- Freeze Watch
- Winter Burning
- Navarro Low
- Extended Families
- Measure U
- FB Water
- Yesterday's Catch
- Middletown Song
- Hitchhiking France
- PA Holiday
- Privatization Demise
- Mendocino History
- Broadband Alliance
- Identity Politics
- Intellectuals Expounding
- MCERA Meeting
- Tree Rings
- Light Festival
- County Vacancies
- Thanksgiving Quiz
FREEZE WATCH: URGENT-WEATHER MESSAGE, MENDOCINO COAST
A cold upper level low will bring the potential for freezing temperatures Thursday morning. Freeze Watch in effect from late Wednesday night through Thursday morning.
- Low temperatures: upper 20s to lower 30s.
- Frost is possible in a few of the cold spots tonight in the Anderson Valley.
- Locations include...Boonville...Philo and rural areas of the Anderson Valley.
- Frost is possible in coastal locations Thursday morning including Fort Bragg and Mendocino with lows in the mid 30s.
For a detailed view of the hazard area...visit http://www.weather.gov/eureka/hazards
A Freeze Watch means sub-freezing temperatures are possible. These conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.
— National Weather Service
CAL FIRE MENDOCINO UNIT TRANSITIONS TO WINTER BURNING SEASON
Willits – Recent rains and cooler temperatures across the region have lowered the threat of wildfires allowing CAL FIRE’s Mendocino Unit to transition to the winter burning season effective Monday, November 23, 2015 at 8:00 am in Mendocino County. CAL FIRE will not require burning permits until approximately May 1, 2016. Residents are reminded that BURNING MUST COMPLY WITH MENDOCINO COUNTY AIR QUALITY REGLUATIONS. For more information regarding winter burning regulations go to the MCQAMD web site at www.mendoair.org or call the District office at (707) 463-4354. Recorded Burn Day status is available 24/7 on the Burn Information Line at (707) 463-4391.
Cooler temperatures and rainfall alone does not prevent fires from escaping control. Landowners are responsible for safely burning outdoors and maintaining control at all times. For tips on safe burning visit the CAL FIRE website at www.fire.ca.gov or check with your local agency.
Unit Chief Christopher P. Rowney encourages all residents to take advantage of the cooler months ahead and prepare your home for the 2016 fire season by creating 100 feet of defensible space around your home. Detailed information on defensible space is available on our website at www.fire.ca.gov or contact CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit Headquarters at (707) 459-7414.
As drought conditions continue to have a hold on California, CAL FIRE is maintaining staffing that meets the current threat, as well as strategically moving resources to areas that remain at a higher threat level. CAL FIRE will also continue to monitor weather conditions closely and still has the ability to increase staffing should the weather conditions change or if there is a need to support wildfires and or any other emergencies in other areas of the State.
The 2015 fire season has been an extremely active year, even more so than in 2014. Statewide, CAL FIRE and firefighters from many local agencies battled over 5,900 wildfires within the State Responsibility Area that burned nearly 308,000 acres. This is over 1,700 more wildfires this year than normal. In the Mendocino Unit, CAL FIRE responded to 120 wildfires that charred 388 acres.
Residents are urged to still take precautions outdoors in order to prevent sparking a wildfire. A leading cause of wildfires this time of year is from escaped landscape debris burning. Before you burn, ensure it’s a permissive burn day by contacting the Mendocino County Air Management District, (707) 463-4391, and then make sure you have any and all required burn permits. During burning make sure that piles of landscape debris are no larger than four feet in diameter, provide a 10 ft. clearance down to bare mineral soil around the burn pile and that a responsible adult is in attendance at all times with a water source and a shovel.
For more ways to prevent sparking a wildfire visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.
David Severn walks to the Navarro River every day. He watches it as closely as anyone in our area of the County. He writes: If the Navarro gauge can be trusted (and for some reason I'm believing it) the current flow rate of 5.5 cubic feet per second is a full cu ft/sec lower than the previous recorded low of 6.5 cu ft/sec set in 1991. Last year's record lows were relieved by rainfall starting toward the end of October that bumped the flow rate way up to 150 cu ft/sec by November 23rd. Not only is the Navarro low, low, low, there are no baby fish in it."
THE PERCENTAGE of young adults, age 18 to 34, living with their parents is higher now that it was during the recession, The Wall Street Journal reports. As many as 31.5 percent of young adults were living with their parents in March 2015, up slightly from the previous year and from 27 percent in 2005. Some economists suggest this trend is due to people marrying and having children later in life. People who live in today's economy understand that it's almost impossible for a young person, even an employed one, to set up on his own.
FORT BRAGG RESPONDS to Measure U:
Argument Against Measure U
Vote NO on the Measure to Ban Social Services in the Central Business District. All ﬁve City Council members agree: This measure is a bad idea.
The City Attorney has said it could be challenged as discriminatory and unlawful under State and Federal laws and that the retroactivity provision would likely be subject to challenge.
This measure is discriminatory, unenforceable and unjust. It threatens the civil rights of everyone who uses social services, which includes veterans, seniors, and children.
It will expose the City to very costly litigation.
It will waste your taxpayer dollars ﬁghting lawsuits. It will be deemed illegal and unenforceable.
Fort Bragg has a proud history of helping those in need - let's keep it that way.
Show your support for organizations like Project Sanctuary, Art Explorers, Parents and Friends, The Food Bank, Hospitality Center, Mendocino Coast Children's Fund, and Habitat for Humanity by rejecting this measure.
We ask you to join us in voting NO on the Measure to Ban Social Services in the Central Business District.
FORT BRAGG will not lower the city's "Water Emergency" from Level 3 to level 2. The Emergency Level 3 was put into effect at the end of September. Public Works Director Tom Varga said he thought the City could safely return to the less severe warning level. In September he'd warned that "the Noyo River is now so strongly influenced by high tides that it cannot reliably supply water. The City needs to rely on its two remaining water sources, Newman Gulch and Waterfall Gulch, which are also at record low levels. The City's water system normally maintains a 10% margin of safety between its raw water supply and daily water demands. The system has dropped well below this margin and it is essential that drastic water conservation efforts be implemented."
AT LAST NIGHT'S meeting of the City Council meeting, Varga recommended the city lower the water "alert" even though there are "King Tides" this week, there will also be rainfall (0.25"-0.50") from this next storm. He said he was "comfortable" with the lowering of the water emergency to level two.
COUNCILMAN LINDY PETERS, summing up the Council's feeling on the subject, "It's not that I don't have confidence in our public works director, but in my opinion, the council should be the ones to make the decision" and he thought it would send out the "wrong message" to the citizens if it were lowered.
WAVE POWERED DESALINATION
Desalination on a small scale is being testing using a low-cost device powered by ocean waves. It can produce enough water per day to be useful in emergencies or to provide water to small communities, plus it is small and completely self-sufficient. “Small scale desalination for people who really need it,” says a co-developer in the video. It will sell for about $23,000 and can produce upwards of 2,000 gallons of water per day. It is deliberately designed so users can make any needed adjustments using just a wrench. Called the Swell Actuated Reverse Osmosis System – SAROS for short – it uses high-pressure pumps powered by the vertical motion of waves to remove salt from ocean water, making it fit for human consumption. The founders believe SAROS could be used to address fresh water shortages in coastal areas, island communities, and after natural disasters when regular water purification systems are disrupted. “It’s never going to be something that’s going to make tons of money, but we just want to see it make tons of water,” Sonnett says.
Courtesy, Politics in the Zeros
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 24, 2015
MICHELLE BAUER, Willits. Drunk in public.
FREDERICK BIEBERBACH, Willits. Pot possession for sale.
KENNETH DEWITT JR. Fort Bragg. Under influence, failurew to register, parole violation, probation revocation.
DYLAN DONOVAN, Point Arena. Probation revocation.
SEAN GARVEY, Willits. Pot possession for sale.
KEVIN HANRION, Chico/Willits. Failure to register.
REX HASTINGS, Scotia/Willits. Court order violation, probation revocation.
HOGUIER HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Honey oil sale-transport-furnish, possession for sale, false ID, DUI.
ROBERT JAMES JR., Ukiah. Petty theft, probation revocation.
KYLE MCNAMARA, Ukiah. Domestic battery, under influence.
VIRGIL RILEY, Ukiah. Petty theft.
ALBERTO ROJAS, Talmage. Under influence.
BETSY CAWN WRITES:
From this YouTube page, select the magnificent “Song for Middletown” (3rd one down).
Am pursuing further information and will follow up soon.
SUZIE DE CASTRO REMEMBERS PARIS
I lived in France in the early 70’s, first in the South of France and then in Paris. I want to tell you about an experience, I had, which may shed some light on the present situation.
At the time of the incident, I was living in Paris, wishing to go south to visit a friend from Holland, I had left behind. Hitchhiking was popular then, so from the outskirts of Paris, I began the three hour ride. First, I was picked up by a gentleman who was nice enough to ask me, first, if I wanted to undress with him, as he proceeded to do so, while driving his car. I asked him to stop ‘z’ car, and he did so without a problem. The next gentleman asked me if I would mind stopping at his home for a moment. I said I didn’t mind. We went upstairs, into his apartment, when and where I began to feel uncomfortable. I walked to the door (it was unlocked) and I was able to leave, unharmed. We returned to the open road when and where I asked him to be let out, which he did, no problem. The next ride I got was with three gentlemen who spoke what sounded to me like Arabic. They lived in France, but were also traveling south. They promised to take me all the rest of the way to my home. They laughed and smiled a lot, I remember. Around lunch time, they asked me if I wanted to have a picnic lunch. I agreed. We stopped. They bought bread, cheese, grapes (maybe something else) and we sat in a field of grass, and ate lunch. When approaching my destination, it was getting dark and cold. They invited me to continue the journey, with them, but I asked them to please drop me off. As promised, they dropped me off in my hometown.
JUST IN FROM POINT ARENA
Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Point Arena City Council is NOT meeting tonight and plans to meet early next month to avoid the Holiday week. Agenda will be sent out soon. We hope you will join us for these meetings where important decisions are being made by your representatives of Point Arena citizens!
Jane Jarlsberg, Interim
707 882-2122 Office
707 882-2124 Fax
City Hall: 451 School Street, Point Arena
Hours: M 9-3 T 9-3 W 9-3 Th 9-3 (F Closed)
Mailing: Post Office Box 67, Point Arena CA 95468
FORT BRAGG HOUSE By Suzie Decastro
OPEN LETTER TO MENDOCINO COUNTY SUPERVISORS
Subject: Family Member Concerns about Privatized Mental Health Services
We’ve had almost 2-1/2 years of privatized adult mental health services and have seen the demise of Medical Outpatient where a person had timely access to their psychiatrist or nurse, and could receive local Pre-Crisis and Crisis help from professionals who knew them. We’ve seen the elimination of most of the licensed clinicians who were patient support staff in County’s three Medical Outpatient offices. The clerical staff is gone. Privatization has brought in multiple unlicensed people working in locations with names and addresses that keep changing.
County Mental Health, inadequate as it was, did a better job of providing mental health services than the private corporation. County did not take 18.6% in profits and steer patients to facilities to make further profits. County had more licensed professionals providing services and did not farm them out to unlicensed minimum wage homeless center employees.
The County needs to either take back provision of Mental Health Services or try to persuade a local non-profit with a track record of successful provision of Mental Health Services to create and operate Adult Mental Health services.
Please STOP this unnecessary suffering of patients and their families and fix the problem.
THE NEW HELD-POAGE VAULT
The two-story concrete building with no windows is gradually coming into existence.
by Sarah Reith
“The first thing you’ll notice,” promised Dr. Paul Poulos, as he unlocked the carriage house, “is why we need a newspaper room.” Poulos is the director of the Held-Poage Research Library, which will soon be housed in a darkened, climate-controlled building. “Light is the enemy of archives,” Poulos declared, indicating the heavy curtain that hung across the door of the old carriage house. “It’s the best we could do in an old building,” he explained. Then he turned his attention to the volumes of newspapers, bound into books about three feet long and two feet wide. “An archivist today would have a heart attack if they came in and saw these on wood,” he said. But there they lay: the 1897 Ukiah Republican Press; an 1870 Mendocino Herald; a Mendocino Dispatch Democrat, circa 1879 - precursors of today’s Ukiah Daily Journal. Over the years, the Daily Journal has donated all its historic bound volumes up through 2009 as well as its entire collection of microfilm and years of photo negatives.
In the county room, where archives are similarly housed, Poulos opened a volume to display a long-dead bureaucrat’s handwriting, as lovely as a calligraphy sample in a museum. In 1883, the county assessor recorded that the owner of a parcel valued at $800 paid $14.26 tax.
But most people who come to the Held-Poage archives at 603 West Perkins are not there to run their fingers over the spines of ancient volumes and marvel at the fact that history dispels the sense of everyday solipsism; that we are all connected throughout time, et cetera. People come to the archive to work.
The most common area of interest is genealogy, which usually starts with a search of obituaries. For this reason, obituaries will be easily accessible in the downstairs research room, which will be much more comfortably appointed than the carriage house. But historians have also written books and created museum exhibits, based on research conducted at the Held-Poage Research Library. Poulos mentioned Elizabeth Crawford’s work, “The Writer Lady: Helen Carpenter and the Pomos of Be-Lo-Ki.” And Dr. Rebecca Montes, of Mendocino College, put together a display at the County Museum in Willits last summer, “Uncivil Homefront: Mendocino County During the Civil War,” based largely on the same. Historians are currently working on a history of hospitals in Mendocino County. And every day, old photographs are being scanned before they go the way of all photographs.
That’s what the safe room is for. “A lot of people think the safe room is for safes,” Poulos acknowledged. But here, it is a small, extra-inaccessible room for storing antique photographs. Presently, they are stored in a 111-year-old heart redwood building, which, Poulos pointed out, “doesn’t have much fire protection.” The safe room will have double-thick walls, and the entire building will be wrapped in cement board.
That building, at 3,500 square feet, should accommodate things like the eleven boxes of an amateur historian’s collections, donated after his death; the blueprints that are currently “stacked like fish in a bowl,” as Poulos noted disapprovingly; and the offerings of photographs that may have been taken by A.O. Carpenter. Poulos was pleased to point out that “every worker on this job is from Mendocino County, every supplier and contractor. All the money we’ve raised is Mendocino County money.”
The cost of the project is half a million dollars. The building is in the second phase of an eight-phase project, the planning for which began twenty years ago and may be completed soon.
“It’s not moving fast,” Poulos reflected; “but it’s moving well.”
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
Dr. Paul Poulos holds a bound copy of the Ukiah Daily Journal from the 1990's. Chris Pugh-Ukiah Daily Journal
THE NEXT MEETING of the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County is January 8th. There will be no December meeting. At their November meeting, the Alliance heard a presentation from Comcast on their Internet Essentials program which offers low-cost internet access to eligible families with children in the Ukiah, Willits, and Fort Bragg school districts if they are within the Comcast service area. The program has been in effect for 4 years and offers low-cost internet service to all students and their families enrolled in schools with a 50% or higher number of students eligible for the free and reduced lunch program. Comcast wants to expand the program and has asked the Broadband Alliance to help spread the word to those already eligible but who may not know about it.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Yes, puppet strings are being pulled. The sad part is all the sheep in the herd will soon be pushing ahead of each other in a headlong stampede off reason’s cliff. I resent identity politics for the distraction these politics provide against systemic and needed change. It is a shell game, a three card Monte, to keep eyes away from the slight of hand of the global elite as they wring every last morsel of value from the now defunct growth economy. Keeping the the masses bent on fighting amongst themselves and investing in a portfolio that includes the manufacture of pepper spray. That’s the plan. Stir the pot and poke with the stick but don’t ever utter the bombastic phrase. ‘All lives matter.’ Resolution like resolution in the war on terror is not desired; too many paychecks are at stake and inequality is built into the system.
BALLSY INTELLECTUALS RUN AMUCK:
Tim Wise & Hal Niedzvieski Toot their own Horns
by Jonah Raskin
Nothing – not drones, bombs, apps, or awards – stops the white male North American intellectual in his quest to nail the nature of the times in which we live. Super-intellectual soars again and again, often fueled by his own sense of self-importance. Indeed, it takes a certain sort of mental chutzpah — a certain kind of ballsiness of the brains — to float theories about human nature and society, shift the paradigm in a single bound, and offer blueprints for how things might change for better or worse.
I’ve never had those inclinations myself, perhaps because I’m too cautious or not confident enough about my own beliefs and intuitions.
I’m far too grounded in the here and now and in my own body. By training and by habitual practice, I’ve also developed a critical eye. Sometimes I try to counterbalance my hyper critical perspective by looking for all that’s good and true in a book and by turning myself in a cheerleader. But time and again, I come back to the flaws. They stare me in the face and won’t let me sleep at night.
More often than not, I can see that they’re not just the flaws of an individual. They’re bigger and more inclusive than that. The author has been painted into a corner, not only by himself, but also by the culture of which he is a small part. Nearly everything that he does in his tome is predictable. He lives in his head until he’s nearly dizzy. Then, he makes heady but often empty-headed and repetitive arguments.
Next, he assembles pages of distracting data and offers piles of needless evidence to prove his point. Finally, he aims to bring the whole intellectual dish to a resounding boil that will make the reader feel that the book has been uplifting, significant culturally speaking and in some way redeeming.
If only the authors freed themselves from constipated editors and from the professors who insisted that a book had to be logically structured and go from point A to B to C to Z. If only then, they might write with pizzazz.
They might also try to bring to their work a sense of humility and humor. Maybe they could slip on a banana peal or make a Freudian slip and then laugh at themselves. Perhaps they’d realize that tooting their own horns, whether consciously or not, doesn’t help matters. These thoughts came to me after reading two new carefully argued books, both by white North American, male intellectuals, one Canadian, the other a U.S. citizen. Hal Niedzviecki, the author of Trees on Mars: Our Obsession with the Future (2015), was born in Brockville, Ontario in 1971.
Tim Wise, the author of Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America (2015), was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1968. They’re both creatures of post-Sixties globalization and misery and they both belonging to Generation X, which means they missed out on the utopianism, hedonism and nihilism of their parents and grandparents.
They never rioted in the streets of Chicago or Paris, never dropped acid at the orgy after Woodstock, or trekked across the deserts and mountains of Asia to sit at the feet of a guru who seduced every woman who joined the ashram. Too practical and too career-orientated for their own good, they’ve avoided extremes and extremism and thought they had somehow or other overcome the pitfalls of the radicals who moved from the barricades to corporate law offices, judgeships and little offices where they practice marriage and family therapy. Niedzviecki is all worked up about the future. Wise is hopping mad about the present, especially the fictitious present that appears on Fox. They’re both passionate about narrative, though neither is an especially compelling storyteller. Niedzviecki also gets excited about technology; Wise gets hot and bothered about race. Put their two heads together and shake them up and you might have an appealing intellectual cocktail.
Unfortunately, neither has a strong grounding in history or philosophy, though they’re both sincere young men who want to be socially responsible and to stand on the right side, morally speaking. If they can’t be intellectual giants they’d like to be saints, or saint intellectuals. I know the feeling. It can be awfully seductive.
Jean-Paul Sartre was a hero of mine, along with Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus. But Sartre, Camus and de Beauvoir were also artists who spoke for generations and across continents, which, in our jihadist, Instagram world, is much harder if not impossible to achieve. In Under the Affluence, Wise argues that we live in a “culture of cruelty” and that we need to replace it with a “culture of compassion.” It’s only two-thirds of the way through the book that he gets around to his main point. “Though I’ve spent much of this book providing facts, I know that those facts alone won’t matter if there isn’t a storyline to go with them,” he writes. “In each case of successful protest, or for that matter liberal reform, it was the existence and propaganda of a clear counter-narrative — a storyline — that paved the way for victory.”
I thought that it was bodies on the line, bodies in the streets, and in jails, from Birmingham to Washington, D.C. that ended legal segregation in the South. I thought it was because of soldiers who fragged their officers that the war in Vietnam came to an end sooner rather than later. I thought that it was uppity women who refused to be beaten down who put a dent in the patriarchy and that it was workers who went on strike who struck a blow against Capital.
I thought that change came about because of love and community, not a counter-narrative, though the speeches of Malcolm X and Dr. King helped a whole lot.
Whenever Wise writes about America I get uncomfortable, as when he says that, “the problem in America is a values problem” and when he explains that he believes that “it may yet be possible to develop a truly radical Americanism.” Didn’t Earl Browder, the head of the American Communist Party, say something similar when he exclaimed, “Communism is twentieth-century Americanism.” Save us from those on the left and the right who would revive Americanism.
In Trees of Mars, Niedzviecki begins with a quotation about the future from Obama and then adds another from Tony Blair, neither of whom are futurologists. Niedzviecki argues that there is now a “race to the future,” along with the “notion that tomorrow is now almost entirely under human control.” Furthermore, he explains that, “there is little to no coverage that puts these phenomena in context.” Niedzviecki to the rescue, though he gets too cute for his own good when he says, “The future is sabotaging the future.”
What he’d like to do away with is hope because he feels that “It’s hope, not technology, that lies at the heart of our collective future phantasmagoria.” Too many absolutist statements, not enough nuanced discussion. For all his sense of hopelessness, Niedzviecki doesn’t give up hope that human beings will “find meaning in what is good about the human project and give that meaning prominence in our lives.” Two cheers for meaning!
The planet Mars, which plays a big part in the title of the book, doesn’t get much attention in the text itself, which is disappointing. “Mars is just one of many symbolic stand-in,” Niedzviecki writes. “Mars and its many incarnations are the pop/consumer spectacle merging with the forever promise of techno-science that now dominates how we think about the world around us.” That “we” doesn’t include me, or most of my friends and family.
Perhaps because Niedzviecki relies heavily on the ideas of University of Texas Professor Robert Jensen, the author of We Are All Apocalyptic Now (2013) and those of Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning (1946) — a book that’s been around for nearly seventy years — Niedzviecki’s conclusions sound stale. There’s too much reliance on the work of others and not enough of his imagination and experience.
Much the same is true for Tim Wise who relies on the work of Derrick Jensen whom he calls his “favorite thinker” — next to James Baldwin.
Didn’t the notion of a “favorite thinker” go out of style in the tenth grade along with the idea that one had a “best friend”? That Jensen is his second favorite all-time thinker makes me dubious about the kinds of thoughts that he has. I don’t want to leave the impression here and now that I don’t like any work by anyone who belongs to Generation X and that I rejected the very notion that a white male North American might be a resounding intellectual. I admire greatly the photography of Matt Black, who was born and raised in California’s Central Valley, and who has made it his life’s calling to take pictures of the poor and the dispossessed, migrants and field workers. An intellectual with a camera, he lives close to the people that he has photographed. Black tells powerful stories through images that reach an international audience. In projects such as “Black Okies,” “Oaxacan Exodus” and “The Geography of Poverty” he traces the history of our continent, reveals the lives of Americans who are often unseen and unheard and sends out a universal cry of pain, sorrow and compassion. But don’t take my work for it. Go to mattblack.com<http://mattblack.com>
SALMON FISHERMEN AND CONSUMER GROUPS CRITICIZE FDA APPROVAL OF FRANKENFISH
by Dan Bacher
The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on November 19 approved genetically engineered salmon, called "Frankenfish" by critics, as “safe” for human consumption in spite of massive public opposition to the decision.
The Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA) announced that it was “disappointed” in the decision, joining a broad coalition of fishing groups, environmental organizations, tribes, and consumer groups in criticizing the approval of the first-ever genetically engineered animal for the dinner table.
The FDA approved the controversial AquaBounty Technologies’ application for AquAdvantage Salmon, an Atlantic salmon that reaches market size faster than non-GE farm-raised Atlantic salmon, claiming it is safe to eat, safe for the environment, and safe for the fish itself — despite a large amount of evidence provided by GMO opponents challenging this contention.
The company added a growth hormone-regulating gene from a Pacific Chinook salmon and a promoter from an ocean eel pout to the Atlantic salmon’s 40,000 genes, allowing the fish to grow year-round instead of only during spring and summer.
The FDA regulates GE animals under the new "animal drug" provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because the recombinant DNA (rDNA) construct introduced into the animal meets the definition of a "drug," according to the FDA.
“The FDA has thoroughly analyzed and evaluated the data and information submitted by AquaBounty Technologies regarding AquAdvantage Salmon and determined that they have met the regulatory requirements for approval, including that food from the fish is safe to eat,” said Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.
Since the FDA claims there is no biological difference between the "Frankenfish" and non-GMO salmon, Aquabounty is not required to label the genetically engineered fish.
The GGSA, a coalition including commercial and recreational salmon fishermen, businesses, restaurants, an Indian tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families, and communities that rely on salmon, disagreed with the FDA's claims that the "Frankenfish" is safe for people, the environment, and the fish itself.
"Genetically engineered salmon pose a serious potential threat to wild salmon stocks that our members rely on to make a living or fish for food and sport," the group said in a statement. "In addition, GE salmon also pose a threat to salmon protected by the federal Endangered Species Act."
The creator of the GE salmon, Aquabounty, claims the fish will be "sterile" and kept in closed tanks, but GGSA said reports suggest that as many as 5 percent would be fertile and able to reproduce or possibly hybridize with wild fish if they escaped into the wild. “No one knows if genetically engineered fish would spell the end for wild stocks if they escaped and hybridize but it’s not something any of us wants to find out,” said GGSA executive director John McManus. “History clearly shows that to date, farmed salmon have escaped every form of capture where they’ve been confined.”
McManus said the farming of salmon in general requires large amounts of wild forage fish for food, produces large volumes of waste that pollute waters near the salmon farms, and produces large volumes of parasites and pollution from drugs given farmed fish to combat parasites and other fish diseases.
Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in economic activity annually and about half that much in economic activity and jobs again in Oregon, according to GGSA.
The Center for Food Safety announced plans to sue the FDA to block the agency’s approval for sale and consumption of the genetically engineered AquaAdvantage salmon. The suit will be filed incoordination with other plaintiffs.
“The fallout from this decision will have enormous impact on the environment. Center for Food Safety has no choice but to file suit to stop the introduction of this dangerous contaminant,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “FDA has neglected its responsibility to protect the public.
"In approving the AquaBounty transgenic salmon, the FDA ignored millions of Americans and more than 40 members of Congress who have expressed vocal opposition. FDA also neglected the concerns of more than 300 environmental, consumer, health and animal welfare organizations, salmon and fishing groups and associations, food companies, chefs and restaurants," he continued.
Approximately 2 million people filed public comments with the FDA in opposition to this action, the largest number of comments the FDA has ever received on an action, according to the center.
“The review process by FDA was inadequate, failed to fully examine the likely impacts of the salmon’s introduction, and lacked a comprehensive analysis. This decision sets a dangerous precedent, lowering the standards of safety in this country. CFS will hold FDA to their obligations to the American people,” said Kimbrell.
The center cited a study by Canadian researchers who found that genetically engineered Atlantic salmon can successfully cross-bred with brown trout, a closely related species common to areas surrounding both AquaBounty facilities, posing serious risks to wild populations that are already under duress.
Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, responded to the decision by stating, "This unfortunate, historic decision disregards the vast majority of consumers, many independent scientists, numerous members of Congress and salmon growers around the world, who have voiced strong opposition.
“FDA’s decision also disregards AquaBounty’s disastrous environmental record, which greatly raises the stakes for an environmentally damaging escape of GMO salmon,” Hauter continued. “In recent years, AquaBounty facilities outside the United States have dealt with an accidental disease outbreak, an accident that lead to ‘lost’ salmon, and a $9,500 fine from Panamanian regulators who found the company in breach of that country’s environmental laws."
In an action alert to members, Food and Water Watch also said, "Needless to say, we're disappointed, but not surprised. The fact that the FDA made this call — despite the outcry from hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens like you — speaks to the immense pressure that the biotech industry put on them."
The group said the targets in their campaign to stop Frankenfish from reaching the nation’s dinner tables are President Obama and Congress, who have the power to revoke the GMO salmon's approval.
To sign a petition asking President Obama and your members of Congress to revoke the approval of GMO salmon, click here.
Caleen Sisk, chief and spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, sees the approval of genetically engineered salmon as a big threat to their culture and traditions.
"Salmon is in our traditional stories, songs and dances," said Sisk. "We must stay pure to exist in the ancient circle connecting our tribal customs to salmon. The Winnemem Wintu have a right to protect salmon, and certainly not allow them to be genetically modified in anyway. They must not have their genes and DNA subject to exploring ideas.
"It must be recognized as an inherent right of Indigenous Peoples for the Winnemem Wintu to hold the salmon as a relative that is so intrinsic to our culture,” Sisk added. “There are complete ecosystems based on the clarity, knowledge and health of the salmon."
The Food and Drug Administration under the Obama administration, like the US Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Water Resources, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Conservation, is an agency that has been captured by the very corporate interests that it is supposed to regulate, critics say.
For example Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, is a former Monsanto lobbyist who served as the vice president for Public Policy at the Monsanto Corporation from 1998 until 2001.
The FDA's approval of Frankenfish couldn't come at a worse time for Central Valley and Klamath/Trinity River salmon. Both the Obama and Brown administrations are fast-tracking the so-called “California Water Fix” to build two massive delta tunnels, considered by many to be the most environmentally destructive public works project in California history.
PAYING ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Next Wednesday, December 2 at 8:30, MCERA will have their monthly board meeting for December. This is an important meeting to attend because the actuarial valuation report for the year ended June 30, 2015 will be discussed. The actuary, Segal, should be there to go over the report and answer any questions. The Actuarial Report is what shows how the plan did for the year, if we are making progress on paying down our unfunded liability (we aren't) and sets the contribution rates to go into play July 1, 2016. The detail also shows how many people are retiring into the plan compared to how many are passing way and leaving the plan (about 2 to 1) and other items of interest like total contributions for the year compared to total benefits/admin expense paid for the year ($19.8M total ER and EE contributions compared to $31.1M paid out in benefits and administration expense). It is rather hard to believe, that with our plan funded somewhere between 2/3 to 3/4, a single employer or employee dollar NEVER makes it into the plan; all these dollars go out to pay the increasing current benefits and increasing administration expenses. In other words, if anyone ever wanted to ask how this math can add up for our county, this is the meeting to discuss it. I hope in this meeting we will also get to discuss and vote on a direct excess earnings policy and also a direct disclosure policy. I hope to see you at MCERA's offices next Wednesday, Dec 2, at 8:30 .
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
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COAST BOTANNICAL GARDENS: FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS GALA. Thursday, December 3 5:30-8:00pm
Our Festival of Lights Gala raises money to provide children age 16 and under free admission to Festival of Lights. This very special benefit evening includes sumptuous hors d'oeuvres, a sizzling main curse buffet, local wines, champagne and beer, music by The Mendocino String Quartet - for listening or dancing, and delectable desserts. Won't you please join us in making Festival of Lights a truly community-oriented, family holiday event for all?
Tickets: $100 per person Reservations required.
Please stop by The Garden Store or phone 707-964-4352 ext. 16 to purchase your tickets.
Lodging Discounts: The following lodging establishments are offering additional discounts off their winter rates to those attending the Gala. Please phone them directly for your reservation.
Well, I live on a ridgetop
And, Lord knows, I like it just fine
Where it's windy and foggy
And quiet most all the time
Yeah, my lawn is pine needles
And my driveway is old funky dirt
And my front pathway markers
Are pieces of granite and chert
Now, my taxes are high
But I don't believe it's a sin
I've got hundred foot pine trees
That just love to dance in the wind
And a yard full of bushes
That turn into pie in July
Between blue jays and hoot owls
I've got twenty-four hour singing sky
Now, when I built my house
I cut six trees to clear out the land
But there's thirty or more left
And you know that they're gonna stand
It's a squirrel sanctuary
They think this woods is their home
And as long as I'm here
I'll make sure people leave us all alone
Yes, the hill that I live on is steep
And the road's full of ruts
And the people who live in the flatlands
Think we folks are nuts
But the ruts in my road and the curves
Keep the tourists at bay
And it's lonesome and peaceful
And you know I like it that way
Now, I work in the city
I think my job is a gas
And I know it's good for me
To travel and get off my a__
nervous very best parts of each trip
Is the Golden Gate Bridge
And the road like a snake
That will lead me back home to my ridge
Ah, I live on a ridgetop
Yes, I live on a ridgetop
And I like it
And I like it . . .
— Jesse Colin Young
THE MENDOCINO COUNTY EXECUTIVE OFFICE is accepting applications for anticipated vacancies on the following Board or Commission:
- Mendocino County Business Improvement District (3)
- Inland Area Representative
- Inland Area Representative
- Coastal Region Representative
- Mendocino County Planning Commission (1)
- 3rd District Representative
- Mental Health Board (4)
- 1st District Public Interest
- 1st District ConsumerFamily
- 4th District Public Interest
- 5th District ConsumerFamily
- Westport Municipal Advisory Council (1) Member
If you are interested in serving on this Board or Commission, contact your District Supervisor, or the Executive Office, at 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010, Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 463-4441.
LAST DATE FOR FILING: December 8, 2015, or until filled. CARMEL J. ANGELO Clerk of the Board of Supervisors
A THANKSGIVING QUIZ
What was Squanto's real name?
Who was considered the leader of the Pilgrim settlers whose ship, originally bound for Jamestown, North Carolina, wound up at Plymouth Rock in Massachussetts?
- John Smith
- William Bradford
- William Brewster.
- George Washington’s great-grandfather.
When was Thanksgiving proclaimed a national holiday? And by whom?
- In 1628, by William Bradford as an amendment to the Mayflower Compact.
- In 1754, by Massachusetts Bay Governor Adam Sussex, in his proposed Articles of Confederation.
- In 1782, by George Washington, as one of his first executive orders.
- In 1863, by Abraham Lincoln, after descendants of settlers lobbied him and congress.
What were the religious people aboard the Mayflower called?
How many of the 102 people aboard the Mayflower when it arrived at Plymouth Rock were religious Pilgrims?
Why did the Pilgrims draw up the Mayflower Compact (which provided standards of conduct and gave each person in the party a say in decision making)?
- Because they had left England to avoid the monarchy and embrace democracy.
- Because, as religious fanatics, they liked rules.
- Because the non-Pilgrim majority of the Mayflower passengers forced it on them.
- Because they were outnumbered and didn't want the non-pilgrim majority to determine their fate.
How did Squanto learn English?
- He was abducted as a boy by a British captain.
- From a friendly Engish fisherman.
- He was abandoned by his Native American parents and adopted by early settlers.
- He took English classes at Oxford when he went back to England on the return trip of the first English fishing vessel to arrive on New England’s shores.
In what year did Americans start using the term "pilgrims" for the Plymouth settlers?
How much of the food eaten at the First Thanksgiving was from the supplies brought over from England by the settlers?
- Some dry crackers.
- The flour and salt used in baked goods.
- All of it.
Which of the following American Indians did NOT assist the Plymouth Rock settlers?
- Chief Massasoit.
When Squanto escaped from slavery in England and Spain after being abducted and managed to get a boat back to his home village of Patuxet, how many members of his village remained upon his arrival?
Besides the voyage taken by the Pilgrims, how many other times did the Mayflower bring passengers to the New World?
What eventually happened to the Mayflower after its final voyage two years after carrying the Pilgrims to New England?
- It was taken over by Spanish mutineers.
- After a couple years of commercial shipping, it was tied up in probate after its owner died.
- The British captured it and burned it as a symbol of upstart Americans.
- It sank in a storm at sea.
After first landing at Provincetown in New England, and sending out a boat to explore possible settlement areas, why did the Pilgrims choose the town of Plymouth to settle?
- Because it had access to a port for shipping and trade.
- Because it was already the developed Indian village of Patuxet which had been inhabited by Squanto's Algonquin tribe before they died of disease.
- Because no American Indians had been there before and there were no claims on the land.
- Because it was near the ocean and thus was not as cold as inland locations.
According to historians, roughly how many of the settlers in the Plymouth Rock colony married Native Americans?
- A few.
Of the many colors worn by the New England settlers, what color was “taboo”?
What was the average age of the people on the Mayflower when it arrived at Plymouth Rock?
What did English biologist Charles Darwin say in 1839 about the European arrival in the New World?
- Wherever the European had trod, death seems to pursue the Aboriginal.
- Among all of mankind, it is the European who is possessed of the strongest survival instinct.
- What we are witnessing in the Americas is proof of my theories.
- Why would anyone care what happens to unsuccessful people who ran off to the Americas to escape the inevitability of their fate at home?
Which of the following reasons was NOT a reason for settlers to settle in a particular place in New England?
- Because it had never been inhabited.
- Because they were invited by Indians hoping for protection against other Indians.
- Because they were invited by Indians hoping for protection against other European settlers.
- Because they purchased it from the Indians that were there.
What does historian Karen Kupperman say was the prime reason for the success of the Pilgrims’ early settlements in New England?
- They had superior technology.
- They settled on land that was already cleared and cultivated by American Indians who had died from diseases brought by the earliest settlers.
- They were immune to the diseases of the New World.
- They had guns and the Native Americans didn't.
What does historian William McNeil estimate that the population of the Americas was in 1492?
- About 200,000
- About 1 million
- About 5 million
- About 100 Million.
What does historian William McNeil estimate that the population of Europe was in 1492?
- About 200,000
- About 5 million
- About 70 Million.
- About 200 million
How many times had Squanto crossed the Atlantic before he eventually died in England?
How many of the original Mayflower passengers died in the first year of the Plymouth Rock settlement?
- A few.
- All of them.