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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Dec 3, 2015

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THE FOLLOWING PRESS RELEASE from the County's retirement fund should be read upside down. Read the last paragraph for the nut of the message, which reveals that the fund is broker than ever.

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The Mendocino County Employees’ Retirement Association board will be presented with the latest actuarial valuation of county retirement benefits, and possibly take action, when it convenes during its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday morning.

Segal Consulting, a national benefits, compensation and human resources consulting company, prepared the annual report “to determine whether the assets and contributions are sufficient to provide the prescribed benefits.”

One of the reasons actuarial valuations are done, according to Segal, is to establish contributions that fully fund the county’s liabilities, and as a percentage of payroll, remain as level as possible for each generation of active members.

Segal considered benefit provisions of the Retirement Association; characteristics of covered active members; inactive vested members; retired members and beneficiaries as of June 30; the assets of the county retirement plan as of June 30; economic assumptions regarding future salary increases and investment earnings; and assumptions of employee terminations, retirement and death, to complete this fiscal year’s valuation.

One of Mendocino County’s key issues, Segal stated in this year’s report, was the unfunded actuarial accrued liability, or the county’s unfunded pension obligation, which Segal said has increased to $182 million from nearly $180 million in last year’s valuation.

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It's underwriting not advertising, you fools. Sheesh. Can't you make even the simplest distinctions?

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Hello, I'm in search of a rental for my Store Manager. Ryan and his wife have been searching for a rental, and are now homeless. Not because they can't afford to pay rent, they both work full time, but because they literally cannot find a rental for less than $1500 per month. They have two very young daughters. I cannot speak highly enough of this family. I own the Outdoor Store, he is never late, shows up everyday with a smile on his face and works hard. He’s not a drinker or smoker. He will take a fixer upper, can do construction, yard work, whatever it takes to find a house for his family. He is an Army Veteran, a gentle and kind person, and a man I greatly admire. If anyone has a rental for him and family Please, Please send me a message. Thank you. Kate Hee

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Suspect Id'd In San Bernardino Massacre As Syed Farook

Syed Farook
Syed Farook

Syed Farook is one of three suspected gunmen who attacked a regional center for the disabled, killing 14 and injuring more on Wednesday.

Law enforcement officials have identified Syed Farook as one of the suspected shooters who attacked a regional center for the disabled in San Bernardino, California.

On Wednesday afternoon, police raided a Redlands, California home — a home that belongs to the Farook family, according to public records.

Police pursued a car leaving from the Redlands address, Chief Jarrod Baraugan said at a Wednesday evening press conference. A male and a female suspect were inside the car, and both of were been killed in a gun battle at the end of a high-speed pursuit. Both of the suspects were armed with assault rifles and handguns, Baraugan said. Police have apprehended a third man, but have not identified his relation to the attacks yet.

"I just cannot express how sad I am for what happened today," Farhan Khan, Farook's brother-in-law said at a press conference Wednesday night. "I am in shock myself."

"My condolences to those who lost their life. I am very sad that people lost their life and there are victims out there. I wish speedy recovery to them," he added.

An eyewitness at the Inland Regional Center, where gunmen killed 14 and wounded at least 18 more, told police he saw a man leaving a meeting of county employees this morning, looking nervous. Police officers named Syed Farook as that man in their radio communications. At approximately 11am, at least two people entered the center and opened fire.

According to a LinkedIn profile, a Syed Raheel Farook was employeed as a business taxes representative for the California State Board of Equalization. This man — who went by his middle name, Raheel — is a 2003 graduate La Sierra High School, and most recently studied finance at California State University Fullerton until 2013.

A public records search indicates that Syed Raheel Farook's mother lives at the Redlands home raided by the police on Wednesday.

(As the Los Angeles Times notes, a Syed R. Farook was employed as an environmental health specialist by the San Bernardino County Health department. CNN reported late Wednesday that a health specialist is the suspect in the case. However, that individual shows no apparent connection to the Redlands address searched by law enforcement.)

Records show Sayed Raheel Farook bought a two-bedroom Corona home in March 2014. Farook’s social media profile shows he is married and has at least one young child. His wife did not return messages left on Wednesday.

The Daily Beast knocked on the home’s door and was met by a man who said, “My name is Farook.” When asked if he knew Sayed, the man said, “Of course I know him, but I have nothing to say.” When asked about Syed being named as a suspect, he said, “I have nothing to say.”

Behind Farook was a brightly lit home with low-slung sectional couches and boxes for appliances. The smell of basmati rice cooking came wafting through the door. A set of women’s sandals sat outside of the security door.

Five minutes after he answered the door, Farook got into a white car and drove away, answering questions again with, “I have nothing to say.”

The Daily Beast contacted Syed Raheel Farook's sister, Saira Khan, by phone on Wednesday shortly after the shooting. She said the media was jumping to conclusions on identifying the suspect and said that her brother was at work. Khan said she would try to get in touch with her brother and pass along his contact information.

The Daily Beast also contacted Saira's husband, Farhan Khan, Wednesday afternoon. When asked whether he knows Syed Farook, Khan seemed doubtful. But when asked about the full name "Syed Raheel Farook," Khan affirmed that he knew him. He said that he had contact information for Farook, but would not provide it to The Daily Beast; instead, he also said he would contact him himself.

In the neighborhood in Redlands where the Farook family kept its home — and where police executed their search — it’s trash day. Typically that’s not a big deal, but on this day all of those green, black, and blue barrels look suspicious — the perfect place to hide an explosive device.

There’s good reason to be on edge. In front of the condo complex where the Farook family lived is a SWAT vehicle and though it’s hard to see anything in the darkness, apparently a bomb-searching-defusing robot has been going between the vehicle and the condo unit.

At almost exactly 6:30 pm, what distinctly sounded like a shotgun blast came from the condo complex. It shook up the gaggle of local news people who were setting up their stand-ups. At that point, a huge contingent of press and neighborhood looky-loos were gathered behind a police cordon a little less than a football field away from the complex.

About 20 minutes after the blast, police pushed the press line back two blocks to the north so we were about a half a mile away and unable to see anything. The officer said there was a threat and needed to move us back for safety.

A Daily Beast reporter slipped through the cordon and down a side street and was able to get a direct view of the condo where there were orange flashing lights that looked like they were on top of a pole that was coming out of a truck. The homes, some of which have been decorated in Christmas lights, seem largely abandoned. Besides the SWAT officers and press, the neighborhood was entirely silent.


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The Ukiah City Council will appoint its next mayor tonight, which will likely be Vice-Mayor Steve Scalmanini.

Current Mayor Doug Crane will be stepping down, and next in seniority, according to the rotation previously approved by the council, is Scalmanini.

“The mayor’s seat shall be filled by the most senior member in length of uninterrupted service who has not previously served as mayor,” the resolution passed in 2011 states. “The councilmember selected as mayor, however, shall have served at least one year as a member of the City Council.”

To choose the next vice mayor, staff points out that the 2011 resolution also states that when two or more council members have served the same amount of time, seniority can be determined by the amount of votes each received at their initial election.

When elected in 2014, Jim Brown received 1,791 votes, Kevin Doble 1,561, and Maureen Mulheren 1,368. Therefore, the staff report for tonight’s meeting suggests, Brown is next in line to be vice mayor.

Tonight’s meeting being at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers at 300 Seminary Avenue.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 2, 2015

Baumeister, Chata, Davidson, Brenden Frazier
Baumeister, Chata, Davidson, Brenden Frazier

RONALD BAUMISTER, Ukiah. Drunk in public, failure to appear.

WALTER CHATA, Santa Clarita/Laytonville. Pot possession for sale.

JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

BRENDEN FRAZIER, Warrenton, Missouri/Laytonville. Pot possession for sale.

Brett Frazier, Garcia, Olson, Reyes
Brett Frazier, Garcia, Olson, Reyes

BRETT FRAZIER, Ballwin, Missouri/Laytonville. Pot possession for sale.

LUCRETIA GARCIA, Glendale/Laytonville. Pot possession for sale.

KEVIN OLSON, Fort Bragg. Assault, shoplifting, drunk in public.

CARLOS REYES, Canyon, Country, CA/Laytonville. Pot possession for sale.

C.Roach, S.Roach, Roland
C.Roach, S.Roach, Roland

CAMERON ROACH, Laytonville. Pot possession for sale, possession of assault weapon, armed with firearm.

SYDNEY ROACH, New Ballwin, Missouri/Laytonville. Pot possession for sale.

SUZANNE ROLAND, Willits/Redwood Valley. Domestic assault.

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On 11-19-2015 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a domestic violence incident that occurred in the 8000 block Of Uva Drive in Redwood Valley, California. Deputies contacted a 16 year-old female who indicated she had been physically assaulted by her boyfriend, Devyn Miller, 18, of Redwood Valley. Deputies learned the female had spent the night at Miller’s residence the previous day and while getting ready for school during the morning the couple engaged in a verbal argument. During the argument Miller reportedly physically restrained, threatened and physically assaulted the female. The female was eventually able to leave the residence and contact the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident. During the interview Deputies noticed the female had injuries (redness and swelling) to her face and neck that were consistent with a physical assault. Deputies subsequently contacted Miller and arrested him without incident. Miller was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for Domestic violence/inflicting injury, False Imprisonment, threats, Lewd and Lascivious acts upon child under 14 and Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a minor. Bail was set at $75,000.

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On 11-29-2015, at approximately 4:00 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were called to a residence regarding an assault on Maime Laiwa Road in Point Arena. As Deputies responded, and prior to their arrival, James Marrufo, 36, of Point Arena, was identified as the victim and transported by ambulance to Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg with head injuries. Deputies contacted Leon Marks Jr., 23, also of Point Arena, and others at the residence on Maime Laiwa Road and determined that Marrufo had been injured during a verbal argument with Marks Jr. Another Deputy contacted Marrufo at the hospital and learned that he had been at the residence and involved in an altercation with Marks Jr. while the pair were involved in an argument. This altercation culminated in Marks Jr. striking Marrufo on the back of the head with an unknown metal object, causing a bleeding injury. Marrufo was treated and released from the hospital. Marks Jr. was arrested without incident for assault with a deadly weapon and was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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On 11-29-2015 at about 4:43 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to contact a 26 year old adult female regarding a child abduction and violation of a restraining order incident at a residence located in the 10000 block of West Road in Redwood Valley. Deputies contacted the adult female who reported that her husband, Joshua Wambolt, 28, of Redwood Valley had taken their 2 year-old child from the residence while stating he was leaving the state. Deputies learned Wambolt had a domestic violence restraining order issued against him from the state of Colorado with the adult female and their 2 year-older daughter as being protected persons. A statewide Be-On-The-Look-Out (BOLO) broadcast was issued for the apprehension of Wambolt for violation of the restraining order and for child abduction.

On 11-29-2015 at about 6:30 PM Mendocino County Deputies located Wambolt and the 2 year-old child in a vehicle parked at the Walmart parking lot in Ukiah. Wambolt was arrested for Child abduction, and Violation of domestic restraining order. The child was safely returned to her mother. Wambolt was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $35,000 bail.

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On 11-23-2015 at 3:40 PM Kenneth Dewitt, 34, of Ukiah, arrived at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office to register as a sex offender as required by California law. While waiting in the lobby Dewitt was observed to exhibit objective symptoms of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Deputies contacted Dewitt who was aware he was supposed to have registered prior to 11-19-2015, thus was out of compliance with sex offender registration requirements. Deputies learned Dewitt was also on California Department of Corrections parole and Mendocino County probation with terms to include no drugs, marijuana and obey all laws. Dewitt was evaluated and determined to be under the influence of an illicit drug. Dewitt was arrested for Failure to register as sex offender, Violation of probation, Under influence of a controlled substance and Parole violation, and booked into the Mendocino County jail without bail due to a parole hold.

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A REMINDER that the Redwood Valley Grange is screening "This Changes Everything", a film by Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein about the seriousness of global warming as well as the opportunity to organize a more functional world that it is bringing. Thursday December 3rd, 6:30 PM at the Redwood Valley Grange, 8650 East Rd. Discussion after. $10 donation. Jaye Alison Moscariello's art will be at 2 great holiday events: the Unity Club Bazaar at the County Fairgrounds in Boonville on Sat. December 5th from 9-4 and at the first annual Redwood Valley Grange Art and Craft Fair at the grange on Saturday December 12th from 11-4. Both events will have many other local arts and crafts people and worthy causes, not to mention Santa Claus. We hope to see you at some or all of the above!

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GIZMOLANDIA, random comments

If you want me I have a landline. Lived my life without a cell. Why would I need one now? I still use paper maps and ride a ’63 and ’68 MC. As a side point, when the power was down for a week in 2011 my phone worked and the cells were down. People will freak when their cells don’t work and the ‘taters won’t know the difference!

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I still have two rotary phones hooked up to my line. Younger folks see them and have not a clue as to what they are or how to dial them. I laugh my ass off every time!

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I carry this old transistor radio from the 70s in my truck; last summer one of my young nephews (12 years old) was examining it, and asked me what it was.

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I had the same response several years ago when I was in the states. One of the neighbors children was in our house and wanted to call home to let his mother know where he was. I showed him the rotary phone in the kitchen and said – have at it.
 You would have thought from the expression on his face that he was looking at the Phaistos Disk.

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When my children were young they got in their grandfather’s car and were completely baffled by the manual window cranks on the car doors. They had never seen anything but electric car windows. Too funny!

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A briefing on Syria to Members of British Parliament

by Patrick Cockburn

(Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn invited Patrick Cockburn to brief Members of Parliament on Isis and the Syrian conflict in advance of the vote on David Cameron’s measure to authorize British airstrikes. Here is the text his briefing.)

Britain is on the verge of entering a conflict in Syria in which its political and military strategy is based on wishful thinking and poor information. British air strikes in Syria will be too few to make much difference to Isis, but are important because they signal Britain’s entry into what may be a long war.

In one crucial respect, David Cameron’s approach is similar to that which saw Britain fight two small but unsuccessful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, in both cases without an effective local partner on the ground. Similarly in Syria, Britain will be at the mercy of events which are being shaped by the numerous other players in the conflict, all of whom have their own highly contradictory agendas.

Much of the debate around the feasibility of the British strategy has focused on Mr Cameron’s statement that we do indeed have a partner, of whose existence few were previously aware. He said that there are 70,000 “Syrian opposition fighters on the ground who do not belong to extremist groups”. The impression given is that there is a “third force” in Syria which will provide a powerful ally for the US, France and Britain.

This would be very convenient but, unfortunately, its existence is very debatable. “The notion that there are 70,000 moderate fighters is an attempt to show that you can fight Isis and [President Bashar al] Assad at the same time,” says Professor Joshua Landis, the director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and an expert on Syrian politics. But he is dismissive of the idea that such a potential army exists, though he says there might be 70,000 Syrians with a gun who are fighting for their local clan, tribe, warlord or village. “The problem is that they hate the village down the road just as much they hate Isis and Assad,” he said.

The armed opposition to President Assad is dominated by Isis, the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and the ideologically similar Ahrar al-Sham. Some of the smaller groups, once estimated by the CIA to number 1,500, might be labelled as moderate, but only operate under license from the extreme jihadists. Aymenn al-Tamimi, a fellow at the Middle East Forum and an authority on the Syrian armed opposition, says that these groups commonly exaggerate their numbers, are very fragmented and have failed to unite, despite years of war.

He recalls that one group he met during a recent visit to Latakia province in north-west Syria claimed to have 2,000 fighters, but probably numbered only 500.

He warns that they pretend to the outside world that they are more moderate than they really are, speaking of “the equality of all Syrians before the law” when they are outside Syria or communicating with people who have never been to the country, but express “hatred for Shia and Allawites” on all other occasions.

Mr Tamimi says that the smaller armed groups, which sometimes have good weapons supplied by the Americans, had acted as auxiliaries to Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham when they captured Idlib City in fierce fighting with the Syrian army in May.

Even if such groups are not extreme Islamists, they do not have the strength to refuse to cooperate. This will make any ceasefire very difficult to arrange because such moderate fighters as there are who might be willing to accept a truce, are intermingled with powerful Nusra forces which will not do so.

Moreover, radical Islamic ideology has been gaining ground in all parts of the Syrian opposition. James Harkin, the author of Hunting Season about the kidnapping of foreigners in Syria and a frequent visitor to opposition-held areas, says that it is important to grasp that “none of these people [the armed opposition inside Syria] like us”.

They see the US, Britain and France as enemies. This includes the non-jihadists, whom the West hopes to enlist, who suspect they will be used as cannon fodder and then discarded.

The one group that has some claim to be non-sectarian, secular and a powerful fighting force is the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) who claim to number 50,000, but probably total half that. It has been the most effective anti-Isis ground force and, heavily supported by US air strikes, its territory now stretches across northern Syria between the Tigris and Euphrates.

It claims to be non-sectarian and that it does not persecute Sunni Arabs, but sectarian fear and hatred is today so deep in Syria – partly but not entirely because of the atrocities of Isis – that people flee the attack of every other sectarian or ethnic group different from themselves. The Sunni population in Raqqa, Isis’s Syrian capital, or in Mosul in Iraq, may dislike Isis, but they are even more terrified of the Kurds or the Shia militias.

Britain is entering a war against the self-declared “Islamic State”, probably the most dangerous and violent organisation in the world, but without a realistic policy to win that war. Mr Cameron stresses the limited nature of the engagement, but Britain will be fighting a state that is also a ferocious sect, does not negotiate and may well retaliate with some atrocity similar to Paris. This is not an argument for rejecting military action against Isis, but it is one for thinking very carefully what we are doing because the only exit strategy will be military victory.

It is not only in Syria that Britain lacks a powerful local partner. In Iraq, its ally will be the Iraqi government and army, neither of which has recovered from their defeats by Isis over the past two years. “Syria is a nightmare and Iraq is becoming a nightmare,” said the Iraqi political scientist and activist Ghassan al-Attiyah. If the present government of Haider al-Abadi falls it is likely to be replaced by one closer to the Iranian-backed Shia militias that are more numerous and better armed than the Iraqi army.

The US-led air campaign has already launched around 8,300 air strikes against Isis which have slowed up its advance, but without bringing it to its knees. Professor Landis says that the difficulty is that the three powers in Syria capable of winning the war are Isis, a Jabhat al-Nusra led alliance or Mr Assad but “the US doesn’t want any of these to win”. He cites three attempts by the US to create a moderate armed opposition which have humiliatingly failed and, on each occasion, extreme jihadists have captured quantities of modern American weapons.

The British Government has shared in a widespread but ill-founded belief over the past four years that the Assad government was about to collapse. But of the 22 million Syrian population, 4 million have fled abroad and are refugees, and about 12 million are in government-controlled areas. Though exhausted and after suffering heavy casualties, including 47,000 dead, the Syrian army is still the largest military force in the country. It now has the support of the Russian air force and is not going to lose the war, though it is not strong enough to win it.

This is the terrible conflict in which Britain is about to engage, but with only limited understanding of the dangers that lie ahead.

(Patrick Cockburn is the author of The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.)

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by Dan Bacher

As Governor Jerry Brown reels from a series of scandals involving the capture of the regulatory apparatus in California under his administration, Brown announced the resignation of his head oil regulator, Steven Bohlen, on November 30.

Brown also announced the appointment of Ken Harris of Davis to replace Bohlen as California Department of Conservation Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) supervisor.

Bohlen’s resignation took place after an Associated Press story revealed that Jerry Brown ordered Bohlen to survey the land on the Governor’s private ranch about the potential for oil drilling. This investigation raised questions about whether the Governor was illegally using state resources for his own personal gain.

“The AP reported earlier this month that Brown directed Bohlen in June 2014, days after appointing Bohlen to the job, to investigate and map out the oil, gas and mineral potential and history of the Brown family ranch in Northern California,” according to Ellen Knickmeyer from the Associated Press. (

The Governor's Office did not cite a reason for Bohlen's departure, but did say Bohlen will return to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He will also continue to assist the Administration as an “unpaid science advisor” to the Division.

“Steve brought strong leadership and valuable scientific expertise to the job of improving oil and gas oversight,” said Governor Brown. “California will benefit from his continued service as an unpaid advisor to the Division, even as he returns to scientific and national security work at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.”

The Governor’s Office claimed, “Steven Bohlen was appointed supervisor in May 2014 with the assignment to conduct a full, systematic analysis of the division and a comprehensive plan for organizational change. During his tenure, the Division released a Renewal Plan for Oil and Gas Regulation, which refocuses the Division on its core values to regulate the oil and gas industry with safety and environmental health as top priorities .

“Bohlen has been on loan from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory over the past 18 months and brought considerable “technical experience” to the Division, including experience with ocean drilling, geology and academic research. In his capacity as an unpaid science advisor, Bohlen will continue to assist the Division on oil and gas issues, including the ongoing development of underground injection regulations,” the Office said.

Bohlen’s replacement, Ken Harris, 59, of Davis, has been the executive officer for the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board since 2012, according to the Governor’s Office.

He held multiple positions at the State Water Resources Control Board from 1987 to 2012 including assistant deputy director, supervising engineering geologist, assistant director and senior engineering geologist. Harris was interim assistant executive officer for the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board from 2010 to 2011 and a staff geologist at the San Lorenzo Valley Water District from 1983 to 1984.

He earned a Master of Science degree in hydrology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $198,500. Harris is a Democrat.

The latest resignation follows a series of shake-ups at the Department of Conservation since 2011, the result of the virtual capture of the agency by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and Big Oil.

“California regulators have prioritized oil company profits and the governor’s personal requests at the expense of our air, water and health," summed up Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement.

Court documents filed 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 in the Department of Conservation, Derek Chernow and Elena Miller, reveal that they were fired on November 3, 2011, one day after Governor Brown issued a final order to bypass provisions of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and approve permits for oilfield injection wells. Chernrow was the director of the Department and Miller was the DOGGR supervisor at the time. (

The day after the farmers filed the lawsuit, Mark Nechodom, the oil industry-friendly director of the Department of Conservation, resigned.

More recently, the Governor on October 9 appointed Bill Bartling of Bakersfield, a Republican who has worked as an oil industry executive and consultant, as district deputy for the Bakersfield region. (

The firings, hirings and resignations of oil and gas industry regulators over the past 4 years under the supposedly “green” Jerry Brown provide a window into the capture of the regulatory apparatus in California by Big Oil, Big Ag and other Big Money interests.

Big Oil is the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in California - and the Western States Petroleum Association is the largest most powerful corporate lobbying group. In one of the most extreme examples of the “fox guarding the hen house,” Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force that created so-called "marine protected" areas in Southern California. ( )

As Jerry Brown continues to promote the expansion of fracking in California and hires Big Oil-friendly officials to “regulate” the oil and gas industry in California, reporters and editors from the mainstream generally provide fawning covering of the Governor’s trips to climate conferences across the globe to greenwash his tainted environmental legacy.

You can expect this mostly uncritical coverage to continue when Brown joins the world’s “climate leaders” in Paris, France later this week for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. (

“Our message in Paris is simple: Tackling climate change is good for the environment and good for the future,” said Governor Brown. “California has cut carbon pollution and grown its economy at the same time – and so can the rest of the world.”

In addition to promoting fracking and appointing Big Oil friendly “regulators,” Jerry Brown has overseen a number of anti-environmental policies and projects that rip away the Governor’s “green” façade.

Brown presided over record water exports out of the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta and a record Sacramento splittail kill in 2011; has overseen the systematic draining and mismanagement of Central Valley reservoirs and Trinity Lake during a record drought; has helped bring winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species to the precipice of extinction; has backed the clearcutting of forests in the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere; and backs neo-liberal carbon trading policies that imperil the environment and Indigenous Peoples in Mexico and across the globe.

For more information on the toxic environmental legacy of "Big Oil Brown," go to:

You can also read my online debate with Tom Hayden over whether Jerry Brown is a "climate hero" or "greenwashing villain" at:

For more information on Big Oil lobbying money, go to:

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Raindrops are falling on my head

And just like the guy whose feet

Are too big for his bed

Nothing seems to fit

Those raindrops

Are falling on my head

They keep falling.


So I just did me some

Talking to the sun

And I said I didn't like the way

He got things done

Sleeping on the job

Those raindrops

Are falling on my head

They keep fallin'


But there's one thing I know

The blues they send to meet me

Won't defeat me, it won't be long

Till happiness

Steps up to greet me


Raindrops keep falling on my head

But that doesn't mean my eyes

Will soon be turning red

Crying's not for me 'cause,

I'm never gonna stop the rain

By complaining,

Because I'm free

Nothing's worrying me


It won't be long

Till happiness

Steps up to greet me


Raindrops keep falling on my head

But that doesn't mean my eyes

Will soon be turning red

Crying's not for me cause,

I'm never gonna stop the rain

By complaining,

Because I'm free, 'cause nothing's worrying me

— Burt Bacharach


  1. John Sakowicz December 2, 2015

    Two big takeaways from today’s Retirement Board meeting:

    1.) The Association’s unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) as of June 30, 2014 was $179.6 million. In this year’s valuation, the UAAL has increased to $182.2 million.

    2.) In the June 30, 2014 valuation, the ratio of the valuation value of assets to actuarial accrued liabilities was 69.3%. In this June 30, 2015 valuation, this funding ratio has increased to 70.2%. On a market value basis, the funded ratio decreased
    from 75.7% to 72.8%.

  2. Bill Pilgrim December 3, 2015

    re: Syria. Russia has been an ally of Syria for decades and is the only country that was formally asked by the Syrian Government to help militarily in this conflict. All the others…the US and its “coalition” partners…are there illegally, and are cynically claiming to be fighting Daesh while are actually exercising yet again their “exceptional” prerogative to overthrow or destroy any government that doesn’t support the agendas of western imperialism and Israel.
    Where the hell has the anti-war movement gone?

  3. Jim Updegraff December 3, 2015

    Syria: Russia’s presence in that area goes back to the 1700’s – they pulled back in 1918 after the their revolution – now they are back.

    “Democratic Party Plantation President Obama” – is it really necessary to use a racist word like “plantation” to make your argument?

    • BB Grace December 3, 2015

      Russia became a vassel state of the Ottoman Empire in 1669 until 1923, when Russia became the USSR and Syria became spoils to the French Mandate

      USSR Interest in Syria wasn’t until 1946 as USSR helped Syria become a state and they’ve remained good friends, thus Russia is not, “now back”. The USSR never left Syria once Syria was established.

      This is part of the reason for the innitial protests by Syrians who prefer a democratic socialist government to a communist government. The refugees from Syria prefer socialist democracy to communism: “In November 1956, as a direct result of the Suez Crisis,[73] Syria signed a pact with the Soviet Union. This gave a foothold for Communist influence within the government in exchange for military equipment.[72]”

      What makes the “Plantation” racist?

  4. Jim Updegraff December 3, 2015

    Jerry Brown: What’s the big deal – everybody knows Jerry is in bed with the oil companies and the big growers. He will go to the climate meeting and in his rapid speaking voice spout a lot of bullshit about what great things we are doing in California.

  5. Jim Updegraff December 3, 2015

    plantation – in the context in which – you made your point without adding that word like some birther – but if you think using the word added to your point be my guest

  6. BB Grace December 3, 2015

    I agree with G. Carlin Mr. Updegraff.

  7. Jim Updegraff December 3, 2015

    Bill: I have a relative who has an African-American father and a white mother, is 6′ 7″ and weights 245#. He has some definite opinions on what is racism. I’ll refer your comment to him the next time I see him and see what he says.

  8. Jim Updegraff December 3, 2015

    Bill: In the battle of Cesma Bay (1770) The Russia Navy destroyed the Ottoman fleet.

    In 1772-1773 The Russia Navy occupied Beirut (Journal of the Royal Asian Society Vol 42, issue 3-2, 1955) – When I cite Wikipedia I generally check with 2 or 3 sources to verify the information I get.

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