- Wintery Weather
- K History
- Mendo Moon
- Lovers Lane
- Probation Chief
- Ukiah Driver
- Ed Notes
- Mario Wanted
- Overloaded Trucks
- Little Dog
- Montessori Charter
- Yesterday's Catch
- Zero Consequences
- Gun Narcissists
- Van Sale
- Masculine Men
- Power Suit
- Whale Watching
- Name That Bird
- Poaching Suspension
- Athlete Activists
HAIL, COLD, SNOW: Showers will spread south across the region Thursday morning and afternoon. Accumulating snow will be likely for elevations above 1000 feet. In addition, showers and isolated thunderstorms may produce accumulating small hail along the coast. Otherwise, clearing skies Thursday night will favor very cold temperatures by Friday morning. Additional showers and mountain snow will be possible this weekend into early next week. (National Weather Service)
A CAPSULE HISTORY OF CLASS K
by Pebbles Trippett
Sketches of the heartland — the Emerald Triangle — require that we go back to the beginning. Class K Code housing started with the back to the land movement in the early 1970s when city life was deteriorating, the Vietnam War was escalating and a whole generation of owner-builders was coming of age, seeking the peace of country life, living off the land in tune with Mother Nature, growing their own food and medicine.
The hippies from the cities moved to Mendocino County and made quite a name for themselves as owner-builders who staked their claims in the backwoods of the county and built their homes from trees on their own lands without expensive insulation or elaborate septic systems, which they claimed were unaffordable and unnecessary since they had outhouses.
The county responded by red-tagging large numbers of residents with extravagant requirements and fix-it notices that would have spelled the death of the owner-builders on their own land. So together, as a movement with human rights and property rights, they showed they were a hardy band of Anonforestlanders determined to stay. They launched United We Stand, raised their own funds at hoe-downs, hired a lawyer and went to jury trial with a unified community on board. Barry Vogel argued in court that 5 US Presidents lived with outhouses without hassle, were not red tagged for inconsequentials and went on to be President of the United States. What's the problem here?
A tuned in Mendo jury acquitted them: there was no crime, no civil violation, no wrongdoing. Owner builders were 'grandfathered in' and accepted as equal citizens. The question then becomes does the grandfathering end with that generation or does it extend implicitly to this day, roughly 40 years later? The Class K Code Housing exemption should remain as is, without fancy amendments in the name of public health and safety.
If there is any amendment it should clearly state that in keeping with affordable housing goals of the County's General Plan and the greater social good alongside health and safety, a Class K exemption remains in effect — (or whatever).
The visionary nature of the original owner-builders made the Emerald Triangle world renown due to their pioneering accomplishment of living off the land, growing their own food and medicine — cannabis was a staple — and defending their collective right to survive. Their spirit still lives among us, and the effects are factual. If Class K Code Housing is smothered by short sighted legislation with stringent requirements that wipe out an entire generation and class of people, most of us living here now will no longer be welcome.
Any legislation that dishonors and smothers the iconic owner-builders from the modern Mendo landscape puts the BOS on the wrong side of history, is doomed to fail and will follow you into the future. If Class K Code Housing ends with fatal legislation the Mendo BOS will never be forgiven for forcing out icons and treasured homes with outdated mean spirited discriminatory building codes.
MOON OVER MENDO by Annie Kalantarian
NASH GONZALES of the County's Planning and Building Department is shepherding the proposed sub-division at Lovers Lane just north of Ukiah. The EIR process is about to kick off. The project would rest on 24 acres and include 123 single family homes priced in the $350k-plus range.
PLANNING AND BUILDING is requiring the developer to provide a new project description with more detail plus an Inclusionary Housing Plan that meets the intent of the County ordinance.
THE DEVELOPERS of Lovers Lane, Guillon, Inc., are in negotiations to purchase the 45-acre Gardens Gate proposal the County approved years ago at the south end of Ukiah then delayed it into extinction. Guillon may be about to excavate it.
APPOINTMENT AND SWEARING IN OF IZEN LOCATELLI AS CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER
On Friday, February 23, 2018, at 11:30 am, the Honorable Ann C. Moorman will swear in Izen Locatelli as Chief Probation Officer for the County of Mendocino at the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Chambers at 501 Low Gap Road in Ukiah, California.
Mr. Locatelli began his career with the County of Mendocino in 2007 as a Juvenile Corrections Deputy and has worked his way up through the ranks in the County’s Probation department to the top slot of Chief Probation Officer. Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Locatelli chose to quote the immortal words of Teddy Roosevelt, “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” Mr. Locatelli hopes to bring a fresh outlook to Mendocino County Probation, and to uphold his duties with the upmost caution and care.
Presiding Judge Moorman commented, “The Court was unanimous in selecting Izen as the County’s next Chief Probation Officer and we are thrilled he accepted. He knows the department from the ground up. He is trusted by the rank and file as well as by management and government leaders across the county. He understands the importance the Probation Department plays in our community and he will bring fresh energy and vision to the department. He is a man of integrity, who believes in hard work and fairness. He will be a quality leader for many years to come.”
Human Resources director Heidi Dunham remarked, “It is always exciting to see a dedicated, long-term County employee move up through the ranks. I am proud of Mr. Locatelli and I am sure he will continue to be an asset to the Probation Department and to the County.”
For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.
Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer
DRIVER IN HIGHWAY 116 CRASH WAS UKIAH WOMAN
A driver who crashed Tuesday on Highway 116, suffering serious injuries and closing the highway in Forestville for 12 hours, was identified Wednesday by the CHP as a Ukiah woman. Anitza Urquiza, 31, was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
EVERYTHING THE SUPERVISORS have touched lately they've managed to hopelessly confuse, whether it's marijuana policy or the Class K Housing guidelines. The next botch job is merging the library, the County Museum and our County parks into one big pot of funding. It's not a good idea because it concentrates another pot of dough with the County CEO, a person with, ahem, unpredictably autocratic instincts who would be sorely tempted to use the one big pot of money as one more hammer with which to threaten County employees who incur her easily incurred wrath. THE LIBRARY IS, at last, more than adequately funded; its money should not be shifted around to subsidize other areas of local government. People voted for the library tax, not a museum or parks tax. The Museum could fund itself with some intelligent energy, which may have arrived with the recently appointed young woman now functioning as curator. Several of the County parks are so remote they don't need much but an occasional clean-up.
OR, as one of our readers puts it: "The biggest danger of this [proposed merger] will be the loss of the ability of interested people to assure that the dedicated funding of the library system (property tax and sales tax) is being properly spent. This is particularly important re pro rata share of property tax, which the county recognizes but chooses to account for as input from its General Fund—“operating transfers in.”
THE COUNTY AUDITOR responded to the Grand Jury's 2013-14 Report recommendation for an accounting system that differentiated between the General Fund and the Library’s dedicated tax revenues: “The ability for departments [not the unwashed public] to track their own transactions at different levels already exists within the County’s finance system. The Library can choose to track their funds separately through the use of “programs” or “projects."
A MERGER means that all revenue and expenditures will be lumped together in the published budget. The General Fund support of the Museum and Parks will be indistinguishable from the library’s property tax share. What about sales tax that is only for specific library purposes? How will they be able to track those expenditures?
COUNTY PARKS is already controlled by the CEO’s office. Folding the library into a department increases the CEO’s authority. The law governing the County Free Library system provides that “Each claim against the County Free library Fund shall be authorized and approved by the county librarian, or in his absence from the county, by his assistant. It shall be then acted upon in the same manner as other claims against the county.”
THE PROPOSED MERGER would not be good for the library system, which, by the way, unlike most county departments, includes the cities as well as the unincorporated areas of the County.
* * *
THE SIMPLEST THING throws the Ukiah City Council into a furrowed-brow tiz. Three years ago, the Council, after hours of Talmudic-quality discussion, decided not to pass a shopping cart ordinance. The "thinking" was, Heck, if we just ask nicely the shambling wretches will voluntarily return the carts to their proper retail venues. Apparently freshly aware that there are more people than ever shuffling up and down State Street with their belongings in retail store carts, Ukiah's hard-hitting government is again mulling over an ordinance to get them off the streets — the carts, not the people who steal them.
QUOTING some dithering City drone or other, the Ukiah Daily Journal wrote,“Staff worked with businesses on this voluntary compliance program, (but) cart theft has persisted and abandoned carts have accumulated in particular parts of town, causing visual blight."
BY THEMSELVES, shopping carts are merely one more addition to Ukiah's prevalent visual blight. At least they can be wheeled outta sight, unlike, say, Taco Bell. Moreover, overflowing with groceries, shopping carts can be considered mobile signs of abundance, pushed by happy consumers headed for their couches with family bags of potato chips. And even heaped high with the final belongings of a failed, ragged consumer the carts can have a certain poignant charm, like those oil paintings of weeping clowns.
THE JOURNAL CONTINUES: "And although an ad-hoc committee (consisting of Vice-Mayor Maureen Mulheren and Council member Jim Brown) created to discuss solutions to the shopping cart issue had been disbanded, city staff note that Mulheren and Brown have continued to discuss the problem as part of the city’s Homelessness Working Group."
HOMELESS WORKING GROUP! (Jesus Prayer optional here.) "Well, Brownie, how's it going with shopping cart control?" "Gosh, Maureen, I saw a couple down on South State. We better get an in-service going to look for new paradigms, doncha think?"
HERE'S WHAT UKIAH may do, not that they're about to rush into anything without another hundred hours of intense working group discussion:
- Require business owners to have their name and contact information on each cart.
- Require business owners to notify the public that removal of the cart from store property is not allowed under any circumstances and that unauthorized possession of a shopping cart is a violation of state law.
- Require business owners to submit a “shopping cart plan” that details how they will comply ordinance, including “how a business will prevent removal of shopping carts from its premises, how any shopping carts that are removed will be retrieved and how the plan will be modified if these measures do not prove effective.”
NOTE HERE that it's all on the business owners, not the people who steal the carts. Ukiah might consider expanding this strategy to include other classes of crime victims. Maybe car theft could become the owner's fault for possessing a vehicle, the liquor store clerk automatically guilty of public drunkenness, domestic violence sufferers responsible for provoking their attackers. The beauty of making victims responsible for their victimization is that they have fixed addresses. They can easily be located and fined.
I HAVE A COUPLE of ideas here that might be helpful. How about Ukiah-issued shopping carts, each with the name of a city councilman on it? "There goes a Scalmanini!" Or, "This cart sponsored by Jim Brown and the Democratic Central Committee of Mendocino County."
IF YOU LOOK carefully at the shopping carts already appropriated by the walking wounded, you will see some wonderfully innovative re-designs — third wheels, decorative pennants, upscale silk flowers. Ukiah could not only issue their own carts, sponsored by local luminaries, the town could award cash prizes to the best decorated cart! Hell, the City could even sponsor a shopping cart parade, thus putting some teeth in the 'far out' part of the town slogan, "Far out, nearby." (A consultant charged Ukiah twenty thou for that one. I was available for five.)
TEN MILE DUNES
(Photo by Judy Valadao)
HUNKER DOWN, ANDERSON VALLEY
"They were caught short. And they...weren’t as prepared as they needed to be,” California’s top emergency official said Tuesday of Sonoma County’s response to the firestorm.
MARIO LABRA GONZALES IS WANTED
- $500,000 Bail
- PC 187(A) MURDER (from 2002)
- Age: 37 years old
- Weight: 150 lbs
- Heights: 5' 7"
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Black
- Last known town/city: Jacksonville, SC
If you recognize this individual or have information which could lead to his arrest, please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at (707) 463-4086
A question that needs an answer! Lee Howard
TO: Carmel Angelo CEO County of Mendocino
Is the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers complicit with the prime contractors and sub-contractors in recover/cleanup with the hauling of waste debris? It is common practice for the trucks hauling debris away from the burn areas to be over loaded. The incentive to over load the debris trucks to the utmost is totally financial motivated and would stopped immediately if the Corp would only pay for the legal load. This would make our streets safer, less damage to the road surfaces and complies with the law.
PS. To Robert C. Rodriguez: I have received No response to the Calif Public Records Request below! As you see it was sent 2/7/2018.
California Public Records Request
Cal OES, Jodi Traversaro, Region Administrator, Coastal Region, 1340 Treat Blvd Set. #270, Walnut Creek Ca. 94597, Jodi.Traversaro@caloes.ca.gov
February 7, 2018
Dear *Custodian of records*:
Under the *California Public Records Act § 6250* *et seq.*, I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of public records that I believe your office maintains, List of all contractors that have worked on Fire Debris cleanup and removal with respect to the Cleanup and Removal on the Redwood Valley Complex Fire in Redwood Valley and Potter Valley Calif, Under Governor Brown Emergency Declaration and a Declaration of Health Emergency by Mendocino County. (Both still in effect)
If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $100.00. However, I would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the impact to the public from events associated with the records being requested. This information is not being sought for commercial purposes.
The California Public Records Act requires a response within ten business days. If access to the records I am requesting will take longer, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records.
If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law. Thank you for considering my request.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Spot's gotta get himself reconstructive surgery. Lost most of his nose in the balloon crash. Heck, what's a dog without a nose? "A real dumb dog," Skrag says, but who asked him?”
MONTESSORI DEL MAR
To the Editor:
Mendocino County’s K-12 education system is in trouble. Despite some excellent schools in the County, overall Mendocino County’s student achievement falls substantially below the average performance of students in California — 10-15 percent below California’s already low results.
Who is ultimately responsible for this? Well, finally we are all responsible.
However, the Mendocino County Board of Education, who has been elected by all of us and receives public benefits for its services must provide the leadership to fix this problem.
Are they serving our interests? Recently, in response to an exceptional performing school’s application for a County-wide charter, the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) has recommended that its board resist approval on the grounds that the charter, located in Fort Bragg, does not benefit the entire county. It seems that MCOE, and its board, need to reconsider exactly what constitutes a ‘County-wide Benefit’.
The school in question, Montessori Del Mar, has an outstanding record of performance — as measured by State tests — and currently serves students from two school districts. Yet, the school is struggling to gain a ‘County-wide Charter’ because MCOE seems unable to appreciate that all residents of Mendocino County benefit from our students performing at high levels.
We live in a rural county that occupies one of the largest geographies in the state. This means wide distances between population centers. It is short-sighted to suggest that a charter only be granted to a school that can somehow be geographically accessible to all residents in the County. Who can meet such a standard given the vast distances?
Yet, Montessori del Mar which has until now operated through the Mattole Unified School District is already serving a County population beyond its immediate location. It serves students from two school districts and can serve homeschoolers from all over the County with plans to serve expelled students in the County via independent study. It is far from an ‘elite’ school but accepts all students — as state law mandates — based upon a lottery system. It does not ‘cherry-pick’ top performers. In fact, it serves students with learning disabilities and other educational challenges. Yet, its student performance is still exemplary, and frankly should be championed.
How is it that all Mendocino County citizens do not benefit from these students doing so well? In fact, MCOE should be considering additional charters in an effort to bolster additional support for our children. While Montessori’s specific approach may not be right for every student, offering a variety of educational choices for our families makes perfect sense for our county. It is well understood that an area’s prosperity is in large part dependent upon the achievement of students in its education system.
It is true that Mendocino is a small, poor, rural county. Can we afford to use this as an excuse to continue the cycle of poor student achievement?
In his 2018-19 proposed budget, Gov. Brown has marked $55 million for county offices of education to better help school districts identify and help low-performing student groups. Brown stated “…Local empowerment. That’s what it’s all about. The age of micromanagement from Washington or Sacramento is over as far as I am concerned.” MCOE should follow the Governor’s directive to its logical conclusion and empower our parents—the most local level of all. Furthermore, California State’s reimbursements to this school should come to Mendocino County, not Mattole.
Let us provide our families with viable and successful educational options to ensure that all our students are well supported and cared for. Promoting programs such as Montessori del Mar will improve educational success and ultimately economic outcomes in our County.
Lisa Garza-Hillman and Rev. Paul Garza, Jr.,
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 21, 2018
NICHOLAS BLAKE, Ukiah. Sexual acts with child of 14-15 years and perpetrator is at least ten years older, continuous sexual abuse of child, lewd and lascivious with child under 14 with force, etc.
CHRISTIAN DAVID, Lake Charles, Louisiana/Ukiah. DUI.
MAURICIO DOMINGUEZ, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
JIMMIE ISENHART JR., Disorderly conduct-alcohol, indecent exposure.
ALAN LARSON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
KYLE MCNAMARA, Fort Bragg. Convicted of certain misdemeanors within ten yeas of owning, possessing or receiving certain items, probation revocation.
MICHAEL MERTLE, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
STEVEN RIVERA, San Marcos/Willits. DUI.
MANUEL SILVA, Willits. Domestic battery.
HENRY SUTHERLAND, Leggett. Domestic battery.
ELEA VANWORMER, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
LAND OF NO CONSEQUENCES
I’m a huge law enforcement supporter. I’m sure that everyone knows that the FBI was tipped off not once, but they were again contacted Jan. 5. Both tips gave the FBI the killer’s name and his own words about planning a school shooting. Local law enforcement people had been to his house 30 times regarding violence issues. So much for “If you see something, say something.” How pathetic.
The FBI seems to be more worried about politics and spying on American citizens via bogus Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants. So the FBI admits that it dropped the ball. But the political part of this sad event is that, on Friday, the Justice Department held a press conference bragging about indicting a dozen Russians who don’t even live in this country.
How obvious is it that this big announcement was orchestrated to divert America’s attention from the real issue: the FBI is responsible for the deaths of 17 young people as well as the destruction to their families and the other students who will live forever with the memories of the horrible event.
Only in America can politicians and elite law enforcement make these types of mistakes and not be punished. America, the land of zero consequences.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Now, as to the gun culture. Estimates vary as to how many guns there are in the United States, but in terms of households, as few as one-third have any guns in them. What’s more, the ownership is extremely lopsided. Estimates are that more than half of all guns are in the hands of just 3% of Americans — ‘super owners’ — who own an average of 17 guns apiece.
But this small and unrepresentative sample of Americans are very loud, very paranoid, and very fond of their pet theories. They see their hobby of collecting and shooting guns as necessary to the safety and functioning of society. Like any delusion, this false belief is held not only without evidence, but in spite of copious evidence to the contrary. The U.S. is an extreme outlier among developed nations in the number of suicides, homicides and mass shootings committed with guns. The simple equation, more guns equals more deaths, eludes them. Rather, like techno-narcissists who insist that problems caused by technology can only be solved by more technology, gun narcissists insist that problems caused by guns can only ever be solved with more guns. Hence, magical thinking.
Note asking price on old VW van. (Spotted in...the Haight!)
(Submitted by Steve Heilig)
WANTED, A REAL MAN (from the MCN chat line)
(1) "...I wanted to clarify one more thing. When I was referring to not being into guru types and preferring masculine men, I meant that as the type of man I would like to date. Maybe they are all taken."
(2) "Hello. I may be opening up a huge can of worms but I would like to know where people my age can find friends that don't drink or do drugs. I am 57 and have been in Fort Bragg for over a year. I am from Mn and am old school. I am not really into the spiritual guru types. I miss the days when men were more masculine. I find it hard to find female friends who are like sisters and don't judge or gossip. I might be a dreamer...but am I the only one? Hoping to open this up for discussion but please be kind."
“This next suit’s strength will surprise you — it draws incredible power from the impassioned voices of teen-agers seizing control of the gun debate in their country.”
POINT CABRILLO LIGHT STATION STATE HISTORIC PARK HOSTS
Whale Festival March 3rd, 4th, 17th and 18th, 2018.
MENDOCINO, Calif. — For one of the best spots for whale watching along the Mendocino Coast travel to Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park. The Lighthouse was built on a point of land extending westward into the Pacific Ocean to enable the light to be most visible to ships passing by. This extension makes Point Cabrillo a brilliant location from which to watch the migration of the Gray Whales between the lagoons of Baja Mexico and their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic Ocean.
Fun for all ages will happen March 3 and 4, and March 17 and 18, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Docents will be on hand with binoculars to help visitors find the whales swimming past. The curious may discover tidepool organisms without getting their feet wet by visiting the 250 gallon salt water aquarium at the Marine Science Education exhibit in the restored Blacksmith shop. Displays and trained docents at the Lighthouse and First Assistant Lightkeeper’s House will help illuminate what life was like for people living on or visiting the Point.
On this special occasion, PCLK volunteers and members of The Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer tours of the tower including the beautifully restored 3rd Order Fresnel lens for a donation of $5 per person. Children must be 42 inches tall to participate.
Come try your talent at assembling a life-size gray whale jigsaw puzzle. Discover how marine mammal rescue volunteers help stranded seal and sea lions along the coast. Explore local birds with The Mendocino Coast Audubon Society by joining their beginning bird identification walks starting at 9am from the upper parking lot at Point Cabrillo Light Station SHP each day of Whale Festival.
Weather permitting, Docents will lead walks to nearby Frolic Cove and relate the story of the Boston Owned Clipper Brig “Frolic”, wrecked off the cove in July 1850, bound from China to San Francisco with a valuable cargo of Chinese merchandise for the Gold Rush miners and their families.
The Lighthouse Gift Shop is the perfect place to find original artwork, fascinating books, and unique gifts.
About Gray Whales
Every spring, Gray Whales journey with their newborn calves from the protected lagoons of western Baja to their feeding grounds in the waters of the Bering, Chukchi and Arctic Seas. The whales migrating past Point Cabrillo belong to the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale population of roughly 20,000 to 25,000 individuals. These figures represent a strong recovery of the population since attempts to ban hunting of the Grays were initiated by international treaty in 1937. Most members of the Eastern Pacific Gray whales pass by Point Cabrillo twice; once on their southward journey from November to March, and with some returning north as early as February and others traveling through May. Newly pregnant females lead the northward migration, followed by males, and the last to leave Baja are usually females with new-born calves.
Directions To The Light Station
The Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park is two miles north of Mendocino and six miles south of Fort Bragg. Take the Point Cabrillo Drive exit from Hwy 1 and follow the signs. Festival activities are an easy half-mile walk from the parking area. Handicapped parking is available. A $5 per vehicle donation will be requested to support the PCLK’s educational programs. Bring warm, windproof clothing. We have binoculars to share. The Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park is a unit of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The Light Station is managed by the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association under a concession contract with State Parks.
For additional information, please visit www.pointcabrillo.org, or call the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce at 800 726-2780 or 707 961-6300.
"FEED MYSELF? You Gotta Be Kidding!"
(Photo by Harvey Reading)
COMMISSION SUSPENDS LICENSE OF CHARTER BOAT OPERATOR FOR POACHING IN MPA NETWORK
by Dan Bacher
The California Fish and Game Commission on February 7 ordered a five-year suspension of the license of Pacific Star Sportfishing, Inc., a recreational sportfishing vessel operator, for fishing in the “marine protected area” network created under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative and other violations.
They made the decision following oral arguments heard at the Commission meeting in Sacramento.
In an undercover operation and subsequent boarding by officers in 2013, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) wildlife officers observed 18 violations including poaching within California’s marine protected area (MPA) network, exceeding the possession limits of several fish species, using illegal methods to take fish and failing to report accurate counts on logbooks.
Based on these violations, CDFW filed an accusation with the Commission against Pacific Star requesting that the Commission suspend this commercial passenger fishing vessel license, according to Jordan Traverso of the CDFW in a news release.
“Illegal take of our marine resources, especially in MPAs, undermines the tireless work of law enforcement, scientists, the public and fishermen in California,” said Commission President Eric Sklar. “The Commission took ample time to review the department’s accusation and we hope this serves as a message that we do not take lightly these sorts of violations and will ensure those who are responsible receive the appropriate penalty.”
“The Commission’s decision today follows a two-day hearing in 2017 conducted by an administrative law judge on behalf of the Commission with CDFW and Pacific Star both participating. The judge ultimately proposed that the Commission suspend the license for two years, with only the first 90 days of the suspension taking effect so long as Pacific Star complied with certain terms of probation. The Commission rejected that proposal as inadequate and gave CDFW and Pacific Star each 15 minutes today to argue their positions, resulting in today’s suspension,” Traverso said.
I completely agree with the CDFW and Commission that poachers should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for fishing in the "marine protected area" network and other violations. However, they still fail to address the six “inconvenient truths” about the so-called “marine protected areas” created under the MLPA Initiative.
First, the marine protected areas created under the MLPA Initiative still fail to protect the ocean from pollution, fracking, oil drilling, oil spills, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts other than sustainable fishing and gathering.
In 2014, I called Zeke Grader, the long time executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations who passed away in September 2015, about a bill sponsored by Senator Hannah Beth Jackson to defend the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve from oil drilling, due to loopholes in both the California Coastal Sanctuary Act and the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. Grader, who supported the bill, pointed out how the very need for the bill “highlights what a failure the MLPA Initiative was.”
“If these are true marine protected areas, they why are we allowing drilling and other insults to the ocean in them?” asked Grader. “The whole MLPA Initiative was a phony process that provided an opportunity for Big Green and government bureaucrats to write press releases claiming these were ‘protected areas’ when in reality the fishermen and Tribes got screwed. We should have bans on oil drilling in all of the marine protected areas.” More information: www.dailykos.com/...
Second, the CDFW made no mention of the fact that Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and the head lobbyist for the expansion of fracking and other oil drilling in California, chaired the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called “marine protected areas” in Southern California. It’s no surprise that this “marine guardian” and her organization opposed Senator Jackson’s bill to protect from offshore drilling the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve that Reheis-Boyd helped to create.
In an apparent conflict of interest, Reheis-Boyd also served on the task forces to create so-called “marine protected areas” on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. More information: www.dfg.ca.gov/...
Third, the terminally flawed science and false assumptions of the process have never been addressed. Nor has a long-needed investigation of the role of a convicted embezzler, Ron LeValley, in creating the initiative’s “science” ever been conducted.
LeValley, who a judge sentenced to a 10 months in prison for conspiracy to embezzle over $852,000 from the Yurok Tribe, co-chaired the MLPA Initiative “Science” Advisory Team for the North Coast. More information: www.dailykos.com/...
Fourth, the state failed to appoint any Tribal scientists to the Science Advisory Team that oversaw the Initiative’s “science,” even though the Yurok Tribe said it could produce a panel of Native American PHDs to challenge the “terminally flawed science.”
Fifth, state officials, who had originally pledged to conduct a regional review of the so-called “marine protected areas” created under the MLPA Initiative every five years, reversed course and now are doing the reviews only once every 10 years, under their MPA Master Plan adopted in August of 2016. More information: www.dailykos.com/...
Sixth, to make things worse for fish, sea mammals and the marine ecosystem both inside and outside “marine protected areas,” Governor Jerry Brown expanded offshore drilling in state waters under existing leases by 17 percent between 2012 and 2016, according to an analysis by the nonprofit FracTracker Alliance. That’s right — Brown’s gas and oil regulators approved over 200 new offshore wells in Los Angeles and Ventura counties while Brown flew around the world to pose as a “climate leader” at international climate conferences.
According to the Fracktracker Alliance:
"FracTracker Alliance reviewed the data published by DOGGR on permitted offshore wells. (DOGGR refers to the Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources, which regulates drilling in CA). Using API identification numbers as a timeline, we actually find that it is likely that 238 wells have been drilled offshore since the start of 2012. The DOGGR database only lists “spud” (drilling) and completion dates for 71 – a mere 1.3% of the 5,435 total offshore wells. DOGGR reports that 1,366 offshore wells are currently active production wells. It must be noted that these numbers are only estimations, since operators have a 2-year window to drill wells after receiving a permit and API number.
Using these methods of deduction, we find that since the beginning of 2012 the majority of offshore wells have been drilled offshore of Los Angeles County in the Wilmington Oil Field (204 in total); followed by 25 offshore in the Huntington Beach field; 7 in the West Montalvo field offshore of Ventura County, and 1 in the Belmont field, also offshore of Ventura County. Additionally, the Center for Biological Diversity reports that at least 200 of the wells off California’s coast have been hydraulically fractured."
The FracTacker Alliance report is available here: https://www.fractracker.org/2017/02/more-offshore-drilling-ca/
The CDFW and California Fish and Game Commission won’t be able to truly implement the Marine Life Protection Act of 1999 until they finally address these outstanding issues that taint what passes for “marine protection” in California.
ANDREW BRANDT ON KAEPERNICK AND THE BUSINESS OF THE NFL
by Dave Zirin
This week I've got a podcast and an article for you. First, the Pod.
This week, we talk all things NFL — plus a new twist on the Lebron-Jordan debate — with Andrew Brandt, columnist for The MMQB and The Athletic and the host of "Business of Sports" podcast. Brandt details his time as an executive with the Green Bay Packers and dishes on whether or not the NFL is blackballing Colin Kaepernick.
Dave has some Choice Words for how LeBron James has, once again, flipped the script in terms of what we expect from our superstars. Our Just Stand Up Award goes to Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, for being far more presidential than the current person residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Our Just Sit Down Award goes to the racist fans who thought it was a good idea to yell at Washington Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly. As we move on from the football season — and further away to when Colin Kaepernick last played — we urge you not to forget the man who started this revolution of athlete-activists!