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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015

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ONE OF THE FISHERMEN who died in that Bodega Bay boating accident last weekend was Richard Hargreaves Jr., 59. Richard Hargreaves Sr. spent many years as a union rep at the Fort Bragg mill. A very nice man of 84 years, Richard Sr. lived in Willits before moving to Redding. His wife of many years died last month. It's a great life if you don't weaken.

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THE ADVISORY RESOLUTION to rein in hack and squirt, the timber management practice that chemically kills non-commercial trees but leaves them standing until they crumble onto the forest floor, went down to defeat 3-2 at Tuesday's meeting of the Supervisors. A large crowd split between people who wanted the weak and vague advisory to pass and those who demanded a stronger measure to stop the practice overflowed the Supe's chambers. Firefighters argued that the many thousands of dead trees on the vast holdings of the Mendocino Redwood Company particularly presented a fire hazard to the many people living nearby in places like Comptche and Albion. Supervisors Gjerde and Hamburg voted for the resolution, Supervisors Brown, McCowen and Woodhouse against. We will post a much more detailed report in tonight's County news wrap-up.

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FORT BRAGG POLICE DEPARTMENT LT. JOHN NAULTY TO RETIRE

Scott Mayberry & John Naulty
Scott Mayberry & John Naulty

Fort Bragg Police Department Lt. John Naulty, who was involved in subduing an Oregon gunman who killed Mendocino County sheriff’s Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino last year in Cleone, announced his retirement Monday after 35 years in law enforcement, according to a statement from the city of Fort Bragg.

Naulty had been the department’s second-in-command since November 2011.

He was the first officer on the scene in the March 2014 incident, and earlier this year received the Officer of the Year Award from the California Robbery Investigators Association, along with Del Fiorentino, which was posthumous, and MCSO Lt. Greg Stefani, Fort Bragg’s statement said.

Naulty also won a statewide competition hosted by Toyota/Save Mart for “Hometown Heroes” for his bravery when confronting the fugitive.

Fort Bragg Rotary honored him with the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, and Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman has invited the Naulty and Del Fiorentino families to join members of the Sheriff’s Office on a trip to Washington, D.C. for National Police Week where Del Fiorentino will be honored posthumously.

“I would like to thank the community for their support of me and my family during this past year, as well as their support throughout my career in law enforcement,” Naulty stated. “I have always taken pride in giving my best in every aspect of police work, and I’ve strived to teach others in law enforcement to realize that we work for the people, for the community.”

Naulty began his law enforcement career in 1980 when he was hired as a reserve officer by the city of Fort Bragg. After graduating from the police academy the following year, Naulty became a police officer with the city’s police department, according to the statement.

Over the next two decades, he held a variety of positions within the department and rose up through the ranks. He was the first Fort Bragg officer assigned to the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, and he had been named the Fort Bragg Police Department Narcotics Officer of the Year, the city’s statement said.

In 1996, the city said Naulty was promoted to the rank of sergeant, where he supervised patrol and managed the department’s field training officers, firearms and K-9 programs.

In 2002, Naulty moved to Brentwood in Contra Costa County, where he joined the Brentwood Police Department as a corporal, the city stated. While in Brentwood, Naulty completed Supervisory Leadership Training and obtained his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Management.

He then returned to the Fort Bragg Police Department in 2011, to serve as its lieutenant – an administrative position that allowed him to mentor patrol staff and to work on updating procedures and practices in the department, the city said.

(City of Fort Bragg Press Release; Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

LOOKS TO US like Naulty was pushed, not that he jumped. We know he was one of four finalists for Fort Bragg Police Chief, but the job went to a double dipper from LA, a guy with a dubious history of sleeping with commies to spy on them for the LAPD's wacky yesteryear red squad. Fort Bragg's opaque leadership now has their own guy as Chief, having eased former Chief Mayberry over the hill to a job with the Mendocino County DA. Leave it to the libs to get the shiv in to the back of a guy who, by all rights and knowledge of the community, Naulty, should have gotten the job.

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2.2 MAGNITUDE quake this morning at 4:33 about 12 miles northwest of Boonville at a depth of 3.1 miles deep. 12 miles northwest of Boonville is, ah, Hop Flat?

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 21, 2015

Bartolomei, Bettencourt, Contreras, Cruz
Bartolomei, Bettencourt, Contreras, Cruz

DENISE BARTOLOMEI, Willits. Possession of meth for sale.

CURTIS BETTENCOURT, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

ERASMO CONTRERAS, San Jose/Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance, ex-felon with firearm.

JULIAN CRUZ, San Jose/Ukiah. Loaded firearm in public, on person or in car.

Donahe, Haas, Ikeler, Jones
Donahe, Haas, Ikeler, Jones

MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

BRENT HAAS, Ukiah. Domestic battery, under influence of controlled substance, resisting arrest.

ALFRED IKELER, Honolulu/Ukiah. DUI-drugs.

VINCENT JONES, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia, under influence of controlled substance.

Knight, Kooyers, Lanzit, Morris
Knight, Kooyers, Lanzit, Morris

CRYSTAL KNIGHT, Hopland. Robbery, probation revocation.

ERIC KOOYERS, Willits. Vehicle theft, possession of meth, more than an ounce of pot, drug paraphernalia, suspended license, probation revocation.

NICHOLAS LANZIT, Willits. Domestic assault, court order violation.

DENA MORRIS, Redwood Valley. Trespassing.

Stout, Wright, Yanez
Stout, Wright, Yanez

JACOB STOUT, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

XOCHE WRIGHT, Ukiah. Failure to appear/pay.

SIDNEY YANEZ, Fort Bragg. Court order violation.

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ON APRIL 19, 2015 at approximately 1:00 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were on routine patrol on Highway 1, just south of the town of Fort Bragg, California. Sheriff’s Deputies observed a small animal moving slowly in the roadway and stopped to render aid. Due to the darkness and the dense fog the animal was very difficult to see and would have certainly been struck by a vehicle if the deputies had not stopped. Deputies discovered the small animal was a California Sea Lion pup about thirty inches in length, weighing approximately 20 pounds and had walked about a quarter mile from the ocean. The sea lion pup had an orange tag attached to its front flipper and was extremely friendly with the deputies, rubbing against their legs for attention. Sheriff’s Deputies contacted the Marine Mammal Center, which is based out of Sausalito, California. The Marine Mammal Center identified the sea lion pup from the flipper tag and stated that it had been released from their rehabilitation center, where it learned to interact with people. Based on the information provided by the Sheriff’s Deputies, the Marine Mammal Center staff determined the sea lion pups health had remained stable since its release and it was not in any type of distress. At the direction of the Marine Mammal Center, the Sheriff's Deputies were asked to assist the sea lion pup back to the ocean. The sea lion pup was grateful to receive a ride from the Sheriff’s Deputies and climbed into the rear of the patrol vehicle. The sea lion pup was transported by the Sheriff’s Deputies and successfully released back to its natural habitat. To report an injured or distressed marine mammal, the Marine Mammal Center can be contacted 24/7 at (415) 289-SEAL.

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PALACE HAIKU

Out of crumbled bricks

They tried to rebuild an era

Sadly, lost forever.

(— Emjay Wilson)

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WASTE NOT WANT NOT!

BELOW is the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors letter asking the State Water Board to shut off the water and save what we can. Everyone should support this action! TURN OFF THE WATER AT LAKE MENDOCINO. — Lee Howard

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THE DRAFT LETTER:

Ms. Felicia Marcus,
Chair California State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 100, Sacramento, CA 95812-0100

RE: Drought Emergency Action for Lake Mendocino

Dear Chair Marcus,

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, which also serves as the Mendocino County Water Agency Board of Directors, is deeply concerned that Lake Mendocino will be de-watered by Fall this year. The large amount of water being released is a result of the lake being operated under a “normal year” criteria, per SWRCB Decision 1610, even though we are in a third year of drought.

Aspects of the D-1610 criteria are outdated and are no longer applicable to Lake Mendocino’s water budget. In particular, the “water year” criteria for Lake Mendocino is determined by inflow into Lake Pillsbury. Historically these two reservoirs were strongly linked, but subsequent changes to the operation of Lake Pillsbury have greatly decreased the amount of water that is exchanged between the two reservoirs. Due to the obsolete criteria, our lake is being operated under a “normal year” criteria, even during a time of drought and in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and 2008 Biological Opinion (BO) on the Russian River.

This situation has resulted in number of prior temporary urgency change petitions being filed with California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) since the lakes were de-coupled in 2006. Sonoma County Water Agency (primary water right holder) is reluctant to file for another change petition due to the high costs levied by the SWRCB.

If the SWRCB applies Directive 26 of the Governor's Executive Order B-29-15 to reclassify our water year to a more appropriate "dry" water year criteria under the existing D-1610 it would save up to 200 acre feet (AF) a day. The resulting savings would add up to over 40,000 AF over the remainder of the water year and make releases compliant with the ESA and the BO.

With the historic drought we are experiencing today, we are asking for the SWRCB’s intervention with respect to the present water releases under your oversight and control. We base our request on the new emergency drought regulations issued by Governor Brown in Executive Order B-29-15. Mendocino County is asking for your immediate action on this critical matter.

Sincerely, Varre Brown, Chair Mendocino County Board of Supervisors

cc: Carmel J. Angelo, Mendocino County Water Agency General Manager

Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District

Sonoma County Water Agency Board of Directors

Grant Davis, Sonoma County Water Agency General Manager

Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission

The Honorable Mike McGuire, Senator

The Honorable Jim Wood, Assemblymember

US Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District

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VISIT THE CRYSTALLINE POINT, Facebook page and "Like" us, "Post" us, let us know you're attending, and "Invite" others to help make this project kick-off event as successful as possible!

DenverTuttleEventCome on out for the 29th! I will also present past works (paintings and drawings), there will be food and drinks...and, come enjoy an evening performance by the (incomparably entertaining!) Ukeholics and the Tiny Orchestra of Boonville, CA!

This is going to be an amazing event! I want to thank the hard working folks on the team, those at Aquarelle, and all who are offering donated items.

My name is Denver Tuttle and I approve this message.

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MOTHER'S DAY CARDS FROM THE CANCER RESOURCE CENTERS

The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County is a grassroots organization serving our communities since 1995, providing information, advocacy, and support services free of charge.

Our mission is to improve the quality of life for those in Mendocino County faced with cancer.

Our vision is that no one in Mendocino County will face cancer alone.

This Mother's Day, give the gift of goodwill.

The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County offers a wonderful way to honor your mother, a person you admire, or any woman in your life with whom you'd like to share your love.

For a donation of $25, CRCMC will send a card designed by Mendocino Coast Artist, Rachel Lahn, to someone special who you'd like to acknowledge. Inside the card will be the message: "Your loving kindness has inspired a Mother's Day donation to the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County. You are loved and appreciated!"

Your purchase of this heartfelt gift shows support for CRCMC in its vision that no one in Mendocino County face cancer alone. Your gift helps ensure that support services continue to be provided free of charge to those in Mendocino County faced with cancer.

Mother's Day cards will be available to order until May 5th.

To order yours today, follow is link: http://cts.vresp.com/c/?CancerResourceCenter/44383c20eb/bed003319f/10f43d8be0

To donate: http://cts.vresp.com/c/?CancerResourceCenter/44383c20eb/bed003319f/b72238fce4

Our website: http://cts.vresp.com/c/?CancerResourceCenter/44383c20eb/bed003319f/2989fd6bba

Contact us: info@crcmendocino.org

Our Coast Office
Monday - Friday, 9AM - 5PM
P.O. Box 50 45040 Calpella St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-3833
fax (707) 313-0013

Our Inland Office
Monday - Friday, 9AM - 5PM
590 S. Dora St.
Ukiah, CA 95482
(707) 467-3828
fax (707) 276-1001

The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County has a non-profit 501(c)3 status with Tax I.D. #68-0357416.

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

I just returned from a trip to China. Flying over China is very different from flying over the US. In rural China, people live in little villages a couple miles apart, surrounded by their farm fields. They walk to work and walk home again at night. It’s all right there. Labor is dirt cheap (literally), but energy and technology are comparatively expensive. By contrast, flying over America, one sees unproductive “communities” that sprawl for miles, requiring very costly upkeep and taking over land that could be used for food. One realizes that in America, labor is very expensive, energy is comparatively dirt cheap, and technology is cheaper than labor.

What we’ve got in America is the logical outcome of a system of finance capitalism in which debt at interest is money. That requires infinite inputs of money, energy, resources, and markets. Of those 4, only money can be made infinite on a finite planet, and that only by making it abstract. As energy, resources and markets become more difficult or expensive to come by, the amount of money has to increase, to keep the same result, as in an equation A x B x C x D = X. If B, C and/or D decrease, A has to increase to keep us getting X.

The effects of increasing A (money, which is actually debt) are all around us. America has had to export wage-earning jobs to get the cost of manufactured goods low enough that people can afford them while providing the desired level of profit. Rather than raising the prices to provide gains to employees, manufacturers chose the race to the bottom to keep the profits while reducing the cost of manufacturing. Eventually, of course, nobody can afford the goods at any price.

But since debt is money, “wealth” can still be accumulated by negative terms, by imposing more and more debt on an increasingly insolvent citizenry, who used to have jobs making things, which allowed them a net-positive net worth. Now as finance capitalism reaches its logical conclusion, a positive net worth is actually a negative to the overall economy. Infinite debt is worth more to the Elites than a small or zero net worth.

Hillary and the rest are very intelligent and educated people, but are products of and worshippers of hierarchical authority systems. They come up with the logic and answers that they think will please authority figures. They literally cannot conceive of a system that is not like the current system. To do so would be to nullify everything they have believed and worked so hard to achieve. What is Hillary Clinton, or Jeb Bush, or any of these freaks, outside a finance capital system based on debt at interest as money? What can any of these people do? Nothing.

Anytime people get too far into esoterica, eventually somebody says, “This is all bullshit.” At that point the bull session is over. In the current situation, too many of us have gone along for far too long and are so completely invested that it’s really hard to call BS on it and lose everything. But the amount of debt that has been created is at the point of saturation. Too many of us will never pay our debts, public or private. The liquidation of our estates won’t cover it. The losses cannot be put off forever, though that seems to be the current plan.

Since this is an abstract system, we can just change the rules to prolong the pretense. We can do that forever, or just until a critical mass of people opt out, or until one of the inputs becomes unavailable (money, energy, resources, markets). Right now we’re seeing disruption in energy due to finance, not availability. A crisis in availability is coming, but only due to financial reasons. When the lack of abstract money keeps a society from taking useful, concrete measures, the cart is in front of the horse and collapse is inevitable in one form or another.

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BILLIONAIRE STEWART RESNICK EXPANDS ALMOND ACREAGE AS CITIES FORCED TO SLASH WATER USE

by Dan Bacher

A coalition of environmentalists on April 20 blasted Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick and other corporate agribusiness interests for continuing to plant thousands of acres of new almond trees during the drought while Governor Jerry Brown is mandating that urban families slash water usage by 25 percent.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. Executive Director of Restore the Delta, said Resnick, the owner of Paramount Farms in Kern County, uses as much water for his almonds as the amount of water 38 million Californians are now required to conserve.

“While farmers make their own decisions on what to plant, the public is paying the price for poor decisions made by greedy mega-growers, who plant permanent crops where there is no water,” Barrigan-Parrilla told reporters in a news conference  about the “tunnels only” version of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) that Governor Jerry Brown is now pushing. “That is not sustainable and the tunnels would subsidize unsustainable agriculture.”

You can listen to the audio of the conference at: https://soundcloud.com/stopthewatergrab/tunnels-only-bdcp-gov-ignores-co-equal-goals-epa-fisheries

At this year’s annual pistachio conference hosted by Paramount Farms, Resnick revealed his current efforts to expand pistachio, almond and walnut acreage during a record drought.

“Talking about the successes in recent years, Andy Anzaldo, vice president of grower relations for Wonderful Pistachios, played a clip from the movie ‘Jerry McGuire” in which Tom Cruise shouts, 'Show me the money,’” according to the Western Farm Press. (http://westernfarmpress.com/tree-nuts/paramount-farms-touts-record-pistachio-return-future?)

Resnicks“Resnick then did that. He said the average net return per acre on three nut crops was $3,519 for pistachios, $1,431 for almonds and $884 for walnuts," the publication reported.

During the event Resnick also bragged about the increase in pistachio acreage over the past 10 years, 118 percent - even more than the 47 percent increase for almonds and 30 percent increase for walnuts.

Rsesnick and Anzaldo also told the Western Farm Press that their 2020 goal is “150,000 partner acres ” and “33,000 Paramount acres.”

A Wall Street bank that is too big to fail?

"It appears that Stewart Resnick is making Paramount Farms into a Wall Street bank that is too big to fail," quipped Barrigan-Parrilla.

Other sources confirm the expansion of almond acreage in California. During the current drought, almond acreage has expanded by 70,000 acres, a total of 280,000 acre feet per year of new water demand, according to the "On the Public Record" blog (http://onthepublicrecord.org).

"I have marked the almond acreage at the beginning and end of the 2006-2009 drought (700,000 acres at the beginning, 810,000 acres at the end). At the beginning of our current drought, almond acreage was 870,000 acres. In 2013, after two years of drought, it was up to 940,000 acres," the blogger stated.

“Let’s make this all explicit," the blogger said. "Since this drought began, almonds have expanded by 70,000 acres That’s 280,000 acft/year of new water demand for a snack that will be exported. That water will come from groundwater or from other farmers. At the same time, the California EPA is literally telling urban users to take five minute cold showers." 

“One the Public Record” said the 2014 California Almond Acreage Report will come out at the end of April. It will be interesting to see what the numbers will be when they are released.

Resnick and his wife, Lynda, have 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. They have become known as the "Koch Brothers of California Water" for the many thousands of dollars they contribute to candidates and propositions in California every year.

For example, Stewart Resnick contributed $150,000 to Jerry Brown's Proposition 1 water grab in the 2014 election (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/09/1335459/-Corporate-Agribusiness-dumps-850-000-into-Proposition-1)

Lance Williams of the Center for Investigative Reporting in December 2009 accurately described the powerful agribusiness tycoon as a "one-man environmental wrecking crew.” (http://www.alternet.org/story/144427/meet_stewart_resnick%2C_corporate_farming_billionaire_and_one-man_environmental_wrecking_crew)

While serving on the board of Conservation International, a corporate "environmental" NGO, 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. To read the complete story about the Resnicks to: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/28/18762178.php

Brown's plan violates plan's statutory goals and end runs the EPA

During the press conference, Restore the Delta (RTD) and other opponents of Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build "massive underground water export tunnels" reported that Brown’s abandonment of habitat restoration in his BDCP tunnels project “violates the statutory ‘co-equal goals’, end-runs the EPA and other federal scientists who refused to issue permits for the project, and makes the tunnels project a simple water grab for industrial mega-growers."

“You cannot have successful habitat or restore fisheries while draining the Delta of its water,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “The governor has now abandoned that as a co-equal goal of building the tunnels. BDCP is now a naked ‘tunnels-only’ water grab for the unsustainable mega-farms in Westlands and Kern.”

Richard Stapler, Bay Delta Conservation Plan spokesman, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the new plan will use $17 billion from state water contractors just to build and operate the tunnels. "That would allow habitat restoration work on the delta and surrounding waterways to begin immediately regardless of what happens with the tunnel project," according to the Chronicle (http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Activists-decry-plan-to-cut-habitat-aid-from-6212404.php)

“The status quo in the delta is unsustainable,” Stapler said. “By decoupling habitat from the tunnel portion, we can get started immediately with the habitat restoration.”

However, Chelsea Tu, staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, wasn't impressed - and slammed this new plan as "a giant step backward."

"If it goes through, this massive project’s boosters will be able to build these tunnels without having to do anything to protect our wildlife and waters — and will neatly sidestep input from the public. This backdoor process will waste more taxpayer money and kill more Delta species like endangered salmon and smelt," said Tu.

She said the new plan would be subject to review only under Section 7 of the federal Endangered Species Act, a "bare minimum" approach that could only require federal wildlife agencies to determine whether it will harm 21 fish and wildlife species, such as Delta smelt and winter and spring-run Chinook salmon, that are listed or proposed to be listed under the Act.

Under the previous approach, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan planned to protect 57 imperiled fish and wildlife species, including longfin smelt, fall Chinook salmon and the greater sandhill crane. A Section 7 consultation would only take place among federal agencies and would likely not contain mandatory mitigation requirements or a public participation process, according to Tu.

“As drought becomes the new normal, California cannot afford to continue to lose Delta species that are already on the brink of extinction,” added Tu. “Instead of spending $25 billion to take more water from the Delta to fuel speculative sprawl and export agribusinesses, California should invest money in proven water conservation, efficiency, reuse and recycling strategies for both cities and farms.”

Bait and switch - without the bait

Jonas Minton, water policy advisory for the Planning & Conservation League, said the state must change how the public’s water is used - and pointed out the absurdity of mega-growers expanding almond acreage during the drought.

"While urban families are being required to cut water use by 25%, billionaire Stewart Resnick and others continue to plant thousands of acres of new almond trees during the drought," he stated."After wasting $250 million on failed public relations, they have mutated this into something even worse for water users, taxpayers and environment.”

Minton noted that state officials have provided no details on how the restoration, proposed on a parallel track to the construction of the tunnels, will be funded .

"Where the Governor thinks those dollars will come from is a mystery. So this is bait and switch, without the bait," Minton said.

Conner Everts, executive director of the Southern California Watershed Alliance, concluded that the failure of the BDCP to meet our water challenges or conservation goals  means we must abandon the tunnels and "invest in conservation opportunities.”

“Local water solutions are the most cost effective and responsive solution to our water challenges, and that is where we should invest, instead of in tunnels that produce no new water,” said Everts. “Despite passing a large water bond, there is little available funding specifically targeted for conservation: just $250 million out of $7.545 billion from bond measures and $1.1 billion from the Legislature. Conservation funds will have to be allocated locally, and through state and federal resources.”

He emphasized that "funding should not be diverted for tunnels. There is not money for local infrastructure, and it is well known that trunk and main water lines must be repaired. We are losing 10% of our treated drinking water to leaking pipes. We can’t afford to sink billions into tunnels. Instead, we must invest in conservation, repairing our infrastructure, and becoming drought-proof.”

Public Record Act requests reveal state is circumventing contracting rules

The tunnels opponents also released new information from Public Records Act requests showing that the State of California is "circumventing the contracting rules" for state projects and violating the statute enacted so the water takers themselves control design, construction and financing of the tunnels.

“Huge water-takers are manipulating the process with the cooperation of the Brown Administration so they can grab front row seats to deliver that water to themselves,” added  Barrigan-Parrilla. “Prior to even having draft environmental documents for the public to review, the Californian Department of Water Resources (DWR) is poised to sign a ‘secret’ contract enabling a small, select group of water-takers unprecedented control and access out of the public eye, and circumventing state contracting and competitive bidding processes designed to protect ratepayers and taxpayers.”

Documentation that the process is rigged and unjustly manipulated by state officials and water contractors was revealed last year when I exposed a memorandum sent to Department of Water Resources (DWR) staff from DWR Director Mark Cowin indicating that the Brown administration was stepping up its efforts to fast-track the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels. (https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/05/11/18755646.php)

In the memo, Cowin said two new organizations would be established within the agency to implement the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan - a DWR BDCP Office and the Delta Conveyance Facilities Design and Construction Enterprise (DCE) - beginning June 1, 2014.

In the latest development in this process, the State Water Project contractors are trying to circumvent contracting and competitive bidding procedures to control who is in charge, while using DWR’s imprint of a public project. This secret planning process sets up moving forward with a project that has not been approved or permitted by circumventing codes and laws regarding contracting, according to Restore the Delta.

"This complex process is designed to take decision-making away from DWR scientists who oppose the project, and the Legislature, and give it to a select group of special interests that want to operate a public water project for their benefit," Barrigan-Parrilla concluded.

For more information, go to: http://restorethedelta.org/

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THE CONFERENCE ON THE ISRAEL LOBBY

Press Blackout at the Press Club

by Ralph Nader

Following the heavy coverage of AIPAC’s (American-Israeli Political Action Committee, the virulently pro-Israeli government lobby) multi-day annual Washington convention in March, the mainstream media might have been interested for once in covering alternative viewpoints like those discussed at the April 10th conference “The Israel Lobby: Is it Good for the US? Is it Good for Israel?” (Israellobbyus.org). Fairness and balance in reporting should produce at least some coverage of such an event.

Organized by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, which was launched about 30 years ago by a British Army Officer who served in World War II and two retired U.S. Ambassadors to countries in the Middle East (wrmea.org), the day-long program at the prestigious National Press Club should have been intriguing to reporters. After all, are they not interested in important, taboo-challenging presentations on a critical dimension of U.S. foreign and military policy?

The presenters were much more newsworthy than most of the speakers at the AIPAC convention who redundantly restated the predictable AIPAC line. “The Israel Lobby: Is it Good for the US? Is it Good for Israel?” had presenters ranging from the courageous, principled columnist, Gideon Levy of Israel’s best and most serious newspaper, Haaretz; Princeton Professor emeritus of international law and the former UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinian territories, Richard Falk; former members of Congress, Paul Findley (R-IL) and Nick Rahall (D-WV); author and an Israeli general’s son, Miko Peled; Dr. Jack Shaheen, the award-winning author documenting stereotypes of Arabs and Arab-Americans in Hollywood and the U.S. media; and even a former AIPAC supporter M. J. Rosenberg (mjrosenberg.net) who witnessed the power of AIPAC money as both a congressional staffer and later an AIPAC senior staffer in the nineteen eighties.

Gideon Levy, the dean of Israeli Journalists, who knows first-hand the situation on the ground in Israel and occupied Palestine, referred to Israel’s intensely intrusive pressure on the U.S. during Iranian nuclear negotiations. He offered the phrase: “United States of Israel,” and said, “many times when someone looks at the relations between Israel and the United States, one might ask, who is really the superpower between the two?”

Mr. Levy described Israel as a society that “lives in denial, totally disconnected from reality” that “lost connection with the reality in its backyard, it totally lost connection with the international environment.”

The veteran journalist stunned the packed audience when he said that “the two state solution is dead.” With the Israeli occupation going “deeper and deeper,” he pointed to the “systematic dehumanization of the Palestinians,” Israelis presenting themselves as occupying victims and the belief by many Israelis that they “are the chosen people” and “have the right to do what we want,” as the basis for the occupation.

The serious, continuing breaches over decades of international law by Israel and its backer, the U.S. government, were described by Richard Falk who felt the brunt of these powers during his six-year term as the UN Rapporteur just for connecting the facts to the laws, and noting widely acknowledged continuing violations of UN resolutions and the Geneva Conventions.

Former Congressman Paul Findley spoke of politicians cowering before AIPAC because of the “anxiety over being accused of anti-Semitism.” AIPAC is a leading anti-Semitic organization against the Arab peoples and the thousands of innocent civilian Palestinians and Lebanese children and adults slaughtered by the U.S.-armed Israeli armed forces. (See Doctor James Zogby’s remarks about ‘The Other Anti-Semitism’, delivered Hebrew University in Israel in 1994.)

AIPAC, knowing that the Israeli military was engaged daily as brutalizing occupiers, has never openly disavowed its support for such destruction of innocent humans and human rights even when the videotaped devastation horrified the civilized world. AIPAC was conspicuously silent during the illegal U.S. invasion and violent sociocide of Iraq—a nation that did not threaten the US.

A surprise speaker was the just defeated 38-year veteran of the House of Representatives, former Congressman Nick Joe Rahall. Apparently, now extricated from AIPAC’s Congressional clutches, he is now free to stand tall for human rights and speak freely and describe the congressional obeisance to the Israel lobby from the inside.

Unfortunately, there was no panel representing either US taxpayers, who foot the bill for the billions of dollars spent yearly, nor the US soldiers who have been sent to kill or be killed in military invasions and other attacks backed by this self-defeating Israeli-US government alliance that just worsens the insecurities in the Middle East, spreads into savage sectarian struggles and portends more boomerangs against peace and justice in the world.

So, where were the reporters of the mainstream media? Where was C-SPAN during a week when Congress was on a holiday and their cameras were not preoccupied by Capitol Hill activities—its foremost priority? Apparently, the American people were only to see and hear the extreme views of AIPAC that do not even command the support of a majority of American Jews who do favor a two-state solution, along with a majority of Arab-Americans.

It is true that a few members of the mainstream media RSVP’d to attend this conference, but they did not show up or write anything about it before or after.

Nonetheless, thanks to the Internet, you can see the entire one-day conference online.

In the meantime, how about a little retrospective evaluation, by those so authorized, in the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street JournalAssociated Press and Reuters to make better judgments about providing balanced news  the next time around. As for the absentee “fair and balanced” Fox News — well, what do you expect?

(Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.)

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Corot

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FICTION WRITERS' WORKSHOP

Cloverdale Arts Alliance on May 4

On Monday, May 4, at 7 pm, the Cloverdale Arts Alliance is pleased to present a reading by the students from the inaugural Fiction Writer’s Workshop, taught by Roy Parvin.

Please join us as each workshop student reads a short excerpt from work completed during the course of the class. The reading is offered free of charge and there will be a wine and cheese reception following, which will be held at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, located at 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd.

Readers include Linda Bennett, Laura Paine Carr, Bill Hillar, Carol Keig, and Janet Vail.

The Fiction Writer’s Workshop is a new program, which the Cloverdale Arts Alliance hopes to make a regular offering. The workshop is modeled on the famed Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and during the course of the class, each student presented work for critique by the other students. Various aspects of craft were discussed, including plot, voice, description, character development, and dialogue. This reading is the culmination of the students’ work during the class; come help celebrate their accomplishments.

The Fiction Writers’ Workshop is a program of the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, a non-profit arts organization bringing cultural arts to Northern Sonoma County. Other CAA programs include Friday Night Live at the Plaza, Art Gallery, Sculpture Trail, THE Jazz Club, Americana Night, Art Classes, Music Workshops, Discovering Art Series, Ceramics Classes, Wine Appreciation Workshops, and Special Events.

For more information on the Fiction Writers’ Workshop and the Cloverdale Arts Alliance go to www.cloverdaleartsalliance.org

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UKIAH/LAKEPORT SPEEDWAY

Saturday night racing action will resume at Ukiah Speedway for points race #4. Scheduled to appear is Taco Bell Bombers, Jammers, Bandoleros, Budweiser Outlaws, Pro-4 Modifieds.

Congratulations to all our trophy winners and Jr Trophy Presenters last Saturday night at Lakeport Speedway. Racing action this last Saturday night was filled with Legends, Budweiser Outlaw, Jr Jammers, Pro Jammers and Taco Bell Bombers.

Be sure to come on out and join us as we support your local drivers as they compete for the 2015 Ukiah/Lakeport Championship.

For more information please visit our website at www.ukiahspeedway.com or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ukiahspeedway or www.facebook.com/lakeportspeedway

TacoBellWinner

Taco Bell Bomber main winner: 49 Gino Buchignani with sister Gina (Gino dedicated his main race & win to his great Uncle Ray who had just passed away )

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