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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, July 26, 2015

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FORT BRAGG got the front page of Thursday's San Francisco Chronicle, complete with a nonsensical color photo showing a couple of laughing young guys, an oblivious old guy and a rear view of a man identified as Tommy Ancona, capo di tutti of Noyo Harbor. The pic could be from anywhere. It was not Fort Bragg-specific.


ANCONA, assuming the retreating form in the photo is him, has apparently just told the Chron reporter, Peter Fimrite, that last week's media frenzy over the nutty demand by a handful of black state legislators to change Fort Bragg's name, was, as Ancona accurately assessed it, "bullshit." The young guys are probably laughing because young guys always get a kick out of candid old guys, probably because young guys these days, especially in the fuzzy-warm, pseudo-liberal ambience of the Mendocino Coast, are slow-basted from kindergarten through high school in the most oppressive, pious, phoniest forms of political correctness.

ANCONA'S full quote: “It's just all bullshit. If you dig hard enough, there probably isn't a town in this country that doesn't have some connection to bad dealings. You could find excuses all day long to change historical names because someone doesn't think someone in the past was right. This political correctness needs to stop.” Ancona goes on to say he's never seen anyone in Fort Bragg flying the Confederate flag.

MAYBE HE HASN'T, but I have, and wrote about it some years ago. Every year, on Martin Luther King's birthday, a former shop teacher at Fort Bragg High School flew the Confederate flag in his front yard.

THE CHRON STORY is called “On the Wrong Side of History — Black lawmakers say Fort Bragg glorifies its slave-owning namesake.” Later in the story we learn that the day's docent at the Fort Bragg Museum, Mike Stenberg, has to rummage around the attic to even find the one portrait of Braxton Bragg that's on the premises. Bragg, if you came in real late, was a Confederate general, and Fort Bragg's namesake. I'll bet before this manufactured controversy blew up, few Fort Braggers had any idea who the town was named after.

A BLACK KID named Caleb Cunha, who grew up in Fort Bragg and now works for the City of Fort Bragg, is also quoted in the Chron piece: “A lot of my friends growing up, some who I considered best friends, are mad that the Confederate flag is being taken down. They say it's just being politically correct… It's weird for me because growing up, I had a lot of people supporting me and I didn't see that. I kinda thought racism was over. So it's definitely difficult to kind of see the ugly side.”

ON TELEVISION, because there isn't much overt racism on the Northcoast, and very little racism period. Cunha needs to explain to his friends why the Confederate flag is offensive. If they don't get it, kiss them off and find smarter friends.

WRITER FIMRITE characterizes Fort Bragg as a “financially struggling former lumber town…”

YOU WOULDN'T know it from the way the town's government throws money around, but most of them have well-paid, can't-get-fired jobs. Outside Fort Bragg City Hall, yes, lots of people are struggling.

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WE’RE NOT SURE WHAT TO MAKE of Assemblyman Jim Wood’s remarks, as quoted in a recent Ukiah Daily Journal. The former Cloverdale dentist flew over areas of Mendocino Redwood Company’s hack and squirted timberlands. Hack and squirt is the chemical poisoning of non-commercial trees. They die upright and become a major fire hazard, not to mention the toxicity.

AFTER FIRST TELLING UDJ reporter Adam Randall that he “has been paying attention to what has been going on with the controversial issue,” Wood was then quoted in Thursday’s paper as saying, “There’s no pattern to it. It’s not like every tree in the area has been hack-and-squirted, so there must be a method.”

“NOT EVERY TREE”? Of course not every tree! They’re not all tanoaks! The “method” is to hack-and-squirt tanoaks, making them into giant torches before, after a few years, they crumble into piles of sawdust. One wonders what Wood was “paying attention to” before he went up in the air with MRC.

MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T BE SURPRISED. Wood, as mayor of Healdsburg before moving on to the glories of Sacramento as our assemblyman, justified his political ambitions with this odd leap of logic: “With so much change facing the dental profession and health care in general, my understanding of the challenges of running a private practice along with the access to care issues facing our communities will make me a positive addition to the Assembly.”

WHAT'S NEXT? Tinker Bell for State Assembly? "My ability to flit from issue to issue, sprinkle magic pixie dust on problems to make them go away, all while speaking a language only faeries can understand makes me a perfect representative of the mythical community that has been missing from the assembly for so long."

ALMOST AS CHAUNCY-LIKE as Wood's post-flight remarks, was this observation attributed to Supervisor Dan Hamburg in a photo caption. Hamburg, as always a faithful servant of money and power, had apparently arranged for Assemblyman Wood’s aerial survey: “Mendocino County Supervisor Dan Hamburg, right (shown with state Assemblyman Jim Wood) said the purpose of the fly-over was ‘to introduce the assemblyman to the issue that county members have become increasingly concerned about’.”

“COUNTY MEMBERS”? Mendocino County is a membership organization?

THE WHOLE THING was obviously a crude political photo-op to cover the fact that none of these “Democrats” are going to do anydamnthing about Hack&Squirt.

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AS THOMAS SANDERS racks up arrest number 8 in thirty days, the McCoskers of Ukiah probably hold the family arrest record for all of Mendocino County. Sanders, the McCoskers and the rest of the frequent fliers are living arguments for a Mendocino County Farm, which could be accomplished for far less than the $15 annual millions the County now spends on a mostly ineffective mental health strategy.

Jeremiah, Deborah, Remo, Timothy
Jeremiah, Deborah, Remo, Timothy

JEREMIAH MCCOSKER: 23 Feb 2015, 31 Oct 2014


REMO MCCOSKER: 2 Oct 2014, 18 Sep 2014, 12 Sep 2014, 10 Aug 2014,

TIMOTHY MCCOSKER: 17 May 2015, 4 May 2015, 27 Feb 2015, 30 Oct 2014,

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by Ryan Burns

More than 1,300 people were living homeless in Humboldt County on the night of Jan. 27, according to the latest point-in-time survey conducted by the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition (HHHC). This year’s count of 1,319 people, including 32 children, reflected 265 more homeless people than the last time such a count was done, two years ago.

More than 30 local agencies and 100 volunteers spread out across the county in late January to find unhoused people and ask them their age, living situation and health status. These biennial surveys, conducted across the country, are required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

In a press release about the count (below), the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services notes that the survey is not scientific. (A comprehensive count would be virtually impossible.) But the numbers are intended to “provide a snapshot of our homeless on a specific night,” said Karen ‘Fox’ Olson, executive director at Arcata House Partnership and co-chair of the HHHC.

Some interesting stats from the survey:

More than half of the county’s homeless — 730 people, or 56.3%— were found in Eureka.

844 people — more than 64% of those counted — were unsheltered the night of the count, meaning they were sleeping in a car or on a street, outdoors, or in an abandoned building.

Among those who had shelter that night, 28.6% stayed with friends or family, almost 12% stayed at the Rescue Mission, four people spent the night in jail and one spent it in the hospital.

Almost half the people surveyed reported a monthly income below $100; only 6% reported making more than $1,000 per month, down from 11.5% two years ago

The percentage of respondents who reported having been released from jail in the previous six months nearly doubled since 2011, jumping from 11.5% to 21.6%

Nearly 69% said they’ve been consistently homeless for more than a year

The complete report, which includes many interesting charts, can be found here.

Read the county’s press release below:

The 2015 homeless Point in Time (PIT) count report has been finalized, showing a total of 1,319 homeless, including 32 children—265 more homeless people than were counted during the 2013 PIT.

More than 30 agencies and 100 trained volunteers assisted in this year’s PIT count which showed Eureka having the county’s largest homeless population, followed by Arcata and Southern Humboldt.

The biennial PIT count, conducted by the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition (HHHC), documents the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons. The count takes place in communities across the US on a single night in January. For Humboldt County, this year it was Jan. 27.

Starting the morning after and going through the week, volunteers connected with homeless people throughout the county to administer voluntary surveys with questions about age, physical and mental health status and where they had slept on the designated night.

“This year we had a lot of community interest and more volunteers participating in the count than in previous years,” said Barbara LaHaie, co-chair of the HHHC and assistant director, programs, for the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). “These numbers are so beneficial to the HHHC and assist us in determining how best to use our resources.”

The count is a US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirement. Information gathered during this count is used by local planning departments and by county nonprofit agencies in applications for grant funding and planning.

Although there are various definitions of homelessness, HUD’s definition includes the following four categories:

  1. Individuals and families who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence
  2. Individuals and families who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence
  3. Unaccompanied youth and families with children and youth who are defined as homeless under other federal statutes who do not otherwise qualify as homeless under this definition
  4. Individuals and families who are fleeing, or are attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions that relate to violence against the individual or a family member.

People living with friends or relatives, as well as people staying in motels, are not considered homeless, per HUD’s definition.

The count is not scientific, but provides a picture of the homeless population at a specific point in time.

“It provides a snapshot of our homeless on a specific night,” said Karen ‘Fox’ Olson, executive director at Arcata House Partnership and co-chair of the HHHC.

She said this year’s PIT was a success, which she credits to a few things.

“We simplified the survey, the volunteers were great and the California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) at Humboldt State University analyzed the data and provided us with a final report. This year is the best data collection the HHHC has ever done.”

Olson said they also set up hubs throughout the county where homeless people could come and be interviewed, including the Arcata House Annex, Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center, North Coast Veterans Resource Center, Fortuna Adventist Community Services, Redwood Teen Challenge, Church of the Joyful Healer and WISH-Women’s Crisis Shelter In Southern Humboldt.

The 2015 PIT Count committee included the North Coast Veterans Resource Center, Arcata House Partnership, DHHS, Redwood Community Action Agency, Redwood Teen Challenge, the Humboldt County Office of Education and two at-large community members. The count was funded in part by First 5 Humboldt County, the North Coast Grant Making Partnership, St. Joseph Health System and the CCRP.

The HHHC is a coalition of housing advocates, businesses, funders, elected officials, service and housing providers, faith-based organizations and other community stakeholders working together to identify and address local housing needs. In Humboldt County, the HCCC is the lead organization for homeless issues and the federally designated Continuum of Care. For more information about the HHHC, visit its website at

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 25, 2015

Blackwell, Brown, Cass
Blackwell, Brown, Cass

ERIN BLACKWELL, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

SCOTT BROWN, Redwood Valley. DUI, probation revocation.

JASON CASS, Eureka/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

J.Clarke, M.Clarke, Cruz
J.Clarke, M.Clarke, Cruz

JAMES CLARKE, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

MONICA CLARKE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

JOSE CRUZ, Ukiah. Drunk in public. Probation revocation.

Herriot, Hoel, Jenkins
Herriot, Hoel, Jenkins

JAMES HERRIOT JR., Albion. Parole violation.

RANDY HOEL SR., Redwood Valley. Suspended license, forgery of vehicle registration.

JAMES JENKINS, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Kroll, Langenderfer, Magana
Kroll, Langenderfer, Magana

DAVID KROLL, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

THOMAS LANGENDERFER, Albion. Harboring wanted felon, crimes while on bail.

LYDIA MAGANA, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.

Schenck, Schuler, Stanek
Schenck, Schuler, Stanek

JEREMY SCHENCK, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance.

JAKE SCHULER, Willits. Domestic battery, resisting.

PHILIP STANEK, Covelo. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

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“It’s not about me…”

Friend --

Thank you for joining this team. I'm so glad to have you in this campaign. 

As I travel from state to state, I am having honest conversations with people about their hopes for the future of our country. From Iowa to Nevada to New Hampshire and more, Americans want the same things: the opportunity for their families to succeed.

I'm running for president so that I can fight for those families. Because when families are strong, and when children have the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential, that's when America is strong.

It means so much to know that you're committed to this campaign. Now will you chip in $10 or more to support this team?

This campaign isn't about me. It's about the future we all want to see for our country. Thank you for being a part of it.


ED NOTE: Actually, Hil, I'm supporting Bernie, and when you and the Democrats screw him, I'll vote for Dr. Stein of the Green Party. Nothing personal, but if the choice gets down to you and Jeb, half the people in the country will commit suicide and the other half will get drunk and stay that way.

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(photo by Susie de Castro)

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FORMER TALIBAN CAPTIVE BOWE BERGDAHL insisted he had not “smoked any pot” after being caught up in California ranch drugs raid. The Army Sergeant, 29, was visiting his friends in Redwood Valley and was on authorized leave from administrative duties at the time. Authorities stormed the property, seizing 181 marijuana plants. Bergdahl watched as several people were taken into custody.

BBergdahl, in/out of Army
BBergdahl, in/out of Army

Sheriff said Bergdahl had been ‘very polite’ when officers quizzed him. He was then escorted to the sheriff's department before returning to base.

The former POW faces desertion charges at a court-martial this year. The sheriff who escorted Bowe Bergdahl away from a marijuana farm that was raided by police said the Army deserter told him: ‘I didn’t smoke any pot’. Bergdahl, who was released in a prisoner exchange after being captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan in June 2009, was at a ranch in Redwood Valley, California when authorities stormed the property - seizing 181 marijuana plants. Sheriff Tom Allman said the Army Sergeant had been ‘very polite’ when officers quizzed him on Tuesday. The 29-year-old is said to have no connection to the drug-growing operation, but military officials were still informed and an Army escort was sent to pick him up. The Sheriff said Bergdahl, who is awaiting military court martial after being found guilty of desertion, immediately identified himself and showed his military ID and an Army pass allowing him to be away from his base. Sheriff Allman said: ‘He had military ID and he had a pass be there. I didn’t realize that he’s an active duty sergeant in the military, but he is. ‘He wasn’t arrested because he had paperwork for leave until Friday and he was leaving Wednesday, the day after the raid.’ The Sheriff said he immediately contacted the Defense Department at the Pentagon and they arranged for an officer to come in to collect Bergdahl. He said: ‘Bowe was polite, he never tried to hide his identity and he didn’t try to play on his name either. He was just a normal person who happened to be the guy that was on TV last year. ‘I was involved in transporting him to the military and we met the officer half way. ‘We were there for a little bit and I asked him, I said, “look I think they’re gonna give you a drug test,” and he clearly said, “it doesn’t matter, I haven’t smoked any marijuana, they can give me any drug test they want”. He was very clear on that.’ Sheriff Allman said Bergdahl will be listed as a witness in the police report due to be presented to the District Attorney early next week. Bergdahl reportedly arrived at the property on Friday and was due to head back to the east coast on Wednesday. He was not taken into custody and was eventually taken back to his base near Washington.

(Ryan Perry. Courtesy the DailyMail on line.)

* * *

RE THE STAMPEDE for survival stashes set off by the recent New Yorker article that says the next really big one will wipe out everything west of I-5 from Eureka to Vancouver: More people will perish subsequent to a major earthquake rather than during one. Most urban residents fail to realize that in a real major earthquake, which nobody in the Bay Area has ever experienced, there will be power outages lasting for days or even weeks, the possibility of water systems being wiped out, complete disruption to travel for months at a minimum, and no ability to conduct commerce whatsoever. The national guard actually has a plan in place to isolate the Bay Area in the event of a significant seismic event by closing I-80 and U.S. 101 to all but necessary traffic for aid. Imagine if a magnitude 7.5 quake strikes the Hayward fault in Oakland. The bay bridge is gone, Oakland and San Francisco airports are damaged beyond repair, the San Mateo bridge is significantly damaged, electricity and gas are all but wiped out along with water and sewer. Your cell phone doesn't work. How will you survive?

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* * *


by Jeff Costello

I'd been to Reno and found it thoroughly unpleasant, what my friend Dave would call a "real dump." And, my old buddy Bob ended his life of substance abuse problems by overdosing there. He was a talented musician with an equally if not more talented rich & famous musician brother who had stayed home and practiced while Bob went about getting fucked up. Yep, that's pretty much how it works.

All I knew about Las Vegas was - the story of Bugsy Siegel and his dream of creating a goldmine in the desert, my readings of Hunter Thompson's "Fear and Loathing," the Rat Pack, the Howard Hughes legend, and the glamorous bright-light Vegas bullshit one sees in countless movies.

Going west from Denver, I-70 goes over the pass at the Eisenhower tunnel, elevation 11,000 and some ft. From there it's downhill, across Utah, catch I-15 and south to Nevada across the northwest corner of Arizona. After an overnight at the Sleepy Hollow motel in Green River, where the man at the desk was missing an arm but thankfully not his head, we resigned ourselves to desert conditions there to Las Vegas and on to Los Angeles.

Why Vegas? To visit a friend I'd not yet met who works there as a teacher. On to the Rat Pack city armed with a cooler full of ice and a squirt bottle in the absence of air conditioning. Temperatures hovered in the 110-115-degree range, which might have been bearable until four traffic accidents on the 15 created hours of delay. One of them involved several badly wrecked vehicles and a dead horse. Finally we came in sight of the fabled city and my heart sank. Las Vegas looks and feels just like Reno, only more so. What you see in the movies is carefully shot and edited to show only a tiny area that appears to be a flashy, colorful amusement park. The visit with the old friend left something to be desired, but the house was air-conditioned and provided relief from the unrelenting 110-degree heat.

Highway 15 is not the nice, picturesque two-lane road out of Vegas I'd thought from seeing too many movies. It's a big, multi-lane freeway full of drivers in a hurry and the ever-present big trucks. It was still hot of course, but there was only one accident delay.

When I was a kid, someone told me that when the temperature of the air reaches 98.6 F., "normal" body temp, people tend to become if not murderous, at least very cranky. I wondered about the human psyche at even higher temps, while passing the unusual number of auto wrecks along I-15, and waiting for the road to be cleared. The irritability factor was indeed high but we made it into Los Angeles in relative peace if not comfort. The 30 year-old car had run like a top all the way and I was pretty grateful for that.

* * *



…the BLOWBACK of business as usual.

Welcome to Nut House America! Where corporate monsters make Blockbuster billions off of glorified "gun violence" and politicians set the stage for resolving conflict by extreme violence globally.

Welcome to fear and loathing in the Land of the Free. Where society itself becomes the toxic fallout from all the twisted logic of war profiteers and popculture charletons peddling psycho schemes all the rage to keep the gullible fools distracted as the powers that be rewire their brains and rob them blind.

Invest in the hardware of Melt Down America and its obedient troops who will soon be everywhere in a futile attempt at containment of the worst chemical spill in American history. Which are the chemicals produced by fear, ignorance, and malnutrition now coursing through the derailed brains and bodies of millions of hapless, duped, TV brained timebomb zombie citizens.

And by all means, watch more idiotic, inane, and insulting shoot-up-everyone-and-blow-up-everything special effects orgy bullshit movies and make sure Jack and Jill are placed in front of it with their greedy little mouths full of poisoned food. Maybe you'll all get to be extras in the next Reality TV program coming to a movie theater in your town, and don't forget to wear your bulletproof vest and helmet!

Best of luck,

Marvin Blake


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To be honest, I’m enjoying the hell out of this Trump affair even though he hasn’t got a snowball’s chance of being our next president. He is serving a grand purpose as only an egotistical wealthy narcissist could… making all the PC politicians and liberal media assholes squirm, wondering how the hell to deal with this guy. Too bad for the poor bastard he told “You’re finished.”

But getting around to the phenomenon of narcissism, I started to pay attention to the frequency of the personality trait (disorder?) within the population (it is surprisingly high) and how it presents itself over a wide spectrum of behaviors. It’s like Parkinson’s disease – there are almost no two cases exactly alike. Take my brother-in-law, please. I would welcome other commenters thoughts on this phenomenon.

I will speculate that a high percentage of the people who have put Trump at the top of the poles for the Republican nomination, and those who show up to cheer him at his political circus events, wear fake diamond pinky rings, knock-off Rolex watches and drive ten year old Cadillac Escalades badly in need of new tires. In short, they do not actually possess the wherewithal to finance the front they are putting on.

In the case of Trump it is the unabashed bragging that is embarrassing to a normal person. Normal mothers teach their children three things:

Don’t pick your nose in public
. Don’t chew with your mouth open and
. Don’t BRAG

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Once upon a time there was a tavern

Where we used to raise a glass or two

Remember how we laughed away the hours

Think of all the great things we would do

Those were the days my friend

We thought they'd never end

We'd sing and dance forever and a day

We'd live the life we choose

We'd fight and never lose

For we were young and sure to have our way.

La la la la...

Then the busy years went rushing by us

We lost our starry notions on the way

If by chance I'd see you in the tavern

We'd smile at one another and we'd say

Those were the days my friend

We thought they'd never end

We'd sing and dance forever and a day

We'd live the life we choose

We'd fight and never lose

Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

La la la la...

Just tonight I stood before the tavern

Nothing seemed the way it used to be

In the glass I saw a strange reflection

Those were the days my friend

We thought they'd never end

We'd sing and dance forever and a day

We'd live the life we choose

We'd fight and never lose

Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

La la la la...

Through the door there came familiar laughter

I saw your face and heard you call my name

Oh my friend we're older but no wiser

For in our hearts the dreams are still the same

Those were the days my friend

We thought they'd never end

We'd sing and dance forever and a day

We'd live the life we choose

We'd fight and never lose

Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

La la la la...

* * *

("Those Were the Days" is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put English lyrics to the Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" ("Дорогой длинною", literally "By the long road"), composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevskii. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism.)

English Translation of

“By The Long Road” (Gypsy lyrics)

They were riding in a troika with bells,

and in the distance there were glimmering lights.

I’d rather go now with you, my dears,

I’d rather distract my soul from the yearning.

 Along a long road, and on a moonlit night,

And with that song that flies away with jingle-jangle,

And with that ancient, seven-stringed one (guitar)

That tortured me so much at nights…

Living this way, without joy, without torture,

I do remember the past years 
and your silvery hands

in a troika that flew away forever….

But it turns out our song was futile,

In vain we burned night in and night out.

If we have finished with the old,

Then those nights have also left us!

The days run on, multiplying the sorrows,

it is so hard for me to forget the past.

Some day, my dear,

you shall take me to bury (dead hero to the cemetery)

Out into our native land, and by new paths,

We have been fated to go now!

You rode on a troika with sleigh bells,

[But] you’ve long since passed by!

* * *

“BY 1926, Cole Porter had already written several Broadway scores, ‘none of which had, well, scored,’ poet and critic David Lehman points out. But one enchanted evening that year, while dining in Venice with Noel Coward, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Porter confided that he had finally figured out the secret to writing hits. ‘I’ll write Jewish tunes,’ he said.”

— Jamie Katz

* * *


by Dan Bacher

As Governor Jerry Brown urged leaders to "rise up" to "protect our planet" and to emulate Gandhi at a Vatican symposium on Wednesday, July 22, a coalition of California conservation groups warned state and federal regulators that the rush to approve the construction of Brown's massive water diversion tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta violates a multitude of state and federal laws.

The dichotomy between Governor Brown's "green" words at the Vatican and his actions on the ground in California couldn't be starker as he promotes the expansion of fracking in California, fast-tracks the environmentally devastating Delta tunnels plan and presides over water policies that are driving Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, and Sacramento splittail closer and closer to extinction every day.

After the Governor spoke Tuesday on "lighting a fire" to "fight climate change," Brown again spoke on the final day of the Vatican’s symposium on climate change and modern slavery at Casina Pio IV, home of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Brown called on local leaders to “rise up” and “build bridges” to protect our planet and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“In a world with a lot of complacency and a lot of cynicism, it’s going to take imagination, it’s going to take real faith," said Governor Brown. “Pontifex means ‘bridge builder.’ And that’s why I think it’s very important that this meeting is within the Vatican and the Pontifical Academy. We have to build bridges to our business leaders, to our political leaders. And as the pope said, it’s got to come from the periphery — that’s a new word for mayors. So, peripherals of the world — rise up, you have nothing to lose and you have everything to gain.”

Brown also urged conference attendees to emulate Christ's 12 Disciples and Gandhi.

"So, we have to think of those instances where radical change occurred," said the Governor. "And being right here in Rome where we can walk through the ruins of a great Roman Empire gives us an example. It was defeated not by another empire but by 12 Galileans who had no money, who didn’t even speak Latin, but who began the process of taking down the Roman Empire and replacing it with Christianity."

"Getting a little more modern, how did the great British Empire get thrown out of India? It was a man who just had a little cloth on, who used to go around in his underwear. Mr. Gandhi who, I think, Churchill was rather contemptuous of. And yet, Gandhi speaks more to where we are than Mr. Churchill or any of the other politicians," stated Brown. (

Meanwhile, in California where people are suffering from a multitude of the Brown administration's unjust and destructive environmental policies, a coalition of four environmental groups - Friends of the River, the Environmental Water Caucus, Restore the Delta and the Center for Biological Diversity - sent a letter to the state and federal agencies that are promoting the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP)/California Water Fix blasting the agencies’ failure to consider alternatives that would reduce diversions and increase freshwater flows through the Delta.

The groups wrote that “instead of sharply defining the issues and providing a clear basis for choice among options, the BDCP consultants have produced 48,000 pages of conclusory Water Tunnels advocacy.”

They said the state and federal agencies have ignored repeated requests to develop and consider real alternatives, including those that increase freshwater flows through the Delta, in order to “stack the deck” making it easier to adopt the Water Tunnels alternative.

The letter noted that the Environmental Water Caucus (EWC) Responsible Water Exports Plan fits the EPA and State Water Resources Control Board's calls for alternatives that would increase freshwater flow through the Delta, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers call for an acceptable alternatives analysis, but has been completely ignored by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). The plan sets an annual cap on water exports of 3 million acre feet.

"It is time to include among the range of reasonable alternatives required by law, and presented to the public for comment, increasing freshwater flows through the Delta by reducing exports. This is imperative. Extinction is forever," the letter concluded.

Read the letter here:

The environmental coalition is calling on the state and federal agencies to reject the water plan and prepare a new Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement that would include a range of "real Delta restoration alternatives," instead of "just replicating the same water-diversion and conveyance project dressed up in different outfits.”

“Governor Brown and the tunnel-promoting agencies have a bad case of tunnel vision, and have ignored all requests for a Delta plan with true alternatives that reduce fresh water diversions and protect the Delta,” said Robert Wright, senior counsel for Friends of the River. “The Environmental Water Caucus developed a Responsible Exports Plan alternative and handed it to BDCP agencies on a silver platter. Other agencies ranging from the National Academy of Sciences to the Environmental Protection Agency have also called for real alternatives. Instead, BDCP agencies have released another flawed environmental review document that fails to comply with our environmental laws.”

“In addition to protecting the largest estuary on the Pacific Coast of the Americas, and making more water for California, the Environmental Water Caucus plan for water efficiency would actually create more jobs for California than a large and expensive project like the Delta Tunnels,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta’s executive director

Barrigan-Parrilla cited the U.S. Alliance for Water Efficiency data that says that 22 jobs can be created for every $1 million spent on water efficiency. In stark contrast, the revised BDCP EIR reveals that the tunnels "at best would make about 5.5 jobs for every $1 million of public investment, less than half the job creation of most construction spending.”

Jeff Miller with the Center for Biological Diversity blasted the tunnels plan for being a "disastrous water export plan."

"The fix is in for the twin tunnels project, which has always been merely a huge water grab with some window dressing," said Miller. "Now the so-called ‘California Water Fix’ has abandoned any pretense of habitat protection. This disastrous water-export plan will hand over massive diversion tunnels to corporate agribusiness and lock in the current over-pumping of water from the Delta, decimating our native fish runs and speeding up the extinction of endangered salmon, steelhead, smelt and sturgeon.”

In reference to the dichotomy between the Governor's words at the Vatican and his actions in California, Conner Everts, facilitator of the Environmental Water Caucus, noted, "Theology in theory is great, but the reality is California has been devastated by losses to the environment from solutions that are stuck in the last century. Brown's disconnection from reality is getting greater and greater."

For more information about Governor's real environmental record, go to:

Also on Wednesday, the California Department of Water Resources and the Federal Bureau of Reclamation announced a 60-day extension of the public comment period for the joint Partially Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report (RDEIR)/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California WaterFix. The time extension was the result of a request from a broad coalition of environmental groups, fishing organizations, Tribes and public trust advocates.

The public comment period began July 10. Originally scheduled to end on August 31, 2015, it is being extended to Friday, October 30, 2015.

"The two-month extension gives the public, government agencies, and independent scientists more time to consider refinements and changes made since last summer to the plan that seeks to secure California’s water supplies and improve ecosystem conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta," according to a news release from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

To view or download the RDEIR/SDEIS, or for a list of locations to access a DVD of the document, please go to If you encounter problems accessing the documents, please call 916-978-5100 or email mppublicaffairs [at]

Background on Conservation Groups

Friends of the River, California’s statewide river conservation organization, protects and restores California rivers by influencing public policy and inspiring citizen action.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 900,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Restore the Delta is a grassroots campaign of more than 20,000 people devoted to saving the San Francisco Bay Delta estuary for our children and future generations.


  1. Rick Weddle July 26, 2015

    re: Bowe Bergdahl awaiting courtmartial after being found guilty of desertion…

    No courtmartial and no court has found Bergdahl guilty of desertion. The media seems to have so judged him, though. Here’s a tip for the corpirate media: Without a Declaration of War by a majority of Congress, granting lawful warpowers to the Exec., there is no War by very definition. Thus, there is no basis whatever for anyone to even be charged with ‘desertion in time of war.’ There is, however, clear basis and compelling reasons to charge those who’ve endorsed undeclared ‘wars’ (war crimes) as warcriminals. Is there a cognizant, functional officer of the court in the house? Hello?

    • Harvey Reading July 26, 2015

      Sadly, the only reason there is a corporate media, is because people buy what is peddled. NPR and PBS lie just as much, only with the talk geared more to the yuppies.

      As example, the people I admire most from the Vietnam atrocity days are those who went to Canada and those who fragged their officers in Vietnam. Yet all we hear from the media are lies about how Vietnam vets were treated badly when they came back home (and they were to a degree, by right wingers who were ashamed of “losing” that horrific slaughter and by veteran groups who wouldn’t take them as members until the early 70s, after the media of that day rubbed their noses in it) … yet vets having been treated badly by those opposing the war is rapidly becoming the conventional wisdom across class lines. This country never has been strong on thinking.

  2. Craig Stehr July 26, 2015

    Please vote for Bernie Sanders, and ask Jill Stein to be his running mate, (unless they agree to work it the other way around). Still voting, Craig Louis Stehr

    • Harvey Reading July 26, 2015

      Bernie the Babbler? Ha, ha, ha. The guy is as phony as the day is long. He is nothing but neoliberal lite. I cannot think of anyone from “either” of “two” parties whom I would even consider voting for. All are psychopathic monsters disguised as monkeys, male and female. All would continue the massive military spending and unending invasions of other lands, and you can bet they would continue the imposition of the “exceptional” U.S. way on the rest of the world. Bernie is just a cypher who will fall into line … as he always has done.

  3. Rick Weddle July 26, 2015

    Well…we know ‘politician’ is synonymous with ‘crook’…we know our own ‘free’ elections are rigged, bought, and stolen from under our noses…we know choosing between two evils for a ‘lesser’ over and over just gets more evil, over and over…so…

    How, when, and where do we make the voice of People heard and heeded (obeyed) by our own highly-rewarded public servants ASIDE from the useless, vicious circles of ‘voting’ in spurious elections, stupendously expensive campaigns WE pay for, and so on? This is not a rhetorical question, people…speak to me.

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