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.