Politics and Community

Politics and Community

Here you will find a broad range of news articles with a focus on community and political content.

According to a joint press release from the Offices of several Congressional represetatives, dated Nov. 4, 2011
Last week, the Department of the Interior announced a brief window for public comment on a controversial Memorandum of Agreement relating to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).  This period for public comment followed the ongoing efforts of five Northern California Members of Congress who have repeatedly called on the Interior Department to rescind the document, noting that it was developed behind closed doors and that it gives water export agencies south of the Delta and in Southern California unprecedented influence over an important public process concerning California’s precious fresh water supplies.
U.S. Reps. George Miller (CA-7), Mike Thompson (CA-1), Doris Matsui (CA-5), Jerry McNerney (CA-11) and John Garamendi (CA-10) submitted comment to the Department of the Interior today, noting their disappointment in the limited nature of the comment period. The Members reiterated that Interior must retract its support for the document and allow a minimum of 45 days for public comment, and that the process be opened up to include other key stakeholders left out of the discussions, including Bay Area, Delta and coastal communities, farmers, businesses, and fishermen. The lawmakers recently held a series of meetings with Interior Department and California officials to express their concerns about the Memorandum of Agreement that the Department signed with water export agencies, an agreement that was developed and signed without input from Bay-Delta stakeholders.   They followed those meetings with a letter to Secretary Ken Salazar to express their objections to the current BDCP.  The period of public comment came as a result of the Members’ advocacy.  However, the white paper issued by Interior and limited period for public comment did not satisfy the Members’ concerns.
An excerpt from the letter to Secretary Ken Salazar states,  “Our concerns remain largely unaddressed.  Despite the contention that Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) are typically applicant-driven processes and that significant involvement of the export contractors is “appropriate and fully consistent” with existing practices, it is clear that state and federal agencies are failing to consider the specific circumstances surrounding the BDCP.”


 The current question within the movement is: will it strengthen the movement to broaden out the protests to include other progressive causes like protection of the environment and civil rights, or will that serve to dilute the movement by taking the focus off of the broad-base appeal issues of unemployment and disparity of wealth? Two on-line articles serve to frame this important question.

The photos to the right from Occupy Oakland - compliments of Sheila Dawn Tracy.

The first article, having the headline: "Occupy Wall Street embraces environmentalists",  appeared in the Kansas City Star and was posted Oct. 24, 2011 by Russell McLendon, an eco-journalist. In this article McLendon writes, "And while the nebulous campaign is focused mainly on economic issues, it has also strived for inclusiveness, winning the support of diverse groups ranging from teachers and college students to nurses, bus drivers and construction workers. When its momentum coalesced into the recent Occupy Wall Street March, it included some 5,000 people, many of them from organized labor. But the march also was buoyed by another group of rabble-rousing upstarts: environmentalists. Fresh off their own nonviolent stand outside the White House - where they spent two weeks protesting the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline - the re-energized U.S. environmental movement has now found an even bigger, broader stage. And like most factions of Occupy Wall Street, it seems perfectly happy to share that stage with other interests." read more...

A second article by Dave Burris, and found in the on-line publication "Town Square Delaware", suggests that the Occupy Movement stay focused on Wall Street reform. Burris writes: "From extremists like the socialists and anarchists, to more mainstream lefty groups like Bill McKibben’s call to align the Keystone XL opposition with the OWS movement, everyone wants a piece of the energy created by the protests. Don’t let them. Stick to Wall Street, where the reform is needed most." read more...
The Occupy Wall Street Movement began on September 17, 2011 and has now spread worldwide. You can watch video streams of the worldwide movement at the website: occupystream.com.
Locally, at this point, we have at least three movements in our county:

KMUD Newscasts Highlighting the Occupy Movement:


A statement from Congressman Mike Thompson regarding the Occupy Wall Street Movement was revceived by KMUD News via Austin Vevurka, Congressman Mike Thompson's Communications Director:

"Americans from all walks of life are looking for a fair shake. When the financial system needed our help, Wall Street was bailed out. The problem is Main Street needs help too. The best way to get our economy going is to ut Americans back to work fixing our schools, roads, and bridges. That's why job creation is my number one priority.We need to focus on getting Americans back to work, getting our fiscal house in order with fair and balanced solutions, and making sure Medicare and Social Security are guaranteed for today's seniors and for generations to come. The commitment the Occupiers have shown in giving a voice to the struggles that millions of everyday Americans are going through is the kind of commitment the House Majority needs to show in helping middle class families. It is time Washington started working across the aisle on common-sense solutions that will get America working again."

The photos below, from Occupy Mendo, are compliments of Sheila Dawn Tracy and are part of a set called "Facing a Movement."




Monday, October 24, 2011

Oct. 21 Homelessness Mtg. audio posted

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 The latest in a series of meetings in Garberville focusing on the problems and issues surrounding houseless people in Southern Humboldt took place on Friday, Oct. 21 at 6 PM  at the Vet's Hall in Garberville.  Attendance at the meeting was diverse and was estimated at about 100 people which included Humboldt Sheriff Mike Downey accompanied by a Deputy Sheriff.  The meeting was facilitated by local Attorney Eric Kirk, and co-facilitated by Paul Encimer.  Audio from the previous meeting (Oct 7) can be played and downloaded here.

The audio begins with Meeting Facilitator Eric Kirk. The first 30 seconds is low volume, but gets better quickly. The 2 hour 13 minutes of audio was split into two parts and uploaded for playback and download using the players below. The original audio was recorded by KMUD Community Journalist Kerry Reynolds.
Oct. 21 Homelessness Mtg. audio-Part 1
Oct. 21 Homelessness Mtg. audio-Part 2
The photo below, taken by Julia Minton, shows John Casali displaying pictures of alleged homeless campsites laden with trash.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Oct 7 Homelessness Mtg. audio posted

Written by

 On Friday, October 7th, community members met at the Garberville Vet's Hall, from 6 - 8 PM to address homelessness issues in Southern Humboldt.  Friday's meeting was the most recent public forum in a series of meetings hosted by different groups, to address this issue.  Problems and concerns that have been voiced at these meetings include: 

  • lack of a public bathroom in Redway or Garberville
  • littering, including trash and feces
  • alleged drug dealing at the Vet's Park in Garberville
  • transient loitering
  • perceived lack of respect from the community toward transients and vice versa.  
The crowd of 70-100 people included transients, long-time residents, business owners, homeless advocates, seniors, and youth.  During the meeting people moved in and out as the speakers drew applause and criticism.  Meeting organizer Paul Encimer, said the next meeting should happen within weeks, in order to keep the momentum going and work toward solutions. The meeting was facilitated by Eric Kirk.
Use the players below to hear audio of the Oct. 7 meeting. The two hours of audio was edited into four segments (1-4) for ease of download.
Meeting Audio Segment 1
Meeting Audio Segment 2
Meeting Audio Segment 3
Meeting Audio Segment 4
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