- Encroaching Wineries
- Doctors Without Sleep
- Pickup Mystery
- Comptche Bust
- Female DNA
- Navarro Sandbar
- Catch of the Day
- Ipanema Girl
- Vaccine Bill
- Bibi's Government
- Obama TPP
- Eel Salmon
- KMUD Meeting
- Auto Safety
- Mendocino Fiesta
- Box Making
- Spiritual Surrender
- PA Agenda
- Motion to Amend
WEDNESDAY MORNING, twenty-foot purple banners announced each of the Anderson Valley's wineries. As an every day presence they wouldn't fit, but for a weekend? Nice. Festive. Celebratory.
SO HERE COMES BIG ORANGE, and soon most of the roadside banners were down. Encroachment, you see.
THE DOWNED BANNERS, looking like the fallen remnants of Waterloo, had officious messages attached to them that said, Toulouse, Scharffenberger, Elke, Navarro Vineyards, Greenwood Ridge, Husch, Phillips Hill, and Edmeades, aka Jackson Family Vineyards… had violated "Status Governing Advertising" defining "Right of Way from CA Constitution Article 16 claiming violation is a misdemeanor as per Streets and Highways Code Div. 1 Chap 3 Art 1 Secs 600 - 734."
IF CALTRANS would stick to building bypasses and bridges that didn't fall down and let the Anderson Valley have a little pinot without them butting in, we'd all be better off. Kinda funny in a way, though. The wineries aren't exactly political pushovers. They fund our elected reps, and I'll bet by now the Caltrans bureaucrats in Sacramento have gotten earfuls from Little Mikey, The Dentist and Big Jar, The Volleyball Player.
AS REPORTED LAST NIGHT in the AVA… (We Got the Same Stuff that later appeared on the Shut-in's Wire.)
John Fremont on MCN listserve Thursday—
I learned of this just today, and the following message confirms it: COAST HOSPITAL, FORT BRAGG, is considering signing a corporate deal that hires only doctors willing to work 24/7, 7-10 days in a row. This arrangement specifically excludes medicos who choose to work "only" 12 or 14 hours at a stretch.
* * *
The company negotiating the deal responded this way: On behalf of the Board of Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County (FMEMC), thank you for conveying the energy and excitement that is growing around the development of a Family Medicine Residency Program here in Mendocino County. This program will enable our local medical leadership to work with UC Davis to train physicians in the specialty of Family Medicine, greatly enhancing our communities' ability to recruit and retain primary care doctors for our rural region. I want to clear up 3 pieces of information from recent articles. The doctors that would come into the training program are not medical students. They will be medical school graduates (fully qualified physicians), who are here for post-graduate level specialty training as Family Medicine doctors. When they complete the Residency Program, they will be Board Certified Family Physicians. Of the initial investment of $1.5 million that is needed to launch this program, FMEMC is working to raise $100,000 a year for the next 4 years to help with start-up costs. The other funds are coming from public and private partnerships from outside the county - including UCDavis, Partnership Health Plan and grants being written for state and federal government funding. UVMC has already been very generous in helping to launch the development of the proposed local Family Medicine Residency Program.
I have many questions about this outfit. It sounds like privatization of the hospital, but even if it is transparently well-intentioned, how would you like to be treated by a new doctor who hadn't slept in more than 24 hours? And what of our good local physicians? What will happen to them? Was this program discussed at the last meeting of the MCDH board?
THAT WAS A Gray/Silver 2011 Toyota Tundra pickup with a camper shell on the back that was found on Peachland, Road, Boonville with 56 bullet holes in it Wednesday morning and rolled over on its right side, suggesting it had been attacked with an automatic weapon.
THE VERSION we have says the owner, Hardy Nieto, 30, of Boonville and Healdsburg, ran out of gas and went to town to get a can of petrol only to return to find his truck was dead — 56 times. The guy said he rolled the truck over on its side himself, although we have no idea why he'd do that.
UH, this doesn't sound even a little bit plausible, and the hunt for the facts of what really happened is still on.
A 71-YEAR-OLD COMPTCHE MAN WAS BUSTED Wednesday morning after being caught with over 1,200 marijuana plants and approximately $484,000 in cash at his property, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. At 10 a.m. deputies from the Mendocino County Marijuana Eradication Team, assisted by agents from the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, served a search warrant at a residence in the 10600 block of North Fork Drive where Fredrick Soderlind was suspected of operating an indoor and outdoor marijuana grow. Deputies were able to locate Soderlind as he was driving away from his residence. Soderlind was arrested and while officers were searching his vehicle, he attempted to discard a car key that was in his possession, the sheriff’s report stated. The deputy retrieved the key and found that it unlocked an old car a short distance away. Located in the car was approximately $484,000 in cash, according to the MCSO. Soderlind was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on suspicion of possession of drug proceeds over $100,000, possession of marijuana for sale, marijuana cultivation and for an outstanding arrest warrant related to a previous marijuana cultivation case. He has since been released from custody after posting $50,000 bail.
AFTER HE'D SAVED the redwoods and won nearly a million bucks from the federal government for "libeling" him, Darryl Cherney bought a pot farm near Garberville, from which he periodically resurfaces for a few minutes of media time on the Pacifica stations and KMUD with breathless announcements that he's made a great movie or he's got crucial new evidence that just might solve the non-mystery of the Bari Bombing.
HIS GREAT MOVIE FEATURES him and the late Judi Bari singing songs along with news clips suggesting that the FBI tried to kill them. (If our government is going to murder you, you're probably gonna get kilt.) Bari and Cherney were able to cash in big time on this false claim to the tune of about $4 million. On the way to court, they traveled around the country raising money from the credulous, promising, if they won the case, the money would go to the "environment." They won, the money went to them.
ONE of the many ironies in the Bari-Cherney hustle is that their greatest pool of the hustled was at the Pacifica Network where the hustled included Amy Goodman. She devoted a whole hour to an embarrassingly hagiographic, and totally false, depiction of the Bari interlude. With the naive and the estranged, make a claim that you've been the victim of a government conspiracy and out come the checkbooks.
KPFA's self-certified "investigative reporter" and "poet," Dennis Bernstein, has always beat the drums for whatever nonsense Cherney comes up with, as did Estelle Fennell when she did the news for KMUD before getting elected a HumCo supervisor. KZYX here in Mendo County, another oasis of drooling credulity, especially during Annie Esposito's tenure as news director, also faithfully stuck to the party line.
AND THAT PARTY LINE, right from the day in May when Judi Bari was blown up in Oakland, has religiously diverted attention from Bari's ex-husband, Mike Sweeney, former Maoist before he thoroughly reinvented himself as Mendocino County's top trash bureaucrat. Gosh, the man in the female victim's life hardly ever harms his former mate. The FBI seemed to buy that one. But whether they did or not, Sweeney got a free pass from them, too, and right there, and later in federal court, we saw the harmonic convergence of the Bari Cult and its "movement" lawyers and the FBI as they got together to prune the libel case of even the possibility of the mention of who might have done it. But, but, but I thought the movement and the FBI were enemies. I used to think that too until I saw they had become allies in this fraud.
SO, HERE COMES Cherney again. This time the relentless self-promoter is claiming he's got DNA evidence linking the bombing to a female. We don't have the name yet of this latter day Mata Hari, but we'll say, in utter confidence, it will be totally untrue, and one more ploy of Cherney shoving himself up front for some media time. He'll get all the time he wants on KPFA, KMUD and KZYX. Count on it.
ONE MORE THING: This fact is, of course, never mentioned by the Bari Cult, which, by the way, continues to profit from Bari's cash register corpse, but Bari, within days of the bombing, dispatched her attorney, Susan B. Jordan, to the FBI with a request for partial immunity from prosecution before she’d talk to them. The FBI said no because they considered Bari an active suspect in her own near immolation. Fact 2: The Bari family never demanded that the crime be solved. Most families, if a loved one had been blasted in a mysterious attack, would still be out in front of the federal building demanding justice. Didn't happen here. Why? Because they knew what happened, most likely.
FOR ME, the Bari interlude hasn't exactly been disillusioning — the left has been replete with phonies for fifty years — but it has been disheartening because if we're ever going to get anywhere in this doomed country the left is the only possible place or origin. It's also supposed to represent the true and the good, but you'd have to go back to the 1960s to find that, and even then the best people were liberals, not radicals. The left these days, such as it exists in the Bay Area and NorCal, is stupid and intellectually debauched. For the last forty years, a whole lot of clay-foots of the Cherney type have sailed right on by as the "left" shouts hurrah. Get ready to watch it happen again.
UNIQUE VIEW OF NAVARRO RIVER SANDBAR WEDNESDAY
We saw this photo of the Navarro River sandbar over at the "Wilma's Sea Cottage" page. The Navarro State Beach has been closed to vehicle traffic for more than two weeks due to the sandbar refusing to breach and the backed-up water flooding the access road and the parking lot.
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 14, 2015
MICHAEL ARNOLD, Willits. Grand theft.
JOELL BECK, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
KATRINA BELL, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.
CURTIS BETTENCOURT, Fort Bragg. Possession of drug paraphernalia. (Frequent flyer.)
MICHAEL BILTON, Willits. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.
TIMOTHY FISCHER, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Indecent exposure.
ANTONIA GONZALEZ, Ukiah. County parole violation.
DEBRA HARRISON, Ukiah. Burglary, receiving stolen property, conspiracy.
JASON HENDRIX, Oakland/Ukiah. DUI.
DUSTIN HIPES, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
GARTH MARKSON, Willits. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, armed with firearm.
ANTHONY MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Burglary, felony vandalism.
TYRONE MOLINA, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.
JAMES MORRIS, Willits. Parole violation. (Repeat entry, with more recent photo.)
JONATHAN ORTIZ, Ukiah. Resisting arrest.
MOISES RODARTE, Potter Valley. Misdemeanor battery.
LARS SCHWINDT, Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting arrest.
WILLIAM WILLIAMS, Willits. Shoplifting, battery on peace officer.
THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA
Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, each one she passes goes "ah"
When she walks she's like a samba that
Swings so cool and sways so gentle,
That when she passes, each one she passes goes "ah"
Oh, but I watch her so sadly
How can I tell her I love her?
Yes, I would give my heart gladly
But each day when she walks to the sea
She looks straight ahead not at me
Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes I smile, but she doesn't see
— Vinicius de Moraes (translated by Norman Gimbel)
STATE SENATE OKS BILL ENDING WAIVER FROM VACCINE MANDATE
by Patrick Mcgreevy
The state Senate on Thursday approved a controversial bill that would require many more children to be vaccinated in California by eliminating the ability of parents to opt out of the mandate based on their personal beliefs.
The bill would only excuse children from vaccinations based on medical problems, including a weakened immune system, verified by a physician.
"SB 277 is about increasing immunization rates so no one will have to suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases," said Sen. Ben Allen (D- Santa Monica) who coauthored the bill with Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento).
Some Republicans unsuccessfully proposed hostile amendments that would have maintained a religious exemption and called for more disclosure of the contents of vaccine.
Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) proposed that a religious exemption be included, saying some religious people may not accept any vaccine made with help from aborted fetal cells. “What this (bill) says is we don’t have a right to practice our faith,” he told his colleagues. "Do you have a right to steal my soul without my knowledge?"
He and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) got into a sharp exchange when Jackson called for parents in the gallery to quiet their crying children and Anderson said he was not bothered by any noise.
Senate Republican leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar also opposed the bill, although he was absent for the vote. He said a recent measles outbreak that began at Disneyland in Anaheim eventually ended.
"I don't believe the crisis we have seen rises to the level to give up the personal freedoms we enjoy in a free country," Huff told his colleagues.
The vote was 25-10 with most Republicans voting "no." Republican Sens. Andy Vidak of Hanford, Jeff Stone of Murrieta and Anthony Cannella of Ceres supported the measure, while Democrat Connie Leyva of Chino opposed the bill.
If the bill is next approved by the Assembly and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, California would join 32 other states that don’t allow parents to opt out of vaccination requirements for their children by citing a personal belief against immunization.
Pan said more and more parents are refusing the vaccinate their children, which puts others with low immunities at risk.
"Vaccines are needed to protect us but that protection has been eroding,” said Pan, a pediatrician.
The bill requires children to be vaccinated before they enter kindergarten, but unvaccinated students already in school with personal belief exemptions would not be required to get shots until they enter 7th grade or move to a different school district.
More than 13,500 kindergartners in California have waivers based on their parents' personal beliefs.
The bill was able to bypass a committee hearing on its potential costs when it was amended last week to remove an expensive requirement that school districts annually report the vaccination rates at their campuses.
Hundreds of parents and children, many clad in red, had flooded the Capitol in recent months to oppose the legislation at three committee hearings.
Some parents believe vaccinations are not safe, while others oppose the state telling them what medical attention they give to their children. The bill was amended to give parents flexibility to put their children in homeschooling or independent study programs.
Opponents of the bill packed the Senate gallery Thursday wearing red shirts and buttons with SB 277 crossed out on them. Despite extra security in the balcony, after the vote, an unidentified person yelled “profiteers” at the senators.
One of those in opposition, Janelle Lewis of Placer County, said the fight now continues in the state Assembly.
“It’s very, very disappointing,” she said of the vote, “but it wasn’t unexpected. This is too major an issue to let go now. It’s a dangerous and unnecessary bill that should never have even put forward.”
The bill’s supporters include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California State PTA, California Medical Assn. and Los Angeles Unified School District.
(Courtesy, the LA Times)
BIBI’S NEW GOVERNMENT
Prime Minister Netanyahu had to go with a coalition of five political parties with 61 seats in the 120 member Knesset. A particular troublesome problem was the inclusion of the ultra right "Jewish Home" party and the appointment of its leader, Ayelet Shaked, as Prime Minister. She has been accused of advocating genocide of the Palestinians. As Justice Minister she plays an important part in legislation and appointment of judges and supervision of the judiciary. One can be sure that will be legislation that counters the idea that Israel is an democracy.
This appointment was followed by an announcement that the Vatican is executing a treaty to recognize the State of Palestine. One of the responses was vandalism of a Catholic monastery in Jerusalem by Israelis. Adding to concerns of Israel is the likely action by France to take steps to request the Security Council to approve the State of Palestine as a member state of the United Nations. The United States which the running dog for Israel in the United Nations is trying to persuade France stop its efforts. The United States clearly does not want to exercise its veto.
Finally, adding to the concerns of Israel an aid ship has left Sweden and is to be the first ship in Flotilla III to Gaza. The plan is for other aid ships from other countries to break the illegal blockade of Gaza which is conducted by Israel and Egypt. If Turkey decides to participate in this effort it could could well sent naval and special forces to assist in breaking the blockade. Israel clearly has critical problems but maintaining an apartheid state is difficult.
In peace and love,
OBAMA'S BIZARRE SALES PITCH FOR TPP
Thursday, May 14, 2015 | by Jim Hightower
Sometimes you get offered "a deal you can't refuse." Then there's the deal that Barack Obama has offered to congressional Democrats.
For some bizarre reason, Obama is staking his presidential legacy on a trade scam called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It's a corporate wet dream that would let profiteering giants in Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, and eight other Pacific nations sue to overturn our national, state, and even local laws that they claim might pinch their profits. These challenges would not be filed in our courts of law, but in private, corporate-run tribunals set up by the UN and the World Bank.
Unsurprisingly, the great majority of House and Senate Democrats are saying "Hell no" to such a power grab. So the President, who is famously disinclined to do the sweaty work of rounding up votes for progressive legislation, invited 30 wary-but-wavering Democratic lawmakers to the White House to make a two-hour personal plea for support of this honker. Vote with me on this highly-unpopular giveaway of the people's sovereignty, he told them, and I will personally come campaign for you if your vote prompts a real Democrat to oppose you in the 2016 primary election.
Wow – that's a double dose of political hemlock! First, he asks them to vote against the people by increasing corporate power. Then, the very President who led this highly-unpopular effort will come tell your constituents what a fine public servant you are for voting to impose foreign corporate power over them. Good grief – why not just have the corporate chieftains themselves come thank you for selling out to them?
Apparently, Obama has thought of that, too – the week after his plea to Democratic lawmakers, he flew all away across the country to Beaverton, Oregon to the headquarters of Nike – the champion of offshoring American jobs – to promote its endorsement of his bad TPP deal.
"Obama Pledges to Defend Democrats on Trade Deal," www.nytimes.com, April 30, 2015.
"Many Democrats Turn Their Backs on Free Trade," www.nytimes.com, May 3, 2015.
EEL RIVER CHINOOK SALMON RUN IN 2014-2015 STAYS STRONG DESPITE THE DROUGHT
The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) final report on their 2014-2015 Eel River Chinook salmon monitoring project indicates that 12,500 to 20,000 fish returned to spawn. This marks the third year of ERRP salmon estimates using a combination of scientists and volunteers. Despite the prolonged drought, the Chinook salmon population maintained itself at a healthy level, with the run size at least equal to those measured by US Fish and Wildlife Service in the1950s.
Two organized lower Eel River dives were conducted in October and November 2014 and then volunteers helped document salmon migrations and spawning throughout the watershed. This year’s distribution of Eel River Chinook spawning was the inverse of 2013-2014, when most fish spawned in lower mainstem reaches due to lack of winter rain. In 2014-2015, no fish stopped to spawn in lower river locations and instead many spawned in the upper-most accessible reaches. These included the headwaters of Outlet Creek above Willits, in the upper Middle Fork Eel and Black Butte rivers, the South Fork Eel near Branscomb, Ten Mile Creek above Laytonville, and in the Van Duzen River above Bridgeville.
The number of smaller jack salmon that return from the ocean after less than one year was 26%, which is good. This is the highest level of jack returns since 2011 and it means that egg and juvenile survival during the severe drought of 2013-2014 were high. Since Chinook salmon spawn at variable ages up to five years old, the strong year class may support continued good spawning escapement for the next three years, unless warm ocean conditions develop due to the El Nino effect that reduce survival
The Eel River’s Chinook salmon rebound is owing to several factors, but improved main channel spawning conditions is the most important. Chinook salmon are the largest of the Pacific salmon species and are adapted to spawning in large gravel and cobble, while steelhead and coho salmon favor creeks with smaller gravel size. Fifty years after the record inundation of the Eel River bed with the millions of tons of sediment from the 1964 flood, the silt and sand has washed away, resulting in more Chinook salmon spawning gravel availability than in a long time.
The healthy river reaches are producing so many adults that they are exploring every spawning area in the Eel River basin, up to the headwater waterfalls that have been their natural historic upstream boundaries. ERRP spawning surveys found that some tributaries had substantial use by spawning Chinook, while other streams with too much fine sediment were avoided, despite sufficient flow for upstream passage. This indicates that the salmon are getting cues from the tributary flow and can judge its suitability for spawning without swimming upstream. Fish developed this survival mechanism because of the unstable nature of the Eel River watershed, where earthquake or flood caused slides would block or damage tributary habitat and render them unusable for decades. The salmon also know when a stream has healed, so they can quickly re-colonize, if sediment sources are abated. Sediment impaired streams include Tomki Creek, Ten Mile Creek, Salmon Creek, lower Eel River tributaries, and lower Van Duzen River tributaries.
Chinook salmon juveniles swim downstream to the estuary immediately upon emerging from the gravel. Increased estuarine productivity, associated with natural recovery and wetland expansion in lower Salt River, is likely another factor assisting with Chinook recovery. High spring flows in most years from 1995 to 2012 helped reduce predation on salmonid juveniles by Sacramento pikeminnow. This warmwater adapted species also tends to decline in years of high flows, and they are signs that otter predation may also be reducing pikeminnow numbers and restricting their distribution. Angling regulations in effect since 1994 that prohibit harvest in the estuary and upstream in the Eel River have also helped Chinook salmon rebound.
Because of current distribution and abundance of Eel River fall Chinook salmon; their extinction risk in the short term is low. However, species like summer steelhead and coho salmon, which are more dependent on freshwater habitat, may be more challenged by the current dry cycle and lack of tributary flow over the next decades.
Support for the past year’s monitoring came from the Patagonia World Trout Fund, the Salmon Restoration Association, Humboldt Redwood Company, and Mendocino Redwood Company. The complete 2014-2015 fall Chinook salmon report is available on-line at www.eelriverrecovery.org. ERRP will continue to monitor the fall Chinook run in 2015-2016 beginning with dives in October. People can volunteer for dives by calling (707) 223-7200 and can help support this citizen-monitoring effort by donating on-line at www.eelriverrecovery.org/donate.
KMUD’S 28TH ANNUAL MEMBERS MEETING
The Board and Staff of Redwood Community Radio invite members to our 28th annual Members Meeting, 4 pm on Thursday, June 4. The close of the meeting is the deadline to nominate the next "generation" of Programmer and Member Reps to the Board. Come on down to the station -- June 4 at 4 -- to hear what's new at the Mud. Members of the community interested in KMUD's Strategic Plan are invited to a meeting on Wed., June 10, at 11 am. Room on the agenda will be made for Open Time, during which members are invited to take two minutes to address station reps. Listeners can also make suggestions for the Plan by phoning the Listener Comment Line: 932 5091, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
THAT LITTLE THING CALLED AUTO SAFETY
Past Is Prologue
by Ralph Nader
It doesn’t take a comprehensive examination of American culture to notice the all too commonplace glorification of war. Violent war movies and television shows routinely make big bucks for Hollywood. Video games called “Call of Duty” and “Battlefield” sell millions of copies each year. Even history books are filled with stories of “great” battles won and lost. There are even devoted Civil War reenactors!
We are quick to recognize and commemorate wars that took enormous amounts of human lives through acts of intentional violence from opposing sides. It is unfortunately quite rare to see the same public attention dedicated to campaigns where preserving human life was the only true objective.
Michael R. Lemov’s new book is about such a conflict — called “the equivalent of war” by the U.S. Supreme Court — which was not fought with guns or bombs but by concerned citizens, safety advocates, and responsive legislators in Congress. The new book, Car Safety Wars: One Hundred Years of Technology, Politics and Death (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2015), is a comprehensive history of the movement for safer cars over the course of a century. Lemov knows his stuff—in addition to being a talented author and historian; he served as general counsel of the National Commission on Product Safety, chief counsel of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the House of Representatives, and as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Car Safety Wars is prime reading for anyone interested in automobiles and their development, the consumer safety movement, the mechanisms of democratic government, or simply those curious about the origins of the many auto safety features like seatbelts and airbags that now protect countless lives.
Here are some statistics to put the critical importance of auto safety into perspective. Over 3.5 million people have died due to automobile accidents since the first cars took to the roads in the early 1900’s. In the 1960’s, nearly 50,000 people died each year in car crashes and millions more were injured—that’s nearly the same number of US military deaths in the entire Vietnam War.
In one noteworthy chapter of his book, Lemov details the background and life’s work of Rep. Kenneth Roberts of Alabama, who was a true pioneer of safety legislation. “Roberts introduced and pushed to enactment legislation mandating that household refrigerators be manufactured with safety locks on the inside of the door, so that children who might become trapped in them could push the door open…. He introduced legislation requiring the labeling of poisonous household substances, promoting public-educational television, and bills providing for health care for migrant workers and Native Americans. Roberts was a congressman, it seemed, who was instinctively concerned about the well-being of a wide range of people.” (Many of these proposals later became law as part of larger pieces of legislation.)
In 1956, Roberts was the first representative or senator to tackle highway and automobile safety when he introduced a bill to establish a special subcommittee to study the growing crisis of injury and death on America’s roads.
The auto safety movement truly took off in a serious way with the Congressional outrage following General Motors and its clumsy attempt to dig up dirt on me before and after publication of my book Unsafe at Any Speed in November 1965. The extensive Congressional hearings in the Senate and the House that followed brought to light overwhelming evidence that the auto companies were knowingly suppressing the use of long-available safety devices.
During the first six decades of the twentieth century the American automobile industry seemed wedded to the idea that safe design was not its responsibility. There was no public demand, it was said, for safer automobile design. Nor did the industry seem to think it had much responsibility to inform the public about the risks of vehicle design and the omissions such as lap and shoulder belts.
Safety was not deemed a major concern in these early industry days, despite the fact that the knowhow existed―patents for airbag technology were first issued as early as the 1950s. Instead style and horsepower were favored over things like safety and fuel efficiency. Airbags did not become commonplace until the late 1980s. Some younger readers might actually not recall a time when crash test ratings were not a fiercely highlighted aspect of car advertisements.
The seminal 1966 federal safety law that resulted from the auto safety movement has since saved 600,000 lives. The highway death toll has dropped from roughly 50,000 deaths per year in the 1960’s to roughly 30,000 deaths per year today, even though far more vehicles are now traveling far more miles. Together, highway death and injury rates have been lessened by 70%.
There are unfortunately few national problems that are less serious today than they were 50 years ago. The fact that our roads are safer is a testament to the power of public sentiment, citizen advocacy and a government that acts to promote the welfare of its people, not the interests of big business. In this sense, the “car safety war” is certainly a war worth studying, reflecting on, and celebrating.
However, the battle still rages on. A record 50 million cars were recalled in 2014 for safety defects. With recent developments regarding General Motors and its defective ignition-switches, defective airbags from Takada Industries, exploding Jeep Grand Cherokees from Fiat Chrysler, Toyota’s sudden acceleration, and many other dangerous defects that have been uncovered in the past few years, it’s clear that vigilant watchdogs are needed now as much as ever. Fortunately, we presently have some law enforcement tools to make the auto companies correct their deficiencies or face penalties and lawsuits—both good deterrents.
(Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.)
FIESTA! THIS SUNDAY, MAY 17 FROM 1-5 PM
The Community Center of Mendocino is presents Fiesta! on Sunday, May 17 from 1-5 PM. A fun filled family event featuring free music by the Quarteto Pura Vida, buffet, cantina, dancing, dessert, games, art displays, demonstrations, children's activities and more. The Community Center is located at 998 School St., Mendocino, behind Friendship Park. Free Admission. Dinner-adults $15, $7 for children 12 and under, Information at 937-4133.
FANTASY KEEPSAKE BOXES MAKER SPACE
Saturday, May 23rd, 10 AM to Noon
On Saturday, May 23, from 10 AM to noon, the Fort Bragg Library will host a Fantasy Keepsake Box Maker Space event. Come learn how to make beautiful boxes using only paper and chip board. Your designs can be as simple or as ornate as you desire. All supplies will be provided.
Class size is limited to 30 so please call ahead to reserve a spot. Please note, this is not a drop-off event. All children 12 and under must have an adult in attendance with them.
ARMED REVOLUTION NOW!
Upcoming Spiritual Power Tools
Workshop: "Surrender" May 21, 2015:
"Surrender" A Spiritual Power Tools Workshop. What is surrender? What do you surrender, really? What fears and hindrances block you? Loss of control over your life? Fear you'll be forced into a lifestyle or situations you won't like? The workshop is a deep exploration of what surrender means to you, what you lose/risk, what to release, what you gain, and how to develop one of the most powerful Spiritual Tools to experience a joy-filled life.
Love and God Bless,
Register in Advance: ContactMe@carolynecathey.com 707.272.5397. Led by Carolyne Cathey.
CITY OF POINT ARENA Special Meeting Agenda May 18 2015:
Letter to the Editor:
We in Mendocino County should be especially proud of our Congressman Jared Huffman for co-sponsoring the just-introduced We The People Amendment to the U.S Constitution in the House of Representatives (HJR48). This is the only amendment that would eliminate both Supreme Court doctrines that grant constitutional rights to artificial entities such as corporations and define spending money as free speech. Congressman Huffman responded to our request/demand in passing Measure F overwhelmingly in 2012. In making the announcement, lead sponsor Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL-Minnesota), said: “It’s time to take the shaping and molding of public policy out of corporate boardrooms, away from the corporate lobbyists, and put it back in city halls — back with county boards and state legislatures — and back in the Congress where it belongs.” Please add your support for this nationwide movement by signing the petition at www.MoveToAmend.org and be sure to thank Congressman Huffman (www.huffman.house.gov) for his leadership in representing us his constituents. If you would like to get involved with the local MoveToAmend group, sign up via the web site.
Susan Nutter, Fort Bragg
Margaret Koster, Willits