- Growing Problem
- Loretta Report
- Softball Tournament
- Hot Day
- Green Energy
- Yesterday's Catch
- Armed Robbery
- Mixed Reviews
- 3/4 Bypass
- Vaccine Bill
- Cop Apps
- Equal Dignity
- Coming Meltdown
- White Supremacy
- King Obama
- Hatchery Evacuations
- History Awards
- Ukiah Artwalk
- Gualala Anniversary
"A GROWING PROBLEM": Notes from Friday afternoon’s press conference convened by Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman with participation from Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey and Trinity County Sheriff Bruce Haney and a Fish and Game spokesperson who together reported on the big marijuana raid in the Island Mountain area near where Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity Counties intersect, an area where third generation grows have thrived virtually untouched since the days when the pioneer hippies began making their back-to-the-land mortgage payments growing the magic herb.
Sheriff Allman said the nearly week-long raids were "complaint-driven." The sheriff's offices of the three affected counties received complaints from residents in the area who were upset over ecologically abusive grows in an area remote even by the standards of remote, an hour from the closest paved road. Off the grid, beyond the beyond. Allman conceded that law enforcement had not paid much attention to Island Mountain in the last few years compared to other areas.
The raids had started with aerial surveillance, and talks with locals. Allman said Island Mountain represented some of the most flagrant grows in NorCal, some of them clearly visible from the dusty dirt roads that crisscross that part of the Mendo-HumCo-Trinity outback. From the ridge it was easy to see numerous curved-pole greenhouses, the Sheriff said, that were "typically 100 feet long with about 300 pot plants."
The Sheriff emphasized the raids were locally mounted without federal manpower. Fish and Wildlife participated and they found many environmental crimes, and illegal water diversions. "The more we looked the worse it got," he said. “We couldn't put it off anymore.”
Several dozen search warrants were "served" at residences and in open fields. Allman said 83,578 plants were eradicated in the three counties in the four day period, representing an estimated $26 million in street value. These weren't seedlings but adult plants in greenhouses or free-standing.
There wasn't much resistance to the arrival of law enforcement's small army. Apparently a single road was bulldozed to slow the raid teams down, but the police hand-shoveled it so it was passable by vehicle. The growers had fled, indicating that at least some of the labor consisted of recent immigrants. Authorities considered the Island Mountain neighborhood the site of the most egregious environmental damages in all three counties.
Were they true enviromental problems or just an excuse to conduct raids, some have asked. Allman replied: "They were not minor or casual. Take the number of plants seized times an estimated 6 gallons per plant per day just to water the plants they eradicated. 500,000 gallons of water per day."
ALLMAN denied that a 50k gallon water tank was maliciously emptied by his raiders. He said the three police departments will always consider complaints and respond to areas where they are found to be valid.
Biologists were at the scene and videos taken of the abundant stream alterations. "Watershed enforcement teams" discovered 97 violations just for stream alterations from small to large. Heavy equipment had been used in and around waterways. "Some of these were as bad as I've seen," said the Fish and Wildlife crew leader, with debris and soil pushed into creeks, pads adjacent to streams. Dams. Holding tanks and ponds. "Unreal" amounts of water storage, "all of it prevented from running to the Eel River."
The Fish and Wildlife rep (who name we didn’t catch because he tended to garble his words) said water looked stagnant and algae-ridden in low flows made more hazardous to the natural world by fertilizer run-off.
Nearly every parcel from one end of the search area to the other had at least one Fish and Wildlife violation.
Allman was asked why small 25 plant grows were eradicated? Because they were connected by the same waterlines in a series of connected grows. It was an attempt to fool law enforcement, he said, but it didn't work.
“September we will go back,” said Allman. “And I have every reason to believe the growing will continue. We will see people taking water from the river to supply private grows, which is not the intent of Proposition 215."
Seven parcels were visited in Humboldt County. 40 separate greenhouses. Several participants said the watershed seemed to have been drawn down to lowest levels they've seen. Huge amounts of water diversions. All of the grows they raided were commercial grows by people who picked Island Mountain because of limited law enforcement in that area. Four grows in Trinity County; 14,000 plants. One arrest with a case filed. More are pending in Trinity County.
Mendocino County: Nine search warrants.
Mendo arrested 3, Trinity 1, Humboldt: 0 which is “indicative of the issue, said Humboldt Sheriff Downey. “If people were doing this legally, why didn't we encounter anyone to plead their case?”
Mendocino teams encountered four very large gardens for which they didn't have warrants, so they were not eradicated. But the investigation is ongoing. Several dozen guns were located and seized, but no one so far has been charged with being armed in the commission of a felony. Not much cash seized. $8,777 total.
Many of the plants were smaller than the typical tree sized plants that have become popular in inland Mendocino County lately, but they were adults, not starts or juveniles. About two dozen deputies were involved, plus support and logistics from Fish and Wildlife and the National Guard.
Allman said he didn't yet have the cost of the operation but lots of overtime was used. The Sheriff said he would soon have the totals for the raids.
What percent of greenhouses eradicated? Probably 50% of total greenhouses. "Still a lot of greenhouses to go.”
Black pipe: Since these raids were on private property we won't spend public funds to remove it, Allman said, adding that tracking black pipe by serial number is being discussed.
168 parcels involved in total. They don’t have an estimate of the total acreage. Many grows were "in your face," apparently because they didn't think law enforcement would ever make it out there.
Allman said that the paucity of people on site was at least partly due to KMUD announcing the dispatch of the raid teams, allowing many of the people in the grow areas to "voluntarily evacuate. We did not find many people there because apparently they were listening to the radio."
Allman said the grows they raided did not appear to be trespass grows. “I don't know if the property owners were doing the grow, but they were either grown by the landowner or with the landowner's permission.”
Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost: “We heard reports that water impounds were spilled onto land.” Allman said he was not aware of any. If somebody has a complaint we will take a report “because law enforcement does not participate in this type of activity.” [Vandalism]
KMUD’s Kerry Reynolds “clarified” that KMUD didn't really mention anything more than that a convoy was in the area, but not its direction. She said she thought that phone tree operations were going on in that community, not just KMUD.
* * *
More notes and pictures:
(— Mark Scaramella)
ACTION ALERT: Mendocino Outraged Over Sheriff Department Raids on Small “Mom and Pop” Medical Marijuana Farms #StandWithFarmers
Do you #StandWithFarmers for an end to Drug War tactics and a beginning of reasonable regulation? Raids in the #EmeraldTriangle have begun, claiming that trespass grows and water diversions are the target, but local private property owners and political activists have reportedly been targeted as well. Share this to show support to the farmers who are actively working to create responsible and reasonable regulations. #DrugWarSurvivors
Action alert: our Sheriff will hold a press conference today 4:00 PM located at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Donovan Conference Room (951 Low Gap Road in Ukiah, California). The farmers are caught between the rock of enforcement and the hard place of no legal pathway to compliance. If you are available to bear witness, stand with me against these tired enforcement tactics. Cannabis activists and fellow farmers are invited to “Upstage” the planned media event today. How long will we allow our small scale “mom and pop” medical marijuana farmers and activists to be targeted by these expensive and clandestine raids, as long as we all remain silent the oppression and violence against our community continues.
The last year has seen farmers coming together to build compliance and best management practices. These heavy handed tactics are not effective. When the Water Board went to Sproul Creek, they informed landowners first and they achieved compliance. We are building a collaborative approach, these enforcement tactics are a direct hindrance to building better land use practices for the future. #wearenotafraid #standwithfarmers #craftfarmfriday
THE LORETTA REPORT: LORETTA GIVES THE BOONT SALUTE
It is a rare thing to laugh and cry at a rude gesture but I did both last week. Out here in the Anderson Valley we have our own way about things. It may be the geographic isolation or just the general oneriness of those of us who can stand to live out here. Or, more likely, that we can't stand to live elsewhere. Whichever way it is we are proud to get to be here and that was especially true for the generations that settled here before us. So proud that they came up with their own words for life in this region. From our dogbait pikes in and out, to the boarp, the breggo, tomker, huge tomker, the boshe, the blue tail, the greyske, the haireem and other such varmits. And of course the Brightlighters and other huskers, all manner of hood, burlappers, knuckleheads, appleheads, apple eaters, prack gormers and the just plain tuddish; from highrollers to deependers and even out to the Briney we are an odd bunch.
So while the physical therapist was running She Who Must Not Be Named through her "Give me a thumbs up; Good! Can you nod for me? Good! Stick your tongue out! Good!" daily trained dog routine I chimed in with "Can you give me a Boont Salute?" There was the immediate sardonic smirk and the raising of the right hand with the middle finger wave that we all recognize from heated exchanges. Especially for those of us in the Boont region who use it regularly to greet each other casually. Now for most of us that is a throw off gesture that comes as natural as can be. But when your grey matter has takin' a dreekin the likes of the one my eeld'm has then it is not so simple. This is all to say, in plain English, that Loretta is alive and well, humor in tact! There is a lot of ottin to go, but she is on her way back and will be out of the tongue cuppy nook soon enough. It will be a long, ot pike but she is plodding along it. The picture below does not have her beautiful smile attached as she is not ready for a full photo spread yet. But know that there is a keemwun keemle huge tidrick on the pike ahead with prackin, gormin, yattin and a hobneelch featuring a hob tween me and my darlin! (Roughly "a big party at which my love and I will dance and you are all invited!")
— From W.Dan's Treehouse, June 24, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO is not a good place to be on a hot day, but I had a ticket for my favorite seat on top of the stadium where you have a cliff's edge view of the diamond and almost a panoramic view of the Bay, soooooo. I used to have a secret parking spot safe from the meter maids, upon whose diligence rests much of Frisco's funding for its huge bureaucracy. Frisco's annual budget is more than $9 billion, much of which, I'd say, goes to people who are paid way too much for what they do.
HERE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, population not quite 90,000, about half of all employed people work in a public job of some kind overseen by people paid laughably high salaries out of all proportion to the demands of their jobs. Oh, you say they're supervised by elected people sworn to hawk eye the public's interest? Har de har.
SAGE SANGIACOMO, Ukiah, is paid $252,000 — plus the usual array of Louis the Sun King-quality fringe benefits — to "manage" a town of just over 16,000 people. I daresay this makes this guy the highest paid city manager in the country, maybe the world, in proportion to population managed.
THE UKIAH CITY COUNCIL agreed to Sangiacomo's preposterous salary because the money doesn't come directly out of their own fortified pockets. If this Sage dude walked into, say, the Apple Corp and said he wanted work at $252,000 annually, Apple would say, "For that kinda money we look for people with real skills, Mr. Sangiacomo. But we've evaluated your training and experience and can offer you an entry-level position in either the mailroom or as the last guy in personnel. Sorry, advanced ass kissing may get you the big bucks in Mendocino County, but out here in the jungles of capitalism there's no way you're going to get a quarter mil a year."
WHERE WERE WE? Oh, yes, at the ballpark where, footing it to and from the North Beach Garage, Thursday's heat rising, the usual faint odor of raw sewage more prevalent in the heat than it usually is, and the pervasive bad vibes characteristic of life in America these days more edgy than they usually are — two screaming road rage episodes on the way to the ballpark, one on the way back — The City limp in the globally warmed toaster.
AT THE BALLPARK, however, the vibes were positively merry, and I was fortunate in my immediate neighbors, a suburban mom and her two teenagers, a boy of 16, who mom said runs a 2-flat 800 meters, an excellent time for a high school kid, and a girl of 14 "who plays all the sports." Mom asked me, "Always been a Giants fan?" Launching into full Old Coot mode, I replied, "All the way back before the Giants I was a dedicated Seals fan. I saw Dave Righetti's father, Leo, play shortstop at Seals Stadium, which was really a beautiful little ballpark and not a stadium but big to sports fans. And on I went with my Baseball Geezer bona fides until it was obvious she was sorry she'd asked.
THE GAME was a lot of fun and, in the late innings downright exciting as the Pads came to within a run until the Strickland kid, humming fastballs in the high 90s, shut San Diego all the way down. Four triples, almost a great catch by Pagan, the seagulls arriving in force just as Tony Bennett was climbing his cable car to the stars.
ARRIVING back in Marvo-Marin about six, Comcast, without explanation, disappeared, meaning no phone, no computer, no television, no Netflix. It was nice to be totally incommunicado and, as always when the grid goes awry or fails altogether, a timely reminder how fragile it is, how fragile and failing everything is.
RECOMMENDED READING: "Power to the People — Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous" by Bill McKibben. "..... Most of the technology isn't particularly exotic — these days, you can buy a solar panel or an air-source heat pump at Lowe's. But few people do, because the up-front costs are high and the options can be intimidating....The energy revolution, instead of happening piecemeal, over decades, could take place fast enough to actually help an overheating planet. But all of this would require the utilities — the interface between people and power — to play a critical role, or, at least, to get out of the way."
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 26, 2015.
JAMES CHRISTENSEN, Fort Bragg. Commercial abalone diving, obstruction of justice.
DYLAN COOK-SCHULETER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
RANDY DAVIS, Clearlake/Ukiah. DUI-related suspended license.
MISTY HAWKINS, Covelo. Probation revocation.
TRAVIS ‘THE HUMP’ HUMPHREY, Ukiah. Vandalism. (Frequent flyer.)
MATTHEW JOHNSON, Huntington Beach/Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia.
TIMOTHY KING, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
JOSEPH SAGER, Knoxville/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice, false ID.
ASHLEY SVENDSEN, Willits. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
JOSEPH VILTRAKIS, Ukiah. Burglary, vandalism.
ON JUNE 22, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy contacted two victims of an armed robbery at the Van Duzen Grange in Carlotta. The victim’s age 56 and 26 are father and son. The victim’s told the deputy they arranged to meet two people at the Grange in Carlotta, regarding a vehicle that one of the victim’s might want to purchase. The victim’s said the asking price of the vehicle they wanted to purchase was $6,000 dollars. The 26 year old victim told the deputy he brought $6,000 dollars in cash with him in case he wanted to purchase the vehicle.
The victim’s said when they arrived at the Grange they met with a male and female, who were parked there with a red, Nissan, hatchback they were going to look at to possibly buy. The victim’s said as they got out of their vehicle they walked up to the male and female suspects. As they walked towards the Nissan vehicle a second male suspect wearing a ski mask emerged from behind a large poison oak bush. The male suspect was holding a black semi-automatic handgun and pointed it towards the two victims. The male suspect with the handgun ordered both of the victims to lie on the ground or he would shoot them.
When the victims were lying on the ground both of the male suspects searched their pockets and removed all of their personal property. Once they removed all of their personal property they were told to stay on the ground until they left.
The victims said the suspects stole their green/red, 1998, Ford Ranger, pickup truck with a red canopy shell, California license number 21956G1. The 26 year old victim said the suspects stole $6,260 dollars in cash from his pocket. The victims said they were not injured in this incident. The victims last saw the suspects driving westbound on highway 36 in their vehicle.
The suspects are described as:
White, male, adult, 5’-10”, 270 pounds, blond hair, blue eyes, early 30’s.
White, male, adult, 5”-10”, 140 pounds, brown hair, hazel eyes, early 30’s.
Unknown description of the female suspect.
The suspects are considered armed and dangerous. The suspects are wanted for armed robbery, vehicle theft and criminal threats.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
POT GETS MIXED REVIEWS AS EFFECTIVE MEDICINE
WILLITS BYPASS: 70% COMPLETE; EXPECTED COMPLETION NOW SUMMER OF 2016.
(Environmental Work — including proposed pesticide applications on blackberry vines — farmed out to SoCo outfit.)
CALIFORNIA VACCINE BILL CLEARS MAJOR LEGISLATIVE HURDLE
by Julia Horowitz
California's Assembly on Thursday approved a hotly contested bill requiring that nearly all public schoolchildren be vaccinated, clearing one of its last major legislative obstacles before the measure heads to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown.
The bill aims to increase immunization rates after a measles outbreak linked to Disneyland in December sickened over 100 people in the U.S. and Mexico.
It would give California one of the nation's strictest vaccine laws by striking the state's personal belief exemption. Only children with serious health issues would be allowed to opt out of mandatory vaccine schedules. Unvaccinated children would need to be homeschooled.
"Do we wait until we have a full-fledged crisis to protect the most vulnerable?" Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, asked as she presented the bill.
The measure passed on a bipartisan 46-30 vote after weeks of vocal opposition, with thousands of parents placing calls to representatives and donning red shirts to protest at the Capitol.
But proponents have been equally resolute, standing by 7-year-old leukemia survivor Rhett Krawitt Wednesday as he delivered a petition with over 30,000 signatures to the Democratic governor. Krawitt's parents said that because he could not be immunized for a year after receiving chemotherapy, they were nervous to send him to school in the chronically under-vaccinated Marin County.
"We should fight for the liberty not just of those who don't want to vaccine their kids, but for those who cannot," said Republican Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-Pleasanton, during Thursday's floor debate.
Two Republican assemblywomen joined the Democratic majority in support. The Senate already approved the bill once, but still must approve amendments before it is sent to Brown. The Senate could take up amendments as early as next week.
Brown has not said whether he would sign the bill authored by Democratic Sens. Richard Pan of Sacramento and Ben Allen of Santa Monica.
"The Governor believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and a major public health benefit and any bill that reaches his desk will be closely considered," spokesman Evan Westrup said in an email that repeated Brown's earlier statement.
Opponents of the vaccine bill gathered on the Capitol steps after the vote, vowing to make their voices heard to the governor.
"Parents are being bullied into having their children vaccinated or not sending their kids to school," said Renate Krogdahl, a Cupertino mother of three who was among the protesters.
Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, said Thursday that he and Pan have been targeted for recall by opponents. Monning said his district, which includes Santa Cruz, has a high number of parents who seek vaccine exemptions for their children and he has had to shut down his district office out of safety concerns.
In the floor debate, some Assembly Republicans argued that the measure trampled parental rights.
"We do not have the right, nor should we have the power, to take away a parent's right to choose," said Assemblyman Devon Mathis, R-Visalia.
There were also divisions among Democrats, with Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale, taking the floor to warn of government overreach.
"If anyone can tell me where the line for medical necessity reasonably ends to justify a law, then I will vote for this bill," Gatto said. "Until then, this is a slippery slope."
(Courtesy, the Associated Press.)
ANOTHER INTERESTING POST by Captain Silverman, SF Police Department:
Arrest: Stolen Car / False Id To A Police Officer / Suspended License / Warrants; 06-20-2015 11:54 PM. Geary & Collins
Officers spotted a black Mercedes SUV with no plates doing 58mph in a 35mph zone. They stopped the driver who told them that the car belonged to his uncle and that he had permission to drive it. In fact, the car had been stolen three months earlier (the owner does not know the suspect). The suspect gave his brother’s name to the officers because his own license was suspended and because he had warrants for drunk driving and theft. The officers soon figured out his true identity.
Captain’s Note: Every SFPD officer is issued a smart phone with several crime fighting applications including a mugshot database. This is how the officers figured out the suspect’s true identity. Facebook for criminals? Yeah, there’s an app for that.
SWING VOTE ON GAY MARRIAGE
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
— Justice Anthony Kennedy
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
No matter what the fundamentalist, isolate-yourself-in-a-cabin-with-four-years-of-dried-food people may say no one, absolutely no one, will remain unscathed in the coming meltdown, whenever it occurs.
Will Greece be the straw that breaks the camels back? No one can be sure. However the one thing we can be sure of is in the long run the camel’s back will surely snap.
Get out of debt, try to get in shape - both physically and mentally and find a community that you can be a part of.
DYLANN ROOF’S BELIEF belief that black life had no purpose beyond subjugation is “sick and twisted” in the exact same manner as the beliefs of those who created the Confederate flag were “sick and twisted.”
The Confederate flag is directly tied to the Confederate cause, and the Confederate cause was white supremacy. This claim is not the result of revisionism. It does not require reading between the lines. It is the plain meaning of the words of those who bore the Confederate flag across history. These words must never be forgotten. Over the next few months the word “heritage” will be repeatedly invoked. It would be derelict to not examine the exact contents of that heritage.
This examination should begin in South Carolina, the site of our present and past catastrophe. South Carolina was the first state to secede, two months after the election of Abraham Lincoln. It was in South Carolina that the Civil War began, when the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter.
— Ta Nahisi-Coates in The Atlantic
The Royal Court & the TPP
by Ralph Nader
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a global corporate noose around US local, state, and national sovereignty — narrowly passed a major procedural hurdle in the Congress by gaining “fast track” status. This term “fast track” is a euphemism for your members of Congress — senators and representatives — handcuffing themselves, so as to prevent any amendments or adequate debate before the final vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership — another euphemism that is used to avoid the word “treaty,” which would require ratification by two-thirds of the Senate. This anti-democratic process is being pushed by “King Obama” and his royal court.
Make no mistake. If this was only a trade treaty — reducing tariffs, quotas, and the like — it would not be so controversial. Yet, the corporate-indentured politicians keep calling this gigantic treaty with thirty chapters, of which only five relate to traditional trade issues, a trade agreement instead of a treaty. The other twenty-four chapters, if passed as they are, will have serious impacts on your livelihoods as workers and consumers, as well as your air, water, food, and medicines
The reason I call President Obama “King Obama” in this case is that he, and his massive corporate lobbies (royal court), have sought to circumvent the checks and balances system that is the very bedrock of our government. They have severely weakened the independence of the primary branch of our government — the Congress—and fought off any court challenges with medieval defenses, such as no American citizen has any standing to sue for harm done by such treaties or the subject is a political, not judicial, matter.
Only corporations, astonishingly enough, are entitled to sue the U.S. government for any alleged harm to their profits from health, safety or other regulations in secret tribunals that operate as offshore kangaroo courts, not in open courts.
President Obama has weakened two branches of our government in favor of the third, which is currently his executive branch that has secret negotiations with 11 other nations, some of which are brutal regimes.
Allowing foreign investors (aka corporations) to bypass our courts and sue the U.S. government (aka the taxpayers) for money damages before secret outside tribunals is considered unconstitutional by many, including Alan Morrison, a constitutional law specialist and litigator now at George Washington University Law School.
In the mid-nineties, I opposed the creation of NAFTA and the World Trade Organization. President Obama and some members of Congress say that the TPP will be different from NAFTA and the WTO, but I doubt that they have read the entire draft of the TPP. They’re relying on summary memos by the U.S. Trade Office and corporate lawyers, for example, drug companies that sugarcoat the complex monopolistic extension of the pharmaceutical patents and how this will result in higher prices for your medicines.
I challenge President Obama to state publically that he has read the entire TPP. Even a benign monarch would do this for his/her trusting subjects.
Inside these hundreds of pages of cross references and repeals of conflicting existing laws is the central subversion, subordinating our protective laws for labor, consumers and the environment (impersonally called “non-tariff trader barriers”) to the supremacy of international global commercial traffic.
One very recent example — by no means the worst possible — just occurred. After Congress passed a popular “country-of-origin” labeling requirement on meat packages sold in supermarkets, Brazil and Mexico, both exporters of meat to the U.S.A, challenged this U.S. law in a secret (yes, literally secret in all respects) tribunal in Geneva under the World Trade Organization Treaty. Brazil and Mexico won this legal challenge.
“Many Americans will be shocked that the WTO can order our government to deny U.S. consumers the basic information about where their food comes from and that if the information policy is not gutted, we could face millions in sanctions every year,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Today’s ruling spotlights how these so called ‘trade’ deals are packed with non-trade provisions that threaten our most basic rights, such as even knowing the source and safety of what’s on our dinner plate.” A May 2013 survey by the Consumer Federation of America found that 90% of adult Americans favored this “country-of-origin” requirement.
Fearing billions of dollars in penalties, the U.S. Congress is racing to repeal its own law. See how the noose works: foreign countries trying to pull down our higher standards can take conflicts to secret tribunals with three trade judges, who also have corporate clients and can say to the U.S., “Get rid of your protections or pay billions of dollars in tribute.”
The same noose can choke efforts by the U.S. to upgrade our health, safety, and economic rights. Had air bags been proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation under today’s global trade uber alles regimes, the proposal would have had to go to a harmonization committee of the WTO’s signatory countries that would sandpaper or reject this life-saving technology. Or if the U.S. went it alone, it would expose itself to repeal or pay by car-exporting nations.
For ten reasons why the TPP is a bad idea for our country and the world see my recent Huffington Post column.
If this all sounds so outrageous as to strain credulity, go beneath the tip of this iceberg and visit: http://www.citizen.org/tradewatch and http://www.flushthetpp.org/. Then, get ready for the battle over the TPP itself in the late autumn. The following are three examples of how to build resistance to an international problem in your local communities.
First, send the legislators who supported the fast track handcuffs a CITIZENS’ SUMMONS to appear at a town meeting where you, not they, present the agenda. If the lawmakers think 500 or more determined people will show up, it is very likely they will relent and meet with you. The unions and other groups working to stop the TPP around the country can get their people to attend these town meetings. August is the congressional recess month. The senators and representative will have no excuse to avoid a town meeting with their constituents. For a list of those legislators who need to be focused on, visit https://www.stopfasttrack.com/.
Second, hustle together some modest money from groups and individuals, rent an empty storefront, plaster the windows with large signs, and start a rumble of civic resistance in all directions. Politicians sometimes shrug off the warnings of losing contributions from unions. What politicians do fear is their inability to control groups of resurgent voters indeterminately expanding from inside their district or state.
Since opposition to TPP reflects a Left-Right alliance in Congress and back home, store fronts spell real worry for politicians. They should worry because they chose not to do their homework for their home country.
Third, hold rallies designed to attract, collectively, hundreds or thousands of people around the country. These rallies could have an array of high-profile speakers and entertainers, as well as workers who have been harmed by past so-called trade agreements. Rallies can bring in new people and start the process of galvanizing them about the many problems with the TPP.
Remember, 75 percent of Americans think that the TPP should be rejected or delayed according to a bipartisan poll from the Wall Street Journal. People know what these “pull—down,” misnamed trade agreements have done in their own communities. Start organizing today to win tomorrow!
(Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.)
DRAINING OF FOLSOM LAKE FORCES EVACUATION OF AMERICAN RIVER AND NIMBUS FISH HATCHERIES
by Dan Bacher
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced on June 25 that it is moving fish out of the American River and Nimbus hatcheries for the second year in a row as Folsom Lake's cold water pool is rapidly drained by increased Bureau of Reclamation releases into the American below Nimbus Dam.
The Department blamed "a fourth year of extreme drought conditions" for "reducing the cold water supply available," while representatives of fishing and environmental groups point to mismanagement of Folsom Lake and other Central Valley reservoirs during the drought crisis as the key factor behind the evacuations.
As the hatcheries are being evacuated, the Bureau continues to drain Folsom Lake by releasing 2750 cfs from Nimbus Dam into the American River to export water south of the Delta through the Central Valley Project's Delta Mendota Canal and the State Water Project's California Aqueduct.
The evacuation of steelhead from Nimbus Fish Hatchery will have a big impact on this struggling fish, listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act, while the evacuation of rainbow and brown trout from the adjacent American River Fish Hatchery will impact the fisheries at a multitude of lakes, reservoirs and streams in the North Central Region.
"Bureau of Reclamation models suggest water temperatures at the hatcheries could be at lethal levels for cold water fish by August," according to a CDFW news release. "The CDFW has already begun to stock American River Hatchery rainbow and brown trout into state waters earlier than normal."
"These fish range from small fingerlings to the larger catchable size," the agency said. "The accelerated planting schedule will continue through mid-July when all the fish in the raceways are expected to be evacuated. This includes all the fingerling size rainbow trout that would normally be held in the hatchery to grow to catchable size for next year,."
The CDFW said a "new, state-of-the-art" building at American River Hatchery, completed in early June using emergency drought funds, will enable CDFW to raise Lahontan cutthroat trout through the summer for planting into eastern sierra lakes and streams.
"The new building will also enable CDFW to hold a small group of rainbow trout fingerlings that are scheduled to be stocked in west side sierra put-and-grow fisheries by airplane in July," the release stated. "The new hatchery building utilizes water filters, ultraviolet sterilization techniques and large water chillers to keep water quality and temperatures at ideal levels for trout rearing. However, the new technology is limited to the hatchery building and not the raceways, which will limit capacity to include only the Lahontan cutthroat trout once the fish start to grow to larger sizes."
In addition, the CDFW said Nimbus Hatchery has already begun relocating some 330,000 steelhead to the Feather River Hatchery Annex to be held through the summer.
"When the water temperature at the Nimbus Hatchery returns to suitable levels in the fall, the steelhead will be brought back to Nimbus to finish growing and imprinting then will be released into the lower American River. The Feather River Hatchery Annex is supplied by a series of groundwater wells that maintain cool water temperatures throughout the year," the agency said.
The fall run Chinook salmon from Nimbus Hatchery have all been released into state waterways, according to the CDFW. If necessary, the chilled American River Hatchery building will be used this fall to incubate and hatch Chinook salmon from Nimbus Hatchery.
“Unfortunately, the situation is similar to last year,” said Jay Rowan, Acting Senior Hatchery Supervisor for CDFW’s North Central Region. “We have begun to implement contingency plans to avoid major fish losses in the two hatcheries."
The evacuation will provide an immediate benefit to trout anglers in the waters planted during the evacuation period, but will result in trout plants not being scheduled later in the season.
"We want to do the best job we can to provide California anglers with good fishing experiences and communicate when there will be deviations from normal practices. With that in mind, we want to let anglers in the area know that a lot more fish than normal will be going out into area waters served by American River Hatchery," Rowan said.
Rowan said that the number of fish planted at various water bodies will increase as the planting timeframe decreases, so the fishing should be very good through the summer at foothill and mountain elevation put-and-take waters. Early fish plants now mean there won’t be as many fish available to plant in the lower elevation fall and winter fisheries, so the fishing may drop off later in the season if the fish don’t hold over well.
American River Hatchery operations focus on rearing rainbow and Lahontan cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon for recreational angling, predominantly in waters within the North Central Region, according to Rowan. Nimbus Hatchery takes salmon and steelhead eggs from the American River and rears them to fish for six months to a year, until they are ready to be put back in the system.
"Annually, CDFW works with the Bureau of Reclamation to ensure its operations provide suitable conditions for fish at hatcheries and in the river. This year, conditions are forecasted to be dire with little flexibility in operations. Similar to last year, low reservoir storage and minimal snow pack will result high water temperatures over summer and very low river flows by fall. Fall and winter rains, if received in sufficient amounts, will cool water temperatures enough to allow both hatcheries to come back online and resume operations," concluded Rowan.
Mismanagement of water exacerbated impact of drought on fish
Unfortunately, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, under the leadership of Director Chuck Bonham, is failing to tell the truth about the real reason why the hatcheries are being evacuated - the continued daily operation of the Delta export pumps during the drought.
Under pressure by the Metropolitan Water District and the Kern County Water Agency that serves Beverly Hills Billionaire Stewart Resnick and other wealthy growers, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) mismanaged the Bay Delta Estuary and California’s reservoirs during the drought so that these agencies could continue to export as much water as possible, despite the devastating impacts on the Bay-Delta Estuary, according to Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta (RTD)
Barrigan-Parrilla said the Department and Bureau failed to hold back enough water for continued drought conditions despite warnings to do so by fishery and environmental water groups throughout the state.
“As the weeks go by, it becomes clearer and clearer that the only way to stop the over pumping of the SF Bay-Delta estuary, and Governor Brown’s planned tunnels project, is for an adjudication of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed,” she said. “The problem is that we do not have the water to meet the insatiable demand of special interest growers in California, like those in the Kern County Water Agency, or the Metropolitan Water District, which used up the majority of its three-year stored water supply in 2014, and only began to get serious about conservation this year."
During 2013 and 2014, the state and federal water agencies systematically emptied Trinity Reservoir on the Trinity River, Lake Shasta on the Sacramento River, Lake Oroville on the Feather River and Folsom Lake on the American River, in spite of it being a record drought. The agencies delivered massive amounts of subsidized Delta water to corporate mega-growers, Southern California water agencies and Big Oil companies conducting steam injection and fracking operations in Kern County. (http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2014/02/state-and-feds-drained-northern.html )
In violation of numerous state and federal environmental laws, the state and federal agencies are draining the reservoirs once again this year. Folsom Reservoir could reach a record low of 10 percent of capacity by the end of the summer, endangering both local water supplies and fish.
The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and RTD revealed the stunning scope of this mismanagement on Wednesday, June 24, when they made detailed comments at the State Water Resources Control Board workshop on drought management of the Delta and the State’s water system. Both organizations charge that the SWRCB is violating key laws in its management of the system during the drought.
The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance’s (CSPA) presentation to the Board revealed that the Board in its management of the Delta and water system during the drought is operating in violation of the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the constitutional prohibition against the waste and unreasonable use of water.
Bill Jennings, CSPA Executive Director, stated, “Sacramento River water temperatures are already exceeding lethal levels and it’s beginning to look like this year will be a repeat of last years debacle that obliterated an entire brood year of Chinook salmon. Delta and longfin smelt are teetering on the precipice of extinction. And the State Water Board is again preparing to weaken legal water quality standards that are critical to the very existence of these species. It is both unreasonable, illegal and a moral sin to send species that thrived for millennia into extinction simply to provide millions of acre-feet of water to irrigate pasture, alfalfa and other low value crops in the desert.”
Jennings emphasized that excessive water deliveries to the Sacramento Valley settlement contractors are exhausting the cold water in Lake Shasta, forcing the agencies to shift to using water from the American River to meet the Delta salinity standards.
"As a consequence, the agencies are now are evacuating the hatcheries on the American," said Jennings. "And as result of this mismanagement, they're not only going to cook salmon and steelhead this year in the Upper Sacramento River, but in the American River as well. The drought crisis we are now in has been exacerbated by the mismanagement by the state and federal projects."
It must be noted that a record low number of adult steelhead, 143 fish, returned to the American River’s Nimbus Fish Hatchery this season - and you can expect to see another dismal return next year if the mismanagement of Folsom Lake and the American River continues on its current path to disaster.
Agencies lead salmon and steelhead to the scaffold of extinction
Salmon, steelhead and a host of other fish species are being driven closer to extinction by low, warm water conditions on the Sacramento and Trinity River systems spurred by the draining of reservoirs during a historic drought.
As the Brown administration mandates that northern California urban water users slash their water use by 25 percent and as Delta farmers voluntarily agree to a 25 percent in their water consumption, thirsty billionaire growers like Stewart Resnick brag about how they have expanded their almond, pistachio and walnut acreage during the drought. In fact, USDA statistics reveal that almonds have EXPANDED by 150,000 acres during the current drought.(http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2015/05/15/californias-thirsty-almond-acreage-grows-by-150000-acres-during-record-drought )
Tim Stroshane, Restore the Delta policy analyst, pointed out to the Board that the Temporary Urgent Change Petition (TUCP) and the installation of False River Barrier, which the Board approved to lift Delta water quality standards for continued water exports, violated the Delta Reform Act of 2009.
Stroshane charged, “The State Water Board has ignored managing the system for the coequal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem and protecting the Delta as a unique place. It has violated this key law through its short term water management decisions made this year. Furthermore, by favoring water exports over Delta fisheries and communities, the Board has given the State and Federal governments an escape hatch from reducing reliance on Delta imports to meet California’s future water needs as mandated by the 2009 legislation.”
RTD also provided slides showing how the TUCP and the installation of False River Barrier is dividing the Delta into regions of poorer and better water quality. The determining factor is whether a given area in the Delta is in the path of water being taken for exports at the pumps.
Barrigan-Parrilla concluded, “The hardened demand for water caused by the expansion of permanent crops planted in the west side of the San Joaquin Valley during four years of drought has brought us to the breaking point for the Bay-Delta estuary. The present crisis in the Delta is compounded by mismanagement by the State who failed to bring water demand and availability into balance in anticipation of historical drought.”
The crisis that that has led to the evacuation of the hatcheries - and has put winter-run Chinook salmon, steelhead and Delta smelt on the scaffold of extinction - is one that could have been avoided if the state and federal governments hadn't so badly mismanaged our precious water resources during the drought.
View the presentations here:
LOCAL WOMEN Among 60 Recipients from 31 States to Receive Highest Honor from the American Association for State and Local History
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) recently announced the winners of the 70th annual Leadership in History Awards, its most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. This year, AASLH (based in Nashville, Tennessee) conferred 60 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations dedicated to these goals. Among the recipients are the Curator and Director of the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah — Karen Holmes and Sherrie Smith-Ferri — recognized for the Grace Hudson Museum exhibit catalog, "Days of Grace: California Artist Grace Hudson in Hawaii," which they co-authored. The publication, which was based on extensive original research about artist Grace Hudson’s year in Hawaii in 1901, as well as about the first owners of the paintings she produced there, accompanied an exhibit of the same name that the pair co-curated at the Museum in the fall of 2014. A modified version of the exhibit will open at the Honolulu Museum of Art in November of this year.
“The Leadership in History Award is AASLH’s highest distinction and the winners represent the best in the field,” said Trina Nelson Thomas, AASLH Awards Chair and Director, Stark Art & History Venue, Stark Foundation. “This year, we are pleased to distinguish each recipient’s commitment and innovation to the interpretation of history, as well as their leadership for the future of state and local history.” Each nomination is peer-reviewed by AASLH’s state captains before submission to the Awards Committee. That committee, comprised of AASLH’s fourteen regional representatives and the National Awards Chair, determine the final awards. Holmes and Smith-Ferri are the only Leadership in History Award of Merit winners from the state of California.
Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2015 AASLH Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday, September 18. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the HISTORY Channel™. Karen Holmes will travel to Louisville to accept the award on the behalf of the Grace Hudson Museum.
The awards include:
The Award of Merit which is presented for excellence in history programs, projects, and people when compared with similar activities nationwide;
The Albert B. Corey Award is named in honor of a founder and former president of AASLH, and recognizes primarily volunteer-operated historical organizations that best display the qualities of vigor, scholarship, and imagination in their work. This year’s winner is the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Museum in Vashon Island, WA.
The HIP (History in Progress) Award is given at the discretion of the awards committee to five percent or less of the total winners of the Award of Merit. It is for a project that is highly inspirational, exhibits exceptional scholarship, and/or is exceedingly entrepreneurial in terms of funding, partnerships, or collaborations, creative problem solving, or unusual project design and inclusiveness. The 2015 recipients are Centre d'histoire de Montréal, the Jenks Society for Lost Museums, and the Jewish Museum Milwaukee.
New for 2015 is the Michael Kammen Award, named in honor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Cornell University’s Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture Emeritus. It is presented to a history institution with an annual budget under $250,000 that has shown outstanding effort. The 2015 winner is the Lombard Historical Society in Lombard, IL.
About the American Association for State and Local History:
Since 1940, AASLH has provided leadership and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history to make the past more meaningful. AASLH is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH works to advance knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of local history in America. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, a monthly newsletter, and maintains numerous affinity groups and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting. For more information and to see a complete list of award recipients, visit www.aaslh.org.
JULY FIRST FRIDAY ARTWALK, July 6, 2015
Don Pagano - UVAC Artist of the month.
Featured: Rolf Kriken - Corner gallery featured artist, plus Tanabe Chikuunsai III
GUALALA STANDS FOR EVERYTHING GOOD
SOUTH COAST PEOPLE FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE, a local group of activists for Peace and Justice will celebrate our One Year Anniversary on Friday, July 10th, and we hope you will join us. We meet every Friday at noon in front of the Gualala Post Office. We began our movement on Monday, July 7, 2014 at the beginning of the Israeli war against the People of Gaza, where 2,200 Palestinians were killed including 550 children, 20,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed, and up to 500,00 Gaza residents were displaced. We continued throughout the summer and the rest of the year in support of Black Lives Matter, to protest the racist police killings of innocent, unarmed Black and Brown men, women, and children. We have always protested ongoing occupations and wars of our government in the Middle East and US military aggression all over the world, that we pay for with our taxes, instead of "social uplift" as Dr. King said. What we stand for: We envision a world without poverty, racism, Capitalism, wars, hate, prisons, inequality, homeless and marginalized people; a world without guns, gentrification, corporate welfare, voter suppression, climate change crisis, and so many other ills in our culture and world today, much caused by greed, inequality and militarism. We believe Another World Is Possible: Where people make a Living Wage, safe, affordable housing for everyone, where education is free and excellent, everyone has excellent, affordable healthcare, we leave Fossil Fuels in the ground and switch to RENEWABLES immediately, we have Election Reform and just and fair elections, we close our military bases all over the world, especially Guantanamo, an end to mass incarceration, The War On Drugs, police abuse, militarism, violence and terrorism, we have Gun Control, immigrants rights, and the list goes on and on................. We invite you to join us any Friday at noon, and especially on FRIDAY, JULY 10TH to celebrate our One Year Anniversary of standing for Peace And Justice in our community, our country and the world. Everyone is welcome, especially young people.
Please visit our Facebook Page
and call 707-884-4703 for more information.