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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Oct 9, 2014

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When Mark Iacuaniello Took The Stand


RETIRED Point Arena School Superintendent Mark Iacuaniello is running for the Fort Bragg City Council. His testimony two years ago when he was sued by former Point Arena Elementary school principal Matt Murray for “fraudulent inducement” is a measure of the man. Iacuaniello had promised Murray when Murray was hired that if entrenched teachers objected to Murray’s disciplined strategies for lifting the chronically underperforming Point Arena elementary school from state probation, Iacuaniello would back Murray as long as test scores improved. Instead, when lazy, marginally competent staff whined to Iacuaniello that Murray was holding them accountable, Iacuaniello went behind Murray’s back to the school board and got Murray fired. (Murray had won statewide praise for lifting a Long Beach elementary school out of the doldrums.)


Dressed in slacks, open collar and a drab brown sweater, Iacuaniello took the stand in his defense and told his own attorney under softball questioning that Murray was not fired. Iacuaniello insisted that Murray’s contract was not renewed. Iacuaniello said that he did not have the authority to hire and fire, only to make recommendations to his rubberstamp School board for hiring and terminating staff.

Murray’s attorney, Lawrence King pointed out that in his earlier deposition Iacuaniello said he was responsible for hiring when asked about the hiring of former elementary principal Cartwright.

Iacuaniello said he didn't recall telling Murray about the telltale principal turnover rate at Point Arena Elementary, and he didn't recall emphasizing the need for stability in that position. Although former principal Dr. Jennifer Hartman apparently told Iacuaniello that she was leaving to take a better job, soon after she left she wrote an article published in the Independent Coast Observer saying that she left because school staff was not cooperating in implementing necessary changes. Dr. Hartman added, “30-40% of the teachers are wonderful but the rest were not on board,” and that “difficult things like this need to be said.”

Iacuaniello said that he was aware that change was being resisted and agreed that teacher complaints should be in writing and signed by a specific person. However, Iacuaniello did not recall how many times teachers had come to him with complaints; he thought it was maybe less than ten times. When asked about the complaints, Iacuaniello said he could not recall the specifics of the complaints. When asked whether or not he had a process for handling complaints, Iacuaniello could not recall other than that they should be in writing. Asked if he had a role in solving the problems the teachers had raised, after a lengthy pause Iacuaniello said, “It depends on the situation and the nature of the concerns.” After another pause, Iacuaniello added, “Maybe my job is just to be there to listen and to be available to the teachers. … I don't feel my role is to solve problems.”

Point Arena was paying this man over a hundred thousand a year!

Iacuaniello said he'd also met with teachers about their concerns with Dr. Hartman but couldn't remember what those concerns were.

Iacuaniello said he “intended” to tell Murray about the concerns, but couldn't remember if he had or not.

“Did you tell him who expressed the concerns?”

“I do not recall all of the visits I had with teachers.”

The only concern Iacuaniello said he could remember was one visit by two elementary school teachers who functioned as union representatives. Iacuaniello asked the union reps to put their concerns in writing and that Murray respond in writing. But he didn't recall whether or not he thought the response was adequate.

Iacuaniello was “not sure” if he did any follow-up with any of the concerns expressed by the teachers who came to him. He also was not sure if he followed up with Murray to see if the teachers had come to Murray as Iacuaniello had asked.

Early in Murray's employment teachers apparently asked Iacuaniello, “How can we support him [Murray]?” Iacuaniello told them to talk directly to Murray. But again there was no follow-up and the $100,000-a-year school superintendent didn't recall whether or not he asked anybody whether they had. “Right now, my mind is blank,” said Iacuaniello. “I'm not sure. I cannot identify any of the teacher complaints. I can't remember what they were. But I know there were some.”

“Did you e-mail or write anything to Mr. Murray about your meetings with the teachers?”

“I don't recall.”

“Were there any documents, any memorandums?”

“I don't recall. I think there may have been one or two documents toward the end of Mr. Murray's employment.”

“Did you think that Mr. Murray did anything inappropriate?”

“There was the failure to listen, failure to empower the teachers, the inability to get them to understand what he was doing, and he was unable to communicate with the teachers because he was busy doing other things, taking notes or being on the phone when they came to talk to him.”

Er, a teacher walks in while you're on the phone and this happenstance is “disempowering?”

“Did you speak to him about this?”

“Yes. I wanted an official record but I don't remember if there was one.”

Iacuaniello could not recall who came to him with concerns or questions. He thought that one teacher had been inappropriately chastised and told Mr. Murray about it, but he could not recall the particulars of that complaint. Apparently there were some concerns about the math evaluations that Murray was having teachers do but none of them were made into formal complaints. Iacuaniello said he didn't recall if there were any follow-ups with the teachers who mentioned that “concern.”

Iacuaniello said he didn't recall what was said during the pre-employment interviews he had with Murray. He remembered thinking that Murray’s experience in Long Beach was good and that he was excited and eager to get him. (So eager, apparently, that he “forgot” to tell Murray that elementary school principals never lasted more than two years in Point Arena.)

“What problems did you expect him to address?”

“I don't recall. I recall feeling very positive about him,” Iacuaniello said.

Iacuaniello “believed” he discussed increasing reading ability and discipline and campus safety, and that he “thought” he told Murray that he wanted the school to have an academic focus and to get out of program improvement status, and that it was “likely” that he mentioned the discipline and budding gang problems. He also said it was also “likely” that he discussed the physical plant problems but couldn't remember specifically which ones.

Iacuaniello said he was “very positive” about hiring Murray but couldn't recall the various discussions Murray cited in his testimony.

“Do you remember the discussion at Denny's [in Fort Bragg prior to Murray being hired]?”

“Yes, but I don't remember what we said. We conversed. We talked a bit. We clarified things. We got to know each other.”

“Did Mr. Murray mention the possibility of his son going to Mendocino Elementary?”

“I don't recall.”

“Do you remember later saying that it would be a bad idea for him to move his child out of the district?”

“I don't recall.”

“Did you anticipate the teacher problems and complaints?”

“I knew some were resisting, a group of them were resisting. But I didn't expect that it would be the problem it became.”

When asked about the nature of an email he sent to Murray, Iacuaniello replied, “I try to be positive. I didn't mention any problems in any of the emails. I did not provide Mr. Murray with deadlines about the evaluation deadlines being due by March 15. No, I don't think so.”

“Do you take any responsibility for the delayed evaluations?”

“I reminded him, but I didn't do any follow-up.”

Iacuaniello said he did not provide Murray with a list of deadlines he expected Murray to meet when Murray was hired. When Murray tried to find out if the evaluations were due on March 1 or March 15, Iacuaniello sent an incoherent email reply to Murray saying “If the [union] contract says it’s the 1st, that [sic] when it has to be!”

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The San Francisco Giants Keep Stirring the Playoff Caldron

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ON SUNDAY, October 5, 2014 at 11:30 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the 9100 block of Colony Drive in Redwood Valley, California after a resident reported a suspicious vehicle in the area. The reporting person said the vehicle was driving slowly on Colony Drive while stopping in driveways and surface roads. Within the past few months there have been documented home invasion robberies in the area and the reporting party was concerned, which prompted the call to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. Upon arrival, Deputies located Brian Skaggs, 34, of Ukiah walking in the area of the 9100 block of Colony Drive. Skaggs was contacted and he showed signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance. After some field tests were administered, Skaggs was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance. Skaggs was searched incident to his arrest and was found to be in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine and a glass pipe used for ingesting methamphetamine. Skaggs was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for Possession of Meth/Etc], Under the Influence of Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphenalia and was to be held in lieu of $10,000 bail.

— Sheriff’s Press Release

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 8, 2014

Anderson, Arriaga, Cencruz, Chavez
Anderson, Arriaga, Cencruz, Chavez

JAMES ANDERSON, Willits. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MARIC ARRIAGA, Ukiah. Court order violation, probation revocation.

MANUEL CENCRUZ, Fort Bragg. Under influence of controlled substance.

RAMON CHAVEZ, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

Cobarrubia, Grebil, Hoaglin, Hulsey
Cobarrubia, Grebil, Hoaglin, Hulsey

RICHIE COBARRUBIA, Point Arena. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, battery with serious injury.

ANDREW GREBIL, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

GARRIE HOAGLIN, Covelo. Parole violation.

SHUDRAH HULSEY, Willits. Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jordan, Knapp, Rathblott, Rivera-Diaz
Jordan, Knapp, Rathblott, Rivera-Diaz

WESLEY JORDAN, McKinleyville. Property defacement, throwing substances at vehicles.

VERNON KNAPP SR., Willits. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

AARON RATHBLOTT, Comptche. Marijuana cultivation, processing, sale, armed with firearm.

JOSE RIVERA-DIAZ, Ukiah. Possession of meth, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

Seifert, Spaggiari, Sullivan, Tomahawk
Seifert, Spaggiari, Sullivan, Tomahawk

MICHAEL SEIFERT, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

DIEGO SPAGGIARI, Willits. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

LEON SULLIVAN, Willits. Pot sale, transportation, furnish, vehicle theft, probation revocation.

CHARLINA TOMAHAWK, Fort Bragg. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

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On Thursday, October 9, traffic on US Highway 101 on the south end of the Willits Bypass Project will be diverted to a long-term detour. In order to tie the detour into the existing highway, one-way traffic control with a pilot car will be in effect from 4AM to 9PM on Thursday only. Motorists should anticipate major traffic delays which could reach one hour or more during peak traffic times, with southbound traffic on US Highway 101 backing up into the northern end of Willits. Motorists are advised to leave early to allow for extra travel time, or to alter their travel plans to avoid this section of highway. This work is being done during the day due to nighttime temperatures which are too cold for paving.

The detour will eventually become the southbound onramp to US Highway 101 from Route 20. Motorists are urged to drive with caution through the detour which contains a curve with a 20 MPH advisory speed. The detour will remain in place until the bypass is completed in summer 2017.

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By James Houle

October 8, 2014 — Perhaps as a result of the Lunar eclipse at 3:30 am, and the appearance of the blood moon, many things have been revealed covering one of the major enigmas of the modern age: namely the Obama Strategy in the Middle East:

First the facts:

  1. The US has "volunteered" to lead a coalition of NATO member vassal states dedicated to preventing the spread of ISIL in Iraq and Syria, while promising to avoid "American boots on the ground".
  2. NATO member Turkey's Parliament has just authorized armed intervention in Iraq and Syria and moved troops and tanks to the border town of Kobani supposedly to rout ISIL militia from the town, but actually to prevent Kurdish forces access through Turkey to recapture Kobani as stand-ins for US boots.
  3. Now President Erdogan has refused to cooperate demanding that the US agree to a war aimed primarily at toppling recently re-elected President Assad of Syria. He also wants the US to establish a no-fly zone in Syria, a tactic Hillary Clinton used so disastrously in Libya to topple Maomar Ghadaffi. "The terror will not be over until there is cooperation for a ground operation" aimed at replacing Assad, he insisted.
  4. While suffering our bootless bombs, ISIL has received only symbolic air strikes. We provided no "close air support" to the Kurdish fighters who are our only stand-ins wearing combat boots. We are pursuing "an Iraq first strategy", a Pentagon spokesman explained.
  5. Amidst this unrolling of our staggering strategy for a peaceful Middle East, Joe Biden has blurted out at a Harvard Q & A that Turkey and the Gulf Vassal States have given Al-Qaeda and ISIL hundreds of millions in weapons and supplies to take down Assad. Unlike those retired generals that advise our major media, Biden does not mince words -- and does not try to differentiate good Islamic rebels from bad.
  6. Turkey's Erdogan has now upped the ante demanding that war be waged simultaneously against (1) Assad of Syria, and (2) ISIL, (3) not strengthen the Kurds in any way, (4) include Washington's commitment to a ground war and (5) establish a no-fly zone in Syria.
  7. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham have joined former Pentagon boss Panetta in demanding US ground troops over there.
  8. If our aim is to stop the encroachment of ISIL into Iraq and Syria, why do we need this no-fly zone when ISIL has no air force? Congress just approved Obama's $500 million request to arm and train moderate militants in Syria and then left on a five week holiday without considering this no-fly question.
  9. Vice President Biden, in his Harvard remarks, failed to differentiate Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, and ISIL from Free Syrian Army rebels we have been training in Jordan and Turkey for over two years. Now they have for the most part joined the ISIL force.

But just what is the American Program? What do we want from the Middle East and how much will we pay for it? While far from consistent nor single minded, the strategy seems as follows:

First: Overthrow President Assad and convert Syria to another US puppet capable serving as a pipeline corridor for oil and gas from Qatar and other Gulf States to Europe and thus reducing dependency upon Russian energy supplies to Europe.

Second: By maintaining control over the major hydrocarbon supplies in the Middle East, assure the continued use of the US dollar as the world's only reserve currency and preventing the oft- predicted demise of the dollar.

Third: Sub-divide the Iraqi State back to its pre-World War One status as three smaller and separate Sunni, Shi'ia and Kurdish entities, which we can more easily control much as the Ottoman Turks once did. Prevent by this means any threat of an Iranian hegemony over Iraq, Syria or southern Lebanon.

Fourth: Defend Israel and prevent any serious threat to their security.

Fifth: Assure that no one can doubt the credibility of United States Power throughout the world.

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At a mingling event Tuesday night, at least one of the Ukiah City Council candidates reported that the red tags prohibiting work at the Palace Hotel had been removed.

However, a quick check of the building Wednesday afternoon revealed that the tags were still on the building at 272 N. State St., and contractor Norm Hudson said he had not heard that they were removed or that removal was imminent.

Hudson reported a couple months ago that he was owed a substantial amount of money for his work by owner Eladia Laines and he was considering stepping aside from the project.

Hudson confirmed Wednesday that he was still involved with the project, though he was trying to take less of an active role than he had previously.

The Ukiah City Council is still mulling whether to allow Laines to keep working toward rehabilitating the building by removing the remaining asbestos and therefore the red tags posted by Cal/OSHA, or to seek the ability to hire a receiver to take over the process.

The council will next discuss the hotel at its Oct. 15 meeting.

— Justine Frederiksen (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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A FEW YEARS AGO, in the AVA, a chronically untalented and feeble-minded contributor equated Amy Goodman with Ann Coulter. I responded with a missive defending Ms. Goodman. The attacker reminded me of the mediocrity who shot Jessie James in the back to achieve a quick, cheap notoriety.

However, Democracy Now has become unlistenable. Ms. Goodman has mutated from a very good investigative journalist to an appalling advocacy journalist — if one can call what she does now “journalism.” Goodman’s world is Manichean, with good guys and bad guys.

The world we live in is complex. One can feel sympathy for the downtrodden of Central and South America, understand that their plight is a result of American foreign policy, and still be opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants or open borders. There are 300 million people now living in the US. Does anyone who lives here want to live in another India? Malthus and Ricardo have not been discredited.

My grandparents had to wait on line. I have no sympathy for the gate-crashers.

I don’t want to live anywhere where the police have been effectively neutered. There are some disheartening cases of police brutality, but we don’t experience anything like the police abuses in Brazil, Mexico, or Pakistan. Listening to DN or reading Vanden Heuvel’s dreadful Nation magazine gives the impression that the police forces in American cities are run by the Ustasã.

The Nation and Democracy Now are too often show places for shills like Alton Maddox, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Al Sharpton, and Jessie Jackson. It’s a disgrace that both dedicated more time and space to the death of that writer of dreadful doggerel, Maya Angelou, than to the life and death of Gabriel García Márquez, one of the most important writers of the twentieth century.

Obama receives too much respect on NPR, Pacifica, and in the Nation. His presidency has been criminal — from his appointments of sinvergüenzas and charlatans like Arnie Duncan, Tim Geithner, Hillary Clinton, and Eric Holder to positions for which they were not qualified, to his bale-out of investment bankers; from his broken promises to make it easier to unionize, or to close Guantanamo, to his extension of the American über Alles foreign policy: he has enriched arms contractors, drug cartels, investment bankers, and venture capitalists, while impoverishing everyone else. And there’s the AHA — Obama Care. The dimensions of this disaster become clearer every day.

Obama is responsible for the deaths of millions of people; he should be tried and hanged. But Amy and Katrina V. blame his disastrous presidency on the bad Republicans.

Pacifica stations have become home shopping channels for health and beauty aids, self improvement CDs and DVDs, and The Sanctified Church. PBS, NPR, NET are all mouthpieces for corporations and the State Department. They are boring and predictable. This is all you need to know about NPR:

Where can one find reliable sources for the news? Nowhere on television or radio. I rely on the AVA, Black Agenda Reports, CounterPunch, Harper’s, FAIR, and occasionally, with sharp critical reading skills, The Russian News, The Guardian, or The Intercept.

When I was younger, I read 1984 and Brave New World. I wonder who was more prescient, Orwell or Huxley? Turns out they both were right.

Louis Bedrock, Roselle, New Jersey

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Attention all Zombie lovers and Halloween enthusiasts. The Active 20-30 Club of Ukiah is happy to announce their second annual Halloween Party Fundraiser. This year it will be October 25th at the Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse, 107 S Oak Street. 8pm-11pm! Ages 21 and up. DJ Xtian will be there playing all the latest hits. There will be Drink Specials, and Costume Contests with cash prizes. Call 707-391-3664 for details. $20 in advance and $25 at the door. All proceeds go to help children in need. Presale tickets available at Insurance Mommy at 101-B North State Street or at Jax 101 South School Street in Ukiah

— Maureen Mulheren, Active 20-30 Club of Ukiah #78
PO Box 631, Ukiah CA 95482. 707-462-6636

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Protesters rally in Palo Alto against desecration of sacred mountain

by Dan Bacher

What do a plan to build a huge telescope on a sacred mountain, Mauna Kea, in Hawaii and a privately funded process to create alleged "marine protected areas" in California have to do with one another?

Answer: both received major funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the foundation that was established by Intel founder Gordon Moore and his wife Betty.

The Moore Foundation is the largest private funder of the Thirty Meter Telescope TMT, a project that will desecrate this sacred mountain. The foundation also funded the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, a controversial process that created a network of alleged "marine protected areas" in California, including "State Marine Reserves" that continue to violate traditional tribal gathering and fishing rights.

The Moore Foundation provided an early investment of $50 million towards designing the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) in 2003. In 2007 they pledged an additional $200 million toward completion of the design phase and partial cost of early construction near the summit of the Maunakea volcano in Hawaii.

Mauna Kea is sacred to the Hawaiian people, who maintain a deep connection and spiritual tradition there that goes back millennia. Native Hawaiian activist and singer Hawane Rios says the Thirty Meter telescope will be 18 stories tall and cover 6 acres of the top of Mauna Kea.

“The TMT is an atrocity the size of Aloha Stadium,” said Kamahana Kealoha, a Hawaiian cultural practitioner and organizer of those who held a successful protest on October 7 at Mauna Kea. “It is like building a sky-scraper on top of the mountain, a place that is being violated in many ways culturally, environmentally and spiritually.” The blocking of the access to the summit by protesters disrupted a planned groundbreaking ceremony, forcing officials to delay the groundbreaking to another time. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation not only funds the Mauna Kea telescope, but dumped $18,086,716, through the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, into the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create questionable "marine protected areas" in California.

In California, activists gathered at a protest in solidarity with native Hawaiians and their allies starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Headquarters in Palo Alto. The local organizers encouraged people to bring signs, instruments, songs and dances to the gathering.

Waimea kumu hula and cultural educator Pua Case, who has participated in many ceremonies and events in California in solidarity with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe's battle against the federal plan to raise Shasta Dam by 18-1/2 feet, led the protest on the Big Island of Hawaii.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "Case’s former student KauÊ»i Peralto, a kumu hula in Antioch and Hawaiian cultural educator at Stanford University, organized today’s protest 'with respect and aloha' at the Moore Foundation, drawing support from members of Santa Cruz Indigenous Solidarity, the (WInnemem) Wintu Tribe of Northern California and those had seen the event advertised on Facebook."

“As much as I’m standing for the mauna (mountain) and all the people, today is personal for me,” Peralto told the Chronicle. “We take our piko to sacred places, so I’m standing for all my family and friends who have piko on that mountain. And when the groundbreaking starts, we don’t know how many will be dug up, because we bury them in secret.”

Defending Mauna Kea against the telescope

Before the protest at Mauna Kea, Kamahana Kealoha said, “We are in solidarity with individuals fighting against this project in U.S. courts, and those taking our struggle for de-occupation to the international courts. Others of us must protest this ground-breaking ceremony and intervene in hopes of stopping a desecration.”

Clarence “Ku” Ching, longtime activist, cultural practitioner, and a member of the Mauna Kea Hui, a group of Hawaiians bringing legal challenges to the TMT project in state court, said, “We will be gathering at Pu’u Huluhulu, at the bottom of the Mauna Kea Access Road, and we will be doing prayers and ceremony for the mountain.”

When asked if he will participate in protests, he said, “We’re on the same side as those who will protest, but my commitment to Mauna Kea is in this way. We are a diverse people…everyone has to do what they know is pono.”

The telescope also poses a number of environmental problems, ranging from aquifer pollution to imperiling endangered species. The principal fresh water aquifer for Hawaii Island is on Mauna Kea, yet there have been mercury spills on the summit and toxins such as Ethylene Glycol and Diesel are used there. Chemicals used to clean telescope mirrors also drain into the septic system, along with half a million gallons a year of human sewage that goes into septic tanks, cesspools and leach fields.

“All of this poisonous activity at the source of our fresh water aquifer is unconscionable, and it threatens the life of the island,” stated Kealoha. “But that’s only part of the story of this mountain’s environmental fragility. It’s also home to endangered species, such as the palila bird, which is endangered in part because of the damage to its critical habitat, which includes the mamane tree.”

Legal expert: "Show us the title!"

Mauna Kea is designated as part of the Crown and Government lands of the Hawaiian Kingdom, according to legal experts.

Professor Williamson Chang, from the University of Hawaii’s Richardson School of Law, said, “The United States bases its claim to the Crown and Government land of the Hawaiian Kingdom on the 1898 Joint Resolution of Congress, but that resolution has no power to convey the lands of Hawaii to the U.S. It’s as if I wrote a deed saying you give your house to me and I accepted it. Nobody gave the land to the U.S., they just seized it.”

“Show us the title,” said Kealoha. “If the so-called ‘Treaty of Annexation’ exists, that would be proof that Hawaiian Kingdom citizens gave up sovereignty and agreed to be part of the United States 121 years ago. But we know that no such document exists. The so- called ‘state’ does not have jurisdiction over Mauna Kea or any other land in Hawaii that it illegally leases out to multi-national interests.”

“I agree with how George Helm felt about Kahoolawe,” said Kealoha. “He wrote in his journal: ‘My veins are carrying the blood of a people who understood the sacredness of land and water. Their culture is my culture. No matter how remote the past is it does not make my culture extinct. Now I cannot continue to see the arrogance of the white man who maintains his science and rationality at the expense of my cultural instincts. They will not prostitute my soul.’”

“We are calling on everyone, Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike, to stand with us, to protect Mauna Kea the way George and others protected Kahoolawe. I ask myself every day, what would George Helm do? Because we need to find the courage he had and stop the destruction of Mauna Kea," he emphasized.

Moore Foundation spent over $18 million on MLPA Initiative

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation contributed $18,086,716, through the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, to the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative in California from 2004 to 2012. The foundation gave the first grant of $2,714,946 to fund the MLPA process in 2004. The foundation then contributed $3,305,628 for Phase 2 of the MLPA Initiative Phase in May 2007, $7,066,142 for Phase 3 in July 2008, and $5,000,000 for Phase 4 in February 2012.

In one of the biggest conflicts of interest in California environmental history, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), chaired the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force that created so- called "marine protected areas" in Southern California.

These alleged "Yosemites of the Sea" fail to the protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

In spite of claims by MLPA Initiative advocates that the Initiative "protects" tribal rights, the State Marine Reserves created under the process in fact attempt to ban members of the Yurok Tribe and other North Coast Tribes from fishing and gathering in their traditional gathering areas.

“Whether it is their intention or not, what the Marine Life Protection Act does to tribes is it systematically decimates our ability to be who we are,” said Frankie Joe Myers, Coastal Justice Coalition organizer and Yurok Tribe member, on the day of a peaceful direct action takeover by over 300 members of 50 Indian Nations and their allies at a MLPA Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force meeting in Fort Bragg in July 2010. “That is the definition of cultural genocide.”

More recently, in the 2014 election edition of the Yurok Today newsletter, Yurok Tribe Vice Chairperson Susan Masten said:

"The State of California is beginning to implement the so-called Marine Life Protection Act. From the very start, the Tribe has not supported this initiative because it does not recognize the Tribe’s inherent hunting and gathering rights. Also, the Act lacked the sophistication required to properly steward the diverse ecosystems on the Yurok coastline.

Since time immemorial, the Yurok Tribe has practiced a highly effective method of marine resource management, which has ensured an abundance of sea life to sustain our people. The Creator gave us the right to properly harvest marine resources in the coastal areas within Yurok Ancestral Territory. With this right, comes a great duty to protect and conserve these resources. To that end, we are developing our own marine life management program, based on our traditional knowledge of ocean ecosystems as well as western science."

MLPA Initiative officials also failed to appoint any Tribal scientists to the MLPA "Science Advisory Team" for the North Coast. At the same time the Co-Chair of the "Science Advisory Team," Ron LeValley, was sentenced this May by a federal judge to 10 months in federal prison for conspiracy to embezzle $900,000 from the Yurok Tribe.

The same Ron LeValley and his cohorts on the "Science Advisory Team" rejected any studies by Yurok Tribe scientists that challenged the terminally flawed and incomplete "science" that the MLPA Initiative was based upon.

For more information on the Moore Foundation's funding of the MLPA Initiative, go to:

To read about the MLPA Initiative's Inconvenient Truths, go to:

Who Is Financing The Thirty-Meter Telescope?:

Multi-national funding for the 1.4 billion dollar project is being provided by: -The Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation of Palo Alto, California -National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan -The National Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences -The California Institute of Technology -The University of California -The Indian Institute for Astrophysics -Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA) -University of Hawaii List of TMT financial sponsors:


  1. John Sakowicz October 9, 2014

    Good to see you back in print, Jim Houle. I’ve missed you, brother.

  2. Michael Slaughter October 9, 2014

    Discredit the heinous Rev. Malthus? No need–he’s always been utterly, entirely wrong. People geometrically outstrip food production? Nonsense.

    Further, it was his notion that the poor should just get the hell out of the way and die off–the younger, the better. Our current crop of Repugs from Mars have simply stolen his Christian ideals.

  3. Betsy Cawn October 9, 2014

    Huzzah to Louis Bedrock! Our “Lake County Community Radio” station (KPFZ 88.1 FM) has become a cornucopia of crap including the deified Democracy Now and other “spiritpreneurship” non-programming, and its board of directors have promulgated campaign offenses such as promoting the husband of a board member who is running for Supervisorial office here. The cozy relationship between the board member and the county government includes her position as Planning Commissioner for the very district her husband hopes to “serve.” The supervisor he will replace sells self-promotional web-based marketing services to the panoply of “wellness” advocates (selling soaps, spiritual enlightenment or “healing” services and government propaganda to adherents derived from the Potluck Party — frivolous outcasts of the dithering so-called Democrats here).

    Similarly, our Sierra Club members take every opportunity to thwart real environmental progress toward protecting Clear Lake, objecting to protection of a priceless slough access point because it would “inconvenience the duck hunters.” Huh? Orwell’s probably rolling over in his grave!

    Thank the invisible power that doesn’t exist, or thank Bruce Anderson (I do), for the AVA.

    Betsy Cawn | The Essential Public Information Center, Upper Lake, CA

  4. mendoblather October 9, 2014

    Re: Iacuaniello

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