Breezy | Luke Breit Memorial | Lee Joaquin Wanted | Rooster | FFA Representatives | AV Events | Grange Events | Gulls | Pot Czarina/Records Ordinance | Disaster Benefit | Better Jail | Springtime | Measure V | Yesterday's Catch | Weedia Coverage | Safety Net | Female Curry | Yankee Sky | Passover Myth | Shade Crops | Tulare Lake | Water Carriers | The Man | Mickeyangelo | Ukraine | Julia Child | Bari Debate | Grandalas
SCATTERED SHOWERS continue across Northwest California today. Some of this activity has yielded snow across the coastal foothills and small hail near sea level. Otherwise, gusty north winds will spread across the region during Monday, with continued shower activity persisting through late week. (NWS)
WANTED FOR MURDER: LEE JOAQUIN
Lee Anthony Joaquin is currently wanted in connection with the recent homicide that occurred in Covelo in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 29th. Joaquin is an adult male standing 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing approximately 180 lbs. Joaquin has shoulder-length hair that is sometimes pulled back in a ponytail. Joaquin is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Joaquin or any information related to this homicide, are urged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office by calling 707-463-4086.
 Someone in Covelo has the key to bringing this guy into custody. Yes, Native Americans have been murdered, raped, enslaved and had their land stolen from first contact down to the present day, but that shouldn’t be used as an excuse for shielding vicious killers from being held accountable for their crimes.
Please do the right thing and tell law enforcement what you know.
 Truth be told it was happening before white man arrived. In fact it is a common theme throughout all cultures and races from the beginning of recorded time. I am part native and to be blunt the excuse of white man oppression is just that, an excuse to be a deadbeat or criminal. Did natives get screwed over a few times? Yes, but it is time to move forward and quit making excuses for criminal behavior.
AV FFA ALL-STARS
These fantastic young men represented Anderson Valley at the North Coast Region FFA Spring meeting today at Livermore High School. They were our voting delegates. They had fun and made new friends! Great job! (Beth Swehla)
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE: Events Calendar
AV GRANGE EVENTS
The AV Grange Is Hosting An Easter Pancake Breakfast!
We will be flippin the flapjacks coming up Sunday April 9th from 8:30- 11:00. And seeing as it's Easter you can bet there will be extra attention given to the eggs, and though luckily there's no bunnies on the menu, there may be some in attendance. (Bunny Bill where are you?) As usual, you can count on Pancakes with all the fixings (gluten free upon request), scrambled eggs, fresh bacon, coffee, tea and juice, and did you know we serve ‘em up with real butter, pure maple syrup, and fresh homemade fruit compote? Join us Easter morning and the AV Grange!
The AV Grange Variety Show is gathering momentum. The show as usual is expected to be a tour duh force showcasing Anderson Valley and way beyond. Of course all this hype is meaningless unless you come through as you always have in the past....magnificently. But we may be a bit out of practice it being almost 3 years since we've been able to get together. Spots are filling on the roster though and excitement is building. Now's the time to get inspired, get up, get out, get together and come up with your very own turn onstage.
Showtime Is Friday May 12th And Saturday May 13th. We await your call, Abeja 707/621-3822 or Cap Rainbow 707/472-9189
MENDOCINO’S POT CZARINA HAS QUIT
by Jim Shields
This Tuesday, March 28, was an interesting Board of Supervisors conclave with Chairman Glenn McGourty reporting that in a morning closed session, Kristen Nevadal, head of the county’s pot department, had resigned, and the Board had unanimously accepted her resignation.
This came as no surprise as Nevadal was in way over her head and was out of her league dealing with the county’s unworkable weed program. Believe me, the county’s Pot Czarina tendering her resignation was the most productive act she performed in her two years on the job. If she hadn’t called it quits, I believe a majority of the Board would have terminated her anyway.
Notwithstanding her exit, the Supes spent nearly two hours once again trying to fix the unfixable ordinance.
I wrote four years ago that the county at that juncture, had spent more time and money on its weed program than any other issue in county history. In the three years since then, hundreds of more hours and unknown dollars have been racked up with nothing to show for it except it’s a bigger mess than it’s ever been before. This whole chaotic clutter has been packaged up and is about to shipped out of here and over to the state’s weed apparatus in hopes Sacramento pot bureaucrats can work their magic on Mendo’s crashed and burned program.
Don’t hold your breath.
* * *
Mendocino County: Home Of Record-Setting Fees For Government Document Copies
I reported to you last week on the county’s new ordinance regarding copy fees charged for documents people request under the California Public Records Act (CPRA).
Just how preposterous is this ordinance that was conjured up out of whole cloth by the County Counsel’s office and then unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors? Well, listen to Mendo Voice publisher Kate Maxwell’s experience: “Since the ordinance passed, I personally have had responses to my requests with estimated fees for amounts including $66,660, $28,200, and $16,856.22 — the first two for a single records request related to current supervisors discussions on cannabis regulations and CAMP raids. As a small locally owned outlet, we don’t have the budget for these kinds of fees.”
At Tuesday’s Board meeting, I delivered a statement summarizing the legal conflict over the document copy fees now being charged in Mendocino County.
Here’s what I said:
For the past seven months subsequent to the Board of Supervisors approving Ordinance No. 4507 (“CPRA Ordinance”), the Board has been faced with challenges regarding the legality of the Ordinance from media organizations, good government groups, county residents, and at least one Supervisor, John Haschak.
The crux of the dispute is whether the Ordinance’s provisions relative to record duplication fees comply with the California Public Records Act (CPRA).
The CPRA specifies that, “Copies of records may be obtained for the direct cost of duplication, unless the Legislature has established a statutory fee. The direct cost of duplication includes the pro rata expense of the duplicating equipment utilized in making a copy of a record and, conceivably, the pro rata expense in terms of staff time (salary/benefits) required to produce the copy. A staff person’s time in researching, retrieving and mailing the record is not included in the direct cost of duplication.”
The courts have ruled that, “The direct cost of duplication is the cost of running the copy machine, and conceivably also the expense of the person operating it. ‘Direct cost’ does not include the ancillary tasks necessarily associated with the retrieval, inspection and handling of the file from which the copy is extracted.”
In direct contravention of the CPRA’s unambiguously restrictive fee-setting phrase, the “direct costs of duplication,” Ordinance 4507 unlawfully permits the County to include in record duplication fees, costs for, among other things, staff time spent searching, researching, reviewing and redacting records.
Supervisor Haschak, who originally voted with his colleagues to approve the Ordinance, has since had a change of mind regarding his vote. He stated that while in attendance at a recent California State Association of Counties (CSAC) conference, he learned that while counties are legally allowed to recover the direct costs of document reproduction, those costs cannot include the ancillary time of staff spent on non-reproduction tasks.
Supervisor Haschak now advocates for the repeal of the Ordinance.
I believe the foregoing summary fairly captures the core of the dispute surrounding this Ordinance.
I could go on at length amplifying the narrative and legal arguments, but I believe most of us at this time have enough familiarity with the issue that it’s unnecessary to do so.
Therefore, I respectfully request that the Board of Supervisors, as soon as possible, place on a meeting agenda an item to rescind/repeal Ordinance No. 4507, the so-called “CPRA Ordinance.”
Thank you for your consideration of this most important matter.
At the conclusion of my remarks, Haschak said, “In light of those comments, I would like to bring it as an agenda item if I have someone to co-sponsor it with me.”
None of his colleagues stepped forward to get it on an upcoming agenda, but Chair Glenn McGourty stated, “I think this is something for us to ponder and get back to you.”
We’ll see, what we shall see.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, firstname.lastname@example.org, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org.)
LET’S DO JAIL DIFFERENT THIS TIME
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
I remember the county jail when it was on the top floor of the courthouse, and I was on hand to watch the then-new jail installed out on Low Gap Road.
Now, surprise surprise, our leaders want us to buy them another jail. But before signing contracts with all the baked-in cost overruns and guaranteed construction delays, let’s talk about ideas for a better jail.
Our incarceration system is a failure. Lack of imagination, or fear of change, keeps us doing the same stupid things to lawbreakers that have proven, over and over and over, to fail. Putting convicts in metal cages regardless of their crime(s) should be offensive to each and every one of us, more so to judges, lawyers, politicians and criminologists.
But it’s absolutely true. A minor offense might fetch a guy 30 days sitting in a brick and metal box out on Low Gap Road where his fellow residents might be child molesters, liquor store robbers, murderers, or graffiti taggers. No matter: They shall all sit, for varying lengths of time, in metal cages.
Prison is the same, minus the debtors, drunk drivers and vandals. America’s prisons are psycho-thugocracies, with tough, lifelong criminals controlling the day-by-day, hour-by-hour world inside the walls. A warden has no more influence over a prisoner’s life on the yard or in the B-Wing than the state governor has over your life or mine.
Let’s tinker with Mendocino County’s next jail and think outside the metal box. Let’s talk about some adjustments to re-think and re-make the proven incarceration failure we have now.
Make jail a place where violent, ignorant thugs are kept to themselves. Gotta keep ‘em somewhere, so keep ‘em together. Allow those willing to change and improve their lives the opportunity make a start of it.
Devote a wing to prisoners who have demonstrated an interest in a better life, most probably by taking classes, behaving, keeping their cells neat and clean, being polite and civil to the corrections staff.
From there, another separate number of cells for those who have shown the most dedication and motivation. Let them choose roommates. Give them free commissary items three days a week and (limited) access to the internet. Give them better and more frequent visitation from friends and family.
Reward them for taking online courses that could lead to employment, and give potential employers the opportunity to speak to inmates about jobs to consider upon release. Offer books from the county library. Allow local writers and poets to visit monthly to read their works and offer advice to would-be inmate authors.
Next-level inmates might be eligible for expanded yard and exercise time. Give them a chance to play sports against local teams.
Let’s put inexpensive (outdoor) pickleball, basketball and handball courts in our new state-of-the art jail. Why not let the best residents go off for (supervised) afternoons to play soccer, basketball or softball against teams from the Ukiah area? (Home uniforms: Orange t-shirts, or classic horizontal black-and-white stripes?)
Let’s talk about a plan to connect unwanted dogs living in metal cages at the animal shelter with men and women living in jail cages.
Let them have shelter dogs, with the edge going to older ones who’ve been sitting in metal cages themselves and as the weeks and months go by it’s clear no one is eager to take home. There’s a good old dog who would love to be a good old companion to good old folks with neither the time no energy for a puppy.
Is there a potential “Paws ‘n’ Prisoners Program” to get dogs and inmates together to everyone’s benefit? The canines might learn to socialize and their counterparts might be inspired to open dog grooming shops or work with veterinarians when released.
Newcomers to the Mendocino County Jail would quickly learn of the guaranteed benefits to working hard and toeing the line. Rewards of a semi-civilized, nonviolent experience would bring out the best behavior in the best inmates.
Improved jail conditions would be a goal every newcomer would be aware of and shoot for. The Message: Your behavior is being evaluated starting right here, right now. Job One would be demonstrating that you don’t belong among the thugs and lowlifes.
Next, let’s consider turning the present, allegedly outdated jail into a tourist destination. You’ll be able to sleep in the cell where Robert Wayne Danielson once slept! Breakfast a 6 a.m.. your choice of scrambled eggs, white toast, or Cheerios with low-fat milk.
Yard time? Tomorrow.
Visiting hours? None until you’re been here 30 days.
However you will be allowed one phone call. Collect.
MEASURE V, AN EXCHANGE…
Measure V Reality Check:
1) Measure V was put on the ballot to stop herbicide use in the forest, not because of concern for snags and increased fire risk.
2) The County of Mendocino is outside its legal jurisdiction when it comes to having its own regulations on the management of commercial forests, and the use of herbicides. The county is not enforcing Measure V because if it did, it would be successfully sued.
Nonsense and fantasy, George. Educate yourself by reading the actual initiative:
Then consider these two questions:
1) If Measure V was meaningless, would Mendocino Redwood Company have spent more than a half million dollars to try and defeat it? (answer: no)
2) If Measure V was toothless, would the State Attorney General’s office spend over two years considering its jurisdiction before weaseling out with a vague excuse? (answer: no)
Both of those things happened because citizens can declare a public nuisance by referendum. V is legitimate.
I know what the initiative said, and I know why it was put on the ballot. Nobody attempted to defeat it, either, including MRC. Yes, staff time was spent on PR, but no serious campaign was launched. Everyone in the forest industry knew V had no legal standing, but was going to pass. Anyone with on the ground firefighting experience (with one exception) also knew the V proponents arguments were dubious.
The AG likely wanted to avoid conflicts with part of the Party base. So putting off a decision made sense. Sort of like the Mueller Report taking so long, even when it was obvious the Trump Collusion narrative did not have a leg to stand on from the beginning.
Poppycock! A lot more than “staff time” went into fighting the measure, as MRC spent over $500,000 to outside consultants and advertising agencies. Most everyone in the county got those colorful fliers (I think there were seven in total). That was no incidental effort by a couple staffers.
The issue at this point is not the validity or the merits of Measure V. The Measure was passed by a large majority of voters and the County has an obligation to enforce it, not dither and give up peremptorily because MRC might object. In a four-page detailed formal, well-researched opinion, County Counsel Christian Curtis told the Board that MRC was not exempt from nuisance rules and that their claims were not legally valid. Mendo didn’t even ask MRC to respond to that memo, or ask what MRC was willing to do voluntarily to avoid enforcement. Nor did the County follow up on Code Enforcement Chief Trent Taylor’s lame attempt to deal with Terry d’Selkie’s formal complaint. If the Farm Bureau put a measure on the ballot and the voters approved it, wouldn’t Hollister et al want it enforced? Why even have ballot measures if the County refuses to abide by the will of the voters? The Board’s failure to honor several recent ballot measures and, in particular, their failure to pursue enforcement of, much less enforce Measure V sends a message that the voters are irrelevant, a message that should bother everybody, no matter what their opinion of Measure V is.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Sunday, April 2, 2023
JOSHUA BOLTON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.
JESSE DUGGER, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
MELISSA FORK, Willits. DUI.
CHERRAL MITCHELL, Fort Bragg. Forgery/false checks.
NATHAN MOORE, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CHARLES NELSON III, Fort Bragg. DUI.
JAVIER NUNEZ-GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Driver with marijuana, suspended license for DUI.
JOHNATHIN ROSS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ZIPPORAH SUTTON, Willits. DUI, controlled substance, no license, parole violation.
HOW NEWS MEDIA COVERS CANNABIS: A Panel On 4/20 At Cal Poly, Humboldt
A panel of journalists, media professors and cannabis studies experts, moderated by CalMatters CEO Neil Chase, explores and critiques media coverage of cannabis-related stories. Telling the stories of regulated and unregulated cannabis provides an entry point for a larger discussion of the role of journalism in a democratic society.…
CHRIS SKYHAWK: I don’t know how many of you are sports fan; but if Steph Curry could morph into a white college girl it would be Caitlin Clark. On Sunday her Iowa team beat S. Carolina who had won 42 straight games FFS. Then Sunday she played for the Women’s Natl. Championship; to witness her emergence on the national stage is an awe-inspiring thing; for her no shot is a bad shot; she hits teammates with passes; they didn’t even know they were open; on her way to the finals she had TWO triple doubles (double figure in points, rebounds, and assists; and she is the only player male or female to do it with 40 points; she is lightning in a bottle; and pure magic.
JEFF BLANKFORT: With the Jewish holiday of Passover scheduled for this Wednesday, April 5th, it should be pointed out the events it celebrates, the supposed release of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, the event that Jews, across the political spectrum have used to justify their position as the world's eternal victim, NEVER happened and was entirely fictional. In fact there is no physical evidence that the Hebrews were in Egypt at any time (while there is some evidence they were later in ancient Palestine).
According to the last published issue of the Forward, (April/May 2019), the oldest Jewish publication in the US and still online, "No tangible evidence of that memory has ever been found There is no evidence of an ancient mass migration of Jewish slaves from Egypt, nor of a sudden influx of new natives to Canaan The Sinai has yet to yield so much as a Hebrew knife tip or bracelet, a shard of Jewish pottery or bone . . .
"As Israeli archeologist Ze'ev Herzog has said: "The Israelites never were in Egypt. They never came from abroad. This whole chain is broken. It is not an historical one. It is a later legendary reconstruction -- of a history that never happened."
This is NOT irrelevant since the Exodus story has been a major influence on the Black church in the US which has been encouraged by Jews across the political spectrum to pattern their own genuine experience under slavery with that of the ancient Hebrews as, if they, too, have had similar experiences. (Quite apart from the fact that Jews had been major slave traders operating from Curacao prior to the Civil War.)
This belief was captured in song by the great Paul Robeson many years ago when he sang:
"When Israel was in Egypt land, let my people go!. Oppressed so hard they could not stand, let my people go!
"Go down Moses, go down to Egypt land, and tell old Pharoh to let my people go!"
That's a message that needs to be delivered by Black America to the Israel Lobby in the US which has succeeded in keeping the Black political class in the US and the Congressional Black Caucus under its thumb.
TULARE LAKE WAS DRAINED OFF THE MAP. Nature Would Like a Word.
A barrage of storms has resurrected what was once the largest body of fresh water west of the Mississippi River, setting the stage for a disaster this spring.
by Shawn Hubler and Soumya Karlamangla
CORCORAN, Calif. — It is no secret to locals that the heart of California’s Central Valley was once the largest body of fresh water west of the Mississippi River, dammed and drained into an empire of farms by the mid-20th century.
Still, even longtime residents have been staggered this year by the brute swiftness with which Tulare Lake has resurfaced: In less than three weeks, a parched expanse of 30 square miles has been transformed by furious storms into a vast and rising sea.
The lake’s rebirth has become a slow-motion disaster for farmers and residents in Kings County, home to 152,000 residents and a $2 billion agricultural industry that sends cotton, tomatoes, safflower, pistachios, milk and more around the planet. The wider and deeper Tulare Lake gets, the greater the risk that entire harvests will be lost, homes will be submerged and businesses will go under.
Across the region, the surprise barrage of atmospheric rivers that swept through California over the past three months already has saturated the ground, overflowed canals and burst through levees. The fear now is that record walls of snow in the southern Sierra Nevada will liquefy in the intensifying spring heat into a downhill torrent that will inundate the Central Valley.
And the resurrected Tulare Lake (pronounced too-LAIR-ee), already more vast than all but one of California’s reservoirs, could remain for two years or longer, causing billions of dollars in economic damage and displacing thousands of farmworkers while transforming the area into the giant natural habitat it had been before it was conquered by farmers. “The Big Melt,” unsettled meteorologists have begun to call it.
“This could be the mother of all floods,” said Phil Hansen, 56, a fifth-generation farmer who has already lost more than a third of his 18,000 acres to a breached levee. “This could be the biggest flood we’ve ever seen.”
Already, several communities have been evacuated, and hundreds of homes and farm buildings have been destroyed or damaged. Sandbags are being helicoptered in. Dairy cattle have been hustled to higher ground by the tens of thousands. The authorities said last month that a local poultry facility surrounded by water was weighing whether to move or slaughter a million chickens. And farmers are sparring over whose land should get flooded first, knowing that inundation likely will be a question of when, not if.
In the lake’s revival, scientists, historians and growers see an epic rematch gathering between nature and humans. For now, nature seems determined to win in an era of climate change with extended dry periods followed by storms that deliver more water than anyone knows what to do with. The runoff has no natural place to drain, and experts say there is no easy way to send this water to other areas of the state that could use it for irrigation or residential purposes, even as the state remains desperate for long-term drought solutions.
Around the farm and prison town of Corcoran, gray-blue waves now whoosh surreally to the horizon. Snowy white cranes soar over dirt levees that, so far, are shielding some 22,000 residents and inmates. Submerged fields lie bereft of the tomatoes and Pima cotton that would ordinarily fill them, an agricultural Atlantis larger than Manhattan.
The lake bed is essentially a 790-square-mile bathtub — the size of four Lake Tahoes — that dates back to the Ice Age. Mammoths once sipped at Tulare Lake’s shores, and tule elk ranged in its marshlands.
Now the landscape is among the most heavily engineered in the nation. Great dams, run by the federal government and underwritten over the years by large growers, manage the water released into it from the Kings, Tule, Kaweah and Kern Rivers. Downstream, farmers and cities have erected hundreds of miles of levees and canals.
High in the southern Sierra Nevada, a record snowpack, triple the historical average, will strain the water managers who are already running that plumbing system like never before as the days lengthen and the spring skies heat.
The load of water waiting to course downhill dwarfs what is there already. It is so immense that officials project that in addition to expanding Tulare Lake, it will fill the area’s four largest reservoirs two or three times over. If the snow melts too fast, it could overwhelm flood protections, wiping out crops and inundating already-saturated farm towns. Veterans of past floods say that, even with all the fortifications in place, the lake could spread to 200 square miles or more.
“We have no control over nature, and we have no control over the water flows that are coming around us,” said Greg Gatzka, the city manager of Corcoran, where county authorities have repeatedly expressed concern about the height of the levees.
In 1983, when a long-lasting snowmelt submerged about 130 square miles of the lake bed, the damage just in Kings County cost nearly $300 million in today’s dollars, and the water took two years to clear, according to John T. Austin, the author of “Floods and Droughts in the Tulare Lake Basin,” a book about the region. That summer, two men kayaked through the floodwaters from the banks of the Kern River just outside downtown Bakersfield to the San Francisco Bay, a meandering 450-mile journey across what would typically be sun-baked land.
Since then, the population has roughly doubled, both in Kings County and in the surrounding San Joaquin Valley that includes Fresno and Merced, a region that is now home to about three million people.
Mark Grewal, an agricultural consultant and former executive at the dominant J.G. Boswell Company, one of the largest privately owned farms in the nation, said that the long-term, regionwide economic impact could be exponentially higher than in 1983 because the commodities that are now grown — high-end crops such as nuts, tomatoes and Pima cotton — are much costlier and are spiking in value with inflation. The region is so crucial to the world’s supply that sustained substantial flooding could lead to higher prices for consumers.
Emergency officials have sought to drive home the enormous catastrophe that could develop as the thaw comes.
David Robinson, the sheriff of Kings County, recalled that he was 12 years old when the 1983 flood hit, and he never imagined he would see such a spectacle twice in his lifetime. In an interview, his assistant sheriff, Robert Thayer, said aerial footage was not reassuring. Both men described the potential for flooding as “biblical.”
“This will impact the world, if people can just grasp that,” Sheriff Robinson said at a news conference after asking the public to stop using the lake for boating. “We’re going to have a million acre-foot of water covering up an area that feeds the world.”
In Corcoran, city officials are struggling to keep the roads open and waiting for the state to decide whether to evacuate 8,000 inmates from two prisons. Brian Ferguson, a spokesman for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said that local power plants, oil wells and derricks are also an intense concern. Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on Friday that was intended to accelerate flood preparations in the Tulare Lake basin, and a team from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention arrived last month in neighboring Tulare County to prepare for a potential disaster.
But coordination on the ground has been fraught.
At tense emergency meetings last month, farmers claimed that rogue actors were secretly cutting holes in levees, violating longstanding traditions about the order in which farms were supposed to be flooded in wet years.
At one session, a public works official in Corcoran reported that the city had posted an armed guard at the levees protecting it. At another, county authorities thanked farmers for refraining from engaging in fistfights. Kings County has twice ordered the Boswell Company to release some floodwater onto its own land.
In smaller towns, residents worry that the protection of their homes will be at the mercy of powerful growers.
“All around, if you drive in your car, it’s just water everywhere,” said Cecilia Leal, 27, who lives across the county line in nearby Alpaugh, where evacuations were ordered last month after a levee breach. “You turn, there’s water.”
She and her parents stayed behind for Cesi’s Cafe, the family restaurant they operate from the front of their house on a country road. But only one route into town is open, and she said she feared the town’s only gas station would run out of fuel.
A video of desperate pistachio growers launching two dirt-filled pickup trucks into a local levee breach has gone viral. At the Lake Bottom Brewery and Distillery in Corcoran — which finally was compelled to end its $3-a-pint drought-related “Pray for Rain” special — Fred Figueroa joked that he and his sons, who own the bar, were considering naming their latest beer “Two Chevys in a Levee.”
Nature’s ascendance is not all bad news. Birds that once wintered at Tulare Lake — ibises, blackbirds and American coots — are returning in increasing numbers. On a recent sunny afternoon, a row of pelicans glided over drowned furrows, and long-legged herons rested on the muddy banks of a drainage canal near Alpaugh. A tiny bird with tall, skinny legs and a black ring around its neck scuttled across the road.
Navigating his white pickup truck last week across a tilled landscape that might soon be underwater, Mr. Grewal, 66, the consultant, said there was no way these flatlands, stretching for miles under wide blue skies, would avoid inundation. He said the melting snow would have far worse impacts than the flooding that had already occurred.
“A heavy snowmelt in May is going to be a disaster,” Mr. Grewal said. “This lake could cover hundreds of square miles here by the time everything comes down.”
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
That freak admiral or whatever he is in the Biden Administration, he was talking the other day about how important it was that he didn’t “transition” too early. It may have had to do with the World Athletics not allowing men who experience puberty as men to compete as women. I don’t know, I was trying not to pay attention.
He said if he had switched too soon (and he did the whole deal, now they don’t require that because men don’t want to) he wouldn’t have his children.
That’s the mentality, it’s all about what the man wants. Bruce Jenner fathered and abandoned three, count ’em, three sets of children before deciding, “you know what, I’m not your father, I’m your mother” or something like that.
The creepy admiral and other males should be granted the power to decide they are girls when it suits them; to Hell with their wives, their children, girls who want to compete in sports, it's all about the MAN.
A woman in my family who actually saw Brokeback Mountain told me that the disturbing thing about the film and all the accolades for it was that nobody cared about the women in the story, the women tricked and used by the men. It was all about how sad it was for the men.
UKRAINE, SUNDAY, 2ND APRIL
A prominent Russian military blogger, who at times criticized setbacks in Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, was killed in an explosion at a cafe Sunday, Russian state media reports.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the "immediate release" of a detained American journalist during a rare call Sunday with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
On the ground, eastern Ukraine faces the worst of Russia's assault. Shelling killed at least six people in the city of Kostiantynivka, and Ukrainian officials report ceaseless attacks on the town of Avdiivka.
Russia assumed leadership of the UN Security Council, charged with maintaining global peace and security. Ukraine's president called the development "absurd."
THE JUDI BARI TRIAL: A RADIO DEBATE
(May 9, 2022)
Ed Intro: The following is very, very long, so long I don't expect many of you to read it, which is why we've posted it last today so you can leave us now without bothering with it. I keep bringing up the Bari Bombing case because, to me, it represents a breathtaking swindle on many levels — local, state and federal — a swindle that was planned and, except for the explosion itself in Oakland, carried out in Redwood Valley and Ukiah, Mendocino County. Many of the issues involved in the bombing, still portrayed as a “mystery” on the rare occasions it's remembered, are raised in the radio debate transcribed here.
Speaking In Tongues; Radio Station KDVS, Davis, Ca. Thursday, May 9th, 2002.
Host Ron Glick. Guests, Attorney John Clark; AVA Editor, Bruce Anderson.
Host Ron Glick: We're going to be talking about the Judi Bari bombing. I've got John Clark who is an attorney who has been following the case and Bruce Anderson from the AVA who's been following the case for many years.
John Clark is an attorney specializing in criminal and civil litigation in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. His cases currently include the representation of James Sanders and his wife Elizabeth in a civil rights suit against the New York FBI field office director James Kallstrom, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman James C. Hall and eight other individuals. The case alleges that the Justice Department targeted Sanders for James's accurate investigative reporting on the July 1996 downing of TWA flight 800. The case was transferred to New York where it is pending. Mr. Clark has been attending the Judi Bari trial.
I also have Bruce Anderson, the flamboyant and outspoken editor of one of the best newspapers in northwest California, the Anderson Valley Advertiser.
BA: This case can't be discussed on any other free speech radio station in Northern California. I appreciate an opportunity to present a dissenting perspective on it.
Ron: I'm sure you'll have your opportunity today. John, you say this case is not about who bombed Judi Bari, but it's about how their free speech rights were impinged upon. Can you elaborate on that?
John: Sure. The case alleges a violation of First Amendment rights; also a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, and also alleges a conspiracy and wrongful arrest. As you said, the issue of who actually planted the bomb is not an issue in the case. The plaintiffs are alleging not that the FBI or OPD planted the bomb, but rather that they wrongfully accused Darryl and Judi of knowingly transporting the bomb. And that they did so in order to smear them and smear their ongoing efforts at recruiting people to go to, as you said, and participate in Redwood Summer, which was an activity aimed at slowing down the cut of the old growth in the northern California counties until the local residents could vote on some legislation that was pending to make it law. Just slow down the cut of the old growth.
Ron: Bruce, you've long been writing as a critic of the case. What's your objection to the case, the way it's been structured?
BA: Twelve years after bombing, the event is finally presented as a First and Fourth Amendment rights violation case, but what it really is, in my opinion, and in the opinion of others who have followed it very closely and who were participants in Redwood Summer and who actually knew Judi Bari -- Judi Bari wrote for my paper, incidentally, and her book is composed of articles that first appeared in the AVA, so I worked quite closely with her and knew her quite well -- see this case as a cynical attempt to cash in on what is essentially a fancy case of domestic violence. I think it's clear that her ex-husband not only made the device, he wrote a follow-up letter called the Lord's Avenger Letter. But who actually did the bombing has been excluded from the case underway in Oakland -- deliberately excluded. What remains of the case has been arrived at by Earth First! -- or Darryl Cherney's version of EF!, I should say. Cherney's Earth First! and the government are co-dependent. The case has been amended I think eight times. So here we are in federal court without any mention of what may have happened -- who did what. The case has been pruned of the false arrest charges, by the way. It's essentially a defamation case brought for $20 million after more than a $1 million has been raised by this same group of very cynical people who claim they've raised the money to support the lawsuit but who have lived off it all these years. And here we are. I think we've got a breathtaking scam underway and I don't think it's going to be successful.
Ron: I just want to say that the opinions expressed on this program are those...
BA: (Laughs) You'd better say that!
Ron: Not of the University of California, KDBS, or the host of this program. John, how do you respond to Bruce's indictment of the plaintiffs?
John: I'm pretty much in shock. I don't... I haven't been following the case for as long as Bruce has, certainly. I really knew very little about it before I arrived here. But I would say that if he's so sure that it was Judi's ex-husband, why is it that the FBI didn't investigate Sweeney? And why is it that the FBI didn't investigate the numerous leads that they DO have? That is really the heart of the case.
BA: I agree.
John: Those leads were not pursued in the course of this investigation. Why didn't they follow up on the many many leads they had? It was because it was a sham investigation.
BA: That's right. And I have no way to account for that, other than the historical job performance of the FBI, which has been lazy, stupid and often malicious, as it certainly was in this case. The FBI closed the books on the Bari Bombing, I learned years afterwards, in 1993. They had the nerve to claim that they closed the case because nobody would talk to them. (laughs) Criminals would truly run amok in this country if police agencies stopped investigating cases because nobody would talk to them.
John: That allegation's not even true! There were a number of people who didn't want to talk with them without a lawyer present. But that doesn't mean that they refused to talk to them and didn't help them try and find the true bomber. There were numerous people, by the testimony, numerous people who were very anxious to do that. Judi and Darryl being among them. They begged the FBI to follow up on these leads and they wouldn't do it.
Ron: Could I ask the question, Bruce? If you're so sure... if we were to assume that your accusation is true about who the bomber is, is it possible that the FBI didn't want to look at that person because maybe they were... they had some connection to the FBI?
BA: There's got to be some way of explaining the absence of the FBI investigation. You can't blow a person up in the middle of a major American city and not have an investigation. Mr. Clark's quite right; there wasn't an investigation, or certainly no investigation that we knew of. So I have no way of accounting for the absence of an investigation until the records are released — if they're ever released. Maybe we'll find out the last week or so of this trial, but I doubt that we will. On the other hand, on the Bari/Cherney side of the case, it's not quite true to say that they begged the FBI and the various police agencies involved to investigate the case. They didn't. They wanted the FBI to investigate all aspects of the case except the one that pointed directly at domestic violence or some other kind of in-house violence that implicated them. Darryl Cherney, for instance, posted, or *claimed* to have posted, a $50,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of Charles Hurwitz, the CEO of Maxxam/Pacific Lumber, for destruction of the redwoods. But he's never posted a nickel or made a comparable offer to find the person responsible for blowing up his comrade.
John: That's simply not true.
BA: That is true.
John: They hired their own DNA experts to try and compare the DNA from the Lord's Avenger letter to a number of people they believed to be suspects. They are the one's who investigated and they investigated a lot more...
BA: I'm glad you brought that up. Yeah, they tried to match the DNA from the Lord's Avenger Letter, which is a confession, with persons that they hoped to implicate in the bombing. None of those persons happened to include Judi Bari's ex-husband. Darryl Cherney said a request of Mike Sweeney for his DNA would be an invasion of Sweeney's privacy! And they say they can't find Judi Bari's DNA. They could get some from her children, I would think. And they have no DNA from Mike Sweeney's girlfriend at the time of the bombing, Meredyth Rinehard.
John: You're getting off on a tangent.
BA: No we're not. You brought up the DNA. I'm just telling you who they tested and who they won't test.
Ron: But guys, that's not even an issue in the case! Who planted the bomb? That's not an issue?
BA: Pretty weird case, isn't it?
John: No, it's not a weird case! The issue is the FBI's and the OPD's failure to investigate and their effort to frame and wrongfully accuse Judi and Darryl of knowingly transporting a bomb. As I said, you've been following the case for certainly a lot longer than I have, but I have seen the evidence that was presented to the jury, including the car, and the bomb was obviously under the front seat. I hope you will agree to that!
Ron: Let me jump in here guys and go in a different direction. Darryl Cherney testified this week. I read the AP account of his testimony, and I have to tell you, John, that I lived in Humboldt County in the late 1980s. I knew Darryl and I knew who Judi Bari was. I remember that Darryl Cherney went on 60 Minutes and made one of the most inflammatory statements I've ever heard — something like he would strap a bomb to himself and take out a dam if he was terminally ill. He was essentially living out Edward Abbey's fantasy from The Monkeywrench Gang to gain notoriety for himself. I've said for many years that if this thing ever went to trial, that the Feds would try and get that statement in. And they did get that statement in. How's that gonna play with the jury?
John: I don't know, but I guess we'll have to wait and see. Darryl did testify that he said it, but that he asked the 60 Minutes producer not to play that remark; that he'd said a stupid thing and that he was sorry he'd said it. The point is we should really stick with the issues in the lawsuit. And that is whether or not the FBI and the OPD are liable for wrongfully accusing Darryl and Judi of planting the bomb.
Ron: But you have to play to a jury. You're in a civil trial. You have to convince the jury.
John: You have to convince the jury of the issues in the case. So let's not stray from the issues in the case.
Ron: Come on, you're a lawyer and you're going to tell me that juries don't respond to this sort of thing? The jury knows that Darryl was out there saying these sorts of things.
John: That's right. They do know that, but the issue in the case is whether or not they were wrongfully accused... knowingly, wrongfully accused. The defense by the government is that the OPD and the FBI made a good faith mistake. That is really the central defense -- that they made a mistake, but they'd made it in good faith. Obviously, it *wasn't* a good faith mistake. Their own expert, FBI agent Williams, told the FBI that the bomb was under the seat. I was going to say that your listeners may not know this, but the jury sure knows now about the construction of this bomb. It had two safety devices on it. One was a toggle switch, an on/off switch, you had to flip it on in order to arm the bomb. The other was a timer. When the time elapses the bomb is armed. And the third one is a motion device. When the ball bearing is dislodged, it hits two wires and completes the circuit and the bomb ignited and that happens when you drive over a bump or come to a screeching halt, or change lanes abruptly -- something like that. What kind of an idiot would put that under their front seat armed in all three of those ways?
BA: An idiot who didn't expect it to go off. The average idiot wouldn't carry a bomb, period. There's all kinds of possibilities as to why the bomb might have been in the car.
John: Are you saying that they were carrying it?
BA: Oh sure. That's always been among the possibilities. But we don't know why the bomb was in the car.
John: Are you out of your mind? The jury has been told to use their own common sense and they will apply that.
BA: Right. But there's disagreement among the police agencies involved, which is why they have separate attorneys. The Oakland Police Department cops have their own attorney; the accused FBI agents are defended by Justice Department attorneys. The OPD's expert contradicts the FBI's expert.
John: Do you need an expert to answer that question about whether you'd place an armed bomb wrapped in nails, an anti-personnel bomb under your seat? ...
BA: Lots of terrorists groups have been transporting similarly armed explosive devices for years. That's the way bombs are transported.
John: You'd put it in the back seat or at least in the trunk…
BA: That bomb, if it had functioned properly, would have blown up the vehicle and killed the occupants of the vehicle no matter where it was placed in the car.
John: The bomb functioned as it was designed.
BA: No, it only partially functioned as designed. One end blew off first. Much of the force of the bomb moved laterally.
John: You haven't been listening to the testimony.
BA: I've read the testimony and I'm telling you that the testimony is contradictory. And it's beside the point on this issue. What I'm saying is that there are a number of possibilities as to what actually happened. Only one possibility of the case has been pursued. Excuse me; two possibilities: One is the FBI and OPD's version, which is that Darryl and Judi were knowingly carrying the device. The second possibility is the Bari/Cherney version, which is that somebody put the bomb in their car and it went off, but they didn't know it was there. I'm saying that there's at least eight other possibilities.
John: What's your version? What's your theory? Why they'd put an armed bomb wrapped in nails, that almost killed Judi with a motion detector set up for a two hour drive?
BA: Two hours? To get it out of Ukiah and away from the guy who put it in the car, that's why the two hours on the timer. You're not listening. You're trying to score rhetorical points by deliberately misconstruing what I said. What I said is there's a number of possibilities. At least ten.
John: But that's among them?
BA: Sure, yeah. Absolutely. And Darryl Cherney and Judi Bari claiming non-violence after the fact is simply laughable to anybody who knew them.
John: Redwood Summer participants were required to undergo non-violence training.
John: And they signed a non-violence pledge.
BA: (Laughs.) I was a participant in Redwood Summer and there was no such requirement.
John: Well, that was before the jury and it was uncontested.
BA: The whole case is uncontested! Or most of it, anyway. Earth First! as an organization, as it exists as a so-called organization, was engaged in what is quaintly now called industrial sabotage. It was not engaged in killing people. There's always been language confusion in this case; the term "terrorist" has been misapplied to tactics aimed at decommissioning equipment, not people. Right up to maybe two weeks before the bombing Cherney and Bari were advocating monkey wrenching, industrial sabotage.
John: They were not...
BA: They certainly were.
Ron: I'm going to jump in here...
BA: I can go straight to my newspaper archive and show you where Judi Bari advocated monkey wrenching.
BA: Don't tell me what she advocated and didn't advocate. I knew her and I was there.
Ron: I've got to tell you I was also there at the time and there were a number of years leading up this bombing when Darryl Cherney was going around advocating tree-spiking. I had come out of the anti-nuclear movement, which was committed to non-violence and I was appalled! I wouldn't talk to the guy for a long time. We didn't get along for a long time because I was contending that his scene was never going to go anywhere until they got real and understood that you can't go around advocating that sort of violence. Guys, I've got to take a break.
KDBS, 90.3 FM Davis, California. This is the Speaking in Tongues Hour. We're having a very heated discussion about the Judi Bari bombing and the civil litigation in federal court 12 years later with John Clark and Bruce Anderson.
Ron Glick continues: Also in the testimony of Darryl Cherney, the defense, which is the federal government, got in that Darryl had written a song, "Spike a Tree for Jesus." On redirect his attorney Dennis Cunningham rather than read the song had Darryl sing the song as Darryl played his guitar! Which I would think would be rather inflammatory to the jury. An AP writer said that some of the people in the audience looked on and smiled, but apparently some of the jurors did not look so happy with it. John, you were there. What was the point of the attorney for Judi's estate and Darryl to have Darryl sing that song to the jury?
John: I can't speak for Dennis Cunningham, but Darryl has nothing to hide. That may have been the point. Earth First!, as I said, had a non-violence code and everyone was required to agree to it, and this is uncontested no matter what your other guest might say.
BA: I was master of ceremonies at two Redwood Summer events, and there was no sign-up sheet where anybody signed up promising to behave non-violently.
John: They had to undergo non-violence training; they had to sign a non-violent pledge.
John: The issue is whether the FBI and OPD acted in good faith when they placed Darryl and Judi under arrest. I think the reason this case is important -- let's not lose sight of it -- is because the FBI has a 65-year history of perverting our laws for the purposes of political repression. That's a violation of the First Amendment of our Constitution. That's why this case is important. To come out and say that it's some sort of money-making scheme is, to me, shocking.
John: This is an important case. We see the FBI in this ongoing modus operandi of them using COINTELPRO, a counter-intelligence program. In 1976 in the Church hearings, they documented a 40-year history of this sort of thing; it's been going on and on ever since and this is a perfect example of it. The death threats, the fake press releases that were supposed to have come from Earth First! in Arcata? There is no Earth First! in Arcata. They spelled Darryl's name wrong. These underhanded tactics to violate Darryl and Judi's and others' rights of assembly and freedom of speech.
Ron: Bruce, is this the poster child case for anti-COINTELPRO?
BA: It's a poster child case for the absence of a reputable left in this country. It's a poster child case for an utter absence of integrity on what remains of the left in this country, because this case has been a fraud right from the very beginning, yet a whole lot of so-called leftists have signed on to it as sponsors. By the way, Hill and Knowlton, the famous advertising company, put out those fake press releases.
John: How do you know?
BA: It's documented in my paper and lots of other places. Hill and Knowlton was hired by the timber industry to devise a strategy that would discredit Redwood Summer demonstrations. They admitted it at the time. In fact Judi herself may have written about it, now that you mention it.
John: But how do you know?
BA: It was tracked down at the time by people writing for my paper. It was part of what was called the Yellow Ribbon campaign. Louisiana-Pacific and Georgia-Pacific hired Hill and Knowlton to do this kind of thing. I thought everybody knew that. But people don't know that because nobody can talk about this case from a dissenting perspective. We can't argue about it like we're doing right now any place the so-called left controls! Which is why Mr. Clark is ignorant of the history of the case and ignorant of essential facts like these.
John: I have heard what the jury has heard and that is invisible evidence. Much of it, contrary to what you have to say, is uncontested. Now you may transport a bomb, triple armed under your seat, but I can't think of anyone else, even a five-year old, who would do such a thing.
BA: I can't think of anybody else who would claim to be non-violent and who would claim under oath not to have been engaged in illegal activity who would then get up on the witness stand in front of a jury of people unknown to him and sing a song celebrating industrial sabotage! That's beyond moronic. That's self-defeating. Frankly, I hope that bizarre presentation cost Darryl $20 million to perform, a half-mil per line. But if these were honorable people they would have sued for $1, not $20 million if what they're after is to clear their names. But no, they're going for $20 million worth of respectability. It's a case brought by a bunch of unscrupulous mercenaries, including their jive lawyers.
Ron: John, why can't Bruce be right? I mean, Why can't…? These people are suing for civil damages. Why not apply Ockham's razor and say it's simply about the money?
John: Under civil law the only thing you can get is money. That's the only remedy that there is. That's why they're suing for money. But that doesn't mean...
BA: Why so much money?
John: That is their reason for bringing suit and fighting this thing for 11 years — to make some money off it.
BA: Candor at last!
John. We should all really be following this case in the context of what the FBI has been going in this country for 65 years, particularly in light of the recent passage of the USA Patriot Act, which is really in large part a wish list, an FBI wish list of investigative powers.
Ron: But I just keep coming back to this idea that these people are not good poster boys for this sort of an attack on the FBI and what the FBI is doing. Darryl and Judi were out there advocating tree spiking right up until they decided to do this Redwood Summer campaign. Darryl had gone on 60 Minutes with inflammatory statements. If I'm William Webster of the FBI and I see Darryl Cherney on 60 Minutes (looking like Charles Manson) saying he's going to blow up a dam, I call in whoever it is I call in and I say, Take care of that guy!
John: Take care of it in what way?
Ron: I don't know -- however the FBI does this sort of thing.
BA: This case has been fueled by the sinister history of the FBI. The Bari-Cherney people opportunistically and cynically seized it as their funding hook and the basis of their phony suit. It's how they've raised money for 12 years -- trying the FBI on the basis of the FBI's history, which I happen to agree is a record of malice and incompetence, a fact of American history uncontested by any informed person. But the FBI and the Oakland Police Department in this case did what any other police department would do when a bomb goes off; they concluded that somehow the people in the car had something to do with that bomb going off and, morons that they are, they went ahead and arrested Darryl and Judi prematurely on the basis of visible physical evidence that did not support the charges. And here we are 12 years later. Many people listening to this program probably think that this case has something to do with trees and something to do with free speech. It doesn't. The beneficiaries of this suit -- if it's successful -- are three private individuals. The two daughters of Mike Sweeney and Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. The money is not going to buy a single tree. The purpose of the case is to enrich three private individuals.
John: To the extent that the plaintiffs are successful, it will benefit the United States of America in that Americans will be educated around the fact that the FBI has been found guilty of violating the First Amendment. Coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, in accordance with their 65 year history. The judge has ruled that the FBI and its 65 year history is not admissible in this trial, so the FBI defendants and the OPD defendants are coming to trial with a clean slate. They're starting from square one insofar as what the jury knows about them. So a directed verdict will not be guilt by association or guilt by prior conduct, as the FBI has tried to make the case against Darryl and Judi, as has, it would seem Mr. Anderson.
Ron: John, have the defendants set up any kind of trust, or foundation or anything to put this money into to put it back into their environmental work?
John: Judi did, in her will, yes.
BA: No, she didn't.
John: Yes she did.
BA: No she didn't. She left it vague. That if successful a certain portion of the proceeds would go to good things, but the language of the will is vague to the point of being non-existent and, we may recall, Judi Bari is dead.
John: It's supposed to go to an environmental organization.
BA: No, that's not true. I don't think the will has ever been made public in its entirety. She left it vague, and she's dead; her heirs can clearcut whole forests if they care to.
John: You're disputing that?
BA: Yes. But I'd like to point out that the judge also excluded expert testimony that would undermine the Bari-Cherney's assertions that they were framed. For instance, Professor Don Foster, the foremost attribution scholar in the English language, was excluded from being a witness in this trial, as I was and as several other persons were who would testify to reality, not myth. Although I had nothing to testify to beyond my own experience with these people, but the other *specifically* excluded persons, in a real trial aimed at discovering the truth of these events, were also excluded.
Ron: Isn't it the fact that they didn't have to have a good reason to keep you out of the trial?
BA: All I know is that without prior notice five or six of us were ruled out in advance as “obsessive and deranged.” (laughs). I'll cop to being obsessive, but I'd at least argue deranged. But we never had a chance to do that, which of course is typical of the free speech people Mr. Clark claims are fighting for all of us. But let me say that every objective, fair-minded, honest, smart person who's looked at this case says, Hey! Wait a minute! This case is a lot of nonsense. There's an article by Steve Talbot, the well-known PBS producer with the Frontline series, coming up on Salon.com that says we all ought to look at the ex-husband and that the case is a joke unless it considers the who and the why of it.
Ron: Talbot did the documentary “Who Bombed Judi Bari?” I saw that piece in your newspaper where he said that the ex-husband Sweeney was the only person who wouldn't talk to him.
BA: Right. Talbot was on KQED television the other night where he said, Here we are going to trial with no mention at all of what happened or who did it. He said forthrightly, on Bay Area television, that we ought to be looking at the ex-husband here because ex-hubbykins had a history of both explosive devices and domestic brutality about which another ex-wife complained. So what's going on here? What kind of a weirdo case is this where who did it can't even be mentioned? And what kind of plaintiffs do you have claiming to be friends and admirers of Judi Bari who do not want to find out what happened to her?
John: Of course they want to find out what happened to her!
BA: No they don't. Never have.
John: It's just not an issue in the case.
BA: (Laughs) Hah! They've never wanted to find out Who Bombed Judi Bari. They've gone around the country for ten years not finding out who did it.
John: They've spent money on DNA testing. How is it that you can conclude that they don't want to know who?
BA: Why don't they put up their own DNA?
John: Here's where we go back to using our common sense. Wouldn't any person want to know who did it?
BA: Not if it might cost them $20 million! Why doesn't the ex-husband put up his DNA? Why doesn't Darryl put up his? Why don't they find some DNA from the late Judi Bari and put hers up? Let's all get together for a DNA party! Let's get to the bottom of it! That's what's so outrageous about this thing -- that this case is aimed at getting money for Darryl and Bari and Sweeney's two children and a handful of ghouls who have supposedly worked on it all these years, but not at finding out the truth of the event.
John: Right. It is frustrating.
BA: This case is solvable.
John: If it is, and I think you're probably right about that, why is it that the FBI will not solve it?
BA: That's a very good question. And I agree with you 100% on the FBI. They're an ominous, ongoing farce that should have been disbanded back in the days of that nutcake, Hoover.
John: Don't you think this case gives the people a snapshot into that history and that reasoning? And isn't that important for people to know?
BA: No. People aren't as stupid as the pseudo-left seems to think they are. We wouldn't have fanatics flying airliners into high rises if the FBI knew what it was doing. But in this case, the FBI has been pruned from the case. This case is against several individual FBI agents and several individual Oakland Police officers. FBI policies and practices aren't on trial here. It's just these individual guys.
John: The plaintiffs are saying that the FBI's not on trial.
BA: That's not what they say when they're out there raising money for 12 years: they have said that the FBI *is* on trial while cynically concealing the fact that it's *individual* cops and FBI agents on trial.
John: You're right. The FBI as an agency is not a defendant here because of sovereign immunity. But these are FBI agents. And the FBI agents are the ones who are guilty, if they are guilty in this case, of political repression by repression of free speech over the past 65 years. Now to say that…
BA: They're private contractors? They operate independently?
John: The FBI as an agency is not a defendant in this case.
BA: They're not; they're a funding pretext. But that fact has been concealed from the many dupes who have sent in money to the Bari-Cherney people for 12 years to support the case.
Ron: Let me jump in here and ask about the FBI. I had an email exchange with my ex-co-host today. He said that the FBI, when they testified in this case, they sounded like, particularly this guy from Santa Cruz, Sena, he sounded like they didn't know anything at all about Earth First! or the environmental movement or what was going on. I simply responded to my co-host that they can play it that way because they knew they had Darryl Cherney's 60 Minutes' statement. And he emailed back to me the song about tree spiking for Jesus. So, do you think the FBI knows more than they're telling us?
BA: Yes, they do. And if they say they didn't have Earth First! down as a “terrorist” group, they're lying. Agent Daly, who was an associate of another agent by the name of Buck at the time of the bombing investigation, argued at the time with me that Earth First! was a terrorist organization. I told him he was full of it, that EF! was more like a showbiz organization, that it had painted a crack on the face of the Grand Coulee dam. Certainly there were people who identified with EF! who spiked trees, but to regard Earth First! as a terrorist organization on the basis of an occasional tree spike was silly. But Daley was adamant. He said no, Earth First! is on our list of terrorist organizations. I would have been happy to testify to that much in the case. The FBI is lying if they say that they didn't consider Earth First! a terrorist organization. But getting back to Mr. Clark's grand talk about this being a First Amendment case... Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney and all the persons supporting their law suit at places like KPFA and up here on the Northcoast, have no regard whatsoever for free speech. It's obscene for them to say that this case is about the defense of the First Amendment because they don't defend anybody else's free speech rights except their own!
John: Free speech works.
BA: Which is why they've suppressed it in this case. We could not have this discussion at KPFA, or in Anderson Valley at KZYX, not at KMUD in Humboldt County. Free speech? Where?
Ron: Bruce, I hope that the Anderson Valley Advertiser prints that you could have it on KDBS 90.3 fm in Davis.
BA: I certainly will. And if anybody passes out free speech awards, you get one.
Ron: Gimme a plug, Bruce!
BA: I will. A kiss and a marriage proposal too, if you want.
Ron: John, what were you gonna say?
John: I was gonna say that to make the allegation, the claim, that this case has nothing to do with free speech couldn't be further from the truth.
John: It couldn't be further from the truth. Darryl and Judi were very effective in recruiting Redwood Summer and environmental causes.
BA: No they weren't. Redwood Summer was just starting to be organized when the bomb went off.
John: They were accused of knowingly transporting a bomb. And they really have never lived that down. Judi is still fighting for her reputation even from the beyond.
BA: Her reputation as what? She said she was a radical. What radical cares about how the government characterizes her?
John: And so is Darryl. So is Earth First! So is the environmental movement. So to say that this case has nothing to do with First Amendment rights is just ludicrous. You say that it has to do only with what they have to say, not with what anyone else has to say.
BA: Of course.
John: Well, that's the way these things work. If you know that illegally seized evidence in a criminal case cannot be used against the defendant, that's not to protect the defendant, that's to protect everyone else but the defendant to preclude that sort of thing happening in the future. We have to enforce our Bill of Rights.
BA: Yes we do. And not selectively by a small band of opportunists, but Redwood Summer was only announced around May 1st, and was just getting going when the bomb exploded. The bombing helped publicize Redwood Summer, if anything.
Ron: I have to ask, Do you think that what happened was that you had Darryl who didn't know much about what he was doing when he was organizing Redwood Summer, and you had Judi doing some pretty silly things too, like singing Will the Fetus Be Aborted at an anti-abortion rally? Do you think this was a situation where you had people who didn't know much about organizing and then thing got so big so fast and totally got out of control?
BA: Yeah, partially, but Judi was a brilliant organizer and had had political organizing experience prior to Redwood Summer. Cherney didn't know a redwood tree from an oak and had had no political organizing experience. She led him around by the nose, politically. She was definitely the brains in that relationship.
Ron: She's the one who got him to swear off tree spiking. I could make no progress with him for years.
BA: Tree spiking is a very bad thing to do. You're going to risk maiming or disfiguring or killing some guy just trying to earn a living by cutting trees down? Tree spiking is a form of terrorism.
John: Judi Bari was highly successful in bridging the gap between environmentalists and loggers; she was making approaches to the millworkers, the people in the lumber industry…
BA: Absolutely untrue. There was rhetoric aimed at achieving a united front against the outside timber corporations, but it was much too late for that by the time Bari arrived. Besides, the timber industry on the Northcoast can't be organized by people who don't work in it. Judi held one meeting in Willits with logging contractors; that was it. She was unsuccessful at organizing anybody except old leftists, hippies, people who think they can communicate with trees, free range screwballs, and so forth. These people comprised her political base because there are lots of them up here on the Northcoast; that's who she organized. There were no mill workers, no loggers involved in these protests. A few maybe, but not many
Ron: But there were a lot of forest activists -- I happened to have been one -- who were doing work to slow the rapacious destruction of the forests of the Northcoast. I looked at these people as Johnny Come Latelies.
BA: They were Johnny Come Latelies. And they completely shoved aside people who had been fighting bad timber practices for a long time. But to hear this claque of opportunists tell it, the environmental movement on the Northcoast began with the arrival of Darryl Cherney and Judi Bari.
John: All that may be true to an extent, but what difference does that make in regards to this lawsuit? What we're talking about is a lawsuit about violation of our own civil liberties. That's the issue, that's the case the plaintiffs are going to give to the jury to decide. To say it's unimportant is off the wall. It misses the boat.
BA: The suit would have a lot more credibility if the late Bari, and Cherney, and the people now supporting the lawsuit, ever rolled out for anybody else's First Amendment rights. This suit didn't fall out of the sky to land whole in Oakland Federal Court. It has been built on lies over 12 years! They don't want anybody talking about it from the Who Done It? perspective because it would collapse if people knew everything about it. They've gone to extraordinary lengths for 12 years now to prevent the conversation that we're having here today. And you can verify that at Time-Tested Books in Sacramento where phone calls were placed not to allow me to speak. Karen Pickett in the Bay Area did the same thing. She operates out of the Ecology Center in Berkeley. She got out an email about my appearances in the Bay Area. 'Don't let him speak. Call the bookstores to shut him down. If he does speak, show up and disrupt him. Don't let him talk.' These are the kinds of First Amendment advocates we're talking about here.
John: We're talking about violations of the First Amendment. The First Amendment doesn't apply to individuals, it applies to the government action. Again, for you to say that this case is not important on First Amendment grounds is beyond belief! It's just a ludicrous proposition. You may not like Judi...
BA: I did like Judi Bari.
John: Or like her organizing techniques. Or you may characterize them as Johnny Come Latelies, whatever. That doesn't detract from the importance of this suit.
BA: The suit is undermined by the hypocrisy of the people bringing it. I regard Judi Bari as a truly tragic figure. I think she did what she had to do, and I think she took the truth of what happened to her to her grave. I think that she was very brave right to the end because if she'd told the truth about the bombing it would have complicated the lives of her daughters enormously, and it would also have criminally implicated friends of hers, people who were close to her. I think that's what happened here.
John: This is a First Amendment lawsuit. It does not have to do with who it was who placed that bomb.
BA: It didn't start out that way.
John: They're being framed for having planted it.
BA: It didn't start out as a First Amendment lawsuit; it's been edited eight times by people who are at this point co-dependent: the FBI, the government, and the Oakland Police Department are Darryl Cherney's co-dependents in this thing at this point. It has nothing to do with free speech, and it's not an important case except as an example of the utter bankruptcy of what passes for a left in this country.
Ron: I was there at Redwood Summer and remember Charles Hurwitz getting away with the plunder of the redwoods. How are people who think that trees and this community and these people are important, how are they supposed to react to something that's been reduced to a free speech issue?
John: This case is about free speech. I'm not saying that those other issues, which are certainly related issues, are not important, and it certainly doesn't downplay those issues and the ruining of the timber-based economies of the Northcoast. But it is a free speech case. It is primarily a free speech case. That's one of the three counts, violation of the First Amendment. From my point of view, having seen this sort of thing before, and having prosecuted this sort of thing before, is that that is very very important to the way that we function in this country. Free speech and the protection of our rights of free speech and association is the point of this lawsuit. And again, for Bruce to say that it only protects the speech of those who are behind it or associated with EF! is simply not true. Just because it has to do with this particular case, these particular facts, doesn't mean that it doesn't protect the free speech of all of us just as in, as I spoke earlier, keeping evidence out that's collected in violation of the Fourth Amendment is not designed to protect the guilty, it is designed to protect all of us from Fourth Amendment violations committed by the police.
BA: What I said was that free speech would be enhanced if the people bringing this case weren't the mercenary phonies that they clearly are. If they didn't have a history of trying to stop the free exchange of opinions, the suit might have value. That's what I said. There's a distinction there that you're missing on purpose.
Ron: Bruce Anderson, you run a newspaper, how is free speech doing in America?
BA: Very poorly. I think it's imperiled because, among other things, the left doesn't consistently stand up for it. There's one standard of free speech. It either exists or it doesn't exist. It's like the old joke about pregnancy. You either are you aren't. If you shut down dissenting perspectives on controversial cases, you are not enhancing free speech. Simple as that.
Ron: John Clark, how is free speech doing in America today?
John: Not well, and I'd have to say there's definitely some truth to what Bruce had to say about that. I represented some people who were associated with a conservative cause and liberal radio stations among others didn't want to have anything to do with it, although they were misreading it because it was really about government corruption. But it had to do with the Clinton administration and I'm not going to get into that. But I'd agree with Bruce's assessment. And I'd also say that this case furthers the goals of free speech in our country, and to say that simply because the plaintiffs have this bad attribute or that bad attribute doesn't ... true or not, is not the point. The point is that the lawsuit and particularly if it's a plaintiff's verdict, will further the goals of free speech. I really don't think that Bruce would disagree with that. Would he?
BA: Yes, Bruce would disagree with that because when both parties to a so-called free speech case have cynically pared that case down to its bare minimum by deliberately withholding from consideration the wider implications and the wider facts of the case, such as Who Did It?, I think they damage free speech. I think anybody with common sense looks at this and says, Hey? What the hell kind of case is this? Are you telling me that the American government, with its vast police state capacities, doesn't know who did this? Couldn't figure out who did this? That they went to all the trouble to frame a couple of people who, objectively, presented no threat whatsoever to extractive capitalism? Darryl Cherney and Company have raised over a million dollars to investigate the case and bring their case into federal court and they haven't been able to get to the bottom of it? They refuse to test the ex-husband's DNA? The girlfriend's DNA? Come on! This isn't a free speech case; it doesn't do anything for free speech. What it does is encourage the cynicism of anybody who cares about trees, free speech, the left, the future of free people in a free country! It's a very bad thing that's occurring in Oakland Federal Court.
John: You're saying that even if it's a plaintiff's verdict, right?
Ron: Guys, we're going to run out of time, but I want to give each of you one last shot to make a statement. But I'd also like you to predict how the jury's gonna decide. John Clark?
John: This case is important and it is regarding free speech, regardless of who the plaintiffs are. I'll just refer again to that analogy about keeping out evidence in a criminal case that is collected by violating the Fourth Amendment. It's to protect all of us, not just the criminal defendant. It's to protect other people. That's what this case is doing. As to my prediction, I'm optimistic, let me say that, about a plaintiff's verdict in this case. Obviously, they were wrongfully accused of knowingly transporting a bomb. Judi Bari was in so much pain that when she was brought to the hospital she asked the medical personnel who were working on her to let her die. She was in so much pain. What kind of a person would do something like that. Obviously they were framed.
Ron: Bruce, your last thoughts on this and your prediction about what the jury's gonna do?
BA: Men have been doing unspeakable harm to women since recorded time began. I have no idea what the jury's going to do. One of the jurors doesn't even speak English. I expect him to be the foreman, thus appropriately completing this 12 year charade. I'd like to see Bari-Cherney win and be awarded one dollar in damages. I think that would be justice.
Unless they changed their call letters or this was a deliberate pun of some kind, the UCDavis radio station is KDVS not KDBS. I got a 3rd class license to broadcast from the FCC in San Francisco as a sophomore at Davis High and appeared on-the-air as student intern for my first taste of radio in 1968. Before Reagan de-regulated the FCC, one had to take a very difficult and technical test to receive a 3rd Class License endorsed for Broadcast which was not only required to even utter “ Testing, one two three” in a live mic, but was also required to be posted in the studio where you worked. After Reagan, anybody can open the mic and blabber. Part of the reason that today’s media is rife with banality.
Good catch, Lindy. Fixed!
Tulare Lake is nothing compared to the winter of 1861-62. There was six weeks of rain and snow. The entire Central Valley from the Coast Range to the Sierra was one big lake. Sacramento flooded so bad the ground floors of buildings were abandoned and they built the City one floor higher. It happened then, it will happen again. We have such short memories.
Good point. I believe the Sierra had record snow in 1947, too. I don’t know how that was determined. But the Donner Party was trapped in the Sierra that year. 1850 marks the end of the Little Ice Age., and the beginning of a prolonged drought that ended a long period of prosperous cattle ranching in Southern California. So the flooding of 1861 either was a pause in a drought for SoCal, or that flooding missed them. Today these types of events are referred to as “extreme weather”, which begs the question, do we have “climate change” or “Back To The Future”? In 1861 people only said, “head to higher ground”, which means they had more common sense back then.
My grandmother moved to Tulare in 1930. She remembered Tulare Lake, which at one time was a commercial fishery. The Donner party should have just gone to the Safeway in Truckee in 1947.
At one time Tulare Lake had a large population of Western Pond Turtles, and there was a lucrative economy exploiting this resource for restaurant tables in San Francisco.
It was supposed to be 1847, not 1947. My mistake.
Re: Measure V discussion….
Just because Mendo County voters passed the measure doesn’t make it binding and legal…. Mendo County votes in favor of a lot of cuckoo stuff…
Just because the State AG reviews it for 2 years doesn’t give it some assumed importance or authority. Government is slow and not always correct.
On the other hand, just because the State AG gave no decision doesn’t mean Measure V is enforceable or unenforceable.
Just because MRC pushed a wimpy or heavy PR campaign doesn’t mean they are right or wrong (it was a stupid campaign in my opinion).
Just because you did all your internet research about dead tan oak snags and 2-4 D and Garlon doesn’t make you the expert on those subjects..
Just because one CALFIRE pilot with zero background in herbicides or fire ecology sides with Measure V proponents doesn’t mean they’re right…
Measure V is another classic example (just like our lame weed regs) where the will of the people is assumed to be gospel, the government ineptitude is assumed to be corrupt and skewed, and the truth and reality of things gets lost in all the trash talking
A point I did not make, and you did, is V is unenforceable.
The only person, that I am aware of, with on the ground fire fighting experience, who supported V, was the late Warren Giacomini. Warren could speak with authority, but never weighed in, beyond having his name on a list.
I fought a lot of fires during the 2008 Lightning Complex and in my “expert opinion ” the raging fires didn’t care if it ran through standing dead tanoak or live, immature trees. It all burned the same. Worst conditions seemed to be recent clear cuts with lots of juvenile conifers.
And I have to agree this was always more about evil herbicides than fire safety. Public perception of both went into nutso realms like Covid
In Mr. Vodopals universe, passage of a law is irrelevant.
Yes, any law or ordinance is irrelevant or useless without enforcement. “Please obey” doesn’t seem to work well without cops or lawyers for some folks. Darn that free will concept. It cuts many ways
Mr Dorner, please apply your statement to the majority of Mendo County inhabitants who make a living in the illicit sales of a federally illegal drug (but mostly innocuous plant)
Kirk & George, I’d only interject that the county should have stuck with the bad regs that the majority of voters of the whole state of California voted yes (misguided fools!) for in prop 64. Instead, the BOS of that era chose to rubber stamp a slough of crap add-ons and extra requirements specifically for mendo that left us with the pile-o-crap-ordinance we are stuck with currently.
Fast forward to today, seems like it is all about to crumble back to the state’s ground zero here …
But unlike the mendo weed ordinance, Measure V was passed by the actual majority of mendo voters. Now, I’ll admit that the language in the law is always vague but the sentiment is clear. If I had a vote on the weed regs, I’d vote my way. But that wasn’t on the table. The weed ordinance was contrived by the BOS alone!
Measure V was a County specific vote to address the vast standing dead trees left by the timber company’s “abatement“ of unwanted species. And guess what, majority rules. Comparison of the two laws would not see light in a court room and has nothing to do with the will of the voters.
Now, seeing as neither of the ordinance have been, what I’d call “strictly enforced “ where does that leave the likes of y’all? Still satisfied with the situation? Not me!
#my vote should count too!
NEVER believe superstition, especially “holy” books. They are pure hokum.
“Why even have ballot measures if the County refuses to abide by the will of the voters? The Board’s failure to honor several recent ballot measures and, in particular, their failure to pursue enforcement of, much less enforce Measure V sends a message that the voters are irrelevant, a message that should bother everybody, no matter what their opinion of Measure V is.”
Wanna send a message to the arrogant and incomprehensibly inept BOS? Above is the perfect summation as to why every voter should vote NO on EVERY tax or bond measure regardless of its intent. Cut off the money spigot and watch how fast they change their operating procedures.
Historically, there have often been times when a majority favors something that violates individual rights, and the law.
I know you’re focused on ag issues, but you missed the entire point of my comment.
RE: CHANGES THAT WILL HURT THE SCRAEDERS
California may change its mental health funding. Why that might cut some services
Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to shift more money to housing severely mentally ill homeless people
For the second time in as many years, Gov. Gavin Newsom is pushing for major reform of California’s mental health system, this time by overhauling the way counties spend mental health dollars and placing a bond measure before voters to build more psychiatric beds.
County behavioral health advocates and local service providers fear programs will be cut, and, much like the controversial CARE Courts legislation — which passed last year and allows individuals to petition a court to force seriously mentally ill people into treatment and housing — say Newsom’s initial announcement came as a shock.
“We listened to the press conference just like you,” said Christine Stoner-Mertz, executive director of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services, which represents organizations that provide child welfare, foster care, juvenile justice and youth behavioral health services.
The proposal is being pitched as a solution to the state’s ballooning homelessness crisis, but experts doubt it will make any kind of meaningful dent. No one has published bill language for the proposal, but Newsom unveiled two major changes during his March state-of-the-state tour:
I remember walking into a local pub in Berkeley about twelve years ago and Wendy Dewitt was playing Darius Ruckers Wagon Wheel with a big ole group of players and I tell you it was quite a hoot.
TWK: I read once that 90% of prisoners who get some kind of basic degree while incarcerated do not repeat.