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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, September 28, 2014

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A FEW MONTHS AGO we pointed out that the wine industry had taken over Mendocino County politics, replacing the once dominant timber industry.

That wasn’t exactly right. What has taken over Mendocino is more accurately the much larger Wine-Tourism Mob of which the wine industry, large as it is, is only a part.

They are an essentially interchangeable group of vintners, artists, innkeepers, chefs, executive directors, event managers, alliances, organizers, districts, coordinators, gentlemen/women farmers, marketing specialists, sommeliers, hosts, and so forth.

The latest example of the casual power they exert emerged last Monday afternoon at the Board of Supervisors when they all came together to hand over another $200k from the County’s supposedly tight General Fund.

According to the agenda summary, the County’s Business Improvement District will “apply the proposed three-tier assessment to 2013-14 actual lodging business gross revenues at the current 50% match which would result in an approximate 57%, or $189,000 increase in the County’s BID match obligation. Under these circumstances the 2014-15 budgeted BID match is inadequate.”

In fact, it’s so “inadequate” that the tourism subsidy must go from $365k per year up to about $550k of taxpayer money per year.

“The key changes are to move from a fixed 1% assessment rate to a tiered assessment rate of .5% for lodging businesses with annual gross rent less than $100,000,” continues the agenda summary, “1% for lodging businesses with annual gross rent of $100,000-$499,999 and 2% for lodging businesses with annual gross rent of $500,000 or more; clarify administrative procedures; and indicate that services will be provided by the Mendocino County Promotional Alliance.”


Of course Promotional Alliance honcho Scott Schneider — a sort-of Tim Lincecum lookalike — didn’t call it a “subsidy,” preferring instead the term “an investment in tourism.”

Among the giddy supporters of the hand-over was former Supervisor candidate/Mendocino B&B proprietor Wendy Roberts — She went on at such mind-numbingly boring length to “support this wholeheartedly” that we fell asleep watching the video replay.

But the Supervisors were also all for the gift of tax money to people who should be paying for their own promotion. Supervisor Brown gushed that handing the money over was “wonderful,” and Supervisor John Pinches, who in the past openly wondered why the County was only subsidizing one industry, joked about opening his own motel in Laytonville in January after his term is up.

Not one question was asked, not one doubt was expressed, not one mention of the need to build up reserves, no one was interested in how the money would be spent on or how it would be overseen.

Maybe no one was interested in how the money would be spent because there’s a list of “specific services, activities and programs to be provided by the [tourism] District” in the ordinance which establishes it: “(A) The general promotion of hotels operating within the District; (B) The marketing of products and events that have a connection with the hotel industry operating in the District; (C) The marketing of the District to the media and travel industry in order to benefit local tourism and the hotels in the District; and (D) Any activities permitted under the Parking and Business Improvement Area Law of 1989 that are included as costs as specified in the annual report to be prepared by the Advisory Board and adopted annually by the Board of Supervisors.”

You can’t get any more “specific” than that!


Technically, because the Cartel is a government-approved “district” there still has to be a hearing on the handing over of the extra $200k in the next few months. And the new fee structure won’t kick in until the next fiscal year, July 1, 2015. The hearing might produce a few quibbles about who gets taxed how much, who gets represented on which wine-board or cheese-committee, etc. But it’s obviously a done deal.

The Wine Mob may control what’s left of Mendo’s legal water storage and delivery system. But last Monday’s $200k giveaway to the Tourism Cartel removed any doubt about who controls the discretionary spending in Mendo in the 21st Century. — Mark Scaramella

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THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE is predicting below average rainfall for the next several months. The Service says it expects rainfall to be 40 percent of normal. The season's first rains this week were light, with a little more than 2 inches for Willits; 1.5 for Fort Bragg; less than an inch in Ukiah and Hopland.

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WITH THE UNEXPLAINED EXCEPTION OF MENDO & LAKE COUNTIES, NorCal's top cops — Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey, Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson, Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones, Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter and Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey — met in Crescent City Friday to discuss the region's dope industry, with a special emphasis of clarifying for the public the strategies law enforcement is presently applying.

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How neatly a cat sleeps,

sleeps with its paws and its posture,

sleeps with its wicked claws,

and with its unfeeling blood,

sleeps with all the rings--

a series of burnt circles--

which have formed the odd geology

of its sand-colored tail.

I should like to sleep like a cat,

with all the fur of time,

with a tongue rough as flint,

with the dry sex of fire;

and after speaking to no one,

stretch myself over the world,

over roofs and landscapes,

with a passionate desire

to hunt the rats in my dreams.

I have seen how the cat asleep

would undulate, how the night

flowed through it like dark water;

and at times, it was going to fall

or possibly plunge into

the bare deserted snowdrifts.

Sometimes it grew so much in sleep

like a tiger's great-grandfather,

and would leap in the darkness over

rooftops, clouds and volcanoes.

Sleep, sleep cat of the night,

with episcopal ceremony

and your stone-carved moustache.

Take care of all our dreams;

control the obscurity

of our slumbering prowess

with your relentless heart

and the great ruff of your tail.

--Pablo Neruda, translated by Alastair Reid

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LIFE IS NOT A SERIES OF GIG LAMPS symmetrically arranged. Life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.

— Virginia Woolf

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EVENING OF MUSIC CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF BRENT RUTHERFORD — Sunday, September 28 - 7:00pm Mendocino Presbyterian Church

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AVHS CLASS REUNION Scheduled - September 2015

Hello AVHS Alumni!

An all-classes reunion for Anderson Valley High is underway once again! Our reunion chairperson for the 2012 reunion, Sheri Mathias Hansen, and myself met over the summer and are coordinating another gathering to be held over the Mendocino County Fair weekend in September 2015. Once the fair weekend dates have been established, we will notify everyone of the exact dates, however, due to the 2012 reunion being so successful (250+ attended), we wanted to give everyone a full year-in-advance notice! If you have any ideas, comments, or would like to volunteer to be a committee member, please let Sheri, Marti Tucker Titus or myself know. And please forward this notice to anyone we might have missed on the list above, as we want to ensure ALL graduates are invited. During our last reunion, a number of you suggested having the next reunion at the high school itself, so that will be definitely be taken into consideration. Let the good times roll!

Jimmy Short -

Marti Tucker Titus -

Sheri Mathias Hansen -

Facebook page for all updates.

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Georgia Louise Summit Graveside services for Georgia Summit of Ukiah was held on Friday, September 26, 2014 at 11 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery in Boonville. Georgia passed away at her home on September 20, 2014 with her family by her side. Born August 23, 1935 in Kingsland, Arkansas she picked cotton as a child and in Boonville she picked apples. She then got a cooking job at the high school and later worked in Ukiah at the Community Hospital as a dietician for 24 years. She was most proud of her family and for going to college and receiving a degree in nutrition. She will be remembered for being caring and sweet and she would do anything for anyone. Georgia is survived by her husband of almost 60 years, Winsellee Summit, daughter Paula Hopper, sister Marie Hobson, grandchildren Dustin Kotterman, Ryan Kotterman, Jerry Hopper and great grandson Austin Kotterman. She was preceded in death by brother William West. Eversole Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

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A Galvanizing Spirit

by David Yearsley

One of the most influential, engaging, far-reaching, and indefatigable musicians of the last half-century, Christopher Hogwood died this week at his home in Cambridge, England, succumbing at the age of seventy-three to the illness he had been battling for several months. He has been rightly lauded in remembrances appearing this week in the wake of his death as a towering figure of early music, the movement that reinvigorated the performance and understanding of historic repertories through engagement with instruments, manuscripts, and treatises stemming from the period when the works were composed. Yet the gifts Hogwood gave — and the music he made — extend far beyond a circumscribed historical period sometimes still known as the baroque. Fascinated by the old, he was a man vigorously engaged with the musical culture of the present.

Born in Nottingham in 1941, Hogwood studied classics at Cambridge as an undergraduate, while also pursuing his musical interests under the guidance of that formidable pioneer of early music scholarship and performance, Thurston Dart. Some years ago Hogwood offered a charming vignette of university life with Dart about:

“When I first arrived in Cambridge in 1960, Thurston Dart was the prime and in those days lone advocate of pursuing both paths [of performance and scholarship]; he was keyboard player, orchestra director, musicologist, editor, writer, teacher and broadcaster — a fine and I thought very tempting mix. He was also blunt in his criticisms; seeing me in the street clutching a newly-purchased copy of the standard edition of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, he stopped me to point out that I had paid for ‘twenty errors on every page!’ He may have been exaggerating, but his proposed cure was most effective: “My dear sir, go to the Museum down the road and look at the real thing.”

The “real thing” was the sumptuous Elizabethan manuscript itself, and Dart’s injunction can be taken as a kind of motto for the musician Hogwood would become: he did his homework, but did not let scholarly rigor shackle his music-making, rendering it merely antiquarian. Hogwood did not have formal academic training in musical scholarship, but was nonetheless one of the most scholarly of conductors and keyboard players; he developed his considerable skills out of necessity, in order to answer the manifest questions that a conscientious performer should pose rather than simply relying on traditions passed down (and distorted) across over generations of interpreters. That sense of critical confrontation is the crucial legacy of the early music movement at whose leading edge Hogwood so long strode.

Among his hundreds of recordings as conductor and soloists is a fine one made twenty years after that pavement encounter with Dart of music from that very Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. On those two LPS (later made available as a CD) Hogwood did indeed correct those mistakes, but more importantly made the dances dance, and the counterpoint sing on each of the instruments he chose—virginal, organ, harpsichord, and spinet. Like so many of Hogwood’s productions, the recording was nominated for a Gramophone award.

While at Cambridge, Hogwood found himself increasingly drawn to music as a possible professional, becoming harpsichordist and resident musicologist for the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and a founding member of David Munrow’s Early Music Consort in the mid 1960s in which he played percussion, harp, and keyboard instruments—that multi-tasking characteristic of an atmosphere Hogwood would later describe as an “inspired circus.”

But it was in 1973 that Hogwood founded the Academy of Ancient Music — or perhaps one would better say revived it, since the name was taken from a predecessor established back in 1726 and even then dedicated to the performance of music at least a century old; Hogwood’s own name and legacy will remain most closely bound up with this group, through innumerable concerts and tours, but also some two hundred recordings made under his direction. The most celebrated and best-selling of all these was the seminal 1980 recording of Handel’s Messiah in which this most famous and oft-performed piece was born anew in gleaming Georgian hues, the magnificent façade scrubbed of the sooty layers of lumbering tempos and heaving choirs. Particularly as he looked back at that project some decades later, Hogwood himself was in no way doctrinaire about this crucial refashioning of Handel’s master famous work, unwilling to pass judgment on those who preferred a chorus of hundreds, rather than a lean corps of men and boys and the glinting baroque instruments he commanded with his baton. The admittedly partisan BBC Music Magazine rightly hailed this Messiah as one of the top fifty recordings of all time.

Among the impressive large-scale projects such as the first complete cycle of Mozart’s forty-one symphonies, an attempt at the hundred and some of Haydn (abandoned by Hogwood’s label L’Oiseau-Lyre after the three-quarter mark), and all of Beethoven’s nine, are dozens and dozens of other projects. But as he pushed back into the seventeenth century and farther into the nineteenth and twentieth, Hogwood remained a classicist, never exaggerated or mannerist in his interpretations, instead cleaving to ideals of clarity and reasoned communication. Some — notably and notoriously Richard Taruskin — unfairly excoriated him for these values. There was always abundant life and light in what Hogwood created.

On Hogwood’s sprawling and hugely informative website one can browse the astounding diversity of his hundreds of recordings; at the top of the web page are the composers he will long be identified with — Bach, Handel, Purcell Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Vivaldi. Others from Albinoni to Zachow crop up on the long list below. But also at the top of the page, among the baroque and classical titans just mentioned is Boruslav Martinu the twentieth-century Czech composer from whose vast oeuvre Hogwood drew two dozens of recordings made from the early 1990s (with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, which Hogwood led from 1988 to 1992) into the first decade of this century with the Czech Philharmonic, an outstanding ensemble with which he also enjoyed a tremendously fruitful collaboration.

Hogwood also led Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society from 1986 to 2001, and was responsible for transforming that storied orchestra into a period instrument group. One of my favorite CDs is the Handel and Haydn Society’s 1990 reading of Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s fetching pastoral Acis and Galatea: the project of listening to Mozart listening to Handel captured much of Hogwood’s own mission of placing himself in a long and crucial line of evolving engagement with music of the past. As the Handel and Haydn Society’s conductor laureate he was due back in Boston to lead a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah this coming spring.

Even while Hogwood was in such great demand as a conductor at leading symphony halls and opera houses around the globe, he had the seemingly inexhaustible energy to pursue his scholarly work, the making of editions and writing of books and articles. His biography of Handel (first published 1988; revised edition of 2007) is a wonderfully written and admirably concise account of the composer’s long musical life, exploring with graceful erudition the rich cultural milieu in which the great man lived and work.

Less easily quantified than his recordings and many honors are connections he forged with younger musicians and scholars, always willing as he was to support and to contribute to their initiatives. Hogwood always seemed more eager to hear your story rather than tell his own.

Hogwood was a great expert on, and advocate for, the music of C. P. E. Bach. Indeed, he was due back next weekend to Cornell University, where he had been appointed as an Andrew Dixon White Professor-at-Large last year, for a festival commemorating this Bach’s tercentenary. We will have to go on without him, even if his galvanizing spirit will animate these many lectures and performances.

Even while Hogwood worked in impressive genres of opera and symphony, he was, like C. P. E. Bach, a great lover of that most intimate of musical instruments the clavichord, for many years running a festival dedicated to it in Magnano in the Piedmont of northern Italy. Hogwood was a tremendous collector of musicalia, visual art, glass, and historical keyboard instruments; in the Cambridge house where he died a few days ago he offered access to his tremendous collection freely to students and colleagues.

Pride of place should be given to the first instrument encountered on his website: a beautifully decorated clavichord made by Johann Adolph Hass in Hamburg in 1761, some six years before C. P. E. Bach became director of music in that city. In Hogwood’s house now, even in his absence, each time that instrument is played—and played well—it will speak with his voice.

(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Bach’s Feet. He can be reached at

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by Valeria Luiselli

Harlem trembles when the Knicks win. If the Yankees are playing, the neighborhood stops. During the season of American football, families camp out in front of their flat-screened, high definition bonfires. Soccer, on the other hand, is a far off mirage from another world. Perhaps on the precarious screens of televisions in the establishments of Latin or African migrants, a game can be seen sometimes. The World Cup, for example, is the rumor of something that’s going to happen one of these days, or perhaps of something that’s already happened, or perhaps might occur this coming year, although it’s not known whether it will take place in Brazil or on the moon -- and no one cares. Few people today realize it, but here in New York City soccer has its past and forms part of the conglomeration of foundational legends that are so cruel and so bloody, that history, which is always written by the winners, has erased, denied, or watered down these legends. One of the first games of soccer on the isle of Manhattan was played with human heads. In the year 1643, the Director General of the West India Company, the Dutchman Willem Kieft, ordered a surprise attack against the Weckquaesgeek Indians, the original inhabitants of the coast of the Hudson River. The attack occurred at midnight, while the tribe was sleeping. They killed the men first, but did not vacillate before the women and children. When the soldiers returned at daybreak, victorious and carrying with them some of the heads of their victims, Kieft organized a game of street soccer — a primitive version of the game, of course. It was played by the wives of the soldiers in front of their children, in front of the old people, in front of other Indians. Perhaps, for that reason, it is just that soccer not be a party; perhaps the natural thing to do would be to ignore it as much as possible.

(Translated by Louis Bedrock)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 27, 2014

Basham, Bettega ,Boggs, Galvez-Ceja
Basham, Bettega ,Boggs, Galvez-Ceja

BRENDA BASHAM, Ukiah. Receipt of stolen property.

JOELLA BETTEGA, Covelo. Driving on invalid license, failure to appear.

JACOB BOGGS, Covelo. DUI, possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia.

JESUS GALVEZ-CEJA, Talmage. Driving on invalid license, false ID to cop.

Knapp, Mellott, Notmeyer, Pinola, Round
Knapp, Mellott, Notmeyer, Pinola, Round

VERNON KNAPP SR., Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

ANDREW MELLOTT, Houston, Texas. Petty theft.

RICHELLE NOTMEYER, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

ANTHONY PINOLA, Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting arrest.

JAMIETH ROUND, Mendocino. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

Thomasson, Walkingelk, Walley, Williams
Thomasson, Walkingelk, Walley, Williams

AMBER THOMASSON, Ukiah. Contempt of court (2x).


JOEL WALLEY, Hopland. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, honey oil production.

ARNOLD WILLIAMS, Fort Bragg. Court order violation with priors.

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Rally outside the Resnick mansion on Oct. 2!

by Dan Bacher

Want to have some fun and challenge corporate agribusiness at the same time? Then attend a "charming luncheon" outside the home of famous (infamous) Delta water diverters, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, hosted by the No on Proposition 1 campaign.


There will be be a rally and press conference at this "Luncheon" with the Koch Brothers of California Water on Thursday, October 2 from 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the home of Stewart and Lynda Resnick — 9481 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Meet on the grassy median on Sunset Blvd. outside their home.

This rally and press conference launches the Los Angeles campaign against Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown's water bond, on the California ballot, and exposes the Resnicks.

"The majority of the water taken from the Delta goes to corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley--the most powerful being Stewart and Lynda Resnick, who own POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios, Halos, Cuties, and popular brands," according to Restore the Delta.

Water Barons Stewart and Lynda Resnick hog California's water to irrigate water-intensive crops grown on toxic soil in the south Central Valley and then export the lion's share to emerging markets like China. They are the most powerful corporate agribusiness pushing to build the BDCP twin tunnels!

Proposition 1 will funnel water to the 1% and do nothing to address our dire drought.

"We could be investing in real solutions to our water crisis, but instead almost 40% of Prop 1 prioritizes more dams (to store water we don't have) and water transfers for greedy corporate agribusiness, like the Resnicks," according to the announcement for the event from Food and Water Watch. "Just what we need, empty dams! We don't have more money or water to waste subsidizing corporate interests!"

Formal wear is encouraged for this luncheon, but not required. This fun action includes lots of fun signage, and refreshments served by Resnick impersonators who are eager to tell you how Prop 1 forces taxpayers like us to bankroll projects that make the Resnicks and their friends even richer.

I urge everybody to join the "charming luncheon" as water bond opponents tell the media: Prop 1 is a blank check for the 1% and the Resnicks!

For more information about the event, go to:

Background: Billionaire 'Environmentalist' Exerts Huge Influence Over Water Policies

Stewart Resnick, the Beverly Hills billionaire owner of Paramount Farms in Kern County, has been instrumental in promoting campaigns to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley Chinook salmon and Delta smelt populations and to build the fish-killing peripheral tunnels.

Lance Williams of the Center for Investigative Reporting in December 2009 succinctly described the powerful agribusiness tycoon as a "one-man environmental wrecking crew.” (

Resnick's influence on California water policies has only increased since then. On April 25, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, exposed in an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle the enormous influence of Stewart Resnick and his wife, Lynda, and the Westlands Water District on the water and fish policies of Governor Jerry Brown and his predecessors. (

“The influence of the Resnicks and their cohorts in the Westlands and Kern water districts has been brought to bear so heavily on the governor's office during the past three administrations that the fix is basically in on building the peripheral tunnels,” she said.

The Resnicks made $270,000 in contributions to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, $350,000 to support Gov. Gray Davis, and $102,000 to Gov. Jerry Brown, according to Barrigan-Parrilla.

“As a result of the political influence of billionaires who receive taxpayer-subsidized water, the state Department of Water Resources functions almost as a subsidiary of the water exporters,” she said.

“The outsize influence of delta water exporters can be seen in the recent 'drought relief' action by state and federal regulators, which undid with the stroke of a pen Endangered Species Act protections for fisheries that were the result of a decade-long legal challenge. In addition to the requirements set in the biological opinions for delta fisheries, there are three sets of water quality standards arrived at through legal processes that already take into account critical dry-year situations. Two sets of water quality standards are being waived as part of drought emergency measures - one set to protect fisheries, another set to protect water quality for delta family farm,” she continued.

“Beyond that, requirements in the court-issued biological opinions to protect fisheries are being waived. Now, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is working with San Joaquin Valley congressional representatives, who have received numerous campaign contributions from Stewart Resnick, on legislation to further weaken already inadequate protections in order to facilitate increased pumping of delta water to southern water users,” said Barrigan Parrilla.

Yet the wealthy agribusinessman and "one man environmental wrecking crew" also wears another hat - "environmental leader." Yes, Resnick serves on the board of directors of Conservation International, a corporate "environmental" NGO noted for its top-down approach to conservation and involvement with corporate greenwashing throughout the world.

Resnick sits on the board with Rob Walton, the Chairman of the board's Executive Committee. Walton, the oldest child of Sam and Helen Walton, is Chairman of the Board of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

It is no surprise that Conservation International was the top recipient of Walton Family Foundation money in 2013, receiving $20,427,136 including $6,080,392 for the Bird’s Head Seascape, $4,345,744 for the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape and $10,000,000 for “Other Environmental Grants.”

"Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity," according to Conservation International's Mission Statement.

However, while serving on the board of Conservation International, Resnick become notorious for buying subsidized Delta water and then selling it back to the public for a big profit as Delta fish and Central Valley salmon populations crashed.

“As the West Coast’s largest estuary plunged to the brink of collapse from 2000 to 2007, state water officials pumped unprecedented amounts of water out of the Delta only to effectively buy some of it back at taxpayer expense for a failed environmental protection plan, a MediaNews investigation has found,” according an article by the late Mike Taugher in the Contra Costa Times on May 23, 2009. (

Taugher said the “environmental water account” set up in 2000 to “improve” the Delta ecosystem spent nearly $200 million mostly to benefit water users while also creating a “cash stream for private landowners and water agencies in the Bakersfield area.”

“No one appears to have benefited more than companies owned or controlled by Stewart Resnick, a Beverly Hills billionaire, philanthropist and major political donor whose companies, including Paramount Farms, own more than 115,000 acres in Kern County,” Taugher stated. “Resnick’s water and farm companies collected about 20 cents of every dollar spent by the program.”

Resnick and his wife, Lynda, own Roll International, a Los Angeles-based holding company that includes both global agricultural operations and well-known brands. The Resnicks' companies include Paramount Citrus, Paramount Farming, and Paramount Farms, the world’s largest growers, processors, and marketers of citrus, almonds, and pistachios.

The couple's holdings also include POM Wonderful, FIJI Water, Teleflora, Suterra, and JUSTIN Vineyard.Dubbed the "POM Queen," Lynda is behind the marketing success of POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice and Wonderful Pistachios.

One of the largest private water brokers in the U.S., Roll International makes millions of dollars in profits off marketing subsidized public water back to the public, confirmed independent journalist Yasha Levine.

“Through a series of subsidiary companies and organizations, Roll International is able to convert California’s water from a public, shared resource into a private asset that can be sold on the market to the highest bidder,” said Levine in “How Limousine Liberals, Water Oligarchs and Even Sean Hannity are Hijacking Our Water” on (,_water_oligarchs_and_even_sean_hannity_are_hijacking_our_water_supply)

More recently, Lois Henry of the Bakersfield Californian revealed how the Resnicks have made a profit selling water from the Kern County Water Bank, through a complicated series of maneuvers, to supply a 2,000 acre development called Gateway Village in Madera County.(

The Resnicks are known for the influence they have exerted over California politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties, including former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and others, through campaign contributions. (

The Resnicks exert their influence over California politics in other ways besides direct contributions to political campaigns. For example, the executives of Paramount Farms have also set up an Astroturf group, the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, that engages in green washing campaigns such as one blaming striped bass, rather than water exports, for salmon and other fish declines.

Restore the Delta, a coalition opposed to the construction of the peripheral tunnels, pointed out that Resnick, who is one of the biggest Delta water diverters, is not suffering during the drought as family farmers, northern California cities and counties and imperiled salmon and steelhead are. In fact, Fortune magazine on January 21, 2014 wrote about Resnick's $100 million five year advertising campaign to market the "Halos" brand mandarins, as well as their $220 million packinghouse to process the crop.

"Halos' owner -- Los Angeles-based company Roll Global, which also makes POM Wonderful pomegranate juice and Fiji Water -- plans to as much as double output in the next five years," the magazine said. "In order to juice demand, the company recently launched a five-year, $100 million ad campaign, $20 million of which will be spent this year on marketing and TV ads already playing across the country. This season the Halos packinghouse will process the country's largest mandarin harvest, tens of millions of boxes of the fruit." (

Stewart Resnick's position on the board of an "environmental" NGO while he and wife promote policies that are devastating fish, rivers, the Delta and California's environment provides a glimpse of the larger picture of corporate greenwashing that occurs with groups that receive grants from the Walton Family Foundation, the organization set up by the family who own Walmart. A complete list of Walton Family Foundation environmental grants is available at:

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