows that were not eligible for the permit program. And when I say we 'abated,' we didn't do forced abatement, we did voluntary abatement. We talked to the applicant, or not the applicant but the violator, worked with them, and they pulled their plants and started remediating immediately."
Supervisor McCowen asked about the "notices of violation."
Taylor: "We have not issued any notices of violation related to cannabis yet. A notice of violation does not get a hearing. It is strictly a notice that if they don't do certain things in a certain period of time we will take stricter enforcement actions and issue an administrative citation. I have written administrative citations and we have issued notices of violation and we have hearings pending on the administrative citations — but they are not related to cannabis. On most of our complaints we get voluntary compliance before we've got to do that. We may end up writing some administrative citations. We just issued a notice of violation today for a cannabis— for a violation of 10817 [?] so that's the first one. If they do not then get into compliance, then they start a per day fine for every violation."
Later, however, even Taylor admitted the obvious: "I still do not have a vision of what the denial process is or how that's happening."
Only a few of the more than 500 applications have been officially "denied." Two weeks ago the Board room erupted into applause when Ag Commissioner Diane Curry reported that one (count 'em) permit had been approved.
By last Tuesday, that number remained at: 1. The rest are, um, well, ahem, they're pending — even though many applicants have spent thousands of dollars trying to comply with the myriad rules and newly appointed and constantly changing bureaucrats steering the process. And most of those applicants are expecting to grow and sell pot before this fall is over, hoping the pending application will be 1) approved, and 2) enough to cause our local pot cops to give the applicant a break.
Several small-scale growers complained that imposing commercial regulations such as full building codes on outbuildings like drying sheds or greenhouses and disability access requirements with separate bathrooms and parking areas and ramps and flat cement paths on agricultural facilities, even marijuana sag operations, is preposterously onerous and should be tossed.
On the other hand, the supervisors heard reports that some people who have applied for permits are growing substantially more pot than what would be allowed under the permit they applied for.
All four supervisors (excluding Hamburg who, with his decades of experience as an outlaw grower, has recused himself because his daughter now operates the family business) expressed frustration with the process.
Board Chair and senior pot policy man John McCowen said that "if people are openly growing far beyond the bounds of what is allowed, and they have a permit in, and we know they are beyond the bounds, and we are not doing anything, we don't have a credible program."
A youngish man who described himself as a retired Hewlett-Packard salesman said that he had spent over $1 million on the process so far and has been praised for being squeaky clean compliant but he still does not have a permit. (This fellow is neatly emblematic of the new-look pot entrepreneur. The business is going corporate so fast that the hippie back-to-the-landers of yesteryear, those amateur genius botanists who put Mendo Mellow on the national map, are rapidly fading from local memory.)
There seems to be general support for some kind of consolidated county marijuana unit to streamline a laughably complicated process. (Laughable to us outside it, infuriating to people trying to play by rules that change before the ink's dry on the previous rules or depending on who you ask.) Nobody wants to have a situation where someone goes to a lot of honest expense only to have their permit denied — or worse, left in indefinite limbo while official Mendo bumbles along.
Toward the end of the discussion, Supervisor McCowen commented, "There's been a lot of discussion about requirements on structures. But I don't believe there's been a lot of clarity. There's also been discussion of a proliferation of new structures, some greenhouses, some hoop houses, some highly developed technical structures that are being used for light deposition [indoor grows]. I don't think there's a clear understanding of how we define all of these different structures or how they fit into our existing codes. But I have to believe that if a farmer can stack hay in a barn, a cannabis cultivator can be able to string cannabis on a string and hang it in a drying shed. If it's thought that bathroom facilities are required, a porta-potty ought to do as well as a very expensive ADA compliant bathroom from scratch. If someone has been using a structure to dry or process cannabis in the last five years, I believe it's the sentiment of the board to allow them to keep using those same structures as they have been doing."
But it was the sentiment of Farm Bureau Supervisor Carre Brown who disagreed, saying that "ag structures do need permits if people are going in and out whether they are workers or customers. Being a farmer, being a grower, it's not cheap. That's what they had to do. The regulations can sometimes be stiff. I bring that up because I remember how expensive it was for farmers to have farm worker housing."
Which basically does not exist in Mendocino County, especially for the single workers the grape industry depends on but what little there is is truly difficult to get built in accordance with all the applicable rules and regs.
McCowen replied, "We do have some buildings that are Ag exempt. Apparently stacking hay in a barn is considered one use type, but hanging cannabis on a string is not acceptable because it's a different use type and it falls into processing. Can someone clarify if we have that situation and if it's based on county code or is that something the board can waive if we choose?"
Trent Taylor. "I have heard the background on that several times. Apparently it's not just based on our county code, it's based on state law. And these occupancies are not as discretionary as you might think. That's what I've been told. We have an opinion in our department, the Planning Department — the building official does — from the state of California on that. And we are consistent in our methodology within our county that has been researched with the state and how they are applying the rules within the state of California."
So relief from disability access laws or commercial building codes may not be as easy as some people think.
Finally a visibly frustrated Chair McCowen concluded with "Oh, I don't know if we are gaining in clarity or — at a minimum, I don't know. Again, I go back to if we have people who are doing what they've been doing for years and they are generally able to qualify for the program based on the zoning and parcel size and in many instances they are doing what their neighbors are doing, those generally are the people we want to see coming into the program. If the cost of compliance based on ADA bathrooms and commercial building requirements and all the rest of it is too onerous, people are not going to come forward to comply. And it will further encourage the black market."
McCowen said he wanted to see the status of buildings in the pot cultivation program discussed next week, but added that if a pot building had workers or customers present they would have to comply with all the requirements, adding as an idea for consideration, "but if they are willing to sign an affidavit saying they will have no customers or employees in that structure then that's acceptable."
In a totally unwarranted burst of giddy optimism, McCowen said he hoped that at the July 18th meeting of the supervisors they could establish what requirements apply to what departments and what options are available. The only "option" McCowen could see to dealing with the disability access rules was maybe some kind of "delayed submission of permit."
Clearly, Mendo is not up to the task of regulating legal pot cultivation, processing and sales. Most growers (probably in the thousands just in Mendocino County), especially the mom and pops, are wisely remaining outside this non-system. Not only are the rules subject to major dispute and interpretation, but the people — Mendo people as well as state agency staffers — who are supposedly enforcing them don't have clear guidelines and are making stuff up as they go along. Pot growers who have permits pending and plants in the ground don't know what they can do, some are obviously doing whatever they want in the absence of rules or enforcement, and non-pot growing neighbors are more and more frustrated by the county's failure to rein in the large grows, which may or may not have pending applications.
It's all another Mendo Farce. The county wants in on the money generated by marijuana but has only a vague idea how to do it and deal with all the players and variables.
How about this, Mendo? Fewer than, say, an annual 500 plants, indoor and out, five thousand bucks. More than 500 indoor and out, fifty thousand. More than 1,000, a hundred grand a year. No structure or access requirements for the under-500's.
RUMORS of a ghastly propane accident yesterday (Thursday) at Ray Pinoli's ranch in Philo. The explosion burned a woman's arm down to the bone. An air ambulance landed at Scharffenberger to carry her out of the county for treatment. We're waiting for confirmation of the basic facts, which we hope aren't as grisly as rumored.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Some people will say I'm a traitor to my species, but I'm worried about Scrag, the cat. He didn't show up for two days, and when he finally did he looked like a 5-day drunk. Couldn't get a word out of him, of course, and he took right off soon as he ate.”
THAT BRINKS TRUCK INCIDENT
Willits, California (July 13, 2017) – Two people were injured when a Brinks truck was involved in a crash with another vehicle in Willits. The two car collision was logged at 8:48 a.m. Wednesday, July 12 on Highway 20 near Willits KOA Resort. Reportedly, a silver Jeep SUV was traveling at a high rate of speed on the highway when it entered into the lane of the Brinks truck. The two vehicles collided. It was later reported that a Toyota Scion sedan was also involved in the crash. Two occupants of the Scion suffered unknown injuries. Another person was reported to be trapped in one of the vehicles involved in the accident. Emergency crews and an ambulance responded to the crash to offer help to the injured parties. Police started an investigation into the crash.
(Anonymous media report based on CHP press release)
* * *
What really happened in the Highway 20 accident:
I felt I needed to let the public know the most important details of the three-vehicle collision on Hwy 20 on July 12. I was one of the six people. A few things were inaccurate. The accident happened because the Brinks truck went over the yellow line, hit the Jeep, then came into the full side of our small car, crushing in the entire side. The truck pushed us over to the side where I could not get out. We were in our car until the crew cut the top of our car off and we were taken out. The only person admitted as a patient in the Willits hospital was Don Van Meter, my husband. He had a broken hip, surgery by Dr. Bowen. The couple in the Jeep were on their honeymoon, married on Saturday, going to the Willits Skunk Train. Our car was totally destroyed. The logging truck driving miles behind the Brinks truck, stated he went over the yellow line a few times before the accident. He did state this to the officer. So this is the truth of all the different stories that have been told. The Willits Weekly had it wrong also. No one was hurt in the Brinks truck; the couple went on after being checked out for airbag pain to continue their honeymoon. I, Patricia Van Meter, had No injuries. Only my husband, entire left side of his body was affected from his neck to his left foot swollen. He remains in hospital, recovering from surgery.
NUISANCE HOUSE, FORT BRAGG
The Hospitality House has become a major source of serious problems for local residents and businesses, with increased littering, loitering, and more serious crimes, degrading quality of life and harming the local economy
We feel the Use Permit for HH should be limited to 24 beds, offering free meals only to these clients.
Random, regular drug-testing as well as criminal background checks should be standard requirements for clients and employees alike, in the interest of public safety.
Mismanagement must end by hiring a well-trained professional with excellent references.
HH must provide and pay for their own security personnel, rather than continue to overburden the Fort Bragg Police Department.
Only clients sleeping at HH should be offered free meals, with a serious work-for-food program for the able bodied.
Use of funding by HH must be carefully audited by the City to prevent misuse of taxpayers' monies.
The board of directors should be composed of local residents, not people from other areas.
Thanks you for your time.
Alice and Douglas Chouteau
DEPT. OF UNINTENTIONAL HUMOR from the Ukiah Daily Journal:
"Child welfare agencies are at the forefront of the sex trafficking problem and have the best chance of preventing it. Redwood Community Services Inc. has worked with the Mendocino County Office of Education to provide training on recognizing sex trafficking for social service providers, including the training by survivor Elle Snow."
FIRST OFF, prostitution is virtually non-existent in Mendocino County, although there are unsubstantiated references to local adult women selling themselves on the internet. A few years ago, a Ukiah High School student was discovered prostituting herself and was quickly suppressed by local law enforcement. But note how quick the grant grabbers are to make it seem as if the maidens of Mendocino County were just a stutter step away from the streets of San Francisco.
MOREOVER, if the Mendocino County Office of Education begins "training on recognizing sex trafficking for service providers," prostitution will be prevalent here in a month. Guaranteed. BTW, and go ahead and call me old school, one parent cited in Ms. Tressell's series on the non-existent local phenomena apparently dragged her 12-year-old daughter to the sordid presentation by a former sex slave, which seems to me a rather flagrant example of low-intensity child abuse.
MENDOCINO COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 1900
MENDOCINO COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 2017
27TH ANNUAL YORKVILLE ICE CREAM SOCIAL
Summer is almost over and it’s time to celebrate with a nice cold Root Beer Float at the Yorkville Ice Cream Social
Please join in on Labor Day Monday for a day of fun and frivolity. We’ll have ice cream & root beer floats and lots of yummy salads and Baked Goods. There is always the famous BarBQ oysters and delicious grilled burgers, sausages and outstanding pulled pork sandwiches. But get there early ‘cause the pulled pork runs out fast!
One of the highlights of the Social is the Cake Walk. Imagine musical chairs without chairs. You stroll around a numbered circle to great music, when the music stops, if you’re on the right numbered spot, you Win A Cake! An entire cake!
Get there early and get the first crack at the book sale. Hundreds of books for only $1 an inch! You can’t beat that. There are always really great new releases and bestsellers this year. You can pick up some great CDs, movie DVDs and books on tape too.
Stock up at the Farm Stand- featuring Yorkville’s finest fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers of the season.
The BIG Draw is a great raffle for you to take home some wonderful prizes from all over the Anderson Valley - wine, gift certificates for local restaurants and services, t-shirts and art too.
And the best part... you get to socialize with friends and neighbors from all over the valley. Come catch up on the happenings, take a ride in our fire engine and just have fun. The kids always have a good time too, they can cool off in shower of cool water from the fire hose, eat hot dogs and learn all about bugs and wild stuff at the Galbreath Preserve Education Station.
All the proceeds from the Ice Cream Social benefit the Yorkville Volunteer Fire Department and the YCBA Scholarship Fund. If you’d like to donate something or your time, give us a call 707-391-4928. We are lookin’ for cakes, pies, cookies salads and raffle items.
Date: Monday Sept. 4th
Time: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: The Yorkville Post Office and Fire Station
25400 Highway 128, Yorkville, CA 95494
AN UPDIKE short story is about a family of squatters that appears in a corner of a wealthy suburbanite's property. I apologize for not remembering the name of the story but it was written just as homelessness was becoming evident in many places around the country, which would have been what? thirty years ago? Anyway, Updike's squatters gradually become more and more menacing, but the property owner, being a liberal and something of an intellectual, winds up making a tenuous peace with the intruders, reasoning all the usual reasons — I'm rich, they're not and so on. As I recall, the squatters eventually reward their host's generosity by murdering him.
THE POINT, PLEASE? The usual one that there are different kinds of people on the street these days, as the pure numbers of all kinds of de-housed persons metastasizes. The large majority of the homeless we see in Ukiah and Fort Bragg, where their well-paid enablers subsidize their often aberrant behavior, are too screwed up to ever be capable of earning their way. But given that the socially crippled still need shelter, if for no other reason than to prevent them from destroying public space for everyone else, they've all got to be housed. What's missing is the political will to build low cost shelter for everyone who needs it.
BUT A SMALL but growing minority of unsheltered are people like the two women described in this morning's California Report. They are both employed in Santa Rosa but have to live in their cars because they don't have enough money to rent an apartment. Santa Rosa, tardily recognizing that there are respectable people among the drunks, drug addicts and neo-bums on the street, has persuaded churches and other public buildings to make their parking lots available after hours to people forced to live in their vehicles.
THE WOMAN interviewed by the California Report works for Whole Foods where she's about to become a manager. Ordinarily, her income would be sufficient to afford an extortionate studio apartment somewhere in the Rose City but it doesn't. She described the general sense of menace she felt trying to sleep while parked on residential streets, the safest spots she could find, and even there midnight mopes tried her door handles and otherwise menaced her. She's one more example of the desperate need for a federal housing program, which we once had in this country via federally-backed low interest mortgages, available to anybody with a job.
MY GOD, that sounds like socialism! We can't have that! Government isn't here to help Americans, it's purpose is to bomb Muslims. (Who is more likely to harm you? Pick one: a terrorist? Trump? The Clintons?)
GIVEN the myriad creative small house schemes that are out there, there's no real excuse for anyone, even the work-averse and the self-impaired to live on the streets.
BUT THERE THEY ARE, and there they will remain in larger and larger numbers, thanks to the two-party servitude to the oligarchy that owns all of us. Like the Updike story of the squatters gradually moving in on then killing their padrone, today's squatters do a lot of damage. Here's what they've done to BART, as described in this morning's Chronicle:
“…POWELL STREET STATION is the third-busiest of the system’s 46 stations and may be its most troubled. It’s the gateway to San Francisco for tourists, shoppers and day trippers, but it’s home to an increasing number of society’s dispossessed, who use it to sleep and shoot up, and to relieve themselves on its elevators and escalators, in part because its restrooms have been locked. Once a showpiece station, with a giant illuminated map, it’s now a dreary place. Dirt streaks its white-and-gray floors, and its ceiling has been missing for four years. Sections of the station concourse are boarded off with painted plywood, and its elevators and escalators are frequently broken."
WHEN the bathrooms were open, one risked one's life to enter one, and I speak here from personal experience. They were always filthy from the day the system opened, but BART is now plagued by criminals riding the lines, and the unhinged are using the stations as homeless camps.
THE SIMPLEST problems seem beyond government's ability to solve, but government is bigger all the time, and anarchy more and more prevails.
A READER WRITES:
Charlie and Nancy were choosing oysters at an oyster farm in San Juan today and came across the coolest chicken coop I've ever seen where we're staying tonight.
ONLY 16 MORE YEARS
So Proposition 57 has taken 23 years off my sentence. My release date is now June of 2160. And my first parole board date is, get this: February 27, 2033. That's only 16 years away. Who knows what else may happen since my first strike is before November of 1994 (March of 1994) and my second strike is no longer a strike. 136.1 is now a serious but nonviolent felony. Maybe by the time I am 60 or 65 I will be able to walk free again. I have my hopes of going back to Mendocino to be resentenced and. M.H. — I read your article. Homeboy, you know I send mine in full. Remember J.W. in that motel room in Willits? Nice night hook! Keep your head up and I'll see you on the flip.
Walter K. Miller
High Desert State Prison
SONOMA CLEAN POWER: JUST A MIDDLEMAN
Were you aware that Sonoma Green Power does not produce any power but buys it from producers and resells it? They are nothing more than brokers and we had them shoved down our throats because our Lords of Supervisors probably thought it was a great "feel-good" opportunity. I believe in environmental protection, climate change, etc. I do not believe in subterfuge, innuendo and less than full disclosure.
SHERIFF SEEKING PUBLIC'S HELP IN DEATH OF LITTLE RIVER WOMAN FOUND ON BEACH
by Randi Rossman
A woman last seen in Willits last week before being found dead hours later on a Fort Bragg beach didn’t own a car, and Mendocino County sheriff’s detectives want to know how she got to the coastal town and who might have given her a ride.
Sheriff’s officials on Monday issued a public plea in the death investigation of Anne Nicole Shapiro, 33, of Little River, releasing a photo of her and seeking to learn who took her to Fort Bragg, since she didn’t have access to a vehicle.
Shapiro’s body was found at about noon Thursday at the southern end of MacKerricher State Park beach, in northern Fort Bragg.
Her death is considered suspicious and it remains unclear how she died, Mendocino sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Barney said Monday. An autopsy showed she had blunt force trauma to her head, but that could have been caused by the ocean surf, Barney noted.
“It could be abrasions from the rocks. The surge was intense that day,” he said.
Barney declined to say whether any of Shapiro’s belongings were found on the beach or elsewhere. Whether she was on the MacKerricher beach before she died or washed ashore from some other coastal location is still under investigation, he said.
Shapiro reportedly had been experiencing mental health issues and had spent the night before she died at a care facility in Willits, according to authorities.
She was last seen at about 5 a.m. Thursday by a facility staff member. Employees there called Willits police at about 8 a.m. to say she was missing, according to sheriff’s officials.
Barney said Shapiro might have called a friend and asked for a ride away from the private facility, or could have left and hitchhiked along Highway 20 connecting the two towns, the most likely route.
Sheriff’s officials also asked any business owners or residents who use surveillance cameras along the route between the two towns to check their footage and call authorities if the woman’s image was captured. Detectives have so far checked a few surveillance tapes, but none have helped their investigation.
“We want to put a timeline together for the last few hours of her life. We have no information as to how she got there,” Barney said. “We are hoping if someone gave her a ride, they would help us fill in that timeline and her mental state.”
He asked anyone with information to contact detectives at 456-3880 or through the department tip line at 234-2100.
(The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
MARK WHEETLEY, city manager at Fortuna and a former Arcata city councilman, just got his second DUI. A Lost Coast Outpost commenter says:
"It's extremely disappointing that a city MANAGER who is literally responsible for ensuring city programs are succeeding and responsibilities are being met for the community is reckless enough to incur not one, but TWO DUIs, putting the very citizens he is supposed to be protecting at danger. I do not tolerate drunk driving from ANYONE regardless of race and more than once disgusts me because it is evident no lessons were learned the first time around whatsoever and this person's behavior is not likely to change moving forward either. No respect for this man or ANY drunk drivers. It's one thing to be an alcoholic and risk your own health. It is completely different when you choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and put the community at large at risk. No excuse in this day and age especially as a repeat offender. I hope he does not get a slap on the wrist or a special pass because of who he is. Not acceptable and especially not acceptable given his former and current responsibilities to the citizens he served/serves. Piss poor example to set for your community, where DUI is considered a badge of honor, no big deal, or funny already. We need to break this culture of feeling bad for reckless drunk drivers and hold them accountable for the risk they are putting others at with their shit decisions. Maybe then we would see less tragic DUI related deaths with little consequence."
GOT THEMSELVES TOTAL COVERAGE
To the Editor of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
Please consider an informational story outlining the health care plan for members of Congress and their families. Our representatives need to face up to the hypocrisy of their plan vs. our plan. Many people know our representatives have extensive coverage but not in detail. As they say, the devil is in the details.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 13, 14.
Brown, Caligiuri, Callen
SCOTT BROWN, Redwood Valley. Renting to distributed controlled substance, armed with firearm/assault weapon, probation revocation.
JOY CALIGIURI, American Canyon/Willits. DUI.
RONALD CALLEN, Covelo. Disobey court order, protective order violation, probation revocation.
Camarillo, Dearing, Donahe, Edwards
ESTEBAN CAMARILLO, Olivehurst/Ukiah. Controlled substance, suspended license, county parole violation.
JONI DEARING, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer)
MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer)
RICHARD EDWARDS, San Francisco/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
Finney, Garica, Irwin
GREGORY FINNEY, Willits. Probation revocation.
AMANDA GARICA, Covelo. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JUAN IRWIN, Willits. DUI.
Kaylegian, Kizer, Martin
KATHERINE KAYLEGIAN, Eugene/Ukiah. Honey oil extraction, pot cultivation, pot possession for sale.
KASEY KIZER, Ukiah. Petty theft, false impersonation of another, probation revocation.
BRYAN MARTIN, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, false ID, probation revocation.
Moore, Parker, Sanchez
ANTOINE MOORE, Ukiah. Suspended license, failure to appear, offenses while on bail.
KAHLIL PARKER, Ukiah. DUI.
MIGUEL SANCHEZ SR., Talmage. Domestic abuse, burglary, criminal threats, witness intimidation.
Saner, Suba, Walkernhorst
MICHAEL SANER, Navarro. DUI, suspended license.
PETER SUBA, Laytonville. DUI causing bodily injury.
STEPHEN WALKENHORST, Salem/Ukiah. Hit & Run resulting in death or injury.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I was driving to an appointment last week and by chance had tuned in the local 24 hour all-“classical” station down here in Hicksville. As fate would have it the station was fading in and out as a 20th century style piano piece was playing. I was hooked and at the edge of my seat waiting to hear the composer and title. Fortunately it ended while I was on a rise and was informed: George Walker, Piano Sonata No. 1, 1953. Google George Walker, composer, pianist. The cat plays his ass off, and writes like a MF’er. Born of immigrants from Jamaica in 1922.
by James Kunstler
The abiding enigma of this tormented era remains: why has the thinking class of America abandoned thinking? The answer is: it’s the reaction to their own failure. Failure to do what? To produce the utopia that Gnostic liberalism promised — a perfect world based on altering human nature.
The result is an essentially religious hysteria, like the witch frenzies of Medieval Europe that were sometimes provoked by ergot poisoning — a fungus with toxic psychotropic properties that grew on the harvested rye, inducing frightful hallucinations in the villagers, who then lashed out at their perceived supernatural antagonists. Trump in our time is the ergot on the bread of our politics. And Russia is the witch.
Like other operations of the human mind, this collective fugue-state has a big subconscious module in it: the deep, poorly articulated fear that the signal notion of Progress behind progressive politics in the industrial era has reached a dead end. The world is clearly not becoming a better place, but rather reeling into disorder and ecological crisis, despite all the rational programs and politics of modern democracy, and political failure is everywhere.
The “peace dividend” promised by the end of the cold war has degenerated into endless war. The miraculous promises of medicine have been hijacked by “health care” racketeering now institutionalized under ObamaCare. The Civil Rights campaign begun in the 1950s with the most earnest, hopeful intentions (and generous policies) has produced off-the-charts black crime rates, educational defeat, ruined cities, and epic rancor. The middle class has been left economically shipwrecked by the promises of globalism. The pledge of a happy retirement dissolves as the pension funds roll over and die. And the supposed paragon of enlightened American governance morphs into a sinister and corrupt Deep State of oligarchical corruption.
In the background of all this are even more disturbing quandaries and prospects: population overshoot, mass migration from regions that can’t support these numbers of people, extinctions of animal species, the death of the oceans, climate instability. The practical problems of economy approach an event horizon of energy scarcity, runaway debt from trying to mitigate it, and eventual collapse of our day-to-day hyper-complex economic arrangements. These things are so scary that the thinking classes — except for a minority of nerdy scientists — can’t even bear to think about them.
Instead, we have the Gnostic drive to alter human nature, which has terminated in the preoccupation with abolishing sexual identity — the fantasy that we will (and ought to) throw off the shackles of biology and rise into a sort of “trans-human” nirvana. Just behold the amount of “ink” that The New York Times has spilled reporting on the triumphs of transexualism in the past year.
It’s not surprising that some of the worst thinking, the most obviously tortured theological hallucinations, emanate these days from the universities — the places where young, developing intellects are supposed to be molded. Instead of free inquiry, they now offer intellectual martial law, chained to sets of ersatz metaphysics. “Victim” ideas run wild because malign supernatural powers are in play against the faculty hierophants on the elite campuses, charged with interpreting the sacred mysteries and esoteric principles of “post-structural” (reality-optional) thought. The quandaries of “minority” America have resolved in the simple superstitious idea that demonic forces of “white male privilege” and ubiquitous, implacable misogynistic racism are entirely responsible for the woes and sorrows of the world, and the failure of progress in particular.
The failures of US-sponsored economic globalism now focus on the ur-demon (the Satan!) called Russia. Apocalyptic battle with the greatest monster of the imagination is the ultimate struggle in outbreaks of religious frenzy, and America has a ripe history of engaging with the Devil. It’s bad enough when it breaks out in a tiny colonial settlement like Salem, Massachusetts, in the 1600s. There only a few dozen people were persecuted and destroyed. It’s another matter on the global stage today when you engage a perceived “Satan” like Russia, which truly can rain holy Hell back on you if you push your hallucinated animus too far.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
CALLING ALL COLLABOS!
Boards & Commissions Vacancies
The list of vacancies, due to term expirations and resignations, for County boards and commissions has been updated with new vacancies for the month of August. A list of all new and existing vacancies is available on the County website: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/board-of-supervisors/boards-and-commissions.
The attached document contains a list of the vacancies that are new.
Please contact the Executive Office at (707) 463-4441 if you have any questions regarding this message.
Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and Executive Office
SURGE IN LAMPREY POPULATION
Climbing to abundance — Experts welcome rebound for creature that led to misnamed waterway
Swimming by the thousands up the Eel River this year, Pacific lamprey are literally climbing the wall of a dam near Potter Valley in Mendocino County. Driven by the biological imperative to spawn in the river’s gravel beds, the snake-shaped, prehistoric fish — commonly mistaken for eels — have almost no chance of scaling the 63-foot high Cape Horn Dam.
MEMO OF THE AIR in Fort Bragg Friday night!
(Re: Rod Jones' suggested Death Cafe.)
Rod Jones wrote:
At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death, with the sole objective of increasing awareness of death in order to help people make the most of their finite lives. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group, rather than a grief support or counseling session, that is respectful and confidential, lacking any intention to lead to specific conclusions or courses of action. Facilitated by a quiet space with drinks and a cake!...
Marco McClean responds:
Rod, that would be so cool to do on the radio! KNYO has the perfect space for it both in the world and in the aether. And participants can take a break from the discussion and enjoy full use of the fabulous Evel Knievel pinball machine. Bob and Jerry restored its famous original lenient /tilt/ function. It works great.
In other news, tonight (Friday the 14th) I'll be doing my show from Fort Bragg, not by live remote from far away, so here's an open invitation to the general you to come and play your musical instrument(s) or talk about your project, or whatever. It's 325 N. Franklin (next to the Tip Top bar). Just waltz in any time tonight after 9pm, head for the lighted room at the back and get my attention away from whatever I'm doing, and we'll go from there. If you need more room to spread out, I can pull an area mic out into the cavernous echo gallery. (Just a heads-up: next week I'll be doing the show by live remote from away, so if you're tired of keeping track of all that and you want you're own regular airtime that doesn't depend on me or anyone, email Bob Young <firstname.lastname@example.org> and say so.)
And if you ever write something you want me to read aloud on the air, email it to me any time during the week. The deadline is usually around 6pm the night of the show. Or call it in to 962-3022 during the show. Let it ring awhile in case I'm in the bathroom or tangled up in wires or nearing the punchline of a poetical litany of woe or wonder. Tonight, for example: "So the Uffington horse, the Cerne Abbas man and the Nazca spider walk into a bar..."
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio. Every Friday, 9pm to about 4am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, including midnight to 3am 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org or http://TuneIn.com
BRING PABLO BACK TO SF!
Sandoval Released By Sox — Red Sox Cut Losses, Designate Sandoval For Assignment
Boston (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have designated third baseman Pablo Sandoval for assignment.
The team cut its losses with the one-time San Francisco Giants slugger on Friday after activating him from the disabled list. He had been on an injury rehab assignment for an inner ear infection with Triple-A Pawtucket. The Red Sox have 10 days to trade or release him.
Sandoval had won three World Series titles with the Giants before the Red Sox signed him for five years and $95 million before the 2015 season. He has appeared in just 161 games since then, hitting .237 with 14 homers.
Pablo Sandoval's days with the Red Sox are over.
The club announced on Friday morning they designated the 30-year-old for assignment.
Sandoval appeared in just 32 games this season hitting .212 with a .622 OPS. After a promising spring training, the Red Sox hoped Sandoval would get back on track, but he struggled at the plate and in the field and was sidelined with a right knee sprain then an inner ear infection.
The Red Sox left Sandoval in Triple-A Pawtucket much longer than necessary during his rehab from the inner ear infection, indicating his days with club were numbered.
Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million deal prior to the 2015 season. He struggled at the plate that year, hitting just .245 with a .622 OPS.
In 2016, Sandoval played in just three games before being shut down for season-ending shoulder surgery.
The third baseman returned in spring training this year having lost more than 20 pounds and seemed like a different player, hitting .338 with a 1.025 OPS.
But once the regular season started, Sandoval regressed and never gained traction at the plate, struggling in the field.
The Red Sox shuffled through several third baseman in the early going including Marco Hernandez, Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge. Sandoval missed a month with the knee sprain and shortly thereafter Hernandez's season ended with shoulder surgery while Holt battled through vertigo. The compilation of injuries forced the Red Sox to turn to Deven Marrero and then eventually Double-A infielder Tzu-Wei Lin, who both solidified the third base position even when Sandoval briefly returned, only to land back on the disabled list with the ear infection.
With two years remaining on his contract, the Red Sox will still owe him $37.2 million over 2018-2019 in addition to a $5 million buyout prior to 2020 and then roughly $7 million for this season. That totals roughly $49.5 million remaining on Sandoval's deal.
With Sandoval gone, it clears the path for top prospect Rafael Devers, whose promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket came a few hours after Sandoval's DFA.
In 77 games for Portland, Devers has hit .300 with a .944 OPS and appeared this week in the All-Star Futures game as well as the Eastern League All-Star game.
The Red Sox released Triple-A third baseman Jhonny Peralta, whom they'd signed as a free agent last month, clearing the way for Devers at third base in Pawtucket.
If Devers continues to produce when he reaches Pawtucket, it's likely he'll be among Boston's September call ups.
* * *
Every free agent contract in baseball is a gamble, but the five-year, $95 million deal the Boston Red Sox handed third baseman Pablo Sandoval before the 2015 season had a particularly steep downside. To justify the contract, the Red Sox had to hope Sandoval, in no particular order, stayed healthy, stayed in shape, stayed productive and didn’t hurt them defensively. It was a lot to ask of a player who, to that point, had posted two superlative seasons and a handful of middling ones in San Francisco while struggling with his weight for much of his career.
On Friday, the Red Sox essentially acknowledged they had lost the bet, and it came with a staggering cost. In designating Sandoval for assignment, the Red Sox effectively cut ties with the 30-year-old third baseman to whom they still owe about $49 million in guaranteed salary. In the heat of a pennant race, with a glaring need for production at third base, they are paying Sandoval all that money to go away — or more likely, to play for someone else.
Only one other team in history, the Los Angeles Angels, have swallowed more dead money from a single contract than the Red Sox are doing with Sandoval; the Angels owed Josh Hamilton just over $68 million when they unloaded him in 2015.
What did the Red Sox get for their $95 million? Not very much. Essentially one season’s worth of games (as he missed nearly the entire 2016 season). A .237/.286/.360 slash line. Fourteen home runs. A WAR of -2.0, which means he was worth two wins fewer than a random, hypothetical, league-average (and cheap) replacement would have provided. And because of Sandoval, the Red Sox traded Travis Shaw before the 2016 season, only to watch him become a star for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Though Friday’s move cemented the Sandoval contract’s place among the worst in the history of baseball, it was a move the Red Sox had to make. While they led the American League East at the all-star break, their lead was only 3 ½ games over a pair of scary pursuers — the New York Yankees, who are scary because of their financial might and loaded farm system, and the Tampa Bay Rays, who are scary because they have nothing to lose.
With Sandoval either hurt, out of shape or otherwise a drain on the lineup, the Red Sox have already tried six different starters, including him, at third base this season, none of whom proved to be a permanent solution. There could be a seventh on the way, as the Red Sox are expected to promote top prospect Rafael Devers in the coming days from Class AA, where he has hit .300 with a .977 OPS this season, to Class AAA.
Assuming they don’t get an established third baseman on the trade market, they could bring Devers to the big leagues by the end of the season, similar to the way they handled outfielder Andrew Benintendi a year ago.
Technically, the Red Sox have 10 days to trade or release Sandoval, who is owed roughly $7 million for the rest of this season, $37.2 million for 2018 and 2019 and a $5 million buyout in 2020.
Once the Red Sox release him, thus locking in their financial commitment, someone (maybe the Giants?) is likely to take another (low-cost) chance on him, and he will wear another uniform, collecting Red Sox checks, a constant reminder of the risks of big-money, guaranteed contracts, and the steep cost when you bet big and lose.
JULY 19, 2017 BOARD OF RETIREMENT MEETING AGENDA
The July 19, 2017 Meeting Agenda and supporting documents are now available. Please visit https://www.mendocinocounty.org/retirement to view.
Judy Zeller, Retirement System Administration
THE IDIOT’S TALE: SIGNIFYING WHAT, EXACTLY?
by Jeffrey St. Clair
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
— From “This be the Verse” by Philip Larkin
When it comes to playing the role of an idiot, Donald Trump, Jr. is certainly no Prince Myshkin. He doesn’t even rise to the level of Faulkner’s Benjy Compson. Still, it may be possible to squeeze out a little bit of empathy for the man-child of Park Avenue.
Yes, I know, in most respects Micro-Donald is an utterly unappetizing specimen of humanity, who flies around the planet slaughtering rare species (such as this endangered leopard) for bloody selfies. But the boy is the progeny of Donald Trump and who among us would want to endure the torments of that brand of child-rearing? By all accounts, Trump’s parenting skills were stern, cold and brutal. There were no games of catch in Central Park, no camping trips to the Adirondacks, no help with homework.
“When I spent time with my father it wasn’t playing ball in the backyard,” Donnie told the New York Times in 2010. “I came to his office and listened to him do business or sat in on meetings.”
For most of Donnie’s childhood, he rarely saw his father or mother. He was nurtured by Irish nannies and Ivana’s mother and then shipped off to The Hill, a boarding school for the children of elites in Potsdown, Pennsylvania.
Don’s sister Ivanka, whom Trump seems smitten by, described what it was like when Daddy decided to play his satyr-like pranks with the kids, often on the ski slopes in Aspen. “We were sort of bred to be competitive,” Ivanka recalled. “Dad encourages it. I remember skiing with him and we were racing. I was ahead, and he reached his ski pole out and pulled me back.” But for the grace of Odin, Ivanka, Eric and Don could have ended up as slopekill like that other wayward scion Michael Kennedy.
When Micro-Donald was twelve, he had to endure the tabloid spectacle of his father excoriating his mother, Ivana, in the press, while squiring the Georgia beauty queen Marla Maples. Later, he learned that his mother had accused his father of sexually assaulting her (an accusation later withdrawn as part of a legal settlement.) For years afterwards, the son kept himself at a chilly distance from his despotic father. Many children raised in similarly frigid circumstances develop so-called “attachment disorders” and end up torturing animals. Donald Jr. started killing them.
Then when young Donald followed his father’s footsteps to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, a thawing in relations ensued. Sadly, this familial warming proved more of a short-term heat spell rather than a true change in climate. According to an account from Micro-Donald’s dorm-mate, a man called Scott Melker, there came a time when word spread through the dorm that Donald Trump himself would be visiting to take his son to a Yankees game. Many of the dorm’s residents crowded together near young Donald’s room to catch a glimpse of the tycoon.
Daddy Trump cut his way through the crowd of students and knocked on Micro-Donald’s door. Donnie answered with a smile, proudly wearing his Yankee jersey. This fashion crime enraged Trump, who slapped Donnie so hard in the face that his son crumpled to the floor. The father looked down on his fallen son and, according to Melker, sneered: “Put on a suit and meet me outside.”
His friends noticed a change in Donnie after that brutal interaction with good old dad. He started drowning his shame with booze and fed his gnawing rage by blasting away at ungulates and predators. After graduation, Micro-Donald drifted away from Manhattan to Colorado, where he worked for some time as a bartender. In 20o1, he was busted for public drunkenness in New Orleans.
But like many neglected and abused children, Micro-Donald soon headed back east, seeking approval and affection from his icy and tyrannical father. “To be fairly candid,” Donnie told New Yorkmagazine in 2004. “I used to drink a lot and party pretty hard, and it wasn’t something that I was particularly good at. I mean, I was good at it, but I couldn’t do it in moderation. About two years ago, I quit drinking entirely. I have too much of an opportunity to make something of myself, be successful in my own right. Why blow it?”
For the next few years, Micro-Donald toiled in the anterooms of Trump Tower working on minor real estate deals, making occasional appearances on “The Apprentice,” trying to please Daddy by playing golf more than fishing, and learning how to dress for success. It was during this training period that father introduced son to the woman who would become Donnie’s wife, the blonde model and beauty contestant Vanessa Kay Haydon. The Made-for-Reality-TV couple was married in 2005 at Mar-a-Lago.
Now rehabilitated, Junior was sent forth into the world to stamp the Trump brand on golf courses, casinos, and gaudy towers from Dubai to Panama City. Along the way, the tycoon-in-training often let slip family secrets, such as his boastful statement in 2008 about the Trump Organization’s business dealings in Russia. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia,” Donnie said. “There’s indeed a lot of money coming for new-builds and resale reflecting a trend in the Russian economy and, of course, the weak dollar versus the ruble.”
By that time, Micro-Donald had made at least six trips to Russia, negotiating deals ranging from the promotion of Trump Super Premium Vodka to a failed Russian reality show starring a mixed martial arts fighter. Quality stuff. He made his first expedition to Russia in 2006, where he was introduced to Russian oligarchs by Felix Sater, a Russian-born real estate magnate and Trump business associate. Among the Russian bigwigs Junior met on that maiden trip was Aras Agalarov, the Moscow construction kingpin and father of pop star Emin Agalarov, represented by the rotund impresario Rod Goldstone.
All of this is by way of saying that Don Jr. had much more experience in Russia than his father. He knows the lay of the land, the players and the politics. It was Don Jr. who arranged the Miss Universe contest in Moscow in 2013 and tried to negotiated a deal to build a new Trump tower in the Russian capital, alas another doomed venture. In other words, Little Donny might be an idiot, but he is not a naive idiot. Not about deal-making in Russia, anyway.
So what was going through Micro-Don’s mind when he saw the subject heading in Rod Goldstone’s email: “Russia – Clinton – private and confidential.” Was there a flash of excitement? Did he say to himself? Now I might have something that will really impress him, something that might elevate me in his esteem above that nosy Jared, his sibling-in-law rival? Or as he read deeper into the message, and absorbed the explicit, almost too explicit, offer from an emissary of the Russian Government of “documents and information that would incriminate Hillary,” did some other notion begin to form in his subconscious?
When Don Jr. agreed to the fateful meeting in Trump Tower with a Moscow lawyer with tenuous ties to the Kremlin and a former Russian military intelligence officer bearing gifts and decided to rope Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner into it, did he think he had finally found the ticket to an improbable victory for his father? Or did some other motive begin to percolate in the Oedipal depths of his psyche, tempting him with the idea that in one wild stroke he could sow the seeds for the future fall of the house of Trump?
As attractive as that notion is in a literary sense, such a revenge play authored by Jr. is also improbable. The hubris of the Trump family is surpassed only by their stupidity. As a brood, they are too dumb for Greek tragedy.
* * *
+ Trump in Paris on Bastille Day? Where’s Robespierre when you need him?
To defend the oppressed against their oppressors, to plead the cause of the weak against the strong who exploit and crush them, this is the duty of all hearts that have not been spoiled by egoism and corruption… It is so sweet to devote oneself to one’s fellows that I do not know how there can be so many unfortunates still without support or defenders. As for me, my life’s task will be to help those who suffer and to pursue through my avenging speech those who take pleasure in the pain of others. How happy I will be if my feeble efforts are crowned with success and if, at the price of my devotion and sacrifices, my reputation is not tarnished by the crimes of the oppressors I will fight.
+ The GOP response to Mini-Donald’s smoking email chain reminds me of the party’s response to the Presidential Daily Briefing presented to Bush a month prior to 9/11 titled: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” It didn’t say when, how, where, why or the exact time of day, did it….?
+ We interrupt your RussiaGate© binge for an important announcement from the planet… “I’m dying!“
+ Squint your eyes and scan the map for the patches of yellow. Those represent the counties where minimum-wage workers might be able to afford an apartment.
(Click to enlarge)
+ According to a new Harvard study, more than 38 million American families can’t afford their housing, an increase of 146 percent in the past 16 years…
+ A new poll suggests that 73 percent of Democrats would give up drinking in order to witness the impeachment of Donald Trump. Now this might lower the cost of alcohol for the rest of us, but it’s not enough. If they would pledge to give up eating, we might have a deal–though they would be required to sign a DNR order.
+ In 2016, more than 200 environmental activists were murdered around the globe, many of them indigenous people trying to defend their villages, forests and rivers from mining, timber and oil companies. It’s the deadliest year on record for defenders of the planet.
+ Too bad one of the Evangelicals who assembled in the Oval Office to lay their hands upon Trump didn’t bring a rattlesnake to test the resolve of his faith.
+ Aramis Alaya was the first African-American to be elected as a state attorney in Florida. This week a video emerged of her being racially profiled by Orlando cops, stopped and interrogated for no apparent reason other than that she was a black woman driving an expensive-looking car. The cops only back off after Alaya showed them her ID. How many times a day do these stops happen across America 100? 1000? 5,000?
+ The Kremlin this week proposed recruiting Henry Kissinger to act as a mediator between Trump and Putin. In carving up the world to suit American interests, Kissinger has always favored an alliance with Russia over China. Did Moscow Center clear this initiative with the ghosts of Ho Chi Minh and Salvador Allende….?
+ The elites will never forgive Lula, who was convicted this week in Brazil on politically-driven charges of corruption in office. At least they didn’t assassinate him…yet.
+ A new study shows yet again that closing medical marijuana dispensaries actually increases local crime rates. But the war on drugs goes on, impervious to facts, logic and reason….
+ The senator from Citibank, Chuck Schumer, is calling for a war on snortable chocolate. If this takes the shape of other Democratic Party-launched “drug” wars it’s possible predict the sentences: Eat it: Chuck will call you for a donation; Snort it: get 1 to 5; Smoke it: get 15 to life.
+ Rep. Steve King, the reliable geyser of bile from Iowa, proposed this week that construction of Trump’s border wall should financed from the money saved by eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood and Food Stamps. Does he come up with these quips in church?
+ If we are going to remove Confederate monuments from the public sphere, can someone please aim a wrecking ball at Jefferson B. Sessions?
+ This week the New York Times published a demeaning column by David Brooks titled “We are Ruining America.” If I had been the headline writer for the NYT op-ed page, I’d have titled the column “How David Brooks is Ruining America.” The toxic off-gassing from each of his ponderous scribblings despoils a few more precious acres of the Republic.
+ In 1960, JFK won 70 percent of the vote in King County, Texas, home of the town of Guthrie, which has a degree of international fame from being a locale in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. In 2016, Hillary Clinton managed to convince only five voters in the entire county to cast their ballots for her. No Russians in sight.
+ Whether they are gunning down people or dogs, police lie…
+ In the 1920s, a British “Black and Tan” cop from Galway named Douglas Duff became police chief of Jerusalem and quickly went to work torturing Palestinian prisoners. During his brutal interrogations, Duff became an early adopter of the waterboarding method, writing in his memoir about how a prisoner was “held down, flat on his back, while a thin-spouted coffee pot poured a trickle of water up his nose.”
+ On Sunday, Army vet name Justin Walters shot his wife in upper state New York and then opened fire when police arrived at the scene, killing NY state trooper Joel Davis. Walters was arrested and is now in custody, facing two charges of murder. Blacks and Hispanics rarely survive those kinds of encounters. White men are the top killers of American police, yet, they are almost always taken alive. From 1980 to 2013, there 2,269 officers were slain in non-traffic related incidents. The 52 percent of the killers were white, and 41 percent were black.
+ The White House transcripts of Trump’s speech before the G-20 referred Chinese President Xi Jinping as the leader of Taiwan. Worse, Trump persists in calling him President Eleven.
+ Time to go Radioheadless….
+ Partying like a Kennedy was much like partying with Trump–only with booze …
+ Sen. Orrin Hatch: “Had we not had the filibuster…this country would have gone straight to socialism.” Time for the nuclear option, Mitch!
+ Taxi driver: “Why do you use colored musicians?”
George Shearing: “What color are they?”
What I’m reading this week…
Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean
The House of Names by Colm Toibin
A Peoples’ History of the French Revolution: Eric Hazan
What I’m listening to this week…
Juke Joint at the End of the World by Randall Bramblett
Live at Oberlin College by Mississippi John Hurt
Diaspora by Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Sweet Baby by Cornell Campbell
Morphogenesis by Steve Coleman’s Natal Eclipse
Terrible to Watch
James Baldwin: “A person does not lightly elect to oppose his society. One would much rather be at home among one’s compatriots than be mocked and detested by them. And there is a level on which the mockery of people, even their hatred, is moving, because it is so blind: It is terrible to watch people cling to their captivity and insist on their own destruction.”
(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution. He can be reached at: email@example.com or on Twitter @JSCCounterPunchw. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)
JERRY BROWN'S CAP-AND-TRADE BILL PASSES THROUGH SENATE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COMMITTEE
by Dan Bacher
Sacramento— Assembly Bill 398, Governor Jerry Brown’s legislation extending California’s controversial cap-and-trade program, passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee by a five- to-two party line vote today. It will head to the Senate floor on Monday, July 17.
Democratic Senators Jerry Hill, Nancy Skinner, Henry I. Stern, Bob Wieckowski (Chair) and Ricardo Lara voted for it, while Republican Senators Jeff Stone (Vice Chair) and Ted Gaines voted against AB 398.
Governor Brown made a passionate pitch at the hearing at the State Capitol on the legislative package that includes both AB 398 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and AB 617 by Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles). Brown unveiled AB 398 on Monday with Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
“This isn't about some cockamamie legacy,” Brown said in the hearing.
“A lot of you people are going to be alive, and you’re going to be alive in a horrible situation,” Brown said as he turned to the crowd. "This isn't for me, I'm going to be dead. This is for you, and it's real!"
Brown has been trying to get a two-thirds vote in favor of the package in order to avoid any legal challenges.
A letter from members of the Senate Republican Caucus was delivered to Governor Brown outlining their concerns on cap-and-trade this morning before the meeting. The letter conveys to the Governor that the "Caucus is united in opposition to the current efforts to extend the state's cap-and-trade program through Assembly Bill 398 (E. Garcia).”
The letter was signed by Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine), Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield), Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado), Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County) and Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) Senator Scott Wilk (R-Antelope Valley.
The bill is opposed by many environmental justice, consumer and conservation groups, although supported by some “Big Green” NGOs, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the California League of Conservation Voters and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer.
In public testimony today, Adam Scow, Food & Water Watch California director, urged lawmakers to oppose AB 398, legislation that he says “gives major giveaways to the oil and gas lobby.”
“Governor Brown wants to give the oil and gas industry a pass to pollute for another decade.” said Scow. “This bill, that is supported by Sempra Energy and the fossil fuel industry, makes a mockery of California’s climate leadership.”
“Legislators who care about our state’s future should vote no on AB 398 and instead demand polluters make real emissions reductions at the source,” he concluded.
Julia May, senior scientist at Communities for a Better Environment, summed up the many problems with AB 398:
“The Cap & Trade extension was written by the oil industry, is even worse than the current failed program, includes preemptions from local action, gives away so many free credits we will never meet climate goals, and allows oil refineries to expand indefinitely with no program for Just Transition to clean energy that is so desperately needed in EJ communities," May said.
Other organizations and agencies listed in opposition to AB 398 by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee include: the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, California Environmental Justice Alliance, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, Consumer Watchdog, Friends of the Earth US, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Sierra Club California and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Then today, “a broad and deep coalition” of climate and environmental justice groups announced their opposition to AB 398, “the cap and trade bill that began with a Western States Petroleum Association wish list,” according to a press release from RL Miller at Climate Hawks Vote: climatehawksvote.com/….
On June 28, In These Times revealed that leaked documents show that the Brown administration was promoting a cap-and-trade measure, not then yet a bill, “laden with talking points that appear to be ripped near verbatim from a policy paper by the state’s influential oil and gas lobby.” (inthesetimes.com/...)
Background: California oil lobby tops spending in 2015-16 session with $36.1 million
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.
As usual, 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.
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 an American Lung Association report. “That’s enough money to buy 103,000 goats,” reported Stop Fooling California, stopfoolingca.org.
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
Chevron, the second overall oil industry spender, spent $7 million in the 2015-16 session. It spent $3 million in 2016, sixth among all lobbyists in the current session.
In the seventh quarter alone, WSPA dumped $2.6 million into lobbying legislators and state officials while billionaire Tom Steyer's Next Generation Climate Action spent an unprecedented $7.3 million, almost 3 times the oil industry group’s expenses.
The spending by Steyer’s group helped propel the passage of Senate Bill 32, legislation that reduces greenhouse gas level to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, in spite of strong opposition by the oil industry.
Since the 2007-08 Session, the oil industry has spent $133 million in lobbying in California.
To read the complete report, go to: http://www.lung.org/local-content/california/documents/Oil-Industry-Lobbying-2016-update-4_1-31-17.pdf
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF STIGMA ON PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
From the World Psychiatry Journal
Many people who suffer from mental illness are challenged doubly. On one hand, they struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease. On the other, they are challenged by the prejudice and stereotypes that result from the misconceptions about mental illness. As a result of both, people with mental illness are robbed of the opportunities that define a quality of life: good jobs, safe housing, satisfactory health care, and affiliation with a diverse group of people.
The impact of stigma is twofold: Public stigma is the reaction that the general population has to people with mental illness. Self-stigma is the prejudice which people with mental illness turn against themselves. Both public and self-stigma may be understood in terms of three components: stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Social psychologists view stereotypes as especially efficient, social knowledge structures that are learned by most members of a social group. Stereotypes are considered “social” because they represent collectively agreed upon notions of groups of persons. They are “efficient” because people quickly generate impressions and expectations of individuals who belong to a stereotyped group. The fact that most people have knowledge of a set of stereotypes does not imply that they agree with them. For example, many persons can recall stereotypes about different racial groups but do not agree that the stereotypes are valid. People who are prejudiced, on the other hand, endorse these negative stereotypes. (“All persons with mental illness are violent!”) and generate negative emotional reactions as a result (“They all scare me!”) In contrast to stereotypes, which are beliefs, prejudicial attitudes involve an evaluative (generally negative) component. Prejudice also yields emotional responses such as anger and fear to stigmatized groups.
Prejudice which is fundamentally a cognitive and affective response leads to discrimination. Prejudice that yields anger can lead to hostile behavior. In terms of mental illness angry prejudice may lead to withholding help or replacing health care with services provided by the criminal justice system. Fear leads to avoidance and employers do not want persons with mental illness nearby so they do not hire them.
Alternatively, prejudice turned inward leads to self-discrimination. Self-stigma and fear of rejection by others lead many persons to not pursuing life opportunities for themselves.
Stigmas about mental illness seem to be widely endorsed by the general public in the Western world. Studies suggest that majority of US citizens and many Western European nations have stigmatizing attitudes about mental illness. Furthermore, stigmatizing views about mental illness are not limited to uniformed members of the general public; even well-trained professionals from most mental health disciplines subscribe to stereotypes about mental illness.
Several themes describe misconceptions about mental illness and corresponding stigmatizing attitudes. Media analyses of film and print have identified three: people with mental illness are homicidal maniacs who need to be feared; they have childlike perceptions of the world that should be marveled; or they are responsible for their illness because they have weak character. Two independent surveys parallel these findings: fear and exclusion: persons with severe mental illness should be feared and , therefore, be kept out of most communities; authoritarianism: persons with severe mental illness are irresponsible, so life decisions should be made by others; benevolence: persons with severe mental illness are childlike and need to be cared for.
Although stigmatizing attitudes are not limited to mental illness, the public seems to disapprove persons with psychiatric disabilities significantly more than persons with related conditions such as physical illness. Severe mental illness has been linked to drug addition, prostitution, and criminality. Unlike physical disabilities, persons with mental illness are perceived by the public to be in control of their disabilities and responsible for causing them.
The discrimination that results from stigma may take four forms: withholding help, avoidance, coercive treatment, and segregated institutions. A more extreme form of this behavior is social avoidance. Surveys have found that more than half of respondents are unwilling to: spend an evening socializing, work next to, or have a family member marry a person with a mental illness.
This is a reality. In our next article we will address changing attitudes and stigma.
(Submitted by the Mendocino Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, NAMI)
STEPHEN KINZER - MONDAYS GUEST AT KMEC RADIO 105.1 FM IN UKIAH, CA, MONDAY, JULY 17, AT 1 PM
“Saudi Arabia is Destabilizing the World”
July 14, 2017
Huffington Post reports: “41 Human Rights Groups Urge Senate To Block Trump’s Saudi Arms Deal.” A Senate vote on the arms sale is currently expected Tuesday.
See from Ben Norton at AlterNet: “Emails Expose How Saudi Arabia and UAE Work the U.S. Media to Push for War.”
“Democracy Now” reports this morning: “Cholera Death Toll Tops 859 in War-Torn Yemen as U.S.-Backed Saudi Assault Continues.”
STEPHEN KINZER, kinzer.stephen at gmail.com, @stephenkinzer
Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University and a columnist at the Boston Globe. He just wrote the piece “Saudi Arabia is Destabilizing the World,” which states: “Saudi Arabia has been working for decades to pull Indonesia away from moderate Islam and toward the austere Wahhabi form that is state religion in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis’ campaign has been patient, multi-faceted, and lavishly financed. It mirrors others they have waged in Muslim countries across Asia and Africa.
“Successive American presidents have assured us that Saudi Arabia is our friend and wishes us well. Yet we know that Osama bin Laden and most of his 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, and that, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in a diplomatic cable eight years ago, ‘Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.’
“Recent events in Indonesia shine a light on a Saudi project that is even more pernicious than financing terrorists. Saudi Arabia has used its wealth, much of which comes from the United States, to turn entire nations into hotbeds of radical Islam. By refusing to protest or even officially acknowledge this far-reaching project, we finance our own assassins — and global terror.”
Kinzer spent more than 20 years working for the New York Times, most of it as a foreign correspondent. His books include Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq and most recently The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire.
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SITTING IN THE MOUNTAINS
Rock slab seat
No loathing noise
Not savoring silence
The carefree clouds concur
~Jakushitsu Genko (1290-1367)
(via Craig Stehr)