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


May 29, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

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

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

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

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

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

The coming great cook-out? Part 2 of 4

Mendocino County

May 29, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

A View From Afar

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

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

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

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

Monster Mall – More Letters to the Editor

From Ukiah Daily Journal (5/27/09)

May 29, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

Don’t be deceived

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

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

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

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

M J Wilson
Potter Valley

DDR, good money after bad

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

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

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