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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017

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Every approach of the Christmas season is marked by the preparations we make to celebrate the day. There are the people out shopping in their Santa Claus hats. Cars drive by with reindeer antlers fluttering. Your neighbors are busy hanging lights out front and inflating the reindeer and Santa balloons in their front yards. It is universal that people greet each other with good wishes. There are the presents to buy. The cards to write. The special foods to buy for Christmas Eve and then the day. And one’s family makes it a time to reunite and share the moment together. But none of these elements to celebrating the holiday quite captures for me the moment.

Why I love Christmas (pagan that I am) is because of the human voice in song. No other holiday observance comes close to Christmas when it comes to the human voice’s capacity in song to capture the best that there is about what it is to be alive. And, that voice in song is inherently progressive in its ability to express the human heart. So many Christmas songs give expression to the joy at hearing a sleigh bell, of standing in the cold night air feeling the first snow flakes fall on one’s head, or sneaking down the stairs to take a peek. So many, so many ways there are that at last, if only once a year, the gentler angels of our beings have license to give voice to simple things, precious things, without the moral or the admonition entering our thoughts.

Yes, it is the sound of the human voice in flight that makes me love Christmas. Sleigh bells ringing, are you listening?

Franklin Graham


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CHRISTMAS MEDICAL AID — 12/25, about 1pm. 35 year old male on Fitch Lane outside of Boonville with a heart condition (a-fib, per scanner) being picked up by CalStar chopper for transport to Ukiah (presumably, maybe SR).

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Same Old, Same Old: River Level At 3.73'

If we didn't know better we'd swear the upstream USGS river was "stuck" at 3.73' - that's the level recorded for the past three days - the same "discharge rate" (the amount of water flowing past the gauge) has been the same 45.3 cubic feet per second also.

If it remains like this, we'll send an email to someone from the USGS to have a look at the gauge. It's rare to have the same level day after day after day.

At any rate, the sandbar hasn't breached and has shown no sign of breaching as the water backs up and floods Highway 128. That roadway remains open, of course - at least as of Sunday @ 11:00 am.

Below are photos of the river and flooding taken this morning as well as the 10:15 am reading from the river gauge.


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THE OLD BUZZARD, Steve Sparks’ pal from his popular 3-Dot Lounge in Anderson Valley offers another in his insightful series: “Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching’. Buzzard reports, “From the popular fiction of John Wyndham and Stephen King to the work of Pulitzer- and Booker-prize winners like Cormac McCarthy and Margaret Atwood, the apocalypse and its aftermath have long provided fertile ground for writers. The Doomsday Clock is another touchstone of apocalyptic fear. Devised by scientists in 1947 as the nuclear arms-race began, it provides a representation of the threat of global annihilation. The clock started at seven minutes to midnight, and its hands have since been adjusted 22 times. The chart maps the publication of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic literature over the course of the clock’s 70-year history. The fears of scientists are often echoed in fiction: as the hands edge closer to midnight, more doom-laden stories appear. In January 2017 the hands were adjusted to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight, the closest they have come to catastrophe since 1953. Another wave of end-of-days literature may be on its way. But Happy New Year anyway!”

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “They gave me the day off. Surprise-surprise. I'm drinking egg nogs and just kickin' back inside by the fire.”

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KZYX'S $600k BUDGET is more than the entire combined Anderson Valley Fire and Ambulance budget. AV Fire and Ambulance's budget is a tangible work product reviewed line by line, bill by bill every month, with members of the public and staff reviewing and questioning everything, even the small expenses. Boonville's Fire and Ambulance Services also do a bottoms up budget review and revision in January of each year. For less than KZYX's $600k the AV Fire Department maintains five employees, 40 highly skilled volunteers with stipends, training, physicals, personal equipment, insurance, and expenses paid), more than 20 pieces of large fire apparatus and a full complement of admin and overhead to cover over 140 square miles 24/7 with medical responses, traffic and collision responses, and fire and search and rescue.

JIM UPDEGRAFF wonders: "As one who spent his life in banking the interest charge item on the MCPB budget jumped out to me. That has to be a loan – no way could you have that amount in service charges. But isn’t a statement of condition available? – that would show the loan. Also, the 990 which is available from the AG also would show the loan."

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WHEN CARMEL ANGELO congratulated the Supervisors the other day for their "courage" in giving themselves raises, I sought back over the years for example of real courage from generations of boards of supervisors. Pinches took a number of lonely stands for common sense, but that's as close as I got, and even Cowboy John's were hardly of the rescue-the-kids-from-the-burning-house courage. Political courage in Mendo is non-existent, with political courage defined here as a position that could cost you your job — in many countries your life.

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PINCHES to the rescue? The North County cowboy plans to run again for the Third District seat. So far, only a Willits school teacher, John Haschak, and pioneer Laytonville pot farmer, Pam Elizondo, a recreational candidate for forty years, have announced for the Third District seat. We understand that Fifth District supervisor Hamburg is shuffling off for some function with Sonoma County Clean Power whose drums Hamburg has been beating for a couple of years now. We also understand that Carre Brown is retiring while John Sakowicz has announced he will vie for her First District seat. Potter Valley's noble sons of the soil will certainly drum up a candidate as committed to virtually free water from the Potter Valley Diversion as Carre has been all these years; whichever candidate gets the popular Brown's nod is likely to become the next First District supervisor. Without Brown's anointment, poor old Sako is DOA. We keep hearing that Ross Liberty, formerly Ross Head, inland business guy known for reviving the old Masonite premises north of Ukiah may run for the Fifth District seat vacated by Chauncey, er, Hamburg. Liberty, unindicted car bomber Mike Sweeney, and Supervisor John McCowen teamed up to write the winning anti-pot backlash text contained in Measure B, which undid the late Richard "The One True Green" Johnson's Measure G. Measure G was aimed at making marijuana farms a "low law enforcement priority." Both measures passed; both reflected the shifting opinions of County voters who at first seemed to view pot pharming as relatively harmless then, as farms proliferated, gathered behind the antidote written by the three Ukiah caballeros, Sweeney, McCowen and Liberty. The late Johnson, ironically, was more committed to booze than weed, having once been arrested for riding his bike under the influence. Ted Williams, the impressive young family man from Albion best known as chief architect of Measure V, the successful County-wide initiative to curb use of herbicides on timber holdings, is officially running for the 5th District seat.

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(Christmas seems to have this numbing effect on the AVA.)

AS MSP points out, the Navarro has remained at its present level for days now. As MSP has also pointed out, when the Russian River backs up at its mouth, the sandbar is opened with a bulldozer.

THE MAKING of an American, 2017. Santa brought my grandson a Nerf gun, nunchuks, a basketball, Warrior's jerseys, nerf baseballs, Star Wars figurines, battery-driven desert combat vehicles.

A TOPLESS ACTIVIST from the feminist group Femen boldly tried to take the statue of baby Jesus from the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square on Monday but was stopped by police before she could get to it. According to a photographer on the scene, the woman shouted "God is woman," which was also painted on her bare back. The incident happened just two hours before Pope Francis delivered his Christmas message. Femen's website identified the woman as Alisa Vinogradova and called her a “extremist." Or, where exhibitionism meets more exhibitionism. This kind of thing would be cheered in certain Mendo "activist" circles.

ALL OF THE AGITATION, for years now, has not reduced drunk driving. A CHP officer who was killed by an alleged drunk driver on I-880 in Hayward overnight has been identified as Officer Andrew Camilleri. The 33-year-old officer leaves behind his wife and 3 children. The drunk is 22-years old. It's past time to install breathalyzers in all vehicles. Drunks wouldn't be able to start their death wagons. The technology exists.

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The California Highway Patrol says one of its officers died when a vehicle he was riding in was hit on a San Francisco Bay Area highway.

The California Highway Patrol says a 22-year-old driver who struck a CHP patrol car, killing an officer, was under the influence of alcohol and possibly marijuana while returning from a party.

Assistant Chief Ernest Sanchez said the driver was traveling at a high speed on Interstate 880 in Hayward when he slammed into the back of a CHP SUV parked on the right shoulder.

The officer killed in the crash was sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle when the incident occurred around 11.20pm Sunday evening.

Andrew Camillari

Sanchez identified him as 33-year-old Andrew Camilleri, a married father of three children.

The officer in the driver's seat suffered minor injuries and was released from the hospital shortly after medical staff treated cop's injuries.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. The CHP declined to release the name of the driver who hit the patrol car.

The crash shut down the highway's southbound lanes overnight.

A witness to the crash posted to social media a plea to help Camilleri's family, asking for online users to 'remember to give one another, the ones we love, the ones we know and the ones we don't, an extra moment today as we celebrate this fragile existence.'

'Anything you can do to help Andrew's family (wife and three children) is appreciated,' the post from Adin Stein reads.

Stein also setup a GoFundMe page in the wake of Camilleri's death, writing to the site: 'We are all devastated by the events and would like to do what we can to help Andrew's family on this Christmas Day.'

CHP identified the officer as 33-year-old Andrew Camilleri (pictured), a married father of three children

A witness to the crash posted to social media a plea to help Camilleri's family, asking for donations to help the family

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 25, 2017

Galindo, Harris, Jones, Maddox

SAMMUEL GALINDO, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, mayhem, criminal threats, parole violation.

KEVIN HARRIS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JACOB JONES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

THOMAS MADDOX, Willits. Domestic abuse.

Morales-Robles, Shepherd, Simpson

JESUS MORALES-ROBLES, Madera/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JACQUELINE SHEPHERD, Redwood Valley. Under influence.

STEVEN SIMPSON, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.

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Beginning five years ago (with local wildfires in 2012), KPFZ (88.1 fm, <>) became a critical source of live disaster coverage, responding to the immediate need for information to assist imperiled residents and travelers seeking timely knowledge of which way to go or where to turn for help.

During our latest catastrophe (the 2017 Columbus Day firestorms, a.k.a. FEMA’s “DR-4344”), KZYX similarly became the public's intermediary and emergency information provider, nicely explicated by Jeffrey Parker, MCPB’s General Manager, in the November edition of Mendocino Real Estate Magazine:

In Lake County, where many residents rely on cable broadcast and communication technologies, the local provider (MediaCom) was shut down completely for 32 hours, and many telephone/internet capacities were felled by waves of wildfire. Hastily evacuated KPFZ volunteers and seasoned programmers, by now all too familiar with the drill, began a week-long effort to keep our listeners apprised of up-to-the-minute reports from federal, state, and local official agencies and a multitude of new voices.

Some of Lake County’s nightowls already tuned to KZYX heard what was transpiring in Mendocino County well before the Sulphur Fire erupted over the hills outside Clearlake Oaks, swiftly overtaking the densly occupied shoreline enclaves to the south. Everything moved so fast, and spread so viciously that some residents were temporarily cut off from escape. Others drove through flames on rickety roads leading to the city, including our Amateur Radio program host, who headed straight for Lakeport to help launch the latest round of disaster broadcast services.

”For several days, with mobile and landline telephone, internet services and even electricity unavailable in Willits and many other parts of the county, radio was the only source of information for thousands of residents of Mendocino and Lake Counties,” said Parker.

On Laughlin Ridge, “… everything in all directions was burned, including poles that carried electrical power and many companies’ phone and data signals down the mountain from the tower’s attennas. Copper and fiber optic cables melted in the inferno, crashing cell and telephone services across much of the county, but the KZYX transmitter soldiered on … .”

In Lakeport, the local Fire Protection District’s wi-fi was down, as was KPFZ’s (both depending on cable). Luckily, nearby Lakeport Pizza offers free wi-fi and their AT&T connection was working, as were our phones and fragile broadcast technology. Likewise, our only transmitter – nestled in the peaks of Mt. Konocti – remained operational (whew!).

Throughout Lake County, online backup generators for critical public health and safety services (including communication) are relatively rare. FEMA’s Public Information Officers, heard on KPFZ’s subsequent Sunday afternoon Long-Term Recovery and Disaster Preparedness programs, explained that massive wildfires in the west had alerted the agency to funding needs for a whole range of backup power supplies. Acquiring that funding and filling that need is traditionally left in the hands of the County emergency management agencies, but federal and state funding programs recognize the importance of community-based “capacity building” and “public involvement” for multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation, disaster response, and long-term recovery support.

“Community engagement is the life blood of public radio,” said Parker. As one of the legal responsibilities of federally funded emergency management programs, the public is qualifiedly invited to participate in development and implementation of County-directed disaster response services, but the opportunity (and necessity) for public participation is clear. While our County’s Emergency Operations Plan, 21 years of age (predating smart phones, wi-fi, and the internet commons) is about to be replaced by an official “update” in early 2018, our updated Local Hazard Mitigation Plan is not due for release until Spring – with limited community involvement to press for inclusion of known high risk conditions not overseen by the top cops.

Lake County’s typical “cart before the horse” approach (and tightly controlled information sphincter) created a bureaucratically-compliant, lightly informative new Emergency Operations Plan – for which the grit and gristle are hidden in redacted text (and not much of it) found in its “annexes.” Because only the EOP itself requires official approval (by the local Disaster Council and then by the Board of Supervisors), additions and changes to the more specific annexes can be introduced in future without any further public awareness.

Providing and participating in “community engagement” for long-term recovery and disaster response capacity building is left to the “private sector” for everyone but the official agencies (law enforcement, fire and medical services, and approved affiliates). Educating ourselves and working together are empowered by newly galvanized open-source information providers, ably facilitated by non-governmental/non-commercial media providers* in both Mendocino and Lake Counties.

As Parker states, “KZYX reporters and programmers are collaborating with KQED’s California Report … Capital Public Radio in Sacramento … KALW in San Francisco … KRCB and KBBF in Santa Rosa, KMWR in Marin, KMUD in Humboldt, KPFZ in Lake County, and KGUA on the Mendocino south coast … to develop a news sharing and emergency support system.”

With the help of the worldwide web and good old fashioned radio, our chances of survival in the highly predictable enormities of future fires no longer depend solely on the limited resources of local government. Mendocino County has always been greatly informed by its many vocal activists and community service organizations. As Lake County's proverbial cart trundles unrestrained toward short-term “compliance” with agencies promising to fill its empty strongboxes, its unharnessed implementation engine – the public’s willing horse – is champing at the bit and ready for the uphill road ahead.

(See the 2017 Draft Lake County Emergency Operations Plan at check out the Mendocino County plans and publications at

Betsy Cawn, The Essential Public Information Center, Upper Lake, CAPS. Long live the AVA!

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I spent many decades working in the Private Sector where my responsibilities were to “get it done and save money doing it or I will find someone else who will”! We always got it done and earned lots of profits doing it. I work a part-time retirement job for fun for a Non-Profit business where they beg for money, accept donations for write-offs and get some from our services for pay. There is NO cost savings, good money gets thrown after bad, and a total lack of financial abilities is the rule of the day. I am also a member of our local government. Our Committee takes whatever it wants from a population of distracted, disoriented, uncaring taxpayers that are so far over their heads with their complicated and overly complex lifestyles that they simply just shut up and pay. The government laughs and berates the citizens and pisses away more money than a shipload of drunken sailors. My experiences of life over the course of my 63 years living it have proven beyond all doubt that things like money lose value when they do not have to be earned though human effort and the more that is accumulated, the less value they actually have for those that hold it. Unfortunately for humanity right now, the same holds true for human life. There are more than enough people around, perhaps too many, and those who use us all have less and less value for all of us as the population expands. This is a formula for real disaster.

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Whatever values the GOP once had are now boiled down to just one — money. Yes, the GOP has just paid its campaign donors back with the new tax bill. Now the GOP will go after the entitlements and safety net of the less fortunate.

Never again do I want to hear the word deficit uttered by the GOP. Let’s face it neighbors, the Washington swamp is alive and well, and the GOP is as corrupt as the summer day is long. We can only hope the midterm elections come before the GOP gets its hands on the laws that oversee the fair voting system that the county has built over the past 100 years.

Noel J. O’Neill


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If Israel wasn’t there, local Muslim despots would have to invent it. What a made to order distraction it is for the large population of excitable, frustrated, impoverished young Muslim men.

And a ready excuse too for the Muslim rulers. Remember, those guys are made of money:

Q: Why can’t more be done to alleviate the lack of health care?

A: Because the preponderance of our national effort has to be in countering Israel and helping our Palestinian brothers and sisters.

Q: Why is bread so expensive?

A: It’s because of the perfidious Jew. They insinuate themselves into everything.

Q: Why is corruption such a problem?

A: It’s a legacy of colonialism. See above answer about the perfidious Jew. Simple and honest Muslims are made to do things they don’t want to do by treacherous, deceitful Jews.

Conquer Israel, expel the Jew and happiness will reign. And, in the meantime, that blue and white Israeli flag flies in infuriating mockery from the hilltops, making fun of Palestinian manhood, demanding an answer.

And so Muslim rulers say yes, yes, go do Jihad, destroy Israel’s backers, go to the US, go to Europe, kill the infidels, but do jihad over there and not here.

Meanwhile the rulers run their rackets and get fat and happy.

It makes not a whit of difference whether the American embassy is in Jerusalem or on the bottom of the Sea of Galilee.

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(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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I’m spending time in Europe right now. While they certainly have their problems, one thing they did get right, probably as a result of being developed at a time that cars had not yet appeared on the scene, was the compact nature of their cities and towns.

It’s a pure delight to be able to walk on walk-able streets with tons of local stores everywhere. Produce stores, bakeries, fish markets, small pharmacies; block after block. The quality can’t be beat either. As well, their mass transit is a delight. It’s easy to travel by train or bus from city to city and within by metros, light-rails, buses etc. Why anyone would own a car here is beyond me.

And for those who do own cars, they are nearly all small compact cars. I haven’t seen a pick-up truck the entire time I’ve been here. Vans are reserved for business use and most are the small Ford Connect style ones. Lots of motorcycles, bikes, scooters, skates etc. I haven’t gotten to walk this much since probably the last time I was in Europe.

That said there are lots of tensions here; the presence of heavily armed military and police evident at shopping areas, public squares, train stations etc. It’s a very uneasy feeling here and I’m not sure what will happen next. They did get the use of land right though; no evidence of sprawl. Farmland is neatly kept and beautifully laid out. Would that we would have done as they did on this.

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‘JOSEPH AND MARY’ by Haven Kimmel.

(Click to enlarge)

They were probably undocumented, too, says my friend Sarah.

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The economic impacts of the October wildfires heads the list of the top 10 business stories in Sonoma County during 2017. See what else made the list.

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by Scott Smith

GOSHEN, Calif. (AP) — Unions have caught a whiff of a rare opportunity to organize a whole new set of workers as recreational marijuana becomes legal in California.

The United Farm Workers, Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers are looking to unionize the tens of thousands of potential workers involved in the legal weed game, from planters to rollers to sellers. The move could provide a boost to organized labor's lagging membership — if infighting doesn't get in the way.

The United Farm Workers, co-founded by iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez, says organizing an industry rooted in agriculture is a natural fit, and growers could label their products with the union's logo as a marketing strategy.

"If you're a cannabis worker, the UFW wants to talk with you," national vice president Armando Elenes said.

But United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents grocery store employees, meat packers and retail workers, registered its intent to organize cannabis workers across the country.

"We would hope they respect our jurisdiction," UFCW spokesman Jeff Ferro said.

Teamsters organizer Kristin Heidelbach said there's no need for unions to battle each other. There will be plenty of workers needing representation as small cannabis businesses run by "happy stoner" types give way to large pharmaceutical corporations, she said.

The green rush that begins in 2018 is an opportunity for unions to regain influence that began declining in the late 1950s, said David Zonderman, a professor of labor history at North Carolina State University. But discord between unions could upend it. As could resistance from cannabis business leaders.

"Are they going to be new-age and cool with it," Zonderman said, "or like other businesspeople, say, 'Heck, no. We're going to fight them tooth and nail?'"

Last year, California voters approved sales of recreational marijuana to those 21 and older at licensed shops beginning Jan. 1.

Cannabis in California already is a $22 billion industry, including medical marijuana and a black market that accounts for most of that total, according to University of California, Davis, agriculture economist Philip Martin. Medical marijuana has been legal since 1996, when California was the first state to approve such a law.

Labor leaders estimate recreational pot in California could employ at least 100,000 workers from the north coast to the Sierra Nevada foothills and the San Joaquin Valley, harvesting and trimming the plants, extracting ingredients to put in liquids and edibles, and driving it to stores and front doors.

Other pot workers have organized in other states, but California should be especially friendly territory for unions, said Jamie Schau, a senior analyst with Brightfield Group, which does marketing analysis on the marijuana industry.

The state has one of the nation's highest minimum wages and the largest number of unionized workers across industries. Its laws also tend to favor employees.

At least some workers say they're open to unions.

"I'm always down to listen to what could be a good deal for me and my family," said Thomas Grier, 44, standing behind the counter at Canna Can Help Inc., a dispensary in the Central Valley community of Goshen.

The dispensary — with $7 million in yearly sales — sells medical marijuana.

Called a "bud tender," Grier recently waited on a steady flow of regular customers walking through the door to pick out their favorite strain.

He said so far, no unions have contacted him. Grier gets along with his boss and said he doesn't want to pay union dues for help ironing out workplace disputes. But he hasn't discounted the possibility of joining.

After recently entering the marijuana industry, Los Angeles resident Richard Rodriguez said one sticky traffic stop three months ago converted him into a "hard core" Teamster. He'd never been in a union until this year.

Rodriguez said an officer pulled him over delivering a legal shipment of pot and detained him for 12 hours as he was accused of following too closely behind a semi-truck.

A union lawyer stepped in, and Rodriguez said he was released without being arrested or given a ticket.

"Most companies can't or are unwilling to do that," he said, "because employees are easily replaced."

(Associated Press)

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There’s an election coming up for Governor of California, if you can call it that. I’ll bet you that the liberal Democrats are at home sitting on their recliners, scratching their crotches, picking their teeth, smoking their joints, knowing good and well they’re going to get another liberal Democrat for Governor which will be Gavin Newsom. He’ll probably be worse than Jerry Brown, if that’s possible, which I doubt. One of the first things that Gavin Newsom wants to do is register and wait for two weeks or whatever to buy ammo. He wants to make California one of the most gun-safe states. The fact is that California is #2 in economic freedom, which is the worst thing that can happen. New York is #1. Both states are run by liberal Democrats. Economic freedom? Right. Uh-huh.

How are going to stop these liberals from running our country and our state? They have all those votes down in LA and the Bay Area where all the money is. Up here in the rural area we don’t have enough money to make anything work. There’s a nice gentleman from Southern California running for Governor but he won’t get the votes.

Pretty sad day coming up for us here in California. I guess we have to keep our chins up.

Good Bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


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New "The Twelve Days of Jerry" Christmas Song and Animation Show Jerry Brown’s Big Polluting Gifts To Dirty Energy Industry 

Santa Monica, CA—As Sempra’s Aliso Canyon natural gas reserve sprang another leak this week, reigniting nosebleeds and headaches among nearby LA County residents, Consumer Watchdog released an animation featuring Governor Jerry Brown and an updated "Twelve Days of Christmas" song highlighting his support for fossil fuels and dirty energy policies.

The remake of the classy Christmas song highlights that while Brown has circled the world as an advocate against climate change, he has stood behind the fossil fuel boom in California. Consumer Watchdog says that Brown’s last year in office should be focused on correcting past mistakes and his new year’s resolution should be to shut down fossil fuel infrastructure to truly address the cause of global warming.

Listen to the song and watch the animation here.




(Lyrics & animation by Consumer Watchdog, music & vocals by Linda Good)

Lyrics to "The Twelve Days of Jerry"

On the first day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: a stacked board of the PUC.

On the second day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

On the third day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: a three-billion-dollar nuke plant, power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

On the fourth day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: a fossil fuel boom, three-billion-dollar nuke plant, power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

On the fifth day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: needless refineries, a fossil fuel boom, three-billion-dollar nuke plant, power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

On the sixth day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: a cush job for his sister, needless refineries, a fossil fuel boom, three-billion-dollar nuke plant, power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

On the seventh day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: stopped regulating fracking, a cush job for his sister, needless refineries, a fossil fuel boom, three-billion-dollar nuke plant, power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

On the eighth day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: expanded offshore drilling, stopped regulating fracking, a cush job for his sister, needless refineries, a fossil fuel boom, three-billion-dollar nuke plant, power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

On the ninth day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: the biggest methane well blowout, expanded offshore drilling, stopped regulating fracking, a cush job for his sister, needless refineries, a fossil fuel boom, three-billion-dollar nuke plant, power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

On the tenth day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: fired safety inspectors, the biggest methane well blowout, expanded offshore drilling, stopped regulating fracking, a cush job for his sister, needless refineries, a fossil fuel boom, three-billion-dollar nuke plant, power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

On the 11th day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: more carbon emissions, fired safety inspectors, the biggest methane well blowout, expanded offshore drilling, stopped regulating fracking, a cush job for his sister, needless refineries, a fossil fuel boom, three-billion-dollar nuke plant, power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

On the 12th day of Christmas, Jerry gave to thee: cap-and-trade for kickbacks, more carbon emissions, fired safety inspectors, the biggest methane well blowout, expanded offshore drilling, stopped regulating fracking, a cush job for his sister, needless refineries, a fossil fuel boom, three-billion-dollar nuke plant, power line fires and a stacked board of the PUC.

Each stanza’s background:

  1. Stacked Board of the PUC: Every single commissioner who sits on the pro-utility Public Utilities Commission is a former top aide or appointee of the Governor’s with a history of pro-industry policies. The Brown Public Utilities Commission has granted unjustified rate hikes to major investor-owned utilities, supported the fossil fuel natural gas building boom and avoided public investigations into responsibility for utility disasters. See:
  2. Power Line Fires: Brown vetoed a bill last year that would have forced the PUC to prioritize utility mapping of power lines in hazardous areas to determine the clearing of brush near utility lines that sparked wild fires. PG&E is now under investigation for how power lines touched off wine country fires that killed 44 people and left thousands homeless. See:
  3. $3-Billion-Dollar Nuke Plant: Brown met with the CEO of Southern California Edison for two hours in February 2013, just a month vefore an illegal deal was struck between former PUC President Michael Peevey, now under criminal investigation, and an Edison executive assigning 70 percent of the $4.7 billion tab to ratepayers to close its leaky San Onofre nuclear power plant. Brown and his PUC backed the bailout deal despite the unethical and potential criminal conduct that led to it. Litigation over the settlement terms and the release of emails between Brown’s office and the PUC is ongoing.
  4. Fossil Fuel Boom: Oil drilling in California has risen 23 percent between 2009, the year before Brown was elected Governor, and the present. On Brown’s watch, ratepayers have been saddled with billions of dollars in unneeded fossil fuel-powered electric generating capacity, according to a Los Angeles Times investigation.
  5. Needless Refineries: Brown’s signature legislation, SB 350, upped the state’s renewable energy requirements, but sacrificed a provision to slash the use of petroleum in cars in half by 2030. Slashing the use of petroleum in cars would lessen demand for gasoline and thus the need for refineries in the state.
  6. Cush Job For His Sister: Sempra Energy, parent of Southern California Gas and Aliso Canyon gas reserve owner, has paid Jerry Brown’s sister Kathleen Brown more than $1 million in cash, stock and other benefits to serve on its board. Sempra has benefited from favorable treatment by regulators such as re-opening the Aliso Canyon natural gas reserve without knowing what caused the biggest methane blowout in US history.
  7. Stopped Regulating Fracking: Unlike New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Brown has refused to ban fracking. SB 4, California’s first law on fracking provided for minimal disclosure and passed only after a moratorium on fracking until it could be proven safe was dropped. It allowed the rubberstamping of fracking permits and mandated a study on the dangers of fracking whose results Brown has largely ignored. See:
  8. Expanded Offshore Drilling: Though Brown criticized the Trump Administration for allowing expansion of oil drilling in federal waters off of the California Coast, hundreds of permits have been issued for offshore oil drilling in existing leases in state waters under Brown.
  9. Biggest Methane Well Blowout: Brown has protected Sempra and its subsidiary Southern California Gas from public scrutiny via an emergency declaration on the Aliso Canyon well blowout. The carefully worded declaration assured the public that a PUC “investigation” was underway. The public would get only the results. The public is still waiting.
  10. Fired Safety Inspectors: In 2011, Brown fired two top oil well safety regulators at the request of Occidental Petroleum and its attorney Gray Davis. The regulators were trying to enforce rules on the books that required oil companies to prove their wells wouldn’t leak prior to obtaining permits, enraging them. Thousands of protected aquifers were poisoned as a result.
  11. More Carbon Emissions: Carbon emissions from the transportation and refining sectors rose in California last year despite a cut in carbon emissions of nearly 5 percent in 2016. A surge in hydropower in the wake of drought and more renewable energy coming on line was responsible for the cut, but not regulation of carbon emissions. See:
  12. Cap-And-Trade For Kickbacks: This year, when California extended its cap-and-trade program limiting carbon emissions via setting of limits and trading of pollution permits, Governor Brown allowed the oil and gas industry to write the rules maintaining so many loopholes and exemptions that the program is guaranteed not to work.

For more on Jerry Brown’s record on fossil fuels, see:



  1. Eric Sunswheat December 26, 2017

    “We also understand that Carre Brown is retiring while John Sakowicz has announced he will vie for her First District seat. Potter Valley’s noble sons of the soil will certainly drum up a candidate as committed to virtually free water from the Potter Valley Diversion as Carre has been all these years; whichever candidate gets the popular Brown’s nod is likely to become the next First District supervisor. Without Brown’s anointment, poor old Sako is DOA.”

    Carre Brown, has been a public face administrator for the power broker Pauli ag interests in Potter and Ukiah valleys.

  2. Harvey Reading December 26, 2017

    Re: “The technology exists”

    And has existed, for decades. Trouble is, they get someone sober to blow for them, as stupid as that may be.


    Does one laugh or cry at such an exhibition of stupidity and bigotry?

    Re: CHIN UP

    Not much to choose from I agree, and Newsom is pitiful, but Brown was better than the disaster Meg Whitman would have been, and Newsom will be better than any of the other backward, worker-hating trash the rethugs have to offer.

  3. Betsy Cawn December 26, 2017

    Post-mortem dissection of who did what, and when, during the 2015 “Valley Fire” in Lake County, is still unreleased by CalFIRE and CalOES. (Two reports published by CalFIRE are available on their website — the first includes a list of all affected parcels, the second investigated the fire’s alleged point of origin.)

    State and federal post-disaster services require their scrutiny of all kinds of spending, capacities, and results for years to come. The same process will require an order of magnitude more analysis and reflection for 2017’s massive catastrophes (and we thought 2015 was bad . . .). A critical issue for everyone, of course, is communications — ALERTS, WARNINGS, and EVACUATION ORDERS.

    Monday morning quarterbacks will always question the decisions made by officials, such as Sheriff Honea’s February 12 evacuation order for “thousands of people downstream of the Oroville Dam” ( More importantly, the reliance on human knowledge and decisive action — in the midst of chaos — is always the key, no matter what technology there is.

    In the pogrom to come (shedding the 21st Century population of poor/old/demanding-but-useless “baby boomers”), those whose lives have been built on local self-sufficiency and community interdependence will find themselves “out of the loop” when information is available only to those with expensive portable “devices.” We will be lost without shared open sources of real-time information (including sirens — which appear to have been jettisoned by “forward-thinking” chambers of commerce anxious to assure the outside world that Mendocino and Lake Counties are just as up-to-date as Kansas City.)

    Don’t worry, be happy:

    Long live the AVA!

  4. Harvey Reading December 26, 2017

    Re: CHIN UP Addendum

    And rethugs like their drugs, too. I wouldn’t be surprised but what Wyoming, on a per-capita basis, has as much alcohol and other drug use as California.

  5. james marmon December 26, 2017

    “We can only hope the midterm elections come before the GOP gets its hands on the laws that oversee the fair voting system that the county has built over the past 100 years.”

    Yeah Noel, old buddy, we don’t want those dirty GOPs changing our fair voting system by prohibiting non citizens from voting, that would destroy the democrat stronghold, especially in Cali.

    Just say no to voter I.D.

  6. chuck dunbar December 26, 2017

    Thank you, Franklin Graham, for your short piece today honoring “the human voice in song.”

  7. Jim Updegraff December 26, 2017

    Bruce: Sunday and Monday were the Lord’s Day therefore i can report to you regarding MCPB loan. I have a lot of questions on this loan – Is a term liquidating loan or a revolving line of credit. Was this loan made without approval or knowledge of the Board. What bank holds this loan – local or a branch of a bank located out the county. Are there sections in the by-laws regarding the borrowing of money. Were they adhered to. Is the loan secured. Is the security equipment and or A/Rs and has a security agreement been filed with the county recorder. If so, the filing is public and you review the filing.

    On some other matters, the proposal budget should have also included a monthly projection. In the month after the quarter (Jan, April, July and October there should be a report by management on the budget, cash flow, and statement of condition and cash flow condition, there also should be the same reports for the year to date.

    I also, have additional questions about management which I will make at a latter date.

  8. Bruce Anderson December 26, 2017

    Much appreciate an expert assessment of this budget. Thanks.

  9. Eric Sunswheat December 26, 2017

    The notion of pensions – and the idea that companies should set aside money for retirees – didn’t last long. They really caught on in the mid-20th century, but today, except among government employers, the traditional pension now seems destined to be an artifact of U.S. labor history.

    The average life expectancy in 1950 was 68, meaning that a pension had to pay out only three years past the typical retirement age of 65. Today, average life expectancy is about 79, meaning that the same plan would have to pay out 13 years past typical retirement.

  10. Nate Collins December 28, 2017

    CHP remind me why law enforcement should be lauded by all for the risks they take on our behalf to keep us safe.

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