Remembering Susan Jordan


From HAL BENNETT

May 30, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Over the past year and a half, Susan had become a friend. I am an author and writing coach and Dave Smith had introduced us, hoping I could help her write her memoir.

When Dave contacted me yesterday (May 29, 09) to tell me Susan died in a small plane accident in Utah, I was stunned. My first words at the news were expletives, probably much like the last words that pilots record in those black boxes when they crash—outrage at the suddenness and randomness of violent death. And later I would speculate that Susan, being Susan, probably uttered similar words in the final seconds of life in her friend’s plane.

The last we met on her book project was sometime near the end of April. After months of struggling with the project, she announced that she’d had a breakthrough. She emailed me a new book proposal that started with the following—which I believe she would have loved to share with her friends and loved ones, though probably with some hesitancy and, certainly, modesty. These are her words. I’ve edited them only for minor typos (she was an impatient typist):

In Memoriam – Our dear friend, Susan Jordan


Your remembrance comments here


Atty. Susan B. Jordan – Cases of Notoriety


From Susan’s Website

People v. Inez Garcia, Monterey County Superior Court, 1977. On a self-defense theory, Inez Garcia was acquitted of killing the man who raped her.

People v. Emily Harris, U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California and Alameda County Superior Court, 1978. Involved the defense of Emily Harris, who was charged with kidnapping Patricia Hearst.

People v. Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, Alameda County Superior Court, 1990. This case, which reached only the investigation stage, focused on Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney as suspects in the bombing of their own vehicle. Defendants were not charged.

In re 1993 Superior Court Elections, Mendocino County. A highly charged ballot recount arising out of the election by a 3 vote margin of a controversial supervisor. Election results upheld.

Tamara A. v. Berkeley Unified School District, United States, District Court for the Northern District of California, 1995-96. A lawsuit on behalf of 12 minor plaintiffs and their mothers against the Berkeley Unified School District for violation of civil rights arising out of sexual molestation and sexual harassment by an elementary school teacher. Case settled.

Mendocino’s Local Economy: Weed, Wine, Wood, and Water


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

May 29, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

This interactive map at Slate shows job losses by county from January 2006 to present. You can watch in horror as the careless greed of the Masters of the Universe race across the U.S. “bombing” jobs month-by-month, obliterating everything in its path.

Meanwhile, many of us here in Mendocino County have to spend our precious time fighting off the death throes of a thrashing DDR dinosaur, trying to squeeze out one last political perversion before dropping permanently into the black hole of consumerist history. Instead, we should be rebuilding our county economy, based on localizing renewable energy and organic/biodynamic agriculture.

Yesterday on Democracy Now, Eduardo Galeano, author of The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, the book Chavez gave to Obama, had this to say:

There is a new energy, which is not new at all. I think that history never ends. Some histories inside history have no happy ends, unhappy ends. But history doesn’t end. She’s a stubborn lady, and she goes on walking, sometimes crying, sometimes laughing. But it never ends. When histories say goodbye, history is really saying, “See you. See you later. See you soon.” So this is like a subterranean river, who went on flowing and nowadays is reappearing with a very important energy coming from people…

I have an engineer friend of mine who said, “Lo único que se hace desde arriba son los pozos,” “The only thing that you can make from up to down are holes.” And it’s true. All the other things are made, are created from the bottom. And that’s the way it’s going to be done, and it’s already going on in several Latin American countries, which is good news, indeed, for the world…

The coming great cook-out? Part 2 of 4


From DON SANDERSON
Mendocino County

May 29, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

A View From Afar

Here I sit in outer space, occasionally intercepting so-called information broadcast by dying print media and internet blogs of unknown origins. Some are reporting that the recession will be over in a couple of months, but jobs and house prices will continue shrinking until sometime next year. Anyhow, though individual debt is at al all time high, consumer confidence is increasing – but, wait, their purchasing isn’t. A lot of this just doesn’t compute, but there is more.

The really big news that isn’t headlined by the popular media is that the Waxman-Markey energy and climate bill is on the House floor. As with all such legislation, as far as I can tell from discussions, it is likely so convoluted that no one truly understands it. “Plenty of folks are horrified—for entirely opposite reasons.” Keith Johnson wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Even with all the compromises, conservatives are still aghast at the costs of what they call a giant ‘energy tax.’

Thanks to all the compromises, some environmentalists are aghast at what they see as a toothless bill. You could drive yourself insane plowing through the nearly 1,000 pages and try to work out how all the overlapping policies, regulators, giveaways, exemptions, and mandates actually affect U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions over the next four decades.”

Not to worry. The White House assures us, in a statement released May 22, 2009, “Coupled with the announcement about setting a new national policy to both increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas pollution, the legislation that passed out of House Energy and Commerce Committee is a historic leap towards providing clean energy incentives that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create millions of new jobs all across America. The President has been clear that if there are disparate impacts on consumers and business during the transition period, they should be compensated. Make no mistake – this bill sets aggressive emissions reductions targets and provides for a program that invests in the technologies needed to bring about a clean energy future.”

Monster Mall – More Letters to the Editor



From Ukiah Daily Journal (5/27/09)

May 29, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Don’t be deceived

To the Editor:
Recently I was in Chico and happened by a sad strip mall called Chico Crossings. There was a now defunct Circuit City, a Food Maxx and a number of empty buildings. I have no doubt this property is owned by the same company who is attempting to get the Masonite Property rezoned. It seems obvious to me that the rezoning is a ploy to raise the property value on the real estate prior to unloading the property.

I have no doubt that we will one day soon have a Costco, most likely in the same area they have spoken of putting it in near Friendman’s. The whole ploy of talking about a Crossings Mall reminds me of an incident which happened to my poor sister-in-law when she sold her home. The buyer kept begging her to lower the price because the buyer wanted to move in with her family and loved the home so much. My soft-hearted sister conceded, only to watch the buyer raise the price and put it back on the market when escrow closed.

With malls going out of business all over the U.S. and this company having lost substantial money on their stock value, it seems only logical that their aim is one of gaining the most money possible on the sale of the property by rezoning. Don’t be fooled by their rosy talk of Mendocino Crossings.

Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of deception, I have spoken to several people who actually signed the petition unaware that it was for the Mendocino Crossings.

M J Wilson
Potter Valley
~

DDR, good money after bad

To the Editor:
Developers’ Diversified Realty “has fallen into financial distress as it continues to refuse to widen the state highway (New Hampshire Route 1) that town officials say would assure the projects approval.”

So reported the Daily News of Newburyport, N.H., on April 6 of a DDR-financed mall project in its area (“Developer in Financial Turmoil”).

It said the publicly traded company, hit hard by the recession, is suffering from rising debt and a cash shortage. “Its stock value once at a high of $72.33 per share in February 2007,” said the News, “Opened on the stock exchange late last week at $2.39 per share.”

Ukiah Farmers Market Saturday, May 30th



From SCOTT CRATTY
Ukiah

May 29, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Friends of the Market,

Greetings. Tomorrow will be the first regular season farmers’ market without a big co-event (Cinco de Mayo, Human Race, Pastels on the Plaza, Art Faire Ukiah). Those fine events got the season off to a great start. However, if you like your farmers’ markets experience to be cozier, tomorrow’s market is the one for you.

Tom Brower, Mendocino Lavender, Ties a Sage Swag

The main difference between this year’s market and last is that we have more vendors and a much bigger selection. Indeed, I currently expect that this Saturday will be the first time we are not able to fit the farmers’ market vendors into one street. Neufeld Farm, Sky Hoyt, and Thompson Farm have volunteered to shift to a new block. It will be interesting to see if the customers are willing to cross the street to support them.

Come find out.

For this week’s food info, check out the trailer for yet another new movie about out current food system here.

Tomorrow we welcome back accordion music by market favorite Don Willis. We will also have some activities for the kids brought to us by Farmers’ Market Friends First Five.

Hey DDR! No water!


From MICHAEL LAYBOURN
Hopland

May 28, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

A tip of the fedora to Mark Scaramella for reporting on one of the most critical issues in our county.

We finally find some knowledgeable information at a Board of Supervisors meeting about our water situation in Mendocino County. Mark Scaramella in the Anderson Valley Advertiser reports that the Executive Director of LAFCO, Frank McMichaels, gave a report to the supervisors about the obvious situation we all are faced with in terms of water: We don’t have enough.

I’ve met Frank McMichaels several times and have seen him to be a no-nonsense, straightforward, conservative person. If Frank gives us (and the Supes) a report, it’s probably the real deal.

The report fully evaluates our water situation and contains the following:

-“The Ukiah Valley is presently overbuilt as to water resources.”

- Reserves are maxed out.

- The Russian River Flood Control District is fully contracted and is now under a 50% conservation order.

- Redwood Valley is on a court imposed moratorium – no more hookups for water.

- Calpella has the same constraints.

As Scaramella said, “the facts just kept on coming”…

“McMichaels said that ‘DDR owners (and would-be developers of the Masonite site) seek to bypass these laws. Present service recipients would see dramatic reductions. It would put them in a drought regimen even in non-drought years. And the costs of dealing with these impacts (water, sewer, fire, police, etc) will be imposed on existing ratepayers and districts. DDR wants to bypass the rule of law –especially on water’”

There is no water in the Ukiah Valley for large scale development. Even developers with their capacity to ignore contradictory evidence and hot-to-trot shoppers must try to look for some common sense. There is not enough water.

Mendocino County Supervisors. Ukiah City Councilors. We CAN print our own money! Just form our own bank!


From Web of Debt

May 27, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

[Fiscally solvent North Dakota is doing it . . . and so can California. So can Mendocino County! So can Ukiah! And save our own economy. Seriously! Right now! -DS]

Money in a government-owned bank could give us the best of both worlds. We could have all the credit-generating advantages of private banks, without the baggage cluttering up the books of the Wall Street giants, including bad derivatives bets, unmarketable collateralized debt obligations, mark to market accounting issues, oversized CEO salaries and bonuses, and shareholders expecting a sizeable cut of the profits.

A state could deposit its vast revenues in its own state-owned bank and proceed to fan them into 8 to 10 times their face value in loans. Not only would it have its own credit machine, but it would control the loan terms. The state could lend at ½% interest to itself and to municipal governments, rolling the loans over as needed until the revenues had been generated to pay them off.

According to Professor Margrit Kennedy in her 1995 book Interest and Inflation-free Money, interest composes, on average, fully half the cost of every public project. Cutting costs by 50% could make currently-unsustainable projects such as low-cost housing, alternative energy development, and infrastructure construction not only sustainable but actually profitable for the government.

If all this seems too radical and unprecedented to venture into, consider that one state has had its own bank for 90 years; and it has not only escaped the credit crunch but is doing remarkably well . . . .

North Dakota has also managed to avoid the credit freeze, through the simple expedient of creating its own credit. It has led the nation in establishing state economic sovereignty. In California and other states, workers and factories are sitting idle because the private credit system has failed…

Keep reading at Web of Debt
~
See also Mendo Moola
~~

Jack London’s Credo, and Bioregionalism


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

May 27, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Jack London’s Credo:

I would rather be ashes than dust!

I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The function of man is to live, not to exist.

I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.

I shall use my time.

~~Poster in rest room, Patrona Restaurant, Ukiah



Bioregionalism

From Kirkpatrick Sale
Dwellers in the Land (1991)

The issue is not one of morality but of scale. There is no very successful way to teach, or force, the moral view, or to insure correct ethical responses to anything at all. The only way people will apply “right behavior” and behave in a responsible way is if they have been persuaded to see the problem concretely and to understand their own connections to it directly—and this can be done only at a limited scale.

Rural Matters


From SHEILAH ROGERS
Redwood Valley

May 26, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

May is a busy month for networks, not-for-profits and alliances that are dedicated to the pursuit of entrepreneurship as the economic development strategy in rural communities throughout the United States.  Small and microbusinesses have, after all, created 2/3 of new jobs during the past 20 years and they are historically the first responder during economic downturns.

The National Summit on Entrepreneurship hosted by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity gathered in Washington, DC and announced two new partnerships: one with BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and one with Green for All, the national organization committed to the growth of living wage blue collar jobs in all ‘Green’ sectors.

A compelling interactive session at the National Summit on Entrepreneurship celebrated the unique flavors of particular rural regions and the emergence of deliberate entrepreneurial efforts that build upon those flavors.  Regional Flavor Strategies bring together stakeholders – microenterprise development programs (we have one – it’s called West Company), chambers of commerce, cultural and historic preservations programs, not for profits, educational institutions, Main Street programs, and many others to promote the assets and flavor of their region.

Entrepreneurs are supported to identify and respond to their region’s flavor and encouraged to think and act innovatively as they utilize the flavor of their region to grow and expand their enterprises.  Entrepreneurs from outside the area are attracted to these new vital centers for a place to locate their businesses.

Mendocino County and the North Coast region have identified Six Targets of Opportunity where there is demonstrated job growth, wage increases, competitiveness and career potential.  Three of the six are particularly flavorful in Mendocino County and may provide opportunity to develop a Regional Flavor for the region.

Monster Mall – Letters to the Editor, etc.


Letter to the Editor
Ukiah Daily Journal
May 21, 2009

Reasons to rezone the old Masonite Property:

Stop the leakage of money to Sonoma County. This method is very inefficient. Better to replace it with a giant drain to send our money directly to the conglomerate retail businesses back east.

Improve the health of our citizens. Every spring many suffer from pollen allergies. Putting in a giant mall is at least a start for eliminating grassy areas and other plant growth.

Put the useless land to work. Rezoning Masonite for a mall could open up possibilities for other rezoning of land that is now being wasted to grow food.

Encourage competition. By rezoning the Masonite site, owners of the land that is already zoned for retail will have to reconsider what they want to do with it.

It will also give our local government officials something to do — argue over whether to rezone all that land.

Create jobs. Think of all the electricians who will be needed to put in the five new stop lights, all the good (temporary) construction jobs, all the low paying retail sales jobs to give bored, rich housewives in Ukiah something to do. (And we know how many of those live in this affluent area.)

Free up housing for the homeless. How? The buildings that will become vacant downtown and in other shopping areas will quickly be taken over by squatters and thereby solve the homeless problem.

Provide a corporate stimulus plan for DDR. If they get their initiative passed, they can sell the site at a huge profit, thereby getting themselves out of a financial hole.

Bring Ukiah into the 21st century. All the other areas are uniform with the same stores and eateries. Ukiah is just out of step with its unique shops and restaurants. Anyone coming into town immediately recognizes that we are different. We surely don’t want that, do we?

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get into step with everyone else in the country. DDR will lead us to the future.

Janet Freeman
Ukiah

~

Community-Based Entrepreneurs – Dave Pollard


From Dave Pollard
How To Save The World

Six steps to sustainable, community-based Natural Enterprise, from my book Finding the Sweet Spot

I’m in Denver for the weekend at the annual conference of BALLE, the international network of community-based sustainable businesses. The reason I’m here is more about looking for ideas than personal networking. One of the mandates I’ve taken on in my current work is to make our association (the Chartered Accountants of Canada, equivalent to CPAs in the US) champions of entrepreneurship and of new, sustainable enterprise formation.

The reason we’re championing entrepreneurs is that no one else will. It’s an interesting paradox that the North American economy is driven by entrepreneurs (virtually all new net employment in the last decade has been in the entrepreneurial sector), not by big corporations, but all the money and attention flows to the big corporations. Entrepreneurs don’t get bailouts, massive incentives to locate in your community, or big unpublicized government subsidies. Universities say they teach entrepreneurship but what they do is the minimum (‘intrapreneurship’) lip service to get big corporations to fund ‘chairs in entrepreneurship’ that let them hire and retain professors. Economic Development Offices of governments at various levels are designed to attract businesses (i.e. property and business tax revenues) so their work for entrepreneurs is mostly low-budget, low-value work like providing names of lawyers and accountants and telling you how to get business licenses, incorporate and file taxes.

Accountants and lawyers (especially the smaller ones) will take on entrepreneurs as clients, but generally are unenthusiastic and not terribly helpful for businesses at the critical start-up stage. Bankers (with the notable exception of credit unions) generally avoid entrepreneurial businesses, and lenders of last resort are usually vultures who create more problems for entrepreneurs than they solve. BALLE founder Michael Shuman has written about these challenges in his book The Small-Mart Revolution.

What’s worse, in some progressive circles, the very word ‘entrepreneur’ is suspect — it’s almost as if profit and enterprise are considered necessarily exploitative.

Keep reading here→.
~~

Memorial Day Ukiah 2009


Veterans For Peace


A giant asparagus from a distant part of the solar system has invaded Ukiah


From ANNIE ESPOSITO
Ukiah

May 24, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

There’s enough bad news to deal with: over-development, global warming, legislative nonsense offensive on many different levels. Sometimes, though, you can just take a deep breath and enjoy the wonders of our mortal plane.

For example, a giant asparagus from a distant part of the solar system has invaded Dora Street. Troyle Tognoli has a flower garden that pleases all people who walk by. But now they stop and stare. A century plant is blossoming. As the weeks go by, the stalk jumps up another few feet. This week it sent out branchlets which will hold the flower clusters.

Here is Troyle looking up at the plant as it looked on Saturday. It’s still climbing, and looks like it is trying to match height with the adjacent palm.
~~

Food security begins at home


From LINDA GRAY
Mendocino County

There’s a good article in the June 2009 issue of National Geographic about global food issues. If you can’t get your hands on the magazine, you can read it online at the link below. It’s 13 web pages long and focuses mostly on Africa & India, but the first four paragraphs (copied below) apply to us here in Mendoland.

It seems to me that now is the time for us to dream a new vision toward food security here while we still have plenty of food available to us. There’s still a lot of farmable land in this county, but the unfortunate problems that I see here are 1) that very little land is dedicated to growing food, 2) farm land is expensive and out of reach to would-be young farmers, 3) there’s no incentive to young people to encourage them to learn farming skills. Surely there are creative ways to get around these obstacles, but it will probably take a lot more people recognizing that food is becoming less secure before there’s a critical mass of folks determined to make change. Anyway, read on . . .

It is the simplest, most natural of acts, akin to breathing and walking upright. We sit down at the dinner table, pick up a fork, and take a juicy bite, obliv­ious to the double helping of global ramifications on our plate. Our beef comes from Iowa, fed by Nebraska corn.

Rev. Billy Exhorts!


From Rev. Billy
Activist and Founder of The Church of Life After Shopping
In yes! magazine

“Now so many of us have lost our jobs, our savings—we are starting new businesses out of our garages. Out of our personal computers. We discover that our hobbies can make money. We teach in the home.

“Trading, bartering, thrifting… we are doing what we can. We are making things. The old shuttered storefronts can be re-opened …

“This is the basic healing that we need now across our country … We are getting to know each other again. This is the stuff of our new economy. It will grow and we won’t let it go this time.”
~

Rev. Billy on YouTube

See also Recession Turns Malls Into Ghost Towns


~~

Them good bugs


From MICHAEL LAYBOURN
Hopland

May 22, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

I was out in the garden, looking at my artichoke plants, noting how they seemed to be doing fairly well this year. Most years I had aphid problems that killed off lots of the leaves, leaving plants that didn’t look too healthy.

Then one morning I looked and ants were running up and down the leaves, telling me … aphids. First thought was to try some semi-organic spray with pyrethrins to kill those suckers off.

Then I thought: let’s do a little research.

I found this site from Oregon State University: Crop and Garden Pests in the Pacific Northwest. Well, I thought, that’s pretty close to our climate and began studying the beneficial bugs that ate the pesky ones. I then went back out to the garden and said, “Whoa, I don’t want to kill any of these bugs. The ladybug larva was eating aphids, not the leaves! I left them alone and in 2 weeks I now have several beneficial insects, more ladybugs and much healthier looking artichoke plants. Plus more artichokes than I can eat. And no aphids.

So I thought here’s some cheerful news for UkiahBlog.

Just go to this site and learn the wonders of beneficial insects (natural enemies) and how to attract them. I printed the information for myself on matt photo paper. The photos are great: Most of the photographs in this pocket guide are from the Ken Gray collection. All other photographs are from the author.

The pdf to print out is here.
~~

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