Breaking The Chains: Global Call To Action – Update: Masonite Monster Mall Will Be Defeated

From Organic Consumers Association

Dear Friends,
We, the undersigned, call on ethically responsible people across the world to Break the Chains of self-destructive consumerism by boycotting Wal-Mart and other national and international chain stores, fast food restaurants, corporate coffeehouses, and products bearing the logos of the multinational Brand Name Bullies.

Wal-Mart and the multinational chains are colonizing our communities and our minds, North & South, East & West, rural and urban, killing off small businesses, exploiting workers and farmers, devastating the environment, and sowing a toxic culture of cheap goods and social unaccountability. Unless we stop this Wal-Martization of our communities, we can say goodbye to Fair Trade, family farms, independent businesses, workers rights, and environmental sustainability.

From Manhattan to Mexico, from China to Chile, farmers, consumers and independent businesses are resisting the invasion of Wal-Mart and the Corporate Chain stores and building grassroots power through local, green, and just commerce. The answer to Wal-Martization and so-called “Free Trade” is ethical consumer purchasing and political action–building and supporting local and community-based producers and businesses through solidarity, collective purchasing power, and mutual aid. Fair Trade, not Free Trade, must become the global norm, with organic and sustainable production leading the way. Local and community control over essential goods and services provides the only solid foundation for economic democracy, a sustainable environment, and public health.

Help us mark the beginning of the end for Wal-Mart and the Corporate Chains. Please join us as we step up the pace to re-localize and green a just global economy. Consumers of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but our chains!

In Solidarity,

Ukiah Citizen’s Group Predicts Victory Over DDR Inc. Mega-mall Ballot Measure

The media laps up fake controversy over climate change – George Monbiot

by George Monbiot

Proof of paid-for climate denial at the Global Climate Coalition comes as no surprise, but it is no less depressing for that

There are three kinds of climate change denier. There are those who simply don’t want to accept the evidence, because it is too much to bear, or because it threatens aspects of their lives that they don’t want to change. These are by far the most numerous, and account for most of those whose comments will follow this post.

I have some sympathy for their position. Denial is most people’s first response to something they don’t want to hear, whether it is a diagnosis of terminal illness or the threat presented by the rise of the Axis Powers. The moral, intellectual and practical challenge of climate change is unprecedented. The urge to duck it almost irresistible.

Then there is a smaller group of people – almost all men, generally in their sixties or above – who are not paid for their stance, but who have achieved a little post-retirement celebrity through well-timed controversialism…

Anyone who has taken the trouble to read the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or who subscribes to Science or Nature knows that they cannot possibly believe this, or are able to believe it only by tying their minds into such elaborate knots that they have succeeded in deceiving themselves.

..Last week the New York Times revealed that the Global Climate Coalition, the industry-funded body that led the campaign to persuade people that manmade climate wasn’t happening, knew all along that it was…

Go to The media laps up fake controvery at The Guardian→

DDR halts construction of Connecticut Monster Mall

[“Rockpile Lifestyle Center” returning to just a pile of rocks. -DS]

They fought long, hard, and at great expense to build a “lifestyle center” atop the “Rockpile” in town. Now it appears that bad timing and a sluggish economy have caught up with Developers Diversified Realty Corporation (DDR) of Ohio.

According to DDR Senior Executive Vice President of Leasing and Development Paul Freddo, construction of the 150,000 square foot, $37 million retail center called Guilford Commons has stopped, for the interim, he says.

“For now, Developers Diversified’s Guilford Commons, a 26-acre lifestyle center development, has suspended further construction,” stated Freddo. “We view the suspension as a temporary delay.”

Not surprisingly, Freddo said that current economic conditions, including shrinking consumer confidence and poor retail sales, have caused retailers who prefer the lifestyle center format to slow their expansion plans on a national level.

In many of its presentations to the community, DDR indicated that tenants such as Talbots, Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, and Panera Bread Company would most likely be part of their “lifestyle center” family…

The developer has four other projects in Connecticut in Manchester, Plainville, Waterbury, and Windsor.

Go to Recession Hits the ‘Rockpile’

Ukiah Farmers Market Spring Opening Day – Saturday 5/2, 8:30am

Ph: 707-462-7377

Friends of the Farmers’ Market,

Greetings.  This weekend is OPENING DAY for the regular market season.

Minty, Emily and Clorinda say “C’mon down!”

A number of your favorites who have been missing from the winter market will return.  For example, I expect Aqua-Rodeo oysters to return.  Also, the Garden Bakery.  We will have a new local Palownia tree vendor and Busalacchi Farm will be hauling in their cherries.  Others such as Gowan’s Apple Tree and Flowers by the Sea may surprise us both with an appearance as well …

Got a Screen?

At about 9:30 I will be giving my presentation about farmers’ markets and the consequences to our community that follow from our decisions about where we get our food to the students in Mendocino Collages 1st ever Local Food class.  If you would like to check it out you can pull up a chair nearby at 9:30. I can do the presentation with or without slides but will try to have a projector on hand just in case someone brings a portable movie/slide screen to project it on.  Following my presentation the class will get to hear from and talk with Paula Manalo of Mendocino Organics and The Greenhorns Project and Stephen Decater of Live Power Community Farm (LPCF). BTW – it is still possible to get a subscription to LPCF before the season starts.  To find out more check with Stephen or Gloria at the market on Saturday.

Down with raised beds

From Gene Logsdon
Garden Farm Skills

The only raised bed I’ve ever found useful in sixty years of gardening is the one in my bedroom. And after I quit double-digging, I didn’t have to spend as much time there either. Or if I did, it was for reasons other than resting.

I must be wrong, but I don’t understand the modern enchantment with raised beds. Yes, if you are a market gardener, you will no doubt feel obliged to plant on raised beds to get the earliest possible crops but you can get early vegetables in unraised beds too. I have a very disgusting sister who plants peas in March here in northern Ohio, and often gets away with it, without raised beds.

If you want to plant a garden on an old parking lot (I have a hunch there will be many abandoned ones in the future) then by all means you will need a raised bed.  (It should give us all pause, however,  to realize that plants can come right up through cracks in pavement and grow vigorously— so what’s that say about all our dearly held beliefs about gardening?) And definitely, if you want to plant a garden on something akin to swampland, you will surely want a raised bed. But the poorly-drained  soil under it will still “lay wet” and give you problems when your plants put down deep roots.

Other than those situations, raised beds guarantee only one result as far as I can see. You will have to irrigate more when dry weather comes and it comes quicker on raised beds. All of us gardeners pride ourselves in being eco-friendly. What is so ecological  about using water (and the power to pump it) when you can avoid doing so? Also, if you are bound and determined to make raised beds, a veteran market gardener just told me that you should be sure to mulch the paths heavily around the raised beds. Otherwise moisture will be drawn out of the bed even faster. So why not just go with unraised beds and mulch them?

Homeopathy successfully treated Flu Epidemic of 1918

(NaturalNews) Homeopathy was successful in treating the flu epidemic of 1918 and can provide answers to questions about the 2009 Swine Flu. Homeopathy can provide quick and inexpensive relief for symptoms of the flu. A system of medicine based on the principles of “like cures like,” homeopathy uses plant, mineral and animal sources for the natural flu remedies. Homeopathy is based on ideas from ideas dating back to Egyptian medicine. The term “homeopathy” was coined by the medical doctor and medical reformer, Samuel Hahnemann in the 1800s. Homeopathic remedies have been used to treat flu symptoms for two centuries.

Was homeopathy successful in treating the flu epidemic of 1918?
While the mortality rate of people treated with traditional medicine and drugs was 30 percent, those treated by homeopathic physicians had mortality rate of 1.05 percent. Of the fifteen hundred cases reported at the Homeopathic Medical Society of the District of Columbia there were only fifteen deaths. Recoveries in the National Homeopathic Hospital were 100%. In Ohio, of 1,000 cases of influenza, Dr. T. A. McCann, MD, Dayton, Ohio reported NO DEATHS.

What homeopathic remedies were used to successfully treat the Spanish flu in 1918?
Gelsemium and Bryonia
According the Dr. Frank Wieland, MD, in Chicago, “(With) 8,000 workers we had only one death. Gelsemium was practically the only remedy used. We used no aspirin and no vaccines.”

Homeopathy was 98% successful in treating the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918?
Ohio reported that 24,000 cases of flu treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2% while 26,000 cases of flu treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05%. In Connecticut, 6,602 cases were reported, with 55 deaths, less than 1%. Dr. Roberts, a physician on a troop ship during WWI, had 81 cases of flu on the way over to Europe. He reported, “All recovered and were landed. Every man received homeopathic treatment.

Keep reading Homeopathy successsful at Natural News

Hat tip Organic Consumers Association

Newcomer says: Don’t make the same Sonoma County mistake – Masonite Monster Mall (Updated)

Letter to the Editor
Press Democrat

As a newcomer to Ukiah, I find it disheartening to find my new home possibly about to make the same mistake as my old one, Sonoma County.

DDR, a development company, is pushing for a shopping center on Ukiah’s Masonite site, and while the project is promoted as a small strip mall, the developer’s 2009 proposed specific plan amendment calls for construction of a mixed-use center with maximum building area of 800,000 square feet — making it comparable to Coddingtown or the Santa Rosa Plaza.

In the 1980s, the Santa Rosa Plaza emptied Santa Rosa’s downtown of commerce, and it’s taken decades for that downtown to recover. I would hate to see the same fate for downtown Ukiah and its nearby smaller shopping centers.

There’s evidence nationwide that Americans are rejecting mall culture as gas prices rise, turning instead to smaller local shopping areas and to online shopping that doesn’t require car travel at all. DDR’s large mall would require a large shopping population drawn from a wide radius, not just from small Ukiah.

How sad if we in Ukiah allow construction of a major shopping center when other Americans are learning the lessons of the past decades, coming to prize their downtowns and avoiding huge malls.



[Update -DS]

GUINESS McFADDEN talks about the Monster Mall plan on BARRY VOGEL’S Radio Curious (podcast)

McFadden discusses why he is strongly opposed to the attempt by Ohio-based Developers Diversified Realty Inc. (DDR) to pass a ballot initiative which would rezone the 76-acre Masonite plant site to allow a shopping mall of up to 800,000 square feet.

Obama’s First 100 Days Makes and Remakes History

…what team Obama has accomplished in its first 100 days is nothing less than an unprecedented reversal of decades of unsustainable national policy forced down the throat of the American public by conservatives.  While I will present a longer list below — and welcome your additions — three game-changing accomplishments stand out:

  1. Green Stimulus:  Progressives, Obama keep promise to jumpstart clean energy, economy — conservatives keep promise to jumpstop the future
  2. Sustainable Budget:  The first sustainable budget in U.S. history.
  3. Regulatory breakthrough:  EPA finds carbon pollution a serious danger to Americans’ health and welfare requiring regulation

Obama has clearly demonstrated he has a serious chance to be the first President since FDR to remake the country through his positive vision.  Indeed, if Obama is a two-term president, if he achieves even half of what he has set out to, he will likely be remembered as “the green FDR.”

Go to article at Grist

Economies in Transition – Money needs growth and growth needs energy

From Transition Culture UK

A useful place to start in an exploration of what exactly is happening to the global economy, in particular in the light of how it relates to peak oil and climate change, is with a look at what are the assumptions we have made thus far about the economy. Do they still hold after the events of recent months? Did they ever actually make sense in the first place? What are the assumptions about the economy and the financial system, as well as about the basic resources, both natural and cultural, on which we have based our decisions for the last 50 years – are they still valid? Chris Martenson, author of the Crash Course, puts it thus;

“Here’s how it all sums up. There are some knowns. We know that energy is the cause for all growth and complexity. We know that surplus energy is shrinking. We know that the age of cheap oil is over. And we know that because of this, oil costs will consume an ever-greater proportion of our total budget. And because of these knowns, there are some risks. There is the risk that our exponential money system will cease to operate in a world of declining energy surplus. It might simply not be suited to the task. And there is the risk that our society will be forced to become less complex. If you really think about it, that is a very loaded sentence right there.”

Chris Martenson

Our assumptions, in brief, have been as follows;

  • economies can grow forever, that every year we will trade more, make more money, produce and consume more goods and reach more customers to sell them to
  • this indefinite economic growth and the raw materials needed to make ever more goods will always be available cheaply, and that the energy required to make them will always be available, cheaply
  • we will always be able to access cheap credit, and that we can borrow from the future on the assumption that the future will be richer, more technologically adept and more solvent than the present
  • the UK can move from being a society with a manufacturing base and a diverse and resilient agriculture, to having an economy based on services and knowledge, or as comedian David Mitchell puts it, “ringtones and lattes”
  • the value of our homes would increase in the long run, and that we could use them as cash dispenser machines, and so the more houses we built, the more people could borrow huge sums, forever
  • somehow all that extra economic growth and ‘progress’ will give us more flourishing lives and communities and the only likely alternative is poverty, unemployment and a break-down in law and order

Clearly these assumptions are now highly questionable.

Keep reading Economies in Transition

See also Richard Heinberg interview

Hat tip Energy Bulletin

What happened to Obama and Medical Marijuana? (Part 1)


April 28, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

First, the history.  On the campaign trail, then candidate Obama announced that raiding medical marijuana dispensaries was not going to be a priority for his administration.  Within weeks of moving to the White House, he seemed to be keeping to this promise and word began emanating from the White House through aides that the president believes that “federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws.”

Medical marijuana advocacy groups,  NORML, and defendants facing many years in federal prison for operating medical marijuana dispensaries were for the first time in years jubilant that a sane marijuana policy might begin to take shape within the Justice Department and the DEA.

For over 10 years, the federal government has conducted a relentless war against the operation of California’s proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act. The government has closed down local medical marijuana dispensaries (one of the first being the here in Ukiah in 1998); it has tried to stop doctors from writing prescriptions for medical marijuana (they lost this one in the Supreme Court); it won a ruling from the Supreme Court that says that there is no constitutional right to have access to medical marijuana, even if your life is endangered without it; it has gone after landlords renting to medical marijuana dispensaries; and it has imprisoned, for long prison terms, individuals operating collectives and dispensaries.

When, in February the new Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DEA would no longer raid retail medical marijuana outlets, it seemed that this bad chapter of federal muscle flexing might be over. Was a new and sane marijuana era coming into being?

Tom Ammiano, California State Assembly person from San Francisco, wrote a bill to legalize marijuana. Betty Yee, Chairperson of the Board of Equalization, whose agency currently collects $18 million in sales taxes from dispensaries, said that a regulated marijuana industry would bring in $1.3 billion. Unfortunately, the Ammiano bill died in committee.

It’s not time to celebrate yet.  Far from it in fact.

Almost immediately after Holder’s announcement, the DEA began to undercut the change they saw coming. Several raids on medical marijuana dispensaries have been conducted in California since the February announcement, four on the very day of the announcement. Backtracking, spokespeople for the administration started to talk about no raids, only “if the dispensaries were in compliance with state law.”  Until this moment, the federal government took the position that whatever state law was, it didn’t matter.  They could ignore state law.  It’s justification for busting dispensaries was, that they, like any ordinary dope dealers, were distributing marijuana.  Now, it was state law that was being violated.

Suddenly, it seemed we are going to have the DEA in charge of deciding who is complying with state law.  The smallest real or imagined failure to comply with state law will now do to justify a raid:  one of the recent raids occurred apparently because the woman who ran the dispensary was late on her payment to the BOE.

Single Payer: They can’t hear us, or they aren’t listening?


April 27, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

It appears that Congressional leaders are being deliberately dismissive of single-payer to the point of ludicrous statements. It’s like they have put their fingers in their ears and are yelling “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you.”

Here they are in all their Congressional “member” glory:
Baucus a few days ago: “Everything BUT single payer is on the table. Single payer is off the table”
Pelosi: “In our caucus, over and over again, we hear single payer, single payer, single payer. Well, it’s not going to be a single payer.”
Pelosi’s aide: “Where are the phone calls, e-mails and faxes in support of single-payer? Speaker Pelosi has been in favor of single-payer for a long time. Now make us do it.”

OK. We are up to the challenge. Her aide wants to see the faxes. Let’s break their damn fax machines with the faxes.
You can send a fax right now to Pelosi, Baucus, the aide and the White House.


Community Interpretive Watershed and Visitor’s Center – Community Development Plan for Masonite Site (Part 6)


April 27, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Healthy communities depend upon healthy natural environments. We cannot survive long without water and the systems that keep it fresh and flowing.

Rivers and streams are full of sediment from timber harvest, mining, agriculture, urban development, and mostly roads. It is essential that the public be educated in natural systems and what a healthy watershed is. In the past one hundred years human encroachment into our watersheds has created many negative conditions that are now the jobs of the future. The salmon (Coho and Chinook) are listed as either Threatened or Endangered, under the Endangered Species Act, in many watersheds and in some areas the steelhead trout is listed as well.

The polarity between agri-business and environmentalists, between politicians and environmentalists, between business and workers, resource exploitation and making a living is pulling at the fabric of our communities and stimulating division, fear and aggression.

A public access center where information regarding Mendocino County’s stream, rivers and watersheds would be kept and made available would be a valuable asset for the community is several ways. The collection, synthesis and dissemination of information to the public would increase voter awareness of environmental issues; The Center could be a training center for unemployed and displace workers; it could provide Summer Youth employment and entry level skills building jobs for those just starting in the working world; work closely with Employment Development Department, MPIC, and other job training and placement services; help create and test environmental curriculum for local schools and beyond; provide landowners with information and other services to meet their environmental needs; and provide civil leaders with current and meaningful information on environmental issues. Repairing the damage to our watersheds, streams and rivers is a source of many jobs in the near future.

There is a dearth of environmental training opportunities from qualified sources although some advancement has been made in grades K-8 for nature based curriculum. In his book Last Child in the Woods Richard Louv coins the term Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD), noting the trend of children spending less time in nature and an increase in behavioral problems. Jane Goodall’s program Roots to Shoots is being taught in many impoverished areas of the world and is now making its way into American schools. An example of good environmental curriculum, based in local watersheds is A Child’s Place in the Environment and can be found at Lake County Office of Education. Other curriculum such as Project Wet and Re-Leaf are good for urban areas where access to natural areas is limited to parks, urban streams, and field trip to “the country”. Even with programs such as school gardens and fish in the classroom it is not enough. There is a dire need for the development of additional curriculum for environmental education in our schools, more opportunities for children to be out in full sensory contact with nature and more support for teachers and administrators seeking to bring nature back into our schools.

Not only children, but adults, need environmental education and direct sensory connection with nature. Adults as decision makers regarding environmental issues are uninformed, disconnected and unaware of how natural “living” systems work and therefore are incapable of making correct choices. Raised to see the board feet in a tree rather than the tree itself has left people incapable to see the other services a tree has to offer. As the sensory connection with nature deepens within the individual the more they understand we are all connected in inexplicable ways, to each other and to nature. This increased awareness of the importance of naturally functioning ecosystems combined with their own direct experiences with nature gives our voters and civic leaders the information needed to make wise choices concerning development, water usage, pollution enforcement, resource extraction and law enforcement. Awareness of how natural systems work and our dependence upon them also leads to the realization that there is a lot of work that needs to be done to protect, enhance and rehabilitate our watersheds.

Repairing the damage done to our watersheds and natural systems will require the work of thousands, if not millions, of people trained to work in and with natural systems. In Mendocino County alone there are years of work, for hundreds, if not thousands of jobs for properly trained people, in ecosystem management and restoration. Between the years 2000 and 2004 the Mendocino County Department of Transportation, via the Board of Supervisors, participated in a revolutionary study with five other counties that ignored political boundaries and based a drainage survey of their county road systems (not state highways or freeways) for sediment delivery into watercourses. The project was grant funded and titled, “The 5 County Effort” involving Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Siskiyou and Del Norte counties. The results for Mendocino County are complied in the “D.I.R.T. Database” and kept at Mendocino County, Department of Transportation. Over 8000 individual “sights”, or places where sediment was transported to a watercourse via the road drainage system, were identified/located, assessed for past, present and future sediment delivery with individual data forms, located with a Global Positioning System (GPS) for electronic mapping and given a specific treatment to eliminate, or minimize, the sediment delivery at each site. Material alone, to refit Mendocino County road drainage systems to meet, not exceed, environmental law is over fifty million dollars, not including labor and administration.

As large a number as eight thousand may seem, while conducting this surveyors (myself) witnessed tens of thousands of sediment delivering sites from private roads, residential and industrial alike. Much of the sediment from private property is conducted to watercourses by the county road drainage system. Dirt roads are responsible for up to 60 percent and more of the sediment reaching stream channels. Due to human impacts soil loss has become accelerated to the point of becoming an environmental hazard, as outlined in Section 303-d of the Clean Water Act. This sediment is filling in the pool habitat in streams, reducing flow capacity and increasing the frequency of flooding, removing deep cool water increasing water temperature, clogging spawning gravels and adversely affecting aquatic macro-invertebrates, which help form the base of the riparian food chain and necessary for healthy naturally functioning watersheds. Even if the County’s road system was hydrologically invisible (zero negative impact- no delivery) there would be no visible, or I believe measurable, difference in the quality of our rivers and streams; the magnitude of sediment from private property far exceeds that from the county roads.

This is not to support the County’s refusal to fix the road system but to identify a job source for the next one hundred year, or more. Soil loss due to timber practices, mining, construction sites, agri-business farming, fire fighting (fuel load management), and more contribute to the degradation of our watersheds and rivers. Many jobs in the future, if we choose healthy natural systems and communities, will be in healing the damage caused by short sighted plans and goals. In order to properly address the environmental health of Mendocino County and build a job base upon watershed protection and rehabilitation we need to change local governance. The old paradigm of growth and consumption as a way to economic health is quickly being shown to be the fraud it is. We cannot grow our way into the future and only a sustainable worldview will buy us the time to develop new methods and institutions that will preserve future generations. This also indicates a need to localize our economy and develop alternative currencies and barter systems. We need to demand local democracy and not be satisfied with the “for sale” pseudo-democracy we constantly have to watch-dog with the “I want to be somebody” politicians we try to hold accountable. We need leaders who have a long range vision, an appreciation for life and at least some connection to future generations.

A watershed center could gather, organize and disseminate reliable, non-biased, information to civic leaders, social groups, activist groups, schools, business leaders and interested public, leading to informed local management and purposeful voting on issues. It could be the hub of “green job” creation and coordinate with schools, local service agencies such as the Mendocino Private Industry Council (MPIC), the Arbor, and the Employment Development Department (EDD) to provide education programs, on-the-job training, work crews, summer youth, youth intern opportunities and much more. Work in our urban streams, the Russian River, county and regional parks could also be aided through the watershed center. It could be an attraction for visitors to the area wishing to learn about Mendocino County watersheds, eco-tourist destinations, and other ecological interests they may have.

A Potential Community Development Plan for the Masonite Site – Part 1
Eco-Train, Rail and Depot – Part 2
Ecologically-Oriented Tourism – Part 3
Rail to Trail – Part 4
Autonomous Waste Water Treatment System – Part 5
Community Interpretive Watershed and Visitor’s Center – Part 6
Food Processing Facility – Part 7

Small Diameter Pole Processing Mill – Part 8
Fiber Processing and Re-Manufacture Mill – Part 9

Anyone can afford good food

From John E. Ikerd
Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics
University of Missouri Columbia
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

“Perhaps people who have money can eat like that, but what about poor people?” I hear comments such as this in nearly every discussion of the growing opportunities for people to eat more locally grown, sustainably produced foods. My typical response is that just about anyone anywhere can find good locally grown food these days and just about anyone can afford it.

Locally grown foods, particularly meat, milk, and eggs, are probably going to cost a good bit more than comparable items in the supermarkets. But most people, even those with modest incomes, can afford to buy good local foods, simply by spending a bit less on other things that add less to their health and happiness. As I have written before, costs of good local foods tend to be higher because local sustainable producers pay the full cost of production; they don’t pollute the environment or exploit other people in the production process. Once people understand the differences between typical industrially produced foods and local sustainably produced foods – in terms of freshness, flavor, wholesomeness, and nutrition, as well as social and ethical integrity – good local food acquires a priority that makes it seem easily affordable.

The average American family spends only about a dime out of each dollar of disposable income for food. So, spending ten or even twenty percent more for good food only requires spending one or two percent more of the typical family’s income for food, rather than for some other discretionary budget item. In some cases, good food may not require actually giving up anything else. For example, the average American family today spends about fifteen percent of their income for health care, and as we learn more about the linkages of diet with health, it’s becoming evident that spending a bit more for good food could result in spending a lot less for healthcare.

Big buck climate change deniers copied the cigarette cancer liars

Industry Ignored Its Own Scientists on Climate

For more than a decade the Global Climate Coalition, a group representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels, led an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign against the idea that emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to global warming.

“The role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood,” the coalition said in a scientific “backgrounder” provided to lawmakers and journalists through the early 1990s, adding that “scientists differ” on the issue.

But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.

“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,” the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995.

The coalition was financed by fees from large corporations and trade groups representing the oil, coal and auto industries, among others. In 1997, the year an international climate agreement that came to be known as the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated, its budget totaled $1.68 million, according to tax records obtained by environmental groups.

Throughout the 1990s, when the coalition conducted a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign challenging the merits of an international agreement, policy makers and pundits were fiercely debating whether humans could dangerously warm the planet. Today, with general agreement on the basics of warming, the debate has largely moved on to the question of how extensively to respond to rising temperatures.

Keep reading Industry Ignored Its Own Scientists at NYT→

See also Deniers are just one off of the truth

Send U.S. Senator Sanders your Credit Card horror stories

From Bernie Sanders

The outrage…is building. Doesn’t anyone get it?

People in Vermont and throughout the country are outraged by skyrocketing credit card interest rates. At a time when the taxpayers in this country are bailing out Wall Street financial institutions, these very same banks are charging them 20, 25, 30 percent interest rates on their credit cards.

President Obama recently met with top executives of the nation’s largest credit card companies and threw his support behind credit card reform legislation. Senator Bernie Sanders agrees, but he would do more. He proposed a bill to cap interest rates at 15 percent, similar to credit unions.

A Vermonter writes, “I am appalled at the hikes in credit card rates! Everywhere in our small town in Vermont, everyone is talking about the latest surge in interest rates. People who are never late in payments have seen their rates climb overnight. The outrage, which I am sure doesn’t surprise you, is building. Doesn’t anyone get it?”

SOUND OFF! Click here to send Bernie an e-mail about credit card companies that he could read on the Senate floor.

WATCH : To watch the senator read e-mails on credit card rates, click here.

READ MORE : To read some of the e-mails, click here.


The power of money – Masonite Monster Mall

Save Our Local Economy (SOLE)
P.O. Box 1530, Ukiah CA 95482 –

April 25, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Efforts of Diversified Development Realty (DDR) to put a mega mall on the old Masonite Site demonstrate the power of money.

See what corporate money buys:

Jeff Adams, spokesman for DDR, says $1 Million has been spent so far for mailers and public relations. He says DDR will spend another million to get its initiative on the ballot.

H & H Petitions hired signature gatherers to blitz the county. The signature gatherers are paid $2.00 per signature. DDR foots the bill through a consultant.

Arno Political Consultants, a very big-time outfit paid by DDR, subcontracted H & H Petitions to gather signatures. On its website, Arno brags that it has turned signature gathering into an “art form.” Among the services offered is “assisting letter writers in putting their own thoughts on paper [for letters to the editor].” Be skeptical when you read those letters that are subsidized by DDR.

Brian Sobel, principal consultant at Sobel Communications, is paid by DDR to go to the local media. Sobel boasts that his clients include Chevron and Unocal. His services are not cheap.

Mendocino County Tomorrow purports to be an exclusive club. If you want to join, be prepared to pay least $80 and be scrutinized for suitability. “Mendocino County Tomorrow reserves the right to refuse membership to anyone.” In reality, it’s a front group paid for by DDR.

All the money is being spent to pass a 324-page “specific plan” which is the actual initiative language. That’s what we would vote to accept or reject if the H & H signature gatherers get enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. How specific could it be when it is “subject to change” in 28 places?

The initiative, if passed, allows DDR to do whatever it wants. If passed, we would have no control, no public hearings, and no environmental review. We would, however, have a mega mall.

Help Save Our Local Economy. Join SOLE by going to its website,, and signing up. If you can, please make a donation.

SOLE’s coffers are empty. You can send a check to SOLE, P.O. Box 1530, Ukiah, CA 95482. Thank you very much.

Janie Sheppard
Treasurer, SOLE


The list of known entities DDR/”Mendocino Crossings” has hired to ram this project through:
1. Mendocino County Tomorrow
2. Hogle-Ireland, Inc.
3. Muelrath Public Affairs
4. Ruff and Associates
5. Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP
6. Sobel Communications
7. CoxCastleNicholson
8. Arno Political Consultants
9. MCG Architecture
10. Fair & Powerful Communication

Ukiah trains for our future – Tues May 5th, 8:30 – 5, Ukiah Conference Center

By Glenda Anderson
The Press Democrat

The future is green in the Ukiah Valley, where city officials have joined with the Solar Living Institute to train workers for an anticipated new age of alternative energy. “It’s economic development,” Ukiah City Councilwoman Mari Rodin said of the two-year pilot project, dubbed Ukiah Greenworks.

The program is aimed both at providing workers with job skills and luring green energy businesses with the promise of a skilled work force.

It also will boost the local economy by attracting visiting students from throughout the country, said Erica Cooperrider, the institute’s marketing and workshop coordinator.

Ukiah will contribute $30,000 in redevelopment funds to the program and will provide classroom space and equipment for the alternative energy workshops, Rodin said.

A green jobs conference in Ukiah on May 5 will kick off the classes.

The first Ukiah class is scheduled for June 10, said Cathleen Moller, Ukiah’s economic development manager.

The weeklong course focuses on photovoltaic systems, from safety to mechanical design and performance analysis.

Typically, Solar Living Institute one-day workshops cost up to $150 and weeklong courses cost about $900, Cooperrider said.

The city and the Institute are investigating funding opportunities for people who are unemployed or low income.

If successful, the Ukiah training center is expected to become permanent.

Keep reading Ukiah trains for the future at the PD

For more info and signup at Solar Living Institute
Thanks to MARI RODIN

Such Torturous Twisting and Turning


April 24, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

In the past 6 days, Obama has shown us much about his political style and courage as our President. Intent upon opening up the records concerning torture, and after a Freedom of Information suit that forced his hand, he allowed four legal memos to be published Thursday 4/16/09. They provided legal cover for torture of political prisoners during the Bush years. He was immediately accused by four former Directors of the CIA of jeopardizing national security and aiding the terrorists; then he was challenged by Dick Cheney to tell the good results of torture; next, roundly condemned in a Wall Street Journal editorial; and finally pilloried by a plethora of patriotic Republicans. Obama’s panicky responses to these attacks reveal much about what we can expect during the future Battles of Barack: ringing words, cautiousness when attacked, signals that he’ll compromise, a very watered down piece of legislation, and then a nice closing speech.

“The Obama administration is caught in a devastating political contradiction” reports Patrick Martin, 4/20/09. “Legal documents drafted by the US Department of Justice in 2002 and 2005, and released by Obama, clearly establish that acts of torture were authorized and justified by the highest levels of the Bush administration. Yet, the President said on 4/16/09: “This is a time for reflection, not retribution”. He asked that we “put the pain behind us, and right our course in concert with our core values and move forward with confidence.” Keith Olbermann objected immediately on MSNBC 4/16/09: “This country has never ‘moved forward with confidence’ without first cleansing itself of its mistaken past.” To ignore our past may very well keep the haunting images of Abu Ghraib alive in peoples minds, and allow torturers to assume that the lack of prosecution indicates that their actions were indeed justified. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel made it even clearer on Sunday 4/19/09 on the ABC News program ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’ that Obama’s opposition to any prosecution extends not only to CIA agents who directly participated in torture but also to all the top officials of the Bush administration who authorized and justified the policy. This caused shock waves.

The United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak immediately responded that:”This directly implicates the current administration in the cover-up of crimes carried out by its predecessor and as such, places the White House decision in direct violation of international law”. In an interview with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard on 4/18/09, Nowak pointed out that the UN Convention Against Torture “requires the prosecution of those who engage in actions like waterboarding that are universally regarded as torture. The United States, a signatory to the UN convention against torture, is committed to conducting criminal investigations of torture and to bringing all persons against whom there is sound evidence to court. The fact that you carried out an order doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility”. Nowak, an Austrian law professor, has previously urged the Obama administration to bring charges against George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld for torture and abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. He said the UN was in possession of documents that proved Rumsfeld gave orders for the torture of the prisoners and that the abuse was not the result of a handful of rank-and-file soldiers acting on their own.

Will Obama Reboot Capitalism Anew? – Thom Hartmann

By Thom Hartmann
April 23, 2009

Over six million people are now out of work, and unemployment figures released today show that now-record number is continuing to climb. Meanwhile, still-profitable American corporations manufacture goods for American consumption using Chinese labor and pay virtually no income tax by keeping their profits offshore.

A hundred years ago, Republican President Theodore Roosevelt tried to reign in some of the most toxic behaviors of capitalists that he found incompatible with modern democracy by pushing through congress a law that banned the practice of corporations giving money to politicians. He slowed down the robber barons a bit, but three consecutive Republican presidents in the 1920s led us straight into the Republican Great Depression.

Franklin Roosevelt, his distant cousin, rebooted capitalism in the 1930s, ushering in an era of regulated capitalism – embraced by Republicans like Eisenhower and Democrats like JFK – that brought us the largest, strongest, and most stable middle class ever seen. We also became the world’s economic superpower, as the world’s largest importer of raw materials, exporter of finished goods, and banker to the world. We imported iron ore and exported televisions and cars and washing machines. The rest of the world was in debt to us. A worker with a high school diploma could find a job that paid enough to raise a family and have a safe and comfortable retirement.

The Reagan Revolution of the 1980s was the third “rebooting” of capitalism in the 20th Century, and continues to this day. Scorning the “regulated” part of “regulated capitalism,” economic Reaganites from the Gipper himself to GHW Bush to Bill Clinton to GW Bush flipped our economy upside down. Today, after just thirty years of “free trade” and “right to work” and other oxymoronic nostrums applied as policy, we’ve become the world’s largest importer of finished goods and the world’s largest debtor. We now export minerals to Asia, and import back from them televisions, cars, and washing machines.

So now the big question: Will Obama reboot capitalism anew? Will he move us into a new realm of capitalism, back toward regulated capitalism, or continue the slide toward a poverty-ridden Dickensian economy that Reagan started?

At the moment, nobody knows.

Reagan began the war on working people when he busted PATCO in the first year of his administration, and then began the process – largely uninterrupted right up to a few months ago – of dismantling the protections organized labor had enjoyed since the New Deal. When Bill Clinton totally abandoned the national industrial policy that Alexander Hamilton had put into place in 1791 with NAFTA, GATT, and the WTO, we made the shift from a “Made in the USA” to a “Do you want fries with that?” economy. And the near-total deregulation of the commodities (including energy) and financial sectors begun in the last years of the Clinton administration and put on steroids by Republicans during the GW Bush administration led to a shift from a “Do you want fries with that?” economy to a “How much would you like to borrow from us?” economy.

Judge Issues Restraining Order Against Paid DDR Petition-Gatherer – Masonite Monster Mall

Save Our Local Economy
P.O. Box 1530, Ukiah CA 95482 –

NEWS RELEASE – April 22, 2009

For additional information:
Guinness McFadden (707) 621-2311
Mari Rodin 707-272-1937

A paid petition-gatherer for Ohio-based shopping center developer DDR Inc. was ordered to stay 100 yards away from Long Valley Market and to cease harassing its customers and employees.

On April 22, Superior Court Judge John Behnke issued a temporary restraining order against Jay Taylor, an employee of H&H Petitioners, the company hired by Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) to gather signatures for its proposed ballot measure to rezone the Masonite industrial site for a huge shopping mall.

Michael Braught, owner of Long Valley Store in Laytonville, sought the restraining order. Braught filed a sworn statement describing an incident where Taylor punched a 67-year-old customer and knocked him to the ground.  Braught’s statement also described how Taylor harassed customers to get them to sign DDR’s petition using tactics such as blocking the store entrance and following customers to and from their cars in the parking lot.   [Braught was interviewed on KZYX news on April 22.  The audio file of  the interview is posted at

Braught was represented by Ukiah attorney Barry Vogel (462-6541), who says that Judge Behnke set a hearing date of May 1 to decide if the restraining order should be continued.

DDR began its petition drive on April 9, blitzing the county with approximately 20 paid petitioner-gatherers from as far away as Orange County. Numerous petition-gatherers told questioners that they are being paid $2 for each signature they get for DDR’s proposed ballot measure.

DDR’s ballot measure would amend the County General Plan to rezone the 76-acre Masonite plant site  from industrial use to uses outlined in a 310-page “Specific Plan” written by DDR. The Specific Plan would allow DDR to build up to 800,000 square feet of retail stores, and 150 townhouses, in any combination it wants.  Thus far, DDR’s signature gatherers have not been honest about the meaning of the proposed ballot measure. In  letters to the editor published in the Ukiah Daily Journal on April 19 and April 20, Ukiah residents Ed Fox and Terry Poplawski describe how they were told that the petition was “to clean up the Masonite site.”  [The letters are online at and /ci_12183226]

The petitioners are dishonest and abusive,” said SOLE spokesperson Guinness McFadden. “Their demeanor ranges from patently dishonest and misleading to confrontationally arrogant and disdainful. They act as though Mendocino is a Cow County where we locals are yokels and rubes whose main purpose in life is to shop.”

Ukiah Farmers Market Saturday 5/25/09

Washington, Pennsylvania


Last Off-Season Farmers’ Market

3/23/09 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California


It appears that we will have a very comfortable day at the farmers’ market Saturday (although participation would have been comfortable for our local vegetation). Saturday is the last day for our little indie off-season market … come celebrate its demise. It will be no more because it was so successful that the year-round format will be part of the permanent county structure in Ukiah and Willits this coming year. Thanks for your support.

This season the farmers’ market is proving to be the place for locally raised and conditioned plant starts. We already have far more selection than that last season. More this week and much more on opening day in May.

Right now I need your help to get a full schedule of community group events, cooking demonstration, entertainment for kids such as readings, etc. for the prime season Jump on in.

Quote of the week:

“The ambition for broad acres leads to poor farming, even with men of energy. I scarcely ever knew a mammoth farm to sustain itself; much less to return a profit upon the outlay. I have more than once known a man to spend a respectable fortune upon one; fail and leave it; and then some man of more modest aims, get a small fraction of the ground, and make a good living upon it. Mammoth farms are like tools or weapons, which are too heavy to be handled. Ere long they are thrown aside, at a great loss.” Source: Abraham Lincoln, Sept 30, 1859, Wisconsin State Fair

A review of an interesting book here was supplied by Ron Epstein

FYI – Holly and I are now starting to operate the Westside Renaissance Market, 1003 W Clay. If you are in the area, stop in to check it out. We are still clearing out some of the old product and repairing things like the floor. We will not have produce in for another week or two but some of your favorite farmer’s market vendors already have their products on the shelf. We hope to launch with an opening sometime before the end of May.


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