- Burn Scars
- Mental Health Chat
- Shoemaker Appointed
- FB Transfer Station
- LakeCo Refugees
- Candyland Cancellation
- Salmon Hatcheries
- Industry Capture
- Asha Missing
- Garberville Police
- FB Crime
- Yesterday's Catch
- Corbyn Phenomenon
- SOD Blitzing
- Underage Drinking
- Library Events
- Olden Days
- Outage Survey
- GM Crime
- Marijuana Regulation
- Toxic Eel
- Biomass Group
- Death Penalty
- Niner Greats
- Craig Ponders
VALLEY FIRE containment increases to 87% as of Thursday evening, size stable at about 76,000 acres. CalFire: “Firefighters continue to improve and hold existing lines while mopping up hot spots across the fire area. Rehabilitation is underway to restore the natural landscape that may have been altered during initial firefighting efforts. Thursday at 5pm, the Mandatory Evacuation Order for the Anderson Springs community was lifted. No additional evacuation orders are being lifted at this time. The evacuation center located at the Napa County Fair Grounds was closed today at noon Thursday. The Valley Fire now ranks among the top three most destructive wildfires in California history.”
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MASSIVE BURN SCARS IN LAKE COUNTY from recent NASA satellite photo:
INTERESTING COMMENTS from County Mental Health Board Chairman John Wetzler as interviewed by KZYX's Valerie Kim Tuesday evening.
THE FIRST PART of the discussion was about the low rates of "cultural competency" and Hispanic "penetration" as a percentage of "mental health contacts" with the County's two private Mental Health contractors, aka ASOs, "Administrative Service Organizations."
THIS TERM has been invented to emphasize the Ortner Management Group's and Redwood Quality Management "administrative" roles as opposed to what they provide in real services. Ortner allegedly provides hands on mental health services, Redwood Quality, like Ortner, is paid lots of public money to help dependent children.
MS. KIM and Mr. Wetzler implied that the reason the County is attempting to conduct an audit of the two entities is (1) the admin fee the two entities charge is quite high in relation to services rendered, especially Ortner's admin. Because they are both private businesses, administration is the fat or profit in the contracts. And (2) Mexican families aren't availing themselves of either Ortner or Redwood.
Wetzler: We have kind of a brick wall because it's so difficult to understand it and what to do about it because there seems to be so many things in our way. There's a perception that the Latino community won't interact with the dominant culture — the process that we go through, the way we understand what mental illness is, what physical illness— and basically what we call the penetration rate into that community from our ASOs has been very poor. We are at the very bottom I believe of the State when it comes to penetration into the Latino community. Our administrative service organizations, Ortner and Redwood Redwood Children's Services— they deal with children who have parents who bring their family members in because they are younger. So theirs is higher. Ortner has to do with the adults, people who are living on their own, and they have a huge wall to climb over to get their penetration rate up. I think they are trying to but so far we have not had any luck with that. They have 900 contacts a month and their Hispanic contacts have been in the neighborhood of one, two or three, I think one time they had nine. So it's a big poor number.
(OR IT COULD BE that Mexicans are better at handling their own internal affairs.)
Kim: That big poor number has not gone unnoticed. Earlier this month Health and Human Services Director Stacey Cryer said in a Board of Supervisors budget hearing that the mental health contracts that the county currently holds with Ortner and with Redwood Quality Management would be reevaluated. Ortner Management Group provides adult mental health services for people over 25, and Redwood Quality Management serves youth under 25 in Mendocino County. Ortner in particular has been under the spotlight in recent times.
Wetzler: I know I get a lot of calls complaining about the care that is provided, but some of those calls are so nebulous that it's difficult to say, yes, yes, that's who it is, that's who's not doing their job. I want to be correct about it. It's difficult to get that research. It's difficult to get information from the County. I think that they are not real happy with the [Mental Health] board. We ask a lot of questions all the time. I think a lot of this is generated by the fact that the administration cost for Ortner was pretty high, based on what has come out. Maybe not. I could be wrong. I am not privy to the information. I'm ignorant about it. I think that probably had something to do with what transpired last Tuesday.
Kim: Supervisor Dan Gjerde pointed out in an August meeting of the Board that if Ortner's administrative fee rate was lower, equal to Redwood Quality Management's rate, there would be almost $1 million more in the budget for County mental health. Wetzler says that high administrative costs are a natural result of for-profit mental health services.
Wetzler: The board, the executive board, and the people who did that contract knew that going in. They knew that Ortner was for-profit and for me personally for-profit mental health is a self canceling phrase. I think it should be a nonprofit situation. I think that they just need to do their job and make their salaries— I mean they are working really hard but there is profit involved. So now we are looking at that and we are saying, Oh, gee! There's profit involved. Well! You hired ’em! And this is what's happening. So I'm not— I look at it both ways.
Kim: Wetzler also looks at it from the perspective of a consumer or the parent of a consumer. He is not a mental health insider.
Wetzler: I'm a plumber. I came to where I am right now through of a member of my family. We had care and treatment in the Los Angeles area that was amazingly effective. We were able to access a Laura's Law type of facility in one day my daughter had all of her services rendered to her. Now she did not accept them. She did not take the services. But they were there and in one day she saw a caseworker, she was admitted, saw a caseworker, saw a licensed clinical social worker, saw a psychologist, then a psychiatrist and that afternoon she had her medications. It happened that fast.
Kim: When Wetzler brought his daughter up to Mendocino County from Los Angeles it did not happen so fast. She had to wait three months to see a psychiatrist and that was before Ortner Management Group held the county contract. Wetzler says he thinks the landscape for mental health services has improved here since Ortner has come in, and at least for his daughter the services have been relatively successful. We will have to wait and see if the auditors feel the same way.
FORMER SUPERVISOR RICHARD SHOEMAKER has been appointed Point Arena's city manager. Just up the road, Shoemaker's girlfriend Linda Ruffing is Fort Bragg's city manager. Shoemaker has hovered around the non-profits and local government agencies for years. He presently sits on the directing boards of the Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District, the people who control Mendo's 8,000 acre feet when there's 8,000 acre feet to control. He also sits on the Local Area Formation Commission, gazing benignly on as LAFCO'S paid administrator ripped the agency off. Additionally, Shoemaker "directs" that South Ukiah rec center operation. As of ten years ago, the guy listed his bona fides as these:
Save Ukiah Air Attack Coalition, Co-Chaired Fire Safe Council of Mendocino County Mendocino County affordable Housing Taskforce Mendocino County Water Agency Ukiah Valley Cultural & Recreation Center, Greater Ukiah Chamber of Commerce Board 1986-1990, 1997-2003 Ukiah Valley Wide Service Task Force (Policy makers from all local agencies, studied and recommended to city, county and special districts methods of possible service consolidation) Ukiah Valley Sanitation District Ukiah City Planning Commission, City of Ukiah Parks & Recreation Commission, Ukiah Redevelopment Agency Mendocino County Redevelopment Agency Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority, MSWMA, chairman 90-97. California League of Cities board member, Committee on Housing and Economic development. Sunhouse Guild Board, (Worked with private citizens to incorporate The Grace Hudson museum as a city department) President of local Pre-school Board. Mendocino Council of Governments, Vice Chair, executive committee, (distributes and federal funds for transportation and transit projects, advises CalTrans) California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Board member, Executive Committee member, CSAC Housing and transportation committee member, member criminal justice committee Mendocino Economic Development and Finance Corporation Mendocino County Employees Retirement Board Russian River Watershed Council Russian River Agency Fishnet 4C Tustin Unified School District Student Representative to the Board of Trustees. Workforce Investment Board, coordinating worker and youth training programs. Mendocino Economic Development Corporation Mendocino County Local Formation Commission Mendocino County Resources Committee, Mendocino County Health & Human Services Committee, Mendocino County General Government Committee Mayor's & Manager's Committee Ukiah Valley; City, County, School District school siting committee
$4 MILLION TRANSFER STATION FOR FORT BRAGG…
AN OPAQUE press release, unsigned, but clearly the work of County trash boss, Mike Sweeney, says Sweeney's dream of a redundant trash transfer station for Fort Bragg is on hold.
"Earlier this year, Mendocino County and the City of Fort Bragg prepared and circulated a Draft Environmental Impact Report concerning the Central Coast Transfer Station Project."
TRANSLATION: That EIR was written by a Sweeney-hired outfit based, I believe, in Eureka. You pay the money, public money that is, and you get the EIR you want.
Sweeney got the thing past his pals on the Board of Supervisors, LAFCO (an insider's outfit composed of elected people), and Fort Bragg City government as it functions under city manager Ruffing, and her 3-person Council majority. But a deluge of citizen objections caused Sweeney to arrange a rewrite of the environmental impact report that he claimed answered all the objections to the new installation.
BEAR IN MIND that Fort Bragg already has a perfectly adequate transfer station run by Waste Management at Pudding Creek.
SWEENEY, smearing lipstick all over the pig, comes back with, "Subsequently, a Final EIR was prepared that responded to all the comments received on the Draft EIR."
No, it didn't. State Parks and Fish and Wildlife rushed in to say the proposed site in the Pygmy Forest would be terribly destructive for many reasons.
SWEENEY BREAKS OUT ANOTHER TUBE OF LIPSTICK: "After consulting with the two State agencies, the County and City have decided to revise and recirculate the Draft EIR to address concerns. Once the revisions are complete, the revised sections of the Draft EIR will be recirculated for additional public and agency review and comment. Information concerning the date, time, and place of any public meetings or hearings scheduled to consider the revised Draft EIR will be provided as part of the forthcoming public notice of the availability of the revised Draft EIR."
REMAIN VIGILANT, FORT BRAGG! You can kill this beast. It's down and bleeding!
SWEENEY goes into smoothie bureaucratic blah-blah sales mode to retrieve the unneeded, unwanted project from life support: "The proposed commercial transfer station is intended to improve the efficiency of solid waste disposal in the Fort Bragg/Mendocino area by consolidating trash into larger truck loads for hauling to a destination landfill. It would replace the existing self-haul disposal site in Caspar and also the piecemeal truck trips made by Empire Waste Management to the Willits Transfer Station. The proposed site for the new Central Coast Transfer Station is on Highway 20, approximately three miles east of its intersection with Highway 1 (30075 Highway 20) at the northern edge of Jackson Demonstration State Forest. It was selected as the preferred site by the Board of Supervisors and City Council in 2013 after a six-year siting study process analyzing potential project locations in the Fort Bragg area."
TRANSLATION: Sweeney had all his surrogates at these entities on board for the transfer station, but when people became fully aware of what was involved, they rose up to say NO.
SUSIE DECASTRO WRITES:
Lake County Refugees Not on the MTA
On a beautiful day, like today, I headed for McKerricker Park to delight and exercise a bit. As I turned into the park, I saw something unusual: a whole family (parents and children) waiting by the side of the road. Yes, they were hitch-hiking. Was I free to give them a ride? What could be more important? I turned around and headed up a parallel road to where they were in my four-wheel drive. They told me they were “refugees from Lake County” camping at the Park and headed into town. Wow, I felt privileged to be in the presence of “refugees.” They explained that MTA did not have a bus route; they had checked. MTA does not have a route north of town? No, not even to the city limits? The kids praised my car (smart kids) as they hopped in, and mom and dad thanked me, profusely. Goes to show you, no matter how small, small is, it can make a difference.
LAST WEEK we ran the Health & Human Services announcement about their very silly “all staff training” day.
Now this week we find that it was canceled because it probably would look bad to have such silliness occur at the same time hundreds of homes were burning up in Lake County.
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Date: 9/15/2015 1:35 PM
Subject: All Staff Training, September 17
We are canceling the All Staff Training scheduled for this Thursday, September 17 due to the current situation with the Valley fire. The decision to cancel was not taken lightly. The annual All Staff training is an important event. I believe an annual training such as this can help us be stronger, better informed about resources and ultimately provide the best customer service to the public we serve. Our coworkers, friends, family and neighbors have been impacted with tragedy and are continuing to face the unknown. We felt it best to be right here, doing what we do each day to serve our community and assist our neighboring communities. All of you are helping in many ways. We will be issuing an email shortly with additional details and information regarding Disaster Service Worker status. We are planning on utilizing the wonderful and creative trifolds you all worked so hard on for staff education. We are considering different ways to get them out and around to all the offices. We will keep you posted. Thank you for all your hard work on them, it is appreciated. We will be open to the public on Thursday, September 17, for normal office hours. Thank you for your understanding. Stacey Cryer, Director, Health and Human Services Agency
A READER COMMENTS: "And we don't want egg on our face!"
SALMON. Here’s something to think about: in order replenish ocean stocks, king salmon require a place to breed in fresh water, that is, rivers and streams. Historically and locally, there were king salmon runs on the Gualala, Garcia, Navarro, Big River and Ten Mile River. None now exist. Siltation from logging impacted their spawning beds, and, currently, if a salmon could wiggle across the sandbar at the mouth of the Navarro and enter the estuary near the mouth, they would quickly be dead for lack of water sucked up by the ever expanding vineyards of Anderson Valley. Alaska has 27 open salmon hatcheries and 14 that are closed but ready in a state that still has thousands of miles of viable spawning habitat. Washington has 83 hatcheries. Oregon has 33. How many king salmon hatcheries does California have? Try 4, and in California the environmental lobby works hard to prevent construction of any new hatcheries. Why? Because they religiously believe that natural spawning fish and hatchery spawn fish will inter-marry and destroy the genetic rigor of the naturally spawning fish…of which there are very few left. It’s a Nazi like, eugenics fish theory that 30 years of study by the Alaska Fish and Game (where there is a mix of natural and hatchery fish) has proved to be false. The long and sad of it is this: there’s an abundance of feed in the ocean to sustain large populations of salmon, but when it comes to king salmon in California, if they must breed out in the open their progeny are out of luck. California Salmon have few motels (hatcheries) for love and procreation. Small, state funded salmon hatcheries on the once viable rivers and streams in California are the only viable solution. High school kids could run them.
(Michael Koepf, Elk)
MIKE KALANTARIAN NOTES:
I’d recently been thinking about the three supervisors who voted against the mild resolution (last April) that attempted to reign in Hack & Squirt, the timber industry practice of poisoning millions of hardwood trees, annually, and leaving them standing in the woods to die. And, mind you, these three supervisors (McCowen, Woodhouse, and Brown) voted that way after hundreds of citizens filled the chambers and waited hours to speak strongly, passionately, and convincingly against this industrial practice.
I finally came to the conclusion that these supervisors probably voted that way because, underneath it all, it was better for business. They probably view their job, primarily, as being good stewards of the business operations in this county, essentially as economic cheerleaders and enablers. It’s the same chamber-of-commerce approach to the world that our culture has been deeply steeped in these past few decades, as if making money was the primary reason for taking breath on this planet.
So, anyway, the discussion of "Industry Capture" in yesterday’s "Mendocino County Today" (September 24) aligned perfectly with these reflections. Our political leaders really need to to start thinking in terms of what is best for people, not just what is best for "the economy." There is much more to life than making money. It’s important for people to remember that -- especially in this country, the greed capital of the world.
MISSING PERSON ON THE COAST, LAST SEEN IN POINT ARENA MONDAY
(Posted 8:29 am Thursday)
WE NEED YOUR HELP!!
Have you seen Asha? Please call us with any information that may help us find her. 463-4086 or 415/793-1901.
(Mendocino County Sheriff’s press release)
TRIBUTE TO GARBERVILLE from one of its residents:
We had a volatile situation here at the hospital in Garbageville a couple of days ago that had the potential to become tragic. It took the CHP and HCSO almost an hour to arrive. That's unacceptable. In a town this size, there should be at minimum one officer on duty at all times. Especially with the number of tweekers, trimmigants, and other assorted ne'er do wells lounging around this little town. It's bullshit that there's never a cop around when you really need one.
FORT BRAGG CRIME STATS
When reviewing the above table, you see a comprehensive overview of all annual crimes reported in Fort Bragg. All reported Fort Bragg, CA crimes are shown and for assessment, each particular crime is demonstrated, establishing an accurate total that represents any crimes committed for every 100,000 residents. You'll also notice that the crimes are distributed into two separate categories, being; violent crimes and property crimes. In addition, the table also demonstrates that the Fort Bragg overall crime rate is 100% higher than in comparison to the California average; and is also 97% higher than compared to the national average. Specifically regarding violent crimes in Fort Bragg, the rate is 81% higher than compared to the California average, and 98% higher than when paralleled to the national average. When comparing property crime, Fort Bragg comes in at 103% higher than to the average seen in California, and 97% higher than the overall national average.
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 24, 2015
JAMES BETTEGA, Covelo. Domestic battery.
DANIEL CORY, Willits. Failure to pay.
CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Resisting. (Frequent flyer.)
PAUL INNISS, Santa Clara/Hopland. Robbery, possession of controlled substance, parole violation.
ROBERT JAMES JR., Ukiah. Petty theft, probation revocation.
TYRONE MOLINA, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.
DESIRE MONIER, Los Angeles/Garberville. Pot possession for sale, pot sale, transport, furnish, possession of money for drug related uses, no driver’s license.
CRAIG SAUNDERS, Ukiah. Failure to register.
KENDALL TRIMBLE, Ukiah. Burglary, use of someone else’s ID and electronic access card, possession of controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.
MARGARETTE WILLIAMS, Hawthorn (SoCal)/Garberville. Pot possession for sale, sale, transport, furnish, possession of money for drug use.
JEREMY CORBYN: A man who didn’t try to fashion a career.
by Boris Kagarlitsky
This past summer, I was hoping to meet with Jeremy Corbyn at a conference on anti-crisis policy in Ufa, Russia. He asked for a few days to think over the invitation to attend, promising to do so unless something unplanned and significant happened. It did. He was nominated for the leader of the British Labour Party.
“The phenomenon of Corbyn” arose suddenly, not only for himself and for all who knew him, but also for many journalists and analysts, including those in Great Britain. Indeed, the modest backbencher MP has never attracted too much attention. Rather, he was known as one of the few people in British politics who was not interested in money and a career, and therefore has always remained in the background since the early 1980s when he was first elected to parliament. Of all the deputies in Westminster, he was the most beneficial for British taxpayers because he spent public money sparingly and did not abuse his privileges. But he repeatedly won renewal of his electoral mandate simply because people in the district he represented firmly knew that Mr. Corbyn would meet their expectations and solve minor problems with the use of his status and influence.
Because of his strong position in the county, Jeremy Corbyn was independent from both the party apparatus and media. This allowed him to win elections without spending a lot of money. This independence from authorities slowly turned him into a famous politician, if not a dissident of his own party. Although Mr. Corbyn did not preach heretical opinions. He simply remained faithful to the principles of social democracy at a time when all other high-ranking politicians betrayed their party principals and turned into neo-liberals.
It’s funny to read today in our Russian press (and in the Western press) about Corbyn as the representative of the “hard left”. Both his program and his activity do not go beyond what was considered as a normal social democratic agenda during the 1970s and 1980s. Of course, in its left-wing, not right-wing, expression. But not more than that.
The accusation against Mr. Corbyn of extreme radicalism speaks more about the shift of European and British politics closer to a right “axis” than about the shift of views of MP Corbyn his supporters. But sometimes, adherence to principles can be good advertising. Especially when others betray and sell out, it is quite possible to be glorified based on the sole fact that you behave decently.
Mr. Corbyn spoke at anti-war rallies when his Labour Party was silent or when it supported the war in Iraq. He did not admire the feats of NATO’s special forces in Afghanistan. He told his listeners about the arson of the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, Ukraine on May 2, 2014 while the British media was stupidly repeating the version of Kiev propagandists about “quilted jackets” (pro-Russia “losers”) who set themselves on fire, or pretended that nothing happened at all. He talked about the bombing of Donbass when it was expected that leaders would only worry about the journalists of Charlie-Hebdo. All these facts allowed the media to project the image of a “pro-Russian” politician, although, by and large, Mr. Corbyn does not care about Russia. Rather, he cares about the West’s responsibility for the chaos that is growing in the world. He is not a supporter of the current Russian government; Mr. Corbyn simply understands that Russians, like everyone else, have legitimate interests which should be taken into consideration.
In terms of intra-British debates Mr.Corbyn usually was right in spite of the opinions of official leaders. When he spoke about the crisis of financial capitalism, which cannot be overcome with austerity measures, and predicted that the privatization of the railways would make them less effective but more expensive, profound experts rejected his arguments with an air of importance. Nevertheless, everything happened exactly as he said.
People kept this in mind, year after year. The authorities still consisted of gentlemen who lied every time, failing and turning democracy into a farce. Society was becoming more and more irritated but kept on bearing it.
Gradually in the British Parliament, Mr. Corbyn built a reputation as a good interlocutor with whom it was not acceptable to agree but to whom it was necessary to listen. This reputation determined the unexpected twist in his political career; which can, in its turn, become the beginning of a breaking point in the political process in all of the United Kingdom and maybe even in all Europe.
After the Labour Party was once again shamefully defeated in 2014 by the Conservatives headed by David Cameron – who were, in fact, doomed by many to fail as demonstrated by polling surveys – it became clear that changes in the Labour Party were inevitable. The leader of Labourists, Ed Miliband, resigned; the election of a new leader was declared. This is one of a few good English traditions – a politician who fails an election must leave his or her post and not occupy it until death. However, the responsibility for another failure lay not on Ed Miliband (by the way, he is the son of the famous Marxist historian, Ralph Miliband) but on his entire party leadership, who were not planning on quitting or changing anything.
A usual set of representatives of the Labour Party elite ran for the party leadership. They were faceless and unprincipled people, who differed little not only from each other but also from their conservative opponents. The election could have turned into a deadly dull and, frankly, pointless spectacle. But then one of the deputies proposed to nominate Mr. Corbyn, just to make things a little more interesting. He was, at least, a good speaker; at least a debater who could say something constructive amidst the usual banal utterances.
The fact that Mr. Corbyn could not only diversify the dull process of the party election but also become a leader was unexpected for everyone, including the candidate himself. He did not have influential supporters and money, not even sympathizing journalists capable of creating an “image” for him. But when he was put on the list, he set to work with his usual due diligence. He began to visit cities of the United Kingdom, made speeches and discussed the country’s situation with people. These meetings gathered crowds of many thousands. And then thousands of people began to join the Labour Party in order to take part in the selection process.
It should be noted that the procedure for the leader election has recently been greatly democratized. At one point, the Labour Party leader was elected by MPs in Westminster who would consult with the leaders of the largest trade unions. Paradoxically, this situation was changed by right-wing leaders. With the intent of reducing the influence of trade unions and backbenchers, they started relying on ordinary members and eroding the existing system. Decisions ended up being made by the party apparatus, which made them legitimate, referring to the will of some group of members that existed only on paper. Primary organizations collapsed and citizens became the formal support of managers whose political activity consisted of transferring every few months some fixed amount of money to the party. Meanwhile, activists in the labor movement and among left-wing youth left the party, seeing no point in their activity. In addition, the number of workers who once formed the support of social democracy was steadily declining. Their places in the party were occupied by representatives of moderately liberal middle classes who were interested in politics, but not interested enough to be taking active part.
The trouble is that this mechanism is very convenient for political manipulation but completely unprotected from outside intrusion. Moreover, no one even thought that someone would try, once again, to revive the grassroots of the party to fight for workers’ rights. In the 1960s and 1970s, similar revival attempts were constant and the apparatus fought with them strictly (the frankly undemocratic procedure for electing the leader was expressly implemented in order to prevent any influence on the managers’ policy). But since the days of Tony Blair, these extremes were so deeply forgotten that precautionary measures were disabled.
By mid-August 2015, Mr. Corbyn firmly led the race and party memberships were growing by leaps and bounds. Veterans, frustrated with many years of treacherous politics of right-wing leaders, were returning, youth joined and people who have recently thought about parliamentary politics as hopeless were engaging. Paradoxically, the financial position of the Labour Party dramatically improved, but for some reason this did not please the party’s management.
The party elite began to take counter-measures using the media. The British press launched a campaign against Mr. Corbyn which, incidentally, was also taken on by Russian liberal publications. The attack had three fronts. Primarily, Jeremy Corbyn had no serious program; he offered populist measures such as the nationalization of the railways and the improvement of work of social “emergencies”, although any sensible person should understand that this simply cannot be realized. Secondly, the Labour Party could not win an election with such a program and such a leader because no one will vote for candidates who are calling to carry out economic and social policies in the interest of the majority of the population. And thirdly, Mr. Corbyn expressed outrage over Ukrainian army shelling of hospitals and schools in Donetsk, which proves that he is an agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
To the surprise of politicians and journalists, their campaign backfired. The more that such articles appeared, the faster grew the candidate’s rating.
As ill luck would have it, a few dozen well-known economists, among whom was Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, issued a joint letter expressing solidarity with the program of Mr. Corbyn. Finally, at last, someone is offering realistic anti-crisis measures instead of stupidly repeating the mantra about the free market that will cure itself.
Opinion polls also produced unexpected and unpleasant results (for the ruling circles). Over 80 per cent of respondents claimed that the Labourists could return to power only with such a leader as Mr. Corbyn. Furthermore, according to the polls, electoral collapse of the party would occur if any other candidate were elected; if trends remains unchanged, where from year to year the Labour Party is becoming closer to the Conservative Party, citizens will stop voting for the Labourists.
Protests of intellectuals and politicians over the pro-Russian position of Mr. Corbyn did not work either, as the majority of Britons do not believe what the press writes about Russia. Not because they are favourable to Russia but because they do not believe journalists.
Finally, the “front bench” Labour MPs said they would not cooperate with Mr. Corbyn and would resign if he were elected. This news led to a new surge of enthusiasm — it became a great chance to get rid of all those self-satisfied losers leading the party from one defeat to another! The delight of ordinary party members was so strong that it caused panic among the Shadow Cabinet members. They started surrendering one by one, declaring that they changed their mind and now considered the possibility of constructive teamwork with Mr. Corbyn. Of course, under the condition that when the new leader of the Labour Party becomes a serious politician he will correct his views.
Thus the success of Mr. Corbyn revealed the complete moral failure of the “political class” and its staff of intellectuals dominating the public opinion of the West over the past two decades. If these people still had the trust and respect of the society, “the phenomenon of Corbyn” would have been simply impossible.
September 12, 2015 is a historic day for British politics; Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, gaining 59.5 per cent of the votes and placing far ahead of his nearest rivals.
Unexpectedly, the ruling class found out that the policy of “austerity” and the neo-liberal program of dismantling the welfare state is becoming exhausted, not only objectively but also at the level of mass consciousness. There is a cultural and psychological change which forms a new majority that does not wish to tolerate such politics any longer.
Today, Mr. Corbyn has become not only the British but also the pan-European leader for this new majority. And those who hope that everything will end with just a blank shot as in Greece are mistaken. It is not that Jeremy Corbyn is a completely different person than Alexis Tsipras. He is not a young careerist with left-wing views who uses them to promote his own interests. He is a person who has lived in movements and paid for his allegiance to principles via rejection of career opportunities during the time of successive Labour Party leaders.
It is not even the national differences in traditions and characters; the British being stubborn, persistent and not prone to give in to emotions. It is that the main difference at the heart of “the phenomenon of Corbyn” is based not on charisma, not on a trendy image, and not even on the disappointment of people in the policies of the “old style”. Corbyn’s campaign relies on mass movements which over the past two decades have grown and strengthened but did not have access to the agenda of “serious” politicians. Today, we observe the self-organization of people at the social bottom, so to speak – all those who for so many years were excluded from the decision-making process by “advanced liberal minority”. All those who were pushed into the background and ignored not only by the ruling establishment but also by the fashionable “left” intellectuals, by bearers of “new trends” and heroes of mass media.
The strength of the candidate is the support of the masses, and he is not so much a charismatic leader as he is the medium through which this mass, which yesterday wasn’t given a word, can speak up. “We will celebrate John Corbyn’s victory at the same place where we fought for it and have won and where we will defend it – in the streets,” writes John Rees, who is one of the organizers and ideologists of the electoral campaign. The new leader also has no problems forming a team – hundreds of specialists and professionals who are unhappy with neoliberal reforms, which have destroyed industry and the social sphere, and are ready to work with him. In fact, they are already working with him.
The victory of Mr. Corbyn gives a signal which is read very well by other countries. In Greece, the majority that voted in the referendum for “No” is still there, they will make themselves felt. In Spain, the new party “Podemos” is rapidly becoming more popular. In other European countries we can expect the same sudden revolt of voters. Six months ago, it seemed that the position of the ruling elite in Britain was quite unshaken. As the crisis escalates, more and more people will understand that only radical solutions may be effective. Only politicians that require radical changes have a chance to get public support.
Even in the United States, unexpectedly, Bernie Sanders, a politician from Vermont who formally is not even in the Democratic Party, achieves great success in the democratic primaries. Mr. Sanders is the only member of Congress who decided to call himself a socialist.
Although the views of Mr. Sanders are highly controversial (for which he is constantly criticized by the American left), the fact is that he is popular.
It is not necessary to believe that the success of Mr. Corbyn ensures a sharp change in the British and European politics. After all, his story is still only one of struggle for power in the opposition party. The political elites will hold on to their positions. And the more society will reject their course, the more aggressively and persistently they will conduct it. The most important and the most difficult is yet to come.
But today when I write these lines, people in the streets of London are hugging and congratulating each other with victory. There is an old photo from the time of the Vietnam War making the rounds on the web, showing the Americans fleeing by helicopter from the roof of the U.S. embassy in Saigon but with a new caption: Tony Blair’s supporters leaving the headquarters of the Labour Party. This is a new stage in history.
Later this week, Boris Kagarlitsky begins a four-city speaking tour to Canada.
Boris Kagarlitsky PhD is a historian and sociologist who lives in Moscow. He is a prolific author of books on the history and current politics of the Soviet Union and Russia and of books on the rise of globalized capitalism. Fourteen of his books have been translated into English. The most recent book in English is ‘From Empires to Imperialism: The State and the Rise of Bourgeois Civilisation’ (Routledge, 2014). Kagarlitsky is chief editor of the Russian-language online journal Rabkor.ru (The Worker). He is the director of the Institute for Globalization and Social Movements, located in Moscow.
SURVEY FINDS SUDDEN OAK DEATH INFECTION HIGH IN SOME AREAS: RESEARCHER OFFERS NEW RECOMMENDATIONS TO PROTECT AT-RISK OAKS
BERKELEY—2015 Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Blitz survey results reveal coastal mountain infestations in areas such as Big Sur (19 % infection), the Santa Cruz Mountains (13% infection), and western Sonoma (12% infection) remain high despite an overall decline in infection rates from 4.4 to 3.7 % across California’s 15 infested counties*.
“Understanding the current disease distribution is key to preventing Sudden Oak Death spread. Citizen scientists have been an invaluable help with this task over the last decade,” said UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab’s Matteo Garbelotto who organizes the Blitz effort.
Several new SOD outbreaks of note were identified during the Blitzes. Two infected California bay laurel trees were confirmed near UC Berkeley’s West Gate, a high-traffic, high-risk area with many heritage oaks. An infected California lilac shrub was found in the Presidio of San Francisco’s (part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area) southeastern quadrant. An infected California bay laurel tree was confirmed in Danville (eastern Alameda County) in an area where SOD had not previously been reported, and an urban park in Saratoga was found infested for the first time.
“In an effort to protect habitat restoration in the Presidio, we are working to strengthen Best Management Practices to prevent the spread of SOD based on the Garbelotto lab recommendations. In partnership with UC, the National Park Service, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, we are developing a Phytophthora prevention, detection, and control strategy, which includes active participation in SOD Blitzes,” said Christa Conforti, Presidio of San Francisco.
Nineteen citizen science-based SOD Blitzes (largest number of blitzes to date) were held this spring, two of which were new this year – one in Trinity County and one on Kashia Band of Pomo Indian land in Mendocino County. The 504 volunteers surveyed nearly 10,000 trees from San Luis Obispo County, north to Mendocino and Trinity Counties. Each volunteer was trained to identify Phytophthora ramorum (the plant pathogen known to cause SOD) symptoms on California bay laurel and tanoak leaves. “Blitzers” had 1 to 3 days to collect and record locations of symptomatic samples, which were then sent to the Garbelotto lab for DNA analysis to determine the presence or absence of the pathogen.
Results from the spring Blitzes as well as new management recommendations for SOD will be held in four locations, September 24th (Portola Valley), November 3rd (Sebastopol), November 4th (Berkeley, and November 13th (San Rafael). For details on locations and times for each meeting, go to www.sodblitz.org.
While presenting DNA findings from the Blitzes to communities, Garbelotto will also reveal his updated 3-step SOD management plan for landowners in infested areas concerned about maximizing oak tree protection. Individuals will learn how to: (1) Use the SODMap mobile app to help assess risk of oak infection (see www.sodmapmobile.org). (2) Determine if California bay laurel trees near high-value oaks should be considered for removal (using a new buffer zone new chart - http://nature.berkeley.edu/garbelottowp/?page_id=2345). (3) Apply phosphonates to high-value oak and tanoak trees to boost immunity (see updated dosages and application frequencies at http://nature.berkeley.edu/garbelottowp/?page_id=2348).
Infection on California bay laurel and tanoak leaves indicates arrival of P. ramorum to an area, but true oak (California black oak, coast live oak, canyon live oak, and Shreve’s oak) infection typically requires a couple of years with wet conditions after pathogen arrival. Therefore, preventatively treating oaks to help ward off infection is best done when early indicator species first show symptoms, prior to oak infection and optimal pathogen conditions (cool and moist).
These surveys are made possible thanks to funding from the USDA Forest Service and the PG&E Foundation as well as help from the California Native Plant Society. For more information on the workshops, go to www.sodblitz.org or contact Katie Harrell at (510) 847-5482 or email@example.com. For more information on Sudden Oak Death and P. ramorum, go to the California Oak Mortality Task Force website at www.suddenoakdeath.org or contact Katie Harrell.
SOCIAL HOST ORDINANCE UPDATE
A Social Host Ordinance will be voted on by the Fort Bragg City Council on Monday, September 28. The desired effect: fewer underage drinking parties in our city. If passed, hosting a party where minors are drinking alcohol could result in a $300 fine.
The details can be found at:
Show your support for this effort by attending the City Council meeting Monday night. It starts at 6:00.
MONARCH BUTTERFLY HABITAT RESCUE WITH SEED BOMBS
Wednesday, October 21st, 6:00-7:30 pm
Back by popular demand! Enjoy this hands-on event. Make Seed Bombs filled with Monarch Butterfly habitat restoration seeds. You will take these clay capsules home to your gardens and neighborhoods to create beautiful, beneficial habitat for butterflies.
This is a fun event for all ages and is sponsored by the Friends of the Ukiah Library.
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AMERICAN CRAFT WEEK AT THE LIBRARY
First Friday Art Walk
Friday, October 2nd, 5:00-7:30pm
Join us for a celebration of American Craft Week with a display of hand woven rugs and wall hangings and a loom weaving demonstration by local weaver Stephanie T. Hoppe. Also enjoy hands-on acorn crafting.
Relax with live music with Kim Monroe and yummy treats from Mama’s Café.
The Friends of the Ukiah Library Book Sale will be open from 4:30- 7:45pm on Friday and from 10 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
All this really makes me miss the “olden days” of the 1950’s and 1960’s when, in my 5,000 population town in northern Ohio, if we needed maple syrup we drove a few miles out to a local farm and bought a few gallons. Same for eggs.
Vegetables were grown out in the muck at Celeryville (seriously). We had all our dairy delivered by Mr. Lydy once a week kept cool on big blocks of ice in his truck (he used to chip off big chunks for us kids and we’d sit and lick them for quite a spell on hot summer days).
We had a few industries in town to keep folks working, like a printing company and a place that made bicycles. And another place that made surgical gloves.
If you needed your any painting done you called Mr. Doster. TV fixed? There was a go-to guy for that. Broken toaster? Same guy. Automotive repairs? Wrecked car? There was the local guy who took care of it.
And it was a walkable/bikeable town with a local pool for summer swimming and a bike park for family reunions.
Six churches, a police station (where the biggest crimes were the thefts of lawn furniture and bikes now and then), an elementary school, a junior high and a high school.
We had everything we needed and life just seemed to hum along.
When these deranged politicians ask if we are better off now than we were four years ago I can’t help but think that since the 1960’s things have progressively gotten worse politically, economically, environmentally and spiritually.
Where’s “Back to the Future” when we need it? Life just does not seem to be “real” anymore.
SURVEY REGARDING SEPT. 3RD 2015 COMMUNICATIONS OUTAGE
(Repost to increase survey participation — Diann Simmons, Administrative Coordinator, Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County)
On Sept 3, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties were affected by yet another communications outage which impacted 911 services. Mendocino County, in coordination with the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County, is asking everyone, including all residents, businesses, and organizations, to please take an online survey to document the impacts from this outage. The data collected from these surveys provide critical documentation in our efforts to require reliable and redundant network design. We can't stop vandalism or acts of nature, but a single point of failure should not result in a 2-county communications failure. Last year's Outage Report, compiled with data from that survey, was submitted to the FCC and California Public Utilities Commission. It also resulted in an Alliance presentation at a Washington DC Congressional Staff briefing on the importance of Network Resiliency. Our report was used as evidence by CPUC Commissioners Florio and Sandoval in their July 2015 "Alternate Proposed Decision" for the need for an infrastructure review and "a need to maintain some redundancy in communications facilities in case of a network failure". We are making progress, but we need to keep the pressure on. Please take a few minutes to help us document how this outage affected your family, organization, or business.
You can access the survey at
by Ralph Nader
Yes, it’s official. General Motors engaged in criminal wrongdoing for long knowing about the lethal defect in its ignition switch that took at least 174 lives and counting, plus serious injuries. At least 1.6 million GM cars – Chevrolet Cobalt and other models – hid this danger to trusting drivers, according to the Center for Auto Safety. Corporation executives who lie to or mislead the federal government violate Title 18 of the federal code, and risk criminal penalties.
But, the long-mismanaged automaker was not required by the Justice Department to plead guilty at all. Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney from New York, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch did not bring an indictment against either General Motors or known culpable officials in GM, including top GM lawyers and safety directors, who participated in the cover-up year after year, while lying to federal officials and not reporting these defects.
The Justice Department fined GM a modest $900 million, which the Wall Street Journalcalled a “lower-than-expected financial penalty.” The government also agreed to a notorious three year “deferred prosecution” deal, which corporate crime expert, Law Professor Rena Steinzor, called “a toothless way of approaching a very serious problem.” Three years of compliance, watched by a federal monitor and then the Justice Department dismisses the charges.
The “problem” is a fast maturing enforcement doctrine – under George W. Bush and Barack Obama – that can be called crimes without criminals. This turns criminal jurisprudence on its head. One standard for big corporations shielding their individual criminals with immunity. There is another standard for street criminals who can be imprisoned for many years for forging checks or burglarizing buildings without harm to humans.
At a press conference to announce the hoisting of this sweetheart deal, U.S. attorney Preet Bharara weakly excused the absence of indictments by asserting: “We apply the laws as we find them, not the way we wish they might be.” Former NHTSA Administraor Joan Claybrook asked Mr. Bharara whether he would urge Congress to meet his wishes. Mr. Bharara dodged the question. He argues that his prosecution was restricted because of “complex structures” in corporations. A multi-million dollar prosecution budget, with many subpoenas, interviews with GM officials and engineers should have penetrated the “corporate veil,” especially since Mr. Bharara waxed eloquent about how GM cooperated and opened itself up for inquiry.
Professor Steinzor, author of Why Not Jail?: Industrial Catastrophes, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction, rebutted, saying these excuses “are contradicted by their own creative and aggressive behavior in other cases,” involving some small, criminal companies. In one case, against a peanut company, DOJ got felony convictions and a former owner is facing a life sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines.
University of Virginia law Professor Brandon Garrett, author of Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations, pointed out that “individuals were even wrongly convicted of vehicular manslaughter, having been driving defective [GM] cars. A case this serious should result in a criminal conviction for the company, and many criminal convictions for the individuals involved.”
In short, as noted by the Corporate Crime Reporter: “GM did the crime, the drivers do the time.” A former top Justice Department prosecutor, Michigan Law Professor, David Uhlmann, said that the deferred prosecution agreement with GM “demonstrated how badly the Justice Department has lost its way with regard to corporate crime…There is no excuse for the Department agreeing to dismiss its criminal case against GM if the company pays a large fine and cleans up its act.”
The industry is now heavily lobbying the House and Senate to keep a provision for criminal penalties out of the pending highway bill being championed by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Edward Markey (D-MA). But since 1966, brazen GM and the auto industry have spent millions of dollars to make sure there is no specific criminal penalty, even for willful violation of safety standards that take lives, in the auto safety law.
Unfortunately, these giant companies have Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Senator John Thune (R-SD), the respective committee chairs wrapped around their dollar-spinning fingers.
Senator Blumenthal and Markey severely criticized the Justice Department’s concession: “Knowing and willful violations of the vehicle safety statutes – deception that literally kill American consumers – should be a criminal violation, as we have proposed in the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2015 and in the Hide No Harm Act.” They should also demand no more deferred prosecution malarkey in dealing with corporate crime generally.
The mass media has given significant lots of coverage to the 64 million cars recalled by the likes of Toyota, Honda, GM, Chrysler, and other auto manufacturers, along with the huge debacle by Takata over its air bag cost cutting. So the politicians on Capitol Hill, having conducted tough talk public hearings in the past two years, know they are in the spotlight.
Please help the hundreds of victims and their families such as Laura Christian, who lost her 16-year-old daughter, Amber Marie Rose, and is still fighting to bring GM and its culpable officials to justice.
Call Senator Blumenthal’s office at 202-224-0335 or Senator Markey’s office at 202-224-2742 for further information.
POT REGULATION, MENDO-STYLE
On Friday, September 11, 2015, the California State Legislation passed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. This Act delineates three regulatory agencies as responsible for regulation. The Department of Food and Agriculture will regulate Cultivators; the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation (which is new) will regulate Distributors, Dispensaries and Transport; and the Department of Public Health will regulate Manufacturers and Certified Testing Laboratories. These agencies will issue licenses.
Once Governor Brown signs this, it goes into effect. This means that regulation of cultivation, an important factor in Mendocino which is a producer county, will come under the Department of Agriculture. Most farmers have wanted the move from “Nuisance” to Agriculture for a long time.
An important part of the Act is that it leaves many of the legal issues up to the local jurisdiction. Decision making will rest with the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. It is they who may issue or deny a permit to cultivate medical marijuana and delineate the number of plants cultivated. The Act provides for “canopy” regulations of square feet, a change from the 25 per parcel currently in effect. All of the eight categories allow for more than 25 plants with Type 1, the smallest “specialty outdoor” with no artificial lighting and less than 5,000 square feet as the only Type to include the number, which is 50 mature plants.
We urge the Mendocino Board of Supervisors to support the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act and authorize the Mendocino County Agriculture Department as the regulatory entity for marijuana cultivation adhering to the system of Types of Cultivation delineated by the state legislature.
We also urge the Mendocino Board of Supervisors to respect and work with the existing cannabis farmers and organizations. There are currently several umbrella organizations that have been endorsed by farmers, dispensaries and other stakeholders in our county. The creation of a Mendocino Cannabis Advisory Committee would help to guarantee protection for the citizens who represent different aspects of the overall cannabis community. The BOS and the MCAC together would bring true representation for our county.
respectfully submitted, Mary Pat Palmer, MA, RH
The Philo School of Herbal Energetics
TOXIC BLUE GREEN ALGAE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY’S EEL RIVER
Confirmation of the presence of toxic cyanobacteria, commonly referred to as “blue green algae”, has been received for the Eel River in Eastern Mendocino County. Recently a dog that was known to have swam in the river, died shortly thereafter. The death was confirmed as algae-related by test results from the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory.
We wish to advise and educate the public that the toxic blue green algae is currently present in the Eel River in Eastern Mendocino County. The extended drought and summer conditions are contributing to the algae blooms due in part to low water levels. Most algae is benign, however, some species of blue green algae have the ability to produce toxins, including neurotoxins and dermatologic toxins which can cause serious health affects for humans and animals.
Algae blooms can look like green, blue-green, white or brown foam, scum or mats floating on the water or along the shore. You cannot tell if an algae bloom is toxic by looking at it. Children and pets are the most at risk and should be prevented from entering water that contains algae. Dogs are particularly vulnerable because they tend to drink the water and lick the algae off their fur. Children tend to take in water when playing and splashing in it. It is best to keep both children and pets from water that looks suspicious, and wash pets immediately if they have been in contact.
Algae toxins can cause a variety of symptoms including contact irritation (eye, nose, mouth and skin), gastro-intestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hepatic inflammation) and neurological symptoms (muscle tremors, seizures, difficulty breathing).
Never drink untreated river water. Property owners that draw water from the river for any use should never drink or come into direct contact with water that may contain blue green algae.
Boiling water is not adequate to eliminate toxins. Contact Mendocino County Environmental Health for more information at (707) 234-6625.
Healthy water habits can prevent illness. Recreational water users of the Eel River should follow these healthy water habits:
Be informed – learn to identify blue green algae (additional information below)
Use common sense: if the water looks inviting, enjoy! If you are suspicious, be cautious.
Avoid all algae scums or mats.
Do not let pets or children drink, swim, wade, or play near scums or mats (particularly along the shoreline).
Prevent your pets from licking their fur after contact with algae, and wash them immediately.
Always wash your children and pets with clean water after recreation in the river.
Get medical attention for your children or pets if you think they have made contact with blue green algae toxins. Be sure to tell the medical professional about possible contact with blue green algae.
If you have a pet that becomes ill or dies after exposure to blue green algae, please report the information to the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency - Environmental Health at 707-234-6625.
For further information you may visit the following websites:
California Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/environhealth/water/Pages/Bluegreenalgae.asp
Center for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/algalblooms.html
State Water Resources Control Board: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/bluegreen_algae/
Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer
BIO-MASS, TAKE TWO
The Mendocino County Woody Biomass Working Group (WBWG) consists of community leaders from a variety of different backgrounds including members from local government, the forest service, the USDA, non-profit organizations, environmental advocates, small business owners, members of the timber industry and community members concerned with the economic and environmental future of Mendocino County.
Our mission is to study the feasibility of utilizing woody biomass for energy production and economically viable value-added products by developing strategies for biomass projects that are consistent with community needs/values, that promote environmental health, and that strengthen our economy.
In the past, forest health throughout Mendocino County has been impacted by management practices and catastrophic forest fire events that have created large tracks of overcrowded small diameter trees and brush. This excess woody biomass impacts the entire forest ecosystem - using more water than well spaced forests, making it difficult for species to hunt and forage, stunting tree growth, and increasing forest vulnerability to catastrophic forest fire events which devastate forest soils, terrestrial and aquatic habitat.
While forest overcrowding has well-known negative impacts, removing excess biomass is costly and the monetary benefits are virtually non-existent in the short-term because waste wood does not have an economic value high enough to pay for the cost of removal and transportation. Even with these high costs, many private and public timberland owners thin overcrowded stands to improve forest health using one or more methods: herbicide application to kill fast growing underbrush, thinning, piling and burning, or thinning and leaving the biomass on the forest floor. Each of these methods is wasteful, underutilizing a potential energy source. Herbicide application and open field burning present additional ecological problems. Open field burning for example, releases more emissions into the atmosphere than burning the same amount of wood in a biomass-fueled boiler.
Converting woody biomass into value added end product (electricity, bio-oil, biochar etc.) allows timberland owners to offset the cost of thinning overcrowded forests in an ecologically responsible way. Furthermore, the end products created can have additional environmental benefits as a substitute for petroleum and coal (electricity production / bio-oil production), or as a carbon sequestration tool and soil amendment (biochar production).
more at mendofutures.org/biomass.html
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE Antonin Scalia said Tuesday he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the court rules that the death penalty is unconstitutional. In a speech at Rhodes College in Memphis, Scalia said no one should “mess with the Constitution” and that the death penalty should remain constitutional. “Do you really want your judges to rewrite the Constitution?” Scalia asked. In 1972, the court ruled that the way executions were being carried out was unconstitutional, creating a de facto moratorium on the death penalty until a later ruling reinstated it.
PAUL HOFER: GREAT FOOTBALL PLAYER
Good to see Peter Hartlaub in last Sunday's Chronicle give a shout-out to Paul Hofer, a great Niner running back from days of yore. From a sidebar ("S.F. stars we wish we could see play") that doesn't appear on the online version of the story:
Paul Hofer (49ers, 1979) My favorite San Francisco 49ers player of all time was the first pro running back to thrive in Bill Walsh's innovative offense (58 receptions in 1979!) but sadly his career was disrupted by knee injuries. I saw him play briefly, but my only concrete memory is watching him on crutches on the sideline. I'd give my next five years of football watching to see Hofer play one more game.
I saw every game Hofer played for the Niners, either at Candlestick or on TV. He was a great football player! If the Niners had a decent respect for their own history, they would put together videos featuring highlights by early Niners like Hofer. (See Hartlaub's full-length tribute to Hofer from 2013: A tribute to Paul Hofer: Candlestick Park’s working class hero).
Hartlaub also singles out Hugh McElhenny:
(49ers, 1957) I've heard McElhenny was incredible to watch live, weaving back and forth on the Kezar Stadium field for 40-yard touchdowns that covered 140 yards of ground. He averaged 8 yards per carry in an injury shortened 1954 season, but we're choosing 1957 — arguably the 49ers greatest season of their first 35 years.
McElhenny was a great open-field runner. The Niners haven't had one anything like him since.
McElhenny was part of a great backfield, with Y.A. Tittle, Joe Perry, and John Henry Johnson.
— Rob Anderson
AS THE FOOTPRINTS FADE…
Sitting at the Washington DC Lofty Travelers Hostel right now, enjoying the speaking schedule of the Pope on television, my hostel exit date is Monday September 28th, (also my 66th birthday). The mental "thinking machine" wonders what is next upcoming, after our collective heroic climate justice efforts at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Might I stay here further, or perhaps return to the San Francisco bay area now, or push on to Europe for even more activism in response to global climate destabilization at the UN sponsored Conference of the Parties #21 in Paris? I am considering all creative suggestions at this time. As the footprints fade and the trail disappears,
Craig Louis Stehr
DC Lofty Travel Hostel @ 11th & O Streets, Washington D.C.