Wendy Roberts – The Company She Keeps*


From JANIE SHEPPARD
Mendocino County

5th District Supervisorial Candidate Wendy Roberts often states that she has always been a Democrat  except for a period when she supported Pete McCloskey, a staunch Republican environmentalist who represented Santa Clara county.  I haven’t heard her explain why supporting McCloskey required her to be a Republican.  Many other Democrats who supported McCloskey did not change party to do so.

The company she keeps makes you wonder.  Last week, Roberts visited the neighborhood where my partner, Bill, and I live.  While in the neighborhood she replaced a smaller sign left from the June primary election (having never removed it, in violation of election law) with a bigger sign that is flanked by two Republican candidates, one for state assembly and the other for the seat held by longtime Democratic Congressman Mike Thompson.  At least one of the Republican signs was there when she directed the placement of her new, larger sign.  No, Roberts, you can’t say you didn’t know.

During the same visit she placed a mailer directly into our mailbox.  She could have placed the mailer in one of our three newspaper boxes, but did not, saving postage but violating federal law, which prohibits placing anything other than stamped mail in mailboxes.

Smart cities are (un)paving the way for urban farms


From GRIST

If some sort of natural disaster or terrorist attack were to shut down New York City’s food supply chain, our supermarket shelves would reportedly be picked clean within three days. Other U.S. cities aren’t any better prepared for such emergencies, thanks to our fuelish dependence on a globalized food system.

So my husband Matt keeps a bin filled with tins of sardines under the bed in our sardine tin-sized Manhattan apartment. Plus two cans of organic vegetarian chili, and a Kelp Krunch sesame energy bar. He’s on a self-sufficiency kick, too; makes his own vanilla extract, sauerkraut, duck rillette, and cat food. I guess we’ll be in pretty good shape if calamity comes a-callin’.

But how will our fellow New Yorkers feed themselves? Will they pluck purslane from the sidewalk cracks? Raid Annie Novak’s rooftop farm? Where will the freegans forage when the dumpsters are as empty as a Palin stump speech?

Jim Houle vs. Ron Epstein: Paved with Good Intentions and Response


From JIM HOULE
Redwood Valley

Ron Epstein’s post Why The Harris Quarry Asphalt Plant Is A Bad Idea, also published in the Ukiah Daily Journal, attempts to explain why he thinks the plan for an asphalt hot mix plant at the Harris Quarry site south of Willits is a really bad idea. The proposal is by Northern Aggregates, a small Willits-based firm in the basalt and crushed stone business for over 20 years with less than $3 million in yearly sales and employing 25 people. Their application for a permit was turned down two years back and has now been scaled back to eliminate the companion ready-mix concrete batch plant and by restricting the life of the plant to 30 year life rather than allowing operation the site until the “end of life” of the quarry, which could be 70 years from now. A new EIR will by ready by October and the public will have 45 days to challenge it before submittal to the Board of Supervisors.

Ron Epstein, getting off the first salvo against this yet unpublished plan argues that there are: (1) serious cancer risks from asphalt fumes; (2) That it would seriously pollute the greater Ukiah area with these carcinogens; (3) That while the original EIR concluded that health and odor were insignificant, it did not take into account the volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Why We’re Scared Of Happy Meals


From REFINERY21

It’s pretty much conventional wisdom that you don’t head to McDonald’s for a healthy treat. And, if you’ve seen Fast Food Nation, you’ll know that the chain’s offerings have got a whole lot of icky ingredients. Though we don’t really like to think about that while munching on a Big Mac, NYC artist Sally Davies did, creating an art project that provides evidence that Mickey D’s food really is the worst shiz you can put in your body. Davies took a Happy Meal sized burger and fries, put it on her living room table, and as Bravo says, decided to “watch what happens.” She photographs said meal every day, and 137 days into the project (with no end in site), the results are remarkable in the fact that they’re really unremarkable. To our eyes, the burger and fries look exactly on the same on day 1 as on day 137. Hungry yet?

Slideshow here
~~

Money vs fossil energy: the battle for control of the world


From DAVID HOLMGREN
Co-Originator, Permaculture
Thanks to Bart Anderson, Energy Bulletin

Introduction
This essay provides a framework for understanding the ideological roots of the current global crisis that I believe is more useful than the now tired Left Right political spectrum. I use this framework to provide a commentary on current political machinations around Climate Change and Peak Oil. Building from the same energetic literacy that informs Permaculture and Future Scenarios, it challenges much of the strategic logic behind current mainstream climate change activism. Like the Future Scenarios work, this essay is intended to help environmental and social activists better avoid the obstacles to effective action in a chaotic age.

David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator of the permaculture concept. He lives with his partner Su Dennett at Melliodora, a permaculture demonstration site in Hepburn, Central Victoria.

The unfolding climate/energy/economic crisis is heating up a very old rift in global industrial politics. This rift derives from two core beliefs on what constitutes the source of wealth. Does wealth come from human creativity and innovation or is it found in the natural world? Is human capacity the source or a by-product of real power?

I believe two alternative (and mostly complementary) paradigms that are implied by these questions, have shaped the history of the modern world perhaps more so than the Left-Right political ideologies.

Abe Lincoln and Dr. King could only look on aghast at this clown


From BOB HERBERT
NYT

America is better than Glenn Beck. For all of his celebrity, Mr. Beck is an ignorant, divisive, pathetic figure. On the anniversary of the great 1963 March on Washington he will stand in the shadows of giants — Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Who do you think is more representative of this nation?

Consider a brief sampling of their rhetoric.

Lincoln: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

King: “Never succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter.”

Beck: “I think the president is a racist.”

Washington was on edge on the morning of Aug. 28, 1963. The day was sunny and very warm and Negroes, as we were called in those days, were coming into town by the tens of thousands. The sale of liquor was banned. Troops stood by to restore order if matters got out of control. President John F. Kennedy waited anxiously in the White House to see how the day would unfold.

It unfolded splendidly. The crowd for the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” grew to some 250,000. Nearly a quarter of the marchers were white. They gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, where they were enthralled by the singing of Mahalia Jackson and Joan Baez.

Mendocino County Supervisor Election: The crucial differences between Dan Hamburg and Wendy Roberts


From DAN HAMBURG
Vote Hamburg District 5 Supervisor

In the aftermath of my debate with Wendy Roberts for Ukiah Valley TV (to be broadcast on MCTV), I want to describe what I see as the difference between your two candidates for supervisor.  Wendy is a self-described “Stanford liberal.”  As such, she doesn’t deeply question corporate prerogatives, often repeating the contention that “they’re all good people.”  She describes the MLPAI in this vein, insisting that the Resources Legacy Foundation Fund (funded by the family charities of Intel, Getty, Packard, etc.) has no particular agenda when it comes to the disposition of our coast.  She believes that the placement of Catherine Reheis-Boyd, chief operating officer and chief of staff for the Western States Petroleum Association, on the Task Force making decisions for us raises no particular concern.  On other issues–from the privatization of county solid waste disposal to the increasing loss of agricultural land to outside real estate investment trusts–she voices support or raises no loud objection.

Todd Walton: Revenooers



From TODD WALTON
UnderTheTableBooks.com
Mendocino

“What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue.” Thomas Paine

A mile inland from Highway One, the Comptche-Ukiah Road becomes a two-mile straightaway traversing rolling hills of pine and huckleberry and manzanita. There are no speed limit signs on this straightaway, no reminders of the legal maximum, and this absence of warnings combined with the sudden end to constrictive curves at either end of the straightaway tempts many a driver to go really fast.

The house we rent is set back a hundred yards from the straightaway, the sounds of passing cars and motorcycles muffled by intervening trees, with traffic after midnight rare. Of late, the California Highway Patrol has been a daily presence on the straightaway, the rise and fall of the road over hill and dale creating a perfect spot mid-straightaway for a CHP vehicle to sit by the side of the road and snag the unwary zoomster. This turnout is invisible from either direction until just before you come upon the gravel outlay, and by then there is simply no denying how fast you’re going.

Support Local Raw Milk


From JERRY BRUNETTI
AcresUSA.com

[I’ve been drinking raw milk regularly since childhood, and raised my kids on it. I’m a dedicated imbiber of local, non-pasteurized, raw goat’s milk. Please support your own health, and our local, mom-and-pop, raw dairies. Ain’t nobody’s business if you do. -DS]

What a surprise! “Pseudo” farm organizations like Farm Bureau — an oxymoron — now support Wisconsin Governor Doyle’s veto of a proud bill to legalize raw milk in the Dairy State, all in the name of protecting everyone from … what? The existing centralized, monopolized, industrialized food system is literally owned and operated by a handful of dominating cartels, who in turn, are in bed with agencies such as the FDA. According to the centers for Disease Control, this well-subsidized inner sanctum of a corporate-state food alliance kills 5,000 Americans annually, hospitalizes over 300,000 every year, and sickens at home an estimated millions more.