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Protecting our Environmental Resources
Updated: 13 hours 28 min ago

The Public Speaks out on cannabis economic report due out soon

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 10:28

The following is from a concerned Sonoma County resident that wishes to remain anonymous at this point .This is an opinion piece on the upcoming “economic” report soon to be published.

 Wine & Water Watch supports sensible regulations that protect our community and environment. 

PUBLIC OPINION:

“Garrett said their estimates put the value of the 2018 overall county cannabis harvest at about $230 million based on state licensing data and their industry standards for yield, and valued it at about $900 per pound. That’s down from between $1.5 billion to $3 billion annual value they calculated previously through interviews and surveys with industry experts.” 

Actually, he stated previously the annual value was $3.5 billion.  They also use a higher wholesale value, $900 a pound, than what is currently reported, $500.  I’m assuming they are including all harvests, legal and black market.  If so, you really can’t blame the drop is solely based on slow permitting because black market, for obvious reasons, doesn’t need a permit.  Once again, early estimates by Mr. Garrett were inflated.  Either Sonoma County did a great job shutting down some 4,000 -9,000 illegal grows (they did not), or thousands of growers moved out of Sonoma County, or just maybe the number of actual growers was simply wrong (unless you count every person, including those that just grew 5-6 plants, as a grower).  

Fact is most of the existing growers were simply not going to be able to transition into an open market place, their business model, growing in their home, is not a viable operation.  Works good when everything is illegal and you can sell to anyone but once everyone can buy legally and there are true legal, large operations, growing in your home is no longer profitable.  Add the most basic fact that Terry doesn’t like to address, high legal production means lower wholesale value.  Mom and Pop could make a little money when it was worth $1,500 – $2,000 a pound tax free but can not make much when it drops to $500 and are paying taxes, licenses and fees to operate legally.

Terry wanted 500 acres in Sonoma County.  It’s estimated there is some 20 or so acres here now and the price has dropped to $500, what would the wholesale value be if you multiplied the amount of product available by 25 (20 acres x 25 = 500 acres)?  All told, there are only some 280 acres between Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Lake, and Sonoma Counties.  That was one of the key points I tried to make, Terry and others inside Sonoma County looked at the existing illegal market as the business model going forward, everything would be grown and bought here and then we would take over the California market.  But once legal (and legal to transport statewide), you now have to compete with all of California production.  This whole idea that somehow Sonoma County was going to be the premier producer and supplier throughout the State was fantasy.

Not a whole lot of objective thought in Sonoma County at the moment.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Holiday Networking Party & Environmental Awards!

Sun, 12/02/2018 - 13:26
Sonoma County Conservation Council & Sierra Club Sonoma Group invite you to our annual Holiday Networking Party & Environmental Awards! Join members of local environmental groups for good food, wine, hot cider and music with the NewGrange Jam Band – Bluegrass with a holiday theme! This year, SCCC is proud to present awards for Leadership in Post-Fire Ecosystem Regeneration to Betty Young and Caitlin Cornwall. Thursday, December 6, 2018, 5 – 8 pm

At the Sebastopol Grange (co-host), 6000 Sebastopol Ave/Hwy 12
(approx. 2.5 mi. west of Fulton Rd.) $30 per person includes dinner and one drink.
RSVP optional but appreciated.
Go to Envirocentersoco.org for advance tickets or pay at the door.
Checks to SCCC, PO Box 4346, Santa Rosa, CA 95402. Volunteers needed to bake, set up, clean up and drink service. To volunteer or for more information, contact Wendy Krupnick, 544-4582, wlk@sonic.net  Benefits the Environmental Center of Sonoma County Copyright © 2018 Sonoma County Conservation Council, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as a friend of the Environmental Center and Sonoma County Conservation Council.Our mailing address is:

Sonoma County Conservation Council

PO Box 4346

Santa Rosa, Ca 95402

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Dec. 3rd, 7pm Solving Our Climate Crisis, a National Town Hall with Senator Bernie Sanders and Bill McKibben

Sun, 12/02/2018 - 13:20
The town hall will be shown on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube starting at 7:00pm EST on the 3rd. Speakers will include Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, one of the young people who filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government arguing that officials have actively endangered Americans by ignoring the climate crisis; 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben; and actress and activist Shailene Woodley. Dec. 3rd, 7pm Solving Our Climate Crisis, a National Town Hall with Senator Bernie Sanders and Bill McKibben With Corporate Media Abdicating Duty to Cover Climate Crisis, Sanders to Host Town Hall on Bold Green Initiatives

“This is an issue of huge consequence and you would think that ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox would be talking about this every day, having the debate, ‘What do we do? Where do we go?'”

by

Julia Conley, staff writer

12 Comments

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will host a town hall focused on the climate and bold progressive proposals aimed at reigning in the climate crisis. (Photo: Sally Prevost/flickr/cc)

Continuing his promotion of issues and solutions that are too often ignored by corporate media outlets, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is turning once again to the internet and social media to air a town hall dedicated to the climate crisis and renewable energy. On Monday, December 3, Sanders will host a town hall featuring climate scientists and young climate action advocates to discuss progressive proposals that would help to curb the human-driven warming of the globe that’s been blamed for helping fuel the wildfires currently engulfing parts of California, increasingly destructive hurricanes, and rising sea levels.

“We need millions of people all over this country to stand up and demand fundamental changes in our energy policy in order to protect our kids and our grandchildren and the planet,” Sanders told the Huffington Post.

Like his previous town halls on Medicare for All and income inequality, the senator’s special program on the climate crisis has been made necessary by the dearth of coverage the country’s most-watched news networks give the issue on a daily basis—even as the world’s top climate experts have confirmed what is already obvious to anyone paying attention to the changes in the climate in recent years: that humans are already experiencing major effects of the climate crisis and that fossil fuel emissions must be sharply reduced immediately to save the planet.

As Common Dreams has reported, only seven percent of cable news reports discussed the climate crisis when reporting on record high temperatures in the first half of 2018, and only 10 out of 50 major newspapers reported on climate change at all in that time.

“This is an issue of huge consequence and you would think that ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox would be talking about this every day, having the debate, ‘What do we do? Where do we go?'” Sanders told the Huffington Post. “Clearly you aren’t seeing that debate.”

RoseAnn DeMoro, former executive director of National Nurses United, expressed approval of Sanders’ commitment to telling Americans the truth about the climate crisis.

The town hall will be shown on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube starting at 7:00pm EST on the 3rd. Speakers will include Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, one of the young people who filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government arguing that officials have actively endangered Americans by ignoring the climate crisis; 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben; and actress and activist Shailene Woodley.

The town hall comes as popular progressives including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, who will represent districts in New York and Michigan when the new congressional term begins in January, have called on Democratic leaders to embrace a Green New Deal.

The proposal would pour money into green infrastructure, giving millions of Americans jobs as it remakes the U.S. energy sector as one that makes use of renewable sources like solar and wind power instead of depleting the ozone layer oil and gas extraction.

While only 38 percent of American voters rank the climate as one of their top concerns according to a Yale University survey, that same poll suggested that Democratic voters are likely craving news coverage and a political conversation that gives serious consideration to the issue and proposals like the Green New Deal and other proposals backed by Sanders, like one that would shift the United States to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Democrats ranked the environment and the climate among the most important political issues that drive them to the polls, behind healthcare and gun legislation.

“The fact that [climate change] is that high among the base of one of our two major political parties is remarkable, because that was not the case even five years ago,” Anthony Leiserowitz, a senior research scientist at Yale, told the Huffington Post.

Sanders’ previous town halls gathered large audiences, with 1.6 million watching his discussion of Medicare for All and 1.7 million tuning in for his program on income inequality.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don’t survive on clicks. We don’t want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can’t do it alone. It doesn’t work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

Center for Biological Diversity: Trump Lawsuit Tracker: 98

Sun, 12/02/2018 - 11:59
Consider making a year end donation to this excellent organization. Trump Lawsuit Tracker: 98 Ninety-eight Center Suits Filed Against Trump Since His Administration’s Inception The Center for Biological Diversity is resisting Trump in every way possible — especially in the courts. From the moment he took office, our lawyers have been working feverishly to oppose every attempt he’s made to worsen climate change, kill wildlife, endanger public health and destroy public lands. So far the Center has filed 98 suits against Trump. Read on for details on every single one.


Join us to stop Trump’s rollback of protections for wildlife, public lands, our climate and communities.
Take our pledge.

98. November 29, 2018 – Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Failure to Protect California’s Shasta Salamanders From Extinction

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Environmental Protection Information Center sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servicefor failing to act on a 2012 petition to protect Shasta salamanders under the Endangered Species Act.

Since the petition was filed, the species was split into three distinct species, each of which is rare and imperiled.

The salamanders are imminently threatened by plans to raise the height of Northern California’s Shasta Dam, which would result in extensive flooding of their habitat.

Read more.

Dam, which would result in extensive flooding of their habitat.

Read more.

 

97. November 27, 2018 – Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Failure to Address Ocean Acidification in Oregon

The Center sued the Trump administration for refusing to recognize that ocean acidification caused by fossil fuel pollution is impairing the quality of Oregon’s coastal waters. The lawsuit notes that the Environmental Protection Agency is violating the Clean Water Act by failing to identify waters impaired by ocean acidification. That would allow those waters to be subject to pollution controls and other protective measures.

Read more.

 

96. November 14, 2018 – Lawsuit Fights Trump Administration Effort to Strip Gray Wolves of Protection

The Center  sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for violating the Endangered Species Act by never providing a comprehensive recovery plan for gray wolves nationwide, which is required by the law.

Read more.

 

95. November 8, 2018 – Lawsuit Targets Zinke’s Secretive Program Undermining Wildlife Protection

The Center sued the Trump administration to expose a secretive program that denies Endangered Species Act protection to imperiled species like the Pacific walrus. The lawsui follows controversy over the Species Status Assessment (SSA) program. Using the SSA, Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke and the Trump administration have denied protection to the walrus and are preparing to strip safeguards from the Canada lynx and American burying beetle.

Read more.

94. Lawsuit Filed to Protect Critical Habitat for Endangered Florida Bonneted Bats

Conservation groups including the Center sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect critical habitat for endangered Florida bonneted bats. On the brink of extinction, the bat has been devastated by habitat loss to urban and agricultural sprawl and now faces the new threat of climate change driven sea-level rise.

Read more.

  93. October 18, 2018 – Lawsuit Seeks Online Access to Federal Elephant, Lion Trophy-import Records

The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, Center for Biological Diversity and Born Free USA sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for violating the law by failing to post online elephant and lion trophy-permitting records on the Internet.

Read more.

92. October 18, 2018 – Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Texas Border-wall Waivers

The Center and other conservation groups sued the Trump administration today for waiving 28 conservation laws to speed construction of the border wall along the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

Border-wall construction would cut through the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife RefugeNational Butterfly CenterBentsen-Rio Grande State Park and the grounds of the historic La Lomita Chapel, as well as family farms and other private property.

Read more.

91. October 17, 2018 – Lawsuit Aims to Force Trump Administration to Protect Western Songbird’s Habitat

The Center sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for failing to protect lifesaving critical habitat for the western yellow-billed cuckoo in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado and other western states.

Read more.

90. October 1, 2018 – Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration for Gutting Methane Waste Rule

The Center, as part of a broad coalition of conservation and citizens’ groups, sued the Trump administration late Friday to challenge the Bureau of Land Management rescinding most provisions of its 2016 methane waste rule.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, notes that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s BLM illegally rescinded the rule, which requires oil and gas companies operating on public lands to take reasonable measures to prevent the waste of publicly owned natural gas. Such measures significantly reduce pollution from methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gas.

Read more.

 

89. September 27, 2018 Lawsuit Challenges Oil, Gas Lease Sales on Public Lands in Colorado, Utah

The Center and ally conservation groups sued the Trump administration for leasing more than 115,000 acres of public land in western Colorado and northern Utah for oil and gas development without adequate environmental protections. These lease sales, offered by the Bureau of Land Management, violate federal environmental laws and will worsen air quality in a region already laden with harmful levels of ozone pollution.

Read more.

88. September 16, 2018 – Lawsuit Seeks Records on Trump’s Refusal to Set Airplane Pollution Standards

The Center sued the Trump administration for refusing to release public records related to the government’s failure to develop greenhouse gas emission standards for airplanes as required by the Clean Air Act.

Read more.

FULL STORY HERE

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Trump Greenlights Another ‘Violent, Destructive’ Assault on Marine Life With Seismic Testing Approval

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 10:33
SWAMP WATCH “Just one week after issuing dire warnings on the catastrophic fallout of climate change to come, the Trump Administration is opening our coastlines to for-profit companies to prospect for oil and gas—and is willing to sacrifice marine life, our coastal communities and fisheries in the process,” fumed Jasny. “This is the first step towards drilling and scientists warn that seismic activity alone could drive the endangered North American right whale to extinction.  We’ll stand with citizens, coastal businesses, scientists, lawmakers, and commercial and recreational fishermen who oppose seismic blasting, and we will fight this illegal action.” Trump Greenlights Another ‘Violent, Destructive’ Assault on Marine Life With Seismic Testing Approval

Trump, warn conservationists, is essentially giving the fossil fuel industry the permission “to harass, harm and possibly even kill marine life… all in the pursuit of dirty and dangerous offshore oil.”

by

Jon Queally, staff writer

15 Comments

A rare and endangered blue whale offshore near Long Beach, California.  (Photo: Dave McNew/Getty Images)

Defenders of ocean habitats and marine life are up in arms on Friday as the Trump administration is set to approve new abilities for the fossil fuel industry to conduct widescale and “deafening” underwater seismic in federal waters off the U.S. Atlantic coast.

The decision is expected to come from the National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of the Commerce Department, but conservation groups say it is a smack in the face to ocean ecosystems and a political nonstarter they vow to fight tooth and nail.

“This action flies in the face of massive opposition to offshore drilling and exploration from over 90 percent of coastal municipalities in the proposed blast zone,” said Diane Hoskins, campaign director at Oceana. “These permits were already denied because of the known harm that seismic airgun blasting causes. President Trump is essentially giving these companies permission to harass, harm and possibly even kill marine life, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale – all in the pursuit of dirty and dangerous offshore oil. This is the first step toward offshore drilling in the Atlantic and we’re going to make sure coastal communities know what’s happening and fight this.”

Michael Jasny, director of the Marine Mammal Protection Project at NRDC, said the president’s action is totally detached from the reality of the threats the world’s ecosytems now face.

“Just one week after issuing dire warnings on the catastrophic fallout of climate change to come, the Trump Administration is opening our coastlines to for-profit companies to prospect for oil and gas—and is willing to sacrifice marine life, our coastal communities and fisheries in the process,” fumed Jasny. “This is the first step towards drilling and scientists warn that seismic activity alone could drive the endangered North American right whale to extinction.  We’ll stand with citizens, coastal businesses, scientists, lawmakers, and commercial and recreational fishermen who oppose seismic blasting, and we will fight this illegal action.”

According to the Washington Post:

In addition to harming sea life, acoustic tests — in which boats tugging rods pressurized for sound emit jet engine-like booms 10 to 12 seconds apart for days and sometimes months — can disrupt thriving commercial fisheries. Governors, state lawmakers and attorneys general along the Atlantic coast say drilling threatens beach tourism that has flourished on the coast in the absence of oil production. Seismic testing maps the ocean floor and estimates the whereabouts of oil and gas, but only exploratory drilling can confirm their presence. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that soiled the Gulf of Mexico resulted from an exploratory drill. Another gulf disaster that looms almost as large has spewed oil for more than 14 years. The Taylor Energy Co. spill of up to an estimated 700 barrels a day started when a hurricane ripped up production wells, and could continue for the rest of the century, according to the Interior Department.

“Seismic blasting is a violent, destructive precursor to unnecessary offshore oil drilling,” said Angela Howe, Surfrider Foundation Legal Director, in a statement. “According to estimates from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the seismic exploration projects could directly harm tens of thousands of whales and dolphins, in addition to thousands of manatees, seals, and sea turtles. This type of damage to our coastal resources is unacceptable. The Surfrider Foundation and our strong coalition of allies will stand up to protect our ocean, waves and beaches for the future.”

While the seismic blasting is awful enough, Earthjustice warns that this is only a part of the Trump adminstration’s assault on the oceans and marine life. As the group notes:

While destructive in their own right, the seismic tests are only a first step in the Trump administration’s broader plans for dramatic expansion of offshore drilling in the Atlantic and beyond. The Department of the Interior has proposed opening 90 percent of U.S. federal offshore waters to the fossil fuel industry, exposing nearly every coastline in the nation to the risk of an environmentally devastating oil spill and the degradation that comes with industrializing more of our rich ocean environments. Since the planning process for this offshore leasing expansion got underway, more than 1.45 million Americans have demonstrated intense opposition with rallies, marches and comments submitted to the Department of Interior agency responsible for crafting the plan.

“As usual, the Trump administration is pulling out all the stops to give favors to the fossil fuel industry, whatever the cost to coastal communities and wildlife,” said Athan Manuel, the lands protection program director for the Sierra Club. “We will continue to fight back against their dangerous plans to subject our coasts to seismic blasting and expanded offshore drilling.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don’t survive on clicks. We don’t want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can’t do it alone. It doesn’t work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

Sierra Club: Governor Betrays California’s Environmental Health with Latest Step on Water Policy

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 10:23
Governor Betrays California’s Environmental Health with Latest Step on Water Policy SACRAMENTO, CA — Governor Jerry Brown today released a statement supporting a controversial federal bill that includes a rider that upends environmental protections for salmon and other endangered species in California’s rivers and the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.

The bill, the Water Infrastructure and Improvements Act for the Nation, was originally a short-term measure designed to expire in 2021. Republicans in the House of Representatives are trying to extend the measure another seven years, and have added provisions that would override protections for salmon and other endangered species in the Bay Delta. State and federal scientists have stated that greater protections of fish and wildlife in the Bay Delta are needed.

By overriding the protections, the bill would help open the way for construction of the destructive massive tunnels promoted by Governor Brown.

Statement from Sierra Club California Director Kathryn Phillips:

“Jerry Brown has just delivered a huge, climate-threatening lump of coal to the Delta ecosystem, its fish and wildlife, and the struggling salmon fishing community.

“He is closing in on his last month as governor. It’s sad that Brown has chosen to spend part of his remaining political capital on a bad bill that will deliver bad results to California’s environment.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

NAFTA 2.0 Signed: A Deal for ‘The Corporate One Percent’

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 10:13
Screwed again….all in for the 1%….more broken promises to the populace….just like the “best health insurance” that cuts out 24 million people, brings back preexisting conditions, cuts health services, higher deductibles, higher drug prices, off shores more jobs….. ““But in the closed door negotiations of the USMCA, corporations came up with new rights: powers for corporations to monitor and change regulations before they see the light of day in areas that could affect food safety, chemicals, environmental regulations and other matters of public safety,” Dey explained. “The agreement also supports higher drug prices because of Big Pharma protectionism and allows attacks on farmers and Crown corporations. Again, free trade is a goody bag for corporations. Why must we constantly sign agreements that empower the corporate one percent at the expense of the rest of us?” NAFTA 2.0 Signed: A Deal for ‘The Corporate One Percent’

 

The new deal, says Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), does “not do nearly enough to raise wages for workers, lower costs for healthcare consumers, or protect the environment.”

by

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

7 Comments

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sign the new trade agreement to replace NAFTA on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (Screengrab via CBC News)U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a trade agreement to replace NAFTA on Friday—a deal some lawmakers and advocacy groups say is still fundamentally flawed as it stomps on the rights of workers and the environment and empowers “the corporate one percent at the expense of the rest of us.”

 

Simply put, “The NAFTA 2.0 text is not the transformational replacement of the corporate-rigged trade-pact model that progressive activists, unions, and congressional Democrats have long demanded,” wrote Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

Inked by the North American leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, the deal, formally called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in the U.S., comes after more than a year of negotiations. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland noted that the signing follows “what has been, at times, a difficult process.” As The Toronto Star reported:

Trudeau’s government has informally referred to the new agreement as a new NAFTA, noting that much of the original remains in place. Trump, who has called NAFTA the worst trade deal in world history, has wrongly insisted he is terminating NAFTA and replacing it with something entirely new.

Given that continuity, a number of family farm organizations from the U.S. and Canada including the National Farmers Union Canada and the U.S.-based National Family Farm Coalition have urged a better deal, one “that promotes fair and sustainable food systems.” Unmet in the new deal, they say, are their demands to “restore local and national sovereignty over farm and food policy; stop corporate giveaways in trade agreements; and ensue economic viability and resilience in rural communities.”

“This New NAFTA is a huge missed opportunity,” said Karen Hansen-Kuhn, director of Trade and Global Governance at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. “Family farm groups in all three countries insisted on new rules to rebuild rural economies and food systems. Instead, we have a deal that locks in many of the old rules that have driven farmers out of agriculture for more than two decades.” The Council of Canadians’ honorary chairperson Maude Barlow, meanwhile, said the deal in its current form has “many poison pills.”

A positive development, added the group’s trade campaigner Sujata Dey, was that some of their long-standing demands had been met. “The Council of Canadians was among the first to draw attention to how Chapter 11 would harm our ability to bring in public interest policy and legislation. Now, it is gone—at least between Canada and the U.S.”

“But in the closed door negotiations of the USMCA, corporations came up with new rights: powers for corporations to monitor and change regulations before they see the light of day in areas that could affect food safety, chemicals, environmental regulations and other matters of public safety,” Dey explained. “The agreement also supports higher drug prices because of Big Pharma protectionism and allows attacks on farmers and Crown corporations. Again, free trade is a goody bag for corporations. Why must we constantly sign agreements that empower the corporate one percent at the expense of the rest of us?”

It’s not the end of the road for the deal. As Hansen-Kuhn stated, “Signing this new NAFTA is just one more step in a bad process.” The deal still needs approval from the three countries’ legislatures. In the U.S., as Politico notes, that could mean “months of fierce debate between the Trump administration and Congress.”

Already, some U.S. lawmakers have announced their opposition to NAFTA 2.0.

Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, for one, said ahead of the signing that it does “not do nearly enough to raise wages for workers, lower costs for healthcare consumers, or protect the environment,” and that barring major changes, the deal “will result in more broken promises by Donald Trump to American workers.”

In addition, she said, the deal as is “would not only raise drug prices in Canada and Mexico, but would tie Congress’ hands, preventing us from enacting essential reforms needed to lower prescription drug prices.”

Denouncing the deal’s “outrageous giveaways to the fossil fuel industry and big pharmaceutical companies,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) conveyed his opposition as well. “Unless strong enforcement mechanisms are written into the text of this agreement, corporations will continue to ship U.S. jobs to Mexico where workers are paid as little as $2 an hour.” “Before this deal is sent to Congress for a vote,” Sanders said, “it must include strong enforcement mechanisms to increase jobs and wages and all of the riders that benefit big fossil fuel polluters and pharmaceutical companies must be taken out of it.” According to Hansen-Kuhn, “Legislatures in all three countries should insist that negotiators go back to the drawing board or reject this new NAFTA all together.” This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don’t survive on clicks. We don’t want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can’t do it alone. It doesn’t work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

Sonoma County’s 2018 cannabis harvest small, but much better than last year

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 09:43
With 17 of the 20 members of the Cannabis Advisory Group (CAG) who are essentially writing the regulations (they were instrumental is changing the one acre rule to 10 acres minimum thereby assuring corporate control), of course the industrial interests want to push the county to approve more permits and fast track further corporate control of this industry in Sonoma County.  50% of the permits granted by Permit Sonoma have no state license (If not signed up by Dec. 1st, the growers cannot legally sell) so they are NOT in compliance with the state laws. This oversight has Permit Sonoma “scrambling” now.  Colorado keeps lowering expectations of flowing tax revenues as prices plummet and industrial cannabis takes over. Reality is setting in, how will our county respond? Wine & Water Watch supports reasonable regulations that protect the environment and our communities. CEQA was given a categorical exemption in cannabis regulations so few environmental impacts will be assessed. Many groups have been pushing for a county wide cumulative impact report for better decision making by our government. Our county can do better.

 

Sonoma County’s 2018 cannabis harvest small, but much better than last year JULIE JOHNSON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | November 27, 2018, 9:27PM

A cloudy summer and an early rain hampered Sonoma County’s 2018 outdoor cannabis haul, but the mood remained optimistic among growers one year after major wildfires marred the newly regulated crop’s harvest.

By this time in the growing season, the marijuana plants have been cut down in the fields and taken to warehouses. Workers are now cutting flower stalks off thick stems, trimming and manicuring the flowers before putting them in containers to cure in cool, dry rooms.

Workers in a bright room inside a warehouse Tuesday near the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport were nearly done trimming a cannabis strain called strawberry diesel — one of 10 strains cultivated by Justice Grown in a 1-acre plot on a sprawling, wooded property southeast of Santa Rosa. The company lost nearly half of their 2017 crop in the Nuns fire, director of operations Shivawn Brady said.

“Last year would have been a fantastic harvest, we were so close,” Brady said. “We had significant crop loss, we had staff who lost homes. So this year’s harvest was very jubilant.”

There is no official tally yet for this year’s Sonoma County outdoor cannabis crop, which covers roughly 20 acres, according to county data. County Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar said 16 crop-loss inspections found several cultivation sites experienced a total loss, mostly because of the mold brought by early October rainfall. His department reports their findings to the county tax collection department, which then adjusts the tax requirement based on the loss.“It was really an ideal season for a lot of crops,” Linegar said. “The fly in the ointment was the early rain, particularly for cannabis.”

The major obstacle for cannabis cultivation in Sonoma County is not weather. It’s regulation.

Terry Garrett, a managing member of the Sonoma County GoLocal cooperative, estimated the value of the local cannabis harvest has dropped by more than three-quarters due to local requirements that banned cultivation in certain areas and required steep upfront payouts to get permits to grow cannabis.

Garrett, who also serves on the Sonoma County Economic Development Board and the county’s cannabis task force, teamed with Sonoma State University economics professor Robert Eyler to develop an economic impact report for the local cannabis industry. Garrett said they expect to release a report in the next several weeks.

Garrett said their estimates put the value of the 2018 overall county cannabis harvest at about $230 million based on state licensing data and their industry standards for yield, and valued it at about $900 per pound. That’s down from between $1.5 billion to $3 billion annual value they calculated previously through interviews and surveys with industry experts.

Garrett said some dispensaries have reported only about 10 percent of the cannabis flowers currently on the shelves were grown in Sonoma County — compared with about 90 percent in previous years.

“That’s emblematic of what’s happened here,” Garrett said. “We’ve gutted the cultivation side of the business, which shifted much of the sourcing from Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, Sierra Foothills and farther south.”

Ned Fussell, co-founder of Santa Rosa-based Canna­Craft, one of the state’s top makers of cannabis-infused products, said 11 of the 12 cultivators his business sources cannabis material from have left Sonoma County. Most have relocated to central California where local agencies have fast-tracked the permitting process for cultivators, he said.

With the bulk of their cultivation operations in Santa Barbara County, CannaCraft may consider shifting their manufacturing operation there, too, Fussell said.Many local marijuana growers have said they’ve been waiting to receive permission to cultivate in Sonoma County for nearly two years.

Brady said Justice Grown hopes its yield will hit 1,800 pounds grown organically and by Kosher standards, and after an estimated 8 percent loss because of pathogens, which she attributes to a rushed harvest schedule put in place after the early October rains. The company had expected the business to become profitable in about four years, but Brady said that projection has been adjusted to further into the future. Justice Grown is among a group of cultivators allowed to cultivate under a grandfathering provision Sonoma County created for existing operators that was meant to be temporary.

However, the county’s delay in processing permit applications has extended the length of that program.

Erich Pearson, SPARC founder and executive director, said waiting to get a permit for the Glen Ellen farms producing cannabis for SPARC’s four dispensaries in Sonoma County and San Francisco has made it difficult to repair or rebuild infrastructure damaged or destroyed in the 2017 Nuns fire.

The fire destroyed SPARC’s entire 2017 crop, forcing them to stock their shelves with cannabis grown elsewhere.

The uncertainty brought by Sonoma County’s delay in evaluating and issuing permits has other financial implications for cultivators trying to invest in their local businesses.

Pearson said the 2018 harvest is a bright spot for SPARC, which already has put two strains of biodynamic cannabis onto dispensary shelves — black light and purple punch.

SPARC can move marijuana flowers from the warehouse to the shelves faster than other cultivators because they’re not going through a distributor. They put the earliest batch onto the shelves to showcase the 2018 harvest and staff continue trimming cannabis at a rate of about five pounds per day.

“The quality was great this year,” Pearson said.

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.

 

 

FULL STORY & COMMENTS
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Volunteer Opportunities: Tree planting with Forest Unlimited

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 09:21
Tree planting with Forest Unlimited Want to make a difference? You can PLANT A TREE — or many many trees! Trees stop climate change and help watersheds recover and replenish . Please contact Harlie at harlierankin@gmail.com  She’s organizing the tree planting at Wildwood Conservation Foundation in Guerneville.  RSVPs are important. Saturday, January 5th and Sunday, January 6th Lunch and necessary tree planting equipment will be provided. Forest Unlimited has been planting trees for 21 years; now about 1,400 redwood seedlings per year.   www.forestunlimited.org
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Learning tough lessons: Large Hotel is First Project Denied in Santa Rosa Fire Zone

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 09:13
Large Hotel is First Project Denied in Santa Rosa Fire Zone

From Greenbelt Alliance:

For the first time since the October 2017 Tubb’s fire in Sonoma County, a new development was denied due to high fire risk  in the burned area of Fountaingrove of Santa Rosa. On a split 3-3 vote, the City of Santa Rosa Planning Commission voted no on allowing a new 144-room Residence Inn Hotel on a burned lot in the Round Barn area that was devastated by the Tubb’s fire. Greenbelt Alliance along with local housing and climate activists testified and wrote letters opposing the project due to high fire risk at the site of the new hotel and the cumulative new fire risk being increased due to a number of new developments in the immediate area.  Greenbelt Alliance and allies also raised concerns about the lack of full environmental review for the new hotel. “Now the city of Santa Rosa needs to address the overall fire risk and how to prevent loss of life in high risk fire  and burned areas,.” said Teri Shore, Regional Director, Greenbelt Alliance.   “The city also needs to also to consider the multiple other new projects in the works in the same immediate area of the hotel and come up with new holistic fire-safe land use plans and policies.”  Other new developments underway or proposed in the immediate area including a townhouse development, a senior memory care factilty and a new luxury resort and event center in the community separator just north of the project site. Doctors from the cancer treatment center next door to the proposed Residence Inn also opposed the project due to the visual, noise and other impacts that the large new hotel would have on their treatment experience
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Acceleration of Wine Wars: Sonoma vintners pair experiences with wine

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 09:56
Central coast wineries have consolidated tasting rooms in town, here in Sonoma County they try to out compete with each other…. Sonoma vintners pair experiences with wine

Once upon a time, wine tasting was simple: belly up to the bar, get chatted up by a staffer, taste a rainbow of wines in a flight.

But times change, and trends change, too. The wine drinking public is dismantling the traditional wine tasting model, especially millennials in pursuit of Instagram-able content. People still want to taste wine, certainly, but now they want to do it on horseback. Or while straddling an ATV and motoring through vineyards. Or surrounded by plush comfort in private back rooms. Or while feeding llamas, chickens and goats. They do not necessarily want to taste wine while jockeying for space in rooms crowded with strangers wearing perfume – and the industry is beginning to take notice.

Tasting rooms everywhere are pivoting to accommodate the changing tastes of their clientele.

At Benziger and Landmark wineries, for instance, visitors can chase their pinot with pranayama breathing. These wineries are now sometimes pairing their pours with yoga, “lighthearted vinyasa style” classes that are available for a fee.

Bohemian Highway Travel Company, which curates “bespoke wine country experiences” for its clientele, focuses on “off-beat places and the people behind them.” The company’s creative director, Allyson Weekes, explained the rationale for their business model. “Today’s customers want to feel special. They want to meet the winemakers, the owners, they want to see the production facilities. Wineries that offer things like barrel tastings and ATV rides through the vineyard make customers feel valued and like they’re not getting a cookie-cutter wine touring experience.”

Repris Wines at the top of Moon Mountain Road has long understood that, and has been rolling out the red carpet for guests for 125 years. Included in the $60 tasting are wine samples, certainly, but guests also tour the property, including 18,000 square feet of natural rock caves. Visitors get a crash course on organic farming protocols, then head up to the turrets for more wine paired with food.

“Chef Matt Tucker pairs all the wines, mostly with light hors d’oeuvres. People are looking for these experiential types of tastings, and we give them a nice, exclusive experience,” said Jason Bullock, marketing manager.

FULL STORY:
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Sonoma West Medical Foundation: Challenges in cannabis Medicine. Dec.5th 5:30-7:30 pm

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 09:28

 

Free lecture on Cannabis Medicine

We hope you’ll join us Wednesday, December 5th at Sonoma Specialty Hospital in Sebastopol
for a lively presentation and discussion with the esteemed Dr. Hergenrather.. Please forward to friends!

Your Foundation promotes healthcare access, advocacy and education in West Sonoma County and depends on your donations. Please give today!

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Gene edited food by another name….Europe Tightens Restrictions on CRISPR Gene-Edited Crops

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 09:19
Europe Tightens Restrictions on CRISPR Gene-Edited Crops

 

Proponents of the ruling say CRISPR-Cas9 is largely untested Latest News By Julie Fidler Posted On July 28, 2018

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/europe-tightens-restrictions-crispr-gene-edited-crops-1649/#ixzz5YAdV2v3e
Follow us: @naturalsociety on Twitter | NaturalSociety on Facebook

Europe’s highest court ruled July 25 that crops edited with CRISPR technology should face the same tough scrutiny as conventional genetically modified (GM) organisms. [1]

The decision, handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), is a blow to many scientists and other proponents of gene-editing who had hoped that gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 would be exempted from existing European law limiting the planting and sale of GM crops.

Under the ECJ ruling, crops edited with CRISPR and similar technologies are subject to a 2001 directive that was intended for older breeding methods.

Kai Purnhagen, a legal scholar at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands who specializes in European and international law, explained:

“It is an important judgment, and it’s a very rigid judgment. It means for all the new inventions such as CRISPR-Cas9 food, you would need to go through the lengthy approval process of the European Union.”

CRISPR-Cas9 was designed to “snip away” bits of undesirable genetic code and replace them with more desirable ones. The 2001 ECJ directive was intended to apply to the insertion of entire genes, or long stretches of DNA, into organisms. It is supposed to be a very precise technology, but a 2017 study found the gene-editing technique can cause a plethora of unintentional genetic mutations. Source: WeForum.org Monsanto’s “Roundup ready” corn is an example of a GMO produced using transgenesis, an ‘older’ breeding method. The corn contains genes from a bacteria resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Roundup ready corn is designed to withstand being doused with glyphosate even as surrounding weeds are killed off. (Though in many cases, glyphosate fails to actually kill the weeds.) [2] Monsanto received the first CRISPR license to modify crops in 2016.

The law exempts organisms whose genomes were modified using mutagenesis techniques, such as irradiation, which introduce changes to an organism’s DNA but doesn’t add foreign genetic material. [1]

The ECJ’s recent decision was made at the request of the French government which, in 2016, asked the high court to interpret the 2001 directive in light of new and emerging plant-breeding techniques.

Mute Schimpf, a food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, one of the anti-gene-editing groups involved in the court case, said:

“These new ‘GMO 2.0’ genetic engineering techniques must be fully tested before they are let out in the countryside and into our food. We welcome this landmark ruling which defeats the biotech industry’s latest attempt to push unwanted genetically modified products onto our fields and plates.” [2]

Related Read: New Genetically Modified CRISPR-Mushroom Bypasses USDA Regulations

In the United States, the government has ruled that GM crops are no different from those produced via traditional cross-breeding and pose no health or environmental threats.

Sources:

[1] Nature

[2] Smithsonian Magazine

WeForum

Post written byJulie Fidler:
Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/europe-tightens-restrictions-crispr-gene-edited-crops-1649/#ixzz5YAdkf7tt
Follow us: @naturalsociety on Twitter | NaturalSociety on Facebook

 

FULL STORY
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Ughhhh….USDA Posts Alarming Data About Privatized Inspection at Poultry Plants

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 09:10
Has privatized anything ever worked out for consumers and taxpayers? “USDA testing continually shows that plants under this privatized inspection model are producing unsafe food. Now, the agency is also allowing the poultry industry to rev up slaughter lines ever faster to increase profits,” said Hauter. USDA Posts Alarming Data About Privatized Inspection at Poultry Plants

 

WASHINGTON – Last week, on the Friday evening after Thanksgiving Day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service released alarming new data about poultry plants that have failed its latest salmonella testing for carcasses, parts and comminuted (ground or shredded) poultry. While the agency does not identify which plants have converted to the privatized inspection system, information obtained by Food & Water Watch from the USDA through Freedom of Information Act* shows that 24 of the plants that failed had converted to the privatized inspection model, the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS), and five of the plants failing have requested permission to convert.

“USDA has shown over and over again that poultry plants undergoing privatized inspections are a failure for ensuring important food safety standards,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “This scheme is nothing more than a way to grease the wheels for more industry profits fueled by less accountable food safety standards.”

Plants working under the NPIS are staffed with fewer USDA inspectors on the slaughter line, and most of the inspection duties are transferred to company employees. Under traditional inspection, there can be as many as four government inspectors assigned to a slaughter line with each inspector responsible for evaluating up to 35 carcasses per minute. Under NPIS, there is only one government inspector assigned to the slaughter line and he or she is responsible for inspecting up to three birds per second.

Recently, the USDA announced that it was allowing NPIS plants to increase line speeds from 140 to 175 birds per minute.

“USDA testing continually shows that plants under this privatized inspection model are producing unsafe food. Now, the agency is also allowing the poultry industry to rev up slaughter lines ever faster to increase profits,” said Hauter. “We will continue to hold the USDA accountable for these decisions that will have public health consequences—even as it yields more and more food safety oversight to the industry itself.”

Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.

* Plants that have converted to NPIS and failed one or more of the FSIS salmonella performance standards (for carcasses, parts and comminuted poultry) according to documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests:

P6505 — Claxton Poultry Farms — Claxton, GA — (original HIMP plant): carcass and parts

P810 — Pilgrims Pride — Moorefield, WV — (original HIMP plant): parts

P27389 — Pittman Farms — Sanger, CA: carcass and parts

P1257 — Fielddale Farms — Murrayville, GA: parts

P910 — Harrison Poultry — Bethlehem, GA: parts

P39 — Miller Poultry (Pine Manor) — Orland, IN: parts

P20604 — Gerber Poultry — Kidron, OH: parts and comminuted

P286 — Perdue — Washington, IN: comminuted

P34308 — Sanderson Farms — Waco, TX: carcass

P51179 — Sanderson Farms — Palestine, TX: carcass

P19865 — House of Raeford — Arcadia, LA: carcass and parts

P34668 — Simply Essentials — Charles City, IA: carcass

P551 — Jenny-O Turkey Store (turkey) — Willmar, MN: comminuted

P244 — Plainville Farms — New Oxford, PA: comminuted

P45910 — Sanderson Farms — St. Pauls, NC: parts

P40183 — Sanderson Farms — Kinston, NC: carcass and parts

P963 — Cargill (turkey) — Springdale, AR: comminuted

P8727 — Butterball (turkey) – Carthage, MO: comminuted

P622 — Tyson Foods – Monroe, NC: comminuted

Plants that are waiting to convert to the NPIS:

P855 — Pilgrims Pride — Athens, GA: parts

P6519B — Coastal Processing — Louisville, GA: parts

P445 — Wayne Farms — Dobson, NC: parts

P44826 — Case Farms — Canton, OH: parts

P46826 — Shenandoah Valley Organic — Harrisonburg, VA: parts

### This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don’t survive on clicks. We don’t want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can’t do it alone. It doesn’t work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

Organization Links Food & Water Watch Food & Water Watch (Press Center) Food & Water Watch (Action Center) Share This Article

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Sonoma County Tourism Bureau CEO thinks cannabis tourism in in our DNA, residents beg to differ

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 08:52

Sonoma County Tourism Bureau CEO is making no friends…

 

Below is an email that Rachel Z. sent to Claudia Vecchio who is the CEO of the Sonoma County Tourist Bureau. Vecchio was recently interviewed by a Press Democrat reporter and the story appeared in Sunday’s Business section. Vecchio was asked about cannabis tourism and is quoted saying it is in the DNA of Sonoma County. If you wish to also email Vecchio about her views, her email is: cvecchioasonomacounty.com

Her phone number is 707-522-5804

Below is a link to the article. The industry will be pushing for canna-tourism in Phase 2. Two CAG members have already announced that as their goal at the last meeting.

Sonoma County’s tourism chief sees visitors coming here for cheese and the wine
https://www.pressdemocrat.com/business/8984534-181/sonoma-countys-tourism-chief-sees

To: cvecchio@sonomacounty.com
Subject: Cannabis. DNA

I would like acception to your observation that the people of the county are feeling so cozy with cannabis that it fits into our DNA.

Anyone taking the pulse of the county (as shown by polls taken) would find that the rank and file resident do not care for cannabis growing, smoking, purchasing near their homes, schools, or parks. The industry is not popular with the people who live and play here. And so here you and your board are interested in promoting this industry. The only interest I can see is money….and the hopes of making it. 

Why do people like to visit Sonoma County? Certainly not what the cannabis industry promises to bring…disgusting smells, unsightly tall walls, endless hoop houses, guard towers near entrances, pollution of water, degrading the land, spoiling the bucolic atmosphere of the county. Yes, let’s push this industry here….why? 

Speak to the residents, not just the Board of Supervisors or the very vocal cannabis industry. You are new here.  You will hear a different story. I urge you to promote the area for the reasons of why we live and love it here. The promise of biking and hiking in pristine countryside, clear air, the opportunity to taste assorted boutique wines and cheeses….Let’s keep it that way.

Rachel Z.

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

200+ Groups Call on Senate to Reject ‘Pesticide Industry Loyalist’ Scott Hutchins as USDA’s Top Scientist

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 09:32
SWAMP WATCH “According to Jim Goodman, board president of the National Family Farm Coalition, one of the signatory groups, “In nominating Scott Hutchins to the position of Chief Scientist at USDA, the Trump Administration has, again, proven that they are more interested in promoting the agenda and profit of industrial agribusiness over scientific integrity, the protection of public health, and the well-being of farmers, farm workers, and rural communities.” The Senate Agriculture Committee announced Tuesday that Hutchins’ hearing would be held Nov. 28. 200+ Groups Call on Senate to Reject ‘Pesticide Industry Loyalist’ Scott Hutchins as USDA’s Top Scientist

“The Trump Administration has, again, proven that they are more interested in promoting the agenda and profit of industrial agribusiness over scientific integrity, the protection of public health, and the well-being of farmers, farm workers, and rural communities.””

by Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Agricultural workers in Salinas, California.  (Photo: Michael Davidson/flickr/cc)

Denouncing his “strong ties to corporate agribusiness and pesticide companies,” over 240 groups urged the Senate on Wednesday to reject the nomination of Scott Hutchins, President Donald Trump’s pick for chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The election last week demonstrates that people across the country are tired of this administration’s dangerous anti-science, pro-industry agenda,” declared Tiffany Finck-Haynes, pesticides and pollinators program manager with Friends of the Earth. “We urge the Senate to listen to the American people and reject this pesticide industry loyalist who will put corporate profits over farmers, public health, and our environment.”

If appointed Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics—a position with “broad implications for the future of American agricultural science and policy-making”—Hutchins would be the third Dow executive at the USDA, making the cozy relationship between the Trump administration and the agribusiness giant even more clear.

In a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the massive coalition opposed to Hutchins warns that by appointing someone that “spent over 30 years of his career working at Dow Agro Sciences with a focus on pesticides,” the Trump administration has once more demonstrated its willingness to put its “unhealthy relationship” with Dow Chemical ahead of the “health and safety of the American public and our environment.”

The letter from the coalition—which includes ActionAid USA, Family Farm Defenders, and Interfaith Worker Justice—states:

Scott Hutchins has a history of defending the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos. In 2001, Hutchins expressed disappointment that Dow needed to limit uses of the pesticide, complaining that the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) put Dow’s organophosphates under scrutiny.

Hutchins encourages growers to use pesticides, even when less toxic alternatives are available. In a 2006 presentation, Hutchins claimed, “Integrative Pest Management does/should NOT advocate avoidance of technology.” While many practitioners of Integrative Pest Management view the practice as a way to significantly reduce synthetic pesticide use and utilize them as a “last resort,” Hutchins has co-opted the term to encourage pesticide application.

“Should Scott Hutchins gain control of USDA’s research programs,” the letter continues, “he could use the agency’s infrastructure and grant making to advance his harmful vision of chemical intensive agriculture under the guise of ecologically sustainable practices.”

According to Jim Goodman, board president of the National Family Farm Coalition, one of the signatory groups, “In nominating Scott Hutchins to the position of Chief Scientist at USDA, the Trump Administration has, again, proven that they are more interested in promoting the agenda and profit of industrial agribusiness over scientific integrity, the protection of public health, and the well-being of farmers, farm workers, and rural communities.” The Senate Agriculture Committee announced Tuesday that Hutchins’ hearing would be held Nov. 28. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don’t survive on clicks. We don’t want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can’t do it alone. It doesn’t work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

All hands on deck: Time is running out to restore net neutrality with the Congressional Review Act.

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 09:22
Don’t let cable monopolies throttle free press on the internet. If you have noticed  your favorite sites (Daily Kos has made assertions to this effect) getting slowed down or blocked, you should consider taking action. Google has already censored the internet for the Chinese government and Facebook has allowed hostile foreign governments to post propaganda that influenced our elections knmowingly. We need full and open internet access. Please sign this petition today. Time is running out to restore net neutrality with the Congressional Review Act. #ox-64cedbc545 , #ox-64cedbc545 table , #ox-64cedbc545 tr , #ox-64cedbc545 td , #ox-64cedbc545 div , #ox-64cedbc545 textarea , #ox-64cedbc545 input {color: black; font-family: Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 0 auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-clearfix {clear: both; overflow: hidden;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-row {clear: both; overflow: hidden;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-column {width: 50%; float: left;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline {display: inline;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image {display: inline;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image img {max-width: 220px; height: auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image-align-right {float: right; margin: 0 15px 5px 0; width: auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image-align-left {float: left; margin: 0 15px 5px 5px; width: auto;} @media screen and (max-width:420px) { #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image {display: block;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image img {width: 100%; 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clear: both;} @media only screen and (max-width: 640px) { #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="sms"] {cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {color: #ffffff; cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthtable] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=milogo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mologo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] table {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 440px) { #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="sms"] {cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {color: #ffffff; cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthtable] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=milogo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mologo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] table {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 375px) { #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="sms"] {cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {color: #ffffff; cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthtable] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=milogo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mologo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] table {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 374px) { #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="sms"] {cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {color: #ffffff; cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthtable] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=milogo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mologo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] table {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 640px) { #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 img {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 440px) { #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 img {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 375px) { #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 img {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 374px) { #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 img {} } #ox-64cedbc545 , #ox-64cedbc545 table , #ox-64cedbc545 tr , #ox-64cedbc545 td , #ox-64cedbc545 div , #ox-64cedbc545 textarea , #ox-64cedbc545 input {color: black; font-family: Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 0 auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-clearfix {clear: both; overflow: hidden;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-row {clear: both; overflow: hidden;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-column {width: 50%; float: left;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline {display: inline;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image {display: inline;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image img {max-width: 220px; height: auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image-align-right {float: right; margin: 0 15px 5px 0; width: auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image-align-left {float: left; margin: 0 15px 5px 5px; width: auto;} @media screen and (max-width:420px) { #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image {display: block;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image img {width: 100%; max-width: 100%; height: auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image-align-right , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image-align-left {float: none; margin: 0 0 10px 0;} } #ox-64cedbc545 a[href] {white-space: normal;} #ox-64cedbc545 #ox-64cedbc545-outlook a {padding: 0;} #ox-64cedbc545 {width: 100%; margin: 0; padding: 0;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass {width: 100%;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass p , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass span , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass font , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass td , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass div {line-height: 100%;} #ox-64cedbc545 #ox-64cedbc545-backgroundTable {margin: 0; padding: 0; width: 100%;} #ox-64cedbc545 img {text-decoration: none; border: none;} #ox-64cedbc545 a img {border: none;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-image_fix {display: block;} #ox-64cedbc545 table td {border-collapse: collapse;} #ox-64cedbc545 table {border-collapse: collapse;} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=full] {width: 100%; clear: both;} @media only screen and (max-width: 640px) { #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="sms"] {cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {color: #ffffff; cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthtable] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=milogo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mologo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] table {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 440px) { #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="sms"] {cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {color: #ffffff; cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthtable] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=milogo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mologo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] table {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 375px) { #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="sms"] {cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {color: #ffffff; cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthtable] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=milogo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mologo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] table {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 374px) { #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="sms"] {cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {color: #ffffff; cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthtable] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=milogo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mologo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] table {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 640px) { #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 img {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 440px) { #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 img {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 375px) { #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 img {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 374px) { #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] .ox-64cedbc545-mcol1 img {} } #ox-64cedbc545 table , #ox-64cedbc545 tr , #ox-64cedbc545 td , #ox-64cedbc545 , #ox-64cedbc545 p , #ox-64cedbc545 div , #ox-64cedbc545 span , #ox-64cedbc545 textarea , #ox-64cedbc545 input , #ox-64cedbc545 select , #ox-64cedbc545 a , #ox-64cedbc545 ul , #ox-64cedbc545 ol {font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;} #ox-64cedbc545 , #ox-64cedbc545 table , #ox-64cedbc545 tr , #ox-64cedbc545 td , #ox-64cedbc545 div , #ox-64cedbc545 textarea , #ox-64cedbc545 input {color: black; font-family: Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; margin: 0 auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-clearfix {clear: both; overflow: hidden;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-row {clear: both; overflow: hidden;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-column {width: 50%; float: left;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline {display: inline;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image {display: inline;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image img {max-width: 220px; height: auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image-align-right {float: right; margin: 0 15px 5px 0; width: auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image-align-left {float: left; margin: 0 15px 5px 5px; width: auto;} @media screen and (max-width:420px) { #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image {display: block;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image img {width: 100%; max-width: 100%; height: auto;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image-align-right , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-inline-image-align-left {float: none; margin: 0 0 10px 0;} } #ox-64cedbc545 a[href] {white-space: normal;} #ox-64cedbc545 #ox-64cedbc545-outlook a {padding: 0;} #ox-64cedbc545 {width: 100%; margin: 0; padding: 0;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass {width: 100%;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass p , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass span , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass font , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass td , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-ExternalClass div {line-height: 100%;} #ox-64cedbc545 #ox-64cedbc545-backgroundTable {margin: 0; padding: 0; width: 100%;} #ox-64cedbc545 img {text-decoration: none; border: none;} #ox-64cedbc545 a img {border: none;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-image_fix {display: block;} #ox-64cedbc545 table td {border-collapse: collapse;} #ox-64cedbc545 table {border-collapse: collapse;} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=full] {width: 100%; clear: both;} @media only screen and (max-width: 640px) { #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="sms"] {cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {color: #ffffff; cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] img:not([width]) {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthtable] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidth] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthouter] {} #ox-64cedbc545 table[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 div[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 img[class=devicewidthborder] {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=milogo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mologo] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] img {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=miheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=moheader] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mifooter] table {} #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] , #ox-64cedbc545 td[class=mofooter] table {} } @media only screen and (max-width: 440px) { #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 a[href^="sms"] {cursor: default;} #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="tel"] , #ox-64cedbc545 .ox-64cedbc545-mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {color: #ffffff; 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The window on our best chance to restore net neutrality is closing very soon. The Congressional Review Act gives Congress the right to overturn the FCC and restore the 2015 Open Internet Order — but they must do it before the end of the year.

Activists like you have already achieved so much in the fight to save the free and open internet. You shocked Big Cable and proved the naysayers wrong when we passed the CRA in the Senate.

But we still have to pass the CRA resolution in the House. We need a HUGE push on members of Congress to restore net neutrality during the lame duck session. If we can’t get enough representatives to sign on, we will have to start all over again in the new Congress.

Tell the House of Representatives: Time is running out. Restore net neutrality today.

Net neutrality is vital to free speech, small business, and communities that might not otherwise have a voice in the mainstream media. The only ones who benefit from the repeal of net neutrality are Big Cable executives and the lobbyists they employ. There’s NO EXCUSE – every lawmaker, both Republican or Democrat, must support net neutrality.

Polls show 86% of Americans support the free and open internet. And they showed that support by voting out dozens of net neutrality opponents in the midterm elections. The only place where this is a controversial partisan issue is inside the beltway.

As of today, the resolution has the support of 177 representatives in the House. We’re so close, but we still need 41 members to sign.

There’s no excuse for inaction and no more time to waste – we must demand the remaining members of Congress support the resolution to restore net neutrality.

Add your name today.

Thanks for taking a stand,

Craig Brown
for the whole Common Dreams team

Sign Your Name to Save the Internet

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

Adding new housing opportunities…Permit Sonoma Survey

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 08:39
The County of Sonoma would like your input on adding more affordable housing in the county. Please consider giving them feed back. Accessory Dwelling Unit Survey, Accessory Dwelling Unit Survey

The County of Sonoma and partnering cities want your input on potential barriers and incentives for building accessory dwelling units and/or junior accessory dwelling units. Thank you for taking the time to fill out this survey to inform our efforts to increase housing in Sonoma County.

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Accessory Dwelling Unit Survey

ttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe9XUyAiA8jtfcqdzl61MkmFGRkNcS1F_PJtk7gBRAerk1Ogw/viewform

Find out more about the County’s accessory dwelling units program at http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/AccessoryUnits El Condado de Sonoma y las ciudades asociadas quieren recibir sus comentarios sobre las potenciales barreras e incentivos para construir unidades de vivienda accesoria y/o unidades de vivienda accesoria junior. Gracias por tomarse el tiempo para llenar esta encuesta, para contribuir con sus comentarios a nuestros esfuerzos para incrementar la vivienda en el Condado de Sonoma. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeWFm4BsXcdWtOZIy-MIS8T7mDBZRgDOi0NIzql_-pDwbo5GQ/viewform?hl=es Más información sobre ADUs y JADUs: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/AccessoryUnits

 

Accessory Dwelling Unit Survey DOCS.GOOGLE.COM

Categories: G2. Local Greens

November 29th 1:15pm Cannabis Update at Planning Agency

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 08:54
FROM SOS Save Our Sonoma Neighborhoods This coming Thursday, November 29th, at 1:15 pm Supervising Planner Amy Lyle will be giving a Cannabis Update to the Planning Agency at Permit Sonoma in the Hearings Room (2550 Ventura). According to the WEB site it appears that all ten members will be in attendance. The Planning Commissioners from District 5 are John Lowry (JohnLowryCA@gmail.com) and Pam Davis (p.davis479@gmail.com). Lyle is the Supervising Planner in charge of the cannabis program. Lyle, Tim Ricard, the Cannabis Program Manager, and Sita Kuteira, County Counsel, are the troika tasked with the cannabis program. If you want your Planning Commissioners to ask Lyle about the West County Trail now is the time to email them. We understand that the Board of Supervisors will be deciding the issue of whether the trail is part of the regional parks system at their meeting on December 11th. Usually Staff presents a power point presentation. These presentations are available to the public upon request. (Request from Lyle herself. Amy.Lyle@sonoma-county.org). There is usually time for public comment.
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Professor Quigley’s Social Justice Quiz from 2008 with current updates

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 08:49

 

20 Questions: Social Justice Quiz 2008
Friday 12 September 2008
by: Bill Quigley, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

In its 2007 Annual Homeless Report to Congress, HUD reported that nearly one in four people in homeless shelters are children 17 or younger. Bill Quigley’s “Social Justice Quiz 2008” challenges us to look through the eyes of those less fortunate and educate ourselves about how liberty, opportunity, income and wealth are distributed in the US and around the world. (Photo: Ryan Orr / Flickr)

We in the US who say we believe in social justice must challenge ourselves to look at the world through the eyes of those who have much less than us. Why? Social justice, as defined by John Rawls, respects basic individual liberty and economic improvement. But social justice also insists that liberty, opportunity, income, wealth and the other social bases of self-respect are to be distributed equally unless an unequal distribution is to everyone’s advantage and any inequalities are arranged so they are open to all.
Therefore, we must educate ourselves and others about how liberty, opportunity, income and wealth are actually distributed in our country and in our world. Examining the following can help us realize how much we have to learn about social justice.

1. How many deaths are there worldwide each year due to acts of terrorism?
Answer: The US State Department reported there were more than 22,000 deaths from terrorism last year. Over half of those killed or injured were Muslims. Source: Voice of America, May 2, 2008. “Terrorism Deaths Rose in 2007.” Update: (Statistics Portal says in 2017 there were 18,753 deaths due to terrorism)
2. How many deaths are there worldwide each day due to poverty and malnutrition?
A: About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. Poverty.com – Hunger and World Poverty. Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes – one child every five seconds. Bread for the World. Hunger Facts: International.

Update: (The United Nations reports that over 7.6 million people die annually throughout the world because of hunger or a hunger-related cause. This means about 21,000 people, on average, die every day because of food insecurity. That’s one person every 4 seconds.)
3. 1n 1965, CEOs in major companies made 24 times more than the average worker. In 1980, CEOs made 40 times more than the average worker. In 2007, CEOs earned how many times more than the average worker?
A: Today’s average CEO from a Fortune 500 company makes 364 times an average worker’s pay and over 70 times the pay of a four-star Army general. Executive Excess 2007, page 7, jointly published by Institute for Policy Studies and United for Fair Economy, August 29, 2007. The 1965 numbers from State of Working America 2004-2005, Economic Policy Institute.

Update: (CEOs Paid 1,000 Times More Than Average Workers)

4. In how many of the more than 3,000 cities and counties in the US can a full-time worker who earns the minimum wage afford to pay rent and utilities on a one-bedroom apartment?
A: In no city or county in the entire USA can a full-time worker who earns minimum wage afford even a one-bedroom rental. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) urges renters not to pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent. HUD also reports the fair market rent for each of the counties and cities in the US. Nationally, in order to rent a two-bedroom apartment, one full-time worker in 2008 must earn $17.32 per hour. In fact, 81 percent of renters live in cities where the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom rental is not even affordable with two minimum-wage jobs. Source: Out of Reach 2007-2008, April 7, 2008, National Low-Income Housing Coalition.

UPDATE: (A minimum-wage worker needs 2.5 full-time jobs to afford a one-bedroom apartment in most of the US).
5. In 1968, the minimum wage was $1.65 per hour. How much would the minimum wage be today if it had kept pace with inflation since 1968?
A: Calculated in real (inflation-adjusted) dollars, the 1968 minimum wage would have been $9.83 in 2007 dollars. Andrew Tobias, January 16, 2008. The federal minimum wage is $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008, and will be $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.

6. True or false? People in the United States spend nearly twice as much on pet food as the US government spends on aid to help foreign countries.
A: True. The USA spends $43.4 billion on pet food annually. Source: American Pet Products Manufacturers Association Inc. The USA spent $23.5 billion in official foreign aid in 2006. The US government gave the most of any country in the world in actual dollars. As a percentage of gross national income, the US came in second to last among OECD donor countries and ranked number 20 at 0.18 percent behind Sweden at 1.02 percent and other countries such as Norway, Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and others. This does not count private donations, which, if included, may move the US up as high as sixth. The Index of Global Philanthropy 2008, pages 15-19.

7. How many people in the world live on $2 a day or less?
A: The World Bank reported in August 2008 that 2.6 billion people consume less than $2 a day.

Update: (World Bank 2018:

  • According to the most recent estimates, in 2015, 10 percent of the world’s population lived on less than US$1.90 a day, compared to 11 percent in 2013. That’s down from nearly 36 percent in 1990. 
  • Nearly 1.1 billion fewer people are living in extreme poverty than in 1990. In 2015, 736 million people lived on less than $1.90 a day, down from 1.85 billion in 1990. )

8. How many people in the world do not have electricity?
A: Worldwide, 1.6 billion people do not have electricity and 2.5 billion people use wood, charcoal or animal dung for cooking. United Nations Human Development Report 2007/2008, pages 44-45.

Update: (Rockefeller Foundation:Not all energy is consumed equally across the world. An estimated 16 percent of the world’s population — 1.2 billion people — have little or no access to electricity. )

9. People in the US consume 42 kilograms of meat per person per year. How much meat and grain do people in India and China eat?
A: People in the US lead the world in meat consumption at 42 kg per person per year, compared to 1.6 kg in India and 5.9 kg in China. People in the US consume five times the grain (wheat, rice, rye, barley, etc.) as people in India, three times as much as people in China, and twice as much as people in Europe. “THE BLAME GAME: Who is behind the world food price crisis,” Oakland Institute, July 2008.

10. How many cars does China have for every 1,000 drivers? India? The US?
A: China has nine cars for every 1,000 drivers. India has 11 cars for every 1,000 drivers. The US has 1,114 cars for every 1,000 drivers. Iain Carson and Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran, “Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future” (2007).

11. How much grain is needed to fill an SUV tank with ethanol?
A: The grain needed to fill an SUV tank with ethanol could feed a hungry person for a year. Lester Brown, CNN.Money.com, August 16, 2006.

12. According to The Wall Street Journal, the richest one percent of Americans earns what percent of the nation’s adjusted gross income? Five percent? Ten percent? Fifteen percent? Twenty percent?
A: “According to the figures, the richest one percent reported 22 percent of the nation’s total adjusted gross income in 2006. That is up from 21.2 percent a year earlier, and it is the highest in the 19 years that the IRS has kept strictly comparable figures. The 1988 level was 15.2 percent. Earlier IRS data show the last year the share of income belonging to the top one percent was at such a high level as it was in 2006 was in 1929, but changes in measuring income make a precise comparison difficult.” Jesse Drucker, “Richest Americans See Their Income Share Grow,” Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2008, page A3.

UPDATE: (Wikipedia: Just prior to President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address, media[7] reported that the top wealthiest 1% possess 40% of the nation’s wealth; the bottom 80% own 7%; similarly, but later, the media reported, the “richest 1 percent in the United States now own more additional income than the bottom 90 percent”.[8] The gap between the top 10% and the middle class is over 1,000%; that increases another 1,000% for the top 1%. The average employee “needs to work more than a month to earn what the CEO earns in one hour.”[9] )

13. How many people does our government say are homeless in the US on any given day?
A: A total of 754,000 are homeless. About 338,000 homeless people are not in shelters (live on the streets, in cars or in abandoned buildings) and 415,000 are in shelters on any given night. The 2007 US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Annual Homeless Report to Congress, page iii and 23. The population of San Francisco is about 739,000.

UPDATE: (The January 2017 Point-in-Time count, the most recent national estimate of homelessness in the United States, identified 553,742 people experiencing homelessness. This represents a rate of approximately 17 people experiencing homelessness on a given night per 10,000 people in the general population.),

14. What percentage of people in homeless shelters are children?
A: HUD reports nearly one in four people in homeless shelters are children 17 or younger. Page iv, the 2007 HUD Annual Homeless Report to Congress.

UPDATE: (PBS: One out of 50—or about 1.5 million—American children are homeless each year, according to a 2009 study by the National Center on Family Homelessness.
See state-by-state rankings on child homelessness.)

15. How many veterans are homeless on any given night?
A: Over 100,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. About 18 percent of the adult homeless population are veterans. Page 32, the 2007 HUD Homeless Report. This is about the same population as Green Bay, Wisconsin.

UPDATE: ( National Coalition of Veterans: ….the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night. Approximately 12,700 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation New Dawn (OND) were homeless in 2010. The number of young homeless veterans is increasing, but only constitutes 8.8% of the overall homeless veteran population.)

16. The military budget of the United States in 2008 is the largest in the world at $623 billion per year. How much larger is the US military budget than that of China, the second-largest in the world?
A: Ten times. China’s military budget is $65 billion. The US military budget is nearly 10 times larger than the second leading military spender. GlobalSecurity.org

17. The US military budget is larger than how many of the countries of the rest of the world combined?
A: The US military budget of $623 billion is larger than the budgets of all the countries in the rest of the world put together. The total global military budget of the rest of the world is $500 billion. Russia’s military budget is $50 billion, South Koreas is $21 billion, and Irons is $4.3 billion. GlobalSecurity.org.

UPDATE: Estimated U.S. military spending is $892 billion. That’s from the spending bill signed by President Trump on August 13, 2018. It covers the period October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019. Military spending is the second largest item in the federal budget after Social Security.  The United States spends more on defense than the next nine countries combined. )

18. Over the 28-year history of the Berlin Wall, 287 people perished trying to cross it. How many people have died in the last four years trying to cross the border between Arizona and Mexico?
A: At least 1,268 people have died along the border of Arizona and Mexico since 2004. The Arizona Daily Star keeps track of the reported deaths along the state border, and it reports 214 died in 2004; 241 in 2005, 216 in 2006, 237 in 2007, and 116 as of July 31, 2008. These numbers do not include deaths along the California or Texas borders. The Border Patrol reported that 400 people died in fiscal 2206-2007, while 453 died in 2004-2005 and 494 died in 2004-2005. Source The Associated Press, November 8, 2007.

UPDATE: (Wikipedia: Migrant deaths along the Mexico–U.S. border occur hundreds of times a year because of those attempting to cross into the United States from Mexico illegally.[1] The US Border Patrol reported 294 migrant deaths in the fiscal year 2017 (ending September 30, 2017), which was lower than in 2016 (322)

UPDATE: (KTLA on November 1, 2018 claims 56,800 migrants killed in last 4 years crossing US Mexico border).

19. India is ranked second in the world in gun ownership with four guns per 100 people. China is third with third firearms per 100 people. Which country is first and how widespread is gun ownership?
A: The US is first in gun ownership worldwide with 90 guns for every 100 citizens. Laura MacInnis, “US most armed country with 90 guns per 100 people.” Reuters, August 28, 2007.

UPDATE: (CBS: The U.S. has 88.8 guns for every 100 residents. To Wikipedia 101 guns per 100.)
20. What country leads the world in the incarceration of its citizens?

A: The US jails 751 inmates per 100,000 people, the highest rate in the world. Russia is second with 627 per 100,000. England’s rate is 151, Germany’s is 88 and Japan’s is 63. The US has 2.3 million people behind bars, more than any country in the world. Adam Liptak, “Inmate Count in US Dwarfs Other Nations'” New York Times, April 23, 2008.

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

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