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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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THERE IS A CHANCE FOR THUNDERSTORMS over the interior northwest California mountains each afternoon and evening through this coming weekend, with the best chances occurring Wednesday and Thursday. (National Weather Service)

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RANDY BURKE OF GUALALA REPORTS:

Re: Navarro gage USGS 11468000 — Looks like USGS calibrated the gage at Navarro on May 8. When looking at the gage website, the little red star is when USGS staff calibrate the gage after cross sectioning the river. On the Gualala River that effort is completed every three months. Could be the same for the Navarro which today is running at 20 cfs.

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DAVE TURNER, FORT BRAGG MAYOR, was presented with a notice to recall him at Monday night's meeting of the Fort Bragg City Council. The turnout for the meeting wasn't as large as one might have expected for an event as dramatic as a recall, but the reasons for it have already, and in many different forums, been discussed at length and from every conceivable perspective. It seems clear public sentiment is running heavily for the recall whose organizers were able to quickly gather several hundred signatures in opposition to the conversion of the Old Coast Hotel to a mental health halfway house, with a large portion of the premises set aside for the staff of the program.

JUDY VALADAO'S remarks are reprinted here, as they are directly to the point of the recall. Ms. V, by the way, was rudely cut off by Mayor Turner at the very stroke of her allotted three minutes, although it was clear from her statement that she was near the end of her concluding sentences. Marissa Colombi finished reading the statements remaining in Ms. Valadao's important comments. Some people do ramble on, but those speakers who are clearly wrapping up, why cut them off? In this case, the Mayor's personal animosity for one of his chief critics, probably inspired his happy, “Your three minutes are up.”

JUDY VALADAO. I have been asked to speak tonight by a group of taxpayers and voters who both live and work in this town, not to ask you once more to please listen, and not to ask why didn't you listen? I don't expect you to answer that question any longer because I believe I have the answers here. And I believe the community should hear the answers to those questions about why we were not listened to. On November the 12th, exactly two months before the public even knew about the Old Coast Hotel Project, an email was sent out. It was from Jennifer Owen to our City Manager [Linda Ruffing]. It read, "Because they (referring to Anna Shaw and the Hospitality Center), before they enter into a purchase option they want to review their efforts and top choices with you and perhaps two council members. This property has previously been unaffordable, but the owners need a tax write off and say they will meet a price affordable to Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center. Anna and probably Gary and Lynell Johnson and perhaps one other board member would like to discuss the various alternatives with you and the Council as soon as possible so they can enter into a purchase option and lock in negotiations with reasonable assurance that they have the city support for this location.” The following day the city manager emailed Scott Dietz and Dave Turner and asked to meet. Dave Turner replied that he could meet on the following Tuesday and he thought that Scott Dietz could also. The next day before that meeting was held another email went out from the city manager to Marie Jones and Jennifer Owen. "FYI: I spoke with Mayor Turner about the Old Coast Hotel and he is 100% in support. It will be interesting to see if Councilman Deitz concurs." And by the way we all know he did. "Regardless, given the controversy over the 300 North Harrison site I think we should give the public an opportunity to weigh in and the Council make the decision." Let's not forget that that's the public hearing that really didn't have to happen so the notice in the paper didn't matter. On December 1 Jennifer Owen emailed the city manager saying, "This is amazing! The Carines have accepted the Old Coast Hotel bill. There are…”

Mayor Turner interrupted to remind Ms. Valadao her three minutes were up. So after some irritated banter between Turner and some members of the audience, Marissa Colombi volunteered to continue reading Ms. Valadao’s letter:

Colombi (for Valadao): On December 14, 2014 the city manager emails Jennifer Owens. "That's good news. It worries me that the option establishes a 30-day escrow period. How soon do you think we can get the CDBG approval? Have they conditioned the appraisal?" On December 1, 2014, still before the public is aware of this, Jennifer Owen emails the city manager, "The timeline is tight but we don't enter into escrow until the special conditions are cleared and then there aren't many steps to close escrow. I will contact Max of CDBG today to see if we can get enough of a confirmation to proceed with public hearing." This by the way is the public hearing that was printed in the paper with the wrong address and the city attorney said it didn't matter because they were not required to have a public hearing. Jennifer continues, "I don't know where they are on the appraisal. They will need to jump on it because the seller wants an appraisal to maximize their donation. We just need an amount greater than the MCHC cash price. I'm a little concerned about the March 15 exercise date since they will require that we have a grant agreement by late January. But I am reasonably confident that the Carines will work with us if we are slightly delayed." So what does this tell you? It very clearly states that Mr. Turner was 100% in support before the public was aware of anything. Scott Dietz obviously attended the same meeting. Correct me if I'm wrong. So I think we can be reasonably certain that he was in agreement with Mayor Turner. This says very loud and clear that this was a done deal before you the public was even aware of it. My next question to the community is how many more of these meetings and agreements have gone on regarding past issues and further issues? And even more important, how many more issues like this are you the public willing to let happen again? It is for these and other reasons that Mayor Turner / City Council member Dave Turner has just been served with a notice of intent to circulate a recall petition.

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LATER IN THE MEETING TURNER SAID: "I wanted to make a point of personal privilege to answer some of these, the things. The great thing about living in the United States is we have a government that is answerable to the citizens. In the case of Fort Bragg City Council we have elections every four years. Five months ago I was honored to be returned to office to continue to work on the promises I made when I asked the citizens of Fort Bragg to elect me. Since 2002 I have been committed to bringing a business sense to Fort Bragg, balanced budgets, jobs, Pudding Creek trestle, smart mill site redevelopment, affordable high-speed Internet, clean Fort Bragg streets, downtown revitalization, Coastal Trail, water solutions, Noyo Center, Community College, CV Starr Center, playing fields, rainy day reserves. Many of the things we have accomplished and many are ongoing. We still need to see through some of them including the smart mill site redevelopment, the reservoir, the Noyo Center, the best community college marine science program in California, scholarships to Coast Mendocino College for graduating Fort Bragg high school students, jobs, affordable Internet for businesses using gigabyte level services which is jobs, the playing field here in town. These continue to be my priorities. Our great democracy allows for citizens to recall elected officials in between elections. I support that right. I commend citizens for taking an interest in their city. I believe that when the voters of Fort Bragg consider the work they want done they will support my continuing to serve. I will address the specifics in the document I was handed after I have had a chance to read it.

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THE OLD COAST deal was brought off almost a year ago, as established by staff e-mail, then presented to the public via the mayor as, "Here's what we're going to do..."

THE HOTEL'S OWNER, a branch of the Carine family, in public cash and tax breaks, will get about twice as much for their property as the property is worth. (Note the emphasis in the emails on a maximized appraisal.) Translation: Major gift of public money to a private person, Mr. Carine.

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ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

People are taking out car loans for as long as 10 years now. Many are carrying monthly payments of more than $500 per month. (‘Death on the Installment Plan’, Louis Ferdinand Celine). What this means is that many can no longer afford automobiles under ordinary circumstances, and these automobiles will be in the junkyard long before they’re paid off. Many of these loans will never be paid off. On the other hand, the way things are set up now how does one survive here without a car? Its almost impossible. And have you noticed the price of gasoline is creeping back up?

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STOP BILLARY!

Republicans to Meet in Willits — The Mendocino County Republican Central Committee will meet Saturday, May 16, 2015, 10:00 AM at Noon at the Willits City Hall, 111 E Commerce Street, Willits, CA 95490. For further information contact: Evelyn Hayman, (707) 948-6467 or go to: www.mendocountygop.net

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ON MAY 6, 2015 at approximately 10:28 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the 40000 block of Little River Airport Road in Little River, California to a report of an armed robbery. Sheriff’s Deputies were advised that two armed suspects, described as wearing ski masks and dark clothing confronted the victims, age 62 (male) and 55 (female) in their driveway shortly after arriving at their residence. One of the suspects pointed a firearm at the victims and demanded money. The victims fled into their residence and dialed 911. It was unknown if the suspects were still at the location at the time of the 911 call. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived a short time later and conducted a protective sweep, securing the residence, outbuildings and densely wooded property. Adjacent properties were checked and residents were made aware of the possible danger in the area. A criminal investigation was initiated and the scene was processed for latent evidence. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the attempted robbery and requests anyone who may have information about this incident to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)

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AMERICAN CRAFT WEEK in Mendo

October 2-11, 2015

Artists and businesses, sign up by June 15th to participate in Mendocino County Celebrates American Craft Week. It is a week long, county wide, self guided tour October 2-11. 2015. Galleries, studios and businesses throughout Mendocino County will open their doors with special shows, events and demonstrations featuring the beautiful handmade crafts produced here in Mendocino County.

If you would like to host one or more craft artists at your business or are an artist wanting to show during Mendocino County Celebrates American Craft Week please sign up now. For more information or to get an entry form contact Alexis Moyer at potshop@saber.net (707) 895-2810. To see last years event listings visit www.MendocinoCraftWeek.com

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 12, 2015

Amato, Barrett, Coleman, Espinosa
Amato, Barrett, Coleman, Espinosa

STEVEN AMATO, Hopland. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.

DAVID BARRETT, Willits. Possession and under influence of meth.

KEITH COLEMAN, Rohnert Park/Ukiah. . Pot cultivation, possession for sale.

ASHLEY ESPINOSA, Ukiah. Court Order violation, probation revocation.

Garcia, George, Kaaihue, Knapp
Garcia, George, Kaaihue, Knapp

CARLO GARCIA, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, honey oil extraction, child endangerment.

BRIAN GEORGE, Monroe, CA/Hopland. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.

JANIE KAAIHUE, Ukiah. Resisting arrest.

VERNON KNAPP, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Kotila, Luna, Masker, Maynard
Kotila, Luna, Masker

ERIC KOTILA, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.

JEREMIAH LUNA, Ukiah. Resisting arrest, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

AUTUMN MASKER, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Maynard, Niderost, Pena, Perez
Maynard, Niderost, Pena, Perez

ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

ERIC NIDEROST, Ukiah. Criminal threats of death or great bodily injury.

MARTIN PENA, Leggett. DUI.

NOE PEREZ, Talmage. Drunk in public.

Taylor, Vinzant, Welsh
Taylor, Vinzant, Welsh

CARLA TAYLOR, Willits. Failure to appear.

VERCINIA VINZANT, Ukiah. Forgery, burglary, grand theft, embezzlement.

SHAWN WELSH, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

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KING OF THE ROAD

Trailer for sale or rent

Rooms to let, fifty cents

No phone, no pool, no pets

I ain't got no cigarettes

 

Ah but, two hours of pushing broom

Buys a eight by twelve four-bit room

I'm a man of means by no means

King of the road

 

Third boxcar, midnight train

Destination, Bangor Maine

Old worn out suit and shoes

I don't pay no union dues

 

I smoke old stogies I have found

Short but not too big around

I'm a man of means by no means

King of the road

 

I know every engineer on every train

All of the children, and all of their names

And every handout in every town

And every lock that ain't locked when no one's around

— Roger Miller

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BIN LADEN’S ASSASSINATION: A VOLCANO OF LIES

So Much for America's Superior "Moral Worth"

by Alexander Cockburn

On Sunday, the London Review of Books published a new account of the killing of Osama Bin Laden by legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, which exposed the story told by the Obama Administration to be, in Hersh’s piquant words, “a blatant lie.” Using sources inside the CIA and Pakistani intelligence, Hersh dismantles plank-by-plank the official narrative first paraded by President Obama in his public address a few hours after the raid in Abbottabad and later embellished by John Brennan.

In sum, Hersh’s revelations reveal that: At the time of the raid Bin Laden was essentially an invalid. He was living under a sort of house arrest by the Pakistanis, who were monitoring him 24/7. US intelligence was alerted to Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad by a “walk-in” informant, who wanted to collect (and, in fact, did) a portion of the $25 million award. Pakistani intelligence helped provide DNA evidence, collected by Bin Laden’s doctor who was also an ISI agent, confirming Bin Laden’s identity prior to the raid. The CIA alerted Pakistan to the timing of the raid. Pakistani intelligence turned off the electric power to Abbottabad, cleared the flight path for US helicopters and provided an on-the-ground agent to guide Navy SEALS through the house. There was no firefight in the Bin Laden compound. Navy SEALS were under orders to kill Bin Laden on sight. Bin Laden offered no armed resistance. No significant intelligence was collected from the compound. As a result of this cooperation, dark money to Pakistani intelligence and the military once again began to flow and the US consented to allow Pakistan a freer hand inside Afghanistan as the US began its withdrawal.

Hersh’s report demolished one of the cornerstones of the myth constructed by the CIA about the killing of Bin Laden: that the use of torture had led to the discovery of a network of couriers which they eventually tracked to the white house in Abbottabad. That lie has now been crushed.

Predictably Hersh has come under withering attack from torture apologists and Obama defenders, especially the talking heads on MS-DNC. Monday night, MS-DNC’s hipster teleprompter reader Chris Hayes lead the attack on Hersh, while simultaneously cheerleading the findings of the MS-DNC “investigative” team which “independently confirmed” the two major assertions in Sy Hersh’s report. Hersh, to his credit, swatted down Hayes’s juvenile deprecations like the seasoned pro he is.

Hersh’s story confirms what Pakistanis have long considered common knowledge. In fact, soon after Bin Laden’s assassination we heard from a former Pakistani military officer, Shaukat Qadir, who told us the whole story “was bunk.” According to Qadir: “For the record, this house has been under ISI surveillance while it was under construction. It was first raided in 2003, and the ISI just missed capturing al-Libi (he was later captured by the ISI close to Mardan in K-P Province). It has been raided on numerous occasions since.” Shaukat tells me that contrary to a report in the New York Times by Carlotta Gall on May 5, neither of the two trusted couriers were among the dead in the compound.”

Alexander Cockburn wrote a story about Qadir’s revelations and other glaring inconsistencies in the official account on May 6, 2011, four days after Bin Laden’s death. Here it is. — Jeffrey St. Clair

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Barack Obama, who pledged to restore ethical honor to the White House after the Bush years, is now burying himself under an active volcano of lies, mostly but not exclusively concerning the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

There was scarcely a sentence in the President’s Sunday night address, or in the subsequent briefing by John Brennan, his chief counter-terrorism coordinator, that has not been subsequently retracted by CIA director Leon Panetta or the White House press spokesman, Jay Carney, or by various documentary records.

The White House photograph of Obama, Clinton and top security advisors supposedly watching real-time footage of the Navy Seals’ onslaught on the Abbottabad compound, their killing of two men and a woman (excuse for the latter killing: the standard “caught in crossfire”) and liquidation of OBL himself turns out to have been a phony. BO and friends could have been watching basketball replays. Panetta has admitted the real-time video link stopped working before the Seals got into the compound.

Panetta also admits Osama bin Laden was not armed, and that he did not hide behind his young wife’s skirt. He conceded that under military rules of engagement Osama should have been taken prisoner, but then added vaguely that he showed some unspecified form of resistance. He probably reached for his walking stick, since he has been ailing from kidney and liver problems. As any black or brown resident in, say, the purview of the Ramparts Division of the LAPD knows full well, reaching for a walking stick or even holding a cell phone can be a death warrant; multiply that likelihood by a factor of 100 if you are the world’s most wanted terrorist in front of a score of heavily armed and homicidal Navy SEALs, no doubt amped up on amphetamine.

An admitted fan of the herb, Osama may have been stoned as part of his pain management program since there was a marijuana patch outside in the allotment and, like any world star in retirement, Osama liked to smoke a lot of weed and made DVDs of important speeches which stacked up forlornly on the bookshelf next to the bottles of pills and the Koran, hoping to get picked up by Al Jazeera or HBO. How his lieutenants must have yearned for his summary martyrdom as they received his importunate bulletins that they derail a train during Obama’s State of the Union and other madcap schemes.

The White House claims that issues of delicacy prohibit the release of photographs of Osama’s bullet-riddled face and required that after an alleged match with a relative’s DNA he be given a swift but formal sea burial in a weighted body bag dropped from the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson into the north Arabian Sea, presumably awaiting retrieval by salvagers with a fix on the Vinson’s position at the time of burial.

Maybe the Navy Seal photographer forgot to take his lens cap off. Obama’s claims of ethical sensitivity certainly ring hollow. He’s battling the wimp factor, and “Lo! The head of Osama” would be a nifty prop. There was lengthy display back in Bush-time of the mutilated bodies of Saddam’s sons Uday and Qusay, killed by US special forces in 2003, plus filming of Saddam’s own execution by hanging.

Further back, when DNA matches were unknown, US special forces verified Che Guevara’s execution by permitting many photographs immediately post-mortem. They also cut off Che’s hands, for subsequent verification by the CIA. We’re not talking Miss Manners here.

The official “back story” released Sunday night by Obama is that US intelligence learned of the Abbottabad compound only last August and spent the following months watching the place, following Osama’s trusted couriers and concluding that it was highly likely, though not certain, that Osama was there.

This is bunk. The three-storey house has been a well-known feature of Abbottabad. Shaukat Qadir, a well-connected Pakistan Army officer, reported to CounterPunch from Pakistan: “For the record, this house has been under ISI surveillance while it was under construction. It was first raided in 2003, and the ISI just missed capturing al-Libi (he was later captured by the ISI close to Mardan in K-P Province). It has been raided on numerous occasions since.”

Shaukat tells me that contrary to a report in the New York Times by Carlotta Gall on May 5, neither of the two trusted couriers were among the dead in the compound.

Shaukat: “The house where Osama had sought refuge belonged to two brothers from Mardan (a Pashtun dominated region of K-P) who had numerous aliases; locally they were known as Arshad (or Bara — meaning elder) and Chota (younger) Pathan, who have been residents of that house for seven years past. The rub is; neither one has been identified among the dead. If Osama was followed to this house by constant tracking of his courier who, according to CIA reports, shouldn’t one, if not both brothers, should have been present, shouldn’t they? But they weren’t. Of the seven bodies left behind (a female, a child and five men of ages ranging from mid-twenties to mid-thirties), none have been identified as being either brother. Inference: Osama was sold out. The operation was the result of entrapment. An entrapment organized through one or more of his most trusted aides?”

In fact, specific knowledge by US intelligence of the compound and its likely possible prime denizen goes back to 2005.

This has been established by Israel Shamir, also writing for CounterPunch. Shamir compares certain passages in the WikiLeaks documents on Guantanamo against those recently published by the New York Times and the Guardian.

Shamir reports these newspapers were working from the WikiLeaks files supplied to them (price unknown) by WikiLeaks’ former German employee, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, “who went AWOL after this appropriation.” Shamir says Domscheit-Berg made a deal with the Guardian which subsequently made a co-publication arrangement with the New York Times. “Both papers published the cables after redacting them, or should we say ‘censoring’ – removing everything the secret services demanded [they] remove.”

When Assange learned that the Guardian and the New York Times planned to publish the Guantanamo files, his WikiLeaks team also prepared the files and began to upload. So did the competitors, possessing the Domscheit-Berg appropriated copy.

The most important redactions by the Guardian and the New York Times, Shamir writes, “were directly dictated by the US intelligence services. The name of Nashwan Abd Al Razzaq Abd Al Baqi, or by another name, Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi or by his number IZ-10026 was edited away from the file of Abu al-Libi (US9LY-010017DP) and elsewhere.”

This is significant because al-Iraqi was in close contact with al-Libi who had been designated by Osama in 2003 as his trusted, official courier, therefore aware of OBL’s whereabouts at all times. In the end, at separate times, the US captured both al-Libi and al-Iraqi, had them both tortured and thus became aware of al-Libi’s courier duties and hence the possibility that Osama was in Abbottabad.

Comparison of the redacted version of the Guardian and in the uncut version of WikiLeaks shows to what extent all the traces of al-Iraqi, the likely informer-under-torture, were removed at the behest of US intelligence. It was not connected to “caring about informers,” for al-Libi was understood at the time to have committed suicide in a Libyan jail just before the arrival of the US Ambassador in Tripoli. The file of al-Iraqi is missing in all databases; he was captured in 2005 and kept in various secret prisons, until transferred to Guantanamo where he remains detained.

So the trail to Abbottabad was known to the US intelligence services at least since 2005, when al-Libi was captured. “Careful reading of the file,” Shamir writes, “shows that al-Libi was connected with al-Iraqi since October 2002. In 2003, Osama stated al-Libi would be the official messenger between OBL and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, al-Libi moved his family to Abbottabad, Pakistan and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar. He maintained contact with al-Iraqi.”

We can conclude, from this narrative, that when the unredacted WikiLeaks files surfaced, US intelligence concluded that Osama’s associates would soon figure out that the Americans had made the appropriate connections and conjectures and there the associates urged him to move on with all due haste. So Obama decided to send in the Seals.

From this active volcano of lies, we can safely assume that Obama’s re-election campaign has been well and truly launched. Lift-off began on April 27 with the White House’s release of the long birth certificate. Obama seems to have problems with timely provision of convincing documentation about arrivals (his own) and departures (Bin Laden’s).

Release of the full birth certificate could have come in 2008, when it first became a minor issue. Instead Obama refused to authorize release until last week, by which time 25 per cent of all Americans and 50 per cent of all Republicans thought he was hiding something fishy. A photo of the dead Osama would have been useful this week in quelling speculation.

Had it not been for cloud cover over Abbottabad, the raid on Osama’s compound could have come on Friday, April 29, the same day as the royal wedding.

Saturday, April 30 was reserved for the attempted assassination of Colonel Gaddafi, with the dropping of precision-guided bombs on the house of his son Saif, who died along with three grandchildren. Saif, then four, was in the Gaddafi family compound on April 15, 1986 when bombs ordered up by Ronald Reagan were dropped from F-111s, killing his 15-month old sister, adopted by Gaddafi 11 months earlier. Thus have Reagan and Obama shared a target. ‘Decapitation’ – going for the enemy’s top guy – is now standard Nato strategy. In the “shock and awe” assaults on Iraq in 2003, the prime mission of US bombers was to target whatever houses Saddam was presumed to be visiting. We can assume electronic eavesdrops or maybe a human observer told the Nato targeteers that Gaddafi himself was in the house that Saturday, and the bombers were swiftly dispatched from Nato’s Allied Air Command in Izmir, Turkey, whose overall commander is Lt-Gen Ralph J. Jodice II (US).

Would Obama have been briefed on the plan, or have signed off on a program of targeted assassination of Gaddafi? It seems a sure thing.

Reverse the rationale. If a Libyan bomber had blown up the wedding couple and a goodly tranche of the British upper crust in Westminster Abbey under justification that the whole place and its human contents, down to the grandchildren, not to mention the hats, were fair game because Cameron was there.

As the Oxford historian Mark Almond subsequently wrote in this site, “Little wonder, the royal newlyweds’ honeymoon was suddenly cancelled on Saturday. So much of William and Kate’s nuptials was choreographed around their parents’ and grandparents’ weddings that it was a fair guess that like Princess Elizabeth and Philip they were going to fly to Malta to start their honeymoon before going on to Kenya where three generations of Windsors have enjoyed cementing their relations. Malta is too close to Libya for comfort and Kenya’s Muslim minority might not be too friendly to a serving Nato officer.”

But Gaddafi survived. So Obama only had one bloodied feather in his cap when he gave one of the most morally repellent speeches I have ever heard delivered from the White House. Bush at least had the crude brio of a semi-literate jock when he vaunted America’s prowess. Obama’s “we nailed him” paragraphs of mendacity concluded with Dickensian Heepishness: “Tonight we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history.”

Alas, the actual story of “our history” is an unrelenting ability to lie about everything, while simultaneously claiming America’s superior moral worth.

(This article appeared in the May 6-8, 2011 edition of CounterPunch. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org.)

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MENDOVITO: NOTHING TO FEAR

To the Editor:

MendoVito is an idea for a VillageTown in Mendocino County. Because it is a real proposal, it generates both enthusiastic and fear-based responses. But instead of speaking to fear, the fearful create a false idea and then attack it as MendoVito. This is a fallacy. In order to avoid confusion, let’s give the fallacy idea a name. In honor of a nearby land-owner who created a dystopian (scary) false substitute idea that he circulated among his peers in Hopland, let’s call this fallacy “MendoVandal.”

Ms. Savoy writes a letter including an employment analysis of MendoVandal, not MendoVito. She does an impressive job of statistical analysis that results in 2,700 out of 6,500 people unemployed and looking for work… 42 percent unemployment. That’s worse than the Great Depression which peaked at 25 percent. Sounds like there is something wrong with the numbers, not with MendoVito.

I thank Ms. Savoy for the letter none-the-less. This forum gives the people of Mendocino County a chance to address their concerns about a VillageTown in McDowell Valley. I believe her motive for writing is a fear of change in the town that she has become accustomed to. And I think that fear is based off a 20th century mindset where everyone commutes to their work in an automobile. If I lived in Hopland, particularly near Old Hopland, I also would not want an additional ten thousand cars driving through on a daily basis. I think that is the root of her concern (and I believe shared by other Hopland residents who are critical of the idea) with the prospects of employment for the people who live in MendoVito. As for the numbers cited by Ms. Savoy:

1: “the village will employ all it’s habitants”

Wrong: Based on national averages, about 20 percent will be children, who don’t work. About 16 percent will be elders on retirement incomes. A certain number will be family care-givers, not on-the-job roles, even if in reality, parenting is work. Some will be wealthy, living on investments. The remaining will have private-sector jobs including blue collar and white collar, employed as well as self-employed. The “village” is a place to live, not an employer. It is a mixed-use zone that fosters business growth.

2: “Let’s further pretend that one in five will have a job that will allow them to work from home”

“Working from home” is a concept from what we might call the “freeway era.” Home offices are a deviant alternative to the freeway era mainstream involving commuting to work. It is not a relevant concept when discussing MendoVito. In order to understand the difference, we need to differentiate the “freeway era” that is now crumbling under its own weight, and the emerging “fiber era” in which the “tyranny of distance” is overcome. In the freeway era, counties with lots of freeways boomed. Housing became expensive, their private-sector economies boomed, but eventually the freeways become clogged and all sorts of economic, environmental and social problems cropped up. The Bay Area is a classic example. At the same time, counties like Mendocino with few or no freeways declined. Their largest employer becomes the public sector. Commercial vacancies are common, infrastructure funding is lacking. Demographics shifts to retirees, hollow homes (2nd homes, frequently vacant), and people selecting alternative, artistic, marginal or anti-establishment lifestyles. Sound familiar? Fiber is a revolution; it changes everything. With it, a large number of new jobs become possible beyond the freeway belt. Look up tele-engineering, telesurgery, telepresence, telemanufacturing, 3D printing, holographic CAD and a host of other technologies that are emerging right now. In 2008, telepresence cost $100,000 from CISCO. Today, it is free with Skype. In a few years, Skype will look as antiquated as fax does today. Even Ms. Savoy works this way, although without fiber, when she writes “As an example, I am in sales and work from my home office, far from the manufacturing site.” Sales people can work anywhere there is decent broadband because their bandwidth requirements are low… phone and email is enough. But running along 101 in Hopland is fiber, with speeds and bandwidth that support a much wider range of jobs.

In 1908 the Ford Model T was invented, but it took 50 years before the freeway era began. The internet revolution began in 1966, and 50 years later we are seeing the fiber system roll out. To understand MendoVito, we all need to understand the freeway era is giving way to the fiber era. The idea that MendoVito will have a 42 percent unemployment rate is just bad statistics. With a much more attractive lifestyle, people will work harder to stay there, but if they can’t find work, they will sell up and someone else will buy or rent their house, just like in normal communities. One difference is that MendoVito has no cars within, all cars are kept in the motorpool that is security controlled. Someone arriving or leaving everyday will need a commuter permit and those permits will be limited, because a major point of MendoVito is to end car dependency as the basis of the economy. Most outbound permits will go to local farm and hospitality workers, and inbound permits will be temporary for newly-hired workers until a home comes available... no different than downtown parking garages with limited space. As much as Ms. Savoy and other residents of Hopland don’t want to see residents of MendoVito driving up and down Old River Road daily, the Stewards agree.

Ms. Savoy is looking at MendoVito through what passed for normal in the 20th century. Given that she lives in Hopland, she may be looking for reasons to say no, probably because she believes the MendoVandal story circulating out of fear. We welcome hers, and other people’s, comments because it gives those of us who like MendoVito the opportunity to write more detailed local-economy analysis on the ever-growing Q&A page of MendoVito.com. Please read them and send in your own questions if you have a particular concern. Despite the scaremongering, no one is proposing to build MendoVandal.

Andrew Parmenter, Willits

* * *

SEEMS TO US that MendoVandal has reality on her side. A new town of several thousand people a few miles east of Hopland, no matter how lightly they walk on the land, is unlikely to create much enthusiasm in the area where the main source of water, the Russian River, is already radically overdrawn. No insult intended Mr. Parmenter, but it all sounds rather ghastly, like some kind of ultra-intrusive Road Association or gated community where you're fined if you don't mow your lawn for a couple of weeks. I envision several thousand bliss ninnies creeping around in drawstring hemp pants snooping on their neighbors to make sure they aren't eating meat or watching ESPN. But give the proponents high marks for persistence; this thing is still out there so they may have some serious money behind them and maybe even an option on the land.

* * *

MARSHALL NEWMAN alerts us: "Ticks are definitely out in the woods of Anderson Valley now. I got bit last week. The good news is a single dose of the prescription antibiotic doxycycline within 72 hours of a bite has been shown to be 90% effective in preventing Lyme Disease (which can be very nasty stuff, should one get infected). Who knew? I didn’t, until now."

* * *

FROM THE NEW YORK POST: A source says Jennifer Lopez, who put her estate on the market a few weeks ago, has been approached several times by neighbors over the years about amending her opulent garden and lawn. “She has been pretty dismissive,” said the source. “She has said, ‘Oh, so I’ll just pay some fines, what are they going to do?’”

* * *

THE INVISIBLE MAN: CIA WHISTLEBLOWER JEFFREY STERLING

For the first time since his indictment in December 2010, today Jeffrey Sterling’s voice can be heard -- in this short documentary film, released May 12, 2015. (Produced by ExposeFacts. Directed by Judith Ehrlich.)

https://exposefacts.org/watch-the-short-documentary-the-invisible-man-nsa-whistleblower-jeffrey-sterling/ )

* * *

CITY OF POINT ARENA SPECIAL MEETING Agenda for May 13, 2015

https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/e7923bfd-5a1e-4760-b13c-28384b4d9d4b

* * *

COVELO WOMAN ARRESTED IN STABBING OF SISTER

by Glenda Anderson

A Covelo woman remains in the Mendocino County jail on suspicion of stabbing her sister during a fight over property rights.

Phillips
Phillips

Audrina Phillips, 43, is charged with attempted murder in an attack on Eugenia Phillips, 48, who was stabbed multiple times during the argument Friday night, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reported Tuesday.

Eugenia Phillips suffered life-threatening wounds to her torso during the altercation but is expected to recover, sheriff’s officials said.

Witnesses to the Refuse Road stabbing restrained Audrina Phillips, but she freed herself after several minutes and left, officials said. She was arrested later at Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, where she was treated for minor injuries sustained during the fight.

Audrina Phillips stabbed her sister after their argument turned violent, officials said.

Eugenia Phillips was driven by private vehicle to the Covelo Volunteer Fire Department, then flown to an out-of-area trauma center for treatment, officials said.

Audrina Phillips is being held on $125,000 bail, jail officials said.

(Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.)

* * *

GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP:

Best Practices For Boards Of Directors.

The workshops will be offered at the Ukiah Branch Library, at 105 N. Main St., from 12 noon to 4 pm on Monday, June 8th, and at the Fort Bragg Branch Library, at 499 Laurel St., from 12 noon to 4 pm on Monday, June 15th.

Many board members come to organizations because they are passionate about the organization’s mission, but it’s just as important that they understand the duties, responsibilities, and expectations that go with being a board member and how to fulfill those responsibilities.

A board of directors is a leadership team whose mode of operation can cause an organization to struggle, survive or succeed. Ensuring all members of your board are in agreement on their governance roles and responsibilities and their practical application will give your organization the best chance of success.

The workshops are free, and preregistration is requested.

Interested persons should call 463-4490 in Ukiah, or 964-2020 in Fort Bragg, to reserve a spot.

* * *

JOHN SAKOWICZ WRITES:

My 90-minute interview at KMEC Radio with NSA whistleblower, Tom Drake, has just been posted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HjYfG4mYEE

Thomas Drake is a former senior official of the National Security Agency (NSA) whom the Justice Department prosecuted under the Espionage Act. Drake is one of only four individuals in the history of the United States who has been charged specifically with “willful retention” of “national defense” information under 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) of the Espionage Act.

In June 2011, the case against Drake collapsed, but he endured four years of investigation and faced 10 felony counts after he used internal mechanisms to disclose serious wrongdoing concerning a data collection program called "Trailblazer."

Trailblazer was costly, wasteful and ineffective; it could have prevented 9/11, but didn't; and it threatened Americans' privacy rights, and was wholly undeveloped -- despite the availability of a cost-effective, functional alternative that protected Americans' privacy. That alternative was called "Thin Thread".

The cost of Trailblazer? More than $1 billion. The cost of Thin Thread? About $3 million.

Ultimately, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped all felony counts against Drake, and the judge excoriated DOJ lawyers for their conduct.

Also, the NSA Inspector General declared Trailblazer an expensive failure. Again, it cost more than $1 billion.

The Department of Defense Inspector General produced a final report of its own investigation that had been prompted by Drake. The report basically agreed with his assertions and found very serious flaws at NSA. For a time, the NSA was even banned from starting projects over a certain size, for fear it would waste the money. However, there are no plans to release this DoD IG report to the public at the time.

Drake is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling, regarded in the U.S. as the highest honor that a whistleblower can receive. He is also the co-recipient of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) award.

Please support KMEC Radio and the Mendocino Environmental Center by becoming a member at: www.kmecradio.org.

5 Comments

  1. Charles Brandenburg May 12, 2015

    Thank you Malcolm

  2. Lazarus May 13, 2015

    “THE HOTEL’S OWNER, a branch of the Carine family, in public cash and tax breaks, will get about twice as much for their property as the property is worth. (Note the emphasis in the emails on a maximized appraisal.) Translation: Major gift of public money to a private person, Mr. Carine.”

    This sounds like what the Willits City Council did when they boondoggled that new sewer plant…that piece sold for a least double the going rate and set precedent for future squandering of taxpayer money.

  3. Judy Valadao May 13, 2015

    I realize there were probably no laws/rules broken with what went on behind the scenes of the Old Coast Hotel deal BUT trust was certainly broken and once that is gone what is left? The community of Fort Bragg wrote over 300 letters and sent them to City Hall , a total of over 1675 signatures were gathered in opposition (about 51 of those were business people) and the community took time and attended meeting after meeting. For what? Two months prior to the public being informed about the purchase, it was a done deal. Two months prior to the first meeting on this issue it was a done deal. Turner and Deitz had all ready met with the City and the Hospitality Center board to give them “reasonable assurance that they have the city support for this location.” We know NOW that Turner was “100% in support” and Deitz as it turns out did “concur”. How many issues in the past were decided before meetings were even held? How many important issues yet to be decided are in fact ALL READY DECIDED? Why is it every time something comes up that might put “DONE DEAL DAVE” in unfavorable light he pulls out his “brag sheet” and goes over all the good HE has been committed to. Well good for him but why doesn’t his “brag sheet” list the transfer station and mall? I haven’t made up my mind on either of those issues but I just have to wonder who is all ready “100% in support” of either issue and who will “concur”. Malcolm Macdonald likes to throw out the fact when the 300 block of N Harrison was an issue I made the comment to put the facility in the business district. I did make that comment. It was obvious the City liked the Harrison St. location and really didn’t want the facility in the middle of town (perhaps Franklin St. where there were/are many empty buildings). Out of frustration I did say “why not put it in the business district instead” Malcolm and I have talked about that and he knows why I said it but if he needs something to say or write, so be it. Everyone has their own reason for being opposed or in favor of the Old Coast Hotel project. That is their business, but the people I know who are opposed for whatever reason ARE NOT OPPOSED TO HELPING THOSE IN NEED. Is office space really worth 1.2 million dollars? How many rooms could have been purchased to REALLY help those who need a roof over their heads and get their lives back on track? In my opinion, when a building has over 12,000 sq. feet of usable space and over 8,000 of that is for offices and a bit over 3,000 is used for housing there is something wrong. Who profits from this? Ortner perhaps? Who is being paid to provide services and bill medicare and medical? Who charges by the “minute” for their services? Bottom line is someone is profiting off the misery of others and no one except the leaders of the City had any say in the issue. Were we lied to? Were we listened to? Was it a done deal months before anyone even knew it was in the works? You answer those questions, at least we can still do that much for ourselves and not be cut off at 3 minutes. By the way at one meeting when a person was speaking in favor of the project Turner let him go on for 9 minutes while Lindy Peters was seen and heard to be telling Turner the guy was way over 3 minutes. Malcolm, I’m sure we will continue to disagree on some issues but please do so without name calling.

  4. Dave Smith May 13, 2015

    Regarding ticks and Lyme disease, you can send a removed tick to the Public Health Laboratory in Santa Rosa, by overnight mail, to have it tested the day they receive it. 29 bucks. See http://www.sonoma-county.org/laboratory.

  5. Jim Updegraff May 13, 2015

    I have a lot of trust in Mr. Hersh. I have absolutely no trust in the CIA or the born again liar Brennan. Obama says what ever he has to to cover his ass.

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