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Tribal Coalitions to Assert Native Gathering Rights

Tribal Coalitions to Assert Native Gathering Rights

by Dan Bacher

The Klamath and Coastal Justice Coalitions are calling on all members of local tribes to gather coastal resources at their traditional gathering places on California's North Coast from 5:30 am to 8:30 am on Saturday, June 18, according to an announcement from the coalitions.

Members of the coalitions will be harvesting coastal resources at Patrick’s Point State Park at 5:30 am, Clam Beach at 7:30 am and Wilson Creek Beach near Klamath at 8:30 am, said Hoopa Tribal Citizen Dania Rose Colegrove, an organizer for the Klamath Justice Coalition.

“It is our sovereign and sacred right to harvest coastal resources according to our customs," said Colegrove. "We will no longer allow the state or the feds to criminalize our culture."

Local Tribes use hundreds of coastal resources for ceremonial regalia, medicine and for subsistence. Under the proposed Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) North Coast regulations, Colegove said tribal citizens face fines and potential incarceration for harvesting for traditional purposes in a culturally appropriate way.

Kucinich Defends Women, Infant Children Food Program

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today took to the House floor to defend the food program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in need, citing our history of a compassionate nation.

"When I was hungry, you gave me food. You didn't give me war. You didn't give me a tax break; you didn't give me an oil depletion allowance. When I was hungry, you gave me food."

Witnesses Slam HR 1837 Water Grab in D.C. Hearing

Witnesses Slam HR 1837 Water Grab in D.C. Hearing

by Dan Bacher

Witnesses in a Water and Power Subcommittee hearing held in Washington D.C. on June 13 exposed the many severe flaws in HR 1837, the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act introduced by Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA).

Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), who called for the hearing, described the bill as "a radical Republican water bill which would usurp California’s water laws, roll back California’s environmental protections, overturn California’s water rights system to the benefit of a few powerful agricultural users, and set precedent for litigation against other states’ water rights."

A diverse coalition of fishing groups, Indian Tribes, family farmers, conservationists, environmental justice advocates and Delta residents opposes the legislation for helping to engineer the extinction of imperiled populations of Sacramento River chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon, Sacramento splittail and other speices. Tribes opposing the legislation include the Yurok Tribe, Winnemem Wintu and Modoc Nation.

SB 104: Providing Farm Workers a 75-Year-Old Protection

You can sign the UFW petition here:

SB 104: Providing Farm Workers a 75-Year-Old Protection
By Dylan J. Anderson
United Farm Workers

Recently, both the California Senate and Assembly passed SB 104, "The Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act." Introduced by Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), SB 104 would give the state’s more than 400,000 farm workers an alternative to on-the-job polling place elections to decide whether to join a union. The new option would allow them to fill out state-issued representation ballots in their homes, away from bosses’ threats and other interference. If a simple majority – more than 50 percent – of workers signs the ballots, their jobs would be unionized.

Many workers do not have access to basic things like shade, water, heat training or even breaks during the hot summer days. Without SB 104, nothing will change. Wage and hour violations will continue. Overexposure to pesticides will go unchallenged. Sexual harassment will remain rampant and the health crises caused by a lack of sanitation and lax safety standards will continue to plague farm workers.

Four Republican State Senators Go Public with their Extortion Demands

Government: California GOP senators go public with their budget demands

    Gov. Jerry Brown broke off budget talks with five Republicans in the state Senate in March after complaining that the GOP's demands kept expanding. In particular, he pointed to a seven-page list of items Republicans told him they wanted in any budget deal, many of which had nothing to do with the budget.

    Today, four of those senators -- Tom Berryhill of Modesto, Anthony Cannella of Ceres, Bill Emmerson of Hemet and Tom Harman of Huntington Beach -- released details of four proposed reforms that are "necessary components" of any budget deal. It's not clear from their statement that they'll support the Democrats' budget proposal if they prevail on these four issues, though.

    The four reforms are:

Chesbro, Napolitano denounce HR 1837 water grab

by Dan Bacher

As chairman of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and a signatory to a letter from the Legislature opposing HR 1837, Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-North Coast) on June 2 denounced HR 1837, legislation by Representative Devin Nunes to grab more northern California water.

“This is a water grab that threatens salmon recovery and could devastate commercial and recreational fishing in Northern California," said Chesbro. "I’m very concerned that San Joaquin Valley water interests have their eyes on the Trinity River. We need to keep that water in the river to meet public and tribal needs and to improve fish populations.”

California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird testified before the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee regarding House Resolution 1837, an attempt by Congressman Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, to divert more Northern California water to the San Joaquin Valley.

Rep. Napolitano Pushes Back against Radical Republican Water Bill at Hearing

Rep. Grace F. Napolitano also issued a statement on House Subcommittee on Water and Power's hearing on H.R. 1837, the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act. She said the bill would "usurp California’s water laws, roll back California’s environmental protections, and alter water distribution to favor certain agricultural users."

Yurok Tribe Opposes Devin Nunes' HR 1837

California's largest Indian Tribe, the Yurok Tribe, has joined the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, Modoc Nation, commercial fishing groups, recreational angling organizations, Delta farmers, conservation groups and environmental justice organizations in strongly opposing the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (HR 1837) sponsored by Representative Devin Nunes (D-California).

Thomas O'Rourke, Chairman of the Yurok Tribal Council, slammed the bill for favoring a few corporate agribusiness interests to the detriment of fish, fishermen, Tribes and the environment in a letter sent on June 10 to Congressional Leaders. These include Doc Hastings, Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, Tom McClintock, Chair of the Water and Power Subcommittee, and Grace Napolitano, Ranking Democratic Member, Water and Power Subcommittee.

"This bill is designed to benefit select CVP (Central Valley Project) water contractors at the expense of State and Federal water quality protection, State water rights laws and Endangered Species Act requirements," said O'Rourke. "Enactment of this bill will undermine the intent and authorities of the CVPIA (Central Valley Project Improvement Act) and seriously threaten the federal government's ability to meet its trust responsibilities to the Yurok Tribe. Enactment will extend Congressional guarantee for the delivery of water to select CVP contractors waiving senior water rights protections and tribal trust obligations to the Yurok Tribe."

Science Friday: Fighting Cancer with Cancer | What Sugar Actually Does to Your Brain and Body

Fighting Cancer with Cancer: Mayo Clinic Finds Promising Use for Thyroid Cancer Gene

    ROCHESTER, Minn. — A mutant gene long thought to accelerate tumor growth in thyroid cancer patients actually inhibits the spread of malignant cells, showing promise for novel cancer therapies, a Mayo Clinic study has found. The findings will be presented by Mayo Clinic researcher Honey Reddi, Ph.D., at the Endocrine Society meeting in Boston.

    Dr. Reddi's discovery could have widespread implications in cancer research and endocrinology. It could help oncologists sharpen the diagnosis of specific types of thyroid cancers, while leading pharmaceutical researchers toward therapeutics derived from a protein once thought to feed tumor growth.


The Top 10 Signs of A Bad History Teacher

The 10 Signs of A Bad History Teacher

    1. Constantly gets Indonesia and Outdonesia confused.

    2. As incentive for learning, when you name a state capital, you get to take a shot.

    3. Insists that one of Popes during the Roman empire was Pope Bubba.

Michelle Rhee's Handiwork: Florida Diplomas For Sale And Much More

Michelle Rhee's Handiwork: Florida Diplomas For Sale And Much More

    So Michelle Rhee hired Hari Sevugan away from the DNC to join her right-wing-in-liberal-clothing organization known as StudentsFirst. Presumably, Hari will rehabilitate the StudentsFirst image which has become irrevocably tainted with the stench of right-wing public school destruction. Hmmm.

    This comes on the heels of Rhee's huddle with Rick Scott before he gutted Florida's public education system, her public support for Scott Walker's plan to limit teachers' bargaining rights (see video), lobbying on behalf of Ohio's SB5, a special appearance with Governor Kasich to screen Waiting for Superman, and her cozy support for Chris Christie's school-gutting ways.

The U.S.' Perpetual State of War

Andrew Bacevich

Harry Kreisler talks with Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University, for a discussion of the causes and consequences of the militarization of U.S. foreign policy. Bacevich explores the origins of militarization and the factors that sustained their existence for more than six decades.
Source: Conversations With History: America's Path to Permanent War

Ray McGovern

Scott Horton Interviews Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern, former senior analyst at the CIA, discusses why the corrupted mainstream U.S. media needs to be supplanted by WikiLeaks. They comment on the State Department’s successful interference with Spanish and German courts seeking to indict U.S. officials.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Ray McGovern, December 13, 2010

Music includes Earth Anthem, house on fire, Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, Robin Williams on Reagan, Freedom Trilogy, Who's Next, 900 Miles, We'll Meet Again

Groups to sue feds and Westside growers to stop water pollution

Fishing and Conservation Groups Intend To Sue Feds and Westside Irrigators to Enforce Water Pollution Control Laws

San Francisco California-- Fishing and conservation groups served notice June7 under the Clean Water Act that they are going to federal court to get water pollution control standards enforced to halt this unlawful pollution and to restore the ecological health of the San Joaquin River and Bay-Delta Estuary. For more than two decades Delta-Mendota western San Joaquin Valley irrigators have been allowed to pollute the river and San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary with toxic discharges.

Selenium is a highly toxic substance that contaminates the soils of the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, rendering these lands unfit for large scale commercial agriculture because of the water pollution it causes. When these selenium-laden soils are irrigated, the selenium leaches into groundwater and surface waters, spreading its toxic legacy.

For decades, state and federal officials have looked the other way and refused to enforce water pollution control standards that restrict the discharge of this toxic substance into the San Joaquin River and other tributaries of the Bay-Delta Estuary. On March 17, 2011, the federal Environmental Protection Agency agreed to allow these toxic discharges to continue another 10 years, in direct violation of the Clean Water Act’s mandate that the nation’s waters be both swimmable and fishable.

MLPA Initiative publications - get them while they're hot!

MLPA Initiative publications - get them while they're hot!

by Dan Bacher

The rush is on - don't delay!

A number of publications from Arnold Schwarzenegger's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative are now available for the public as the controversial process "winds down."

"As the MLPA Initiative winds down, we are doing some 'house cleaning' at the office," stated Melissa Miller-Henson, MLPA program manager. "If you are interested, the MLPA Initiative has available on a first-come, first-serve basis extra copies of the publications listed below this message."

"If you have an interest in any of these publications, please contact Kathie Magnuson (Kathie.Magnuson [at] and let her know which document(s) you would like to receive. Be sure to provide your mailing address and phone number in case she has any questions," explained Miller-Hansen.

If the process is "winding down," does that mean that the initiative is closing shop before it has a chance to move to San Francisco Bay? That would be great news to Bay Area fishermen, grassroots conservationists, Native Americans and environmental justice advocates!

Bechtel Foundation Sponsors PPIC Peripheral Canal Greenwashing Event

Bechtel Foundation Sponsors PPIC Peripheral Canal Greenwashing Event

by Dan Bacher

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) will hold a Bechtel Foundation-funded program in San Francisco on June 15 to promote plans to build the peripheral canal and take significant chunks of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta land out of agricultural production to facilitate the export of more northern California water to corporate agribusiness and southern California water agencies.

The event, "Managing California's Water: Economy vs. Environment?," is funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and other sponsors and runs from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the PPIC Bechtel Conference Center, 500 Washington Street.