- Wet Forecast
- Panther Protest
- Big Splash
- Coach Kuny
- Little Dog
- Consultant Marbut
- Canna Numbers
- Charles Swehla
- Hello Tabatha
- June Election
- Eyster Endorsement
- Poacher Convicted
- Urchin Removal
- Negie Prelim
- Hat Heist
- Topel Sale
- Yesterday's Catch
- California Quandary
- Damn Liberals
- Signature Change
- Nondisclosure Agreements
- F&G Agenda
- Troubled Kids
- American Violence
- Fire Sprinklers
- Political Creed
- Offshore Myth
- Marco Radio
STORM DOOR OPENS! (Somewhat, belatedly)
Starting on Monday, Northern California is in for a string of rain-days for the rest of the week. Two or three inches of rain is expected to accumulate by next Sunday, March 18. Temps will be in the 40s and 50s with breezy conditions.
MARSHALL NEWMAN NOTES: Here is the current US Drought Monitor map for California. Interestingly, the only area not considered at least “abnormally dry” is the North Coast, including Anderson Valley. One would never know it by our lack of rain this year, but AV appears better off than much of the state.
ANDERSON VALLEY WILL WALK
My name is Maya Kehl and I am a senior at Anderson Valley High School. On Wednesday, March 14, students will be doing a walkout in protest of school shootings. It will start at 10:00 and last 17 minutes to honor the 17 victims who lost their lives in the recent Parkland shooting in Florida. I was asked to contact you to try and get someone from the AVA to come to Anderson Valley High and cover the event. I understand that this is short notice, but we would appreciate it if someone could make it! Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you. Sincerely, Maya Kehl
NOYO JETTY WITH ACTIVE WAVES (photo by Judy Valadao)
JUST IN: Dan Kuny tells the AVA that he has been officially hired as Coach of the Potter Valley High School football team. Kuny, the logger who amazingly survived a widowmaker a couple of years ago and was previously Anderson Valley's popular eight-man football coach, is looking forward to the next fall's season with about two dozen kids having already applied. Could be very interesting when Kuny brings his new team back to Anderson Valley.
SKRAG SPEAKING. “I catch the mutt today gazing at a photo of Stormy Daniels. ‘Oh,’ he says, ‘It's International Women's Day, and Stormy's my favorite woman!’ That was yesterday, dummy, and if you aren't the dawg to end all dawgs!”
HOMELESSNESS CONSULTANT TO PRESENT MENDOCINO COUNTY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS MARCH 15
The Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care and the Health and Human Services Agency Adult and Aging Services Home Team will announce the report out of data collected by homelessness consultant Dr. Robert Marbut on Thursday, March 15, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The opening introduction will be given by Dan Hamburg, 5th District supervisor and chairman of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.
Marbut has been working with HHSA staff, in collaboration with multiple agencies, including the cities of Ukiah, Willits and Fort Bragg, to assist in gathering and interpreting local data to better understand the homelessness concerns of Mendocino County.
The presentation will be held live at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, 200 S. School St., Ukiah, with video conferencing at Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, 101 N. Franklin St., Fort Bragg, and at Mendocino County Social Services, Atlantic Conference Room, 472 E. Valley St., Willits. All interested community members are encouraged to attend, and walk-ins are welcome.
In the months following the presentation, partner agencies will meet to delve into the recommendations and decide on mutual strategies to help more homeless get housed and lessen the impact of homelessness on our county.
To receive an emailed copy of the data report and PowerPoint, you may register online at: mendocinohomelessreport.eventbrite.com.
For more information, please contact Brian Klovski at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 467-5881
* * *
MENDO PAID HOW MUCH FOR THIS?
Excerpts from Marbut’s $47,404 contract.
CONTRACTOR shall provide the following services:
I. Phase 1 - Inventory of Services (One trip):
A The Consultant will review data provided by County, and then inventory and ascertain information about the types (qualitative) and volume (quantitative capacity) of services provided in the County of Mendocino.
- The Consultant will complete:
- Inventory of shelter bed and mat units, transitional, recovery and longterm services
- Inventory of supportive services - types and volume of service (quantity and quality)
- Inventory of preventative services (e.g., utility assistance, rental assistance, etc.)
- Consultant will meet with leadership from the County, City, and various service providers
- Phase 2 - Needs Assessment (Two trips):
A Using the above information as well as local statistical information including the Point-In-Time Count, the Consultant will conduct in-depth interviews with key service providers and stakeholders to include the following:
- Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
- City Councilmembers and City Managers
- City Law Enforcement and the Mendocino County Sheriff
- Judges, Public Defenders
- Representatives of the business community through merchant and realtor associations
- The Community Foundation of Mendocino County,
- Medical Providers and Street Outreach staff
- Service providers such as Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, Plowshares, Ford Street Project, Redwood Community Services
- First responders
- Mendocino County Office of Education (Mckinney Vento Liaison)
- Family Resource Centers
- Faith groups who serve the Homeless
- Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care (MCHSCoC)
- Consultant will conduct a Gap Analysis of services between inventory and needs.
- Activities of Phase 1 and Phase 2 may overlap.
Ill. Phase 3- Development & Framing of a Draft Action Plan:
- The Consultant will prepare a draft action plan to include identified gaps in service needs in each area of the County based on critical homeless subpopulations, recommended reprioritization, and potential service augmentations for the community to reduce gaps in homeless services, potential funding recommendations and resources for an improved homeless services continuum in the community.
- Consultant will perform strategic framing of the Action Plan, including inperson or tele-conferencing with elected officials, businesses, faith-based entities, civic groups, educational groups and other agencies.
- Phase 4 - Findings and Recommendations (One trip):
- The Consultant will present the draft Action Plan to Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) leadership and the MCSHCoC for comment and discussion. This phase will require the Consultant to conduct numerous briefings and forums throughout the County to government staff, elected officials, businesses, faith-based entities, civic groups, educational groups, and other agencies, including convening a homeless summit.
- Complete and Present Draft Action Plan (One trip):
- The Consultant will complete and submit the Draft Action Plan to HHSA. The Consultant may be requested to present the Draft Action Plan to the MCSHCoC or other community memb~rs.
- HHSA Leadership will review the Draft Action Plan before it is finalized and will advise Consultant of any additional changes required before the Plan is considered final. Once finalized, the Consultant may be requested to conduct in person presentations of the final Action Plan with entities involved in the above-referenced phases, elected officials, businesses, faith-based entities, civic groups, educational groups, other agencies and community members. Approval of the Action Plan does not obligate HHSA to implement its recommendations.
COUNTY will pay CONTRACTOR as per the following instructions:
A Payment will be made for satisfactory provision of services as defined in Exhibit A, Description of Services. Description Cost Total
- Activities as described in Exhibit A
$7,901.25 Per Month
Each trip will include at least three days within Mendocino County For 4 Months
(Oct 2017-Jan 2018)
- Optional 1 month extension (as determined by HHSA Leadership) February 2018 $7,901.25
- Optional 1 month extension (as determined by HHSA Leadership) March 2018 $7,901.25
* * *
ED NOTE: The next question they might have asked: How much homeless shelter would that nearly $48,000 have paid for?
“CANNA NUMBERS” is a series of charts presented periodically to the Board of Supervisors. The following charts will be presented to the Board on Tuesday afternoon: 2018 Canna Numbers-2
So, 800 permits were applied for in 2017.
62 more in January and February of 2018
Almost 550 were applied for in the first two months of the program in May and June, then, not surprisingly, permit applications dropped off dramatically. Averaging around only 30 a month for the last seven months.
LOTS OF QUESTIONS arise with this steep downward trend: What happens to all the high-paid pot permit staffers when the program is so complicated that very few people are willing to try to apply? Why don’t they report on how many permits were approved? How many were denied and for what reason? How many went on to get state licenses? How many are actually operating and paying taxes? How big is the budget deficit being created by having hired lots of pot permit staffers but not having many applications? What’s the staffing plan for the next couple of years? How long will it be before somebody says, “I think we should take a new look at this.”
PREDICTION: None of these questions will arise, much less be answered as the County’s impenetrable pot process slowly grinds on and collapses of its own weight.
CHARLES CUSTER "CHARLEY" SWEHLA
He graduated from North Hollywood High School in 1951 and joined the United States Navy. He served on the U.S.S. Merrick during the Korean War. He was an engineman and his job was to make fresh water.
After the Navy, he traveled on a bicycle through Europe, where he had many adventures that provided stories for a lifetime.
He met his partner for life, Nancy, at a Valentine's Day mixer at Hollywood Presbyterian in 1960. They married just five months later on July 9th. In 1974, Charley and Nancy moved from Sylmar, California, to Fort Bragg, California.
Charley was an installer/repairman for AT&T in both Los Angeles and on the Mendocino Coast. He loved meeting people through his work and was known by many.
Second to his family, Charley loved plants. He was a gardener in his free time and after he retired he had his business, Swehla's Greens. His work with flowers brought him and others much joy as he shared his plants with many people. His legacy continues in the flowers he shared all over the coast.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Nancy. He is survived by daughter, Beth, Philo, California; son, David (Robin) Sacramento, California; daughter, Anne (Michael) of Stockton, California; grandchildren, Sydney, Emma, Daniel, Aaron (Ashley) Wolfe, Sean (Shannan) Wolfe and Holly Wolfe and four great-grandchildren. He will be remembered by his many family members and friends.
A memorial service will be held at Mendocino Presbyterian Church on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. The wearing of suspenders is encouraged but not required.
Donations may be made in Charley's name to American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 96 in Fort Bragg, Mendocino Presbyterian Deacon's Ministries or the Fort Bragg Food Bank.
Arrangements are by Chapel by the Sea.
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to attend a City Council Reception in honor of incoming City Manager Tabatha Miller on Monday, March 12.
Read the press release: city.fortbragg.com/Archive.aspx?ADID=847
JUNE 5 CANDIDATE LIST: IT’S OFFICIAL
From: Mike Geniella
Subject: Eyster & third term
The fact that there is yet again no challenger to DA Eyster’s bid for a third term is a testament to his rigorous work ethic, and his determination to establish clear prosecution policies and bring transparency and professional discipline to the district attorney’s office. The results after two terms in office are clear to the public, and the legal community.
Yes, I am his spokesman but these words are my own. He's probably among the ablest public officials I've seen up close.
AB POACHER CONVICTED
UKIAH, Friday, March 9. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations this afternoon with guilty verdicts on two of three Fish and Wildlife-related charges.
Eric Michael Lane, age 29, of Antelope, was found guilty by the jury of unlawfully taking abalone for commercial purposes, a misdemeanor, and unlawfully taking abalone out of season, also a misdemeanor. The jury was unable to come to a unanimous verdict on a third count charging the defendant with criminal conspiracy, a felony, so a mistrial was declared as to that single count.
Despite a new trial now scheduled for May 8th to resolve the conspiracy count, the entire matter will still undergo a standard post-trial review overseen by the District Attorney receiving input from senior staff prosecutors.
The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at this week's trial was Deputy District Attorney Tim Stoen. The investigating law enforcement agency was the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The judge who presided over the four-day trial was Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Clayton Brennan.
THE PROCEEDS WILL GO HERE
2018 Abalone Cook Festival Information
This is a description of where the proceeds from the 2018 Abalone Cook Festival will go. By eradicating the Sea Urchins, it will allow the Abalone to re-establish.
We leave the Red Urchins (bigger, black in color, alone on the rocks near the end of the video) and target the Purple Urchins only. Each day we see improvement in efficiency and numbers taken, conditions being the same...not so for low tide, or lon duration swells.
We hope to be able soon to predict the time, cost and area better for future estimates, but the entire cove will be the first goal, w/ several acres cleared near this cove in the future. It's a first, and some 'experts' say it can't be done. That makes me try harder. Harry Barnard, seen jumping in, is great to work with. He's just a kid @ 62.
Sad thing is the dead Abalone, swarmed by Purples and upside down...never happened in the past. I think they are so shriveled up and weak, surrounded and starved by the hordes of Purples, they neither eat or breed. Without Kelp, the fishery will die out as we know it, so I'm dedicating the rest of my life to change that. It's a long road ahead...
Purple Sea Urchin Removal Caspar N Feb 2-3 2018 – YouTube
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING COVELO WOMAN
COURT UPDATE POSTED FRIDAY
MSP noted the following posted to the "Help Find Khadijah Britton" Facebook page:
"Today's court showed progress!! Although Negie is pleading not guilty of his present charges and his attorney tried to waive the new charges against him saying she didn't have enough information the DA stepped up and so did the judge. The judge told her that under a penal code she is to communicate with THE DA to get what she needs therefore Negie new charges are to be added to his case and the preliminary hearing is to be held on (Friday) March 23 at 10 am same courtroom B.
And a preliminary hearing (Thursday) March 15th at 9 am
My heart aches for you Connie Hostler and all the family. My prayers continue . I love you all so much. Lord, please bring our girl home ????????????
We love you khadijiah
*This is the understanding that I got from being in the court room!"
On Wednesday, March 7, Fort Bragg Police Department was advised by an off-duty Fort Bragg Police Officer about a possible gang fight in the area of Chestnut Street and South Sanderson Way.
The off-duty Officer observed Emmett Williams, age 18, and three juvenile males surround the juvenile victim who was wearing a hat with red lettering. Emmett Williams forcibly removed the hat from the victim and then shoved him onto the street.
When the officers arrived on the scene, Williams and the three juveniles were seen standing in front of 1109 Chestnut Street. Williams and the three juveniles began to enter unit B. One juvenile was advised to stop via the P.A. system. The juvenile complied and returned to the sidewalk.
Williams then exited the residence. Williams was advised to show his hands at which time he stuck both hands into the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt. Officers advised him to remove his hands from his pocket but he did not comply. Williams was taken into custody.
Williams and the juvenile were placed in separate patrol vehicles.
Officers conducted a sweep of the residence and located the other two juveniles inside the residence. Williams and the three juvenile males were arrested and transported to the Fort Bragg Police Department to be booked.
A search warrant was obtained to search the residence in an effort to locate the victim’s hat. Officers located gang indicia inside the residence tying the suspects to the Sureno street gang, however, the victim’s hat was not located.
Williams was charged with robbery, conspiracy, and resisting arrest and was transported to the Mendocino County Jail.
The three juvenile males were charged with robbery and conspiracy and were transported to Juvenile Hall.
The Fort Bragg Police Department would like to ask the public to please call (707) 964 0200 if they have any information relating to this matter.
Anonymous information can be left on our Crime Tip Hotline at (707) 961-3049.
DRUMBEATS, GETTING LOUDER
Winery for sale, reasonably close to AV.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 9, 2018
SCOTT BANNAN, Leggett. Failure to appear, resisting.
JOHN BECK, Bucoda, Washington/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SERGIO ESPINOZA, Ceres/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ANTHONY FIELDS, Fort Bragg. Vandalism, probation revocation.
DAVID GIUSTI, Fort Bragg/Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, trespassing.
ANDREW HOLM, Ukiah. Under influence, probation revocation.
DANIEL LUCKMAN, Laytonville. Discharging firearm in grossly negligent manner.
STEPHANIE MILBERGER, Clearlake/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Controlled substance.
MARIO PONTELLO, Lucerne/Ukiah. Trespassing/refusing to leave, probation revocation.
ERNEST SALO, Fort Bragg. Under influence, controlled substance, stolen property, criminal threats, resisting.
JAMES SOUZA, San Francisco/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
EMMETT WILLIAMS, Fort Bragg. First degree robbery, conspiracy, resisting.
MICHAEL WILWERDING, McKinleyville/Fort Bragg. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.
by James Kunstler
That crusty ole rascal, Gov. Jerry Brown of California, seems to be enjoying his sunset journey into Civil War Two or maybe the destination is more like Blade Runner (since we know that history only rhymes but does not repeat). Anyway, it’s not a good place. The once-golden state begins to look something like what one federal official recently called — dare I say it? — a shithole.
A mix of used hypodermic needles, human feces, and other trash litters the streets and sidewalks in a large section of downtown San Francisco, a local news outlet reported Sunday night. It’s a problem that has grown by epic proportions in recent years and has many concerned for the health and safety of some the city’s youngest residents….
— The Blaze
Yes, quite literally. This particular failure of the political Left started in the 1970s when states began aggressively shuttering their large mental hospitals. Many of these institutions dated from the late 19th century — ghastly old gothic revival warehouses for the mentally ill, fraught with overtones of abuse and neglect, scenes out of Vincent Price movies… lightning flashes through the barred windows… a scream in the night… hysterical laughter echoing down the dark, tiled hallways….
They were an embarrassment, for sure, and certainly an affront to liberal sensibilities. But, of course, they fucked up the remedy for that. Instead of replacing the giant old state insane asylums with smaller, better-managed institutions, they just released the inmates under the rationale that they were a politically oppressed minority group. And there it ended.
And so here we are, going on a half-century later, with an economy that manufactures failure and immiseration at a greater volume than its other finished products, and many more lost souls out on the city streets, and now we are an even more ideologically inflamed society than we were in 1973, with the ranks of intersectional oppressed minorities and aggrieved victim groups grown into virtual armies-of-the-night — and the mentally ill just lost in the crowd.
It never seems to occur to anyone that a mental hospital can be run humanely, at an appropriate scale, and that these poor, sad creatures might, at least, be better off there with a bed, a bathroom, and somebody to check in on them daily than they are wallowing in the gutters of San Francisco and other cities. Surely there are up-to-date models in other lands for this kind of caretaking — if maybe we sent a few bureaucrats overseas to have a look.
But that’s not how we roll in this exceptionally greatest of great polities. After all these years, it’s hard to avoid concluding that Americans just prefer melodrama to any other form of behavior, including problem-solving. Melodrama is colorful, fun, and absorbing. It’s just another kind of show business for a people conditioned to see everyday life as a TV series they star in. So kick back and enjoy the homeless show, because its more entertaining than doing the right thing.
Likewise, the sanctuary city show, a shamelessly sentimental exercise in virtue-signaling at the grand scale, larded with little bits of dishonesty, such as the tag “undocumented” for people here illegally, as though their status was the result of some clerical error. Gov. Brown declared war, more or less, on the federal government last week after a fracas in Oakland where mayor Libby Schaaf rode through town like Paul Revere crying that the ICE teams were coming to make arrests. That riled Attorney General Jeff Sessions enough to start filing lawsuits against this nonsense.
But the Department of Justice faces a big quandary. How are they going to make a big stink over enforcing US immigration laws while they ignore US drug laws vis-à-vis the twenty-nine states that have legalized marijuana use in one way or another? In a number of these states, marijuana production is now a major industry, with substantial political influence. AG Sessions has made noises about cracking down on the marijuana trade, but he hasn’t done a damn thing about it because he can’t. The state tax revenue alone is too large to be meddled with, never mind popular opinion.
If the AG had a brain in his head instead of the CB radio that’s implanted there, he’d realize that the answer is to lean on congress to de-list marijuana as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. Or to write a simple law leaving the question to the states. Of course, the intelligent thing would be to put an end to the melodrama called “The War on Drugs.” Just like the intelligent thing would be to place the homeless mentally ill in caretaking sanctuaries, call them what you like.
I really don’t see how Mr. Sessions can assert federal jurisdiction over illegal immigration without resolving the marijuana question.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
Peter La Follette found out months after the fact that his ballot was rejected because his signature on file didn’t match the one on his ballot. One thing each of us can do immediately to ensure that our votes count is to take an objective look at our own signatures.
Over time, many signatures change due to injuries, various conditions and eyesight problems. Ours have changed considerably since we were young. I jammed a finger in a fall and can’t hold a pen the way I used to. My husband’s signature is nearly unrecognizable. So we went to the registrar of voters office and changed the signatures on our registration cards.
We sometimes drive over to the registrar’s office to turn in our ballots in person and have an employee watch as my husband signs. The staff is very patient and courteous. It’s just common sense and quicker than a lawsuit or waiting for a new bill to become law.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The President denies sexual relations with that woman.
But Stormy Daniels persisted and is speaking out. Good for her.
The whole affair is tawdry and sordid, in so many ways below the dignity of the presidency. If Trump did cheat on his wife, it would not come as much of a surprise, given his history: he cheated on his first wife with the second, and then fed the story to New York tabloids to humiliate her. A loyal, chivalrous man he is not.
But were the Stormy Daniels allegations simply about an affair, they would reflect poorly on him, but wouldn’t be particularly relevant to his current office.
What’s different here is the systematic silencing of women. Nondisclosure agreements are too often leveraged against people who have little ability to refuse to sign them — often employees trying to settle sexual harassment complaints, for example.
They paper over serious problems, and allow harassers and abusers to behave with impunity. In Trump’s case, the problem is less the affair allegations than the allegations of $130,000 in hush money and threats to keep a woman quiet.
But women are not keeping quiet anymore. We are organizing and supporting each other.
THE AGENDA FOR THE NEXT FISH AND GAME COMMISSION MEETING
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 6:00pm
Note the new Ukiah location: Mendocino County Farm Advisor Building/Ukiah UC Davis Extension Building, Conference Room; 890 North Bush Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
Also of note on the Agenda, the 2018 Meeting Schedule will be reviewed and possibly revised due to loss of Fort Bragg regular meeting location.
Please feel free to email any comments or questions.
Fish and Game Commission Secretary
860 North Bush St, Ukiah, CA 95482
YEAR OF THE CHILD
Sam G (MCNlistserve): I would like to see more emphasis on helping with the underlying problems plaguing troubled students. There needs to be help for these troubled youths before it comes to violence. There are still many more violent options that can be taken if assault weapons are banned. I do not think that the mere availability of assault weapons the reason why these students take violent action? We need to address the real cause of their problems. I say parents, teachers, counselors, volunteers and politicians concentrate our efforts on positive and happy life experiences for our all of our students. Let not one child be left to suffer alone. Mental health care also needs to be freely available for those with needs. Just my 2 cents and I'll probably take some heat for them.
* * *
Norman de Vall: Let’s keep this discussion alive; April is “The Month of the Child” in Mendocino County. A candidates forum for 3rd and 5th District candidates will be held in Ukiah at the Fair Grounds on April 25th. KZYX posts child need issues regularly. Mendocino County joins four other California counties for highest drug use in youth. (kidsdata.org) Please join youth support groups and the candidates on April 25.
HANDS ACROSS THE WATERS
On Gun Violence In America
The whole world is aghast at the shooting of students at a high school in Florida. The whole world is in utter disbelief that such gratuitous violence could take place in the 21st century in a country like America. If the scene of the Florida killing were to be changed to reflect a medieval setting, we would readily assume that the killing occurred ages ago, when violence was a common occurrence and has since been banished from the civilized part of the world.
What is it that makes America "unique" when it comes to mass killings? (apart from one instance of mass murder in Norway, killings like the one in Florida are unheard of in the rest of the world). Some say it is the "cowboy mentality" of violence, born of years of near-anarchy, especially in the American Old West, and now part of American DNA. Proponents of this theory cite American football as evidence of the violent streak in American DNA: why are Americans the only nation in the world which transformed the tame European soccer into a game that, to a European, looks more like a minor battle. Not to mention years of murderous wars waged by the American government, mostly for the sole purpose of making the rich richer.
But we are all hostages of our genes, partly shaped by our history, as genotype is affected by phenotype. We cannot change history, but we can recognize our collective character for what it is, and there is no doubt that cultures do differ (mostly because of different historical circumstances): people of one culture are generous, in another culture they are mostly stingy; some nations tend to be passionate and poetic, others reserved and prosaic. It may come as an annoying surprise to you, but from where I stand, in Eastern Europe, Americans are perceived to be more violent than people of other nations.
Another fact that Americans have to recognize in the context of mass killings is that their country is ruled by the military-industrial complex. There is no doubt that power is the strongest of toxic drugs and that the addiction to the power drug is the only incurable addiction. (May I remind you that, throughout history, many would-be rulers killed their brothers and sons in the struggle for power, sometimes by their own hand). I am therefore convinced that the top people of the American military-industrial establishment will always rule America; I dread to think what might happen if their privileged position is threatened in the slightest way. Of course, the American Rifle Asociation is part of the American military-industrial establishment.
If we can't change a political system, we can work on changing its aspects which affect our lives in a major way, and one such aspect is certainly our safety in our day-to-day life. Very little, if anything, can be done by "democratic" means because, in my view, the American political system is a poor excuse for democracy. When there is a general outcry for change, the powers that be usually manage to outmaneuver the masses into believing that the change has happened, although it hasn't.
The ultimate cause of most collective problems of the American people is big money. This also holds for measures proposed to prevent random shootings of innocent students. President Trump and his Republican buddies would like to arm teachers and administrators so they can shoot and kill potential murderers. They claim that this would protect students and, unfortunately, some Americans are buying that. But what is really behind this type of "defense" is the money American manufacturers of weapons would make by selling millions of handguns. It also means that teachers and staff would engage in shootouts with the attacker, and we all know that shootouts mostly result in casualties on both sides, which means that Trump's plan for "protection" of students would often involve the deaths of teachers (who will be "protected" ever after!). Of course, Trump and his gang couldn't care less: ordinary Americans are dispensable - they are to be used, alive or dead, only to consolidate his power.
All my progeny live in the States, so I watch CNN regularly and have so far heard hours of commentary on the Florida school killing by various "analysts," but nobody mentions the possibility of a potential killer with an unacceptable background paying another American with an acceptable background to buy him a weapon. (For all we know today, this may have happened in previous killings.)
It should be clear from what has been said so far that there is no alternative to strict regulations for buying a weapon. If such an alternative existed, it would have been used by one of over a hundred countries which regulate the purchase of weapons by law. A careful examination of legally binding regulations for the purchase of weapons in various countries shows a quasi-mathematical relation between the strictness of the regulations and the number of illegal killings per year. Japan has the strictest gun-control laws and the fewest number of gun-related murders. Of the world’s 23 “rich” countries, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22 counries together. With almost one privately owned firearm per person, America’s ownership rate is the highest in the world. Japan, on the other hand, is the developed world's least firearm-filled nation and perhaps its strictest controller. It takes a Japanese citizen up to five years to obtain a permit to own a gun. In 2008, the U.S. had over 12,000 firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than those killed in the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed simply by guns that had discharged accidentally!
I am not in a position to tell the American people what to do in order to change the murderous laws which make it relatively easy to buy a weapon. Americans have a long tradition of civil disobedience, which made an enormous contribution to the Civil Rights movement as well as the campaign for ending the Vietnam war. I would just like to point out that the efforts towards more adequate gun-control laws must be a nation-wide grassroots movement, not just a series of actions. I emphasize grassroots and movement. It should last until the main goals are achieved.
Midhat Ridjanović, Ph.D.
Professor emeritus of English and linguistics
University of Sarajevo,
Fire sprinklers that flood homes spark outrage. ‘Ticking time bombs,’ one resident says
THE FACT Is that since my youth – I was 19 when I left Russia — my political creed has remained as bleak and changeless as an old gray rock. It is classical to the point of triteness. Freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of art. The social or economic structure of the ideal state is of little concern to me. My desires are modest. Portraits of the head of the government should not exceed a postage stamp in size. No torture and no executions.
— Vladimir Nabokov
DEBUNKING THE BIG MYTH: OFFSHORE DRILLING HAS INCREASED OFF CALIFORNIA UNDER GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN
by Dan Bacher
The Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture held the 45th Annual Zeke Grader Fisheries Forum at the State Capitol in Sacramento on March 8. Below a revised and expanded version of my testimony before the Committee exposing the huge expansion in offshore oil drilling in Southern California waters in recent years:
There appears to be a widely-held misconception among fishermen, environmentalists and legislators that new offshore oil wells have not been approved off the California coast in recent years.
The reality is much different. In fact, Governor Jerry Brown’s oil and gas regulators approved 238 new offshore oil wells in state waters under existing leases off Los Angeles and Ventura counties from 2012 to 2016, an increase of 17 percent, according to an analysis of Department of Conservation data by the Fracktracker Alliance. Roughly 171 of them were still active as of a year ago.
In addition, number of active onshore oil and gas wells has jumped 23 percent from 53,825 in 2009, the year before Brown was elected Governor, to 66,516 onshore wells at the end of 2016, according to Department of Conservation data. The number of wells drilled and completed in 2014 jumped by 67 percent over 2011 to 6,896 from 4,636 on Governor Brown’s watch.
“Brown’s record on oil drilling offshore and on shore is one of expansion,” said Lisa Tucker, Consumer Advocate for Consumer Watchdog. “That is no longer acceptable. Brown should ban all drilling activity offshore, cut off any planned new oil and gas drilling on shore, and ban fracking outright.”
The FracTacker Alliance report is available here: https://www.fractracker.org/2017/02/more-offshore-drilling-ca/
In addition, regulators approved permits for at least 203 fracking operations off the Southern California coast from 1993 to 2013, according to data revealed in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and an Associated Press investigation in 2013. These fracking operations took place off Long Beach, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach — a region known for some of California’s most iconic beaches and tourist attractions. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/10/19/calif-finds-more-instances-of-offshore-fracking/3045721/
The desmogblog has also just published a piece documenting the increase in offshore oil drilling in California waters under the Brown administration: www.desmogblog.com/...
While it is true that no new offshore oil leases have been opened up in federal waters off the California coast in recent years, as the Trump administration is proposing to do, the fact is that California has continued to expand offshore drilling in state waters under existing leases and the federal and state governments approved over 200 fracking operations off Southern California over a 20-year period.
The big increase in offshore drilling in state waters and the Trump administration’s proposal to open new leases in response in federal waters makes it crucial that the public support legislation in the California Legislature to protect the state from new offshore oil drilling.
In response to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s January 4th announcement to open federal waters along the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf Coasts to new federal offshore oil and gas drilling, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) on January 5 reintroduced legislation ensures that pipelines and other infrastructure cannot be built in California waters to support any new federal oil development. This bill would also serve to stop the approval of new offshore oil wells in state waters under existing leases.
In the Senate, Jackson is carrying Senate Bill 834, also jointly authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). Muratsuchi is carrying an identical companion measure, Assembly Bill 1775, in the State Assembly, also jointly authored by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), according to a news release from Senator Jackson’s Office.
The legislation prohibits the State Lands Commission from approving any new leases for pipelines, piers, wharves, or other infrastructure needed to support new federal oil and gas development in the three-mile area off the coast that is controlled by the state. SB 844 would also prohibit any lease renewal, extension or modification that would support the production, transportation or processing of new oil and gas, according to Jackson’s Office.
This bill faces a major challenge to pass through the Legislature and an even bigger challenge to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown before he leaves office.
That’s because the spending of millions of dollars by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), Chevron and other oil companies to stop the bill resulted in the legislation being stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee last year. The oil industry spent more on lobbying in California, $16,360,618, in just the first six months of 2017 than was spent by the industry in all of 2016, $16.0 million, according to a report compiled and written by William Barrett of the Lung Association in California.
WSPA, the most powerful corporate lobbying group in California, and its members have also contributed $170 million to California political campaigns since 2001, according to a new data analysis from the Berkeley-based, nonpartisan watchdog MapLight.
March 9 (today) is the last day you can make your comment to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) opposing the Trump’s plan to open new federal drilling leases in federal waters off the California coast.
On February 8, hundreds of Californians protested the federal government's plan to offer new leases for offshore oil drilling off the Pacific Coast. The federal agency in charge, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), held its one and only California open hearing for public comment on the proposed plan.
Then on February 28, the Stockholm Institute on the Environment (SEI) released an analysis showing that action to stem California oil production, something that Governor Jerry Brown has strongly resisted, would have critical health and climate benefits.
“The Stockholm Environment Institute makes a strong case that Governor Jerry Brown cannot support full-throttle oil and gas production while claiming that emissions can be cut substantially enough via energy efficiency, carbon trading, and renewable energy to avoid the ‘existential threat’ of climate change,” said Lisa Tucker, Consumer Advocate for Consumer Watchdog. “We have to start leaving oil in the ground.
“The report finds that, contrary to previous claims, every barrel of California oil left in the ground will also result in a net decrease in oil production globally,” noted Tucker.
Tucker said the report lays out “policy pathways” to limiting state oil production, including ending permitting for new oil production, ending subsidies for oil and gas production, and establishing setbacks to limit urban drilling in vulnerable communities.
For the SEI report, see here.
There is no doubt that the Trump administration’s proposal to open new federal oil drilling leases off the Pacific Coast must be resisted, but so must Governor Brown’s expansion of offshore and onshore drilling in California.
MEMO OF THE AIR: GOOD NIGHT RADIO FRIDAY NIGHT!
BETH BOSK WROTE: Excuse me . . . But why hasn't Marco been allowed to audition for the late Friday night spot on KZYX/Z. He is exquisitely Mendonesian. He is also the best story teller in the County. His audio and listserv audience really like him a lot. Would the grownup at KZYX/Z please remove the clothespin…
* * *
Marco here. Thanks, Beth, but I've been auditioning 6-8 hours every Friday night on other, more sensibly run radio stations since before President Bill Clinton didn't have sexual relations with that woman, and the management of KZYX has had its head up its ass since before they first plugged in the transmitter and started lying about needing to raise lots more money to keep the great shows on the air. (The great shows they've never paid the airpeople anything at all for and never intend to.) They know what the right thing to do is, and every day they get up and choose not to do it because they think it might 1. make them look bad, 2. make them feel bad, but mostly 3. threaten the status quo of their personal managerial loot.
Meanwhile, Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio on KNYO and KMEC tonight!
Tonight the show is by live remote from Juanita's place, not from Franklin Street. So if you want to talk in person about your project or read aloud your own writing, or bring your instrument(s) and/or fellow instrumentalists and play a short set, or try out your stand-up act, you can drop by 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar, after 9pm, just sashay in and head for the lighted room at the back next week, March 16. Because I'm not there tonight. Tonight I'll be in my lucky socks, Chip Chip Chaw t-shirt and disreputable bathrobe at a typing table next to the bed at Juanita's, reading aloud on the air the interesting bits of whatever I've been reading all week including, of course, what you've sent. And when you do come, next week, expect chocolate, the excellent cheap kind, not the expensive disgusting kind that's not any kind of a treat at all, and why do they even manufacture it? it is so bad.
Speaking of which (the good kind, not the disgusting kind): as I write, you still have about an hour to email your writing to be read on MOTA. Just paste your poem or essay or kvetch or sale item or whatever into the body text of an email, check that it's going to me and not also to the whole group, unless that's what you want, and press send. If you're reading this after that, it's never too late, just send it anyway and I'll read it on next week's show.
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to 4 or 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org or if that doesn't work for you try http://TuneIn.com and look up KNYO-LP. (TuneIn might play a thirty-second-long ad for soda pop or condoms or hipster laxative gum or something before it passes you through.)
In other, similar news: You can have /your own whole show/ on KNYO, nothing to do with me, though I'm happy to help you get started: Contact Bob Young: email@example.com and introduce yourself and tell him what sort of show you'd like to do and what time you'd like your show to start, and /he will jam it in like a fricking lion./ It happened to me; it can happen to you.
(That's an old saying about the month of March. Biff Rose used to say, "In like a lion, out like a Chinese philosopher.")