Mendo Slaughterhouse: Going Mobile…


[We need to call out the planners (and ranchers, even though we love every last one of them) of the Ukiah Valley slaughterhouse group, on their true plans… which are, in my opinion, to expand and supply large amounts of meat to the Bay Area after getting approval of a small local operation right here in our Ukiah population center. And they are going to use the so-called “Right To Industry” proposal to help force it on us.

Becoming Harris Ranch North is not what local citizens will accept. Otherwise, to supply our local, northern California region with appropriate, decentralized, small-scale mobile slaughter, on the ranches, will suffice. Their long range plan to grow big is obvious because they want it near the Russian River with sewer hookups for water and waste management, and close to 101 for shipping to the Bay Area… even though it will be in our largest population area.

The argument against mobile units here is that California law does not permit the burying and composting of waste on ranch land as other states’ ranchers, who are successfully using mobile meat processing, are able to do.

C’mon, it’s not that hard! Gather up Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, and a few chef celebrities and small ranchers, go to Sacramento, and get the law changed!

If a Ukiah Valley slaughterhouse is approved now, there will no longer be an incentive for ranchers to pursue this small-scale, greener, localized, humane, on-ranch solution. Stop The Slaughterhouse Now! -DS]

[Previous Slaughterhouse blog posts, going years back, here.]

Times are tough for small livestock and poultry producers.

Take Action! Are you a Mendocino “Stakeholder”? — “Right To Industry” vs. “Right To Democracy”…


[This is how they will try and prevent us from opposing the population-center slaughterhouse… What’s next, “Right To Retail” so we can’t protest Walmart expansion? Hardly any precedence for this anywhere in the country. Why us? Why now? This is nothing but a Chamber of Commerce / Employers Council / Realtors / Builders Exchange sucker punch. -DS]

Redwood Valley

It has come to my attention that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors intends to vote on a Mendocino County “Right to Industry” Ordinance on December 10, 2013.  This ordinance has now been revised by “County Staff” and will be presented to the Board for a vote on December 10th.

The Mendocino County CEO just initiated a 6-Day Public Comment Period which ends on December 10, 2013.  The CEO lists various “Stakeholders” forgetting to include Mendocino County Residents, the major stakeholders, in its quest for public comments.

This “Right to Industry” Ordinance (which reads like an “Industry Protection Racket”), would protect current and future industrial operations from complaints by neighbors for a wide variety of problems that should be addressed on the local level by our supervisors who are elected to represent the interests of all the people of Mendocino County.

The information below was forwarded to me on December 4, 2013.  I am making the assumption from the information below that the “Public” is not considered a “Stakeholder” by the Mendocino County Executive Office or the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

Please note that your feedback or public comments should also be directed to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

Take Action! Ukiah Valley Slaughterhouse Update…

sHorse Slaughterhouses


If you are genuinely concerned about the prospect of a slaughterhouse in the Ukiah valley, and have time and energy to devote, please come to our meeting Saturday, December 7, at 3:00 p.m. at the MEC.

As you may know, there’s a very active ongoing effort to build a slaughterhouse in Ukiah. The Economic Development Corporation (EDFC) is spearheading the effort, and we’ve heard that at least one wealthy investor has expressed an interest in financing the facility. We’d like to update you on what we know and what we’ve heard—you’ll find the details below.

Also, we’re planning a meeting of people who have concerns about this effort—those who do not want any slaughterhouse in the Ukiah valley, as well as those who want to put restrictions on its location, size, economic, environmental, public health, and social impacts. If you are one of those people, and have time and energy to contribute over the coming months—or longer—please consider attending. If you can’t attend, please contact us by return email to let us know how you’d like to be involved.

Take Action! Ukiah Share Space…


The Vision

To create a thriving, community-centered cowork space and business incubator that supports Ukiah and Mendocino County entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The Ukiah Share Space will be a place for people to:
* share space, resources and skills,
* incubate new businesses and projects,
* foster and celebrate our entrepreneurial spirit, and
* create new local jobs.

The Need

Communities across the country are in need of a new type of economic revitalization — a type that is based on delocalization of basic needs and essential goods.

Localizing food production, reviving local manufacturing and reintroducing cooperatives are all pieces of this puzzle. The Share Space is a central location where these things can happen under one roof. It is a hub for sharing resources, learning new skills, finding sustainable solutions and incubating the new local economy.

The Ukiah Share Space Cowork and Local Economy Center will be organized as a public-private partnership between the City of Ukiah, EDFC and its partners.

Elements of the Center will include:
* Cowork Space
* Start-up Office Space
* Incubation Services
* Local Investment Opportunities
* Green Design Lab
* North Bay Made
* Reuse, Repair & Share Resources

Benefits to the community include:
* Incubation of new businesses and jobs
* A gathering place to support the local economy

Localists of the World, Unite! An Urgent Call to Join the Movement Against Corporate “Trade” Deals…


Over the past two decades, communities across the world have been working to build more just, sustainable and locally based alternatives to the global corporate economy. As a result, pro-local initiatives have grown by leaps and bounds, including farmers markets, food cooperatives,“buy local” and “move your money” campaigns, small business alliances, and local renewable energy projects. However,“free“ trade treaties are a mortal threat to local economies worldwide. Like trade treaties before them, the TPP and TTIP facilitate a race to the bottom that favors large, mobile corporations at the expense of local producers, small businesses, and workers. What’s more, these treaties subordinate local democracy to corporate interests, and hamstring the ability of communities to shift direction toward more prosperous local economies. To continue the inspiring success of their movements, localists need to join the global resistance against these treaties.

Ever since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was proposed more than 20 years ago, critics have warned about the negative implications of “free” trade treaties and other efforts to deregulate global trade and investment. Today, after two decades of deregulation, the impacts are exactly as feared: endemic unemployment and economic ‘precarity’, massive social dislocation in the global North and South, a widening gap between rich and poor, financial instability, growing hunger and food insecurity, and the weakening of public interest laws meant to protect people and the environment. Meanwhile, global corporations and big banks have grown larger and ever more powerful.

Thanks to “free” trade treaties, corporations have become unfettered and less rooted to place: in a global “race to the bottom” they can move wherever wages and benefits are low, and where tax rules and social and environmental laws are weak. This race imposes a downward pressure on wages, and compels every level of government to reduce sorely needed taxes and protective regulations, or risk losing businesses and jobs.

Madge Strong: Bypass Update…

There's a better than fair chance the US Army Corps of Engineers might end up agreeing with us on this point: No Caltrans Bypass of Willits.

Willits City Councilwoman
Save Little Lake Valley

There’s a better than fair chance the US Army Corps of Engineers might end up agreeing with us on this point: No Caltrans Bypass of Willits.

Willits City Councilwoman Madge Strong wrote the following for the Willits Economic LocaLization Newsletter.  She wrote it before the Army Corps of Engineers’ chief regulator for the North Bay/North Coast, Laura Monarres, announced that ACE is close to shutting down Bypass construction.

Many people think the bypass is a “done deal” given the amount of construction already completed. Maybe so; maybe not…

The latest obstacle or opportunity is that the lowest bid for constructing the mitigation infrastructure (grading, fencing, planting) came in at $39 million – three times the Caltrans estimate of $$13 million. Caltrans does not have funding for this shortfall.The $39 million is only part of the price tag. Once “constructed,” the wetland mitigation lands also require monitoring and corrective measures (estimated at another $13 million), and then long-term management in perpetuity (under-estimated by Caltrans at $11 million).

Mitigation is a requirement of both the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) and Water Board permits, due to the 68+ acres of wetlands being destroyed in Phase 1 of the project.

A Gathering Movement Tries to Expand Social Security Instead of Cutting It…

From Moyers & Co

In our nation’s capitol, calls for cutting Social Security benefits and shifting the ever-rising costs of health care from Medicare onto the backs of American seniors are ubiquitous. But context matters, and these ideas are nothing short of perverse given the depths of the massively painful retirement crisis that working America faces today.

Social Security was never designed to provide real retirement security. It was conceived as one leg of a three-legged stool, supplementing pensions and personal savings. But traditional pensions are becoming a thing of the past, replaced by 401(K) plans — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the share of private sector workers responsible for their own retirement savings increased nearly four-fold between 1980 and 2008. And while Americans socked away almost ten percent of their incomes back in 1970, decades of stagnant middle-class wages has made saving up for retirement much harder – by 2010, we were only saving around four percent of what we made.

Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor of economics at the New School for Social Research, says that, as a result of these trends, “75 percent of Americans nearing retirement age in 2010 had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts.” Two-thirds of Americans over age 65 rely on Social Security for over half their income, and for over a third of all seniors, those checks make up more than 90 percent of their income. “The specter of downward mobility in retirement is a looming reality for both middle- and higher-income workers,” says Ghilarducci, and “almost half of middle-class workers, 49 percent, will be poor or near poor in retirement, living on a food budget of about $5 a day.”

This sorry state of affairs isn’t only hurting America’s seniors. It’s forcing many of them to remain in the workforce longer than they would otherwise, which is, in turn, hurting the job prospects of younger workers, who face a sky-high unemployment rate.

Take Action! Mendocino County school gardens need your help!

Garden Based Nutrition Education
Ukiah Unified School District and
Mendocino County Schools

On October 1, Mendocino County’s 32 public school gardens – operated by the Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE) program – lost funding.

There are so many proven benefits of garden-based education, and if a significant community interest in school gardens and nutrition education is demonstrated to each school board, GENE has a very real chance of thriving once again.

Until then, most students will miss out, and unattended gardens run the risk of being plowed over. The cost to fully fund the GENE program is about $25 per student per year, or $500 per classroom. We hope that in the years to come the schools will prioritize funding for the program, but for this year we need community donations to keep the gardens alive.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Watch the video, share it with your friends, and post it on any social media sites you use.
  2. Make a donation to your favorite school garden through the Community Foundation.
  3. Urge your school board to fully fund the Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education program.
  4. Volunteer in your local school garden: e-mail Terry D’Selkie at tdselkie@uusd.net


Renewables: 3 Reasons Why Germany Is Kicking Butt…

Ownership of Germany's Renewable Energy Capacity

From Clean Technica

Germany is racing past 20% renewable energy on its electricity grid, but news stories stridently warn that this new wind and solar power is costing “billions.” But often left out (or buried far from the lede) is the overwhelming popularity of the country’s relentless focus on energy change (energiewende).

How can a supposedly expensive effort to clean up the energy supply be so popular?

1. It’s about the cost, not the price

Most news stories focus on the cost of electricity in Germany, which has some of the highest rates per kilowatt-hour in the world.  But they don’t note that the average German electricity bill – about $100 a month – is the same as for most Americans.  Germans are much more efficient users of energy than most, so they can afford higher rates without having higher bills.  (Note to self: check out options for energy efficiency).

2. It’s about vision

Germany doesn’t just have an incremental approach to renewable energy, but a commitment supported by 84 percent of residents to get to 100% renewable energy “as quickly as possible.”  A few U.S. states have renewable energy visions (e.g. 33% by 2020, 25% by 2025) that approach Germany’s, but they’re mired in the notion that despite enormous savings to society in terms of health and environmental benefits

Doug McKenty: A KZYX Manifesto…



[It’s time. The KZYX house needs a clean sweep… DS]

My name is Doug McKenty and I have been volunteering at KZYX for the last seven years. I began as an engineer for my Tai Chi teacher on a program called “Mind, Body, Health,” which was an alternative health program alternating with Richard Miller on Tuesday mornings. I continued engineering long after my teacher was replaced by Marvin Trotter, and the show took a less alternative bent. Soon after I started work on that program, I was offered the job of moderating the Open Lines show. At the time, it seemed like a great opportunity to promote free and open dialogue around the county about, well, anything, but I also felt like it was a great opportunity to facilitate discussion about the station and its policies in a way that guaranteed transparency and provided “access to all points of view,” as stipulated by the station’s Mission Statement. Eventually, I ended up hosting an interview show called “The Thursday Morning Report” and also did a stint as the Programmer-Elected member of the Board of Directors of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, a tenure which ended a few months ago in May of 2013.

Fukushima: ‘General Electric is killing your children’ & Japan Professor: ‘I won’t eat any seafood’ and refuses to buy any fisheries product, from any market, anywhere in country after bringing detector to store and learning actual radiation levels…


Latest Headlines:

11:00 AM EST on October 5th, 2013 | 15 comments

Japan Professor: “I won’t eat any seafood, I’ve changed my entire diet” — Refuses to buy any fisheries product, from any market, anywhere in country after bringing detector to store and learning actual radiation levels (AUDIO)

07:02 AM EST on October 5th, 2013 | 27 comments

Radio: Japan Professor moved family out of country after finding radioactivity levels contradicting official claims it was safe — “Gov’t doesn’t want anyone to talk about radiation from Fukushima” (AUDIO)

12:57 AM EST on October 5th, 2013 | 44 comments

“Post-Fukushima Horror”: Severe impacts on oceanic environment — An unpredictable amount of damage to Pacific — Fundamental to reproduction of humans — Japan’s simply dumping nuclear waste into sea

07:28 PM EST on October 4th, 2013 | 57 comments

Professor: Fukushima disaster is the worst case of nuclear contamination in history — It’s a crisis for all humanity — Building up to something much worse? (VIDEO)

03:28 PM EST on October 4th, 2013 | 70 comments

Radio: Health physicist in U.S. worried about inhaling hot particle from Fukushima — Either uranium, plutonium, etc. (AUDIO)

01:57 PM EST on October 4th, 2013 | 33 comments

Gundersen: Quite likely that 400 foot tall tower near Fukushima reactors “buckled” from massive earthquake — Consequences of it collapsing being analyzed by Tepco (VIDEO)

Scott Cratty: Introducing ‘North Bay Made’ — Taking localization to the next level…

Westside Renaissance Market
Ukiah Farmers Market
North Bay Made

How do we take localization to the next level?  One important step it to be able to readily identify what really is local.  Certainly another important part of the picture is tapping the power of a wider neighborliness, i.e., regionalization.  Great as it is to have things being made in Ukiah, it is also true that many producers will never be able to make a living selling only to people in the Ukiah area.

Creating the linkage between what is really made in this area and a wider, regional market is the focus of North Bay Made, a recently launched initiative to help make our local economy as strong as it can be.  North Bay Made works on several levels.

It starts with set of beautiful county-specific product brands created by Local Works in Santa Rosa.  You can view the brands at the project’s homepage, which is http://www.northbaymade.org/.

North Bay Made is also working to create a network of brick and mortar retail locations throughout the North Bay that will all use this same shelf branding so that customers throughout the North Bay will have an easy way to identify products that are truly local to their region.

In Mendocino County the roll-out of the project is being coordinated by me, Scott Cratty of the Westside Renaissance Market, 1003 W. Clay Street in Ukiah (https://www.facebook.com/WRMUkiah) and Sarah Bodnar of the Eat Mendocino project https://www.facebook.com/eatmendocino and Social Media Sisters http://www.socialmediasisters.com/. You can already look for North Bay Made logos on the Westside Renaissance Market shelves.  Other early adopters of the program in Mendocino are Harvest Markets in Fort Bragg and Mendocino, Mariposa Market in Willits and Surf Market in Gualala … in another month or so you should soon be able to look for the North Bay Made brands at those locations to find locally-made, local economy boosting everyday groceries, processed foods, as well as

URGENT: House Passes Monsanto Protection Act. Ask Your Senators to Stop It!

Thanks to Rosalind Peterson

On Friday, September 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the Continuing Resolution (H.J.RES.59), a bill to keep the government running through December 15. The bill will force a showdown with the Senate because it includes a provision to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

But the Continuing Resolution is controversial for another reason. It extends the Monsanto Protection Act, officially referred to as the Farmers Assurance Provision

Our One Demand Is To End Capitalism…


On September 17, 2013, the second anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy Movement, tens of thousands will come together across the country and the world to honor the most important and influential social movement in generations. As we exchange stories about the past and ideas for the future, we will be opposing a number of the 1%’s toxic attempts to siphon even more of our money and power away from us. The Trans Pacific Partnership “free trade” agreement, the undue influence of money in politics, and the lack of accountability in the global financial sector will be just a few of our targets. But, as we attack these symptoms it is necessary that we remember the disease: capitalism.

Without capitalism, there could be no

The Climate Crisis and a Unified Left Agenda…

Common Dreams
Thanks to Linda Sanders

Author and journalist Naomi Klein speaking at the founding UNIFOR convention in Toronto on Sunday, September 1, 2013. (Photo: UNIFOR website)The following remarks were delivered on September 1, 2013 at thefounding convention of UNIFOR, a new mega union created by the Canadian Autoworkers and the Canadian Energy and Paper Workers Union, and provided to Common Dreams by the author for publication. 

I’m so very happy and honoured to be able to share this historic day with you.

The energy in this room — and the hope the founding of this new union has inspired across the country – is contagious.

It feels like this could be the beginning of the fight back we have all been waiting for, the one that will chase Harper from power and restore the power of working people in Canada.

So welcome to the world UNIFOR.

A lot of your media coverage so far has focused on how big UNIFOR is — the biggest private sector union in Canada. And when you are facing as many attacks as workers are in this country, being big can be very helpful. But big is not a victory in itself.

12 Very Good Reasons Why America Should Stay Out of Syria…


Any notion that an attack on Syria could be limited is fantasy — if it commences, the military operation could assume a life of its own.

The House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States of America should reject any form of US military intervention in Syria.

Rejection would be a clear statement against war. It would be a lucid message on behalf of peace.

There are at least 12 reasons why the US Congress, and the people of the world, should adopt such a stand.

One, if the two houses represent the voice of the American people

‘Fukushima Never Again’ Film, Ukiah Monday 7/22/13 7pm…


“Fukushima, Never Again” tells the story of the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdowns in north east Japan in March of 2011 and exposes the cover-up by Tepco and the Japanese government.

This is the first film that interviews the Mothers Of Fukushima, nuclear power experts and trade unionists who are fighting for justice and the protection of the children and the people of Japan and the world. The residents and citizens were forced to buy their own geiger counters and radiation dosimeters in order to test their communities to find out if they were in danger.

The government said contaminated soil in children’s school grounds was safe and then when the people found out it was contaminated and removed the top soil, the government and TEPCO refused to remove it from the school grounds.

It also relays how the nuclear energy program for “peaceful atoms” was brought to Japan under the auspices of the US military occupation and also the criminal cover-up of the safety dangers of the plant by TEPCO and GE management which built the plant in Fukushima. It also interviews Kei Sugaoka, the GE nulcear plant inspector from the bay area who exposed cover-ups

Action Alert: Monopolistic Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Try to Crush Credit Unions as Competition by Removing Tax Exemption…


Thanks to Janie Sheppard

[When the Big Banks took our economy down the tubes, we switched our bank accounts to Credit Unions in droves. Now they are pissed and want to snuff out the competition, which are democratic cooperatives. We won’t let them. Here’s what we can do: Don’t Tax My Credit Union -DS]

Given the steady growth of consumers turning to responsive credit unions for their banking, the oligopolistic banks that brought you the crash of the American economy – and made you lend them money to survive – are now trying to crush credit unions.

The vehicle being used by the large financial institutions — many of whom are still engaged in risky and unethical if not illegal actions – to remove credit unions as competition is to get their pawns in DC to pass legislation that will remove their tax exemption.

According to a July 6 LA Times article:

Skill Share at the Todd Grove Park Ukiah Today Saturday 6/15/13 10 – 4


Mendo Free Skool & Transition Ukiah Valley

present a


Sat., June 15 from 10 AM to 4PM

Todd Grove Park Ukiah

Three 90 minute workshop sessions

beginning at 10:15, 12:45, & 2:30

Potluck lunch at 11:45
(so bring a dishes and sturdy dishes if you want to join us for lunch)

Likely skills you can learn are:

Tai Chi, fermented foods, primitive skills, bike repair (so bring your bike if it needs fixing), Charleston and Electric Slide dances, drumming, knitting, hula hoop making, kid’s use of tools,  Art, solar oven cooking, rope knot tying,and many more.

If you have a skill you’d like to present, contact us.  Or if you can help with set up that morning at 8:30 or clean-up afterward, or help during the day, also contact us

And the second

REALLY REALLY FREEMARKET will be happening in the park at the same time. Bring items you no longer want but that still have a useful life. Find new treasures to take home with you. It’sREALLY REALLY FREE.

For more information, contact us at 235-9080 or peace@pacific.net and after June 12th, check the Mendo Free Skool and the Transition Ukiah Valley websites and Facebook pages for a list of the exact skills offered and times.






Statement from Will Parrish: “The Greatest Gift Mendocino County Could Give The World Is To Stop The Willits Bypass”

Little Lake circa 1905. Picture housed at Mendocino Historical Society.Little Lake circa 1905: closer to their original state.


“Red-Tailed Hawk,” aka Will Parrish (a local journalist), issued the following statement from his tree sit, May 20th.

“On May 14th, I ascended roughly 70 feet into a 100-foot tall valley oak that stands in the path of the California Department of Transportation’s proposed six-mile freeway (“The Willits Bypass”) through Little Lake Valley. This tree, which has a nearly six-foot trunk and is covered from top to bottom with an intricate tapestry of lichens and moss, stands amid hundreds of ash trees in a lustrous grove in the north Little Lake Valley wetlands. The tree is certainly older than the State of California. It may be older than the United States of America.

This mighty oak stands like a sentinel at the southern edge of the ash grove. In its life, it has experienced the gridding, platting, and draining of its wetlands home for cattle ranching and the construction of Highway 101. It has experienced Euroamericans’ destruction of the Central Pomo people, who referred to the valley by the evocatively intimate name Mto’m-kai – a name that closely translates to “Valley of Water Splashing the Toes.” It has experienced the wetlands as they existed when the Pomo and early Euroamericans lived here, as an incredibly vibrant and life-sustaining ecosystem:

The tree’s days are likely numbered, though, as are those of the entire ash grove and nearly 90 acres of these wetlands, which CalTrans intends to drain, fill, and pave over to build its highway. It would be the most extensive destruction of any wetlands in Northern California in more than a half-century.

Willits Bypass Protesters Get a New Tree Sitter: Will Parrish…



As of Wednesday, Redtail Hawk landed in Condor’s nest and has roosted there. Condor has gone flying out in the Valley. Redtail brought a 25 foot banner with him that reads, ‘Save Our Water. Stop Caltrans NOW!’ The banner is visible from 101.

Redtail Hawk also goes by the name of Will Parrish. Parrish is a Ukiah resident who has been an instrumental part of the Bypass campaign. He is an activist and well known local journalist, who has written about and worked on forest and water protection, indigenous peoples land rights, nuclear weapons abolition, immigrant justice, and many other issues. He hasi written aabout dozen articles on the bypass and the resistance to it. To read Parrish’s most recent article on Caltrans mitigation debacle, click here.

This tree sit is in an Oregon ash grove just east of Highway 101, roughly a mile north of Willits High School. The tree is perched in one of the grove’s only oak trees. It is a valley oak at least 200 years old, one of precisely 1,815 oaks CalTrans inventoried to cut down.

This is the first tree sit in the wetlands area of the bypass construction zone, and has been strategically nested to bring attention to the activity happening in the wetlands currently. In a phone call with Redtail Hawk, he described the scene he is witnessing: Caltrans has brought in the wick drains and wick drain machine they will use to install the 55,000 wick drains to drain the wetlands, and they have begun test pile driving 100 foot steel tubes into the wetlands.

The current tree sit, and Condor and Redtail’s nesting in it, is to block destruction of this grove of trees in the wetlands, and to call attention to the destruction of the wetlands that is now beginning.

Chris Hardaker: Willits Bypass — These Desperate Times…



Good Morning, Mendo!

What a magical place for a desert rat. The trees, the ferns, the critters, the beards, the smoke. And grass! Actual grass growing anywhere it wants and can; and sometimes it even grows cows! And water, water everywhere.

Damn, this is the first county that defeated Monsanto. It’s in Guinness. A political superstar composed of grass roots. The people’s victory, literally. The sanctity of the environment is a sacred mission to all those who care. Kudos. Monsanto lost the battle. And you kept your seeds.

You defeated Monsanto and banned GMOs. Okay, great. But what has it really done to stem the tide? Okay, maybe a hell of a lot, since it got the news out there internationally. You made Anti-GMO, and probably Monsanto is Evil, a household word for those who still care to read or listen. Okay. Really okay. Prescient. Yaaaay for Mendo. A circle of determined people really made it happen. The rest was signatures and votes. But as a county, as the joke goes, what have you done for me lately?

If you want the answer, his name is Jack Shit. There’s a goddam four barrel attack on one of your most precious corners of the county

A worldwide March against Monsanto is scheduled May 25th 2013…

From RiseEarth

Comparison of GMO and non-GMO corn – the real statistics will astound you!

As Monsanto parades their genetically modified seed, throwing it out like candy into the fields, future generations are being subjected to nutritionally void, disease-causing food. As the government protects the GMO industry, with its recent signing of the “Monsanto Protection Act”, the republic’s health interests are being discarded.

A 2012 study, called the Corn Comparison Report, was recently released by Profit Pro and published on the website for Moms Across America March to Label GMOs – a group dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of genetically modified organisms.

The Corn Comparison Report detailed the nutritional deficiencies of GMO corn compared to regular organic corn. The report reveals the stunning levels of glyphosate in GMO corn and the amount of vital nutrients that have been drawn out.

GMO corn: nutritionally void

The nutrition statistics for GMO corn are bone chilling. Here is what the report indicates:

‘A Fierce Green Fire’ Film Coming To Ukiah Monday, Earth Day, 4/22/13, 6:30 pm…

A FIERCE GREEN FIRE is a film showing on Monday night, EARTH DAY, April 22 at the Ukiah City Council chambers at S. Oak St. and Seminary Dr. It is FREE to people 25 years old and younger.  We suggest a donation of $5 to $10 for people over 25. It is co-sponsored by the Environmental Club at Ukiah High, Transition Ukiah Valley, the Mendocino Environmental Center, Save Our Little Lake Valley, Cloud Forest Institute, the Alliance for Democracy, and Transition Lake County.

Doors open at 6pm and the film starts at 6:30.

Spanning 50 years of grassroots and global activism, this Sundance documentary brings to light the vital stories of the environmental movement where people fought — and succeeded — against enormous odds. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to fighting toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace to Chico Mendes; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization, A Fierce Green Fire is the history of environmentalism’s greatest hits.

From the Academy Award-nominated director of “Berkeley in the Sixties”, and narrated by Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Van Jones and Isabel Allende.

Social Security Alert…


[Senator Bernie Sanders: “What the president is proposing is going to hurt a lot of people,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday after the White House confirmed that President Obama’s budget will include cuts in Social Security. He called it a “bitter disappointment” that the White House budget proposal next week will call for changing how annual cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. As the chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Sanders added that the White House proposal also would cut benefits for disabled veterans and their survivors. As a candidate for the White House in 2008, Sanders noted, Obama pledged not to cut Social Security COLAs.]

It looks like President Obama is still open to negotiations with Republican economic terrorists. Details of the president’s budget, set to be released April 10th, show that he will offer significant spending cuts to so-called “entitlement programs”- like Social Security and Medicare – in hopes of attaining a “grand” budget bargain with Congressional Republicans.

The plan replaces the sequester with other spending cuts, and increases revenues by $580 billion. In a move that is sure to infuriate progressives and many Democrats, the president will propose lowering cost-of-living increases to Social Security benefits. This is insane. Instead of asking the wealthiest in our country to pay the same percentage of their income towards our social safety net, the President thinks that the elderly, disabled, and veterans should bear the burden of Republican austerity.

Our nation has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, and economic terrorists shouldn’t be the exception. We must stand together to preserve our social programs. Tell Congress and the President that we won’t stand for balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. Sign the petition at no-cuts.com.

Will Parrish: The Warbler Tree Sit, Week 2 (Willits Bypass)



As the first tree sit Mendocino County has seen in perhaps 13 years enters its second week, there appears little indication either that the tree sitter — who goes by the moniker The Warbler — will voluntarily relinquish her post any time soon. There is also little sign that the Mendocino County Sheriffs or California Highway Patrol plan to attempt to extract her from her perch any time soon.

Just before this piece went to deadline, The Warbler expressed her sense that the tree sit, and particularly the support it has galvanized in many quarters of the North Coast, has forced CalTrans’ planners to regroup, right as they were on verge of finally beginning construction of the new six-mile superhighway through Little Lake Valley they have long coveted.

“I feel confidant CalTrans doesn’t know what to do about the tree sit,” The Warbler says. “They’ve seen the steady support from the local community and the press attention. They seem at a loss.”

Will Parrish: The Warbler & The Willits Bypass…



CalTrans got the go-ahead on January 15th to begin “vegetation removal” on its Highway 101 Bypass route through Little Lake Valley, courtesy of a California Department of Fish and Game memorandum signed by North Coast District Manager Neil Manji. The letter effectively states that CalTrans crews are free to excavate plants and chainsaw trees as long as they leave the stumps in place, being that the trees’ roots help prevent soil from washing off of hillsides into streams.

By January 17th, CalTrans Senior Resident Engineer Geoffrey T. Wright (who recently got a new office in Willits, at 300 East Valley Rd., in anticipation of finally beginning construction of the freeway) was touting in a letter to the California State Water Resources Control Board that he expected “a start date of +/- January 28.” All the agency still required by that point was final written permission from the Army Corp of Engineers to fire up the chainsaws. In the letter to the State Water Board, Wright said he expected to receive that permission within a week.

Part of CalTrans’ impetus for fast-tracking destruction of the oak woodlands that span much of the proposed freeway construction area’s broad six-mile band through Willits is the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Payback Time! Boycott the Brands that Helped Kill Prop 37…

Director Organic Consumers Association

TAKE ACTION: Join the Boycott!

They stomped on our right to know. Now it’s time to get even.

The OCA is calling on all consumers to boycott these 10 organic and natural traitor brands:

• PepsiCo (Donated $2.5M): Naked Juice, Tostito’s Organic, Tropicana Organic • Kraft (Donated $2M): Boca Burgers and Back to NatureSafeway (Member of Grocery Manufacturers Association, which donated $2M): “O” Organics • Coca-Cola (Donated $1.7M): Honest Tea, Odwalla • General Mills (Donated $1.2M): Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, Larabar • Con-Agra (Donated $1.2M): Orville Redenbacher’s Organic, Hunt’s Organic, Lightlife, AlexiaKellogg’s (Donated $791k): Kashi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms, Gardenburger  • Smuckers (Donated $555k): R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic • Unilever (Donated $467k): Ben & Jerry’s • Dean Foods (Donated $254k): Horizon, Silk, White Wave

Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative, was narrowly defeated

Poverty in America — It’s not what you think…


The Line documents the stories of people across the country living at or below the poverty line. They have goals. They have children. They work hard. They are people like you and me. Across America, millions are struggling every day to make it above The Line.

Tell the presidential candidates to put the focus on poverty here

1 out of 5 children in the U.S. live in poverty and more than 46 million Americans have fallen below the poverty line. These are alarming statistics and we need to hear more from the candidates about what they are going to do about it.

Poverty needs to be put back on the public agenda and you can make it happen. Tell President Obama and Governor Romney they need to spend less time on political attacks and more time focusing on poverty.

With every email you send, we’ll also copy in the debate moderators to make sure that they know that poverty must be raised as a major issue in this campaign.

What You Need to Know About a Worldwide Corporate Power Grab…

Rainforest Action Network

The corporate cabal behind a new trade agreement including Cargill, Pfizer, Nike and WalMart, has done an exceptional job of maintaining an almost total lack of transparency as they literally design the future we will all inhabit.

As international trade negotiators gathered this week at a posh golf resort in rural Virginia to hammer out details of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), they sought to project an image of inclusion and receptivity to public input. In reality, this high-stakes global corporate pact, now in its 14thround of discussions, is heavily guarded by paramilitary teams with machine guns and helicopters as it is developed behind closed doors under a dangerous and unprecedented veil of secrecy.

What the hell is the TPP, you may ask? While it is among the largest and potentially most important ‘free trade’ agreements the world has ever seen, one can hardly be blamed for not being familiar with it yet. The corporate cabal behind it, including names like Cargill, Pfizer, Nike and WalMart, has done an exceptional job of maintaining an almost total lack of transparency as they literally design the future we will all inhabit.

While 600 corporate lobbyists have been granted access and input on the draft texts from the beginning, even high-ranking members of Congress have been denied access to the most basic content of what US negotiators are proposing in our names.

Demand transparency now! Write to US trade representative Ron Kirk and lead Cargil trade lobbyist Devry Boughner to demand they make the text public.

Thankfully, draft texts of the proposal have appeared on Wikileaks and the website of Citizen’s Trade Campaign. It is difficult to overstate the potential implications on the lives of people around the world if anything like the agreement in these leaked documents were to be implemented with the force of law.

The TPP is called a ‘trade agreement,’ but in actuality it is a long-dreamed-of template for implementing a binding system

Growth Is the Problem…


[“Growth” is over and it’s not coming back, and that goes also for so-called “smart growth.” (See The Myth of Smart Growth.) Dumb growth can be felt locally with:  the Ukiah City Council approval of an outside corporation “creatively destroying” (as one council member described it) a locally-owned downtown business, Incognito, that has been a downtown anchor store here for over 19 years; the foregone conclusion that many more locally-owned small businesses will be destroyed when Costco is also approved to open here; and the rumors of developers pushing to expand our town into the western hills.

The cult of endless growth has kept us from seeing clearly the choices in front of us. Freeing ourselves from this unsustainable path opens up a great world of possibilities for us to actually have more enjoyable, more fulfilling lives.

Transition Ukiah Valley will be showing Growthbusters on Tuesday, September 18th at The Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse 6:30 pm. Come early, 6pm, to find out about Transition Ukiah Valley and the Transition Town Movement. -DS]

The ceaseless expansion of economic exploitation, the engine of global capitalism, has come to an end. The futile and myopic effort to resurrect this expansion—a fallacy embraced by most economists—means that we respond to illusion rather than reality. We invest our efforts into bringing back what is gone forever. This strange twilight moment, in which our experts and systems managers squander resources in attempting to re-create an expanding economic system that is moribund, will inevitably lead to systems collapse. The steady depletion of natural resources, especially fossil fuels, along with the accelerated pace of climate change, will combine with crippling levels of personal and national debt to thrust us into a global depression that will dwarf any in the history of capitalism. And very few of us are prepared.

“Our solution is our problem,” Richard Heinberg, the author of “The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality,” told me when I reached him by phone in California. “Its name is growth. But growth has become uneconomic.

GMO Labeling Prop 37 Solution to Walmart’s Untested, Unlabeled, Toxin Spliced Corn…

Yes on 37 Right to Know Campaign

[We need Ukiah volunteers for Proposition 37, the Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods campaign that is on the November ballot. Are you interested or do you know anyone who might be interested in tabling at the Farmers Market or other fun events in town? Call today to help in our efforts to pass Proposition 37. We have the right to know what’s in our food. Biotech/Agribusiness is pouring tens of millions of dollars into the campaign to defeat labeling and to confuse the issue. We need you to talk to people and clarify the Proposition.  We will support you so you can talk comfortably about the issue. Please call or email now to help.  Join other local volunteers who have the same concerns as you do.

Please call Eileen Mitro at 707 234 0380 or email emitro@pacific.net]

As the summer winds down, family barbeques are in full swing and supermarkets are filled with shoppers searching for the right foods to grill up with friends and neighbors.

But do they really know what they’re buying? What they may not know is that Walmart has admitted it will soon start selling agrichemical giant Monsanto’s sweet corn, which has been genetically engineered with an insecticide inside it — not on the corn, but IN it.

Bt toxin works as an insecticide by disintegrating the lining of insects’ stomachs when they chomp on the corn.  So what is this doing to the bodies of adults or children who eat the corn? We don’t know.

The genetically engineered sweet corn, which has also been manipulated at the DNA level to withstand pesticides that are sprayed on it, has never been proven safe. The US Food and Drug Administration require no safety testing of genetically engineered foods.  No long-term health studies have been conducted, and no labeling will be provided to alert unsuspecting consumers exactly what they are eating.

Yet there are studies showing there is reason for concern. For example, a 2009 study in the International Journal of Biological Sciences linked Monsanto’s genetically modified corn to kidney and liver damage in rats.

To Mendocino Redwood Company and the Fisher Family: Stop the Use of Deadly Herbicides…


[Please see Will Parrish article Hack & Squirt: Herbicide Poisoning in Mendo — Parts One & Two — then please sign the petition here… ~EK]

We all have a right to clean air, water and soil. The Mendocino Redwood Company, owned by the billionaire Fisher family — owners and founders of The Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta — currently applies TWO TONS of the highly concentrated, broad-spectrum herbicide imazapyr EVERY YEAR here in Mendocino County to kill tanoak, madrone and other hardwood trees that are not as commercially valuable as redwood and Douglas fir.

Tanoak, and other less lucrative hardwoods, are extremely valuable food source trees for wildlife, important succession trees for forest recovery after logging, and a valuable source for carbon-neutral heating: firewood. MRC claims it is not “cost-effective” to manually remove these unwanted trees and must use herbicides. They have determined

The Role of Public vs. Private is the Central Issue of This Campaign… [Update]

The Little Blue Blog

[Update: Tell the House Democrats in ultra-safe districts who have stockpiled more than $63 million to start sending some of that money to progressive Democrats. This is how we win the House. See petition below… -DS]

Obama’s and Romney’s Opposed Visions for a Free America

America is divided about its future. Should it keep and expand the system that brought past opportunity, prosperity and freedom? Or should it dismantle that system?

President Obama recently reminded us that private life, private enterprise, and personal freedom depend on what the public provides.

“The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. (…) when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

Dave Smith: ‘Neighbors Reading’ Meets Every First Friday Mulligan Books 6pm


Mendo Free Skool

Neighbors Reading at Mulligan Books
208 S State Street, Ukiah

Bring one of your favorite books and we will take turns reading and discussing brief passages from them. Preferred are general topics around Neighbors, Community, Transition and Resilience, but not confined to them. This class is for those who care for our community’s future.

The readings will be videotaped for showing on Mendocino Access Television leading to live remote broadcasts in the future.

First Fridays, 6-7 p.m.

Nature Bats Last

Words To Give By…

I’m fussy about the words I use. Words matter, after all. For example, anarchy is not chaos, though you’d never be able to distinguish the two based on anything presented by the mainstream media.

Take Action! Mendo Free Skool Summer Solstice Celebration Tomorrow Thursday 6/21/12


What: Mendo Free Skool Summer Solstice Celebration
When: Thursday, June 21st, 6:00-9:30 p.m.
Where: Ukiah Trinity School, 555 Hazel Ave.

[I will be reviving Neighbors Reading, a monthly gathering at Mulligan Books on First Fridays where our local neighbors will be reading favorite passages from favorite books, eventually to be carried live on Community TV… -DS]

Mendo Free Skool celebrates the upcoming summer quarter of classes, our extremely successful inaugural quarter, *and* the Summer Solstice at this informational potluck!  We will eat, share inspiring stories about the first quarter of classes (http://mendofreeskool.wordpress.com/calendar), and play games/music. This will be your first chance to snag Summer Session calendars.

All the Summer Session teachers will be on hand. This is the perfect opportunity to meet them and talk shop about the classes they are offering.

Summer Session class topics to include: permaculture, Ukiah bird watching, Being Human, Empowered Budgeting, Neighbors Reading, bread-making, meditation, greywater installation, palmistry, applesauce canning, local food foraging/harvesting, Mendo Anarchist Study Group, compost tea making, flower essences, tai chi, kim chi, local history, Derrick Jensen Reading Group, kickball, improvisational dance, Ukiah Bike Tours, and many, many others!!!

We are seeking a handful of volunteers to help the potluck run smoothly. If you can help out for an hour or two, please drop us a line at mendofreeskool@gmail.com.

A cooperative approach to living and learning, Mendo Free Skool