Mendo Island Journal — Timely. Useful. Sometimes Cranky.

Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Ukiah Screed: Following the Money in Mendocino County

In Dave Smith on June 30, 2009 at 5:53 am

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

June 30, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Mendocino County has not yet been hurt badly by the financial crisis – for three reasons. First, because marijuana is our number one product; second, because that product, unlike timber, is bought and sold in cash; and third, we were not on the fast-track, high-growth frenzy that had captured other areas in the state south of us.

We have heard for many years the constant whining, frustration and fury by developers that it is nigh impossible to get anything through our local planning departments. We may want to stop a minute and thank our bureaucrats for being so grossly slow and inefficient.

The Monster Mall folks finally gave up and put their dumb growth project on the ballot. They’re determined to suck the lifeblood from our county and send it who knows where, to who knows who. Citizens in Windsor, San Diego, and San Joaquin Valley had very high throughput planners to help in their building frenzies and big box growth, and now they’re suffering horribly for it. They might want to send their planners up here for seminars on how to drag their feet.

But what of our local future? A slow squeeze has begun on another of our major sources of income: decent- and good-paying (thanks to Unions) local and regional jobs supported by taxes such as teaching, police and fire, public services, etc. Unless teachers get into outlaw agriculture, growing bud is not going to take up the slack. As cash becomes scarce, small businesses will suffer, local stores will close, tax income will go down further, more jobs will be lost… and we will join the death spiral that many other communities are experiencing.

Then we will start asking hard questions about why we are spending money at big box and chain stores that send our money out of our county; about why some locals would want to welcome even more occupiers in to plunder what little money we have; and how shopping local circulates our money around and around here at home, creating jobs, rather than taking leave for parts unknown.

We will also then consider creating our own local currencies, as other communities are doing, that stays local, purchasing food from our own farmers and restaurateurs; purchasing goods from our own merchants, makers and suppliers; purchasing entertainment from our own neighbors and local talents rather than watching it on the boob tube.

And you’ll be thankful you did because what you spend and send around locally, comes back to you and our community’s common wealth in so many ways.
~
See also Mendocino’s Local Economy: Weed, Wine, Wood, and Water

…and When Whiners Whine About Whining Whiners
~~

As The Monster Malls Die: Retrofitting Our Towns

In Around the web on June 30, 2009 at 5:41 am

From The Christian Science Monitor

As it once sucked the life out of Main Street, the suburban mall is being reconsidered – or torn down – as towns move back to the concept of a multiuse town center.

June 30, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Lakewood, Colo.

Few here have forgotten the Villa Italia, the hulking, whitewashed mall that once spilled across the skyline of central Lakewood. Unveiled in 1966, the Villa was the largest indoor shopping center west of the Mississippi River and east of California. The gaudy main hall – ornamented to evoke the charms of old-world Europe – played host to hundreds of after-prom parties, first dates, and all-day festivals. In its heyday, in the 1970s and ’80s, the Villa anchored this large, affluent Denver suburb, which never had a Main Street to call its own.

Then in the ’90s, like hundreds of malls nationwide, the Villa began to lose its luster. First went the jewelry stores and the luxury-goods boutiques. By 2001, destination department stores such as Montgomery Ward and JCPenney had vanished, too, and with them, most of the foot traffic. The kids who hung out in the food court decamped for more vibrant locales; the corridors grew hushed. The once-great mall became a cemetery of dollar stores and a glorified walking track for senior citizens. In 2003, it was mercifully reduced to a pile of rubble.

For at least a decade, Americans have been regularly reminded that the indoor mall was hurtling toward obscurity. The causes were manifold: the rise of Internet shopping, the sharp spikes of an ailing economy, the success of Wal-Mart and its big-box kin, the fading relevance of mall culture.

Welcome to 2009, the year that the mall, the staple of so many childhood memories and a longstanding pillar of suburban commerce, could finally and truly go bust. From west to east, shopping centers stand darkened, the hulks of Circuit Citys boarded up, the parking lots of Linens ‘n Things deserted. Malls are posting the highest vacancy rates in a decade, and retail rental rates are plummeting, according to Reis, a New York firm that studies trends in commercial real estate. And the slope is precipitous: Read more→

Food, Inc. – Movie reviews from Acres USA and Roger Ebert

In Industrial Agriculture on June 30, 2009 at 5:17 am

From Chris Walters
Acres USA

June 29, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Every weekday the public radio station where I live carries a program called Marketplace, ostensibly devoted to all things economic. The reporters and commentators on Marketplace sound a little more despondent every day, which is understandable. As bad as the economic news may be these days, the most depressing job at that show must be reading the name of its corporate underwriter, Monsanto, followed by a catchphrase including the term “sustainable agriculture.”

If everybody at Marketplace doesn’t yet realize what a horrible lie they are promoting in exchange for money, they will after they see Food, Inc. In an era when paid flacks, viral marketing specialists and the like know how to divert vast amounts of media oxygen, if you oppose one industry’s agenda, then it’s not at all cynical to note that your propaganda has to be better than their propaganda. Thus it is no slam at all to call Food, Inc. a work of superbly efficient and appealing propaganda.

As director Robert Kenner would doubtless agree, it helps when you have the facts on your side. The movie’s target is industrial agriculture, and industrial agriculture is a disaster of staggering proportions… The movie’s virtues lie in the skill, sometimes even the beauty, of its execution. Kenner mimics corporate-ag TV style with lush helicopter shots of endless rows of crops extending into the horizon like God’s own corduroy — except he lingers on shots a lot longer than any television spot ever could, and the prettiness of the image breaks down and turns unsettling.

Then there are the people, especially chicken grower Carole Morison, who is infinitely tired of the deceit she’s had to tolerate over many years in business with Big Poultry, and Joel Salatin [photo above], whose good humor and pleasure in his work takes over the screen. Salatin [see video below] has the physical authority of somebody absolutely at home in his skin, a quality that cannot be faked in front of a movie camera.

Part of Kenner’s agenda, like the books of Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser (who act here as de facto narrators), is to connect viewers to the sources of their food. Here is where Food, Inc. is an unqualified success. Kenner somehow got permission to shoot inside a plant where hamburger meat is doused with an E. coli killer and turned into a gray slab for boxing, and he shows us CAFOs [Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations] and slaughterhouses. City dwellers will flinch when they see Salatin and his crew killing chickens by hand in their open-air facility, but only for a moment. It’s a wholesome and cheerful scene alongside the industrial horrors that have come before.

A few caveats need mentioning. Kenner confronts the issue Read more→

Organic Nutrition – The Latest Science

In Industrial Agriculture on June 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm

From Mark Keating
Acres USA

June 29, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

“If I were asked to sum up the results of the work of the pioneers of the last 12 years or so on the relation of agriculture to public health, I should reply that a fertile soil means healthy crops, healthy livestock, and last, but not least, healthy human beings.” So wrote Sir Albert Howard in 1945.

Sir Albert’s concise assessment of the human health benefits of eco-agriculture may be the first recorded response to the enduring question, Are organic foods better for you? For Howard, the nutritional superiority of organic foods was a direct consequence of the comaptibilit between eco-acriculture and the Earth’s first and most efficient farmer, Mother Nature. He perceived good health as the birthright of all living creatures and concluded that disease was inevitably connected to disruptions of the natural order, most frequently in the form of improper nutrition. Howard stated clearly and repeatedly that consuming an organic diet would impart human health and fitness in the same manner that crops raised on properly fertilized soils repel pests of all kinds.

Howard’s perspective was indeed shared by many of his pioneering peers, including Lady Eve Balfour, Sir Robert McCarrison, J.I. Rodale and Weston Price. Catalyzed by these visionaries, the emerging grassroots organic movement reflected an explicit rejection of the industrialized food production and processing system then transforming the American diet and landscape. Concern that an industrialized food supply would be nutritionally inadequate to promote human health drove the organic movement from its inception. For example, Lady Balfour wrote after her coast-to-coast trip across the United States in 1953, “The overall health picture of America is bad… Food is even more over-processed and sterilized than in England; much of the soil on which it is grown is more depleted; and there is an even wider use of poison sprays.” Imagine her reaction to the factory farms and rest stop food courts along a similar expedition today!

Howard attributed the nutritional superiority of organic food to the abundance of mycorrhizal fungi found in biologically active soils sustained by compost, crop rotations and cover crops. These fungi penetrate the fine root hairs of neighboring plants in a mutually beneficial relationship that facilitates nutrient uptake in both. Howard surmised that soluble, protein-rich compounds in the fungi were also absorbed by the plant and then incorporated directly into growing tissue. He saw these compounds as the building blocks for optimal amino acids and more sophisticated proteins that imbued organically raised plants with exceptional physical characteristics including resistance to disease. Howard also thought that these characteristics were transmitted through subsequent relationships in the food web, such as livestock grazing on healthy pasture and humans consuming food from organically raised crops and animals. Conversely, Howard postulated that a microbiologically weak soil would yield deficient amino acids and proteins that would invite disease in the plants and animals that consumed and incorporated them.

With the publication of Rachel Carson‘s Silent Spring in 1962, Read more→

Join Mendo Time Bank in Ukiah!

In Guest Posts on June 28, 2009 at 1:09 pm


You can earn help for yourself or your family by helping others in your community!

From JULIA FRECH
and SUSANN CARLO
Ukiah

June 28, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

What is a Time Bank?

A Time Bank is a community currency system and a network of local people and organizations that support each other. When you provide a service for another Time Bank member, you earn one Time Dollar for each hour spent providing that service. Spend each Time Dollar you earn on having somebody else do something for you. There is no money involved — the only currency is your time.

How can Mendo Time Bank work for me?

In times of economic and environmental hardship, when jobs, social services, and money are scarce, the best resource we have is our community. Mendo Time Bank helps community members get to know their neighbors and share their skills. We offer orientation sessions and monthly potlucks. Be a Mendo Time Bank member and be part of the change you want to see in our community!

What can you buy with Time Dollars?

natural building lessons • garden bed digging • water-wise landscape design • child care • tutoring • party planning • wood work • photography • housekeeping • massage • animal care • overnight getaways • organic vegetables • and more

Learn how to get involved.

Visit MendoTimeBank.com
~
See also Mendocino’s Local Economy: Weed, Wine, Wood and Water

…and Mendo Moola – Local Money Coming Soon For Ukiah

…and Reinventing the Informal Economy
~~

Ukiah’s business park purchase: more dumb growth?

In Dave Smith on June 28, 2009 at 1:00 pm

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

June 28, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

In its Editorial Opinion, Sunday, June 28, 2009, the Ukiah Daily Journal calls our city’s purchase of vacant retail and commercially zoned land in the Redwood Business Park a “smart move.”

The Op-ed goes on to support the opinion by stating “The bottom line for the city’s residents is the potential for tax revenues that land represents. Vacant it represents nothing. Bundled and sold or leased for a major retail project it has the potential to increase annual property taxes by between $7 million and $11 million and bring in new sales taxes of $1.7 million… The question is whether the economy revives enough in the next couple of years to lure a major big box chain to construct a new store in Ukiah.”

This seems like nothing but dumb growth based on dumb oil, and we would expect a newspaper owned by some distant conglomerate to be supportive of the same old crap that wants to monitize every last bit of the commonwealth (“vacant it represents nothing”) which is destroying nature and community. That statement, in and of itself, pretty much sums up the moral and financial stupidity that has gotten us into the  environmental disaster that we share. And despite allegedly being our source of important news, does our local newspaper  know what’s really going on in the world?

We renew our call for local entrepreneurs to purchase the UDJ so it is locally-owned with responsive ownership that gives a damn for something other than its own bottom line.

Meanwhile:

Every increment of added population, and every added increment of affluence invariably destroys an increment of the remaining environment.

We hear a lot today about “smart growth,” as though “smart growth” was the magic key to the achievement of sustainability. A central ingredient in “smart growth” is regional planning; regional planning encourages more population growth, and population growth is unsustainable. It is thus clear that “smart growth” can’t solve the problems.

Read more→

No Growth is the Smartest Growth

In Around the web on June 27, 2009 at 7:40 pm

From Kirkpatrick Sale

Let’s Get Rid of the Economy of Growth

June 27, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California,

It’s getting worse and worse, and the wizards don’t have a clue. They don’t even know the economy is broken—and can’t be fixed. That’s why they keep doing more of the same with the same old solutions and same old people.

Nothing could be more obvious, and I think most sentient people in the land know this in their hearts. And nothing could be more obvious than the need to overhaul that economy entirely—which is indeed the opportunity we have now.

I don’t mean we have to scrap the capitalist system entirely, but we do have to reign it in. We have to fit it in to the limits of the real world. We have to understand that economics is a subsystem of the overall ecosystem. We have to realize that continuing to base it on the concepts of growth and consumption—and encouraging, “stimulating,” more of that—will lead to the collapse not only of the global economy but probably the industrial civilization it serves.

Isn’t it obvious that the Keynesian idea of growth at all costs, particularly growth fostered by large governments that can print money, has failed? Isn’t it clear that we can’t keep on throwing money at this failed economy and that something quite different is needed? The U.S. economy has been devoted exclusively to the idea of perpetual growth since the end of World War II, and it has allowed any number of evils—environmental destruction, greenhouse gases, pollution, resource depletion, military expansion, government inefficiency and corruption, corporate political domination, unregulated financial institutions, immense inequality, a perpetual underclass, the decay of public education, and that’s just for starters—in its pursuit. Isn’t it obvious that it doesn’t work and that the current Great Recession is the proof of that?…

The alternative? Nothing complicated: a non-growth economy. A human-scale economy. A steady-state economy.

Read whole post Let’s Get Rid of the Economy of Growth

See also the moralities of scale at Orion→

…and this wonderful website on Thomas Jefferson
All via Energy Bulletin
~~

Financial Shock and Awe

In Around the web on June 27, 2009 at 7:23 am

From Bill Ayers

June 27, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

The mother of all bail-outs is upon us– approaching a trillion dollars in federal funds, that is, in tax-payer’s money, to get the big gamblers and hustlers and sharpies off the hook– and it’s way beyond global. Let’s call it galactic or stratospheric. It is awesome, and the questions just keep on coming:

When the big guys were raking in super-profits, we were not invited to the table to share the wealth, so why are we now told we must share the pain?

Isn’t this socialism for the rich?

If “government is the problem” and the genius of the “free market” the solution to everything from health care and education to national defense and public safety, why are the marketeers in line with their hands out?

We were told repeatedly by the powerful that there wasn’t enough money for decent health care for all, wonderful schools for poor kids, and support for a life of dignity and purpose for the elderly, so how did a trillion dollars suddenly materialize?

Further if full and generous funding for education and health care would turn ordinary, hard-working citizens into lazy, dissolute louts– that’s what they said– then what can we hope for the moral well-being of the financial wizards?

Is the government of the people, by the people, for the people, or has it finally become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Finance, Big Oil, and Big Pharma?

We were reminded that our patriotic duty required that we support a war-of-choice costing $500,000 per minute, but who profits, and who suffers in war?

I’m just asking…
~~

Calling Rep. Mike Thompson! Photos from Universal Health Care, Ukiah Demonstration, Courthouse 6/25/09

In !ACTION CENTER! on June 26, 2009 at 9:09 pm

From JANIE SHEPPARD
Mendocino County

June 26, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Thirty-five inland Mendocino County residents demonstrated in the noonday sun to show Congressman Mike Thompson that there is strong support for single payer health care reform in his Congressional district.

Demonstrating were a small business owner, politicians, a doctor, several retirees, and members of the Ukiah Valley Democratic Party.  In other words, people from all walks of life came together to show their support for single payer health care reform.

The ambiance was friendly; there were no hecklers, unlike Friday evening demonstrations for peace where a couple of hecklers can be counted on to shout epithets at the demonstrators.  Could there be more support for health care reform than for peace?  That’s what it looks like.   Perhaps it’s because, as one demonstrator’s sign showed, health care is an out of pocket expense whereas war is covered by our taxes.  We don’t see the tax money; we do see the health care money go to insurance companies that thrive by overcharging and cherry picking whom they choose to insure.

To put health care on the same footing as war, it would be paid for with tax revenues.  Everyone would receive the benefits, not just those with lots of money who have never been sick.  Is that so much to ask?  We don’t think so, Congressman Thompson.

Support H.R. 676, the bill that, if enacted, would give all your constituents health care without worrying about paying for it.


More photos→

The passing of Holistic Veterinary Medicine Pioneer — Juliette de Bairacli Levy

In Guest Posts on June 25, 2009 at 9:20 pm



From CHARLES MARTIN
Mendocino County Farmer

June 25, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

I want to let you know of the passing of a saint and pioneer in the natural health and healing field, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, the longtime friend of animal lovers, both domestic and organic/biodynamic farmers, and of course animals themselves.

The announcement came to me via Acres USA, a US agricultural publication. Its founder Charlie Walters, also recently passed on to the next world.

Most of my personal dogs, and both my loyal farm dogs, Juliette and Rachel (the latter named in honor of Rachel Carson the pioneer environmentalist) were raised using Juliette’s methods. Read more→

Ukiah Farmer’s Market Saturday 6/27/09

In Dave Smith on June 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Renegade Certified Organic Farmer Lee Rossavick

From SCOTT CRATTY
Ukiah

June 25, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Friends of the Farmers’ Market,

Greetings.  Have a favorite farmers’ market?  If so, you may be keen to know that there are suddenly two different on-line contests to vote for your favorite.  One is at farmland.org/vote.  That one has prizes for markets of different sizes, which is a nice feature.  Another is here. It was nice to see that the Ukiah Saturday market has already collected a few vote (not counting mine).  You can go straight to the page for Ukiah Saturday here.

Sad news … the Grilli’s Boysenberries and Ollaliberries are about done… and the raspberries are sputtering along.  So they will not be at market this week and probably not next.  Until the blackberries come rolling in. (You may be able to find a few of their berries at the Westside Renaissance Market).  If you are a fan of Busalacchi cherries, this week will be your last change to get them.

John Johns asked me to relay that it is Gopher Purge season. Come by the Johns Family Farm booth at the Ukiah Farmers Market and get your Gopher. Purge before they are gone. Gal. pots $5.00, seeds, 20 count $3.00.

Saturday’s market will have a few special events starting with the return of market favorite Don Willis on accordion.  The Ukiah Unified School District will be back with more important information about nutrition and health. Read more→

Masonite Monster Mall: Zoning? Zoning? We don’t need no stinkin’ zoning!

In Around the web on June 24, 2009 at 10:48 pm

From Ukiah Daily Journal

DDR initiative approved for ballot

June 25, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

[...]McCowen said the public should take time to educate themselves on the impacts of the project in lieu of a California Environmental Quality Act study as would normally be required.

“All of the other things that would normally be identified during the planning process for any project of this magnitude, they certainly should be discussed and debated by the public,” he said. “If the initiative does pass there will be no opportunity to institute any mitigations to deal with these problems, so that’s what you get with this process.”

Go to full article here
Thanks to Steve Scalmanini
~
From analysis of Ballot Initiative

*    What development standards would apply to the project?

Only what DDR has written into the Specific Plan, which substitutes for all County Zoning regulations [Initiative, Section 3].  In other words, DDR has written its own rules. Not surprisingly, these conflict with the existing limits and aesthetic standards that are common in Mendocino County. For example, DDR gives itself the right to erect a 100-foot tall lighted sign next to the freeway, four times taller and eight times larger in area than allowed by County zoning [B-124].   Signs on the stores themselves can be up to 500 square feet, three times larger than allowed by County zoning. [B-120].   There is no provision whatsoever for design review by the County of the buildings or other features.
~~

Art Center Ukiah – Writers Read This Thursday Evening 6/25 7pm

In Around the web on June 24, 2009 at 8:05 am

From DAN BARTH and THERESA WHITEHILL
Ukiah

June 24, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

On Thursday, June 25, Writers Read will feature Ukiah poet Bill Churchill. Bill teaches modern languages at Santa Rosa and Mendocino Colleges. He has also been a California Poet in the Public School since 1998. His publications include: Song of Seasons, Controlled Burn, Sleeping with Ghosts and The Veil.

In 2008 he was featured at the Summer Dream Poetry Festival in Vancouver, B.C. A mariner since 1971, he has sailed in the Eastern Mediterranean, Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific Northwest.

The reading begins at 7PM at the Ukiah Art Center Annex, 203 S. State Street, Ukiah. (The Annex is next to the Corner Gallery at the intersection of Church and State in downtown Ukiah.) An open mic session will follow the featured reading. Refreshments available. Donation requested. For more info: (707) 463-6989, (707) 462-4557 or www.artcenterukiah.org.

Upcoming Writers Read:
(Monthly last Thursday readings at Art Center Ukiah Annex, 7 PM)

Thursday, July 30: All open mic.

Thursday, August 27: Featured reader Claire Blotter, followed by open mic.

Thursday, September 24: Featured reader Armando Garcia-Davila, followed by open mic.

For information on these and other Northern California events, check www.coloredhorse.com, www.artcenterukiah.org and www.poetryflash.org.
~~

The Post-Oil Novel

In Around the web, Books on June 24, 2009 at 7:38 am

From Seattle Peak Oil Awareness

June 24, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

The post-oil novel: a celebration!
by Frank Kaminski

Novels that deal with the collapse of our oil-based civilization undoubtedly belong under the heading of speculative fiction—and some even qualify as outright science fiction. But even so, there’s an inescapable irony to their being categorized as such. This is because, by and large, speculative fiction is an optimistic genre. It celebrates technological progress and often tacitly assumes a near-endless supply of both energy and human ingenuity.

Peak oil, in contrast, casts a ruthlessly critical eye on technological progress, human ingenuity, and alternative energy sources. Indeed, it considers the entire technological age to be nothing more than a charade, enabled by the reckless over-consumption of nonrenewable energy resources.

Given how alien the assumptions of peak oil are to some of the most cherished ideals of speculative fiction, it is perhaps unsurprising that only four novels published thus far (at least, by major mass market publishers) have endeavored to tackle the subject head on. Similarly unsurprising is the fact that, out of this small handful of books, only one was written by an author previously known for writing speculative fiction—the German writer Andreas Eschbach, whose post-oil thriller Ausgebrannt (2007) wound up hitting the German bestseller list.

The other three books—the late John Seymour’s Retrieved from the Future (1996), Alex Scarrow’s Last Light (2007), and James Howard Kunstler’s World Made by Hand (2008)—are all the work of first-time speculative fiction writers inadvertently turning the genre on its head.

Go to full essay

See also his essay of three more post-oil novels
Thanks to Energy Bulletin
~~

Take Action! Ukiah and Mendocino County – Funding Available for Renewable Energy

In !ACTION CENTER! on June 24, 2009 at 7:13 am

From Jim Apperson
Redwood Valley

June 24, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

A unique situation
Ukiah Daily Journal
Letter to the Editor

I would like to use this forum to alert the citizens of Mendocino County to a unique situation that will benefit us greatly, and have a positive impact on our children and their children.

In addition, I would like to also alert our elected officials, the Board of Supervisors, City Mayors and other county officials to this same issue and to ask for their help in securing it.

I am speaking of our current opportunity to create a county-wide Energy & Water Conservation Program. Due to a couple of pieces of recent legislation and the specific contents of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Act of 2009, our county (along with others) has been given all the puzzle pieces necessary to establish an energy efficiency program, which will lower our utility costs as well as conserve water. We can also curtail global warming and reduce our carbon output by burning less coal and fossil fuels which generate our electricity.

Our new President and his advisors have decided to stand behind the concept that it is less expensive to make our existing homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient than to explore and develop new energy sources. By using the guidelines of SB-811 and portions of the stimulus package, a loan program can be established that would allow home and business owners to have energy efficient items installed on their homes and commercial buildings.

An excellent model is the program that was started two months ago by our Sonoma County neighbors. Read more→

Action Taken! Universal Health Care, Ukiah Demonstration, Courthouse 6/25/09

In !ACTION CENTER! on June 24, 2009 at 7:03 am

From JANIE SHEPPARD

Mendocino County

>>>>Photos from the demonstration

June 21, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

To demonstrate how much universal health care means to Mendocino County, let’s meet on Thursday at 12 Noon in front of the courthouse in Ukiah. Bring video cameras. Make some beautiful signs. The videos can show our way too-conservative Congressional Representative, MIKE THOMPSON, that his constituents CARE ABOUT UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE, preferably the single-payer kind.

MIKE THOMSON recently said outside a business meeting in Fort Bragg to the 20+ constituents requesting his signing onto HR 676 that “there is not enough public support for Single Payer Health Care. If there were 2,000 of you here, that would be public support.”

In a recent Letter to the Editor (UDJ 6/18/2009), a constituant addressed the following to MIKE THOMPSON: “You said that while Single Payer is popular in your district, it does not have wide spread support throughout the country. This statement is factually in error; poll after poll shows a large majority of the Americal people in support of Single Payer. Here is a list of reputable independent polls on Single Payer with the percenage of people in support: Feb. 2009 New York Times/CBS News Poll – 59 percent; Feb. 2009, Grove Insight Opinion Research – 59 percent; Read more→

What’s On My Food? New Tool…

In Around the web on June 23, 2009 at 7:12 am

From Pesticide Action Network

June 23, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Pesticides
…on our food, even after washing;
…in our bodies, for years;
…& in our environment, traveling many miles on wind, water and dust.

What’s On My Food? is a searchable database designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable.

How does this tool work? We link pesticide food residue data with the toxicology for each chemical, making this information easily searchable for the first time.

Use the tool, share it with others: we built it to help move the public conversation about pesticides into an arena where you don’t have to be an expert to participate.

At Pesticide Action Network (PAN), we believe that pesticides are a public health problem requiring public engagement to solve. We want you to have the information you need to take action on pesticides. What’s On My Food? builds on PAN’s 27-year tradition of making pesticide science accessible.

Go to What’s On My Food?

See also Organic To Be

…and Fatal Harvest – Industrial Agriculture Series

…and More evidence links pesticides to Parkinsons

…and Organic Consumers Association – Action Center
~~

Santa Cruz Group Gears Up for Life After Cheap Oil

In Around the web on June 23, 2009 at 7:09 am

From The Santa Cruz News
Excerpts

June 23, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

…Voudreau, a member of Transition Santa Cruz’s steering committee, said that drastic change is coming whether we want it or not, that there is no point in discussing whether or not we should be driving, and soon, in fact, the luxury to make such choices will not even exist.

“We’re here,” she said, “to talk about peak oil.”

But Transition Santa Cruz and its several hundred members firmly believe that, although dramatic change may be in the works, we can prepare for it if we reorganize the way we live. The organization was born last summer as just one localized faction of the worldwide Transition movement, which first began in 2007 in Totnes, England. It was there that one Rob Hopkins recognized that the modern world will not be able to continue on its current trajectory when fast, easy access to oil peaks and begins to dwindle—or when global warming and economic meltdown, the other two drivers of the Transition movement, become inescapable realities.

But in an ideal Transition town, society would be ready for such changes. With limited gas-powered transport or oil-based products, a Transition community’s people would live within cycling distance of one another in a township built upon complete self-sufficiency, with extremely localized infrastructure for agriculture, clothes making, metalworking and other basics of life that humanity largely abandoned to the factories in the late 1800s, when oil power turned life into a sort of leisurely vacation from reality…

Read more→

Mendo Moola – Local Money Here Now

In Dave Smith on June 22, 2009 at 6:00 am

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

June 22, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Open Money Manifesto
From Open Money

The problems with money stem entirely from how conventional money is normally issued – it is created by central banks in limited supply. There are three things we know about this money. We know what it does – it comes and it goes. We know what it is – it’s scarce and hard to get. And we know where it’s from – it’s from “them”, not us.

These three characteristics, common to all national currencies, determine that we constantly have to compete for a share of the limited amount of the “stuff” that makes the world go round. This money can go anywhere, and so it inevitably does, leaving the community deprived of its means of exchange.

It is simply the nature of conventional money that by its coming and going it creates conditions of competition and scarcity, within and between communities.

So we have to scramble for money to survive, we are forced to compete for it, often ruthlessly. Intent on getting the most for the least, we strive for the best bargains, as individuals, businesses, non-profits, governments, and nations.

As a society, as a generation, it seems we are determined to have everything ourselves no matter what consequences our excesses and negligence bring for others, now and in the future.

We rely on this money. It seems there isn’t much choice, despite its evident failings. Some people have little or none and cannot do what they need to live in this world – Read more→

Shock Doctrine — California Style (video)

In Around the web on June 22, 2009 at 5:59 am

From Avi Lewis
The Huffington Report

[This is the first comprehensive look at what is in store for the state that I have seen.  It shows exactly the ideological underpinnings of what is going on. Before watching this I had not been aware of the rabid moronic Joe and Ken Show on AM talk radio in Los Angeles. I also was not aware of Schwarzenegger's affection for Milton Friedman. -JS]

June 22, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Since the financial crisis hit in September, Naomi has been warning that the real shock was yet to come. “Unless we get a good deal” on the bailouts, Naomi wrote back in October, “there will be nothing left over after the banks are done feeding to pay for the meager services now provided in exchange for taxation. The spiraling cost of saving Wall Street from its bad bets is already being used as an excuse for why we can’t solve our many other crises, from health care to climate change.”

In California, the real shock has arrived with the state’s devastating budget crisis and unprecedented spending cuts. Read the post by Avi Lewis below about California and then click on the links to watch his incredible half-hour documentary.


Schwarzenegger’s Shock Therapy — The Poor Pay For The Sins Of The Rich

By Avi Lewis
Published on the Huffington Post

Now that Washington has ruled out an immediate bailout for California, we know who will pay the ultimate price for the crisis born on Wall Street: the state’s most vulnerable citizens. And with many states facing similar crises, this could be a preview of where the country as a whole is headed.

California is facing a $24.3 billion dollar budget gap, and the governor wants to attack it with cuts to social programs alone. If Schwarzenegger has his way, the price will be paid by 1.9 million people who lose their Read more→

He’s Barack Obama. He’s come to save the day!

In Around the web on June 20, 2009 at 3:51 am

Go to JibJab
~~

Until next time, dear Susan…

In Dave Smith on June 19, 2009 at 9:00 am

In Memoriam – Our dear friend, Susan Jordan
~~

DDR plans to outsource its monster mall debt to taxpayers

In Around the web on June 19, 2009 at 8:58 am

Developers Diversified plans to pursue Fed funds

By STAN BULLARD
Crain’s Cleveland Business
June 17, 2009

In an effort to retire debt outstanding, Developers Diversified Realty Corp. (NYSE: DDR) plans to pursue funding for $300 million to $600 million through the Federal Reserve Board’s new lending program for commercial mortgage-backed securities.

Scott Wolstein, Developers Diversified chairman and CEO, said in a phone interview that the Beachwood real estate investment trust is pursuing the program because commercial real estate lending sources largely have dried up and the major active source of such loans — life insurers — has too little capacity to meet demand. Moreover, loans through the Fed program will cost at least 100 basis points less than conventional commercial loans.

David Oakes, chief investment officer of Developers Diversified, said in a June 3 conference call at an annual conference held by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts that DDR might be the first company to access the new Fed program.

However, Mr. Wolstein downplayed the significance of being first in line. He said at least a dozen real estate companies are pursuing the program and it has adequate funding for all of them.

“We’ve got lots of loans that mature in 2010, 2011 and 2012,” Mr. Wolstein said. “This will allow us to borrow loans with a maturity in 2014. As loans mature, you can generally extend them a year at a time (with the same lender). We think it would be prudent to do this. Clearly, the Fed is doing this because they think they can help repair the capital market and make more money available.”

Developers Diversified is working with two investment banks Mr. Wolstein declined to identify on the two potential loan packages. Mr. Wolstein said Developers Diversified is likely to issue the package in September. The Fed launched the program this week.
~
Thanks to Evan and Citizen S
~~

Ukiah Farmer’s Market Saturday 6/20/09

In Dave Smith on June 18, 2009 at 10:02 am

Sisters Victoria and Tamsen Donnar

From SCOTT CRATTY
Ukiah

June 18, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Friends of the Farmers’ Market,

Greetings!  The weather should be spiffy & the farmers’ market should again be grand this weekend.

We will have live hot food from Flavors of India, the beginning of the end of starter plants, a HUGE selection of great berries, local veggies starting to come on strong, Ford Ranch beef will be back, lots of seafood, new craft vendors, and more.  Plus, Bob Laughton and Christine Robin will be playing.

The first 5 people to write back with the name of the all new farm attending the market with veggies tomorrow can get $4 in market Green Bucks.

The Soroptimists will be cooking up fresh Maine lobsters as part of their annual fundraiser.  For those that did not pre-order, they have ordered 40 extra … better get to the market soon if you want one of those.

The Ukiah Unified School District will also be on hand with treats at their nutrition booth.

A number of great community organizations are assembling a Children’s Health Fair, to be held 10/4 from 10 to 3 at the Alex Rorabaugh Center.  Anyone out there interested in preparing a farmers’ market related booth/activity?

FYI – next weekend the Northern California Biodynamic Assoc will have its Summer Meeting just up the road at Heart Arrow Ranch on Golden Vineyards in Redwood Valley.  It will be hosted by Adam Gaska and Paula Manalo of Mendocino Organics.  If you are very interested in biodynamics let me know and I will forward the agenda.

Finally, a note about the Renaissance Market (which will be starting its own e-list soon).  In case you did not know Adam Gaska and Paula Manalo of Mendocino Organics are furnishing fresh produce for the market each week. The market is also forging other alliances that you may want to know about. Read more→

Transition Ukiah 6/18/09

In Around the web, Mendo Island Transition on June 18, 2009 at 8:05 am



From Sharon Astyk
Author/Blogger

June 18, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

…The mere idea that America could flourish by becoming the best shoppers on the planet and not much more is bizarre, and yet it has held a grip on us for decades.  Our job is to consume, while China and other states produce for us.  The reality is that an economy based on devouring what other people produce, mine, build and make is ummm…due for a refit.

My suggestion is that we refit it voluntarily, and rapidly.  It is time and well past time to begin making things in the United States again.  And by making things I do not mean “asphalt paving and cars” – the private car is doomed, and none of us are made much richer by acres of highway, which only increase our dependency on foreign oil and its toxic cognates.

By making things, I mean things we actually need. I’m sure you can think of some – socks and shoes and tools and trains; beer and books and beans and bikes; hoes and hats, fiddles and fishing poles.  And on a small scale, keeping fossil fuels to a minimum, near where you live and I do.   Because the other choice is this – we become China’s supplier of things they want that we have – food, mostly, since we’re the biggest exporter in the world, and they can’t feed themselves.  And we do it on China’s terms, at China’s prices, with all that that implies.  There’s a kind of horrible justice there, since we’ve been doing that through globalization to countless poor nations – but there are better things than ironic justice.

Point me to one single piece of evidence that suggests the US will be fine if other nations stop buying our debt, please.  Point me to our plan – one that doesn’t involve rapid growth or actual fairies.  Otherwise, better get started making something useful.

Read whole post Whither America without China?

See also Definancialisation, Deglobalisation, Relocalisation (Dmitre Orlov)

…and The Vindication of The Population Bomb (Paul and Anne Erlich)
~~

WeCommune: Tech Support for Community

In Around the web, Mendo Island Transition on June 18, 2009 at 7:51 am

From Worldchanging

June 18, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Post-ownership living may be closer than we think. We see the evidence all around us, in the form of innovations from community kitchens to emerging mobility solutions. So, if people are recognizing the practical potential in social solutions, why aren’t even more models for collaboration, sharing and product-service systems thriving? According to architect Stephanie Smith, spurring the movement may be a simple matter of providing the tech support.

This week Smith, who heads WeCommune, plans to launch the first software platform designed specifically for, well, communing (if you visit, you may get a splash page while they transition). The platform’s services will allow groups of three or more people to self-organize a “commune” defined by a shared interest or shared zip code, and will provide tools for communicating, organizing and managing projects, and sharing resources.

What is commune-support software?

WeCommune is a networking platform, outfitted with commune-specific project management applications that make it much different from a social networking tool. The software enables common and practical actions – for example, a group of members can organize a buying club, set up a rideshare system, or barter goods and services. And like everything on the web, WeCommune gives users the option to extend their reach: by networking to other communes, groups can make certain assets like bartering and goods-sharing pools more robust.

WeCommune offers the basic platform free to anyone who wants to use it, and even the more complex services are available for a monthly subscription under $2. Smith hopes that by making it affordable she’ll enable communes of all sorts – from those who are already sharing, like condo associations and college dorms, to neighborhoods and interest groups.

“We couldn’t find anything out there like this,” says Smith. “We feel like if we hit a home run, we’re going to be the ultimate community application.”

Read whole post here
~~


Take Action! Help Stop the Planting of 260,000 Genetically Engineered Trees in the U.S.

In !ACTION CENTER! on June 17, 2009 at 7:59 am

From RON EPSTEIN
Ukiah

June 17, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Please help stop this ecological nightmare before it begins. No recall of the GE genes from the environment will be possible. Where they will go, how they will interact with other species and viruses no one knows…

Ron
~
Dangerous Genetically Engineered (GE) Eucalyptus Trees on Fast-Track to Large-Scale Release in the U.S.

ACTION NEEDED BY JULY 6! Tell the USDA NO WAY to ArborGen’s Eucalyptus Frankentrees

In an unprecedented move toward commercial large-scale release of GE forest trees in the United States, GE tree giant ArborGen is petitioning the U.S. government to be allowed to plant an estimated 260,000 flowering GE eucalyptus trees across seven southern U.S. states on 330 acres in so-called “field trials.”

The mass-planting of 260,000 flowering GE eucalyptus trees is a major step toward the unregulated development of large-scale GE eucalyptus plantations in the U.S. ArborGen has already requested permission for the commercial planting of GE cold tolerant eucalyptus clones across the U.S. South. The government is expected to issue their decision on this later this year.

Government approval of GE eucalyptus trees will set a dangerous precedent to allow other experimental GE forest trees, including poplar and pine, that would inevitably and irreversibly contaminate native trees with destructive GE traits, devastating forest ecosystems and wildlife. Once GE trees escape, there is no way to call them back.

The only way to stop genetic contamination of native forests is to ban the commercial release of GE trees before it is too late.

TAKE ACTION! Tell the USDA that GE cold-tolerant eucalyptus plantations pose an unprecedented threat to U.S. forests and wildlife. Tell them to reject ArborGen’s request to plant more than a quarter of a million dangerous alien GE trees on nearly 30 sites across the Southern U.S. Since these field trials are a concrete step toward unregulated commercial growing of dangerous GE eucalyptus, they must be rejected.

For more information about the STOP GE Trees Campaign, click here.

Read more→

BookTV on the Internet

In Around the web on June 17, 2009 at 6:57 am

From BookTV

June 17, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

You no longer need a TV to watch BookTV.

BookTV.org has been redesigned for viewers. Visit their new site and discover the following new features…

  • More user-friendly and intuitive
  • Easier to search for and watch videos through “search” function and video player on the front page
  • Provides users with an option to bookmark and share BookTV.org pages on popular social media websites (click the orange plus sign under the search bar)
  • Streams Book TV programming LIVE

The new BookTV.org has easy-to-navigate sections where you can watch video, view and print the schedule, learn about book festivals, and find news about books and the publishing world. Additionally, in order to accommodate the growing number of online video viewers, the “search” function–which links directly to the Book TV archives–is readily visible at the top of the home page. Stop by and check it out.

Go to BookTV.org


Why Fiction Matters

From Dave Pollard

Fiction enables us to imagine possibilities. The power of such imagination and realization is transformative. As I’ve said before, if we can’t imagine (what is really going on, that we can’t see directly), we can do anything (including tolerate factory farms, the abuse of spouses and children, atrocities in prisons and foreign wars, etc.) Once we can imagine, through powerful writing, what is really happening, we cannot sit by and let it happen. We are propelled to change our thinking and then our behaviour. And we can also become aware of things we might love, things we might be good at, things that are needed that we care about, and hence discover what we are meant to do in our lives, that, without such stories, we might never have realized.

…a good story is one that draws our attention to something important we hadn’t noticed. Much as the job of the media, according to Bill Maher, is to make what’s important interesting, the job of the story-teller is to draw our attention to things we wouldn’t normally consider or look at — sometimes even things we shudder to think about… Read whole post

A Homegrown Revolution (video)

In Around the web, Garden Farm Skills on June 17, 2009 at 6:52 am

From Path to Freedom

June 17, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Founded by Jules Dervaes (Dur-VAYS) in 2001, Path to Freedom is a grassroots, family operated, viable urban homesteading project established to promote a simpler and more fulfilling lifestyle and reduce one family’s “footprint” on the earth’s dwindling resources.

Since the mid 1980s, all five members of the Dervaes family have steadily worked at transforming their ordinary city lot in Pasadena, California, into an organic permaculture garden supplying them with food all year round. They also run a successful business, Dervaes GardensRead More, providing salad greens to local restaurants. This helps them fund their purchases of solar panels, energy efficient appliances, and biodiesel processor to further decrease their homestead’s reliance on the earth’s non-renewable resources.

What is unique and makes PathtoFreedom.comRead More different from other sustainable living sites on the Internet? The Dervaes family isn’t just writing about the latest eco-practices or products that should be incorporated into their lives. Instead, they are sharing with you the changes and steps to sustainability they already have implemented in their lifestyle.

Furthermore, you, the readers, can “visit” the family daily at their journal and witness their first-hand accounts of struggles and joys, defeats and successes, as they journey along the path to self-sufficiency to accomplish more.

It is the family’s hope and desire to live by example as they strive to become earth stewards on a journey towards a sustainable world.

“This project evolved from our commitment and conviction to live a simple, self-sufficient and holistic lifestyle,” says Jules Dervaes, founder, “It is an entire life’s journey and we have many more miles to go–the journey is by no means over! We are proving that we can attain our goal if we advance in stages whatever the circumstances. Our hope is that by documenting our personal experiences we can offer encouragement to those who are on the same journey towards a simple, self-sufficient lifestyle whether they are in the city or country.” See video→

Take Action! Petition Supporting Single Payer Health Care

In !ACTION CENTER!, Guest Posts on June 16, 2009 at 12:32 pm

From Independent Senator BERNIE SANDERS

June 16, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Our current private health insurance system is the most costly, wasteful, complicated and bureaucratic in the world. Today, 46 million people have no health insurance. Even more are underinsured with high deductibles and co-payments. Close to 20,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have regular access to a doctor.

The time is now for our nation to address the most profound moral and economic issue we face.

The time is now for our country to join the rest of the industrialized world and provide cost-effective, comprehensive quality health care to every man, woman and child in our country.

The time is now to take on the powerful special interests in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and pass a single-payer national health care program.

* Sign the petition
* Tell Bernie your experience with health care and insurance.


~

Read also Top 10 Reasons To Support Universal Single Payer Health Care
~~

Quick & Simple Whole Grain Muffin and Hot Bread Recipes from Scratch

In Dave Smith, Organic Food & Recipes on June 16, 2009 at 6:47 am

From Dave Smith
Adapted from Whole Grain Cookery (o/p 1951)
by Stella Standard

June 16, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Whole Wheat Muffins

1¼ cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon soda
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup raisins
1¼ cups organic buttermilk or kefir
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons organic butter, melted

Mix the dry ingredients and stir the raisins through them. Combine with the mixed liquids, stirring as little as possible. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake in a hot oven about 20 minutes.
~

Blueberry Whole Wheat Muffins

2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
1 organic egg, beaten
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup tepid water
wild or organic blueberries, washed and drained

Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the egg and add the sour cream, syrup, molasses and a little of the water. Combine with the dry ingredients and if the batter seems too thick, add a little more water. Stir as little as possible. Put half enough batter in each greased muffin tin, add a tablespoon of blueberries and then cover with the rest of the batter.

Bake in a hot oven about 20 to 25 minutes. 375°F. for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 325°F.
~

Buckwheat Muffins

1 cup organic buckwheat flour
½ cup corn meal
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 organic eggs, beaten
1¼ cups organic milk
4 tablespoons melted shortening
More→

Backyard chickens on the rise

In Around the web on June 15, 2009 at 10:12 pm

From The LA Times

June 16, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Urban poultry farmers get a taste of rural life — and a constant supply of eggs — with their own coops. But not every city will run with the idea.Reporting from Madison, Wis. — Jen Lynch and her family live in the heart of the city but roll out of bed to the sound of clucking chickens.

Their day starts with cleaning coops, scooping out feed and hunting for eggs for morning omelets. Eight families in a three-block radius and an estimated 150 families citywide do the same.

“It’s our slice of rural life, minus the barns,” said Jen Lynch, 35, as Flicka the chicken pecked at her backyard lawn.

As the recession drags on, city dwellers and suburbanites alike are transforming their backyards into poultry farms. Victory gardens, proponents say, are not enough. Chickens are the next step.

“People are turning to things that remind them of simpler times,” said Ron Kean, a poultry specialist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “If you’re smart, you can save money doing this.”

Growing interest in backyard chickens has fans rallying for change in dozens of cities, although the movement leaves some people squawking.

“I moved to the city for a reason,” said Evan Feinberg, 41, a technology consultant in Madison who said he grew up on a Midwest farm. “I never wanted to see another chicken, unless it’s wrapped in plastic.”

Still, the idea of urban chickens is picking up steam. In Traverse City, Mich., officials are weighing the issue. In Iowa City, Iowa, chicken lovers have collected 600 signatures urging local officials to permit backyard chickens.

Poultry fans in Madison persuaded the city’s common council to reverse a ban on backyard hens about five years ago. The ordinance — similar to regulations in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore — allows up to four chickens per property. The animals are to be raised for eggs, and must be housed in a coop that is far separated from neighboring homes. (Roosters are typically banned in cities because of crowing.)…

Go to full article: Backyard chickens on the rise – Los Angeles Times
Thanks to Linda Gray
~~

Rep. Mike Thompson? Listen up!

In Guest Posts on June 15, 2009 at 7:20 am

From DARCA NICHOLSON
Ukiah

June 15, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Dear Ones,

I have been admonished by my daughter to error on the side of politeness via the Internet, however because of the following true story, I am crossing the line.

An analysis I saw months ago suggested the only way the US would confront health care reform (as in having a CHOICE about where to get coverage instead of the insurance cartel) was by taking it to the streets. My step towards the street:

Mike Thompson, our dear elected official & a moderate Demo, said outside a business meeting in Fort Bragg to the 20+ constituents requesting his signing onto HR 676 that “there is not enough public support for Single Payer Health Care. If there were 2,000 of you here, that would be public support.”

NOTE: congressional people have the very best health FOR LIFE insurance in the world.

I called his DC office 202 225-3311 with an identification then:

“I want you to report to Mike Thompson that a very strong message came from a constituent concerning his not signing onto Single Payer Health Care. The exact words I would like you to convey to him are “get your f***ing signature on that bill.”

“Did I say that politely?”

“Yes, anything else?”

“Yes, thank you. I will work to pull his & every other member of congress’s health insurance until the citizens of the US have single payer.”

Another little pebble in the David & Goliath story—

Thank you & Best Regards to you & yours,

Darca
~
Rep. Thompson’s email here

See also Health Care is a Right, not a Privilege

…and Every idea considered except for Single Payer Health Care
~~

Town trippin’

In Dave Smith on June 15, 2009 at 7:00 am

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

June 15, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

I bought a bicycle a couple of years ago to use around town. I put a couple of saddle paniers on the back to carry my laptop to work and groceries home from the co-op. All set going green.

But I soon learned that I would rather walk. Our town is not that big, and if you live in town like I do, it doesn’t take long to get most anywhere here on foot. The only requirement is slowing down the mindset that time is of the essence and walking is a waste if you can get there a few minutes faster.

I didn’t like wearing a helmet, and I’d had a couple of close calls getting run over on the bike. The difference between the speed of a bike — even riding slowly and cautiously — and walking, was the difference between almost crashing, and simply stopping just in case the other person didn’t see me. And in inclement weather, biking is much more hazardous.

The only problem then became transport… of my laptop, books, food for dinner. So I scouted around for messenger bags, bought one, and it does the trick quite nicely. It is heavy packing the computer, but I figure it helps build strength as the daily walking to work, to the store, and back, keeps me in pretty good shape… especially when I’m also packing a thermos of green smoothie.

The bag is not big enough to carry a weekly grocery shop, but is big enough for a daily trip to the co-op on the way home. Fresher, healthier food, like the Europeans shop. Cool!

Most of the people walking our streets are street people. There are some skateboarders, kids on bikes, and dog walkers. Health walkers around Todd Park, sure. But mostly, walks around here are brief — from car to destination, and back to the car. I’ve been walking to work almost daily now, rain or shine, for almost two years. For me, definitely the way to go. More→

Home

In Around the web, Climate Change Series on June 14, 2009 at 11:24 am









Free, on-line film. One and a-half hours of earth’s beauty, devastation and hope…
Narrated by Glenn Close. HOME
Thanks to Dave Pollard.
~~

Good News from Rosalind Peterson

In Around Mendo Island on June 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm

From ROSALIND PETERSON
Redwood Valley
Caifornia Sky Watch

June 13, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Please let everyone know that the delegation from Connecticut and California (Rosalind & Meredith Smith), spent this past week lobbying the U.S. Congress to defeat the U.S. Navy plan to harm marine mammals, other aquatic life and animals, along with negative impacts on human health, air and water.

We all arrived in Washington, D.C. armed with petitions from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and also from other states in the United States.  We hand delivered petitions to California Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon.  In addition, Meredith Smith is staying in Washington, D.C., this coming week  to lobby against the Navy.

Meredith arranged to meet at 4:00 P.M. with California Congressman Mike Thompson on Thursday, June 11th, to discuss what plans could be worked out to have Congressman Thompson work with us on congressional hearings into the Navy program.  Meredith presented Congressman Thompson with a second binder containing all the petitions that we have gathered since we gave Thompson’s aide, Heidi Dickerson, the first binder containing all of the original signatures gathered prior to the time that KTVU filmed the event in Fort Bragg, CA last month.

Meredith was also going to let Congressman Thompson know about the binder presented to Heidi Dickerson last month since he did not seem to know that the public had presented his office with this binder full of petitions from all over California.

Today and during her stay in Washington, DC next week Meredith will be meeting with additional members of Congress and will be hand delivering our petitions to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Her efforts on behalf of the citizens of Mendocino County are to be highly commended.  When she returns she will be reporting on the success of her efforts in Washington, D.C.

While the delegation was in Washington, D.C. this week we brought color brochures, packets, and information about the Navy Warfare expansion to every member of the U.S. Senate.  In addition, we visited the offices of over 300 U.S. Congressmen with regard to this issue.  There were many that did not know about this Navy plan and

A message to the nearly converted

In Guest Posts, Mendo Island Transition on June 12, 2009 at 6:04 am

From JASON BRADFORD
Willits
For The Oil Drum

June 12, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

[The film 'In Transition' is available for viewing on-line for the next 72 hours. See end of article below. -DS]

I was recently asked to give a talk at “The Generation Green Tent” during the Summer Arts and Music Festival at the Benbow Lake State Recreation Area. Here’s the text and supporting images for that talk.

Thanks for coming to my presentation. I am going to say some challenging things today. I don’t know if you are going to be validated or view me as a heretic. In any case, if you are taking notes I am going to have eight main points to cover. Here it goes!

My wife is a physician and has a Masters in Public Health, and so I am going to start with an analogy inspired by her profession that I believe all of us can follow. A very telling study was done on the health of Native Americans on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. The Mexican population was quite fit, while the U.S. population had high rates of obesity and associated diseases, such as diabetes. I am going to make some judgments about the society that produced this discrepancy, and perhaps we can primarily assign the blame for the illnesses of these people on their sick environment. However, I don’t want to absolve individuals of all responsibility for their predicament because that is a disempowering thing to do.

Overcoming the obesity crisis of humanity requires paying off our ecological debt. This means accepting certain job losses and developing job gains in other areas. See full article for discussion.

What I am going to argue is that you are all capable, powerful individuals and that you are responsible for making great changes…

Point 1. This is the first point of my talk. I want everybody to view the grim environmental statistics as multiple “organ failures” approaching for human civilization…

Why Time Banking?

In Guest Posts, Mendo Island Transition on June 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm

From JULIA FRECH
Ukiah
Mendo TIme Bank

June 11, 2009 Ukian, Mendocino County, North California

When times get tough, our most important asset is a resilient and supportive community. More secure than money in the bank, and more long-lasting than storing food and water; creating a more self sufficient community is the smartest investment we can make now. Mendo Time Bank started with those goals in mind.

Time Banking was started in the 1980’s by Edgar Cahn in Washington DC as a way to compensate for the cutback of social services.  It has become an international phenomenon, and there are hundreds of Time Banks all over the US and the world. In general they are started to help the local community meet unmet needs with untapped resources.

Whether based in inner city schools, jails, cities or rural communities, the effect is the same: they strengthen the community by creating an incentive and market for people to help each other. Each hour helping somebody in the network earns the giver one Time Dollar that they can then spend on any other service offered by members.

A Time Bank is both a system of quantifying community credit, and a network of people that are ready to support each other. Time Banking is a mutual credit system, as members can earn credit anywhere in their community and spend the credit on anything else.  At any given time, half of the members will have a positive Time Dollar account balance, and half will have a negative account balance with a total net balance of zero. Instead of a third party charging interest on the credit, we extend credit to each other without interest.

As the national economy contracts, the supply of money coming in to the local economy decreases, and people spend less money at local businesses. This causes further contraction and job losses. However, because we live in a place with abundant natural resources and local talent, it doesn’t make sense to be dependent on a relatively scarce currency beyond our control.

Having a community credit system based on time avoids the problem of scarcity, because value is created by members as it is needed. It is 100% independent of our national monetary system, making it the most useful for people who are currently undercompensated financially. Furthermore, it is not subject to the shocks and fluctuations of a national currency. One hour always equals one Time Dollar,

Forest Gardening for Mendocino?

In Around the web, Garden Farm Skills on June 11, 2009 at 7:38 am

Video Below

From Schumacher College, UK

June 11, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Regenerating landscapes, rediscovering abundance

SCHUMACHER COLLEGE near Totnes in South Devon has been a pioneering college of holistic education for over twenty years. Students leave the college nourished by the high quality of the educational experience, which includes helping to prepare and cook the food for staff and participants.

Over the past two years Schumacher has further deepened this aspect of the learning process by actively engaging with the land and rediscovering true abundance in its woodland ecosystems.

Inspired and informed by its neighbours at the Agroforestry Research Trust, Schumacher College has been regenerating its grounds using a dynamic “layering” design known as forest gardening. Tree crops, shrub crops and perennial herbaceous plants grown in harmony with each other produce an abundance of seasonal foodstuffs whilst contributing to the health and integrity of the land.

Designed with diversity in mind, these “foodscapes” seek to embody the natural principles of a healthy temperate woodland: this is the pattern of least effort and maximum diversity. Growing food in tune with this woodland tendency requires less effort, less machinery, and less fossil fuel — and the result is an almost unbelievable abundance.

Schumacher staff and participants have now planted over 100 fruit and nut trees to form the canopy layer of the woodland gardens. Peaches and apricots are grown as espaliers against sunny south-facing walls. Apple, pear and plum trees dot the landscape as do less common crops such as Cornelian cherries, hardy kiwifruits and Ugni berries. Sweet chestnut, walnut, hazel and bladdernut

The coming great cook-out? Part 3 of 4

In Climate Change Series on June 10, 2009 at 9:43 pm

From DON SANDERSON
Mendocino County

June 11, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

A Green Bubble?

But how can I explain, how can I explain to you?
You will understand less after I have explained it.
All that I can hope to make you understand
Is only events; not what has happened.
And people to whom nothing has ever happened
Cannot understand the unimportance of events.

~T.S. Eliot, “The Family Reunion”

Search for certainty as much as we can, and we’ll invariably fail. That’s the story told by the so-called new science of emergence that is infiltrating all the old sciences and taunting classical beliefs that humans and their sciences and technologies can overcome. Below is a five act tragedy or comedy – it’s difficult to say which, though I’m reminded of Laurel and Hardy and the Three Stooges – centered on our dilemma.

Global warming news
Record cold has been experienced in the past few weeks across the Southern Hemisphere, in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Our own spring has become cool. The sun is acting strangely and may be throwing a kink in the immediate prospects of rapid global warming. George W. Will and friends have been arguing for years that the climate is not warming, it is cooling. They are surely savoring the news, recognizing confirmation, and preparing to twist it. Here is my, more likely I believe, contrary twist.

The sun goes through roughly an 11-year cycle of activity, from stormy to quiet and back again. Solar activity often occurs near sunspots, dark regions on the sun caused by concentrated magnetic fields. It is much warmer during solar maximum, when sunspot cycle and solar activity is high, versus solar minimum, when the sun is quiet and there are usually no sunspots.

Ukiah Farmers Market Saturday, June 13

In Dave Smith on June 10, 2009 at 11:35 am

From SCOTT CRATTY
Ukiah

June 10, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Friends of the Ukiah Farmers’ Market,

Greetings!  It will be an action packed farmers’ market this Saturday, following an action packed week.  This message is coming a day early because Holly & I are holding the grand opening of our new store, the Westside Renaissance Market (1003 W Clay St) today (Wednesday 6/10) with a ribbon cutting at noon and tastings/celebration from 7-9 pm.  We will be in preparation mode all day.  More on that below.

As for the farmers’ market this Saturday, in addition to a great array of fresh local foods and a good time, you can look forward to music by Two Notes Samba, a jazz duo featuring Craig Schlatter on piano and Will Siegel on Guitar/Vocals, an oyster cooking demonstration by Jini Reynolds, children’s activities from First 5 and the Ukiah Library staff, the return of knife sharpening services at the market and a raffle drawing for a new bike to support the Mendocino Environmental Center.

For those of you who will be picking up plant starts for your own gardening endeavors, we will also have a table of  UC Davis Master Gardeners on hand to answer questions and give advice. The Master Gardeners are also offering a class, “Harvesting Your Garden,” which is the last in a series of three classes on vegetable gardening.  It will cover harvesting and food safety, methods of preserving, some recipes, seed saving, more on pest and diseases and water conservation.  The class is Saturday, June 20th, 2009, from 8:30 AM – 12:00 noon at Nokomis School, 495 Washington Ave, in Ukiah.  There is a $5 fee for this class to cover operating expenses. You must preregister to attend, which can be done on-line by sending an email to jtwilli@ucdavis.edu with your name, address, ph# and email address.

If that is not enough, you might want to dip into the Chronicle’s gardening series starting here.

As for the opening, if you live in or near the Westside of Ukiah, it will be a great opportunity to check out your new community market.  Stroll on down. From 7-9 pm we will have tastings of the great to-go items that Ukiah Brewing is doing for our deli case, wines by McFadden and Simaine,

Urgent Call For More Hair

In Dave Smith on June 9, 2009 at 9:33 pm

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

June 10, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Back in the sixties, many of us protested the Vietnam war and various cultural suffocations by growing our hair. The Beatles (“mop-heads” was one early, affectionate term for them) may have started the trend, and sprouting long hair we did—men from our heads, cheeks and chins, women from their armpits and legs—and it was as potent a statement of protest and disgust as the middle finger salute.

But those days are long gone, replaced in the last few years by the soul-shriveling trend to conservatism, demonstrated by shaved heads and hairless chests. I am told that baldness has now even reached our nether regions, encouraged by the popularity of the porn industry. I recently observed a healthy young fellow sun-bathing on the beach in Los Angeles like a pink Chihuahua, completely hairless, apparently shaved and waxed from head to toe.

The authoritarian, buttoned-down, flag-waving war-mongers, chicken-hawks, and ditto-heads, have us just where they want us. Their co-conspirators are the corporate razor, shaver, and shaving foam pushers, who need only to trumpet their next blade addition to have us scurrying to the stores for the brand-new 10-blade model that will do you up in one fell swoop. And not one of their religious fellow travelers sports even a well-trimmed mustache.

We’re devoid of dignity like the sad, engineered, featherless chicken that made the news awhile back. We’ve been gutted, neck-tied, trussed-up, pre-scalded, and readied for the cook pot.

Smaller West Coast towns and cities get aggressive on energy efficiency

In Around the web on June 9, 2009 at 9:01 pm

By Roger Valdez
Worldchanging

June 10, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Ambitious programs to build sustainable communities.

I have written about energy efficiency programs in Cascadia’s three largest cities and how each of these communities is working to combine federal, state and local dollars to incentivize energy efficiencies.

What about some of the region’s smaller cities? Small cities have as much to gain – and to lose – as the big urban centers.

When I was last in Oregon I was surprised to hear that Lincoln City was endeavoring to become carbon neutral. One of the last times I was in Lincoln City was to see George Jones at the Chinook Winds Casino. It seemed the last place in the world that would be making carbon neutrality a goal. But Lincoln city has a lot at stake.

At just 11 feet above sea level, Lincoln City is well within the danger zone for rising sea levels caused by global warming. So, they’re getting proactive. The City will combine a mix of energy savings along with purchase of renewable energy and carbon credits to achieve neutrality. There is some ongoing debate about whether these methods truly lead to neutrality. But it’s hard to argue with Lincoln City’s dedication to efficiencies and sustainability — and even the Casino has taken measures to shed 900 tons of emissions annually. Because of this focus, Lincoln City became an EPA Green Power Community in 2007.

And speaking of Green Power Communities, Bellingham, Washington, was not only selected for the program but became the Washington’s first green power community. The EPA’s program focuses on voluntary community-wide efforts to create energy efficiencies and reduce the environmental impacts of energy consumption including greenhouse gas emissions.

This fall, Bellingham will initiate the Energy Efficiency Community Challenge aimed at substantially reducing Bellingham and Whatcom County’s consumption of electricity through an incentive program designed to motivate retrofits of existing residential and commercial buildings.

Small Business Ideas For Smaller Times

In Books, Dave Smith, Mendo Island Transition on June 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

June 9, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

From Small Is Beautiful, by E.F. Schumacher:

As Gandhi said, the poor of the world cannot be helped by mass production, only by production by the masses.

The system of mass production, based on sophisticated, highly capital-intensive, high energy-input dependent, and human labour-saving technology, presupposes that you are already rich, for a great deal of capital investment is needed to establish one single workplace. The system of production by the masses mobilizes the priceless resources which are possessed by all human beings, their clever brains and skillful hands, and supports them with first-class tools.

The technology of mass production is inherently violent, ecologically damaging, self-defeating in terms of non-renewable resources, and stultifying for the human person. The technology of production by the masses, making use of the best of modern knowledge and experience, is conducive to decentralization, compatible with the laws of ecology, gentle in its use of scarce resources, and designed to serve the human person instead of making him the servant of machines.

I have named it intermediate technology to signify that it is vastly superior to the primitive technology of bygone ages but at the same time much simpler, cheaper, and freer than the super-technology of the rich. One can also call it self-help technology, or democratic or people’s technology—a technology to which everybody can gain admittance and which is not reserved to those already rich and powerful.
~

Excerpted from The Transition Handbook – From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience, by Rob Hopkins

We need to be building the capability to produce locally those things that we can produce locally. It is, of course, easy to attack this idea by pointing out that some things, such as computers and frying pans can’t be made at a local level.

However, there are a lot of things we could produce locally: a wide range of seasonal fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, timber, mushrooms, dyes, many medicines,

Why This Crisis May Be Our Best Chance to Build a New Economy

In Around the web on June 8, 2009 at 7:52 pm

by David Korten

Yes Magazine

June 8, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Whether it was divine providence or just good luck, we should give thanks that financial collapse hit us before the worst of global warming and peak oil. As challenging as the economic meltdown may be, it buys time to build a new economy that serves life rather than money. It lays bare the fact that the existing financial system has brought our way of life and the natural systems on which we depend to the brink of collapse. This wake-up call is inspiring unprecedented numbers of people to take action to bring forth the culture and institutions of a new economy that can serve us and sustain our living planet for generations into the future.

The world of financial stability, environmental sustainability, economic justice, and peace that most psychologically healthy people want is possible if we replace a defective operating system that values only money, seeks to monetize every relationship, and pits each person in a competition with every other for dominance.

From Economic Power to Basket Case

Not long ago, the news was filled with stories of how Wall Street’s money masters had discovered the secrets of creating limitless wealth through exotic financial maneuvers that eliminated both risk and the burden of producing anything of real value. In an audacious social engineering experiment, corporate interests drove a public policy shift that made finance the leading sector of the U.S. economy and the concentration of private wealth the leading economic priority.

Corporate interests drove a policy agenda that rolled back taxes on high incomes, gave tax preference to income from financial speculation over income from productive work, cut back social safety nets, drove down wages, privatized public assets, outsourced jobs and manufacturing capacity, and allowed public infrastructure to deteriorate. They envisioned a world in which the United States would dominate the global economy by specializing in the creation of money and the marketing and consumption of goods produced by others.

President Obama: Take Back The Power To Create Money From The Private Banking Industry

In Around the web on June 8, 2009 at 6:52 pm


by Ellen Brown
The Web of Debt Blog

June 9, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

The Constitution states, “Congress shall have the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof.” This power has been abdicated to private bankers. Today, 99.99% of our money is created by private banks when they make loans. This includes the Federal Reserve, a private banking corporation, which orders Federal Reserve Notes to be printed, and then lends them to the U.S. government. Only coins are actually created by the government itself. Coins compose only about 1-10,000th of the M3 money supply, and Federal Reserve Notes compose about 3% of it. All of the rest is created by banks as loans, something they do by simply writing numbers into accounts.

Congress could take back the power to create the national money supply by:
(a) Nationalizing the Federal Reserve.

(b) Reviving the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a government-owned lending facility used by Roosevelt to fund the New Deal. Rather than merely recycling borrowed money as Roosevelt did, however, the RFC could actually create credit on its books, in the same way that banks do it today, by fanning its capital base into many times that sum in loans. Assuming $300 billion is left of the TARP money approved by Congress last fall, this money could be deposited into the RFC and leveraged into $3 trillion in loans. That’s based on a 10% reserve requirement. If the money were counted as capital, at an 8% capital requirement it could be leveraged into 12.5 times the original sum. That would be enough to fund not only President Obama’s stimulus package but many other programs that are desperately short of funding now.


See also Money As Debt – How It Works (video)

Obama Plays Cairo

In James Houle on June 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm

From JIM HOULE
Redwood Valley

In this Eighteenth Edition, we review the Obama speech in Cairo, the Palestinian impasse, and how he balances his message of friendship with Moslems world wide alongside his armed attacks in Afghanistan and support for the Pakistan’s army’s assault upon the Taliban in the Swat Valley.

The man’s performances are captivating to us all. We are proud of a President so knowledgeable of Moslem history and accomplishments, who can speak comfortably of common aspirations, while skipping deftly past lethal Drone attacks on wedding parties in small mountain villages, and yet who somehow keeps our hopes alive while moving us towards more war and ever greater hypocrisy.

The Cairo speech was directed not to any one country but addressed the entire Islamic Nation, most of whom are intensely wary of American motives and of our capacity for change, while incredibly fond of our way of life. Stratfor suggests 6/03/09 that: “the Moslem masses are in for a disappointment . . . but this will not pose much of a problem for Obama. The fond feelings of the Moslem world might be nice to claim but ultimately he does not need their support. In the end, it will be the American people, not the rest of the world, who will issue the final referendum on his performance as President.”

GAZA WILL NOT DIE
It is 139 days since January 19th, when Israel stopped the wanton killing of Gazans, so as not to “rain upon the start of Obama’s Reign” the following day. John Ging, director of operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), told a Code Pink delegation to Gaza last month that “billions in aid had been promised in the wake of Israel’s massacre, but so far nothing had arrived”. Code Pink reporters added: “Make no mistake about it: the blockade, directly enforced by Israel and Egypt but conspired in by their superpower patron in Washington, is a continuing act of war against an entire civilian population of 1.5 million, a form of collective punishment and a crime against humanity.” Roane Carey, The Nation 6/02/09.

Building materials that would allow Gazans to rebuild are forbidden, not one bag of cement, not one 2 by 4. Netanyahu

Stop Big Pharma and Insurance From Killing the Public Option in Health Care Bill

In Around the web on June 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm

From JANIE SHEPPARD
Mendocino County

June 7, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

[After reading Robert Reich's blog, I just sent this to my congressional respresentative Mike Thompson -JS]

Dear Congressman Thompson:

I am writing to urge you to support a real public option in the emerging health care bill. Big Pharma is trying very hard to make any public option meaningless as I learned from Robert Reich in his blog→.

My first choice would be single payer health care, but that appears to be off the table. To have any meaningful reform there must be a public option. As a member of Congress you are already a beneficiary. Every American should have the same opportunity.

I urge you to press as hard as you possibly can for a public option without conditions or triggers — one that gives the public insurer bargaining leverage over drug companies, and pushes insurers to do what they’ve promised to do.

Your constituent,

Janie Sheppard


In the “Frontline” documentary “What It’s Like To Be Sick Around the World,” the award-winning correspondent shows why the health care system in the United States lags far behind other major democracies. To watch the PBS program, click here→.

Take Action! Navy To Sacrifice 2.3 Million Marine Mammals Per Year For 5 Years Of War Games Off Our Mendocino Coast

In !ACTION CENTER! on June 5, 2009 at 4:05 pm

From ROSALIND PETERSON
Redwood Valley

June 5, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

SAVE OUR FISHING & WHALE WATCHING INDUSTRIES, our marine habitat, and protect the public from highly toxic chemicals.

A wide variety of marine mammals (whales, dolphins, porpoises, manatees, seals, walrus, and otters) have already died due to Navy Warfare Testing of Weapons currently underway in the Hawaiian Islands, the Mariana Islands, the Pacific Ocean off the coastline of Oregon, Washington, Southern California, the Gulf of Mexico, and other areas where testing is now conducted in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

The Navy now proposes to expand its NWT Range Complex warfare testing range to encompass more land areas of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and the Pacific Ocean.

Many chemicals, like depleted uranium, used in this program are toxic to humans, marine mammals, all wildlife, and birds.

The Navy has violated NEPA laws by not informing the majority of the citizens of the United States about this program.

The Navy admits that there are severe declines in some marine mammal populations, and they will “take”, harm, maim or kill approximately 2.3 million marine mammals per year over five years.

The Navy will disrupt the fishing and whaling tourist industry near some of their weapons test areas in the Pacific Ocean even though there are sensitive marine areas in the Pacific Ocean which need to be preserved and protected.

Airborne sky obscurants like toxic fog oils, red phosphorus, white phosphorus, Aluminum Coated Fiberglass & Flares,

Monster Mall Attacks Critical Water Report

In Around the web on June 5, 2009 at 10:52 am

Developers attack report critical of Ukiah project

By GLENDA ANDERSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Published: Friday, June 5, 2009 at 4:03 a.m.

A developer’s campaign to persuade Mendocino County voters to directly approve a 74-acre shopping-based development has shown its legal muscle.

An attorney for the campaign is demanding that Mendocino County officials disown a study that indicates the project could impact Ukiah Valley water and sewer customers.

The study is “an illegal expenditure of public resources in violation of the California Constitution,” states the letter from San Rafael attorney Marguerite Mary Leoni to the Mendocino County counsel and the Local Agency Formation Commission. The report was created by LAFCO executive director Frank McMichael.

Leoni represents the initiative campaign, which is funded by Developers Diversified Realty, one of the country’s largest mall developers.

She said the report also fails to meet the legal requirement that such government reports be objective. “It is replete with speculation and fear-mongering,” Leoni said.

Her letter demands that LAFCO officials declare they did not request, authorize or approve the report, that it is not based on a factual investigation, that it is not a LAFCO report and that McMichael lacks the credentials to support an authoritative opinion on water issues as they pertain to the development plan.

As the director of LAFCO, McMichael is charged with ensuring there is adequate water and other public services for developments prior to annexation to special districts that supply water and sewer.

Complete article here
~~

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