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Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Ukiah: Save Our Local Economy (SOLE) Challenges Measure A Proponents to a Series of Debates

In !ACTION CENTER! on September 3, 2009 at 5:20 pm

From Save Our Local Economy (SOLE)
Ukiah

September 3, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino County, North California

“Save Our Local Economy- No On A Campaign” challenges the “Yes On A Campaign,” Mendocino County Tomorrow and Jeff Adams of DDR to a series of face-to-face debates throughout Mendocino County over the course of the next month.

When asked to debate the issues nearly a year ago, DDR’s Jeff Adams told Citizen U coordinator Mary Anne Landis that DDR would debate when they DDR had their specific plan prepared.  That plan has been prepared and is now on the November ballot. “I certainly hope that Mr. Adams and Measure A proponents keep their promise. They have said they want to do what’s right for our community and that they believe in the American Democratic process, so let’s hear what they have to say, side by side a community member who disagrees with them.  Now is the time for DDR to show us their concern for our community by participating in public debates.” said Landis.

When asked about the challenge, SOLE spokesperson, Guinness McFadden, said, “The Citizens of Mendocino County have a right to a fair and open debate about the merits of Measure A, not staged and scripted town hall meetings.  Every major election in American history has included debates between the opponents.  Such face to face debates are American institutions generating great citizen interest and revealing the facts and issues to voters before an election.  SOLE is looking forward to an open and public discussion of the issues around the Measure A proposal.”

McFadden added, “There are a number of local organizations who would be happy to host such an event, in fact SOLE would gladly participate at the two events DDR has scheduled during September in Willits and Fort Bragg.”
~
From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Do I expect DDR to actually debate the Monster Mall in the best traditions of our democracy? I doubt it. They already refused  to engage in the first debate many months ago, and an empty chair represented them on stage while one of their lawyers in the audience scribbled furiously away on his yellow pad as our guy thoroughly trashed their points, one by one, with documented facts. The local elections that followed doomed their project, so they had to import outsiders to collect signatures under false pretenses to circumvent our local democracy, escape our environmental protections, and steal our water, with Measure A.

They are also trying to avoid our local democratic zoning procedures, so why would they become democratically responsive to our local citizens now? With all the money they are pouring into their carefully contrived, million dollar propaganda campaign, they have much to lose — Keep reading→

Santa Rosa: Big Box Project Killed For Good Reasons

In Around the web on September 3, 2009 at 12:02 am

From The Press Democrat
Excerpts – Full article here

September 3, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

The Santa Rosa City Council voted late Tuesday to stop Lowe’s from building a big-box home improvement store on Santa Rosa Avenue, heeding the concerns of local business leaders who warned the chain store would hurt the community…

Councilmembers also worried that Lowe’s success would come at the expense of local businesses and their employees…

In a community where environmentalists and the business community often have battled over who will sit on the City Council, Tuesday was a rare occasion where the two sides came together to oppose what they saw as a common opponent.

The business leaders opposing Lowe’s included Exchange Bank President William Schrader, Skyhawk Village Market owner Mike Runyon, Clover Stornetta President Marcus Benedetti, Friedman’s Home Improvement President Bill Friedman and La Tortilla Factory co-owner Carlos Tamayo.

Their presence sent a message, as Oliver’s Market General Manager Tom Scott put it, that “we local retailers need to stick together against the big guys.” And they warned that the community would be less well off if Lowe’s were allowed to build here.

“I love the city of Santa Rosa’s campaign of ‘buy local, shop local, eat local,’ said Jody Lau, whose family owns G&G Supermarkets. “Remember that? By allowing this box store to go through, this is not supporting local.”

Tuesday’s hearing was the culmination of a battle over the 11.8-acre plan proposed about a half-mile south of Costco. The dispute has included mass mailings warning residents that the nation’s second-largest home improvement retailer would hurt existing businesses and take away jobs.

Opposition has come not only from some local business people but also from environmental, labor, housing advocacy and social justice groups. They claim the project would harm Friedman’s and other stores, take away jobs, increase traffic congestion and generate tons of greenhouse gas emissions.


Neighborhood Stores: An Overlooked Strategy for Fighting Global Warming

From Stacy Mitchell
New Rules Project

Recently that began to change: first a restaurant opened and then a tea shop. And then, in what many of my neighbors greeted as nothing short of a gift from heaven, a small fresh food market opened. Stop by at 6 in the evening and you’ll find a row of bicycles out front and the store’s narrow aisles packed with people pondering their dinner options.

This little store is one of hundreds of new neighborhood businesses that have opened in the last few years in what might be both the beginnings of a revival of small retail and one of the more important strategies we have for countering global warming.

Go to article at New Rules Project
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Profiling CEOs and Their Sociopathic Paychecks

In Around the web, Books on September 2, 2009 at 12:06 am

From THOM HARTMANN
Author Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture.

September 2, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that “Executives and other highly compensated employees now receive more than one-third of all pay in the US. Highly paid employees received nearly $2.1 trillion of the $6.4 trillion in total US pay in 2007, the latest figures available.”

One of the questions often asked when the subject of CEO pay comes up is, “What could a person such as William McGuire or Lee Raymond (the former CEOs of UnitedHealth and ExxonMobil, respectively) possibly do to justify a $1.7 billion paycheck or a $400 million retirement bonus?”

It’s an interesting question. If there is a “free market” of labor for CEOs, then you’d think there would be a lot of competition for the jobs. And a lot of people competing for the positions would drive down the pay. All UnitedHealth’s stockholders would have to do to avoid paying more than $1 billion to McGuire is find somebody to do the same CEO job for half a billion. And all they’d have to do to save even more is find somebody to do the job for a mere $100 million. Or maybe even somebody who’d work the necessary sixty-hour weeks for only $1 million.

So why is executive pay so high?

I’ve examined this with both my psychotherapist hat on and my amateur economist hat on, and only one rational answer presents itself: CEOs in America make as much money as they do because there really is a shortage of people with their skill set. And it’s such a serious shortage that some companies have to pay as much as $1 million a day to have somebody successfully do the job.

But what part of being a CEO could be so difficult — so impossible for mere mortals — that it would mean that there are only a few hundred individuals in the United States capable of performing it?

In my humble opinion, it’s the sociopath part.

CEOs of community-based businesses are typically responsive to their communities and decent people. But the CEOs of most of the world’s largest corporations daily make decisions that destroy the lives of many other human beings.

Only about 1 to 3 percent of us are sociopaths — people who don’t have normal human feelings and can easily go to sleep at night after having done horrific things. And of that 1 percent of sociopaths, there’s probably only a fraction of a percent with a college education. And of that tiny fraction, there’s an even tinier fraction that understands how business works, particularly within any specific industry.

Thus there is such a shortage of people who can run modern monopolistic, destructive corporations that stockholders have to pay millions to get them to work. And being sociopaths, they gladly take the money without any thought to its social consequences. Keep reading→

One Mendocino County Resident’s View of DDR’s Home

In Guest Posts on September 1, 2009 at 11:44 pm


From SUSAN BRADLEY
Mendocino County

September 2, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

I just returned from DDR Country and want to tell you about it. DDR?  That’s Diversified Developers Realty, the multi-multi-bucks corporation that purchased the Masonite Site (just outside the city limits of Ukiah). DDR is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to circumvent our county government’s planning process to change the zoning at the Masonite Site so that they can build a Big Box Store shopping center and thus eliminate the possibility of retaining the industrial nature of the Masonite site. Industry, not retail sales, means better-paying jobs. (Locally-owned industry means that $45 out of every $100 earned goes back to the county!)

The interesting  part of my report is that there are no Big Box stores in the DDR neighborhood. No Target, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, Cosco etc near DDR’s enormous glistening-white buildings, or near the fancy, many-million-dollar homes close by. There are some pretty elegant, well-landscaped, themed, expensive shopping centers that run alongside  a couple of busy corridors in the DDR neighborhood. I also noticed that the elegant shopping centers are full of parked cars. And the homes in the neighborhood do not have many “For Sale” signs and certainly no “Foreclosure” signs on them. These suburban Cleveland folks in the Beachwood/Pepper Pike area do not seem to be experiencing an economic downturn like much of the rest of the country.  Nor do they want the kind of shopping center that DDR is proposing for us, not in THEIR neighborhood. Big Box stores would ruin the rural feeling of the landscape, drastically change the skyline, and  bring down their real estate values.

The other observation I made is that the DDR folks DO know what an inviting, walkable, small town looks like. Scott Wolstein, the CEO of Diversified Developers, may not have seen the inviting tree-lined streets in beautiful downtown Ukiah, but his own 36,000 square foot (!!!) palatial mega-mansion home is located near the quaint little town of Chagrin Falls. Known for its picturesque falls, the area surrounding Chagrin Falls is also famous for its horse stables, polo fields, fox hunts, and large estates. It’s a kind of faux-rural area Keep reading→

President Obama: Healthcare; you promised. – Anne Lamott

In Around the web on September 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm

From ANNE LAMOTT
Marin County

September 1, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

I am afraid there has been a misunderstanding since that election in 2008, during which 66,882,230 Americans cast their votes for you. Perhaps one of your trusted advisors has given you bum information. Maybe they told you that we voted for you — walked, marched, prayed, fund-raised and knocked on doors for you — because we hoped you would try to reunite the country. Of the total votes cast that long-ago November day, I’m guessing that about 1,575 people wanted you to try to reconcile the toxic bipartisanship that culminated in those Sarah Palin rallies.

The other 66,880,655 of us wanted universal healthcare.

You inherited a country that was in the most desperate shape since the Civil War, or the Depression, and we voted for you to heal the catastrophic wounds Bush inflicted on our country and our world. You said that you were up to that challenge.

We did not vote for you to see if you could get Chuck Grassley or Michael Enzi to date you. The spectacle of you wooing them fills us with horror and even disgust. We recoil as from hot flame at each mention of your new friends. Believe me, I know exactly how painful this can be, how reminiscent of 7th-grade yearning to be popular, because I went through it myself this summer. I did not lower my bar quite as low as you have, but I was sitting on the couch one afternoon, thinking that this adorable guy and I were totally on the same sheet of music — he had given me absolutely every indication that we were — and were moving into the kissing stage. Out of nowhere, I thought to ask him if he liked me in the same way I liked him.

He said, in so many words, no.

And Mr. President, that is what the Republicans are saying to you: They are just not that into you, sir.

This may have thrown you for such a loop that you have forgotten why you were elected — which was to lead your people back to the promises of our founding parents. Many of us no longer recognized our country after eight years of Bush and Cheney, and you gave us your word that you would help restore the great headway we had made on matters of race, equality and plain old social justice.

People, get ready, you said; there’s a train a ‘coming. And we did get ready. We hit the streets. We roared, whispered, cried, whooped and went door to door, convinced that even if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had not specifically dreamed of you, his dream of justice and equality and pride might come into being through your vision, your greatness, through the hope that your words gave us, through the change you promised.

Keep reading at LA Times
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Lyme/autism group blasts Genetically Modified foods as dangerous

In Around the web on September 1, 2009 at 7:40 am

From Jeffrey Smith
Huffington Post – excerpts

September 1, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

[Certified organic foods are free of GM poison. -DS]

Stop eating dangerous genetically modified (GM) foods! That’s the upshot of the Lyme Induced Autism (LIA) Foundation’s position paper released today.

The patient advocacy group is not willing to wait around until research studies prove that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) cause or worsen the many diseases that are on the rise since gene-spliced foods were introduced in 1996. Like the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) earlier this year, the LIA Foundation says there is more than enough evidence of harm in GM animal feeding studies for them to “urge doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets” and for “individuals, especially those with autism, Lyme disease, and associated conditions, to avoid” GM foods…

The five main GM foods are soy, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets. Their derivatives are found in more than 70 percent of the foods in the supermarket. The primary reason the plants are engineered is to allow them to drink poison. They’re inserted with bacterial genes that allow them to survive otherwise deadly doses of poisonous herbicide. Biotech companies sell the seed and herbicide as a package deal. Roundup Ready crops survive sprays of Roundup. Liberty Link crops survive Liberty. US farmers use hundreds of millions of pounds more herbicide because of these herbicide-tolerant crops, and the higher toxic residues end up inside of us. The LIA position paper acknowledges that “Individuals with infections that compromise immunity… and/or high toxin loads may also be especially susceptible to adverse effects from pesticides.”

…The beneficial bacteria living inside our digestive tract is used for digestion and immunity. Excessive herbicide residues on herbicide-tolerant GM crops may kill beneficial gut flora. More importantly, the only published human feeding experiment revealed that the genetic material inserted into GM soy transfers into bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GM foods, we may still have dangerous GM proteins continuously produced inside us. Read it and weep. Go to complete article here
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Natural Flu Remedies

In Dave Smith on September 1, 2009 at 6:37 am

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

September 1, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

Yes, wash hands frequently, cough into inner elbow, get plenty of exercise, eat organic food, etc.

I haven’t caught the flu for many years. Here’s my natural regimen for the coming flu season…

1. Hydrogen Peroxide: I gargle daily with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide; and if something starts not feeling right, more frequently. My throat is my weak spot because of an illness suffered as a boy. I’ve also heard it can be used in the ears. Google: Hydrogen Peroxide for colds and flu.

2. Vitamin D: Best natural source is, of course, the sun, but flu season is when the sun is not around as much. “Vitamin D… perhaps the single most powerful nutrient in the known universe for preventing influenza.” Arctic Cod Liver Oil. Some sushi now and then at Oco Time; also eating lower on the food chain means less mercury accumulation, though we now know that all fish are contaminated… those boneless sardines at the Co-op are my choice.  Foods highest in Vitamin D here. List of sustainable fish from Seafood Watch is at Monterrey Aquarium here.

3. Green Tea: “One little known secret about preventing the flu is adding green tea to your diet. Research has shown that green tea is extremely effective at preventing the flu, when consumed regularly. One study, reported by the UK Tea Council showed that green tea can protect in two ways. First, green tea suppresses the growth of influenza cells. Secondly, green tea actually kills off the influenza cells. And, one thing that’s so great about green tea – it can protect against many strains of the flu virus. The flu vaccine each year just protects against that year’s most prevalent strain.” Organic, of course. I’m partial to Dragon Well green tea in bulk at the Co-op. No tea ball needed. Put some leaves in a clear cup, pour in the boiling water, watch the leaves dance their way down to the bottom. See story at Diamond Organics.

4. Cut out sugar. “Avoiding sugar is the single most important physical factor that you can address to avoid the flu.” Sugar suppresses the immune system. Google it.

5. Dense Nutrition: For maximum nutrition, Organic Green Smoothies.

Also, you can Google: Homeopathic remedies for the flu (especially Oscillococcinum); and Herbal remedies for the flu.
Green Tea image from Gaia Herbs
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