- Looking for Asha
- Last Rights
- Med-Pot Regs
- Monster Boys
- Death Map
- Local Food
- FB Council Meeting
- PV Water
- Blue Meadow
- Yesterday's Catch
- Yorkville Shooting
- Tree Service
- KZYX Docs
- Blankfort Show
- Wine Guys
- Willits Water
- Oily Fox
- Alexander Valley Film Festival
by Steve Heilig
Californians have just won a right that we all hope we will never need to use: The right to physician-assisted dying.
Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s End of Life Option Act last week after what was clearly deep consideration; he concluded that “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.” Wise and compassionate words, and Brown was also careful to also point out that he is a lifelong Catholic. That church has long opposed legalizing physician-assisted dying (PAD), but the California Council of Churches supported the bill. The other main opposition has come from certain disability rights advocates, but hardly all of them, and, most crucially, from organized medicine, in our state in the form of the California Medical Association. The CMA has defeated every attempt to legalize PAD in the past, for how could a "physician-assisted" process be legalized against the will of physicians themselves?
As it turns out, the opinion of physicians has evolved. Having conducted surveys of doctors' opinions and followed others, I saw that doctors appeared to support a legal option for PAD almost as much as the general public - by at least a plurality. Thus the traditional "just say no" position of the AMA and CMA no longer represented the profession. It took years to convince the CMA of that, but when their membership and leadership was finally allowed to weigh in on the topic, it became clear that something had to change, and after a long process, it did. The CMA would not support a PAD bill but, if proposed legislation had all the "safeguards" against abuse contained in laws in other states where PAD has been legalized - and where problems have been minimal, contrary to scare stories from opponents - they would no longer oppose it and be neutral, thus letting proposed legislation move forward. This is what occurred with the bill Brown signed.
Physician-assisted dying is, in fact, a relatively rare occurrence even where legal; it is part of a spectrum of overdue efforts to improve care at the end of our lives. Contrary to some fears, such care has been demonstrated to improve where assisted dying has been legalized, and it can here as well. So, to borrow from a slogan in the abortion debate, the work now begins to make this right a “safe, legal and rare” one — but one available when truly a last resort.
For many of us who have followed this issue and have cared for dying patients, Brown’s compassionate action is welcome. For those strongly opposed to this option, of course, all will have the option not to request assisted dying. And the strict guidelines will make any such deaths among the most scrutinized of all, preventing coercion or other problems. In fact, most people with a terminal disease — the only ones who can request such a hastened death — will not follow through with that request. The irony observed by many who care for dying patients is that reassuring such patients that they will not be abandoned in this regard can actually lengthen their final days — for having some sense of control is a crucial issue, whether the right to die is utilized or not.
And it should be noted that this is not "suicide," as even the American Psychological Association has noted, but a hard decision made in the face of suffering and impending death. Suicide is a tragedy, most always brought about by depression, hardship, or other severe problems that have some possibility of being lessened or removed; PAD is, again, only for those undeniably already dying.
It is no accident that this right has been legalized due to a huge effort partly arising from San Francisco, and this new law is a tribute to thousands of AIDS, cancer, and other patients from the Bay Area who worked to make it become reality. What is crucial now is that the health care, legal and other professions continue to work on everybody’s behalf so that the best possible care is available to all; that each of us document our wishes in already available advance health care directives, living wills, and the newer Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms; that the “Palin Death Panel Amendment” to Obamacare be reversed so that more discussions about end-of-life-care planning will take place and be reimbursed; and that access to hospice care be expanded. There is already organizing taking place to set up intensive monitoring of PAD in California, to ensure that problems are minimized.
With such progress, the need for actual PAD can be minimized, and people die "naturally" (if by natural one includes all the varied interventions of modern medicine). But alas, there will most likely always be a relatively few but tragic cases where suffering remains unrelieved, and this new right to die then becomes, in fact and practice, a part of what real healing can mean.
BROWN SIGNS NEW MED-POT REGS
by Fred Gardner (O’Shaugnessy’s)
Governor Jerry Brown has signed the package of bills known as the Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. The very name implies that the herb is dangerous.
Two weeks ago Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, a Sebastopol potdoc, attended a forum in Santa Monica addressed by three of the politicians who drafted the bills. When he got back, Hergenrather shared his impressions with O'Shaughnessy's.
Hergenrather: The first session consisted of talks by three of the authors —Assemblymen Ken Cooley, Reggie Jones-Sawyer, and Jim Wood. There were critiques of the Act from people in the audience. There were concerns that by sundowning SB 420 [California’s current Medical Marijuana Program] the Act would result in patients not allowed to grow for their friends and family.
Hergenrather suggested to Wood that California medical schools be mandated to teach doctors-to-be about the endocannabinoid system and Cannabis-based medicine. Wood said that the legislature is not allowed to tell California educators what to include in the curriculum.
O’S: But couldn’t they make a recommendation? They’re recommending that the medical board go after “excessive recommenders.”
Hergenrather: Wood thought we were going to have to approach each medical school individually. Which may be true,
O’S: I think after one adds Cannabis Medicine, they all will. Everyone wants to be second. But then the fight will be over the content of the course. Are they going to teach the med students that nine percent of users get addicted as if that were some established truth? They have to —a 9% addiction rate is the basis for the whole treatment racket.
Hergenrather: Someone suggested that the state's agricultural laws might enable people to grow. It might have been Tony Oliviera, the keynote speaker —a consultant in Sacramento who is also a farmer. According to Oliviera, as much as 80% of California cannabis production goes out of the state. He focused on fees, taxes and fines. Eight percent was mentioned as a flat rate for marijuana sales. Oliviera felt strongly that we shouldn’t allow local governments to add to the taxes imposed by the state. Fees may be added. Somebody said “fees are another word for taxes.”
Someone objected to medicine being taxed and basically the answer was “Sorry.”
Someone said that raising fees in California would boost exporting out-of-state. Everyone recognizes that’s a risk and apparently law enforcement is okay with it. More activity for them.
The Act will take effect in 2018, according to Brown's signing statement. Some of its provisions may be overridden by a "legalization" ballot initiative in 2016.
It was Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) who drafted the original bill at the behest of Law Enforcement and the League of Cities. On September 24 Bonta published an op-ed in the Oakland Tribune asserting, "This is the comprehensive regulatory framework that California has been in desperate need of for almost 20 years." Bear in mind that Law Enforcement adamantly opposed Prop 215 when California voters legalized marijuana for medical use in 1996. None of their dire warnings panned out, of course; there has been no spike in schizophrenia rates, driving fatalities, use by teenagers, etc. The problems with implementation have been created by the cops themselves refusing to follow the will of the voters —the letter and spirit of Prop 215.
Mendocino County Sheriff Tony Craver told your correspondent in 2004 that 47 of his 48 deputies were "hard-chargers" who could hardly stand to abide by Prop 215. Just last month, according to the AVA, Sonoma County Sheriff's spokeswoman Sergeant Cecile Focha said "Deputies are continuing to enforce all laws in the same way as prior to passage of Proposition 215." And that's the whole truth and nothing but.
If the cops had stopped busting growers, if the herb could be sold at farmers markets like kale, the price would have come down and there would be no incentive to rob and kill or divert water illegally —and no justification for an ongoing law enforcement role all these years (and, given the regs Brown just signed, forever and ever, amen).
Law Enforcement lobbyists and flacks — "union leaders" — recognized that with the passage of Prop 215, the marijuana genie's head was out of the bottle, so their strategy ever since has been to press down on her shoulders and get funded to do so. This funding would not be possible unless marijuana was defined as a very dangerous substance that the citizenry cannot have free access to. The medical establishment establishes that cannabis is dangerous, mainly because of damage to the "developing brain" and an alleged 9% addiction rate among heavy users. (Alan Leshner, the salesman who headed NIDA when they came up with their 9% solution, probably figured that 11% would sound too expensive.) Psychiatrists have disproportionate influence within the medical establishment, and the Addiction Specialists have disproportionate influence within Psychiatry. (Leshner, BTW, was merely a psychologist.)
This was Rob Bonta's bottom line in the Oak Trib:
- California can no longer ignore an industry that has operated for nearly 20 years with no testing standards, little enforcement, environmental neglect and no tools to combat drugged driving.
- With this legislation, known as Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, the Wild West of the medical marijuana industry will be reined in, benefiting all of California. Patients will have more assurances that their products are safe. Law enforcement will have a foundation for identifying drugged drivers and increased funding to protect the public.
When Prop 215 passed almost 20 years ago, Tod Mikuriya, MD, called on reformers to audit every relevant state, county, and city agency to ensure that they were changing their protocols in response to the new law, and to file civil actions as needed to ensure compliance. He couldn't get the backing from the honchos, who went off to other states with weaker initiatives and abandoned California to face the wrath of the losers (the Attorney General and 57 of 58 district attorneys). Tod tried to do the audit himself with his assistant, John Trapp, while running a practice. Dr. Quixote.
BANG, YOU’RE DEAD
by James Kunstler
Apropos of the recent Roseburg, Oregon, school massacre that left nine dead, President Obama said, “We’re going to have to come together and stop these things from happening.” That’s an understandable sentiment, and the president has to say something, after all. But within the context of how life is lived in this country these days, we’re not going to stop these things from happening.
And what is that context? A nation physically arranged on-the-ground to produce maximum loneliness, arranged economically to produce maximum anxiety, and disposed socially to produce maximum alienation. Really, everything in the once vaunted American Way Of Life slouches in the direction of depression, rage, violence, and death.
This begs the question about guns. I believe it should be harder to buy guns. I believe certain weapons-of-war, such as assault rifles, should not be sold in the civilian market. But I also believe that the evolution of our Deep State — the collusion of a corrupt corporate oligarchy with an overbearing police and surveillance apparatus — is such a threat to liberty and decency that the public needs to be armed in defense of it. The Deep State needs to worry about the citizens it is fucking with.
The laws on gun sales range from ridiculously lax in many states to onerous in a few. Yet the most stringent, Connecticut (rated “A” by the Brady Campaign org), was the site of the most horrific massacre of recent times so far, the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting. The handgun law in New York City is the most extreme in the nation — limiting possession only to police and a few other very special categories of citizens. But it took the “stop-and-frisk” policy to really shake the weapons out of the gang-banging demographic. And now that Mayor Bill deBlasio has deemed that “racist,” gang-banging murders are going up again.
Which leads to a consideration that there is already such a fantastic arsenal of weapons loose in this country that attempts to regulate them would be an exercise in futility — it would only stimulate brisker underground trafficking in the existing supply.
What concerns me more than the gun issue per se is the extraordinary violence-saturated, pornified culture of young men driven crazy by failure, loneliness, grievance, and anger. More and more, there are no parameters for the normal expression of masculine behavior in America — for instance, taking pride in doing something well, or becoming a good candidate for marriage. The lower classes have almost no vocational domain for the normal enactments of manhood, and one of the few left is the army, where they are overtly trained to be killers.
Much of what used to be the working class is now an idle class that can only dream of what it means to be a man and they are bombarded with the most sordid pre-packaged media dreams in the form of video games based on homicide, the narcissistic power fantasies of movies, TV, and professional sports, and the frustrating tauntings of free porn. The last thing they’re able to do is form families. All of this operates in conditions where there are no normal models of male authority, especially fathers and bosses, to regulate the impulse control of young men — and teach them to regulate it themselves.
The physical setting of American life composed of a failing suburban sprawl pattern for daily life — the perfect set-up for making community impossible — obliterates the secondary layer of socialization beyond the family. This is life in the strip-mall wilderness of our country, which has gotten to be most of where people live. Imagine a society without families and real communities and wave your flag over that.
President Obama and whatever else passes for authority in America these days won’t even talk about that. They don’t have a vocabulary for it. They don’t understand how it works and what it’s doing to the nation. Many of the parts and modules of it make up what’s left of our foundering economy: junk food, pointless and endless motoring, television. We’re not going to do anything about it. The killing and the mayhem will continue through the process of economic collapse that we have entered. And when we reach the destination of all that, probably something medieval or feudal in make-up, it will be possible once again for boys to develop into men instead of monsters.
Kunstler’s third World Made By Hand novel is available! The Fourth and final is finished and on the way — June 2016. “Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page- turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist
That Oregonian Map of Firearm Deaths Making the Rounds is Tremendously Misleading
by Hank Sims
This map is a centerpiece of the Portland-based newspaper’s package on gun violence in the United States in the wake of Roseburg. It purports to show rates of firearm-related death throughout the USA between the years 2004 and 2010, broken out by county.
If you zoom in to our state, you’ll see the map indicates that Humboldt County had the second-highest level of gun-related deaths in California during that period — second only to Del Norte. This fact is what prompted many locals to share it to their Facebook friends.
However: It is not so.
We started digging into the Oregonian’s numbers this morning because we were curious what made Humboldtians so much more likely to be killed by guns that the rest of the state during the period under study. Was it due to homicide? Suicide? Accident? All those types of death by firearms are taken into account in the Oregonian’s figures, which come from the Centers for Disease Control.
But we didn’t get too far before we discovered that if you’re looking for actual gun-related death statistics by county, this map is not the place to look. Either you have the wrong expectations for it, or the Oregonian used the wrong data. And since the Oregonian calls this map “U.S. gun deaths, 2004-2010,” and says that it shows “the average number of gun deaths per 100,000 county residents from 2004 through 2010,” we kind of have to go with the latter. It doesn’t show that, exactly.
In fact, the Oregonian is using what the CDC calls “geospatially smoothed” data. When the data is “geospatially smoothed,” the CDC takes each county’s actual rates of death by firearm and averages those with the actual rates of neighboring counties. Every county is its brothers’ keeper. The goal, here, is to show an average for a region, not actual numbers by county.
It turns out to make a pretty big difference.
Here we see the before-and-after of geospatial smoothing. On the left: Humboldt and Del Norte’s actual rates of death by firearm; on the right, the rates after they are averaged out with their neighbors (as employed by the Oregonian.) We see, here, that Del Norte and Humboldt did not have the most firearm-related deaths in those years at all, as the Oregonian would have you believe.
In fact, neither county made the top 10. Actually, Humboldt had the 11th highest rate of firearms deaths in California, not the second highest. Poor little Del Norte didn’t have the #1 highest rate of gun deaths per capita, but the 23rd highest. (That’s with seven counties left out for “Suppressed/Unstable/Undefined” data, likely due to the low populations in those counties.)
Mostly this is because Siskiyou and (especially) Trinity counties are off-the-charts bad. Their numbers got smoothed into ours. We ended up looking worse for it and they ended up looking better. Here are the actual rates of gun-violence deaths in northwestern California counties between 2004 and 2010, with statewide rank attached:
- Trinity: 34.706 deaths per thousand per year
- Siskiyou: 28.803
- Mendocino: 15.323
Del Norte: 10.576
Here are the same ranks and figures — the ones used in the Oregonian map — post-smoothing. Note how the rankings are flipped.
- Del Norte: 16.014
Check the numbers for yourself at this CDC website. Choose “firearm” as the “mechanism of injury,” then choose California as your state.
Why did the Oregonian used “smoothed” rather than actual data, when the actual seems to be what the map is driving toward? Unknown. Maybe it was an error. Or maybe it was due to the fact that the CDC doesn’t have data for a lot of Oregon counties:
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.:
Less than an hour after this post went up, the Oregonian updated its story to reflect that, yes, they used “smoothed” county death rates rather than the actual county numbers, thereby loaning Humboldt and Del Norte counties the gun deaths of our neighbors.
WE'LL TAKE IT IN THE MAUVE, PLEASE
It would be better discussing KZYX with you, Bruce, if you knew what you're talking about. You could open an interior decorating business without going anywhere to have a look. Just take a fee upfront and finesse the rest. Remember to say, "mauve, mauve." It sounds classy and nobody's quite sure what it is.
ED REPLY: I try, Gordy, god knows I try. But on your end, and please don't report me to Beth Bosk for ageism, your communiques grow ever more opaque, one of several early Alzheimer's clues I've noticed in you, the others being that greasy cravat you've worn lo these many years, the occasional on-air quaver in your mellifluously molesto baritone, the indignant wattle rolls of your chin sag. We all get there, old boy, and you have my sympathy. But, really, whoever your in-home care person is you might, in a lucid moment, remind her to keep you away from your keyboard when you suddenly exclaim, in that Wascally Wabbit voice you entertain in at the Senior Center, “That Bwuce. I'll get him yet!”
NIBBLE, MUNCH & IMBIBE
by Barbara Goodell & the Foodshed People
Have you nibbled on the local crepes at Paysanne, slurped the soup at Mosswood on a Friday, shopped at the Farmers' Market, gleaned the fall bounty with Jen, listened to the Farm and Garden Show, shopped locally, or munched one of the many local meals at AV's eateries on the C'mon Home To Eat calendar for October? Last Saturday Lauren had a special separate local menu to choose from, one entry being an excellent, rich Italian caponata sauce over polenta. Try it before the fresh eggplants and tomatoes finish for the season. Many more October opportunities and special events are to come.
Since 45% of every dollar spent locally is re-spent and recirculated in that same community, shopping locally creates an invigorating multiplier effect on the local economy. Eating and drinking fresh, locally grown food and beverages not only boosts your own health and vitality, but helps keep local farming, ranching, and fishing alive. Local food also comes from a known source, allows for greater variety, promotes a sustainable regional food system, and preserves natural resources.
First, jumping ahead a week, put the ShinDig on your calendar with a star — it is a fun(d)raiser for AV Foodshed so we can celebrate as well as generate some funds to promote even greater access to local food. There will be appetizers, pulled pork tacos with fresh salsa, hand-made tortillas, beverages, a pie auction, the Farm Girls playing music, and more at The Shed behind Paysanne on October 24th — more next week! If there is confusion about all these sheds, the Foodshed refers to the area in our community/watershed that is food producing. The Shed is the name of the older building behind the Farrer building set up for events and has an outdoor fire pit.
This week: Paysanne will continue with its local crepes; Senior Center lunch on Thursday at 12:00 (bus 489-1175) is Tamale Loaf and Zucchini Cake; Mosswood soup special on Friday (last week's chicken with veggies was excellent!); Boonville Farmers' Market on Saturday; the Yorkville Store lunch special on Saturday; the 4th Annual Mowkeef Festival at AV Brewery (Saturday); the Boonville General Store weekly special (the tacos last week were luscious); and the Farm and Garden Show on Monday at 1:00 on KZYX. If you have not checked out the newly remodeled Yorkville Store/Deli, it is definitely worth the trip!
ATTENTION FORT BRAGG! A reader writes: "Please, please urge everyone concerned about the city's continuous bungling to attend the City Council meeting Tuesday night at 6pm. Word is the mayor has lined up his supporters to jam every meeting and to take over public input period. http://www.gofortbragg.com/
DURING HER SUPERVISOR'S REPORT last week, Board Chair Carre Brown reported some rather startling if unlikely water developments. Ms. Brown's life mission is water — free, or virtually free water forever for her fellow ranchers in Potter Valley. The mere mention of agua, and Carre is on red alert.
BROWN: “I was on a US Army Corps of Engineers conference call and that has to do with the feasibility study for Lake Mendocino. There are still some more hurdles that they want us to jump over. Janet Pauli [fellow Farm Bureau member and Potter Valley grape grower and a staunch advocate of free water forever for Potter Valley] and I concluded that phone call. [Former Ukiah City Manager] Candace Horsley was on it and we did go to the Mendocino County Water Agency..... So we are working towards a meeting on a desalination facility — they want to know if that type of facility could supply water to inland Mendocino County and if so what would be the cost?… "And so on.
DESAL? Great idea Carre, good thinking Janet. Let's install a desalinazation plant in Fort Bragg and pipe the desal water directly to Potter Valley which Potter Valley can be counted on to on to release downstream after PV's welfare cow pokes and free water grape growers have taken their cut, just like they do now with the diverted Eel River.
THIS WEEK AT BLUE MEADOW FARM
Last Call !
- Heirloom & Early Girl Tomatoes
- Corno di Toro, Gypsy & Bell Mild/Sweet Peppers
- Padron, Esplette, Jalapeno, Anaheim & Poblano Peppers
- Rosa Bianca, Nadia, Beatrice & Asian Eggplant
- Walnuts, Red Kiri Squash
- Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash
- Sunflowers & Zinnias
Gleaning Party: Sat & Sunday 10/17 &18 9:00 am on….Come help pull out summer crops for compost and take veggies & flowers home !
Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo 707-895-2071
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 12, 2015
KELLI ADAMS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
JOSHUA BERREY, Santa Rosa/Redwood Valley. Possession of/under influence of controlled substance, possession of more than an ounce of pot, no license.
WILLIAM CADY, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
SEAN CARTER, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale.
NOE ESPITIA, Talmage. DUI.
JAMES GARDNER III, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, receiving stolen property, probation revocation.
RUBEN HERRERA, Ukiah. Battery.
MARK HUGHES, Riverside/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, possession of controlled substance.
RUPERT LEE, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
JERRY MOYLES, Manchester, Prohibited person with ammo.
RICHARD POOLE II, Fort Bragg. Under influence of controlled substance, resisting, evidence destruction, probation revocation.
ENRIQUE RAMIREZ, Willits. Probation revocation.
DESMOND SPIKER, Willits. Evasion.
CARL SWANSON, Gualala. Probation revocation.
FLORENTINO ‘TURK’ TOBIE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
THE DEAD MAN in the Yorkville pot patch has been identified as 43-year-old Marcos Bautista of Cloverdale. The forensic autopsy determined Bautista had died as the result of multiple gunshot wounds.
THE MAN found in that same pot patch who didn't die of multiple gunshot wounds, Edgar Fidel Contreras, 25, of Windsor, has been booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of murder and robbery. Contreras is the third man being held in connection with Bautista's murder. Contreras was the wounded man it took several hours to locate deep in the Yorkville hills because he didn't know exactly where he was and his vague, cell phone-relayed directions had to be translated from Spanish to English. He had been hospitalized in Santa Rosa for treatment of the gunshot wounds that nearly finished him prior to his arrest. Who shot whom, and who shot first isn't going to be easy to sort out, but it seems that one of the three surviving suspects has said enough to implicate all three in Bautista's demise.
AND RIGHT HERE in the Anderson Valley, persistent rumors say an apparently experienced crew of armed pot thieves has been at work ripping off local producers of the love drug.
GETTIN' 'ER DONE. Aaron Peterson and crew take down unwanted trees fast and neat, and we can't say enough good about All-In-1 Tree Service. And it’s a Valley company into the bargain. These guys don't mess around. We're doing some site prep on the central Boonville lot we just bought. Four 100-foot dead pines had to go, as did some smaller trees, the whole show a job for people who know what they're doing. Mr. Peterson and three other guys were in and outta there in two days, and the only evidence that they were there at all is a neat pile of brush and another neat pile of useful wood chips. To say that we're impressed with their work doesn't begin to express our admiration. Aaron and Monica Peterson, long time residents of Greenwood Road, are the owners of All-In-1. They can be reached at 707-877-3340. Mrs. Peterson, by the way, coaches our girl's softball team.
KZYX BARS THE DOOR. COPS WARN SAKO. Public radio dissident, John Sakowicz, had written to KZYX's acting director, Stuart Campbell: "I'm a board director, and I have the absolute right of inspection of station records per California Corporations Code and MCPB's corporate bylaws. I will be scheduling to inspect all the documents that station members McKenty, Collins, and Tracy were prevented from seeing today. You have that list for the production of said documents."
CAMPBELL, natch, said No, nicely raising suspicions even higher that the books have been slo-basted for some time. If the numbers were clean Coate/Campbell would surely have the Welcome mat out. On the other hand, everyone at management levels tends to, ah, unreason on all matters, so.....
WHEN the dissidents showed up anyway for a look at the books, they were met by the cops who told them to go away. Sako was not present. He wrote: "I just returned from my conference at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on bankruptcy law as it applies to public pension systems. I'm concerned — troubled — that you, members of KZYX, were denied a full inspection.
"I'M A KZYX board director, and I need to inspect the records that you (the members) were denied from inspecting this afternoon. I'll do this with all of you, or I'll do it with attorney Peter Kafin.
"IT MIGHT INTEREST you to know that when I returned home in Ukiah, I had a message from MCSO Lieutenant Jason Caudillo warning me that no violence would be tolerated at today's inspection. No doubt KZYX station manager, Stuart Campbell, initiated the call.
"IT WAS INSULTING — deeply insulting — for Campbell to imply that the station need a police presence. Campbell clearly wants to escalates a civil matter. Why call the MCSO? I'm a former member of the MCSO, having worked at the jail from 2000-2004, and I'm both of public trustee of our county's $455 million pension system MCERA, and a sworn fiduciary of the same. I was vetted by the county's CEO for this position. Furthermore, I'm a member of the 2015-2016 grand jury where I was vetted by the courts. I'm law abiding in every respect.
I'm copying both Lieutenant Caudillo and Sheriff Allman on this email."
DOUG McKENTY wrote to Boonville's beloved community newspaper: "You will no doubt be proud to note that your piece this week referencing Judy Bari prompted the KZYX staff to call the police and have them meet us in the parking lot during our attempt to review documents that their bylaws specifically state any member can see. They were so frightened that we were mounting a Bari-like demonstration they felt compelled to call for police protection. Sakowitz even got a call warning him that violence would not be acceptable. The best part of the day for me was, once I explained to the police why we were there, a policeman took me aside to explain what to do if we found evidence of embezzling…"
I'VE BEEN a participant in many demonstrations all the way back to 1962, and have racked up a respectable number of arrests over the years, but of all those demos, all of which had their comic moments, none, for pure hilarity, match the Bari-led takeover of the KZYX studios that day. The diva of dissent had mustered all of the County's politically active outpatients, reinforcing them with a few objectively sane witnesses including, ahem, yours truly, for her assault on Mendocino County Public Radio's sanctum sanctorum. Except for the inimitable Gordy Black shoving another Senior Citizen, the late Rusty Norvell, off the front steps as Gordy gallantly attempted to block the onrushing mob, there was no violence, and even Gordy's futile shove of Norvell was more like a feather duster passing slowly over a bowl of oatmeal. Station manager Nicole Sawaya, the only intelligent boss the station has ever had, coolly turned the mike over to the mob for an hour or so mid-afternoon incoherence and that was that. The upshot of the demo? Bari had called it in support of Beth Bosk who'd been sacked from her talk show. Guess who wound up with Bosk's slot? Bari, of course who, also of course, simply hung up on anyone who called in to express skepticism about her version of the famous bomb attack. Conclusion? Mendolib, then and now, only stands for free speech when they don't have it. When they have it, you don't.
JEFF BLANKFORT’S PHOTOGRAPHY show will be at the Harvey Milk Photo Center through October 25th. Jeff writes: "If you missed the opening and haven't had a chance to get over to the Harvey Milk Photo Center at 50 Scott Street across from Davies Hospital on Duboce to see the exhibition of my photos, there is still time. The show will be closing at 5 PM on Saturday, October 25, but until then it will be open on weekends from 10 AM to 5 PM and Tuesday through Thursday, from 4 to 9 PM.
For those who hate to drive in the city, there is also good public transportation to the center, both by bus and trolley.
TWO GUARANTEES THE DROUGHT IS HERE TO STAY
A mass mailer and list of endorsers that arrived at inland Water District homes last week. The mailer was undoubtedly funded by the Wine Industry, which of course wants incumbent Al 'Wine Guy' White and Tyler 'Wine Guy' Rodrigue for the Russian River Flood Control District.
NOT MENTIONED IN THE FLYER is the fact that “third generation farmer” and “Sierra Club member” Tyler Rodrigue is vineyard manager/real estate development specialist for Haiku Vineyards in Ukiah and president of the Mendocino Winegrowers Association. Thus we have two hard-line wine people running for the two seats up for election on the Board that controls Mendocino County’s 8,000 acre-foot water allocation in Lake Mendocino. Incumbent Al White is a wine-guy going way back to the industry's beginnings in the Anderson Valley, and at least mentions his “vineyard management” role in his bio. The open seat sought by Rodrigue is the one recently vacated by Ukiah pol Richard Shoemaker who has been hired as City Manager for Point Arena. The two Wine Guys want to ensure that grapes continue to have first dibs on the finite waters of the Russian River.
PHIL BALDWIN is the non-wine candidate for the Flood Control District Board, and the only candidate that inland voters should support because he can be counted on to put the water interests of the wider community first. Baldwin told the Ukiah Daily Journal: “I will bring my 16 years of [Ukiah] City Council experience but, more importantly, I will bring an independent voice. Unlike the two other contenders, my livelihood is independent of interests reliant on District water allocation contracts [aka grape growers]. Retrieve the recent expensive endorsement mailer; look it over and wonder with me why such powerful economic interests [aka grape growers] seek to place their people on our District Board. … It may be instructive for voters to know the full name of this agency: Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District. That’s a big undertaking. And all who’ve read Mark Reisner’s Cadillac Desert or seen the film Chinatown know that because water projects frequently trump good planning. This election is a big deal. The mass mailer noted earlier attests to that.”
WHILE FORT BRAGG goes to serious rationing, Willits, reluctantly having gone to tapping emergency well water, has not had to ration water. Brooktrails, or North Willits, has had to cut way back on water use and remains at odds with Willits regarding cooperative strategies. There is a water pipe from Brooktrails to Willits within a few feet of the Willits water system but the state would probably have to force agreement on how Brooktrails might exploit it. Lots of Brooktrails residents would like to see Brooktrails buy land down the hill in Little Lake Valley to install a well on, but so far Brooktrails strategy has been prayers for early rains.
THIS JUST IN: Supervisor Woodhouse said Monday that Fort Bragg is buying water from Willits, and that Willits is digging a water line to the Skunk yard, from where it will be hauled by ancient rail to Fort Bragg. FB will likely pay a pretty penny for Willits water, but FB is desperate. (Willits, by the way, took nearly a decade to decide to dig an emergency well, and now that the emergency is here Willits is happy to have water to sell.)
GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN APPOINTS BIG OIL EXECUTIVE AS INDUSTRY REGULATOR
by Dan Bacher
As advocates of Senate Bill 350 were celebrating the signing of the amended renewable energy bill by Governor Jerry Brown, a major appointment to a regulatory post in the Brown administration went largely unnoticed.
In a classic example of how Big Oil has captured the regulatory apparatus in California, Governor Jerry Brown announced the appointment of Bill Bartling, 61, of Bakersfield, who has worked as an oil industry executive and consultant, as district deputy in the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources at the embattled California Department of Conservation.
What are Bartling's qualifications? According to a statement from the Governor's Office:
"Bartling has been president at Aspectus Energy Consulting since 2015, where he was president from 2005 to 2008. He was general manager at OptaSense Borehole Imaging Services from 2014 to 2015, president and chief executive officer at SR2020 Inc. from 2008 to 2014 and founder and chief technology officer at Ambrose Oil and Gas from 2007 to 2010.
Bartling was senior director of market strategy at Silicon Graphics Inc. from 2000 to 2005, manager of technical computing at the Occidental Petroleum Corporation from 1998 to 2000 and senior vice president of software engineering at CogniSeis Development from 1996 to 1998.
He held several positions at the Chevron Corporation from 1981 to 1996, including supervisor for exploration, supervisor for production and research, geologist and geophysicist.
Bartling earned a Master of Science degree in geology from San Diego State University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $180,000. Bartling is a Republican."
The Center for Biological Diversity’s Hollin Kretzmann criticized the appointment, stating, “Governor Brown’s administration has shown a blatant disregard for the law, and time after time it has sacrificed California’s water and public health in favor of oil industry profits. Hiring an oil executive to run one of the state’s most captured agencies is completely inappropriate and only adds insult to injury.”
As was the case on October 8, when Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 350 at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, Brown continually attempts to depict himself as a "climate leader" and "green governor" at environmental conferences and photo opportunities across the globe.
However, court documents obtained by the Associated Press this summer in a RICO lawsuit by Central Valley farmers against the Brown administration document the claims by anti-fracking activists that the governor is collaborating with Big Oil on the expansion of extreme oil extraction techniques in California.
In these documents, two former senior level officials, Derek Chernow and Elena Miller, in the Department of Conservation in Governor Brown’s administration reveal that they were fired on November 3, 2011 after repeatedly warning the governor that oil drilling would imperil the state’s groundwater. (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2015/09/08/governor-brown-under-fire-for-axing-state-oil-regulators-and-pay-to-play-politics)
Conflicts of interest abound in California politics; the appointment of an oil industry executive on October 9 and the dismissal of two key regulators by Jerry Brown in November 2011 because they failed to serve the oil industry's wishes are just just a few examples of how Big Oil, agribusiness and other corporate interests have captured the regulatory apparatus in Caifornia. Other examples of regulatory capture include the following:
- State Senator Michael J. Rubio resigned in February 2013 to go work in a "government affairs" position for Chevron. Rubio, who was leading the charge to weaken the landmark California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and make it friendlier to corporations, claimed he resigned in order to spend more time with his family.
- In one of the most overt conflicts of interest in recent years, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), served as Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California from 2009 to 2012. She also sat on the the MLPA Initiative task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. (http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/30745-a-whale-of-a-conflict-of-interest-big-oil-lobbyist-s-oversight-of-marine-protected-areas)
- While Reheis-Boyd chaired the MLPAI Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, her husband, James Boyd, served as Vice Chair of the California Energy Commission. He was first appointed to the California Energy Commission on February 6, 2002 by Governor Gray Davis, and he was appointed to the Vice Chair position on June 16, 2006. Boyd was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to a second five-year term on the California Energy Commission on February 2, 2007. (http://www.energy.ca.gov/commissioners/boyd.html)
- Johnny Amaral, Chief of Staff for Representative Devin Nunes, who represents California's 22nd Congressional District, joined the staff of the Westlands Water District as Deputy General Manager for External Affairs on May 1, 2015. Nunes is best known for sponsoring legislation to increase pumping Delta water to corporate agribusiness and to eviscerate Endangered Species Act protections for Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt and other species.
- Laura King Moon, a lobbyist for the state's water exporters, was appointed by Jerry Brown as Chief Deputy Director for the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) in September 2013. Before her appointment, she served as a project manager for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan while "on loan" from the State Water Contractors, as chief deputy director for Department of Water Resources.
- Documents obtained by this reporter under the California Public Records Act reveal that Susan Ramos, Deputy General Manager of the Westlands Water District, was hired in an inter-jurisdictional personal exchange agreement between the Department of Water Resources and Westlands Water District from November 15, 2009 through December 31, 2010. The contract was extended to run through December 31, 2011 and again to continue through December 31, 2012. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/12/14/18702762.phphttp://www.energy.ca.gov/commissioners/boyd.html)
ALEXANDER VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL LAUNCHES WITH DARING AND COURAGEOUS FILMS
A Brazilian film with Oscar buzz, a documentary about a Sonoma County family struggling to keep its 5th generation farm, and a 20th anniversary showing of Toy Story are just a few of the compelling offerings of the first annual Alexander Valley Film Festival. This inaugural year’s array of international, documentary, and feature films focus on the theme of “Daring and Courage.”
Proceeds from the festival, which runs from October 22-25 at venues in Cloverdale, Geyserville and Healdsburg will benefit the educational and cultural programming of the Alexander Valley Film Society (AVFS).
Since its launch last Fall, the AVFS has delivered on its commitment to enhance the cultural and educational landscape of Northern Sonoma County. Thanks to AVFS, local high school students have participated in a Pixar-led animation workshop, served as interns on a feature film shot in Geyserville, and had access to film screenings and film festivals across the Bay Area. Its community film screenings, held in The Clover Theater in Cloverdale and The Raven Film Center in Healdsburg, have thrilled audiences with classic films, independent cinema, documentaries, and Spanish language films.
Kathryn Hecht, founder and executive director is passionately dedicated to the educational and cultural programming of the AVFS. Having woven together a network of community support that includes volunteers, members, and sponsors from across the spectrum of business and civic leaders, the evolution of the AVFS and its series of unfolding achievements serve as a remarkable story of cultural innovation in Sonoma County.
For more information on the Alexander Valley Film Festival or to schedule an interview with Kathryn Hecht, contact Erin Ivie at 650-605-3746.