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Mendocino County Today: February 25, 2012

ANDERSON VALLEY is in line for a long-overdue accessible recycling operation, now that Jerry Ward’s Solid Waste of Willits operation plans to open one at the Boonville Fairgrounds. According to next week’s Board of Supervisors agenda packet: “SUMMARY OF REQUEST: Pursuant to the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Mendocino and the Anderson Valley Apple Show and Fair, the Fair has the authority to grant the use of the County-owned property to other entities with the written consent and approval of the County. The lease agreement between the Mendocino County Fair and Solid Wastes of Willits, Inc. is for a portion of property to be used for the storage of recycling bins for the collection and storage of recyclable materials and for the purpose of continuing the operation of a certified buy-back and drop-off recycling center for the community of Anderson Valley. The space to be leased is a 12’ x 12’ area within the parking area of the Fairgrounds, and a 30’ x 24’ area inside a gated fence area adjacent to the parking area.”

CONGRESSMAN WINE GUY veers left, or at least as far left as FDR. From: Congressman Mike Thompson. Subject: Put Americans Back to Work Rebuilding our Roads and Bridges. Dear Friends, While accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt pledged to our nation and himself a New Deal for the American People. At the time, America was facing some of the Great Depression’s darkest days. Infrastructure investments were the centerpiece of the New Deal because these investments were one of the strongest jump starts for a struggling economy. Americans from all corners of our country were put to work modernizing our roads and bridges. Nearly 80 years later, our nation is once again faced with high unemployment and slow economic growth. And once again we need bold investments to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The best way to get our economy moving again is to put Americans back to work fixing our roads, schools and bridges. This isn’t a Republican priority or a Democratic Priority, it’s an American priority. As House Majority Leader Eric Cantor recently said, job creation is the most important priority facing our country as a whole. However, the Republican led House has kicked the can down the road, not once, but twice in the last year, refusing to pass long-term legislation that will fund transportation projects – instead passing very short-term extensions. Now that a vote is expected on long-term legislation that would fund surface transportation projects, the Majority’s bill is filled with poison pills. The bill halts funding for high-speed passenger rail projects. It opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska for oil drilling. It ends important competitive grant funding for road improvements, port upgrades, bridge maintenance and light rail. It defunds bike and pedestrian projects. It ends funding that is used to build safer routes to schools. And it would allow for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline though an environmentally sensitive area before environmental reviews are complete. Our national infrastructure earns a grade of D from the American Society of Civil Engineers. We cannot keep playing games while jobs and infrastructure are at stake. We must pass a bill that is free of these poison pills so we can get construction projects moving and put folks back to work. We did this in 2005 by an overwhelming vote of 412-8. Now it is time to come together and do it again. According to the American Crisis in Transportation Coalition for every $1 billion invested in transportation, more than 30,000 jobs are created. A transportation bill free of poison pills would invest more than $300 billion in our roads and bridges, meaning we could create more than nine million jobs. By that estimation, our local communities will feel the positive economic impact of a bi-partisan transportation bill. In Solano County, by updating the I-80/680/12 interchange, we can create 1,350 jobs. In Lake County, improvements to Highway 29 would create 900 jobs. In Napa County, updating the 1st Street/SR-29 intersection would create more than 500 jobs. In Sonoma County, US Route 101 widening and bridge maintenance would create more than 9,000 jobs. And in Mendocino County, finishing the second phase of the Willits Bypass would create more than 1,800 jobs. Hard working families across our district are looking for a fair shake. They want jobs. They want to get to work. And they want to know that if they work hard and play by the rules, then they will be able to put food on the table and gas in their car, make their mortgage payment, send their kids to college and save for retirement. When FDR accepted the presidential nomination in 1932, folks across our county knew that making this fair shake a reality meant committing to shared responsibility — if we shared in the responsibility of building a great nation then we would share in the success of a great nation. We made that commitment then. I know we can do it again. It’s time to put partisanship aside and work across the aisle to make that fair shake a reality. No more poison pills. We need to get America working again for the folks who work for a living — and creating jobs by rebuilding our schools, roads and bridges is the best way to make that happen. Sincerely, Mike Thompson Member of Congress.”

THE NORTHERN SPOTTED OWL is widely assumed to be mostly holding out on the 400,000 acres owned by the Green Diamond Resource Company, located mostly in Northern Humboldt and on into Del Norte counties. Not long ago, survival of the owl was a huge issue between environmentalists and timber companies. Enviros claimed logging practices were destroying owl habitat. Timber companies were soon compelled to modify harvest practices to ensure the minimal welfare of the spotted owl. Lately, however, the spotted owl, it is claimed, is in danger of being wiped out by the barred owl, native to the East Coast but now found in NorCal forests. The barred owl is larger than its little cousin, Spotty, and has moved Spotty out of Spotty's carefully crafted set asides on Green Diamond land. Now, in a supreme irony, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is “potentially moving forward with some experimental removal of the barred owl” by shooting them. That's right. Shooting the barred owls found in spotted owl habitat, luring them with an owl call then blasting them with a shotgun. Predictably and rightly, the government's madcap pursuit of the barred owl is creating a storm of opposition. Stephanie Bowles Griffin of the Humane Society is among the persons leading the charge to stop the owl slaughter. “Our concern is that they will remove 3,000 animals, those animals will be killed and others from the surrounding areas will simply fly in and this will become just an ongoing vicious kill cycle. This is a natural range expansion; this is not an invasive species. We prefer to have nature take its course.” On its part, Green Diamond is taking Spotty's side. Green Diamond, to protect Spotty, wants to blast the barred owl out of the north woods. Fish and Wildlife will release an environmental impact statement on February 28th. The agency says it wants public input.

Spotted Owl
Barred Owl


IT DOESN’T SOUND like much of a solution

To choose this owl or that one for execution

Since the two owls

Are similar fowls

What’s to stop shooters from misattribution?


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