- Flooding 128
- Big Bust
- Wine Tariffs
- Intentional Communities
- Costco Appeal
- SoHum Weedy
- Hospitality House
- GOP Trumped
- Yesterday's Catch
- Soggy Forests
- CPS Story
- Russian Journalism
- Edgy Americans
- Political Perceptions
- Girl Squads
- Lethal Distance
- Vast Hypocrisy
- Craft Fair
- Bomb Beard
- Solstice Sing
- Radicalized Shooter
- Drought Bill
AS OF FRIDAY AFTERNOON AT 3PM…
FROM CALTRANS: "This kind of flooding hasn't been seen by Caltrans crews before. A combination of high swells at the mouth of the Navarro River and heavy rains has essentially caused the river to back up and rise much higher than usual. Caltrans crews will be monitoring the highways near the river throughout the night, but there is still no estimated time for reopening. Water on the highway is more than two feet deep. We have locked gates at either end of the highway and will be staffing them until the waters recede to ensure nobody attempts to travel Route 128, as conditions are not safe for any type of vehicle."
NAVARRO JUST BROKE PREVIOUS 'PEAK'--The Navarro River is now @ 5.75' eclipsing the previous "peak" of 5.69' registered @ 1:15 am:
SAME THING IN JENNER
DAVE SEVERN WONDERS....
Again the figures are baffling. There just hasn't been enough rainfall to flood. Yet The Navarro has flooded? People are saying that it is because the river mouth is still closed. Hard to believe given the fact that there have been 20 foot waves battering the shore. The current height reading is 6-something feet while the flood stage is 23 feet. The river peaked at 9.3 feet. How could it have flooded? The gauge is claiming 719 cubic feet per second with a previous max in 1984 of 9020 cubic feet per second. I believe there must have been water over the road, but someone please tell me what's going on. Aliens?
IT SEEMS THAT THE SAND BAR is so thick at the mouth that the latest rains can't bust the Navarro on through, so the water is backing up and over the highway for about a half-mile to depths too deep to drive through. Maybe the next inch this weekend will at last free the Navarro.
* * *
UPDATE: MendocinoSportsPlus reports that Highway 128 is open and the Navarro River has breached its sandbar: https://www.facebook.com/mendocinosportsplus
A UKIAH WOMAN was caught driving with $1.3 million in marijuana hidden inside her vehicle in Navajo County this week. A sheriff's deputy made the discovery during a traffic stop on Interstate 40 in Arizona. The Sheriff's Office said the deputy pulled Julienne Waters, 59, of Ukiah, over near Holbrook, Arizona, and called for a drug-detection dog when the woman's story didn't add up. The dog, having sniffed the outside of the vehicle, indicated the presence of drugs. That's when Waters conceded she had marijuana in her car — 381 pounds in all, about three times the size of a typical pot seizure (most of Californians) made by Navajo County deputies. Waters was booked into the Navajo County Jail on suspicion of transportation of marijuana. “Maybe once a week, we’re arresting a Californian for some kind of marijuana-related issue,” Chief Deputy Sheriff Jim Molesa said. “This was bigger than what we usually see.” Molesa said the value of the marijuana was calculated to be about $1.3 million based on pot’s estimated street value in Phoenix. (About $3400 per pound!) Ms. Waters’ bond was set at $2 million.
THE LOCAL WINE INDUSTRY is in a tiz over big tariffs about to be imposed on their exports by Canada and Mexico under terms of the infamous World Trade Organization.
On March 12, 2013, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposed a rule that aims to bring mandatory country of origin labeling rules (COOL! rules) in compliance with the United States’ World Trade Organization obligations. The proposal requires that the labels detail each country where each processing step occurred. If a product was derived from livestock born, raised and slaughtered in the US, it will be required to specify this on the label, rather than simply saying “Product of the US” as has been allowed since 2009. The proposed rule was finalized with no changes on May 23, 2013, with an effective date of May, 24, 2013. Restaurants and processed/blended meat products are exempt.
The World Trade Organization declared the labeling requirement to be a “disproportionate burden” on meat suppliers which opened the door to the retaliatory tariff on wine. Canada and Mexico obviously know how to hit the US where it hurts by picking wine to retaliate with.
CONGRESSMAN MIKE “CORK TOP” THOMPSON immediately jumped into action spearheading a rush-job bill to immediately repeal the labeling requirement in the House of Representatives. But the Senate hasn’t yet taken similar action so the repeal is on hold for the time being. Never fear, Senators Feinstein and Boxer have taken the lead in getting the Senate to act as soon as possible, declaring last week, “Our nation’s rural communities, farmers and businesses simply cannot afford to suffer retaliatory tariffs.” (Never mind that expensive wine appellations and terroirs are not exactly “rural communities” and grape growers are not “farmers” in any ordinary sense of the word.)
CANADA has become the largest single market for American wine, most of which comes in California companies. And about $24 million worth of American wine was shipped to Mexico last year. Some local wineries have said that if the estimated $1 billion in tariffs is not repealed the retail price of direct-delivery/sale shipments to Canadian wine drinkers will double and even sales from small non-distributor wines will take a hit.
THE LEAD STORY in the current SF Weekly is called "Faerie Realm — Radical faeries have started a queer intentional community in Mendocino County. Will it have staying power?"
I ONCE HAD a lease-option on that place, 320 acres for $210,000 six miles south of Boonville. We didn't exercise the option, but we were an "intentional community" of sorts, although our intentional community had as its intention the rehab of some of the most dangerous juvenile delinquents available in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our idea was that delinquents would be less delinquent under the redwoods than they were under the streetlights. They weren't. They were worse because their prey was pretty much limited to us and them.
A GAY COLLECTIVE in 1970 Boonville would have caused quite a stir. I wasn't fully aware there was even a community in Boonville for the first few months as we vainly attempted to bring at least a semblance of order to our wacky commune and unwind the mysteries of a gravity flow water "system" as we fended off hippies who thought it was cool to buy booze for our junior felons. We didn't have television reception and computers were unheard of. It was up to us to occupy adolescent crooks whose only interests were violence, getting loaded on anything and everything from gasoline fumes to dope and whatever pills they could get their hyper hands on, and, of course, sex. If we'd had computers we could have pacified these doomed beasts with Grand Theft Auto and kindred ultra-vi entertainments. The hippie chicks who occasionally wandered in off Highway 128 to skinny dip in our pond only did it once.
THE FIRST GAY MAN I was aware of in the Anderson Valley was a louche character called Erik 'Swoop' Von Gehrig. I saw him in the Boonville Lodge one night in a dress, and I marveled at his courage. The Lodge, in those days, could be a very violent place, and often was. Swoop, however, seemed to fit right in. He could be funny as hell and his humor seemed to make him a welcome presence among the bar fighters. I never heard of anybody hassling him, and I always thought the hippie fear of "rednecks" wasn't based in any more reality than the unfamiliarity of cosseted middleclass hippies with everyday working people.
THE ANDERSON VALLEY these days is much less coherent than it was in the 1970s. We're more a collection of affinity groups than a community these days, and gay people are as prevalent as "rednecks."
ANOTHER DELAY FOR COSTCO APPEAL
by Justine Frederiksen, Ukiah Daily Journal
Another extension was granted in the court case halting progress on the proposed Ukiah Costco warehouse as the defendants, which include the city of Ukiah, have asked for more time to file a response to the opening brief.
According to recent filings in the case, which will be heard by the First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the appellant, Davis-based attorney William Kopper, first requested more time to file his opening brief, which was previously due on Nov. 9. He was granted 30 more days, and filed his opening brief just before the deadline on Monday.
The defendants, which also include Costco and Mendocino County, then had 30 days to file their brief, but also requested more time and were granted another 19 days. Their brief is now due on Jan. 25.
Kopper filed the appeal in July on behalf of a group called “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First,” after a Mendocino County Superior Court judge in May dismissed the lawsuit Kopper filed declaring that the Environmental Impact Report prepared for the Costco proposed for Airport Park Boulevard was inadequate.
The lawsuit was filed in early 2014 on behalf of four plaintiffs, two employees of Lucky and two employees of FoodMaxx, but all of them asked to be removed.
The only name still attached to both the group “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First” and the appeal is Kopper’s, as he has refused all requests to reveal any other names, only telling the Ukiah City Council the last time he appeared before it that there were “several” members.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
STATE OF THE WEED: Can You Guess Where Most of the Weed in Humboldt County is Grown?
(Northern Mendo must be similar, although no specific studies have been done yet.)
by Hank Sims
Did you scream out “Southern Humboldt County”?
Give yourself a pat on the back. You are correct.
Over the last few years, one of the major political issues surrounding cannabis cultivation have to do with water — unsurprisingly, given California’s drought. How much do marijuana farmers drain from their watersheds? What are the impacts to those watersheds’ salmon fisheries? Can we build appropriate storage systems, ones that gather enough winter rainfall to slake thirsty plants through the summer? Where are those storage systems most urgently required?
These questions have been the subject of national news coverage, and decriminalization only moves them closer to the fore. Locally, environmental groups such as Humboldt Baykeeper and Friends of the Eel have stationed themselves on the front lines, demanding that upcoming county regulations address water usage. The State Water Resources Control Board has spent the last year or so crafting its own system of permits, enforcement and outreach to growers.
But which local watersheds are most impacted? Where are the grows? The Outpost’s “Weed or No Weed” experiment can provide some answers.
Let’s start by defining our terms. The attached map shows Humboldt County divided broadly by watershed. Specifically, we’re looking at the U.S. Geological Survey’s definition of the nation’s watershed “sub-basins” (HUC-8), as applied to Humboldt County particularly.
We can divide our estimates of Humboldt County marijuana cultivation by property by these watersheds, giving us a separate figure for each of the HUC sub-basins that extend into the county borders: the Lower Klamath, the Trinity, the South Fork of the Trinity, Mad River/Redwood Creek, the Lower Eel (including the Van Duzen), the South Fork of the Eel, and the Mattole.
So we did that.
Roughly 72% of the county’s marijuana-growing properties are in the Eel or Mattole watersheds — which together make up only about 46% of the county’s total land.
The remainder of the county — that belonging to the Klamath, the Trinity and the Mad River/Redwood Creek — grows far, far less.
In sum, the numbers look something like this.
One thing to note: Breaking the data down this way increases the confidence interval in the statistically sampled portion of our study. As the set of parcels under study decreases, or as the proportion of weed-positive parcels nears 50%, the spread between our lower confidence limit and our higher one widens. Check out the numbers for the South Fork of the Trinity. We can still say with 95% certainty that there are between 14 and 45 weed-positive parcels in that watershed, but it’s a pretty wide target to hit — the difference between 4% of the total and 14%.
But another way to look at that is by comparing the watersheds one to another. Let’s set aside the “sampled” portion of our dataset and look at just that portion that the crowd marked as either “weed” or “no weed” by at least a three-vote margin. Then let’s compare that to the total hard count of parcels marked as positive.
The Mattole, the Lower Eel and the South Fork of the Eel each have over 20% of the county’s weed-positive parcels.
Now, remembering that “Weed or No Weed” tells us nothing about the size of the grows on Humboldt County parcels — merely the number of parcels — and still less about the ecofriendliness of those grows, might we still attempt to come up with a rough estimate of the industry’s impact in each of these watersheds?
Let’s compare each watershed’s percentage of weed-positive parcels with their percentage of the county’s total area. This will give us an index ratio that might hint, in the most speculative way, at the impact of Humboldt County’s industry by sub-basin.
If these speculative ratios in our fourth column, here, can be shown to have any bearing on water-related political questions surrounding the industry right now, it’s interesting to note that the two most heavily impacted watersheds — the Mattole and especially the South Fork Eel — are undammed rivers with few other industrial users, and that a large percentage of the watershed of each is within Humboldt County’s borders. (The Mattole is almost entirely within our borders.) If you wish to tackle these problems seriously, they suggest, it won’t do to point the finger at agricultural water diversions at Potter Valley or Trinity Lake.
Stay tuned! More STATE OF THE WEED coming!
GOD HELPS THEM WHO…
To Gary Johnson (Hospitality House Board Member)
We find your 'simple appeal for donations' to Support Hospitality House outrageous and offensive.
As residents of Fort Bragg, we see few benefits resulting from this facility, and many negatives. STOP the free food handouts! Establish a work-for-food program for the many able-bodied transients we see demanding handouts. HH and other services focused on free food, clothing etc, may help a few deserving people, but basically act as a magnet for too many undesirables.
You and your wife do not live here. HH should have a Board of directors composed of Fort Bragg residents, not the faith-driven elite from affluent outside communities. Why don't you establish a homeless facility on your property???
Anna Shaw, executive director of HH and holder of an enormous chunk of tax dollars, seems incompetent, and now is implicated in a sordid sex scandal involving one of her employees. This is in litigation, but most residents feel she has violated the public's trust.
We will direct our charitable efforts elsewhere. The top priority here in need of help are the hard-working, tax paying, low income local people.
Two Fort Bragg residents
TRUMP, the literary version: I'd say he most resembles Guy Grand, the protag of Terry Southern's wonderful comic novel, The Magic Christian, whose theme is "Every man has his price." Which Guy Grand, a billionaire, proves by "making it hot for 'em" via a series of practical jokes, each more elaborate than the last.
OF COURSE neither Trump's supporters nor his critics regard him as a comic figure but, really, how else can he be regarded as he travels around "making it hot for 'em" in that day-glo coonskin hat he wears on his head? Trump won't be the candidate because he's too out there even for the dummies and crypto-fascists who largely comprise the Republican Party. The money people will go for Rubio, who's much more vicious than Trump but who's much smoother and smart enough to tone down the crazy talk in public. But the real money, the seriously big money, Democrat and Republican, will get behind Hillary because their interests are absolutely safe with her. All us lib-labs, though, owe Trump big time. He blew up the Republican Party. Now, if Bernie can blow up the Democrats Americans might have some hope for the first time since Roosevelt.
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 11, 2015
WILLIAM CRUMRINE, Ukiah. DUI.
WILLIAM EVANS, Fort Bragg. Shoplifting. (Frequent flyer.)
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
MICHAEL LARSON, Ukiah. Visiting where illegal drugs are used, under infliuence of controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
KELLY LORETZ, Grass Valley/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
SUNEE MITCHELL, Ukiah. Visiting where illegal drugs are used, under infliuence of controlled substance, probation revocation.
MARTIN PENA, Leggett. DUI, DUI-suspended license.
PETER ROSE JR., Point Arena. Probation revocation.
THOMAS SANDERS, Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
MANUEL SILVA, Willits. Parole violation.
MARK WALRATH, Ukiah. Petty theft, possession of: ammo by ex-felon, paraphernalia, controlled substance, marijuana for sale; probation revocation.
WET WEATHER CLOSURE
Mendocino Forest visitors urged to be aware of wet weather closures
Due to historically strong El Niño patterns, recent storms and more wet weather in the forecast, the Mendocino National Forest is encouraging visitors to monitor the weather and check conditions before visiting Forest recreation sites. The first wet weather closure of the season was implemented today for both the Grindstone and Upper Lake Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail systems after trails were saturated by more than 2 inches of rain in 24 hours. The trails will reopen after at least 48 hours of no measurable precipitation. The closure orders are formally referenced as Order Numbers 08-15-07 and 08-15-08. They are available online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/mendocino. Recent drenching storms may have impacted roads in the forest. If you come across an area where the road is compromised or washed out, please report it to Forest Engineer Shannon Pozas at 530-934-3316. As winter conditions return to the Mendocino National Forest, all visitors are asked to be cautious when recreating on the forest, whether they are driving, hiking, camping or enjoying other recreational pursuits - including selecting a Christmas tree. "While this wet weather gives hope to the drought-stricken Mendocino and many other parts of California, it also presents some challenges for visitors enjoying our Forest during early winter through spring," said Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson. "Potential hazards to both visitors and forest resources arise when weather conditions are constantly changing throughout the season. We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable trip to the forest, while preserving resources so they can be enjoyed for years to come. To help with this, visitors are asked to be prepared for changing conditions, aware of their surroundings, and minimize impacts to saturated roads and trails." Many popular trails and some access points to recreation sites on the Mendocino involve crossing normally small creeks and streams. Caution should be used at these stream crossings. People and vehicles can be swept away by currents in even relatively shallow water. Also, conditions can change rapidly and a stream that was easy to cross in the morning can become impassable by afternoon, trapping people on the wrong side. Following are some additional safety suggestions for those recreating in the forest this winter: Plan your trip - check the weather, bring plenty of warm clothes, water, emergency food, tire chains, shovel and any other supplies necessary for the activity. Call to check if the area you are planning to visit is still open and accessible.
Make sure you have a full tank of gas when you leave and are prepared for changing conditions in the mountains!
Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back. Cellphone service within the forest can be limited.
Keep vehicles on designated roads and trails and be aware of changing weather and road conditions. Wet dirt roads can quickly turn to mud, making it possible to get stuck and causing damage to road, soil and water resources. If there are puddles in the road, mud flipping off the tires or you can see your ruts in the rearview mirror, consider pulling over to hike or turning around and finding a different area. For more information, please contact the Mendocino National Forest at 530-934-3316 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/mendocino
VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCE:
How the State Stole my Children
by Lyra Jubb
By this picture you would think that we are a average family getting our picture taken outside on a bright summer day. On another day you might be right, but on this particular day you don’t know the half of it. We have had a great day and are about to part ways. Everyone is strained and worried about what tomorrow will bring. At this point my children and I have been separated from each other for over a year. Each month we have a short visit and then they are transported to different parts of Mendocino County by state employees of CPS.
I was a victim of domestic violence for over 14 years and recently was awarded disability status under Federal Social Security Laws and medical recommendation. Before I was awarded my benefits under federal law, I could not make enough money to support myself and my three children. Me and my oldest son had just recently, in 2011, suffered domestic violence. I called the police for help and CPS came and told me to leave my house and my trailer, with nothing but a few suitcases and my children. They urged me to go to the local homeless shelter, which is full of drug addicts and mentally deranged men. I refused and stayed with a friend for a few nights. I continued looking for a place to put my trailer, when the abuser pleaded for me and the children to stay at a hotel across from his room and work. Having no relations or job prospects, and in great desperation, I accepted the room and his apology.
I believed that this would ease my children’s and my circumstances and I drove to Juvenile court with him and our 6 month old baby, believing that everything would be OK. When we arrived, one lawyer came in to talk with us. I thought that we could still be together and work out the complications. I was naive and desperate, and was told that, since I arrived with the abuser and failed to appear for court to get a permanent restraining order, that I was ‘failing to protect’ my children.
On October 26, 2011, my children were removed from my custody and I have been fighting for their return ever since. Although there were many occasions when I had stable and adequate housing, I was told that I was too late or that my disability was such that I was incapable of taking care of my children.
During the last four years I have attempted to remove all concerns regarding the safety of my children. Despite my efforts, attendance, and cooperation with the county officials over the past four years, CPS has awarded my children to their fathers, who were the abusers. When this was not deemed safe, after many warning signs topped off by abusive explosions, my children have been removed and placed in foster care. ‘Why were they not placed with me?’, you ask yourself.
I am disabled and have been trying to exist on $295.00 a month for three years. You try doing that and maintain impeccable attendance to every Court Ordered class and visit for any length of time.
When I received my Social Security I thought that my problems were solved. That was not the case. Although I owned my own trailer and then moved into a two bedroom house, payed for all the furniture, and continued to attend all classes and visits with vigor, CPS of Fort Bragg, now managed by the same worker who originally awarded my kids to their abusive fathers, felt that my use of medical marijuana and my humanitarian nature were too risky for my children to return to me.
After three years of AODP and attendance to AA meetings, I was still labeled an addict even though I had remained clean and sober for over a year. Prior to my children being detained from me, I had survived three major car crashes and over fourteen years of domestic violence. My doctors had tried a number of medications to relieve the symptoms of migraines, degenerative disc disease, anxiety and PTSD. After many trials, and hospital stays, it was determined that medical marijuana was the only medicine that helped mitigate my disability symptoms.
When the children were removed from my care, I was told that I would have to stop using marijuana if I had any chance to have my children returned. I stopped using medical marijuana for two and a half years, (excepting some extreme situations, brought on mainly by CPS’s complete disregard for my children’s safety), as I continued to attend all of the classes, believing that my efforts would not be overlooked. This was not the case, as I continued to see that my parental rights were being trampled on, apparently due to the positive results of marijuana in my my urine.
Despite my current stability, both mentally and physically, through the use of medical marijuana, CPS has continued to allege that my condition and medical treatment will not allow me to be present for my children. I have never shown any lack of love or understanding for my children, have maintained an alert perspective during all our visits together, and have gone so far as to take classes at the local college to help me grow both mentally and physically, while investigating and understanding my own part as well as the mental health of my children and how I can better support their needs.
On July 10, 2015, I appeared in court to request return of my children to a two bedroom home where they would be safe and cared for solely by me, all payed for by HUD-Section 8 Voucher. This hearing allowed me to bring in supportive witnesses, one of which was not well, to testify to my care and devotion to my children. My lawyer was ill prepared and the social worker who left her job two days earlier, lied on the stand. At the end of the hearing the judge ruled in favor to close my case and consider permanent placement of my children elsewhere. I stood up in indignation, asking the judge, “How can you make this decision? What about how the children feel about this? She did not tell you how my children cry when we part. She lied on the stand” Or something like that. The judge looked me in the face and said, “Even if I had heard any of that I would still have made the ruling I have.” I walked out.
What else was I going to do? They have all of the power when I don’t have any money, family, or reliable friends to back me up.
Although I continue to see my children as little as once a month, I have been told that, in November of this year my children could be adopted out. This greatly concerns me because I will not be able to see them anymore, until they are old enough to make their own choices, (that could be a while), and no one is telling them this information either. In the mean-time I have found a permanent home on the coast and continue to access services that are free to me.
I am a survivor of domestic violence and I have the right to care for my children. The rule is different and lies hold in Juvenile Court, as long as representatives of CPS are the ones that are lying.
Please help me right this wrong and bring my children back home. Children should be with their mother, as long as she loves them and is present for their needs. The state of California has made medical use of marijuana legal and this should not be used as a way for the government to steele children from their parents.
Please share this personal story with all who you think can be a part of the rationale movement for medical marijuana patients/parents with children. We should not be persecuted for our medical and religious practices in the United States of America.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
To get an idea of how bad the stenographer-journalists in the US look, try tuning in RT (stands for Russia Today) on the internet. They run a live feed of their US, British, and Moscow feeds in English 24/7/365 at: rt.com/on-air/
While reminding yourself that they are owned and operated by the government of the Russian Federation and therefore presenting the Russian point of view on the world notice:
They have correspondents everywhere unlike US public broadcasting which relies on BBC and other stringers to provide them with reports.
Their US correspondents not only speak English, they speak American English. Their British correspondents speak the UK version of the language. Many of their correspondents are multi-lingual and therefore do not require translators in the countries from which they report.
Their reporters have exposed both lies and exaggerations of official US/NATO and EU spokespersons regarding the Ukrainian, European refugee, and ISIS (or is it ISIL or is it Daesh?) crises.
As a septuagenarian I can remember listening to Radio Moscow and the other communist shortwave services in my youth. Besides the excitement of being able to hear voices from afar, the content of their news and commentary was good for laughs because it was so lacking in credibility.
US networks on the other hand (radio and TV) had their own correspondents everywhere and typically they would gather at the year’s end to discuss the year in review as well as the prospects for the next year. Of course it was not perfect back in the 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s but they tackled such issues as Joe McCarthy, civil rights, the Vietnam war, and that odious political toad, Richard Nixon.
Now it is the US media that engages in mindless mimicry and the Russians who are doing the hard work of investigative reporting. It’s a shame, but that’s what happens when journalism’s bottom line is the bottom line. Information transforms into infotainment.
AT EASE, AMERICA
A New York Times/CBS News poll found 44 percent said an attack is “very likely” to happen in the next few months — the highest in Times or CBS News polls since the weeks following the 2001 attacks. That mounting fear has helped Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s rise in the polls. The survey found seven in 10 people who are likely to vote in the GOP primary said he has what it takes to respond to the threat of terrorism.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEMOCRATS & REPUGS
From Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:
At the bottom is an MSNBC poll that asks what kind of person Trump is. Only a quarter of Republicans think he's insulting and offensive. These aren't polls of tea partiers. They aren't polls just of conservative states. These are polls of all Republicans in the nation. By a very wide margin, ordinary Republican voters think the stuff Trump is saying sounds great. Only about a quarter don't like what they're hearing… (emphasis added)
SKIP THE TITTERING, TONGUES-OUT MUGGING OF TAYLOR SWIFT
by Camille Paglia
Girl squads were a hashtag summer craze that may have staying power. Blogs and magazines featured intricate star charts of the constellations of celebrity gal pals clustering around Taylor Swift, Cameron Diaz, Lena Dunham or Tina Fey.
Names appearing on the shifting roster of girl squads include Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, Selena Gomez, Willow Smith, Kendall Jenner, Sofia Richie, Chloe Sevigny and Karlie Kloss. Hot models Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne bob and weave through several groups. Adele joined the club in November when she dined out in New York with Emma Stone and varsity squad player Jennifer Lawrence.
"Squad" as a pop term emerged from 1990s hip-hop (Hit Squad, Def Squad). It once had a hard, combative street edge, but today it's gone girly and a bit bourgeois. Social media are its primary engine. Perhaps the first star to use stylish Instagrams to advertise her tight female alliances was Rihanna, with moody snaps of herself and bestie Melissa Forde out and about in Los Angeles or lolling seaside on Barbados.
Do girl squads signal the blossoming of an idealistic new feminism, where empowering solidarity will replace mean-girl competitiveness? Hollywood has always shrewdly known that cat-fighting makes great box office. In classic films such as The Women, All About Eve, The Group and Valley of the Dolls, all-star female casts romped in claws-out bitchfests. That flamboyant, fur-flying formula remains vital today in Bravo TV's boffo Real Housewives series, with its avid global following.
A warmer model of female friendship was embodied in Aaron Spelling's blockbuster Charlie's Angels TV show, which was denounced by feminists as a "tits-and-ass" parade but was in fact an effervescent action-adventure showing smart, bold women working side by side in fruitful collaboration. A similar dynamic of affectionate intimacy animated HBO's Sex and the City, whose four feisty, mutually supportive professional women prefigured today's fun-loving but rawly ambitious girl squads.
The entertainment industry has seen feminist spurts come and go. Helen Reddy's 1972 smash hit "I Am Woman" became the worldwide anthem of second-wave feminism. In 1985, Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox did the slamming duet "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves." The Spice Girls encapsulated sex-positive third-wave feminism with their 1997 manifesto Girl Power! Performing at the 2014 Video Music Awards, Beyonce flashed "FEMINIST" in giant letters behind her, but questions were raised about the appropriation of that word by a superstar whose career has always been managed by others, first her parents and now her domineering husband, Jay Z.
With gender issues like pay equity for women actors and writers coming increasingly to the fore, girl squads can be seen as a positive step toward expanding female power in Hollywood, where ownership has been overwhelmingly male since the silent film era. For all its dictatorial overcontrol, however, the early studio system also provided paternalistic protection and nurturance for young women under contract. Marilyn Monroe was a tragic victim of the slow breakdown of that system: The studio made her, but in the end it could not save her from callous predators, including the Kennedys.
Young women performers are now at the mercy of a swarming, intrusive paparazzi culture, intensified by the hypersexualization of our flesh-baring fashions. The girl squad phenomenon has certainly been magnified by how isolated and exposed young women feel in negotiating the piranha shoals of the industry. A dramatic example of their vulnerability was the long-lens pap photo of Swift sitting painfully sad and prim on a Virgin Islands taxi boat after her tumultuous 2013 holiday breakup with pop star Harry Styles.
Given the professional stakes, girl squads must not slide into a cozy, cliquish retreat from romantic fiascoes or communication problems with men, whom feminist rhetoric too often rashly stereotypes as oafish pigs. If many women feel lonely or overwhelmed these days, it's not due to male malice. Women have lost the natural solidarity and companionship they enjoyed for thousands of years in the preindustrial agrarian world, where multiple generations chatted through the day as they shared chores, cooking and child care.
In our wide-open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting a silly, regressive public image — as in the tittering, tongues-out mugging of Swift's bear-hugging posse. Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props, an exhibitionistic overkill that Lara Marie Schoenhals brilliantly parodied in her scathing viral video "Please Welcome to the Stage."
Girl squads ought to be about mentoring, exchanging advice and experience and launching exciting and innovative joint projects. Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history. With their results-oriented teamwork, men largely have escaped the sexual jealousy, emotionalism and spiteful turf wars that sometimes dog women.
If women in Hollywood seek a broad audience, they must aim higher and transcend a narrow gender factionalism that thrives on grievance. Girl squads are only an early learning stage of female development. For women to leave a lasting mark on culture, they need to cut down on the socializing and focus like a laser on their own creative gifts.
(Courtesy, the Hollywood Reporter)
We all know that a firearm can kill at a long distance. If you can see it, it can kill you. But what is the lethal distance for a man holding an edge weapon (knife)? If you are holding a pistol, at what distance are you in danger of being killed by a person holding a knife? That person could be high on drugs and is probably supercharged with his own adrenaline. From over 25 feet away, he can kill you, and your children will grow up without a parent. Yes, you may have put several shots into him, and he will die, but not fast enough to save your life. Check the reason for the development of the .45 auto pistol if you don't believe me. Give the police a good option other than using their handgun. True, a person supercharged on drugs and adrenaline may die from the Taser, but he has better odds to live than multiple gunshots.
Ralf Stinson, Alameda
REDWOOD VALLEY GRANGE HOLIDAY ART & CRAFT FAIR, Saturday December
12th, 11 am - 4 pm Support Your Local Artists!
Redwood Valley Grange is having their first Holiday Art & Craft Fair this coming Saturday, from 11 am to 4 pm. We will be in the Main Hall. There are nearly 26 Artists and Crafts People! The address is: 8650 East Road, Redwood Valley, CA 95470 We have soap & lotion makers, felters, knitters, sewers, spinners, painters, ceramicists, and everything in between. We have lovely vendors who make the best tamales - just in time for the holidays! For decorations we have popcorn balls - a healthy alternative to the overly sweet kind, and a wonderful dollmaker too! We have linens and mittens and more! There will be gifts in all price ranges from very low to as high as you would like to go! :) Check out our Facebook Page link : https://www.facebook.com/events/699927083441585/ For the very young, there is Santa' Workshop (presented by the U.S.A.C.) Santa will be appearing at his Santa's Workshop/Play House located in the Grange Kitchen! I'm excited to be working on this terrific event, all that is needed is you! Come visit us, Shop locally and Enjoy a Great Line Up of Local Talent: Tim Easterbrook, Elizabeth Raybee, Ramona Teagarden, Jeff Box, Caroline Radice, and More! I will have available - my new hand painted card sets, paintings and hand painted prints and fruit tiles. 'Tis the season, as they say! :) Looking forward to seeing you there! xoxox, Jaye (707) 272 1688 --
Jaye Alison Moscariello
PHRASE OF THE DAY
A SOUTH COAST reader says a young girl was overheard telling a friend how she turned down a date with a swarthy guy because "wore a bomb beard."
COMMUNITY SOLSTICE SING, Dec. 22 in Ukiah
Everyone is invited to join in singing songs of the season and songs of peace, hope, and light, on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 7:00pm. This is the seventeenth annual free community Solstice Sing hosted and led by Inland Valley Women's Chorus. This event will be held at the Mendocino Ballet, 205 S. State Street, in Ukiah. People of all ages, voices, and traditions are invited to sing along. The evening will end with hot cider and cookies. For more information, contact Madge Strong, firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 459-1493.
DESTRUCTIVE DROUGHT BILL MAY PASS
CALL SENATOR BOXER ASAP!
by Dan Bacher
Senator Dianne Feinstein appears ready to sign off on HR 2898, after negotiations with Central Valley House Congressmen that want to over pump the San Francisco Bay-Delta, according to an action alert from Restore the Delta (RTD).
“Californians have not seen the federal drought bill,” said RTD. “We need to make sure it does not harm our Delta estuary, which is on the verge of collapse in this extreme drought. Senator Barbara Boxer says she will NOT sign off on any bill that weaken existing federal protections. Call Senator Boxer ASAP.”
Senator Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553 Click to Tweet our message to @SenatorBoxer
Tell this to Senator Boxer: Senator Boxer, you promised us an open and transparent process in drought bill (HR 2898) negotiations. Northern Californians haven't seen the drought bill, now in it’s final stages, and we haven't been given the opportunity to comment on it yet. It’s our region that will take the environmental and economic impact of this bill. Please slow down the bill process, do not allow passage of this drought bill that has not been vetted in the light of day. We have a right to know how HR 2898 will impact the estuary, the fisheries, our farms, our home, and the source of our livelihood -- fresh water flows.
Today, Senator Dianne Feinstein released this statement:
“The bill that Republicans tried to place in the omnibus last week—in my name and without my knowledge—hadn’t been reviewed by me, Senator Boxer, the state or the White House. Each of those parties is key to coming up with a bill that can actually be signed into law.
“There were at least a half-dozen items in the bill that I had rejected and that would have drawn objections from state or federal agencies—some of them would likely violate environmental law. Several more provisions were still being negotiated and hadn’t been reviewed by state or federal stakeholders.
“We’ve worked hard all week to resolve these outstanding provisions, and I believe we’ve come to closure on virtually all of them. I expect that by early next week we’ll have a bill that the state and federal government can sign off on. At that point I plan to present the bill to Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell and discuss the best way to move the bill forward through regular order.”
In response, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, issued the following statement:
“Senators Feinstein and Boxer promised the people of California a drought bill that would be transparent. They promised us no secret negotiations. Senator Feinstein is assuring the public that she has worked out a good compromise with Valley Republican Congressional leaders who are seeking more and more exported water from the Bay- Delta estuary during this extreme drought. However, we, the public, have not seen what has been negotiated. Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer need to keep their word. The Bay-Delta estuary is on the verge of complete collapse as a result of over pumping as we enter the fifth year of drought. The people who live here will be greatly impacted with environmental and economic impacts it the estuary collapses. We have a right to know how this legislation will impact the estuary, the fisheries, our farms, our home, and the source of our livelihood -- fresh water flows.”
Need a refresher on HR 2898? See this Mercury News editorial, "Drought relief held hostage to trashing the Delta" about HR 2898. Mercury News wrote, "Central Valley Republicans want to strip out essential environmental protections for the Delta to quench Big Ag's thirst for more water for questionable orchard crops such as almonds and pistachios."
While Governor Jerry Brown has mandated that California urban users slash their water use by 25 percent, agribusiness has actually planted 150,000 NEW acres of almond trees during the drought. For more information, go to: www.eastbayexpress.com/...