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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, July 2, 2015

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NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING. JULY 1, 2015

High pressure over Northern California will create very hot weather. Wednesday featured the hottest temperatures with highs on Thursday cooling a few degrees, ranging from 106-112. Little relief from the heat is expected overnight as lows stay warm in the upper 70s to around 80. Daytime heat with warm overnight lows will make it challenging to get relief, especially for residents who do not have access to air conditioning.

An excessive heat warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur. The combination of hot temperatures and warm overnight lows will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun. And check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstance.

Impacts: heat related illnesses possible to likely if action not taken

Precautionary/preparedness actions: Take extra precautions. If you work or spend time outside, know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

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WILLITS OFFICIALS OPPOSE CALTRANS USE OF HERBICIDES ON BYPASS PROJECT

http://abc7news.com/traffic/willits-officials-oppose-caltrans-use-of-herbicides-on-highway-project/821856/

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BURKE FIRE INCIDENT UPDATE

  • Location: Hwy 101 Mile Post 19.50 (south Ukiah, east of Highway 101)
  • Start: 7/1/2015 @11:06am
  • Contained: 7/1/2015 @11:44am
  • Acres Burned: 10
  • Multiple Resources responded
  • Under Investigation

(CalFire press release)

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MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST ENTERS FIRE RESTRICTIONS

WILLOWS, Calif. - The Mendocino National Forest is entering into fire restrictions beginning Thursday, July 2 due to dry conditions and increased risk of wildfires. The fire restrictions will continue through the end of fire season.

Under the restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal fires or stoves are prohibited on the National Forest unless in the following designated recreation sites:

* Grindstone Ranger District - Whitlock, Kingsley, Sugarfoot, Three Prong, Ides Cove, Horse Packer, Wells Cabin, Lake Red Bluff Recreation Area, Big Springs Day Use Area, Letts Lake, Mill Valley, Dixie Glade, Plaskett Meadows, Masterson, Little Stony, Grey Pine, Fouts Springs, Davis Flat, South Fork, North Fork, Mill Creek, Cedar Camp and Old Mill Campgrounds.

* Upper Lake Ranger District - Fuller Grove, Fuller Grove Group Camp, Navy Camp, Pogie Point, Oak Flat, Sunset, Middle Creek, Deer Valley, and Penny Pines Campgrounds and Lake Pillsbury Summer Home Sites.

* Covelo Ranger District - Eel River, Little Doe, Howard Lake, Green Springs and Hammerhorn Lake Campgrounds.

California Campfire Permits are not needed in the designated recreation sites listed. In all other areas of the Forest, lanterns or portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel will be allows as long as the person has a current California Campfire Permit with them.

California Campfire Permits may be obtained at any Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or CAL FIRE office in California, as well as most Forest Service field employees. The may also be obtained online at www.preventwildfireca.org

The following activities are also prohibited as part of the fire restrictions:

* Smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or in the designated recreation sites listed above

* Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame

* Using explosives

* Possessing, discharging or using any kind of fireworks

Forest visitors will be able to continue riding Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) on designated roads and trails, provided that the vehicles are equipped with the required spark arresters. Spark arresters are also required on chainsaws being used for people filling valid personal use wood cutting permitsand may only be used on designated roads and trails.

"The rugged terrain that makes the Mendocino such an amazing place can also carry wildfire quickly, especially as ongoing drought conditions have stressed trees and left forest fuels extremely dry," said Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson. "The public can help prevent wildfires by respecting the fire restrictions and being careful when using anything with a flame or that can throw a spark while enjoying this great forest."

Temporary fire restrictions are put in place annually to protect natural resources and limit the threat of human-caused wildfires. Similar restrictions are going into effect on neighboring forests. However, restrictions can vary by Forest and visitors should check with the National Forest they plan on visiting for the latest fire restrictions and conditions. For the Mendocino National Forest, the fire restrictions are formally referenced through Order Number 08-15-07.

Violation of these fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of no more than $5,000 for an individual, $10,000 for an organization, or up to six months imprisonment or both.

Fire season typically ends in late fall following a series of drenching, measurable rains in the mountains. An announcement will follow when fire restrictions are lifted.

For more information, please contact the Mendocino National Forest at 530-934-3316 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/mendocino

(US Forest Service Press Release)

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Perez
Perez

ON JUNE 20th at about 10:50 PM Ukiah Police responded to a room at the hotel in the 400 block of South State Street for a reported burglary. Officers contacted 28 year old Rigo Berto Perez, who reported two male subjects had kicked in the door, assaulted him, and stole money from him. Perez admitted he had been drinking but denied drinking with the two suspects. Perez stated the two subjects left in a vehicle, and believed they went south on the highway because “that’s what I would do.” Perez was on probation and prohibited from drinking, and was arrested for violating probation. (Ukiah Police Department Press Release)

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English
English

ON JUNE 22nd at about 9:15 PM Ukiah Police responded to the 200 block of Observatory Avenue for a reported verbal altercation. Officers contacted a resident who explained he’d engaged in an argument with his girlfriend, and the two exited the residence and continued arguing outside. The subject stated he heard what sound like a pellet gun being shot, and determined his step-son had shot a pellet gun at the subject’s vehicle’s windshield causing damage. Officers contacted 21 year old Brandon Curtis English-Clausen, who confirmed he shot the victim’s windshield because “they didn’t want him around anymore”. English-Clausen was placed under citizen’s arrest by the victim for vandalism, and was also charged with discharging a pellet gun within City Limits. (Ukiah Police Department Press Release)

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CORRECTION: Supervisor McCowen reports that, “Since the incident with Mr. Zamora occurred at the Talmage Bridge, I called the Sheriff's Office, not the UPD.”

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VINEYARDS?

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/home/4144815-181/north-coast-sen-mcguire-drought

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FROM THE MENDOCINO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY:
 APPELLATE COURT DISAGREES WITH TRIAL JUDGE'S INSTRUCTIONS

UKIAH, July 1. – Appellate Update: In a published decision filed Tuesday in San Francisco, a three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal reversed one of several convictions entered by the Mendocino County Superior Court in 2012 against Marvin Douglas Johnson, Jr., age 36, and Simon Thornton, age 26. At times referred to as the Bushay Campground case, Johnson and Thornton are the defendants convicted of murdering Joe Litteral in 2011 at Lake Mendocino, along with attempting the murder of another man and the attempted kidnapping of Johnson's estranged wife. Johnson and Thornton were sentenced to and are currently serving sentences of 25 years to life and 34 years to life, respectively. 
In its lengthy and at times highly technical decision, the Court of Appeal held that one of the many instructions used by the trial judge to instruct the jury on the law had the potential of being misunderstood by the jury in regards to the first degree murder conviction. That notwithstanding, the appellate court affirmed each conviction of these defendants for attempted murder and attempted kidnapping. According to the decision, “Unless the prosecution brings each defendant to trial within the period prescribed by law ..., the trial court shall proceed as though the judgment on appeal had been reduced on count 1 to second-degree murder for each defendant.” 
The court’s decision is currently under review by the District Attorney and his senior staff.

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A136120.PDF

Background:

https://www.theava.com/archives/19492

https://www.theava.com/archives/15904

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COPS STILL TRYING TO UNRAVEL COVELO MURDER

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4143882-181/motive-still-unclear-in-fatal

Mendocino County sheriff’s officials on Wednesday continued to investigate potential motive for a fatal shooting in a Covelo medical marijuana garden. The suspect, John Ross, 66, and victim, Alejandro Garcia, 33, knew each other, but how well and in what capacity is unclear, said sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Barney.

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HEADLINE OF THE DAY #1:

“Northern California woman gives birth, starts forest fire”

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Wednesday, 7/1/2015)

(http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4139243-181/northern-california-woman-gives-birth)

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HEADLINE OF THE DAY #2:

“Mendocino County General Plan causes some confusion”

(Ukiah Daily Journal, June 25, 2015)

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

The real solution is to allow some schools to be 100% vaccinated-only (with documented and scientifically valid, medically exempted children blended in at a rate of 1 per 30 or so), and the rest to be open enrollment. Separate the buses used and institute isolation for the vaccinated kids during the inevitable open-enrollment epidemics of child-killing diseases from the 1800s. Allow people holding up their pseudo-religious opposition to not being trendy heli-parents to keep their little vanity clones out of school and require such when they are ill or one of these diseases strikes.

People whose children are not suffering those .001% probability side effects and have received their shots should not be exposed to the vague, pseudoscience-driven stupidity of the parents of the less-fortunate. The hysteria over the vaccination of children causing autism and a million other BS fear items needs to die. After all, the initiator just died ignominiously, too.

This whole thing was started by a man who killed himself (likely because some of the uber-trendy monkeys in SoCal sent their plague-bearing urchins to Disney and offed a bunch of TRULY immune-compromised children). But until then, I support peoples' rights to get their kids killed through hysterical anti-vaccination trendiness but intend to see their right to kill other peoples' kids contained.

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PERSONNEL: SALLY SWAN, business manager of the Mendocino Unified School District for 14 years, has been appointed to a 3-year contract at an annual salary of $175,000 with the Tamalpais Unified School District, Marin County.

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2ND QUARTER POT STATS, 85% CONVICTION RATE, 15 AT FELONY LEVEL, SAYS THE DA

UKIAH, June 30th – Second Quarter 2015 Non-medicinal Marijuana Prosecution Stats: Sixty-seven (67) individuals charged with a marijuana-related primary offense had their cases resolved during the 2nd quarter of the 2015 calendar year.
 The conviction rate for the quarter was 85%. 
Of these 67, ten individuals had all charges dismissed against them. Two individuals were convicted at the infraction level. Forty individuals were convicted at the misdemeanor level. Fifteen individuals were convicted at the felony level.
 Three of the 15 convicted at the felony level received local prison sentences. Seven of the 15 felons were specifically convicted of trying to personally profit from possessing marijuana for sale.
 The 40 misdemeanants and 12 of the 15 felons are now on either supervised or court (summary) probation. All 52 are subject to warrantless search on demand of a peace officer, as well as other terms and conditions of probation. 
As just one term of their probation, 41 of the probationers must perform a collective 6,625 hours of community service, with monitoring of their enrollment and the completion of hours by the staff of Mendo-Lake Alternative Service, Inc."

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 1, 2015

Childs, Cummings, Cunningham, Johnson
Childs, Cummings, Cunningham, Johnson

JOHN CHILDS, Arcata/Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance.

KATHRYN CUMMINGS, Clearlake/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

TIFFANY CUNNINGHAM, Ukiah. DUI.

EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Keene, Kelsey, Litzin, Neves-Barron
Keene, Kelsey, Litzin, Neves-Barron

ANDREA KEENE, Elk. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.

ARION KELSEY, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

KEVIN LITZIN, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JOSE NEVES-BARRON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Perez, Sizemore, Winelander
Perez, Sizemore, Winelander

MARYLOU PEREZ, American Canyon/Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance, failure to appear.

AMANDA SIZEMORE, Willits. Unspecifed felony offense committed while on bail.

HARRY WINELANDER, Willits. DUI-Drugs, addict driving vehicle, under influence of controlled substance, suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia and controlled substance.

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‘OUGH!’

The baker-man was kneading dough

while whistling softly, sweet and lough.

Yet ever and anon he’d cough

As though his head were coming ough!

“My word!” said he, “but this is rough:

This flour is simply awful stough!”

He punched and thumped it through and through,

As all good bakers dough!

“I’d sooner drive,” said he “a plough

Than be a baker anyhough!”

Thus spake the baker kneading dough;

But don’t let on I told you sough!

— William Thomas Goodge

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Pattison

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WALL STREET & THE GREEK FINANCIAL CRISIS

Bill Black And Michael Hudson

Jessica Desvarieux: If you’re in Greece this week, good luck trying to go to the bank. Greek banks are closed all week after news broke that the country will be holding a referendum vote on whether to accept the bailout measures offered by international creditors. But if the Greek population decides to vote yes for the bailout deal, does this mean that they will be handing creditor banks a bailout?

Now joining us to give us their take on the issue are our two guests. Joining us from Quito, Ecuador, is Bill Black. Bill is an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri Kansas City. He’s a white collar criminologist and a former financial regulator, and author of the book The Best Way to Rob A Bank is to Own One. And also joining us from Germany is Michael Hudson. Michael is distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His latest book is Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroyed the Global Economy.

DESVARIEUX: Bill, I’m going to start off with you. Can you just explain to our viewers who’s actually getting bailed out in this deal. Are creditor banks the ones benefiting at the end of the day?

BLACK: The same people getting bailed out that have been getting bailed out from the beginning of the Greek crisis, and that is foreign banks. So this money just moves in sort of an elaborate circle from the Troika, which is the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF, through the Greek government, through the Greek banks, and then they pay the foreign creditors. And they pay them just enough that they don’t have to recognize a loss for accounting purposes.

As Michael will explain, of late the big investors tend to be American hedge funds, as opposed to what used to be primarily French banks.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. Michael, I want to ask you about the role of French banks in all of this. Can you just speak to this, give us a sense of how they even got entangled in Greek debt.

HUDSON: Today’s problem with the debts really stem back from 2010 and 2011 when Greece obviously couldn’t pay. When Greece joined the Eurozone, it falsified its debt figures. The head of its central bank worked with Goldman Sachs to make complicated derivatives to hide it all, and that was Lucas Papademos.

In 2010 right after the PASOK party came to power in Greece, they revealed the fact that their figures had been fudged all along, and that the debt was so large that Greece couldn’t pay. So the International Monetary Fund, which hadn’t been making loans – almost had no customers in the world, had its European staff calculate. And the staff unanimously said, Greece can’t pay these debts. These are fraudulent debts that are all way beyond the ability to pay. They’ve got to be written down. And the board of directors agreed.

But Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was the head of the IMF when he wasn’t going to the sex parties, wanted to run for president of France. And he talked to Sarkozy, and Sarkozy said, wait a minute, French banks are the largest holders of Greek debt. If Greece doesn’t pay and writes them down, the French banks will go under. And German banks are the second largest. But then at the G8 meetings in 2011, President Obama went over along with Tim Geithner and said, our big campaign contributors are on Wall Street, and they’ve made huge bets that Greece can pay. If Greece doesn’t pay, then all these gamblers and derivative players are going to lose their bets. You’ve got to sacrifice Greece and you’ve got to drive it into poverty, and lend the Greek government the money to pay the bond holders so that our Wall Street banks won’t lose money.

So the European Central Bank told the IMF if you want to be a player, you’ve got to ignore what the stats said, and they did. And the European Central Bank and the IMF paid over 100 billion Euros to the bond holders. So Greece, instead of owing private bond holders, owed the IMF and the European Central Bank.

Now the European Central Bank wants to get paid, but the debts can’t be paid. So the central bank says, okay Greece: Sell us your islands. Sell us your ports. Sell us your lands. Sell us your raw materials. This is foreclosure time. And if you can’t pay, we want everything in the public domain. And you also have to impose austerity. You have – only 20 percent of your population has emigrated. You only have a 60 percent unemployment rate for youth. You’ve got to increase the unemployment rate to 80 percent, double the emigration, in order for us to make the loans to your government that will turn right around and pay us.

DESVARIEUX: But Michael, there really could be real consequences. You mentioned obviously financial markets. There’s some real consequences for them. But what about everyday people? I’m thinking of those folks who might have their money in banks, in the banking system. And if this bank is insolvent, what would happen to them?

HUDSON: There need not have been any consequences for the people of Greece for not paying the IMF and not paying the European Central Bank, because this money was all paper money created to begin with. It’s just a book loss. But the Europeans said something else, that although we don’t need the money, we will bankrupt you and we will cause a bank crisis if you don’t comply with what we want. So it’s either austerity or we will smash and grab, take your pick.

DESVARIEUX: Bill, I’m going to ask you the same question. What do you do if you’re a person who’s going to be facing that referendum vote? Do you vote no for this bill, or do you say yes and hope for the best?

BLACK: Well, I would definitely vote against the bankers. Michael is correct, but on top of that, the Troika said it’s not enough that 60 percent of your pensioners are in poverty. We want to push it that so 70 or 80 percent of your pensioners are below the poverty level as well. And privatization, this is what made, depending on the poll, Mexico’s Carlos Slim the richest or the second-richest person in the world. They’re sold on sweetheart terms to cronies, and this is crony capitalism. People are familiar with Indonesia under Suharto. It’s very similar.

What you do is, as Michael said, the normal thing that has been done in the past: write down the debts when they can’t be paid. That is done all the time routinely in the commercial world, and it was done with Latin America back in the debt crisis in the ’70s and ’80s, with what became known as the Brady Plan. So you can’t keep a country – or at least there’s no economically rational basis for doing so, and of course it’s completely inhumane – in a condition where it constantly be in ever greater debt. And that’s precisely what the Troika wants to do.

And as Michael has said, German politicians have openly demanded that Greece begin selling islands. In other words, selling the nation. Just a complete destruction of sovereignty.

DESVARIEUX: We were talking about alternatives to the deal that’s being presented to the Greek people in this referendum vote. Michael, lay out some specifics. What are some alternatives that would be in the interest of everyday Greek people?

HUDSON: What Bill was describing in the first half is really finance as war. What they want is the same thing that warfare wants. They want the land, and they want a tribute in the form of interest. Basically, the Eurozone went to Greece and said: look, we’re going to – as in case Spain’s Podemos party or other countries who want to not pay their debts – we’re going to use you as an example and we’re going to wreck you.

And it’s begun to backfire this week, because what they show is that remaining in the Eurozone itself is pretty hopeless, financially. And the leaders of the Syriza party have said, look, we’re not only fighting for Greece, we’re fighting for all of Europe. And what we want to do is save Europe from austerity. And we want to save Europe by having a real central bank whose role is to create money, to spend money into the economy. We want a central bank that doesn’t give money to banks. We want a central bank that pays for government spending and rebuilding the Greek economy. And we need to be out of the Eurozone in order to do that.

DESVARIEUX: Wouldn’t they also have to reform their tax system, or enforcement, at least, of that tax system?

HUDSON: Yes. I mean, they’re talking about what – a lot of debts are going to be canceled. Not only to the European banks, but we’re talking about a domestic debt holiday very much like Germany’s economic miracle, in the 1948 Allied monetary reform, where they canceled all the internal German debts except for the debts that employers used for wages. We’re talking about a huge debt write off. But you don’t want to have real estate owners suddenly owning their property free and clear. So we need a tax system that is going to stop the tax evasion by the oligarchs who have used the banks to avoid it.

We’re going to take away the tax deductibility of interest payments, so that they can’t pretend to expense all their profits and interest, and we’re also going to have a rent tax. For what we’ve privatized already, we’re going to tax the economic rent to recover for the country what these owners didn’t create, like the phone systems that Carlos Slim made in Mexico which Bill mentioned before. We’re going to collect the economic rent fully through a tax system. So financial reform is going to go hand-in-hand with tax reform, and that’s what terrifies the Europeans. Because they say, wait a minute, all of the money that you call profits is actually rent extraction. It’s all exploitation. You can’t stop exploitation, that’s what our financial system is all about.

DESVARIEUX: But Bill, I could imagine people who are in the elite are going to say, hold on a minute. You want to raise taxes, you want to create new taxes. I’m going to leave. I’m going to another country to set up shop. What do you make of that argument?

BLACK: First, all their money has already left. They’ve been evading taxes for years, so them leaving will have next to no effect.

But yes, I mean, forget them. What the Troika has done throughout huge expanses of Europe, roughly nations with half the population of Europe, their leading export these days is their college graduates. As soon as you get your degree, you leave. And that isn’t just the southern periphery, the so-called Mediterranean. That’s also the Baltic states as well.

There’s an incredibly insipid article in the New York Times recently about Bulgaria that says, Bulgarians have no sympathy for the Greeks. But it turns out this is a hard-right government that has welcomed austerity and produced the usual problems. And, of course, their government would fail within 24 hours, as would the Spanish government, if they ever admitted that Austerity was economically illiterate. The equivalent of bleeding a patient to make them better.

So all of these nations and the Troika are locked into this position and they can never admit the truth.

DESVARIEUX: Michael, I know you’re going to be headed to Brussels, you’re giving a speech to the Euro parliament on Thursday on the Greek situation and the IMF. Can you just quickly lay out for us, what are you going to be advocating for?

HUDSON: First of all, for treating the debt claims of the IMF and the European Central Bank as odious debts. This means they shouldn’t have been put in place to begin with, and the debts, the money that was lent to Greece went right through Greece to pay the French banks and the German banks, and to enable the American Wall Street banks to make a killing.

The Wall Street banks made whole reputations of buying bonds at 30 cents on the dollar and suddenly they went up to 100 cents on the dollar. The market basically said Greece couldn’t pay in 2010. The market priced its bonds very low. Right now Greece bonds are yielding 33 percent. So the market says Greece can’t pay.

And so when Europe is saying, we want to impose a market economy, everything the European Central Bank and IMF is doing is against the market. They’re not recognizing what any real market analyst realizes, that the debts can’t be paid. We want to create a real market economy by getting rid of the exploitation, by writing off the bad debts, by reforming the tax system.

A few years ago the IMF’s Christine Lagarde provided a list to Greece of Greek tax evaders that had 50 billion Euros in Switzerland. This 50 billion Euros was enough to pay all of Greece’s debts. And the technocratic leader that the financial interests installed, Lucas Papademos, the very man who falsified all of the Greek payments and debt statements in 2001, didn’t do anything at all with the list. He refused to move against the oligarchs.

So what you have is, is really a combination of treason and criminal behavior. Now that there is a crisis in Greece this enables Syriza to get the support of the people to throw the bad guys in jail. I’d like to say to throw the lawbreakers in jail, but they don’t have any laws against that kind of crime taking place. So they have to draw up a whole new set of laws to make Greece a fair economy, instead of the unfair system that the IMF and the European Central Banks have turned it into.

Jessica Desvarieux is a producer at the Real News Network, where this interview aired.

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TESTS REVEAL TOXIC COCKTAIL AS MEDIA COVERS UP CALIFORNIA OIL SPILL'S ROOT CAUSE

by Dan Bacher

As the mainstream media and most "alternative" media refuse to discuss the root cause of the Santa Barbara Oil Spill - Big Oil's capture of the regulatory apparatus - an independent scientific study revealed that the spill released glutaraldehyde, ethylbenzene, naphthalene and other toxic chemicals into the environment.

Numerous toxic chemicals known to pose severe threats to human health and marine life contaminated the Pacific Ocean and beaches when more than 100,000 gallons of oil spilled from a ruptured pipeline in Santa Barbara County, according to independent test results released on June 25 by Water Defense.

The non-profit organization’s testing of spilled oil deposited on the beach and water samples collected from the May 19 Refugio State Beach oil spill confirmed the presence of several toxic chemicals including, but not limited to, Ethylbenzene, Toluene, Xylene, and Naphthalene.

"The test results also confirmed the presence of Glutaraldehyde – a biocide that is also a key additive in drilling, fracking and acidizing injections – in the pipeline oil deposited on the beach," according to a joint news release from Water Defense and Food and Water Watch. "These chemicals, which are known to be a severe threat to human health, were released onto the beach and into the Pacific Ocean, contaminating ocean waters and threating marine life."

“These toxic chemicals should never be released in our environment let alone into the water column and beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Their presence indicates just how dangerous this oil spill really is to people, marine life and our environment,” said Scott Smith, chief scientist for Water Defense, in a news release. “These chemicals can never be completely cleaned up, especially with the archaic scraping of the beach and rocks with manual brushes.”

The Water Defense results come days after several studies confirmed that the Refugio oil also contaminated beaches in southern California, including Manhattan Beach, and come one week after a study from the Unified Command Center claimed the chemicals in the oil were "not a concern." The latter study failed to disclose evidence to support its conclusions, or the names and affiliations of scientists involved, charged the two groups.

"Tidal variations cause the oil deposits on the beach to re-release oil and its related chemicals into the water. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, exposure to the chemicals found in the tests by both the Unified Command Center and Water Defense can lead to cancer and reproductive health problems. Chemicals such as Naphthalene, Ethylbenzene, Xylene, and Toluene can enter the body through the skin and accumulate in body tissue, which is a particular concern for beachgoers who encounter tar balls on southern California beaches," the groups said.

“These chemicals are a threat to our health and the health of our unborn,” said Dr. Kevin Beckmen, who has practiced Family Medicine in Solvang for fifteen years. “This spill has exposed this community to chemicals for which there are no safe levels of exposure. They can cause cellular damage and death with both immediate toxicity and long-term health effects including birth defects, abortion and cancer.”

These chemicals are also a serious concern for marine life. For example, in the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, initial test levels didn’t show chemical concentrations that “exceed human health benchmarks,” but the spill has had a tremendous impact on the health of the ecosystem, with Naphthalene linked to the skin lesions seen on snapper and dolphins still dying five years later, according to the groups.

Some of the chemicals present in the samples, including Glutaraldehyde and volatile organic compounds similar to Ethylbenzene are also commonly used by industry when drilling and when injecting fluids to stimulate the flow of oil, such as with the extreme energy extraction methods of fracking, acidizing and cyclic steam injection.

A recent investigation by the Environmental Defense Center revealed that several ExxonMobil- and Venoco-owned offshore oil rigs that feed the now broken Plains All-American Pipeline have used acidizing multiple times and have applied for permits to conduct fracking. Chemicals additives — including biocides — are often in the fluids released into the ocean from ordinary accidents and spills, along with the other toxic chemicals in oil.

“As we transition to renewable energy, the Refugio oil spill is a stark reminder why we must simultaneously phase out oil development in California,” said Adam Scow, California Director of Food & Water Watch. “As a first step, Governor Brown must ban fracking, acidizing and other extreme forms of extraction, both onshore and offshore in order to prevent future spills and end the release of toxic and often undisclosed chemicals into California’s environment.”

Phase 2 testing results, which include oil and water samples from beaches in Southern California counties are expected to be released within the next 10 days, according to the groups.

For the test results and more information, go to: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/pressreleases/new-tests-find-toxic-cocktail-in-santa-barbara-spill/

While Governor Brown, other state officlals and the mainstream media continue to falsely portray California as a "green" state, the devastation of the oil spill shows the fragility of California's ocean waters - and exposes the failure of state and federal officials to stop a disaster like this, due to the capture of the state's regulatory apparatus by Big Oil.

Unfortunately, in the reports from the Associated Press, other mainstream media and most of the "alternative" media you won't see one word about one of the most troubling and significant aspects of this oil spill - the fact that Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association and a lobbyist for Plains All American Pipeline and other oil companies, served as the Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create the same "marine protected areas" that are now being fouled by crude oil.

Four "marine protected areas" created under her "leadership" - the Goleta Slough, Campus Point, Naples and Kashtayit State Marine Conservation Areas - were imperiled by the oil spill that started at Refugio State Beach, devastating over 9 miles of the Santa Barbara County Coast.

That's right - the very same person who is lobbying for increased offshore drilling and fracking in California - and is serving as the lobbyist for Plains All American - is the exact same oil lobbyist who chaired the panel that created the "marine protected areas" that are now being fouled by the Santa Barbara Oil Spill. And while she served as the chair for the South Coast task force - and served on the panels for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast from 2004 to 2012 - oil companies were fracking like crazy off the California coast.

In 2013, an Associated Press and Freedom of Information Act investigation revealed that oil companies had conducted over 200 offshore fracking operations in Southern California waters, including the Santa Barbara Channel, over a 20-year period.

Why was Reheis-Boyd's chairing of the MLPA Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force a conflict of interest?

"Because, as President of the Western States Petroleum Association she had to have known that offshore fracking was already taking place, and she steered the MLPA process around that subject, making sure the oil companies wouldn’t be bothered by such things as ‘'No Take' in a State Marine Reserve," said Joey Racano, Director of the Ocean Outfall Group, in a comment on the OB Rag. (http://obrag.org/?p=95147#.VYmCjN3DyRo)

"Catherine Reheis-Boyd was President of the Western States Petroleum Association at the same time she was Chair of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Marine Protected Areas, and during the all-important ‘implementation’ process. That means she got to decide what would make it on to the agenda and what wouldn’t," he noted.

"Nobody is saying Marine Protected Areas aren’t a good thing or that they aren’t causing a return to health and abundance. What we are saying is that we can’t wait for some future process to get the oil out. Indeed, the entire MLPA was called a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ to do so," he emphasized.

The oil industry is the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in California. Reheis-Boyd's Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) set a new record for lobbying expenses in 2014 when it spent $8.9 million spent on lobbying, nearly double what it spent in the previous year. WSPA spent $4.67 million in 2013. (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2015/02/06/big-oil-group-spent-89-million-last-year-lobbing-jerry-brown-and-california-officials)

To read WHY the oil spill occurred - Big Oil's capture of the regulatory apparatus - read my groundbreaking investigative news piece at: http://www.calitics.com/diary/15750/lobbyist-for-oil-pipeline-company-oversaw-creation-of-fouled-marine-protected-areas

* * *

MENDO (THE TOWN) EVENTS

Saturday, August 15 at Hill House Inn, Mendocino.

Dance to the music of Schieve’s Soul Survivors on Saturday August 15. They bring on the Motown sound with a mix of R&B, Soul, and flavors of Stax and Altantic Records. Keyboards and vocals from Billy Schieve, Jamie Gilliam on guitar and vocals, along with vocalist Sharon Garner form the core of the band. Add the rhythm section of Johnny Bush on bass and Richie Rosenbaum on drums and you have a solid sound of emotion. Come out for a fun and energetic walk down Motown Lane. Doors open at 6PM with a full bar and bistro menu. $12 at the door. 937-1732. Hill House offers special room rates for "Friends of the Band"!

Saturday, September 19 at Hill House Inn, Mendocino.

You may have seen Will Durst's performance and appearance on screen at the Mendocino Film Festival with "3 Still Standing". If you did, you will want more. If not, here's your chance –

Saturday, September 19 at Hill House in Mendocino, 7:30PM.

You can read up on the show and watch a couple of short videos http://willdurst.com/themarsh/index.html BoomeRaging is Will Durst’s acclaimed tribute to the history, growth, joys, achievements, frustrations, fashions and looming doom of the Baby Boom Generation. It’s a celebration of the maturation of the Boomer Nation and as an extra, added, special treat - the Meaning of Life. Doors open at 6PM for casual dining and full bar.

Tickets available online at

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1827375

and by calling 707-937-1732.

— Pattie DeMatteo

3 Comments

  1. Harvey Reading July 2, 2015

    Re: “But until then, I support peoples’ rights to get their kids killed through hysterical anti-vaccination trendiness but intend to see their right to kill other peoples’ kids contained.”

    Nope, parental rights do not include the “right” to kill their children, and damn their beliefs in religious hokum. That is murder, pure and simple, of the first degree. It is time this so-called society awakened to the fact that most kids are far wiser than their moronic parents.

  2. Jim Updegraff July 2, 2015

    parents who do not vaccinate their children are without a doubt guilty of child abuse. CPS needs to step in and if necessary place the children with foster parents.

    • Helga July 2, 2015

      I hope your comment is a joke, Jim Updegraff. Many well-educated individuals within the medical profession recognize that there are also valid concerns with vaccinations, especially for some individuals. State mandate and CPS intervention are not the answer, but perchance that was a facetious comment.

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