Sunday, December 15, 2013

Disabled Veterans Wait Longer For Claims In Northern California Than North Dakatoa or Nebraska

By Aaron Glantz
 Cironline.com
 
"If you’re a Northern California veteran who has waited a year for a decision on a war-related disability claim, you might consider a move to South Dakota – where the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs typically responds in less than half the time."

See Map and rest of story

It turns out that California might not be the best place to apply for disability claims with the VA just due to the amount of government workers available in our state verses a states with small populations. So If time is of the essence, get your benefits in a smaller state and then relocate to California.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

What Ever Happened To $2.3 Trillion Dollars The Pentagon Admitted It Lost The Day Before 9/11?

With all of the talk about cutting peoples pensions, unemployment, food stamps and welfare in general, it is strange that $2.3 Trillion dollars is spent and no one knows how or where?

Quinn at the Daily Kos writes:

It was forgotten in the wake of 9-11, but on 9-10 the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said:
On September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld gave a speech at the Pentagon where he stated:     “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 Trillion dollars in transactions.”
    “The adversary is closer to home, it’s the Pentagon bureaucracy.”
    “In fact, it could be said that it’s a matter of life and death.”
Let me be clear that I am NOT trying to draw a parallel between the timing of Rumsfeld's statement and 9-11....this is NOT a 'CT' thing. But, as the right revisits 'welfare queens' with 'Obama phones', I think it's a fair question to ask.

You Must See The Rest Here

Quinn also asks why congress is so obsessed with cutting food stamps and looking for welfare queens when 2.3 Trillion dollars disappears and no one investigates as to who got that money? They just wrote it off and covered it up.

I agree with Quinn with the exception of the coincidence of the timing. I think that the fact that this news was announced the day before 9/11attacks destroyed the area of the Pentagon where the records of the lost transactions or at least some paper trail might have existed, is awfully suspicious and convenient.
 
After you see some links at the Daily Kos above, watch the video of Rumsfeld himself making the statement.
http://youtu.be/W-F5NKAMdFc

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trinidad Ice Sculpture

It wasn't really a sculpture at all. It has been so cold here that when I turned over a bucket that had contained rain water, this beauty fell out. I just framed it on my outside bar overlooking Trinidad Harbor. Ok, so I don't really have a view of the harbor, but my friend Danny did a pretty good job of hooking me up with a good facsimile.

Senior Scientist From WHOI Studies/Talks About Fukushima Radiation

I missed this story that came out more than two weeks ago from Cynthia McCormick writing for The Cape Cod Times at www.capecodonline.com. This is probably the best discussion about the current situation that I have read that comes from a scientist that knows the subject. The following is from Ken Buessler at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

"He's one of a few people who does this research," Burnell said. "It's not replicated in a lot of places."
Scientific interest in measuring radiation in ocean waters dropped after the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty in 1963, Buesseler said.
Cape Cod Times/Merrily Cassidy

His own expertise in the field was honed after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986, when he studied the impact of the nuclear fallout on the Black Sea.

After the earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima reactors less than three years ago, Buesseler got private funding from...


What is not being addressed in this story is radiation in the air, rain and snow. Is there increased or spiked increases  in measurements compared to background measurements made years ago.?  Should we be concerned here on the west coast?  And why shouldn't we be?

What is being addressed is the fact that this study is taking place and  is from a private grant not our governments. Why aren't they being more forthright? Our government has a sequester that is slashing money the federal government spends so that affects funding for projects like this. The other reason might be that our governments doesn't want us to find any excess radiation. Canada doesn't have our Sequestration excuse. They could be informing us of what they are finding.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Snow!

Snow and other frozen stuff fell from the sky overnight near Trinidad Ca.



There were all manor of frozen water falling from the sky overnight. Some hail, some fluffy fat snow flakes and some of those frozen rain pellets that look like the Styrofoam pellets in a bean bag chair.

I am guessing that right now is a bad time to be driving. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Progressive Talk Radio Has Been Removed From All Large Cities In US

It is with a heavy heart and a sad face that I report what may be the death of commercial progressive talk radio on broadcast rstations in the US.

The radio home of Stephanie Miller in Los Angeles  will now be the new home for Rush, Hannity and other right wing blowhards.

Brad Friedman of the Brad Blog reports this afternoon:

The largest media market in the world is about to lose its only non-Rightwing commercial talk radio station. Los Angeles' KTLK 1150am will be flipped to a far Rightwing station featuring hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and other rightwing talkers. "The changes are set to take effect for the first broadcast of 2014," according to the Los Angeles Times this afternoon.
KTLK is owned by Clear Channel Communications, Inc., the nation's largest owner of radio stations. Clear Channel is now owned by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital LLC. The talkers mentioned above who will be taking over the previously-progressive station are also syndicated by Clear Channel-owned Premiere Networks, the largest radio syndicator in the nation.

Changes also in store for San Francisco. 

Read the rest at BradBlog.com

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hard Freeze Warning For Coastal Humboldt County

First there is this from the National Weather Service in Eureka. 
Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain and snow. Snow level 1000 feet. Lows 28 to 38. North wind around 15 mph.

Hard Freeze Watch

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EUREKA CA
326 PM PST TUE DEC 3 2013

...VERY COLD TEMPERATURES EXPECTED TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT
ALONG THE COAST...

.COLD AIR WILL CONTINUE TO FILTER IN FROM THE NORTH IN THE WAKE
OF YESTERDAYS COLD FRONT. UNDER CLEAR SKIES AND LIGHT WINDS...
LOW TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO FALL INTO THE UPPER 20S TO LOW
30S TONIGHT. LIGHTER WINDS AND DRIER AIR WILL ALLOW FOR AN EVEN
COLDER NIGHT WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY MORNING...WITH LOWS
POTENTIALLY IN THE MID 20S ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE NORTH COAST.

CAZ001-041230-
/O.CON.KEKA.HZ.A.0001.131205T0900Z-131205T1700Z/
REDWOOD COAST-
326 PM PST TUE DEC 3 2013

...HARD FREEZE WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING...

A HARD FREEZE WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING.

* LOW TEMPERATURES...MID TO UPPER 20S.

* TIMING...UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S EXPECTED OVERNIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY
  MORNING. MID TO UPPER 20S WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY MORNING.

* LOCATIONS INCLUDE...FORTUNA...EUREKA...ARCATA...CRESCENT CITY.

* FOR A DETAILED VIEW OF THE HAZARD AREA...VISIT
  HTTP://WWW.WRH.NOAA.GOV/WRH/WHV/?WFO=EKA

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HARD FREEZE WATCH MEANS SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE POSSIBLE.
THESE CONDITIONS COULD KILL CROPS AND OTHER SENSITIVE VEGETATION.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The 3rd Most Popular Story On My Blog This Week Is From 2 And A Half Years Ago, And I Didn't Even Write It!

I was perusing some of the settings and stats on this blog and noticed that 166 people this week were checking out a story from two and a half years ago. This made this old story the 3rd most popular story on my blog this week. It was about a couple of dudes getting busted in a Broadway Motel in Eureka. I thought, maybe the guys are out of jail and going after the press. Then after reading an op-ed in today's Times-Standard by Mark Bennett, I realized the traffic was probably from those that released the story in the first place.

It was just a standard police press release and contained pictures and the usual cop speak. I call it cop speak because the police have an official way of writing these press releases which is designed to make things perfectly clear since the subjects are usually being accused of a crime but not yet convicted of one. Cops are pretty careful about wording so that they don't run afoul of a citizens rights or jeopardize their cases in court.


Anyway, I don't do many of these press releases anymore on the blog.  They seem to be an everyday event. It almost wears you down to hear the same stories about heroine or meth dealers, pot grows and the crime that comes along with those industries. Day after day the same thing. And maybe that's why the new Police Chief in Eureka, Andy Mills wants to put a stop to them.

Chief Mills New Eureka Police Chief. Photo Time-Standard.
Enter the sudden new interest in a 2 and a half year old story that was merely a press release from EPD.  An everyday occurrence if you will. It  is my belief that the story was used as an example for those looking at the idea of changing what gets released to the press. So I am assuming that many politicians and police types have been going to this old story and I have asked them to leave a comment as to how they feel about changing the press release process and why?

Chief Mills has proposed that the everyday press releases stop and he will instead put the information out in a list form, once a month. Obviously this would help the image of the city since there wouldn't be the daily stories on radio, TV, newspapers and on line highlighting so many of the bad or ugly elements in town, and the press would have to write about something else or get people on the inside to leak information. Since many leakers are now considered terrorists by our federal government, don't look for too many people on the inside wanting to trade their jobs for a prison cell. The press will still have crime stories from the county and other municipalities and of course, once a month some of us will pour over the long list of people that were arrested the month before. Some of that will still come out but for the most part, people with name recognition or in positions of authority will be reported on and the rest will just be on that list somewhere. Still, this may be a good move for the cities image. My question though, is it good for Eureka residents?

Friday, November 29, 2013

West Coast Sardine Numbers Way Low, Could Be Affecting California Brown Pelicans

The Associated Press  released a story yesterday that tied a decline in California Brown Pelicans to a steep decline in west coast sardines. The numbers aren't  definitive though due to the Sequester going on at the federal level. Counting birds is evidently a low priority during slashing, across the board spending cuts agreed on by congress.

California Brown Pelicans Trinidad Harbor California.
Over the past few months I have noticed a decline in sea gulls where I live along the Northern Humboldt Coast. I haven't seen anyone else document this though, possibly due to the same budget cuts. It may also be that because they are considered a garbage eater sea gulls are on an even lower priority than California Brown Pelicans. I used to see more of them at the market in town or by the gas station. There were more of them than any other bird by far but now there are mostly just crows and ravens with an occasional sea gull. To be fair, I always see the most during salmon and crab fishing season. While sport crab season is open, commercial crab season isn't set to open until December 1st. I'll have to get out and see how many sea gulls I see after the big season opens and give an update here.

Although I haven't been kayaking lately (for the past few weeks) , I did also notice a decline in the local pelican population when at the coast taking pictures and even the last couple of times I was out over the summer. In the past I would always see pelicans when kayaking Trinidad Harbor or when walking the board walk in Eureka. There are still some in Eureka but not many along the rocky coast near Trinidad lately.
Sea Gull eating a starfish on rocks near Trinidad Bay

And then there is the dead zone off the coast of Oregon that comes and goes which is low in oxygen that gets caused by ocean and wind currents. That could also be affecting the sardine populations but there doesn't seem to be enough money to study that although one Oregon biologist says this years larger dead zone could be the cause caused by of global climate change.  

There is also the starfish collapse going on right now along the Pacific Coast from Canada to Mexico. Notice the sea gull eating a starfish in the photo I took two summers ago in Trinidad Harbor. So the big question is, are these events all related? The answers may lie in unfunded studies.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Blessing Of The Fleet In Trinidad



The Blessing of the Fleet at the Ceremonial Trinidad Lighthouse. Photo taken from Trinidad Head. 

Trinidad California Thanksgiving Day 2013. Taken from Trinidad Head looking North.

Crab Traps waiting on Trinidad Beach for commercial crab season to open.

A detour  around the crowd gathered for the annual Blessing of the Fleet.

 We are having incredible weather for Thanksgiving on the North Coast and Trinidad is no exception. Overnight lows were in the upper 30's to lower 40's and it was 50 degrees in the shade during the annual Blessing of the Fleet.
Update: Commercial Crab Fishing Season postponed due to disagreement of price between crabbers and buyers. Commercial crab season is technically open December 1st. but there will be no crab brought in until a price is agreed on.   

Sunday, November 24, 2013

California Dr. Talks About Fukushima

Santa Barbara Dr. Stephen Hosea gives a good overview of the Fukushima Diachi Nuclear meltdowns and the perils of trying to retrieve the spent nuclear rods in a bath 4 floors up with no containment building, not even a real roof.

It all starts when his friend catches a blue fin tuna in San Diego. 

Thanks to Ellen for turning me on to this.

A Nice Ending To A Great Weekend, Sunset At Moonstone Beach Ca.

Two Seagulls dart in and out of small surf capping off a fantastic weekend in Humboldt that brought unusually warm and dry conditions.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Fuel Rods Now Being Removed From Fukushima, ABC News Report Possible Evacuations For West Coast US

The removal of 1,331 spent fuel rods and 202 unused rods or assemblies began today in Japan .

The private for profit corporation TEPCO is trying to pull the rods, one by one out of packages in the spent fuel pool that sits 4 stories above ground in a severely damaged Reactor 4 at the Diichi Nuclear Plant complex in Fukushima Japan.  It was said that the removal of each rod was like removing cigarettes from a crushed package with a robot. If a rod is exposed to the air by being brought out of the pool while being transferred to metal casks being put also inside the holding pool, they will burst into flames.  The radiation and plutonium will then escape possibly igniting the entire pool and that would be real bad. How bad? One scientist said that it could require a west coast evacuation.

Watch the ABC News video that was released on Friday.



It should be noted that today, during the first day of the operation there was a 5.7 magnitude earthquake reported off shore and south of the crippled reactor. 

For more see this at Truth Out by Harvey Wasserman.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bergeron Winery Tasting Room Now Open In Trinidad

The new Bergeron Winery Tasting Room is now open in Trinidad Ca. They are open from noon to 7 pm closed Tuesdays. Enjoy your wine with cheeses and breads while looking out at the redwood trees and all just a couple of blocks from the Pacific Ocean. just off US 101.

Petty Bergeron sent me this message back in August when I first started poking around about the new business and the construction going on.

"For those who are not familiar with Bergeron Winery we were established in 2007 in Trinidad. Bergeron specializes in making a Bordeaux style Cabernet Sauvignon.

We also have Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay. We look forward to presenting our wine for everyone to enjoy."

 Peggy Bergeron

The tasting room is 4 doors down from the post office which is next to Murphy's Market.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Let The Poor Pay The Taxes The Rich And Corporations Refuse To Pay

During the recent recession that caused most of the people in the world to lose income, the richest 1 percent in our country, the top 440 families of billionaires gained 12 percent in income. This is due to the fact that Wall St. and the Banksters were and continue to be bailed out while home owners and worker were trickled down on.  Oh sure, some banks had to pay fines but compared to the profits that most of these institutions made during the recession, it was just a slap on the wrist or another cost of doing business that will be passed along to the rest of us poor and middle class people.

If just half of those gains that went to those 440 families were spent on child poverty in the US, there would be no child poverty in the US. But why should we make the rich choose between a Lear jet or another yacht? After all, they got their wealth distribution from us to them legally so why should they give half of it away just to keep some kids that aren't even theirs from starving? I have nothing to compel them other than to say, it's the right thing to do.

Corporations can't be asked for the money because their charters require their main objective to be making money for their share holders. That's their job, not feeding poor kids or paying their fair share of the nations taxes for roads, water, sewage, courts, the military or other government necessities.
That's why about two thirds of corporations didn't pay any federal income taxes according to a a government accounting office study from 2008. 

So if the rich and two thirds of the corporations in this country don't want to pony up and help keep this country competitive with good infrastructure, education, health and an environment we would all like to live and do business in, who will? The poor. Let me explain.

Below is a picture of the McDonald's menu taken in 1979 in my Southern California home town.
The Big Mac on the menu costs .65 cents. The minimum wage for both California and federal was set at $2.90 per hour. Today that Big Mac costs somewhere around $3.79 cents today in the same state which is about 580% more that it cost in 1979. If the minimum wage had kept up with the cost of the Big Mac it would be about $16.00 per hour today. Instead it is half of that here in California.
Photo from Jay Freeman

So you can see what is wrong with our economy. A few fat cats have taken all the cream and most of the milk and left us with the scraps to fight over. Our buying power has gone down as fewer and fewer people can afford products that continue to rise in cost.

My fix? Raise the Federal Minimum Wage to $15.00 per hour. The cost of labor has actually gone down for most products we buy so while the Big Mac may go up a dollar, most people would have 7 more dollars per hour to make up that dollar. This also wouldn't put many people out of work because it would apply to everyone that has employees so your competition would be under the same labor burden as you are.

The problem with the current minimum wage, aside from the obvious points I have already made, is the fact that someone that works full time qualifies for many different kinds of welfare. They also pay almost no federal taxes because they are in poverty. Full time workers are in poverty all over this country so they haven't anything to give back in the way of taxes or charity. If they were suddenly making double or more in actual wages, these millions and millions of people would not only be raised out of poverty, they wouldn't require as much welfare or state help either. And the added benefit that will help fix the country will come from the increased payroll taxes paid by the poor.

Think about it, if Wall St., much of Main St. and the richest folks in this country don't want to pay the taxes that help keep our country competitive and healthy, let the poor do it by letting them pay taxes and take part in what used to be called the American dream.

The current gap between the rich and the poor in this country is out of step and threatens the stability of our great country. Me must act now because as Senator Bernie Sanders says "Dispair is not an option."

Caltrans And Other Construction Work Near Trinidad and Westhaven


According to a recent Caltrans press release:

A seismic retrofit project at the Westhaven Drive Undercrossing Bridge and the Sixth Avenue Overcrossing Bridge on US Highway 101 near Westhaven is scheduled to begin with placement of temporary guardrail on Monday, November 18. Work hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekdays. Traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction of travel, and motorists may experience minor traffic slowdowns. Bridge work will consist of reinforcing bridge columns.
Westhaven Drive US 101 Undercrossing just south of 6th ave. 

This seismic retrofit project will also include work at the Trinidad Road Undercrossing Bridge beginning in January 2014. The contractor is Golden State Bridge, Inc. of Martinez.

The project is estimated to be completed by summer 2014. Please watch for bicyclists when traveling through the area, and remember to Slow for the Cone Zone.  


In addition to all that work by Caltrans, there is extensive work being done on Scenic Drive from Trinidad to about 500 feet south of Lanford Road. The new 6 inch pipe will replace an old deteriorating 3 inch water pipe. This will help increase fire safety but may cause delays on Scenic Drive between Trinidad and Lanford Rd.

Here is some information from a PDF put out by the Planning Commission.

Rancheria 2013-02: Grading Permit and Coastal Development Permit for
construction of approximately 2,300 feet of 6 in. water main along Scenic Drive in
order to meet current City standards and provide adequate fire flows to the Trinidad
Rancheria. Work also includes tie in to existing laterals, a new fire hydrant, flush
hydrant, valves, paving and erosion control. The project will replace an existing 3 in. 03-20-13

DRAFT Planning Commission Meeting Minutes Page 3 of 5
Water Pipe Trenching Machine Trinidad
water main connection from Scenic to Westhaven along Lanford and under Hwy
101. The Lanford Road portion will remain to serve existing connections, and the
portion running under the freeway will be capped and abandoned in the future.
Located within City of Trinidad and Humboldt County Rights-of-Way along Scenic
Drive from Main Street to approximately 500 ft. south of Lanford Road.

Parker clarifies that the Stability and Alquist-Priolo sections should be disregarded; they are
language left over from the previous Caltrans project last month. This project is on a more
stable section of Scenic Drive and the Alquist-Priolo regulations apply to human-occupied
structures.

Commissioner Comment
Commissioner Becker clarifies that this project is not meant to increase usage, and Planner
Parker responds that yes, but the project is improving pipes to standard sizes, which means
larger pipes. This will improve fire flows on Lanford Rd and reduce the likelihood of failure
from undersized lines. It will not increase available service connections, though.
See entire PDF

Friday, November 15, 2013

Harvest Dinner & Full Moon Dance In Trinidad

The Uptown Kings and Special guest Psyched Elvis will play the Trinidad Town Hall This Saturday, November 16th.  No-Host Bar 6;00 pm and Dinner at 6:30 pm with Homemade salad & hearty soups, handmade breads and fall desserts.

This is a fund raiser benefit for the Westhaven Center for the Arts and the Trinidad Civic Club.

Tickets:
Advance $30
$25 for TCC/WCA members

At the door:
$35
Call Debbie Dew 707-677-9493 for information and advance tickets.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Randi Rhodes Let Go By Premiere Radio

UPDATE: Premiere Radio Has A Change Of Heart! See BradBlog for details. 

Talk radio is an ever changing game. Liberal Talk Radio is no different other than the fact that it is about 1/200 of the size of Right Wing Talk radio if you consider the amount of hours available on commercial talk radio in the US. I'm going by Karel numbers so give or take, actual hours may vary some.
photo from Wikipedia

So it is with some sadness that liberal talker Randi Rhodes will be leaving Premiere Radio Networks for an as yet unknown future. Randi Rhodes is a former enlisted US Air For mechanic that did a great job as a liberal talk show host, especially when it came to the topic of war and defense and all the baggage that can bring to the table.

I was never able to add her to KGOE because I had Dr. Laura in her time slot replaced by Ed Schultz and then Thom Hartmann. When I added Karel to the station 3 to 6 pm we became live on most weekdays from 3 am till 9 pm and also 10 pm to 2 am. That's 22 hours a day during the week. I just had no reason to take her show because I also had Coast to Coast AM  live and nowhere to really put it.

Below is a deeper look into Randi Rhodes, Bain Capital LLC, Clear Channel and Premiere, the radio biz and an old lawsuit that should prevent, well just go see the story at The Brad Blog.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

GMO's Are Safe And Twice As Many Americans Should Take Statin Drugs. Really?

There is no need for alarm. Evidently we are not what we eat. And the LDL cholesterol connection thing is just a coincidence with the news today that that twice as many Americans should be on statin drugs.


From Genetic Literacy Project:


Can science self-correct, in effect protect against sloppy or politicized research? Scientists can try—but the success of those efforts depends in large measure upon the integrity of journalists and advocates to address their own reporting mistakes.
photo from npr.org



But as GLP executive director Jon Entine reports in Forbes, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Consumers Union and prominent anti-GMO journalists are discouragingly but predictably silent after multiple science publications severely challenged an alarmist RNA study they had hyped.

Read more

I have to say that most scientists don't think GMO's are harmful to human health. With that said, this debunking of a study about LDL Cholesterol and GMO's comes out the same day I get a report from ABC News saying that a new study says about twice as many Americans should be taking Statin drugs (like Lipitor) to lower their bad Cholesterol as are currently on the drugs. 


Coincidence? Maybe. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Eureka Veterans Day Celebration At Adorni Center


Choose Veterans Charities Wisely

The Tampa Bay Times has a list that they are calling America's Worst Charities. The list shows what they say are the 50 worst charities based on the amount of money raised and the amount of money spent on raising money.

On that list were 5 charities for US Veterans. In honor of our veterans this Veterans Day, I thought I should pass these along so that if you choose to give to veterans charities, you give to ones that actually help veterans more than themselves.

Here are the 5 that made the naughty list:

1. National Veterans Service Fund
2. The Veterans Fund also Veterans Fund Inc.
(this charity didn't show up in a simple google search)
3. Veterans Assistance Foundation
4. Circle of Friends for American Veterans
5. Our American Veterans
(this charity didn't show up in a simple google search)

The list of 50 worst charities based on spending and fund raising can be found here at The Tampa Bay Times

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sunny Today And Tomorrow Along North Coast


The forecast is nice for this weekend. A bit cold but not too windy and lots of sun today and tomorrow. These pictures just south of Trinidad Ca. today. Enjoy because rain is expected for Veterans Day on Monday. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Is California Being Fracked?

Update: Climate Scientists Send Letter To California Governor Jerry Brown That Calls For Fracking Ban In State. 

I saw this in my inbox today. 

Fracking Goes To Sea: California Regulators Startled To Learn Of Offshore Hydraulic Fracturing

No  public disclosure or environmental impact analysis was ever done!
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) gave “categorical exclusions” to oil companies for frack jobs on existing offshore oil rigs, allowing them to proceed with the activity in the federal waters off the Golden State.

Offshore fracking, like the controversial onshore practice, uses water, sand, and potentially hazardous chemicals to blast through shale to “stimulate” the flow of oil and gas. They differ in that offshore fracking is still primarily used to stimulate existing oil wells, and isn’t yet associated with new drilling.
So far, FOIA-based investigations by journalists and environmental groups have turned up at least 15 instances of frack jobs approved in federal waters with categorical exclusions, and, reportedly, more are planned by offshore oil producer DCOR.

Fracking on land is riddled with questions about environmental hazards, but BSEE now claims the practice offshore is safe, only requiring 2 percent of the water and 7 percent of the sand used onshore.
However, very little is known about the environmental effects of offshore fracking, since no studies have been done to determine the contamination hazards or other risks. Given the basic activities known to be associated with onshore fracking, potential impacts could include spills of hazardous chemicals, which would degrade ocean water quality, and destabilization or even well blowouts. What’s more, “swarms” of minor earthquakes around the actively producing shale formations in Texas and Ohio have been attributed to fracking in those states, provoking concern for the triggering of tremors in what is an already seismically active area.

This initial revelation of ongoing offshore fracking came as a result of Freedom of Information Act requests filed with the Department of the Interior by theAssociated Press
and Santa Barbara-based community organization the Environmental Defense Center, which just released a new report on the issue.
The investigations have found over 200 instances of fracking operations in state and federal waters off California,
 all unbeknownst to a state agency with jurisdiction over the offshore oil and gas industry.

According to federal guidelines, categorical exclusions are intended for projects that don’t warrant an environmental review because they don’t normally “result in significant environmental harm.” For example, the US Forest Service issues them for land and water restoration projects, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service does so for activities like maintenance and management of existing facilities.

In this May 1, 2009 file
        photo, offshore oil drilling platform 'Gail' operated by Venoco,
        Inc., is shown off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. AP Photo/Chris Carlson, file
In this May 1, 2009 file photo, offshore oil drilling platform ‘Gail’ operated by Venoco, Inc., is shown off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif.

  • It still surprises many Americans when they learn that California, a state with perhaps the greenest of environmental reputations, remains home to offshore oil and gas production in waters better known for surfers and sea lions. In recent weeks, Californians themselves, including even some state regulators, have been surprised to find out that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been secretly occurring along their coastline for years, without any analysis of its potential environmental impact.
  • A commercial, industrial activity like offshore fracking is “the antithesis of what a categorical exclusion was originally intended for,” according to Environmental Defense Center attorney Brian Segee.
  • Recent reports show that relevant authorities within both state and federal agencies were in the dark about the issuance of categorical exclusions for offshore fracking activity. Officials from the California Coastal Commission, which has the authority to determine whether or not proposed oil and gas activities in federal waters comply with certain state environmental standards, reportedly said in August that the agency had no idea the practice was occurring, because it had not been routinely informed by federal agencies like BSEE.

  • Meanwhile, according to records discovered by Truth-out.org, some officials at BSEE only learned that others within the agency had approved offshore fracking while gathering information for external inquiries about the activity, and seemed to be surprised that environmental impact review for frack jobs in the federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf, or OCS, hadn’t occurred. “Has there been an EIS [environmental impact statement] to assess the environmental consequences of fracking on the OCS?,” one official asked in an email. “How can we begin to review permit requests without that?”
  • Californians have seen the results of oversight failures from exemptions and exclusions before. A major blowout at Unocal’s Platform A in the Santa Barbara Channel in 1969 pumped over 3 million gallons of crude oil into the Pacific and blackened 35 miles of coastline. It was later determined that Unocal received a waiver from federal standards — akin to a categorical exclusion — so it could use inadequate well casings, which caused the blowout once they ruptured. The Santa Barbara blowout became a cautionary tale of lax governmental oversight and one of the foundations of the modern environmental movement.
  • The Environmental Defense Center concluded its report by calling for an immediate federal moratorium on offshore fracking, until environmental impact studies are completed. They argue that such studies will not only inform regulators, but also bring badly needed transparency and public participation to a process that so far has been bureaucratically opaque. As they put it, “If history is any guide, the federal government’s lax oversight of fracking and other well stimulation practices within the Santa Barbara Channel is cause for significant concern.” The long list of American communities impacted by hydraulic fracking and offshore oil spills, often following industry’s promises of safety, lends credence to their call.

  • Mark Dennin is an intern with the Center for American Progress’s Ocean Policy program, where Shiva Polefka is a Research Associate.
    By Mark Dennin, Guest Blogger and Shiva Polefka,
     Oct. 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

  • Communities For Justice and Peace
  • Humboldt Co. Calif.
  • 707-616-2212

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Science Not Yet Settled On Safety Of GMO Foods

According to an article at the Brad Blog by Earnist A. Canning, a group of concerned scientists in Europe say that of the studies that have been done on GMO's, most were done by the GMO industry itself. He says they are concerned that more studies need to be done. From the brad blog:

ENSSER challenges the methodology of such studies, noting that studies which involve "one group of animals fed GM food and another ¦an equivalent non-GM diet" are "rare." The rare studies that did apply such rigorous scientific methodology "have revealed toxic effects or signs of toxicity in GM-fed animals."

"The concerns raised by these studies," the ENSSER scientists say, "have not been followed up by targeted research that could confirm or refute the initial findings."

The group further decries the absence of "epidemiological studies investigating potential effects of GM food consumption on human health." The report asserts: "Claims that scientific and governmental bodies endorse GMO safety are exaggerated and Inaccurate."

Canning says that studies called "A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001-2010)"  were a research project and not intended to show the safety of any single GM food. He said they were designed to develop safety assessment approaches.



See the story at the Brad Blog .
See the letter from the scientists, physicians and academics. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

7.3 Earthquake Strikes Off Coast Of Japan, Small Tsunami Expected At Fukushima

No Tsunami is expected here in California from this mornings 7.3 earthquake off the coast of Japan. The area around the crippled Fukushima power plant that melted down after it was hit by a tsunami from a previous quake is expecting a possible 1 meter tsunami. Workers at the destroyed nuke plant have been evacuated to a safe building at the site according to reports.

This came down my twitter feed just minutes ago.
Small tsunami of about 1 ft. observed in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, at 2:07 p.m. ET -


UPDATE: Magnitude downgraded to 7.1.
Twitter update:
NHK: Tsunami measuring 55cm (1.8ft) detected at Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant in Miyagi. Plant says it's able to withstand 17m (55ft) tsunami.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Move To Amend "The 30 Minute Movie"

Are corporations people? How did things get this way? What can we do about it?
This link may will expire soon so you should watch this as soon as you can.
This is evidently a sneek preview and the video will be officially released in January so if you miss it this time, just wait.
http://youtu.be/PDaPMU8LbIY

 Click the link to watch the movie.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Bevmo Grand Opening In Eureka Today

A large line of people that wrapped around the building this morning were waiting eagerly to get a glimpse inside of Eureka's newest liquor store, BevMo! The dark and foggy weather had no affect on the large crowd that turned out for the festivities.

The chain of privately held  beverage stores that specializes in beer, wine and liquor started in California in 1994 and has grown to about 148 stores in California and Arizona.

Today's grand opening and ribbon cutting includes a DJ spinning tunes in the parking lot and a table full of BevMo! bags that may or may not  contain BevMo! goodies. I didn't explore that as I had to get to work and I never shop for liquor before noon.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Benefit to Reopen Stone Lagoon Campground In Humboldt County

This Sunday, October 20th, Kayak Zak's, Explore North Coast, and HSU Recreation Students invite kayakers, hikers and the outdoorsy alike to the Benefit to Reopen Stone Lagoon Campground.

The event will go from 9 am to 5 pm this Sunday at the Stone Lagoon Vistitor Center at 115336 US 101 north of Trinidad California, just past the Little Red Schoolhouse. There will be kayak tours to the campground, live local music by "Monahan, Martin, & Sleep", a raffle with prizes and a whole lot of fun. Rain or shine.

Amanda Kachevas says the Stone Lagoon Primitive Campground has been closed for two years. These are Humboldt County's only boat-in/hike-in campsites and with just a little help it can be reopened in spring of 2014. Elk Country RV (at Little Red Schoolhouse) will have a simultaneous event featuring a barbecue, kid's events, demonstrations and discount camping all weekend.

Kayak Tours are $35.00 per person donation and will launch at 10;00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2;00 p.m. Reserve in advance or sign up that day. Bring a change of clothes and wear shoes that can get wet. Wet suits, booties and splash jackets are also available to rent. Life jackets are included with the tours.

Raffle prizes  will be drawn at 11:45 a.m., 1;45 p.m., and 3:45 p.m. In the event of foul weather all events move to the party at Elk Country RV.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

North Coast Veterans Stand Down Takes Place This Weekend

Starting Friday and going into Sunday, North Coast veterans will meet in Ferndale at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds to take part in  in two days of services offered free to the vets. Services will include DMV help, dentistry, haircuts, food, overnight stay, entertainment and lots and lots of other services all in one location to make it easy for veterans to access. There will even be free transportation to and from the event but you have to make reservations for that asap. Click the link above for more on transportation.

Services are offered Friday, October 11th. and Saturday, October 12th. Overnight stay is provided Friday and Saturday. Veterans are encouraged to attend and see if there are benefit that they are missing out on and to enjoy the local services, music, food and camaraderie of being with others that have been through similar life experiences.

See more at the website North Coast Stand Down.org.

A Fantastic Voice At The Lighthouse Grill

The Lighthouse Grill in Trinidad Ca. has light entertainment on Sunday nights from 5 to 7 ish. I have seen several musicians here because it is a great local venue for me with locally sourced, organic if possible, healthy or at least super real food. I like food and have liked food for about as long as I can remember. So when I can combine food , beer and wine with music and local, local, local, I have to love it.

This past Sunday when I was having fish and chips on a sunny 80 ish degree day, a voice from the girl on the patio just took over all of my thoughts. I had to rush to the patio and video tape (no tape it was my cell phone) what was left of a great performance. 

Here is local writer, photographer, musician, English instructor and fantastic singer Josephine Johnson and her acquaintance Alex on the patio of the said grill in Trinidad on that very day.


Josephine.jhnsn@gmail.com

Monday, October 7, 2013

State Of Oregon Caves To GMO's And Big Agra - March Against Monsanto This Saturday!

In case you missed it. Last week, the state of Oregon passed a bill to remove local control over agriculture  from counties to the state. Counties will no longer be able to decide whether GMO’s or experimental crops may be grown in their jurisdictions.

Oregon's Monsanto Protection Act, will strip local county control over seeds, food and agriculture and deny county elected officials' ability to keep GMO crops from contaminating farmers' fields.

According to Food Democracy Now.org
 after dying in committee during the regular session earlier this year, SB 863, formerly known as SB 633, industrial ag corporations joined forces with the notorious ALEC and Koch brothers to slip this seed preemption bill into an unrelated emergency PERS tax and pension bill in Oregon.

GMO Free Oregon says:
Is there anyone out there championing Syngenta's sugar beet seeds as something proudly grown in Oregon or being able fetch an economic premium from being a quality Oregon product?  No.  They are simply cheap commodity sugar beet seeds that could have been grown anywhere.  Flip the coin and there are plenty of people praising Oregon's organic and specialty beta vulgaris seed products, among many others.  These products fetch enough of an economic premium to make being a local family farmer a viable financial option for Oregonians. Syngenta's sugar beet seed plots directly put at risk all other neighboring organic and specialty seed growers cultivating other beets and chards, thus threatening the livelihood of many Oregon family farmers.  Local ordinances such as Jackson County's upcoming GMO ban aim to protect its citizens in this exact situation.
According to what I have read, this one local ordinance will be allowed to go to the ballot.

This Saturday all over the world there will be marches against Monsanto. Here in Eureka people will gather at 11 am at 2nd and I streets and march to the Humboldt County Court House where there will be speakers to discuss what people can do about the hijacking of their local food production and other GMO big business activities. For more information go to
March dash against dash Monsanto.com. Locally you can google or search facebook for march against Monsanto Eureka. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Human Rights Commission Meeting Tomorrow In Eureka

 From Janelle Egger:
 In March 2012 the people writing and attending the Board meetings said don’t do this when the “Urgency Ordinance” codes/laws were enacted.  In May and June people attended public meetings held by the County Administrative Officer who reported to the Board that the overwhelming, if not unanimous input was for repeal. And again people showed up in August 2012 and said don’t amend, repeal.  The Human Rights Commission from March 2012 has opposed laws restricting free speech in front of the Courthouse and emphasized communication, education, and accommodation before enforcement.
 Today the “Urgency Ordinance” codes are not being enforced so people think everything is OK. A man asked me about that one Saturday as I stood with Women in Black at the County Courthouse.  “But this is still illegal,” I responded, pointing to our banner on the flag pole base. With a puzzled look he asked, “Well does it matter if you can still have it?” The answer is yes, because someday someone will hang a sign that people don’t like, or another group of unpopular people will assemble to protest. 
 The vote for the “Urgency Ordinance” was 4 to 1. The vote to approve the same codes again with minor changes was 3 to 2. The Human Rights Commission’s recommendation for repeal of the “Urgency Ordinance” codes deserves support again.
 If you can’t make it Saturday, please write. Any emails sent to me at janelle404-forum@yahoo.com will be printed out and given to the ad hoc committee.

Also:
From Nezzie Wade:
 Hello Friends, Neighbors and Colleagues,
 I apologize for any duplication if you received this email previously
 I want to invite all of you to an Open Public Forum sponsored by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) on October 5thSaturday, at the County Office of Education. The purpose of the forum is to receive public comment pertaining to the draft policy statement and recommendations the HRC has prepared for the Board of Supervisors (BOS) regarding the protest ordinances the BOS passed in 2012 as a response to the Occupy protests in front of the County Courthouse. The forum will run from 1:00 p.m. to approximately 5:00 p.m. and will be facilitated by the League of Women Voters. The first hour will be for review and informal discussion of the proposed documents. The format of the hour from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. will engage members of the ad hoc ordinance committee of the HRC in responding to  questions from the public recorded onto cards; the last hour will be open for verbal comments from the forum participants. I am attaching a flyer for the event and encourage you to come give your feedback. If you want to review the documents, you can find them on the HRC website http://co.humboldt.ca.us/humanrightscom/ under Emergency Ordinance 2477. This is a chance to understand what has occurred and what is being suggested by the HRC and other Humboldt County community members. Offer your comments as well as get answers to the questions you have. Your input is the reason for the forum. This is about your First Amendment Rights. If you can't make it to the event and want to comment on the HRC draft documents, you can write to the HRC at 825 5th Street, Eureka, CA 95501. Please do so by October 5th.
 Please join in the Open Public Forum this coming Saturday and let the Human Rights Commission and the community hear your voice.
Hope to see you there.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Industrial Hemp Is Now Legal To Grow In California

Some restrictions may apply but according the The San Francisco Guardian on line, California Industrial Hemp Farming Act or SB 566, was signed by Governor Brown last Wednesday.

Thousands of hemp products are manufactured in California and the manufacturers have all been paying to import the fibrous plant material which is a non psychoactive version of marijuana.

The seeds provide edible oil that is high in omega fatty acids and can be used for frying, as a substitute for olive oil and as a substitute for industrial oil. It is also a common ingredient in animal foods. It is also used in cosmetics.

The fiber is what the first draft of the US Declaration of Independence was written on.  It is a replacement for wood fiber and is renewable just like trees, but a new hemp forest can grow in just 90 days. It takes decades for most trees to grow a new crop. It is also better at making canvas and other textiles than cotton due to it's strength. It requires far less water than cotton to grow and 1 acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as 2 or 3 acres of cotton.  It can be used in building materials including insulation and fiber boards.




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