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ABOVE NORMAL INTERIOR TEMPERATURES will continue today. Cooler temperatures and breezy winds are forecast this weekend as a dry cold front sweeps through the area. This will clear out most of the coastal stratus Saturday afternoon through Sunday, with nighttime and morning stratus returning next week. (NWS)
Richard ‘Dick’ Manley Bailey died peacefully at home in Ukiah, CA on June 28th, 2022 after having had precious time to say goodbye to loved ones.
Dick was born February 10th, 1932, in Dundee, New York in the upstate Finger Lakes region. Sadly, at the age of six his mother, Erma Hayes Bailey, passed away. This shock, and the economic effects of the Great Depression, lead to his father, Manley Bailey, losing the family farm and being forced to become an itinerant construction worker. Dick’s, and his older brother Lester’s, youth was one of Depression-era poverty, living in boarding-houses with their father as he moved about, and hard work when living with their grandparents on their subsistence upland farm. While his puritanical workaholic tendencies, honed by years of farm work and street life, helped him accomplish many things in life, he was also lucky to be born smart, kind, and curious about the world, a combination of traits which increased his chances by helping him find supportive elders and mentors (his aunt’s Emma and Dorothy, boarding-house matrons, bosses, neighbors, teachers and friends) who showed him opportunities and encouraged and supported his growth. Dorothy, in particular, who was his father’s sister and a schoolteacher, was of particular importance in influencing his life path into the field of teaching.
Dick earned his B.A. in Business Administration from Albany State Teachers College (now SUNY Albany), via the ROTC program, and became an officer in the US Navy, earning the rank of Lieutenant, JG. Upon graduation from Officers Training School, he was deployed to Japan and stationed at the Yokosuka Naval Supply Depot for several years. Upon release from the Navy, he pursued and earned a Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Indiana, Bloomington. After he completed his graduate work, Dick accepted a position in the Economics Department at UC Berkeley (UCB). Unexpectedly, President Kennedy, when he was elected, asked Dick’s graduate advisor to join the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, and he in turn asked Dick and several other of his students to come to Washington, DC as assistants, which he did after getting permission from Berkeley to delay his appointment. Following the death of President Kennedy Dick continued to work on Lyndon Johnson’s economic council for a time, and then was offered the position of chief economist on the Planning and Policy division of the team James Webb was creating at NASA. UCB again supported Dick’s delaying his appointment. After several years at UCB, he transferred to the School of Public Health Administration at UCB where he had a long career as a Professor, Dept. Chairman and Associate Dean. He chose the University over a much more lucrative corporate career because he was a life-long believer in using his talents and resources to benefit broad society, rather than increase the profits of the few. While at Berkeley, he performed research and published articles and a book on the questionable connection of pharmaceutical companies to doctors and clinical laboratories, consulted to the National Federation of Independent Businessmen examining business and economic trends, and worked as an expert witness in medical malpractice, wrongful death and negligent injury cases across Northern California. His work was pivotal in ground-breaking verdicts for plaintiffs, such as the successful 1998 lawsuit against Wonder Bread for blatant racism in its employment practices. Later in his career he moved to Ukiah, CA to which he eventually retired, and where he took time to get involved in volunteering, helping the Mendocino Community Health Clinic, Mendo-Lake Credit Union, and River Oak Charter School. He counseled many people who sought, or received, his practical and increasingly spiritual advice.
A lifelong outdoorsman who camped, fished, hunted, and backpacked, he fell in love with the West when he visited during his Navy years. Once he moved to California for work, he never left. His love for the outdoors led to the purchase of a family cabin at Lake Tahoe, which was enjoyed for many years. Dick and the Bailey family and friends have gathered at camping spots, both permitted and otherwise, across California, Nevada, and Baja. His trusty 1971 VW bus carried family and friends from Baja to Alaska, and California to New York more than once. It wasn’t a Bailey adventure without time spent in a repair shop along the way. He almost always had a variety of fishing boats, often with a temperamental outboard, to explore lakes, rivers and his beloved ocean, most notably the small one-time Navy officer’s gig and commercial fishing boat he rebuilt and called Dreamer. And, in large part due to his father’s struggles, Dick always had a soft spot in his heart for alcoholic jacks-of-all-trades, offering them odd jobs and good deals, including the gift of his beloved Dreamer who he gave to a struggling homeless couple.
Dick spent his last few years in Fort Bragg, CA in his sanctuary of Redwood trees and rhododendrons close to the ocean. He was truly a Vagabundo Del Mar.
He is survived by Geri West, Linda Hager Bailey, Richard Mark Bailey, Robert Michael Bailey, John Thomas Bailey, Jennifer Anne Bailey, his nine grandchildren (Joshua, Jessica, Aurora, Amanda, Eva, Magdalena, Samuel, Theodore, Ian), as well as Andrew West, and Ethan West. He was preceded in death by his brother, Lester Bailey, and his former spouse, Delcye Bailey.
His wit and warmth and love will be sorely missed. A celebration of life will be held at some future time. Donations in Dick’s memory can be sent to Hospice of Ukiah or Save the Redwoods League.
CLOVERDALE MAN MISSING OVER A MONTH UNDER SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES
On July 16th, 2022, at around 4:00 am Gregory Peterson left his home in the 30000 block of Highway 128 in Cloverdale. Peterson was believed to have been contacted by an unknown acquaintance who had vehicle issues and needed assistance. The following day, at around 11:30 am, Peterson’s vehicle was found on Hwy 101 north of Cloverdale on fire. Peterson has not been seen or heard from since. Peterson is a 62-year-old white male, approximately 6’03” tall, weighing around 200LBS.
Anyone with information about Peterson’s whereabouts can contact the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit at 707-565-2185. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office case number 220718-011.
A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered by the Sonoma County Alliance Community Engagement and Safety Rewards Fund. The reward is for information leading to the whereabouts of Peterson and or the arrest of the suspect/s responsible for his disappearance.
GIRLS BASKETBALL, AVHS, 1944 (via Stacey Rose)
CRITICS OF JACKSON FOREST LOGGING TO HOLD RALLY; WARN OF POTENTIAL CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE WHEN LOGGING RESUMES
by Mary Callahan
Community, environmental and tribal activists opposed to renewed logging in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest plan to rally in the forest Sunday and warn of potential civil disobedience in the future.
The notice comes in response to a Cal Fire announcement that tree cutting would resume as early as this week on at least one of four incomplete timber harvest plans in the Mendocino County forest. Those plans were recently revised to halt removal of the largest trees.
The return of logging crews ends an eight-month pause on tree removal that allowed state officials to start rethinking priorities for the nearly 50,000-acre forest and begin negotiations with local tribes that are seeking co-management rights.
But critics say it’s still too soon to end the pause. They argue that ideas floated in a “vision statement” released last week don’t amount to the updated forest management plan demanded by advocates and promised by Cal Fire.
“Redwood forests have amazing climate mitigation potential, and management needs to maximize that potential,” said Sara Rose, a member of Mendocino County Youth for Climate, who has been on the front lines of the fight to halt logging in the forest and change the forest’s future.
“My generation will have to live with what the planet becomes if we don’t save it,” she said. “We have to face the reality of climate change.”
Michael Hunter, tribal chairman of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, became engaged in discussions with Cal Fire and California Natural Resource Agency representatives about six months ago under an executive order by Gov. Gavin Newsom encouraging co-management of public lands with California tribes.
He was stunned to learn Wednesday that logging was about to resume.
“The state still does not understand that there is a difference between co-management and tribal consultation,” Hunter said Thursday. “Tribes must not be relegated to an advisory role in managing their ancestral lands. For co-management to succeed, it must be a government-to-government relationship that creates equal decision-making power.”
“Cal Fire appears intent on burning bridges,” said Matt Simmons, staff attorney with the Arcata-based Environmental Protection Information Center in a news release. “The pause’ in operations made community input and tribal negotiations possible. Now, any progress or goodwill has been shattered.
“We call on Cal Fire not to resume logging until they have a new Management Plan,” Simmons said.
Sunday’s rally is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. at the “Caspar Scales” and trailhead on Road 500.
More information is available at Mama Tree Mendo on Facebook and Instagram.
MARSHALL NEWMAN ADDS RE: THE HISTORY OF THE LAND: One missing element in the article’s chronology was ownership of the property by Paul and Melody Haller beginning in the very late 1990s – when it was called Shenoa – and continuing into the early 2000s. Under their ownership, it remained a retreat center, though the name was changed to Shenoa Springs.
LABOR DAY PICNIC
The Mendocino County Democratic Party and the Inland Mendocino Democratic Club invite you to attend the annual Labor Day Picnic, The Work of Our Hands, at Todd Grove Park in Ukiah, September 5, 2022 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Musical entertainment by the Raging Grannies. Keynote speaker, Rusty Hicks, Chair of the CA Democratic Party. Union representatives and Representative Jared Huffman, Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood will also speak. Food trucks will be parked close by with a variety of offerings. Beverages will be available. No host beer and wine. This is a low waste event - bring your own cups! Donations gratefully accepted. www.inlandmendodems.org
FROM the November 26th, 1898 edition of the Mendocino Beacon: “F.A. Bean, the Navarro nurseryman, notes there was a ready demand for apples this season, almost the entire dried product of that fruit grown in Anderson Valley having been purchased by a San Francisco firm and shipped to Australia. He notes the codlin moth cannot exist within ten miles of the coast. With immunity from this pest, combined without soil and climate, Mendocino at some distant day, should enjoy the distinction of being one of the best and most prolific apple producing sections in the world.”
ATTENTION LOCAL HISTORIANS: Wasn't Mr. Bean also a working colleague of the renowned Luther Burbank? And wasn't Mr. Bean's ranch at the foot, or close by, of Nash Mill, Nash being the family who succeeded Bean? I'm sure I've read that Burbank visited Bean's place where they put their heads together on hybrid fruits. Anderson Valley did indeed become a prime apple-growing region — apples and sheep — before it went to wine grapes.
AMONG our many blessings in the Anderson Valley, are five fresh fruit and vegetable stands, the most comprehensive of which is the amazing Petit Teton, six miles south of central Boonville. They not only offer a range of food products, animal and vegetable, produced by the sweat of their collective family brow, they offer an array of preserved foods.
A READER WRITES: Re the Murray case, it is the cop's action that's in play here, not the sexual life of a prostitute gay or straight. Yes, defense attorneys will trash reputations of prosecution witnesses. No matter. Again, the issue is the behavior of this officer. In this specific case, the officer is accused of sexually assaulting three different women - the alleged prostitute, a family friend and mother, and a fellow police officer. That is the issue, and not the background of the victims. The DA decided to drop the charges, not the judge. The high powered Santa Rosa boys kicked his ass, despite his best attempts to massage this, and lie to you about the availability of witnesses. The second woman was prepared to testify. Isabel Siderakis was willing. What is his response to that? He ducks everyone but you, and then claims the witness disappeared. Bullshit. A dirty cop beat the shit out of a local resident, and allegedly sexually assaulted three women. Period. At the very least, a jury should have this case."
IT ISN'T LIKE Eyster to duck anybody, but for the record I simply repeated what he told me, not that I necessarily agree that the primary witness couldn't be found. I agree that Ms. Siderakis is the most credible witness in all of this, but the final disposition lies with Judge Moorman. There's still a lot about this that's very suspicious, including the City of Ukiah's not knowing-ness. I can't believe Ukiah's lavishly compensated city manager, Seldom Seen Sangiacomo, and his captive City Council, weren't aware that the Ukiah Police Department was outta control. They have been suspiciously quick to pay out large sums of money to allegedly harmed people on the say-so of their lawyers.
Excitement is building as PEN Oakland, called “The Blue Collar PEN” by The New York Times, approaches December 3, 2022, the date on which our annual awards ceremony will be held online via the Oakland Public Library Rockridge Branch. The ceremony will be held from 2PM-5PM PST.
We are pleased to honor Bruce Anderson for a PEN Oakland Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award.
PEN Oakland doesn’t receive corporate funding, so donations are welcome but not required. You can send donations here: https://www.pen-oakland.org/
Please inform us about whether or not your author can attend. A video acceptance speech is also allowed. Also, please send a high resolution photo, photo credit and a bio of the author to put in our program. As the ceremony draws closer, we will be sending more details.
ED NOTE: Your author will attend, although my late and sorely missed comrade, Alexander Cockburn, always said, “If they start giving you awards, you're finished.”
BICYCLISTS PLEASE RIDE SAFELY AND LEGALLY
We members of the Fort Bragg Seniors on Bicycles (SOB) see a major increase in the number of people using bicycles for their transportation and exercise. Many of them are new cyclists.
Many of these new bicyclists either don't know the laws regarding riding bicycles on public roads or they ignore them. They don't know how to ride safely in traffic. They seem to think bicycles are toys or recreation equipment to which the rules of the road don’t apply.
Under California Vehicle Code 21200 (a), bicycle riders have all the rights and are subject to all the same responsibilities and duties as drivers of vehicles. This means bicyclists must obey speed limits, stop at stop signs and bike on the right-hand side of the road.
Under Vehicle Code 21200 regulations, bicyclists must ride as far to right of the road as possible. They must ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb as possible, due to their slower speed.
There are four situations under which cyclists aren't subject to this regulation.
* When riders are overtaking and passing another cyclist.
* When they're preparing to make a left turn at an intersection or into a driveway.
* When it is necessary to avoid unsafe conditions. Unsafe conditions include objects or people on the right that could cause the cyclist to fall. Also included is when the cyclist needs to avoid being where an opening car door could knock them into oncoming traffic. Anything that blocks safe passage on the right is a safety hazard.
* When the cyclist is approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
Numerous cyclists are riding the wrong way in bicycle lanes against traffic. They make it unsafe for cyclists riding legally. This forces those legally riding cyclists to ride dangerously closer to moving automobiles. Bicyclists must ride in the same direction as the motor vehicles.
All cyclists should wear helmets. Riders under 18yrs old must wear helmets under California Vehicle code section 21212. Helmets worn must meet the standards of the American Society For Testing Materials (ATSM) or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Too many cyclists aren’t wearing safety helmets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 70 percent of all fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries. Meanwhile, only 20 to 25 percent of all bicyclists wear helmets. Wearing a properly fitted helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 74 to 85 percent.
Some bicyclists are riding at night without lights or reflectors on their bicycles. Section 20201 of the vehicle code says that bicyclists riding at night must be equipped with a lamp emitting a white light that is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front of and from the sides of the bicycle. They must also have a red reflector that can be seen 500 feet from behind in front of the lawful upper beams of a motor vehicle. Cyclists must have white or yellow pedal reflectors and wheel reflectors.
We Seniors on Bikes have seen numerous cyclists who not only don’t have lights or reflectors, but also wear black or dark clothing. This makes them even nearly invisible to drivers at night. We highly recommend wearing very brightly colored clothing whether riding in the daytime or at night.
Cyclists should make sure their bicycle is in good mechanical condition before they ride. Any malfunction can distract one’s attention from the road. This can be dangerous for the safe operation of the bicycle, especially the brakes.
We ask drivers to be alert for bicyclists on the road. If you're in a parked car, please watch for oncoming bicyclists before opening the car door to leave the vehicle.
There will be more of us on the road due to the damaged economy and rising gas prices. We ask everyone to share the road so we can all travel more safely. Bicycling safely can be a healthy, liberating way to travel. Bicycles are much cheaper to maintain and operate than an automobile. Readers can visit https://www.bts.gov/content/average-cost-owningand- operating-automobilea-assuming-15000-vehicle-miles-year) to get an idea of how very expensive automobiles are).
Many drivers seem to have the attitude that bicycles are second class vehicles that must immediately get out of their way. They are NOT!
According to the Fort Bragg DMV office, most people who don't pass the written part of driver license tests fail because they missed the questions on bicycles.
Bicyclists can take satisfaction from commuting or traveling without creating more greenhouse gases. Bicyclists can travel without adding to global warming. Please ride safely and carefully!
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 25, 2022
JUAN ALVARADO-MOSQUEDO, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
JEANIE BETTEGA, Covelo. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, attempt to keep stolen property, paraphernalia.
WILLIAM GREEN, Ukiah. Trespassing, probation revocation.
ALLEN HUNTLEY, Austell, Georgia/Ukiah. Possession of money for illegal use, conspiracy.
JESSICA MCWILLIAMS, Hopland. Battery.
JAYE NEWKIRK, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania/Ukiah. Possession of money for illegal use, conspiracy.
RAYMOND RHODES, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, failure to appear.
MARCUS SLOAN, Hopland. Probation revocation.
JACOB WALTRIP, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
THE TAX MAN'S BIG BLIND SPOTS
There is a lot of misinformation regarding planned increases in the Internal Revenue Service’s budget. Perhaps the worst example is people claiming the IRS is planning to hire 87,000 auditors whose only possible role will be to “go after you and me.”
Let’s look at some facts.
The planned hiring isn’t primarily auditors. Hiring plans include administrators, computer experts, support staff and others, as well as auditors. Almost one-third of IRS employees will retire soon. Audit staff is down a third from 2010, lower than it was in 1952. The IRS conducted 675,000 fewer audits in 2017 than were done in 2010.
Who wasn’t audited? The audit rate for Americans earning more than $5 million a year plunged from over 16% in 2010 to just over 2% in 2019. Audits of corporations with profits over $1 billion are down from 100% to 50%. A recent review of the IRS showed that taxes due but not collected amount to over $400 billion, one-fifth of the federal deficit.
What’s the real effect on you and me? Refunds are taking months, phones are not answered, and real tax cheats are thriving at our expense.
IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL HOW CALIFORNIA’S WINE HARVEST IS GOING
by Esther Mobley
It’s that special time of year in Wine Country: harvest. Grapes are getting ripe, crews are picking them off the vines, and all that juice inside the tanks is beginning to ferment.
But ask any two winemakers how it’s going, and you may get vastly different answers.
“We’re seeing above-average yields,” said Danielle Cyrot, the winemaker at Cade Estate on Napa’s Howell Mountain.
Contrast that with: “Our crop is down 30%,” which is what Brad Alper, owner of Square Peg Winery in Sebastopol, reported.
The timing of this year’s harvest is “crazy early!!” according to Carlo Mondavi, owner of Raen Winery in western Sonoma County.
But it’s predictable clockwork at Knights Bridge Winery in Sonoma County’s Knights Valley, where winemaker Derek Baljeu said he’s begun picking grapes the same week — on or around Aug. 26 — for the last several years.
The grapevines’ yields are plentiful; no, they’re low. The fruit is ripening early; no, it’s right on schedule. The drought is straining the roots; no, there’s plenty of water. “It’s weird that there's so much lushness but also so much dryness,” said Mayacamas Olds, the chief operating officer of Enterprise Vineyards, of moisture levels in the ground.
It’s unusual to get such wildly divergent reports. Typically, when I check in with winemakers in August, something of a clear narrative emerges. In 2015 — my first year reporting for The Chronicle — a hot, dry season resulted in one of the earliest harvests on record, with some vineyards getting picked in late July. In 2020, the dry lightning siege in mid-August marred the beginning of harvest with smoke-taint concerns. And last year, the drought decimated the crop yields at many vineyards across the state, leading to a major decline in wine production volume.
This year, who knows?
No matter the particulars, one thing looms large for all wine growers and makers in California — the possibility of wildfire. Every bin of grapes that can be harvested under clear, blue skies is a relief. I wondered whether some wineries might be deliberately picking grapes earlier, before we get into the heart of fire season in September and October. But when I asked folks whether they’re factoring fire into those decisions, the answer was invariably no.
“It’s always on your mind, but it’s kind of like, what can you do?” said Alper of the fire threat. “It doesn’t make sense to pull the fruit off before it’s ready, because then (the wine) won’t be good.”
That’s not to say that wineries and vineyards aren’t preparing for wildfires — they absolutely are, by constantly clearing flammable brush, installing emergency sprinkler systems, investing in backup generators and more. But for now, they’re not trying to mess with the grapes themselves: They’ll ripen when they ripen.
In the longterm, however, winemakers in California may find better ways of controlling that ripening themselves. Mondavi said Raen has been pruning vines earlier in the winter, which kickstarts the plant’s growing season earlier, as a way of avoiding fire. And at Knights Bridge, the team recently planted some new early-ripening clones of Cabernet Sauvignon. Those vines aren’t yet producing fruit, but the hope, said winemaker Baljeu, is that the berries will be deliciously full of flavor a little sooner than other Cabernet vines, giving Baljeu a better shot at getting to them before a wildfire does.
“Anything that will save us a couple days, if not a couple weeks, will be helpful,” he said. “Still, once the season’s here, there’s not a ton you can do. You have to let the vines grow.”
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Pit Bulls: The reason they were turned into fighting dogs was that they are particularly tenacious. They will not stop once they are assigned a task. It’s not a bad trait but it has been perverted by sick men. Pit bulls are also very sensitive. Most are sweet lovers. What was done to this breed - turning them into fighters - is disgusting. But what we now have is basically racism in the dog world. People with no experience or knowledge read sensationalized media stories and repeat them because they are addicted to stories of fear and spreading that fear. A vicious pit bull can cause a lot of damage quickly but the breed itself is not a gang of killers. Anybody who has actual experience with these dogs knows this. We should stop passing on bad information. It is not helping anybody and… It is Dog Racism.
WE CAN DO SO MUCH MORE ON STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS
by India Walton & Sam Rosenthal
As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden was hardly bullish on student debt cancellation. He was cajoled by progressives and his presidential primary opponents into adopting a more forceful student debt cancellation stance, one which ultimately helped win him the support of young voters.
Now, after a series of tepid moves, President Biden’s grand statement in the student debt saga has arrived. To put it mildly, it’s not very inspiring. Over the last half year, we’ve heard that the administration was mulling steps to cancel debt completely, to create a pathway to free public college, to ensure that Americans never fell into debt bondage again over the price of higher education. This new policy ensures none of those things. The president may bill his executive action as a bold, progressive step forward, but in reality, it’s much closer to the business-as-usual Democratic Party policymaking of the last 30 years: minimal, means-tested, and not likely to make a major impact.
That the president is calling for just $10,000 in loan cancellation, or, in the case of Pell Grant recipients, $20,000, is an insult especially to people of color who are still carrying student debt burdens. NAACP President Derrick Johnson made that much clear in early June. “The black community will be watching closely when you make your announcement, but $10,000 is not enough,” he said then.
As we’ve noted before, black Americans’ net worth is uniquely impacted by student loan debt. Compared to white Americans, a higher percentage of black people have student loan debt, that debt is a higher figure on average, and it has a greater impact on black families’ overall net worth than that of white families. The disparity is so stark, in fact, that canceling $50,000 in student loan debt, as Biden was once reportedly considering, could boost black wealth by 40 percent. That the Biden administration would pass on this obvious opportunity to create material change for black borrowers, when he has black voters to thank for the presidency, is unconscionable.
At RootsAction, our policy is the same that it has always been: Joe Biden, and Democrats in Congress, should cancel student debt, all of it. Furthermore, they should focus on ensuring that students can attend trade schools and public universities debt-free, so that future generations do not need to again suffer the burden of massive student loan debt. This policy is politically popular, economically sound, and morally right. The American people do not want another means-tested, narrowly defined policy that amounts to a drop in the bucket in the fight against inequality. We want material steps towards dismantling an obscene system that has profited off the backs of working people whose only crime was to desire an education. The administration still has time to take real action on student loan debt, but they need to get moving.
India Walton, who emerged last year as a powerful presence in the progressive movement after a stunning Democratic primary victory over a 16-year incumbent mayor of Buffalo, is now the senior strategic organizer for RootsAction.org. She is leading the RootsAction campaign #WithoutStudent Debt.
Sam Rosenthal is the RootsAction political director. An organizer and researcher based in Washington, DC, he previously served as the political director at Our Revolution and in elected leadership with Central Brooklyn Democratic Socialists of America.
A FIRST STEP, BUT WE HAVE TO DO MORE ON STUDENT DEBT
by Bernie Sanders
The president’s decision to reduce the outrageous level of student debt in our country is an important step forward in providing real financial help to a struggling middle class. Today’s announcement to reduce up to $10,000 in student debt for working class Americans and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients will eliminate student debt for some 20 million Americans and reduce debt for some 43 million. The result of this decision is that millions of Americans will now be in a better position to start families, or buy the homes and cars they have long needed. This is a big deal.
But we have got to do more. At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, education, from pre-school through graduate school, must be a fundamental right for all, not a privilege for the wealthy few. If the United States is going to effectively compete in the global economy we need the best educated workforce in the world, and that means making public colleges and universities tuition free as many other major countries currently do – and that includes trade schools and minority-serving institutions as well. In the year 2022, in the wealthiest country on earth, everyone in America who wants a higher education should be able to get that education without going into debt.
(Bernie Sanders is a US Senator, and the ranking member of the Senate budget committee. He represents the state of Vermont, and is the longest-serving independent in the history of Congress.)
GONE, the young unthinking years when everything was as it should be and nothing would ever change – when you smiled indulgently at talk about bridges across the Bay and buses instead of streetcars and traffic jams in peaceful Golden Gate Park. When you sipped your two-bit cocktail and waited all of ten minutes (cursing every second) for the auto-ferry to take you to the football game in Berkeley.
You rode the train to Mill Valley and you climbed Mt. Tamalpais aboard “the crookedest railroad in the world” and Harry Bridges was nobody to take seriously yet and Bill Saroyan was merely a crazy young writer who lived on Carl Street and would undoubtedly starve to death if it weren’t for his kindly friends.
The waterfront’s labor leaders, still fighting for a toehold, ate and plotted in a place near the Embarcadero called, oddly enough, the Canary Den, and the rising young tycoons strove mightily for an invitation to the Palace Hotel’s “Cabinet Table,” where decisions affecting the whole city were made to the clink of wine glasses and the delicate burps induced by rich foods.
There was discreet gambling in the best possible taste, in two adjoining white houses on Bay Street. The drinks and the clubhouse sandwiches wee always free, and yet, oddly enough, the place seemed to make money – until the neighbors summoned the police. Because the customers’ cars were blocking their driveways.
That was our city, the city of stage shows on Market and parking spaces on Post and fifty-cent Italian dinners in North Beach and – oh yes – the best streetcar service in the country.
If we thought about it at all, we thought it would last forever. But although it was only yesterday, an era has vanished already. And only when the thick fog blankets the city and the horns cry their hearts out in the Bay can we fool ourselves into thinking that we are young again in the San Francisco of our dreams.”
— Herb Caen, circa 1951
NPR HOST & NYT GUEST STRESS THAT RUSSIA IS COMMUNIST WHILE VILIFYING UNINFORMED REPUBLICANS
by Sam Husseini
In a remarkably unhinged analysis, NPR host Terry Gross and New York Times Magazine writer Robert Draper claimed that Russia is a communist country — as they went on about how detached from reality rightwing Republicans are.
Here’s the crux of the exchange (many thanks to Bryce Greene), which almost comes off like a comedy sketch:
GROSS: So, like, a really ironic [chuckle] thing about this fight against communism that the far right is doing now is that a communist country — Russia! — has been retweeting social media from the far right. So they’re, in their own way, almost aligned with Putin. So it’s — don’t you think it’s strange that they’re the ones who are, you know, decrying communist infiltration of our country?
DRAPER: Yes. Yeah. No, it’s certainly paradoxical. It’s also paradoxical that this, you know, very rock-ribbed conservative Republican Party in the state of Arizona is so prone to Russia disinformation. And I had that said to me over and over by a number of long-time Republican operatives who said, you know, I think that Arizona is in the top seven, eight or nine when it comes to the number of — the percentage of its population that is senior — that’s senior citizen. They have a lot of retirees that live in Arizona. So people have a lot of time on their hands, and so a lot of them sit on the internet. They’re on Facebook, and they’re reading a lot of things. And amongst conservatives who have come to reject the so-called mainstream media, they’re very, very prone to information that confirms their biases. And they don’t exactly fact-check this information.
So much of it has, in fact, come from — or at least been amplified by Russia-based social media, according to these Republicans that I’ve spoken to. And, you know, it’s also very enemy of my enemy. I mean, I think that Trump has been accused – had so many associations with Russia, he and his campaign operation, and thus was accused of somehow, you know, being intertwined in a very unseemly way with Russia. That the left has, in the eyes of conservatives, has launched that argument means that maybe there’s something not so bad about Russia. It means that Russia is being smeared the way that Trump is being smeared. So it’s all quite convoluted. And to have the word communist used as the ultimate putdown, when essentially the one great promoter of that ideology, Vladimir Putin, is very much shaping their minds or at least, you know, putting out disinformation that can shape their minds — yeah, it’s all a very, very paradoxical situation, to be sure.
After I and others tweeted about this, NPR posted this correction:
POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: In the audio version of this story, Terry Gross incorrectly states that Russia is a communist country, when she meant to say that Putin was the head of the KGB during the communist era.
Which almost makes it worse. If you substitute what NPR now claims Gross meant to say, it really doesn’t make any sense. Gross and Draper were riffing off each other in what can most charitably be described as a ridiculous example of groupthink.
It displays the all-too-frequent smugness of liberals, going on about other people’s failing to fact check, in this case talking about seniors with “a lot of time on their hands” — while getting the most elementary facts wrong. It’s remarkable projection.
The “correction” ignores that Draper similarly remarked that Putin is “the one great promoter of that [communist] ideology.”
The “correction” is also wrong because Putin wasn’t “head of the KGB during the communist era” — he quit the KGB in 1991 as a lieutenant colonel. He would be appointed head of the successor group, the Federal Security Service, in 1998, years after the fall of communism in Russia, by U.S. tool Boris Yeltsin.
(One of Draper’s most recent books is To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq, which came out last year. If Google books search is to be believed, the book is something of a coverup. It has nothing on Biden’s presiding over the rigged hearings that helped ensure the invasion, which Biden has continuously lied about.)
(This first appeared on Sam Husseini’s Substack page. Sam Husseini is an independent journalist. He writes at husseini.substack.com.)
CA TRIBES AND DELTA ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE GROUPS ASK STATE WATER BOARD TO RECONSIDER DELTA PLAN
by Dan Bacher
Sacramento, CA — On August 22, California Tribes and environmental justice organizations, represented by the Environmental Law Clinic at Stanford, sent a formal Request for Reconsideration of the State Water Resources Control Board decision in June 2022 denying their Petition to review and update water quality standards for the Bay-Delta.
The request exposes what the Tribes and organizations say are the “serious deficiencies” in the Board’s decision, including “its failure to address the Board’s decades-long neglect of its duty to update water quality standards and its failure to set forth a pathway to remedy the discriminatory effects of that inaction on Indigenous Peoples and disadvantaged communities in the Delta.”
“The State Water Board has made a public commitment to addressing the State sponsored racial inequity baked into the water rights system,” said Rica Garcia, an attorney with the Environmental Law Clinic at Stanford Law School. “It now needs to act in alignment with that commitment by addressing the issues raised in the Petition.”
“The State Water Resources Control Board’s dereliction of duty continues. The Board’s response did not actually address the issues central to our Petition for Rulemaking. So we are now considering all of our options,” said Gary Mulcahy, Government Liaison for the Winnemem Wintu Tribe.
Stanford Environmental Law Clinic submitted the Request for Reconsideration on behalf of Petitioners Little Manila Rising, Restore the Delta, Save California Salmon, Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, and Winnemem Wintu Tribe.
In addition, a Letter of Support for Petitioners’ Request for Reconsideration was signed by Councilwoman Kimberly Warmsley of the City of Stockton, the NAACP Stockton Chapter, Nopal: Community Cultura Activism EducaciÃ³n, Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton, Reinvent Stockton Foundation, Third City Coalition, P.U.E.N.T.E.S, Edge Collaborative, Reinvent South Stockton Coalition, and Public Health Advocates:
Under state law, the State Water Resources Control Board has 30 days to respond to the reconsideration request.
On May 24, 2022, the Petitioners listed above filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the California State Water Resources Control Board.
The May 24 Petition included an extensive description of “California’s racist history that formally granted water rights only to white men. Indigenous Peoples and communities of color in the Delta were not given the opportunity to acquire water rights under state law. And the water rights system continues to fail to recognize that Indigenous communities, who used and stewarded the waterways since time immemorial, have prior rights to the water. Today, so-called ‘senior’ water rights holders, who acceded to the colonialists’ water rights claims, still have a tight grip on river flows, even during an unprecedented drought. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, is dying as a consequence.”
The Petition has been recognized as presenting a critical and sorely overlooked lens into California’s ongoing water battles.
On June 24, the State Water Board responded by denying the petition, claiming that the request for government-to-government consultation was “outside of the scope” of a rule making petition.
“The State Water Board is committed to meaningful engagement with representatives of affected tribes in the Bay-Delta watershed, including the Winnemem Wintu Tribe and Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians; however, a request for government-to- government consultation is outside of the scope of a rulemaking petition,” the Board stated. “In addition, the State Water Board is interested in continued dialogue with Tribes regarding the request to revise beneficial uses in the Bay-Delta Plan to incorporate tribal beneficial uses and non-tribal subsistence fishing beneficial uses but cannot commit to undergoing a rulemaking prior to understanding the full scope and application of such a request.”
Among other errors pointed to in the Request, the petitioners said, “The Board failed to acknowledge that it is decades behind schedule in reviewing outdated water quality standards for the majority of the watershed, or set forth meaningful commitments to completing its review. It was also silent on the documented harms that Indigenous Peoples and disadvantaged communities in the Delta continue to experience as a result of low flows and poor water quality resulting from the Board’s inaction. And it was silent on what actions it would take, as the law requires, to correct this discrimination and to consult with tribes and environmental justice communities in doing so.”