Why I Got Fired From Teaching American History

Huffington Post
Thanks to Todd Walton

Five years ago, I had every reason to believe that my job as a history professor at Barnard College was secure. I had been teaching there for four years, I had published my dissertation with a major publisher, and because I had tripled the sizes of the introductory U.S. history course and the American Studies program, colleagues told me they “would be shocked” if I were not promoted to a tenure-track position.

But that was before my colleagues knew what I was teaching.

I had always been a misfit in academia, partly because of my background, partly because of my personality, and increasingly over the years because of my ideas — ideas that are now a book called “A Renegade History of the United States.”

I was raised by pot-smoking, nudist, socialist revolutionaries as an egghead white boy in black neighborhoods in Berkeley and Oakland. I nearly flunked eighth grade and finished high school with a C average. Then I went to the anarchist, ultra-hippy Antioch College in Ohio, which accepted all their applicants, didn’t give grades, and didn’t have a history department.

So even though I managed to pull myself out of that background and into and through Columbia for a PhD, then onto a job at an elite college, I was highly uncomfortable moving from the world of weed to the world of tweed. I hated being “Professor.” I cursed in class. I talked about sex. I used politically incorrect terms. My students said they had never heard the things I was teaching them in class. They called me “Bad Thad.”

I showed them that during the American Revolution drunkards, laggards, prostitutes, and pirates pioneered

Todd Walton: Gay

Under The Table

“A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.” Raymond Chandler

Before the advent of the interweb, I frequented libraries and secondhand bookstores in search of good short stories, my appetite for cuentos pequeños insatiable. I am not keen on most contemporary short stories that find their way into mass media print, so I mainly feed on authors dead and obscure.

When I was living in Berkeley in the 1990’s, I came upon a library cache of short story anthologies published annually in the 1920’s and 1930’s, hardbound volumes featuring now mostly forgotten literary darlings of America and England. Many of the stories were well written, in stark contrast to their equivalents today, though few of the stories were great. And in every volume there was a story by Gertrude Stein, though the word story does not do justice to her conglomerations of words, for her conglomerations do not tell tales so much as they weave verbal webs that may mean something to someone, but mean very little to me.

However, whilst devouring these relatively ancient anthologies, I came upon a particular Gertrude Stein story that excited me tremendously, for I felt I had discovered the origin of the current meaning of the word gay. The story is entitled Miss Furr & Miss Skeene and featured the use of gay in the following manner.

“…she liked to stay in one place and be gay there. They were together then and traveled to another place and stayed there and were gay there. They were quite regularly gay there, Helen Furr and Georgine Skeene, they were regularly gay there where they were gay.

Standing Tall Against The Corporate-Fueled Money Onslaught

Progressive Strategies

Okay, I’m very biased because I have been working with my friends at MoveOn for a while on their The Other 98% campaign to fight corporate corruption in our political system, but I couldn’t be prouder of these ads that MoveOn members themselves are making and starring in. Check out Sam Stein’s piece on the ad campaign. The amount of work it took to separately shoot each of these 28 ads with people from those districts and states was incredible, and they capture the spirit of the moment perfectly: regular citizens at the grassroots have to stand up to these incredibly wealthy special interests- the big Wall Street banks, big oil, the big insurance companies, and probably some foreign corporations as well- who are trying to buy this election for their friends in the Republican Party.

Democrats are up against formidable odds this cycle- secretive corporate slush funds busting every record known by far for spending on campaigns, self-funded candidates pouring huge sums of money into their own campaigns (Meg Whitman holds the record at $140 million so far, but many others are already deep into the 7 or 8 figures), an economy so deeply damaged by the profligacy of the Bush years that it will probably take a decade to recover)- but grassroots activists from the progressive movement are fighting back. The MoveOn campaign from day one has involved hundreds of thousands activists and contributors and local demonstrators at various events. The labor movement effort has been phenomenal- check out this memo from their political director Karen Ackerman. Immigration activists have mounted a major

Take Action! Save The Ukiah Municipal Swimming Pool!


A Facility for the Whole Community

The Ukiah Swimming Pool provides the only public access to supervised aquatic activities for the 45,000 residents of the greater Ukiah area.

The pool facility also provides the only American Red Cross certified swim lesson program.

The facility provides affordable activities for all ages including aquatic fitness classes, open swim, lap swim and swimming lessons.

The pool facility employs more than 25 lifeguards and swim instructors and provides those individuals with valuable aquatic training and work experience.

Renovation is needed immediately.

Construction Plans & Funding

The City of Ukiah Community Services Department has secured a grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation in the amount of $500,000.

A requirement of the grant is that the community will contribute a minimum of $215,000 donations.

Opting Out of Airport Naked Body Scans

Thanks to Herb Ruhs

I encountered my first airport naked body scanner while flying out of California today, and of course I decided to “opt out” of the scan. You do this by telling the blue-shirted TSA agents that you simply wish to opt out of the body scanner. Here’s what happened after that:

A TSA agent told me to step to the side and stay put. He then proceeded to shout out loudly enough for all the other travelers and TSA agents to hear, “OPT OUT! OPT OUT!” This is no doubt designed to attract attention (or perhaps humiliation) to those who choose to opt out of the naked body scanner. I saw no purpose for this verbal alert because the same TSA agent who was yelling this ultimately was the one who patted me down anyway.

For the pat down, first I was required to walk through the regular metal detector. From there, I was asked if I wanted to be patted down in a private room, or if I didn’t mind just being patted down in full view of everyone else. Not being a shy person in the first place, I told the agent I didn’t need a private room.

He then explained to me that he was going to pat down my entire body, including my crotch and my buttocks, but that he would use the back of his hands to pat down the crotch and buttocks areas. This is probably designed to make the pat-down seem less “personal” and more detached. That way, air passengers can’t complain of being felt up by TSA agents who might get carried away with the pat-down procedure. He asked if it hurt for me to be touched anywhere, and I told him no, at which point he proceeded with the pat down.

Mendo as Microcosm of Radical Right-Wing Plots

Thanks to Gail Jonas

Health Insurance, Banking, Oil Industries Met with Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck to Plot 2010 Elections

[The Local Radical Right-Wing have never been more exposed than in the current Supervisor’s 5th District race between Dan Hamburg and Wendy Roberts here, here, and here. Is it part of a vast right-wing conspiracy funded by money perverts? Of course it is. Is it class war? Of course it is. And it could not be more blatant. All the prevaricating, hired professional diversions, amateur cluelessness, hilarious drug-baiting, petty silliness, and Rovian dirty-tricks-of-the-trade are in practice by very, very small-minded people, supporters of Wendy Roberts, as they did with the Monster Mall, GMO Fight, and the Timber Wars. -DS]

[Koch Brothers are right here in our county, owning as they do, the GP mill site in Fort Bragg. -JS]

In 2006, Koch Industries owner Charles Koch revealed to the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore that he coordinates the funding of the conservative infrastructure of front groups, political campaigns, think tanks, media outlets and other anti-government efforts through a twice annual meeting of wealthy right-wing donors. He also confided to Moore, who is funded through several of Koch’s ventures, that his true goal is to strengthen the “culture of prosperity” by eliminating “90%” of all laws and government regulations. Although it is difficult to quantify the exact amount Koch alone has funneled to right-wing fronts, some studies have pointed toward $50 million he has given alone to anti-environmental groups. Recently, fronts funded by Charles and his brother David have received scrutiny because they have played a pivotal role in the organizing of the anti-Obama Tea Parties and the promotion of virulent far right lawmakers

Michael Laybourn: 10 Fun Things to do to Improve Our Local Economy


1. Use only local banks. Local banks and credit unions usually have lower overheads, lower default rates and lower fees on checking. Now we can add that these institutions also appear to be much less likely to engage in predatory lending and global securitization, and therefore are much less prone to the spectacular collapses we’ve seen. Finance, of course, is closely tied with two of the largest expenditures rural residents make – shelter and transportation. To put it another way, boycott those big banks that got bailed out with your tax money, but still don’t help small business with loans or help with refinancing mortgages. That’s the fun part.

2. Use only local credit cards. Savings Bank and Redwood Credit Union have cards, still Visa and Mastercards. Mendo-Lake does not. It would be nice for these local banks to administer their own local cards and generate more jobs, but they don’t. Maybe in the future.

3. Use local services as much as possible. Two-thirds o f the budget in every U.S. household involves some kind of service, whether health care, education, yard work, auto repair, or accounting. Most services are inherently local and can be competitively delivered by professionals working out of their homes. We need to identify these gaps, encourage existing service providers to expand into these areas and target entrepreneurship efforts on creating these kinds of professionals.

4. Have local fun.

Bruce Patterson: Jesus and the Christian

Anderson Valley

Two unemployed bums were sitting on a park bench in the big city. Spring was in the air, and the day was warm and comfortable. Coming out of a long hard winter, the weather was perfect for getting back to work and making some grub money, although neither mentioned it because around the world were millions of unemployed bums sitting on park benches.

“I’ll tell you,” one bum said. “This depression is going to end here pretty quick and, once I’m back on my feet and climbing up the back of the hog, I’ll never forget you, man, not after all you’ve done for me.”

The other bum blushed. All he’d provided was companionship. “That’s mighty generous, brother.”

Sweeping his arm across the soaring landscape of steel, concrete and glass, the first bum said, “Right now fortunes are being made here and I’m going to make mine. Yet, even after I’ve banked my first million, if ever you are in need, you can count on me.”

“What if my car breaks down and you have two cars? Would you lend me one of your cars so I could get to work and back?”

“Hell, I’ll give you a car, brother. How am I supposed to drive two cars at once?”

“What if you get so rich that you have two houses and, for one reason or another, I’m homeless again? Would you let me live in your second house until got back up on my feet?”

“I’d give you the house. Having two house would mean I was only getting half the value of each but, if you were living in one, the value would double.

Mendo Island Transition: Sheep Grazing on the Todd Grove Park Golf Course?

Restoring Mayberry
County Kildare, Ireland

A few days ago, I talked about the village markets people used to have here, and thought I would explain where the animals came from. This is a sheep next to, I think, a meeting-house on the Curragh, used since Roman Times for communal grazing. Sheep, pigs and cows do not belong to massive agribusiness factories here; they often belong to smallholders, and you will see them in the space of a backyard. We drive past our neighbours — some of whom own several acres, some small plots of perhaps half an acre — and most have animals of some kind,

This used to be even more common a few decades ago, in the more traditional country that my wife remembers. A reporter on RTE, Ireland’s main news programme, recently remarked that the large amount of green space in Dublin resulted from the large number of people who had cows or goats in their back gardens, and cattle drives from our county to theirs were being held into the 1950s.

Council estates, built by the new revolutionary government after the revolution, were the size they were so that every family could have their own cow. Indeed, that’s how American suburbs began — that’s the point of having a grassy lawn in front.

Note the size of the smallholdings — the postcards of Ireland show picturesque and empty fields, but some of these fields are less than an acre. My backyard in Missouri covered perhaps a quarter of an (only slightly different) American acre, and our next door neighbour’s was larger still.

Ukiah: The Way We Were 1973



People rushin’ everywhere

If they’d only slow down once they might find something there

Green trees and timber lands, people workin’ with their hands

For sure a different way to live

Gonna keep my cabin at hand, retreat and live off the land

All around Ukiah, whoa

The mountain streams that rush on by

Show the fish are jumpin’ and reflect the open sky

Fresh clean smell of the pines, symbol of unchanging times

All around this sacred land

Strangely, though, I’ve found my way, right here I’m gonna stay

In this land Ukiah, whoa

Ooh, Ukiah
Ooh, Ukiah
Ooh, Ukiah
Ooh, Ukiah
Ooh, Ukiah
Ooh, Ukiah

Paul Katzeff: I followed Wendy Roberts’ money

See Enlarged Chart Below

Thanksgiving Coffee
Fort Bragg

I feel compelled to enter my thoughts on the coming 5th District Supervisor Race this election season. I paid for this space [in the Mendocino Beacon] independently of the Hamburg Campaign. I was not asked to do this, nor was I helped in my research by the Hamburg Campaign.

I will begin by saying I am a long time “friend” of Dan Hamburg. I met him for the first time in 1982 when we both signed up for a 3 week adventure in China led by Mike Nolan of Comptche. Mr. Nolan had been a County Planning Director appointed by Supervisor deVall in 1978. Nolan was on the Planning Commission when the battle to legitimize owner built homes (Class K) was the major battle between conservative developers and the new population of young “Hippies who had moved to Mendocino County to live well and free”. So when Dan called and asked for my support back in March or April of this year, and before deVall had thrown his hat into the ring, I said I would lend my name to his effort.

But life has a way of intervening and I paid little attention to the campaigns of either candidate Hamburg or candidate Roberts. There didn’t seem to be much of a difference and if there was no difference, I had more pressing things to enjoy. Besides, I argued to myself, “you have spent the last 25 years reforming an international coffee industry and your local political savvy is at a minimum.” So I forgot about the campaign until about six weeks ago when I was asked by Steve Antler to donate and put up signs at my residence.

Echo – One of the all time great political ads


Dan Hamburg: The Solution to Remote Mega Solar Projects — Decentralize & Relocalize

Mendocino County

Much of the conventional thinking about alternative energy rallied around mega projects: 60 square miles filled with huge arrays of solar collectors that produce enough energy to power a small city.

But 8 to 12% of the electricity generated at these remote sources is lost along the wires, largely from resistance, before the energy reaches the city. And corporate control of pricing is still a problem as it is in today’s energy distribution grid.

The articles below relate directly to the mega-solar project in the Mojave Desert (near Needles). I learned today that the Sierra Club will not sue to protect the endangered desert tortoise.

The first link discusses (& SHOWS with photos) some of the many problems with large scale solar (etc.). The second link (some of which is posted below), points toward “solutions” which involve more decentralized formations of energy acquisition & distribution.

Jennifer Poole: Holly Madrigal For 3rd District Supervisor

Holly Madrigal

Mendocino County

I’m glad to be able to let Ukiah Blog readers know that Holly Madrigal is on the record as supporting “participatory budgeting.” [See Michael Foley’s post here which this comment refers to. -DS] From her Issues statement, first posted on her web site and Facebook page in March:

“BUDGETING & FINANCE: Explore alternative revenue generation, an even-handed approach to salaries, and strong protection of county resources.

· Include public input on the current fiscal crisis: Mendocino County deserves a more democratic approach and participatory budgeting that fosters local buy-in for the difficult choices ahead.

· Investigate creative solutions for revenue generation: Support our economic base through a local purchasing ordinance and streamlining of the building and permit process to improve county revenue sources.”



Holly has also addressed the “democratic deficit” by holding “office hours” on Thursday afternoons at the Farmers Market in Willits for several years now to hear ideas from citizens about all kinds of issues. Again, from her Issues statement:

“· Expand my accessibility: Continue to hold community “office hours” at least once a month in Willits,

Go to Jail or Go to a Farm: How One Community Is Growing More Than Just Food


Growing a Garden City: How Farmers, First Graders, Counselors, Troubled Teens, Foodies, a Homeless Shelter Chef, Single Mothers, and More are Transforming Themselves and Their Neighborhood Through the Intersection of Local Agriculture and Community… and How You Can, Too

Special powers have long been ascribed to farms, for good reason. A special conversation takes place there in the dirt and rain and sun, a dialogue between people and nature. The people talk and listen, while nature mostly talks, and if everyone cooperates you get a supply of food. This, arguably, is how civilization began.

If you talk to people who grew up on farms you might hear more about what the experience did to their characters than about what kind of food they raised. Some will rave about the aphrodisiac properties of farms. The therapeutic possibilities are even more rigorously documented. And the educational opportunities are off the charts. That’s why gardens and farm programs have been sprouting like dandelions in schools, prisons, hospitals, houses of government, and other places whose occupants could use some illumination and direction.

A new book by Jeremy Smith, with a forward by Bill McKibben, traces the history of Garden City Harvest, a community farm and garden organization in Missoula, Montana

Benj Thomas: Closing the Coast Community Library


As a committed member of the County Library Advisory Board, I am writing to let you know of an agenda item coming before the Board of Supes on Tuesday October 19.

At 9:30 the Supes will hear a proposed action to terminate the county’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Coast Community Library and thereby untether the South Coast Library from the countywide system. I don’t know how the vote will go.

While many south coast library supporters will attend the meeting, I think that inland support could be crucial in carrying the day. What may be a divide and conquer approach to the evisceration of the Library system will work only if the rest of the county remains silent.

And here is the text of the ASR:

DATE: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

TO: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors

FROM: Melanie Lightbody, County Librarian

RE: Coast Community Library MOU and county operations

BACKGROUND: The County has a Memorandum of Understanding with Friends of the Coast Community Library which provides for 32 hours of regular staffing to the Coast Library and payment of certain facilities and book delivery costs.

Take Action! Protect Our Pacific Ocean Environment: Board of Supervisors Tuesday 10/19/10

Redwood Valley

Action Item On Agenda

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors is working to protect Northern California coastal areas from the 5-Year U.S. Navy NWTRC Warfare Testing that may negatively impact the fishing and tourism industry, fish, birds, and public health. The Marin County Supervisors have joined Mendocino County in this effort and will be holding their meeting in Marin County this week. (Testing includes sonar, missile exercises, bomb blasts, toxic chemicals + More)

U.S. Navy NWTRC Testing Area Encompasses: Northern California, Oregon, Washington & Idaho

The Public is Invited to Attend the Mendocino County Board of Supervisor’s Meeting and express their views on this critical issue.

*The Final Filing Date for the U.S. Navy Public Comments is October 24, 2010.

Interested parties may submit comments via the project website at www.NWTRangeComplexEIS.com or by U.S. mail to:

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest
1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203
Silverdale, WA 98315-1101
Attn: Mrs. Kimberly Kler – NWTRC EIS

Michael Foley: Don’t Tell Me ‘Bout Your Qualifications


As the electoral season comes to a close, there’s a question nagging that hasn’t been asked the candidates for Board of Supervisors and city councils around the county. To my mind it’s the key question. What I as a voter and citizen want to know is: What do you propose to do about the democratic deficit in the county?

No, not the fiscal deficit. I’ve heard all your answers (and they don’t much impress me). I mean the democratic deficit.

What’s a democratic deficit? To start with, we’re saddled with fundamentally undemocratic institutions. At both county and city levels, we’re asked to choose five people to make decisions for thousands, with no more provision that they bide by the wishes of the public than the custom that most meetings start with something called “public expression.” As if citizen participation were a matter of group therapy, with citizens allowed a minute or two to get it off our chests. Then we’ll all feel better. Right.

I know. I know. If we’re dissatisfied with our representatives, we can always vote them out. Some years hence. That’s “democracy.” But the fact is that Supervisors and council members alike are expected to make up their own minds on matters of public concern and cast the deciding votes. Not us. And worse, in the case of the city councils, there are often more people affected by our five member directorate living outside city limits — and therefore without a vote — than living inside.

Because I’m troubled by the lack of democracy in this whole arrangement, moreover, I’m not impressed with your “qualifications”. Let me be perfectly clear where I’m coming from. I have a couple of degrees in something whimsically named

Don Sanderson: Mining the Earth


I found the October 11 blog article Soils and Souls: The Promise of the Land by Robert Jensen on target, as could be expected. Still, this stimulated some thoughts that have long been at the back of my mind on related topics that seldom seem to be mentioned by any of these individuals, yet appear to me to be as crucial for our consideration, likely our human survival, as theirs.

Wendell Berry speaks elsewhere about the soil of his home farm as having been wrung of its fertility in the nineteenth century by tobacco cropping, even though this was surely done prior to cheap oil, without chemical fertilizers or artificial pesticides, and with horse and human power. When tobacco was harvested, the entire plants were cut off and removed from the field together with all the mineral nutrients they contained. In effect, since none of these minerals were returned nor the rotting organic matter required for the soil’s tilth, the land was in effect mined to death. Unlike the coal miners, mountains may not have been removed, but this had similar economic effects on surrounding communities.

When the pioneers first encountered the several feet deep soils of the Great Plains in the middle nineteenth century, they couldn’t have imagined that in only a few decades, mostly using oxen and horse power and those big plows, it would be mined until only a few inches remained. Much of that blew away in the early thirties. This was a replay of what happened thousands of years earlier in what was then the Fertile Crescent,

Ron Epstein: Bill Clinton became a vegan, lost 24 pounds, healing himself by not ingesting any cholesterol


Are Cell Phones and Wi-Fi Hazardous to Our Health?

Huffington Post

[Well-researched with some sound advice on reducing exposure. -DS]

“You may not be able to see electropollution, but your body responds to it as though it were a cloud of toxic chemicals.”b–Ann Louse Gittleman, author of Zapped

The latest form of environmental pollution — and one that industry, government and wireless consumers don’t like to acknowledge — may be the most devastating threat to health yet: electromagnetic fields (EMFs). A few years ago, I was so concerned that I took a certification course in the detection and harmful effects of EMFs. What it taught me, above all, was how much the scientific community is learning daily, and how little we in the medical profession knew. This area was both frightening and daunting in its scope. I’m grateful that following Devra Davis’s Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation we now have Zapped to educate the public on this serious issue.

The UK’s BioInitiative Report of July 2007 (updated in 2009) describes hundreds of studies that link EMF exposure to Alzheimer’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), brain fog, cardiovascular disease, miscarriage, infertility, insomnia, learning impairment, as well as anxiety and depression. Wireless technologies

Herb Ruhs: Tyranny


Tyranny: “cruel and oppressive government or rule.”

It is comforting for me to read Hedges’, in his article “How Democracy Dies: Lessons from a Master,”calling the current political situation one of outright tyranny.  For at least twenty five years now I have been doing the same as “tyranny” is the only term in English that generalizes sufficiently to describe the political situation in the US as I have viewed it developing.  Highly centralized command and control structures in civil society, the giant banks and corporations in our case, are the soul of tyranny. As Hedges points out eloquently, the success of such rule is dependent on people not clearly understanding its true nature until it is way too late.

On the positive side, tyranny is also a society wide learning opportunity.  Apparently it is difficult  to learn that you can never trust ambitious people – ever –  since they can not trust themselves to moderate their compulsive drive to control others.  Our Achilles heel is that we identify with our oppressors and predators vicariously.  Something small and dark in all of us wants to be free of fear by achieving dominance over other, weaker, people.

Worship of this grasping nature is not so much evil as it is primitive.  Small autonomous groups can work to sublimate and limit this “will to power” by encouraging identification with the group as the true agent of ambition. Large scale groups, societies, corporations, the military, organized

Todd Walton: Prostitution


“Working in Hollywood does give one a certain expertise in the field of prostitution.” Jane Fonda

I have never heard of a workshop for writers that teaches the efficacious use of sex to make it big in theatre or publishing or the movie business, but any writer who has toiled in Hollywood or New York, or in the outposts of those Babylons, knows that sexual linkage to people in power is of paramount importance to success in The Biz; and anyone who denies this is either a phony or grossly naïve.

Grossly naïve describes moi when the sale of my first novel to the movies landed me in Hollywood circa 1980, though my naïveté was not so much intellectual as grounded in a fierce unwillingness to accept reality. That is, I knew a good deal about the sexual machinations of the theatre world, yet clung to a mythic notion that by creating highly desirable plays and books and screenplays I would be allowed to travel sexually unmolested into collaborations with creative people possessed of sufficient clout to get books published and movies made and plays produced.

The sale of my first novel to a major New York publisher and the subsequent sale of the movies rights to a Hollywood studio were accomplished

Mendo Island Transition: Saved by peas

From “JAN”
A reader’s comment
The Contrary Farmer

I recently was told a story by some 90+ year old ladies about how their father’s farm was saved by peas.

They remembered that they were about to lose the farm and talked with the bank and the bank worked with them in contacting a local facility that canned peas and other vegetables. The processor provided the pea seed and loaned (not rented, mind you) them a planter and harvester.

They had a good year, a good harvest and the farm was saved. This was done without government help … but what they had then was a local bank and local processing facility and a community that worked together to really help farmers. If some of the government subsidy money went into really creating a local economy again through processing facilities, etc., maybe we’d be better off. Of course, they were growing real food then (peas) and not “commodities” that can’t be used locally anyway. Wrong kind of wheat, corn and beans….

Grow hard winter wheat for bread and encourage local bakeries. Grow sweet corn and process frozen and canned corn and good cornmeal. Grow all sorts of dry beans (kidney, black turtle, soup, etc.) and teach people how to cook them again or have a canning facility for them.

When I mention these things to conventional farmers they look at me like I’m nuts. Suggesting adding animals back to their farms and they just laugh. They tell me it’s too much work….

Michael Laybourn: Why I am voting for Dan Hamburg


I live in the 5th district and am highly interested in the outcome of this race. I spent 35 years in this county with various small businesses, some more successful than others. So I come from a background of a small business owner.

As I have watched the campaign move along, I have seen that Dan Hamburg is supported by many small business owners. He is also supported by many of the major entrepreneurs in our county that have had businesses go national to some degree. Businesses that started from ideas only and became successful.

We now have a broken economy. So what can we do here in Mendocino County?

Small business and startup businesses are the engine of our national and local economies. That is a fact.
So it follows that to repair Mendocino County’s economy, we have to work to create a local economy that is more than entry level jobs. We need startup businesses that can hire people.

We have to build an economy that can feed ourselves and make many of the things that we need. We need to support the coastal small businesses that exist. We need to use the talents and creativity in this county to build a strong local economy.

Dan Hamburg clearly understands these things.

We have a national and state economy in what I consider a depression – no matter what some fool economist says – if there are not jobs for people, then an economy cannot happen.

Here is the real difference in the 5th District Supervisor race:

Radio Curious: Barry Vogel Interviews Wendy Roberts and Dan Hamburg (*Updated with Transcript)


Radio Curious
Thanks to Richard Shoemaker

[Local attorney and host Barry Vogel asks them both the same questions, independently of one another so you can compare their answers. A fifteen minute interview with each candidate makes the differences between them exceedingly clear. Well worth the time. -DS]

Go here for audio

[*Updated with Transcript especially for those in our county who are on dial-up. -DS]

Welcome to Radio Curious, I’m attorney Barry Vogel.

In anticipation of the election for 5th District Supervisor, we have two interviews: first with Wendy Roberts, and second, with Dan Hamburg… both candidates for 5th District Supervisor. I interviewed them both in the studios of Radio Curious in the last week of September 2010.

I asked them both the same questions in the same order, outside the presence of the other, so that you may compare their answers.

B: Wendy Roberts, welcome to Radio Curious.

W: Thank you.

B: I heard you give a talk at a picnic in Redwood Valley, and you referred to extremist ideologies, which you said have led to our decline.

Big News! Locally-Grown Grains Now Available! Wahoo!!

Westside Renaissance Market (WRM)

Grains from Ukiah? Yup. The Mendocino Grain Project has just delivered its first monthly installment. This time it is whole grain Durum Wheat, Red Fife Wheat & Sonora Wheat — all whole grain, which means you would need your own grinder to make flour (or you can try it as a cereal).

In future months there will be lots of different grains, flour, and some beans. You can find out more about the project here: https://ukiahcommunityblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/mendo-islands-new-grain-share-project/ As you will see, the grain project is a subscription offering for which people pay for a share of the whole year’s crop in advance.

This year’s subscription is sold out … but they will soon start taking subscriptions for next season by emailing doug@mendocinograin.net. Meanwhile, you can stop in the WRM to see or purchase some Ukiah wheat. To provide a chance for people who did not commit to a full season to support local grain production, WRM purchased some shares that we will make available to you on a per lb basis.

Tomorrow we will have another to go meal offering from Ellery Clark Catering. This time its Green Coconut Curried Chicken or Tofu and Seasonal Veggies over Brown Rice. Ingredients: tofu or chicken, brown rice, vegetables, coconut milk, basil, parsley, cilantro, ginger, lime, cumin, coriander, fennel, salt and pepper. Feedback on these takeout options

Meca Wawona and Tom Liden: Dan Hamburg Endorsement LTEs

5th District west of Ukiah

Dear Editor,
Don’t be confused by green-washing, there’s a clear choice between Dan Hamburg and Wendy Roberts for 5th District Supervisor. Hamburg has a track record as an elected representative standing up over decades to those who would choose short-term profiteering while despoiling our environment and diminishing the sustainability of our local economy. In 1981, during his tenure as 2rd District supervisor, Hamburg led the opposition to annexing the “Lovers Lane” property in north Ukiah Valley when out-of-town developers sought approval to roll-out 1,100 houses over 15-foot deep ag-zoned soils. As our congressman, Hamburg demonstrated back-bone when he took on Maxxam/Pacific Lumber and authored the Headwaters Forest Act, a bill that both protected old-growth redwoods and guaranteed timber jobs well into the future.

Hamburg’s an informed, passionate spokesperson for protecting our local forests and coast. He has consistently advocated green business development by relocalizing food-production via a bioregional, sustainable farm and food-processing industry. He is also a long-time supporter of the non-fossil fuel energy economy that is on the rise here on the north coast.

Janie Sheppard: Vote Yes on Measure C (Updated)

Mendocino County

[As a local retailer who will be negatively affected by Measure C, I am voting for Measure C as a citizen. -DS]

A vote against Measure C, which, if passed would increase the sales tax by ½ % to pay for county services, is not going to bring to justice any wrongdoers in connection with the county pension fund, as John Dickerson (YourPublicMoney.com) would have us believe (see John Dickerson’s argument below, and the rebuttal by John McCowen).

A taxpayer lawsuit would, however, accomplish that.

Meanwhile, the county needs revenue to provide services.

The issues are separate. Don’t get confused.

Vote Yes on Measure C and encourage John Dickerson to bring a taxpayer lawsuit. That way the county can have much-needed revenue and justice can be served.



I understand that the Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee will be reconsidering whether or not to endorse Measure C.