Politics and Community

Politics and Community

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

 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

Written by

 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

 According to a Press Release from multiple Klamath Stakeholder groups, dated 9/21/11:

Today, a diverse group of organizations working to balance water use in the Klamath River basin reacted to the positive findings in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) released by the Department of Interior, and to comments made earlier this week by Interior Secretary Salazar. The Secretary will use this DEIS to make his final determination in March of 2012 as to whether or not removal of four Klamath River dams in accordance with the Klamath Restoration Agreements are in the public interest.
“This news comes on top of recent official findings by both the Oregon and California Public Utility Commissions (PUCs) that dam removal under the Klamath Settlement Agreement is not only in the public interest but far less costly for utility customers than relicensing.   Implementing the Settlement Agreement is the obvious next step in building a sound recovery for both the Klamath agricultural and fisheries based economies and restoring thousands of regional jobs,” said Glen Spain of Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA). In a thorough review comparing the impacts of river restoration to current conditions, the DEIS shows that implementation of the Agreements would provide significant economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits to Northern California and Southern Oregon. One of the key findings stakeholders applauded is that the projected cost of removing four dams on the Klamath River falls well within the range of the budget agreed to by Tribes, irrigators, fishermen, and dam owner PacifiCorp. ”It’s important to understand that this is about more than dam removal. This effort will restore fisheries while creating and protecting thousands of jobs in both fishing and agricultural communities. We have the diverse grassroots support that should spur congress to act,” said Jeff Mitchell, Councilman for the Klamath Tribes.
The Klamath Agreements were signed in February 2010 by over 40 stakeholder organizations from a broad-based coalition that includes irrigators, Tribes, fishermen, conservation groups, state and local governments – all groups seek to get beyond the endless litigation and fighting that preceded the Settlement Agreements. Key features of the Agreements include reintroducing salmon to over 400 miles of historic habitat, increasing water storage and flood control by expanding Upper Klamath Lake, and improved water security for 1400 farm families on the Klamath Irrigation Project. "What interests us most is that Basin agriculture will receive increased certainty of water deliveries, which helps protect an industry that is vital to all of the local communities in the Klamath Basin, “ said Klamath basin farmer Steve Kandra. “We believe that implementing these Agreements will benefit agriculture even more than the federal studies indicate. Our research shows that agricultural production in Klamath County and Tulelake Irrigation District contributes more than $600 million to the Klamath economy annually and 4,890 direct and indirect jobs are supported each year in Oregon and California. These jobs will be at risk if the Agreements fall through.”
The DEIS makes several key findings that proponents of the Agreements hope will prompt Congress to pass the legislation necessary for implementation.  Stakeholders emphasize the economic and health benefits, cost savings, and jobs creation that the restoration plan includes:
  •  The most probable estimate for dam removal and associated mitigations is $290 million (in 2020 dollars).  Partial removal would cost $247 million, this assumes leaving some structures in place such as old powerhouses and selected abutment structures. Note that $200 million would come from ratepayers (who would otherwise foot the $500 million plus price tag for dam relicensing) and the balance would come from California.
  • The one-year dam removal project is estimated to result in 1,400 jobs during the year of construction.
  • Commercial fishing jobs were estimated in five Management Zones.  Estimated jobs stemming from improved fishing conditions range from 11 average annual jobs in the KMZ-OR Management Area to 218 average annual jobs in the San Francisco Management Area. 
  • Dam removal would immediately alleviate massive blooms of toxic algae that plague the river each summer and pose health risks.
  •  Salmon dependent Tribes would benefit from increased abundance of salmon and improved water quality.
  • Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges would receive additional water and for the first time in more than 100 years, receive a certainty of water delivery. This water supply could improve hunting and wildlife viewing, which could attract more visitors to the refuges. There would be an estimated additional 193,830 fall waterfowl and 3,634 hunting trips over the 50-year period of analysis. 
Combined, the Settlement Agreements invest over $700 million in the Klamath Basin over the next 15 years, and proponents stress that the restoration plan protects and enhance a regional natural resources economy that is worth over $750 million each year when healthy.
The following Editor’s note was also included in the Press Release:
All the four Klamath hydropower dams combined have generated only a very small amount of power – only about 82 Megawatts (MW) on average over the past fifty years. According to estimates by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the federal agency that licenses dams, after expensive retrofitting to meet modern standards, these dams would then only generate about 62 MW of power on average, or about 27% less than they do today.  FERC itself estimated in its 2007 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on relicensing that even if fully FERC relicensed, the required retrofitting would be so expensive that these dams would then operate at more than a $20 million/year net loss  (see FERC FEIS, Table 4-3 on pg. 4-2).  The November 2007 FERC Final EIS is available online at: 
It can also be found by a FERC docket search at www.ferc.gov through their eLibrary, Docket No. P-2082-027 posted November 16, 2007, Doc. No. 20071116-4001.
You may Submit an Official Public Comment on the Draft EIS/EIR at the Klamath Resroration Website: www.klamathrestoration.gov
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