Ukiah Saturday Farmers Market


farmers market

From Scott Cratty
Mendocino County

Greetings -

Exciting as it is to have some authentic winter weather back with us (much needed for the crops and for us), don’t let it sidetrack you from Saturday’s farmers’ market.  We will be under the pavilion as always with local veggies, the Ford’s famous local grass fed beef, shamrock cheese and much more.

Check Friday’s UDJ for a column about the “hunger moon” season and the farmers’ market.  For an encouraging article about winter season markets and how they can build over time (with your help) and inspire innovative growing, check out: Winter Markets: Extending a Season of Warmth. For encouraging information about farmers markets in general despite all of the problems in the economy (or perhaps, in part, because of them), try: Consumers Continue to Invest in Farmers Markets, Local Food Despite Economy.

Another highlight of the market this Saturday will be the return of special guests the Ukiah High School Spanish Club.  They will host a table with student-baked goods and raffle tickets for sale.  They are raising money to help include as many students as possible in an extra-curricular, non-school funded excursion for students in their 3rd or 4th year of Spanish studies. The trip is planned for the February break and will include lots of culturally and historically significant stops in Spain.  Among the goals of the excursion are to inspire students to travel more and perhaps study abroad and also to see first-hand the mother country of the Spanish language, the birthplace of so many place names we take for granted around us.   Some of the students cannot foot the bill alone, so the club is working to raise money with help from the community.   Please support them as much as you can.

Thanks to all for keeping the market running smoothly last weekend.  In case you noticed that I was missing it was because last Saturday was also the annual meeting of the county farmers’ market association (MCFARM). MCFARM is long in the habit of having its member meeting and board meetings on Saturdays during what used to be the off season, which makes managing a year-round market on Saturday a bit more challenging.  Thanks to great help from market supporters like John Johns, who oversaw and packed up the marketlast Saturday, and Terri McCartney, we can make it happen.

Please consider helping out by sharing favorite recipes featuring meals prepared with foods from the market and by telling your favorite local musicians to come play for us at the market.

Also – I am pondering trying to shift the summer market time up by half and hour and the winter market time back — so that we run a consistent 9 am to 12:30 pm schedule all year.  Does it seem like a good or bad idea to you? Let me know.

See you Saturday.
~~
Image Credit: DS


Did cloud seeding cause our fire disaster and drought?


From Dan Hamburg
Ukiah

When the lightning strikes hit Mendocino County early on a Friday evening last June, at least a few people wondered aloud whether this unprecedented weather event was related to the unusual cloud patterns that appeared earlier that day.

Mid-Friday afternoon, I had noticed five or six bands of clouds running along a north-south axis in a formation I’d never seen before.  On Saturday, as news rapidly spread of the extent of the strikes, I was informed by a friend that one explanation could be the use of the chemical silver iodide in a weather modification experiment.

This week, I received an article from a Mount Shasta newspaper titled “PG&E responds to cloud seeding concerns.”  The article dated November 26, 2008, referred to PG&E’s “intention to conduct a five-year weather modification program in the Mount Shasta region.”  Residents of Siskiyou County, including representatives from the Mt. Shasta District of the Winnemen Wintu Tribe, are expressing concern about the planned cloud seeding which would be achieved by “injecting silver iodide aerosol into already existing storm clouds with the hopes of creating more moisture.”

Despite local concerns, PG&E has assured the public that there is no environmental downside to seeding with silver iodide.

Interestingly, problems with “rainmaking” have been noted since the 1950s.  Dr. Irving Langmuir, “the high priest of scientific rainmaking” [and winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1932], warned a half century ago that “those who sow too many rainstorms may reap nothing but droughts.” Langmuir noted that silver iodide particles have many potentially pernicious effects and that “there ought to be a law” controlling the amount of silver iodide fed into the atmosphere.

Evidently, there is no such law in effect today.
~
See also Too Much Rainmaking in Time Magazine 6/12/1950
and Cloudbuster
Image Credit: Wikipedia


Water Supply Outlook Meeting Tonight 1/22/09 6pm

[Action: Janie's article Water, Then and Now has been updated with the planned meeting date and time. -DS]

It was nice running into you on the trail. Our meeting will be at 6 pm at the Alex Rorabaugh Center (1640 S. State) at 6 pm on Thursday the 22nd. We will be discussing two main issues at this Special Meeting:

1)The upcoming SWRCB License Inspection
2)The Water Supply Outlook for 2009

FYI-Reservoir levels are now the lowest on record for this date. In 1977 we had approximately 52,000 acre feet of storage at this time, it is currently at 33,000…the situation is indeed “gnarly”.

We are are hoping that by beginning water supply discussions early, we can have allocation system in-place if rainfall continues to be insufficient. Thanks for spreading the word and hope to see you at the meeting.

Sean White
General Manager
RRFC


Citizens For Adequate Review Settles with Mendocino County and DDR


[Action quote, last paragraph. -DS]

PRESS RELEASE

January 21, 2009

Contacts:

Citizens for Adequate Review (CFAR)CFAR Member Antonio Andrade (707) 462-4930

Rachel Mansfield-Howlett, Attorney representing CFAR, Provencher & Flatt, LLP  (707) 284-2380

As a result of a law suit filed by Santa Rosa attorney Rachel Howlett on behalf of Citizens for Adequate Review (CFAR), CFAR, Mendocino County, and Diversified Developers Realty (DDR) have reached an agreement which requires environmental review prior to DDR proceeding further with their proposed Mendocino Crossings Development on the old Masonite site north of Ukiah. Under the terms of the settlement agreement between the parties, the existing slabs, buried footings, underground utilities and other improvements at the site of the demolished Masonite facility will remain in place and be included in the scope of environmental review for the proposed Mendocino Crossings Project.

This is an important victory for local control of our community’s development. This agreement confirms that, prior to work beginning, all development proposals must be reviewed, that sites be safe and clear of toxics prior to any permitted use, and that County approval must be obtained.

The issue emerged In July of 2007 when the County issued DDR a permit to demolish the Masonite facility. CFAR asserted the demolition was the first stage in the development of the site for commercial purposes, stating this was a piecemeal approach to development, and a violation of California environmental law. Validating DDR’s investment in the demolition by issuing the permit was setting a precedent to keep moving forward with the project. Concerned community groups and residents found it appalling that the demolition was able to proceed at all when the County had full knowledge commercial development in this area was controversial, including opposition by the City of Ukiah.

DDR identified the site as ‘under construction’ in their filings with the Federal Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), had a project application on file with the County, was holding public meetings promoting their project, and advocated for the project before the Board of Supervisors. Demolition was step one of a multi-staged project that the County should have known required review under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA.) The County Planning and Building Department ignored the magnitude of the structures on site, the air quality impacts from demolishing these improvements, the proximity of the demolition to a school, and also did not send the application to demolish the historic structures to all relevant County departments and agencies for review and comment.

Rather, they treated the demolition as similar to a homeowner wanting to take down a garage, claiming they simply issued a valid ministerial permit with no environmental review being required. Without benefit of a clear and comprehensive review of its potential deleterious impact to the environment, and the community, the County abdicated their responsibility to protect the environment. There was no recognition by the County that by issuing the permit they were effectively eliminating existing manufacturing capacity for future use, and opening the door for DDR to move ahead with a project in an area not zoned for retail commercial use.

CFAR thanks all those who demonstrated their commitment to the quality of life in the Ukiah Valley by funding this costly effort. With the public being taxed by the County to fund its oversight responsibilities and services, an enormous burden was created when citizens had to then undertake suing the County to compel compliance with state law.

Hopefully, with a newly constituted Board of Supervisors, Mendocino County will put aside a ‘development at any cost’ mentality, cohesively organize County departments and agencies so they do not piecemeal their review but rather systematically and comprehensively apply legally established 21st century environmental standards to projects. We live in a beautiful environment characterized by small town values and our governing bodies need recognize its inherent value, and to become vigilant, conscientious stewards.
~

See also The People’s Business


The Percheron On The World’s Most Famous Farm


gene

From Gene Logsdon
OrganicToBe.org

This is a fairy tale story that is not at all a fairy tale. The story has so many parts to it that I scarcely know where to begin. Louise Kuerner’s horse, Dentzel, the Percheron referred to in the title, lives on the Kuerner farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, a farm immortalized on canvas by Andrew Wyeth, widely viewed as America’s foremost living painter and by many art lovers as one of the best artists anywhere in any time. He has used the Kuerner farm’s building, animals, fields and people hundreds of times as subject or models. I might argue that Dentzel is now the most famous draft horse in the world too because recently, Wyeth painted him in a work titled “Karlanna,” and a watercolor study done for the final painting called “Fenced In.”

Dentzel’s other distinction in life is that he is currently the only draft horse to be driven (by Louise) in the enormously popular Parade of Carriages that precedes the Point-to-Point  steeplechase races at Winterthur in the state of Delaware every spring. “At 17.2 hands, he’s the biggest horse in the parade,” says Louise, laughing. “But that’s what I wanted. A big horse. When my first horse, Pony, died, I thought I didn’t want to go through that heartbreak again. But when I found Dentzel, I just had to have him. He was even sick when I first saw him, not a smart way to buy a horse, but we nursed him back to good health and he’s been just splendid ever since.”

Continue reading The Percheron… at OrganicToBe.org


The Work That Reconnects – Joanna Macy


From Earl Brown
Ukiah

We had our first salon introducing the work of Joanna Macy, “The Work That Reconnects” to a small yet enthusiastic group (one person) and we had a wonderful and meaningful conversation. As I was not really expecting anybody at this first meeting it was quite special to have someone there and I am very grateful to that one person for coming. This is how things get started, two people, or a few people, gather to talk from their hearts about what they think and feel.

Over the next few years we will need to learn how to face difficult conditions and unwanted changes that we have no, or little, control over in order to maintain decent living conditions. As much as we claim that we are already working together to solve our problems, it is a false claim. I have been in the “back room” where “environmentalists” argue over who is in control and who is not; who has the “right way” and how all others are wrong. Many meeting go by without the issues at hand being addressed even superficially. Even the Choir is arguing with each other, mostly over power and control, and are unable to truly unite as one concerted body. An example of this is Mendocino County being about 35 years behind our own ordinance to have a viable Grading Ordinance, with nothing meaningful on the horizon. To unite on this level and to make our work as complete, efficient and meaningful, we must learn and experience deep respect for each other and to see the gifts and potentials within our Self, within the Plant and Animal Kingdoms and within Gaia.

Continue reading The Work That Connects


Very Cool!! TONIGHT 1/21/09 6pm The UDJ plans to begin Live Blogging the Ukiah City Council Meetings


Art Happenings in Ukiah – January 2009


From Rose Peterson Myers
Art Center Ukiah

Did you know that Art Center Ukiah has realized their Founding Members dream to open a center for the comunity to experience art, make art, and participate in artistic appreciation events?

In December, thanks to a generous donation by local attorney Ann Moorman, Art Center Ukiah acquired the building next to the Corner Gallery for an art center. In a flurry of activity, the place was painted and set up for classes. In late December, the City cleared us to open. The first class, a free drawing class for children, was filled and was a hit! Taught by Founding Members Carol Heady and Minnie McQueary and sponsored by Sakura art supplies, the class was a huge success.

More information on our website: www.artcenterukiah.org click on classes on the left pane from the home page. All classes held at the ACU Education Building 203 South State Street, Ukiah phone (707) 462-1400 for registration and information.

Here are up-coming classes for the next 2 weeks
. Taught by talented local and renown Northern California Artists, the information and instruction will reach the beginning student as well as bring information for experienced artists to a new level:

1/24/09 9:30-4:30: The Zen of Koi: An Art Success Workshop with Rose Peterson Myers. $75 includes all materials; Scholarships available. If you ever wanted to try watercolor, or believed it was too difficult, this is the class for you! You will experience a lesson on the steps to acheive all the watercolor basics while enjoying this fun filled class on painting Koi Fish. Success guaranteed!

1/25,1/31, 2/7/09- 3:30- 5:30- Basket Weaving by Christine Hamilton $60 includes all 3 classes and materials. Local Native basket weaver will teach this introductory class on the coiled basket. Basket weaving is a nearly lost art in America. Don’t miss this chance to learn from a protege of Elsie Allen.

Every Wednesday evening 6:30-9:30 Live Model Drawing Class with Tom Johnson. $20. Live Model session. $20 per week covers model fee.

Open Studio: Second and Last Saturdays each Month 10 am- 2pm; $5 facility fee. Bring your project and join others in camaderie and solve problems by group invitation.

2/7/09, 1:30-3:30; Children’s Drawing: $11 per child snack and materials included. Founding Members Minnie McQueary and Ann Malinte will teach a children’s drawing class. The last class was full, so don’t wait to enroll your child in this class. See www.artcenterukaig.org Classes for more information and registration

2/14: 10-2: Make Valentines with Tom Johnson all ages

2/28-3/1/09, 9-4:30 ; $155: Renown artist Jeannie Vodden teaches her signature Rainbow Glazing Technique. If you can only take 1 watercolor class this year I recommend this one. Jeannie is an amazing artist and instructor who can help you break through any problems you may have and bring your work to a whole new level.  Visit her website at www.jeannievodden.com.

More to come for February, March and April: Rug Braiding by Arlene Magarian; Watercolor Traesures by Minnie McQueary; Renown Oil Artist Victoria Brooks on Alla Prima impressionist style paintings; and more live drawing open studios.

See also What 100 Paintings Will Teach You
(via Dave Pollard)


Printing our own money?


By George Monbiot 1/20/09
Excerpts

In his book The Future of Money, Lietaer points out – as the government did yesterday – that in situations like ours everything grinds to a halt for want of money. But he also explains that there is no reason why this money should take the form of sterling or be issued by the banks. Money consists only of “an agreement within a community to use something as a medium of exchange”. The medium of exchange could be anything, as long as everyone who uses it trusts that everyone else will recognise its value. During the Great Depression, businesses in the United States issued rabbit tails, seashells and wooden discs as currency, as well as all manner of papers and metal tokens. In 1971, Jaime Lerner, the mayor of Curitiba in Brazil, kick-started the economy of the city and solved two major social problems by issuing currency in the form of bus tokens. People earned them by picking and sorting litter: thus cleaning the streets and acquiring the means to commute to work. Schemes like this helped Curitiba become one of the most prosperous cities in Brazil.

But the projects that have proved most effective were those inspired by the German economist Silvio Gessell, who became finance minister in Gustav Landauer’s doomed Bavarian republic. He proposed that communities seeking to rescue themselves from economic collapse should issue their own currency. To discourage people from hoarding it, they should impose a fee (called demurrage), which has the same effect as negative interest. The back of each banknote would contain 12 boxes. For the note to remain valid, the owner had to buy a stamp every month and stick it in one of the boxes. It would be withdrawn from circulation after a year. Money of this kind is called stamp scrip: a privately issued currency that becomes less valuable the longer you hold on to it.

Go to If the state can’t save us, we need a licence to print our own money in The Guardian

Also see Mendo Time Bank

and Mendo Moola


Benj Says “Well, yes…”



Technical Notice

From Ron Epstein
Ukiah

Dear World,

The United States of America, your quality supplier of ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for its 2001-2008 service outage.

The technical fault that led to this eight-year service interruption has been located, and the parts responsible for it were replaced Tuesday night, November 4. Early tests of the newly- installed equipment indicate that it is functioning correctly, and we expect it to be fully functional by mid-January.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage, and we look forward to resuming full service — and hopefully even to improving it in years to come.

Thank you for your patience and under- standing.

The USA


Free The Journal!


From Dave Smith
Ukiah

The Ukiah Daily Journal is now a mere shadow of its former self. It is being sucked dry by its parent company who takes close to a million dollars annually (by some estimates) out of our community, sending it to parts unknown, and hires people on the other side of the planet to do most of the paid work… apparently hoping that  local volunteer-generated content can fill in the gaps and not harm the cash flow leaving our community. The local staff and employees, troopers all, are not to be blamed for its sad demise under current ownership.

If any community enterprise should be independent and locally-owned it should be our daily newspaper. Chain-owned newspapers are as harmful to a community’s prosperity as big-box chains. Surely there is enough money in our community to buy our newspaper back from distant corporate owners, relocalize its jobs, contextualize its stories, keep its advertising and subscription revenue, and profits, circulating locally… and restore its rich tradition of local news done well.

Free The Journal!
~
Image Credit: Evan Johnson


The Gift



Barack on Michelle (1996)
Excerpted from The New Yorker Jan 19, 2009

[This says so much about both of them. -DS]

Michelle is a tremendously strong person, and has a very strong sense of herself and who she is and where she comes from. But I also think in her eyes you can see a trace of vulnerablity that most people don’t know, because when she’s walking through the world she is this tall, beautiful, confident woman. There is a part of her that is vulnerable and young and sometimes frightened, and I think seeing both of those things is what attracted me to her. And then what sustains our relationship is I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.


Ukiah Inaugural Bash
Tonight 1/20 5:30pm
Ukiah Brewing Company & Restaurant

Speech Replay at 6:00pm & 7:30pm

When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20th, the millions who worked to put him in office are going to celebrate. You are invited to watch President Obama’s speech and celebrate what we have all made possible! Bring instruments and good vibes to share, a new era in American history is beginning.

Kids Welcome. No Cover.


Letter To Obama – Krugman

From Dave Smith
Ukiah
(Excerpt)

Universal health care, then, should be your biggest priority after rescuing the economy. Providing coverage for all Americans can be for your administration what Social Security was for the New Deal. But the New Deal achieved something else: It made America a middle-class society. Under FDR, America went through what labor historians call the Great Compression, a dramatic rise in wages for ordinary workers that greatly reduced income inequality. Before the Great Compression, America was a society of rich and poor; afterward it was a society in which most people, rightly, considered themselves middle class. It may be hard to match that achievement today, but you can, at least, move the country in the right direction.

What caused the Great Compression? That’s a complicated story, but one important factor was the rise of organized labor: Union membership tripled between 1935 and 1945. Unions not only negotiated better wages for their own members, they also enhanced the bargaining power of workers throughout the economy. At the time, conservatives warned that wage gains would have disastrous economic effects — that the rise of unions would cripple employment and economic growth. But in fact, the Great Compression was followed by the great postwar boom, which doubled American living standards over the course of a generation.

Unfortunately, the Great Compression was reversed starting in the 1970s, as American workers once again lost much of their bargaining power. This loss was partly due to changes in the world economy, as major U.S. manufacturing corporations started facing more international competition. But it also had a lot to do with politics, as first the Reagan administration, then the Bush administration, did all they could to undermine the ability of workers to organize.

You can make a start on reversing that process. Clearly, you won’t be able to oversee a tripling of union membership anytime soon. But you can do a lot to enhance workers’ rights. One is to start laying the groundwork to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it much harder for employers to intimidate workers who want to join a union. I know it probably won’t happen in your first year, but if and when it does, the legislation will enable America to take a huge step toward recapturing the middle-class society we’ve lost.

Go to Krugman’s Letter To Obama in Rolling Stone


Water, Then and Now – UPDATED 1/21/09


From Janie Sheppard
Mendocino County

Updated below

A chance encounter while enjoying a stroll on the new trails around Lake Mendocino, Bill and I met Sean White, the Executive Director of the Russian River Flood Control District.  The first person we met, he was enjoying the trails as well.   Not surprisingly, the conversation quickly turned to the water level in the lake.  Sean said it had not been so low on the same January date since 1976-77, and summed up what happened then with one word: “gnarly.”  And, that’s when there were fewer water users than there are now.  Thursday, January 22, he said, there would be a public meeting to inform the public.  Put that date on your calendar and await details to be announced in Tuesday’s Ukiah Daily Journal and here in Ukiah Blog.

Update:

It was nice running into you on the trail. Our meeting will be at 6 pm at the Alex Rorabaugh Center (1640 S. State) at 6 pm on Thursday the 22nd. We will be discussing two main issues at this Special Meeting:

1)The upcoming SWRCB License Inspection
2)The Water Supply Outlook for 2009

FYI-Reservoir levels are now the lowest on record for this date. In 1977 we had approximately 52,000 acre feet of storage at this time, it is currently at 33,000…the situation is indeed “gnarly”.

We are are hoping that by beginning water supply discussions early, we can have allocation system in-place if rainfall continues to be insufficient. Thanks for spreading the word and hope to see you at the meeting.

Sean White
General Manager
RRFC

Continue reading Water, Then and Now


Let’s Get Solar – Part Three


From Michael Laybourn
Hopland
Parts One and Two

Keep in mind that the system in Germany has been proven. It works.
The State of California doesn’t appear to be plugged in…
…So what about Ukiah?

First of all, Ukiah owns its own utility. Let your imagination soar…. The city already has a rebate program for installing solar electricity. But it is fairly puny in the sense of Germany, where they were committed to a quick move to alternative energy.

Here is the City of Ukiah program:
“Under SB 1, solar program incentives must decline to zero by the end of 2016 to achieve a self-sufficient solar electric industry within 10 years. The City presently offers a $2.24 per Watt AC incentive for the installation of solar systems. “
Proposed City of Ukiah 10 year declining solar incentive schedule:

Fiscal Yr 2007- 08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Incentive $2.80 $2.52 $2.24 $1.96 $1.68

and so forth…

Hey we’re going in the wrong direction!

The hard part is trying to figure out what the rebate actually amounts to for Ukiah. Take a 2.4 KW system like mine, which supplies most of my electrical. $2.24 * 2.4KW = about $5376 + various tax rebates. Now the state has a different rebate, and I called the state to see if you can stack the rebates. (City and State). I was told no with a chuckle.

The State rebate is relatively pitiful at $1.55 / watt.

Here is the state rebate program with a calculator link:
“The incentive is determined using the NSHP PV Calculator and will be reserved for you at that amount once your application is approved. Later, it will be verified by a field test. This program is called Expected Performance Based Incentive (EPBI) and the incentive amount reduces as installed mW triggers are reached.

Commercial and Existing Residential Systems less than 50kW initially will receive a similar, one time, up front incentive based on expected system performance. This rebate will be administered by the California Public Utility Commission thru your Electric Service Provider. Commercial and Residential rebates are currently $1.55 per watt.”

Or $3720 for the above system. Even adding the two together doesn’t reach the rebate of 5 years ago. As I’ve noted, Guv Schwarzenegger and the California lawmakers haven’t done anything to improve our need to wean ourselves from oil, or make it easier for us to go solar in our homes. Actually they haven’t done much of anything period.

What if?… the City of Ukiah followed the proven German model and provided:
1. Low interest loans for solar conversion.
2. Bought the electricity from solar houses at a rate that would pay back the loans.
3. Gave a larger rebate: 1/2 or more of the system cost.
Certainly, many homes and businesses would elect to go solar. This would give the City an increasing amount of energy that would not have to be purchased from other sources. This energy is not only cleaner, but is more stable and the City would benefit from decentralized and more stable energy sources. It might be somewhat more expensive at first, while the homeowner is paying off the cost of the system, but eventually Ukiah could be creating much of its own power and that energy could be less expensive and not controlled by the so-called free market by companies like Enron, etc.

On top of that, electric autos could be purchased and plugged in at night. Most driving is not over 40 miles and an electric car would take care of local driving. Talk about lowering our carbon footprint!

Where to get the money to do this? Like the Germans, charge a little more energy rates to spread the costs. That cost the German energy user an increase of a dollar of two monthly, which wouldn’t be that expensive.

But now… we live in even more exciting times. This just out a few days ago:

“1/16/2009: The U.S. House of Representatives today unveiled a draft of the $825 billion economic stimulus plan that contains $54 billion in key provisions for the development of renewable energy projects and improving the electric grid, according to published reports. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 includes $8 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy and transmission projects, $11 billion to improve the electrical grid, $6.9 billion to improve federal buildings and make them more energy efficient, plus $2 billion in loan guarantees and grants for advanced battery technologies and $1.5 billion in grants and loans to help schools become more energy efficient.”

There will soon be money available for projects such as developing our own local energy. Mendocino County is full of people that know how to write grants and speak the language of government. Keep in mind that this would also be creating jobs and another possible industry: Training people for these jobs. Energy independence. We can show the nation how to do this.

How about it, City Council? Let’s get local with energy production!

See also Congressman Thompson introduces solar energy legislation in today’s UDJ


From Susan Jordan earlier today over the Bay Area 1/17/09



Energy Independence and Global Warming


green-for-all

From Mary Anne Landis
Ukiah

This link is to Van Jones’s speech to the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, being given today. All about Green job myths, which he does a good job busting– and funding needs. Practical and inspirational.

Testamony before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

See also Transition Towns California

and Solar Living Center Workshops Calendar


From Dave Smith

Author/Radio Host Thom Hartmann offers some economic thoughts for Obama:

Alexander Hamilton’s Advice To The Obama Administration
Alexander Hamilton, in 1791, proposed to the United States our first true industrial policy. We adopted it over the next few years, Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed it fourscore years later, and it was again affirmed by every President of the United States until Reagan began his now-28-year “Reagan Revolution” which has disassembled America’s industrial base and impoverished our nation. For over 200 years, Hamilton’s policy made America the most powerful industrial nation in the world; now – after just 28 years of Reagonomics and Clinton/Rubinomics – we are the largest importer of other people’s industry, and the most indebted nation in the world.

The entirety of Hamilton’s paper is easily found on the web. The first third of it deals with Jefferson’s objections to it (which Jefferson withdrew later in his life), as Jefferson favored America being an agricultural rather than an industrial power in 1791. Once you cut past that, though, Hamilton gets right to the rationale for, and the details of, his 11-point plan to turn America into an industrial power and build a strong manufacturing-based middle class. Ironically, his policies are exactly – EXACTLY – what Japan, South Korea, and China are doing today. And what we have ceased to do.

Hamilton had it right. We must reject Reagon/Bush/Clinton/Bush-onomics and return to what the Founders knew worked. Here are selected excerpts from Hamilton’s 1791 Report on Manufactures to Congress:

First, Hamilton points out that real wealth doesn’t exist until somebody makes something. A “service economy” is an oxymoron – if I wash your car in exchange for your mowing my lawn, money is moving around, it’s a service economy, but no real and lasting wealth is created. Only through manufacturing, when $5 worth of iron ore is converted into a $2000 car door, or $1 worth of raw wool is converted into a $1000 Calvin Klein suit, is real wealth created. He also notes that people being paid for creating wealth (manufacturing) creates wages, which are the principal engine of demand, which drives an economy. And both come from a foreign trade policy.

Continue reading Alexander Hamilton’s Advice To Obama


The top 11 compounds in US drinking water


From Ron Epstein
Ukiah

A comprehensive survey of the drinking water for more than 28 million Americans has detected the widespread but low-level presence of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals.

Little was known about people’s exposure to such compounds from drinking water, so Shane Snyder and colleagues at the Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas screened tap water from 19 US water utilities for 51 different compounds. The surveys were carried out between 2006 and 2007.

The 11 most frequently detected compounds – all found at extremely low concentrations – were:

Continue reading The top 11 compounds in US drinking water in New Scientist


Body Count


From Evan Johnson
Ukiah


American Aid To Israel – A Libertarian Perspective


[We welcome a wide diversity of political opinion on Ukiah Blog, although we would like to keep it primarily local. I was not aware that libertarians all must sign the statement "I do not believe in the initiation of force to achieve political goals" in order to join their political party. -DS]

From Virginia Macintosh
Ukiah


The current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is the most recent incarnation of an ancient, and endless war between Jews and Arabs. The expectation that a greater show of force by one side or the other, such as Israel’s newest push into Gaza, will finally solve the problem for once and for all, is, of course, a delusion; America’s continuing support of Israel, the lone democracy in the region – but with its own strong army – prolongs another delusion that somehow, with our help, the rest of the middle east will calm down.

In a recent commentary, Andrew Davis of the Libertarian Party notes, “There are several complications with U.S.foreign aid going to Israel. One, it makes the United States culpable for the actions of Israel that many times come with international condemnation. Secondly, it opens up the United States to cries of extreme bias in favor of Israel – a main catalyst for terrorism against U.S. interests at home and abroad.”

Libertarians have long criticized not just aid to Israel, but any type of intervention into the political policies of all nations, believing that 1, It is not in our national interest;  2, it invites consequences never envisioned; and 3, there are better ways of creating friendly relationships with the world’s nations.

The complications of intervention were of concern to early political thinkers who formed this country. In his first inaugural address,Thomas Jefferson set out to define what he thought were the essential principles of government. The words most often quoted from the list are, “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” Our alliance with Israel is a perfect example of the kind of entanglement Jefferson warned against.

What does a policy of non-intervention do for us and can it be justified morally? Far from abandoning our friends, trade, commerce and friendship, are powerful forces of good will. Direct financial aid to other nations, rarely goes where it is most needed, often buying arms or lining the pockets of the country’s rulers. But honest and fair practices of commerce and trade devoid of import taxes, price supports or blockades create an even playing field in which pure trade – value for value – a fair exchange of goods and services, enrich all parties concerned.  We should be open to trade with, and be free to visit all countries including Cuba and all other “axis of evil” countries. One of the worst aspects of the Israeli conflict in Gaza is the forced closure of Gaza’s borders which stops any chance for trade with the rest of the world – a requirement for any new or established country for stability and growth.

In his January 7th post, Watching the torching of Gaza, Jim Houle properly asked if the majority of Americans feel we have an obligation to support Israel in their battles with Hamas, or, in parallel, Hezbullah. A good question indeed. One might also ask if Americans knowingly support the “entanglement” of our military presence in 135 countries, or 70% of the worlds countries, not counting territories. How can this huge military presence in the rest of the world be tolerated by the American public?

Disengaging from the quagmire of political alliances, by ending all financial and military aid to Israel and others would create real change in U.S. policy for the better. Tourism, trade, and commerce, with bias to none, supports Jefferson view of “honest friendship,” and removes the threat to all. By doing this, we do not turn our back on the rest of the world, but instead, encourage prosperity and stability. This change would serve us in the long run and help bring back the respect we once deserved.


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