Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sherman’s Ashes

Interview by Elizabeth Sealey

Photo by Elizabeth Sealey




Elizabeth Sealey:  Hi, everyone!  This is Elizabeth with Music Beat from Fantom Penguin.  I am here with Sherman’s Ashes who just finished one of their sets.  Guys, why don’t you introduce yourselves for the new fans out there who don’t know you guys?

Chris Bentley:  Chris Bentley, drums.

Gray Harris:  Gray Harris, guitar and vocals.

Eric Thompson:  Eric Thompson, bass.

Elizabeth Sealey:  Alright, so guys, I’ve seen you guys play in the past and I actually got an interview with one of the fans earlier who is a new fan to you guys.  They really got into to you!  How would you define your sound for your new fans?

Gray Harris:  Metal.  I’d say Rock and Metal.  If it sounds good to me or us, we rock it.  We try to make it sound better, I think.

Chris Bentley:  Yeah.

Gray Harris:  Yeah.  Rockin’, heavy.  Groove!  You want to rock out and be all Metal  but you also wanna be able to dance to it and do things to it so . . .

Elizabeth Sealey:  I saw some dancing going on out here earlier!  Not just the little mini mosh pit, some of the people really got into you guys!  With being part of the music scene you want your music to stand out more than anybody else’s.  What are some of the songs that you think makes you stand out more than some bands around here?

Eric Thompson:  Blood and Romance.

Elizabeth Sealey:  Blood and Romance?  Why don’t you tell me about Blood and Romance?

Eric Thompson:  Uh – You’ve heard it. 

(Laughter) 

Gray Harris:  Why’d you say Blood and Romance?

Eric Thomson:  I don’t know, it just has like a kind of a thrash kind of opening but it doesn’t really go there, that whole extra . . . you know.

Chris Bentley:  I think the main thing is there’s melody involved.  There’s definitely singing.

Eric Thompson:  Yeah, that’s how it breaks.

Gray Harris:  Yeah.  That’s important, a hook, a melody, something that you can sing along to.  Dynamics is another thing.  Dynamics.  That one we really show off, Dynamics.  And then I don’t know about these guys but I’ve come to like the lead part, I like to try and show off and that’s where I want to try and stand out from other people.  This is how I play solo.  This is how I play guitar.

Elizabeth Sealey:  So it’s not just you guys standing up there and singing and playing instruments; you really put a show on for the crowd?

Gray Harris:  Yeah.

Elizabeth Sealey:  You pull them into the music.

Gray Harris:  Uh-huh.

Elizabeth Sealey:  And a lot of bands, really get on stage and they just sing into the microphones and they play their instrument.  You guys really get into this, especially you as the drummer.  I mean you were going at it tonight!  That was insane!  How long have you been playing the drums?

Chris Bentley:  Oh, about twenty years?

Elizabeth Sealey:  Twenty years?

Chris Bentley:  Yeah, I’m old!

(Laughter)

Elizabeth Sealey:  Was drums really your first avenue into the music?

Chris Bentley:   Absolutely – well, other than piano lessons when I was a kid.  Everybody starts there.

Elizabeth Sealey:  So what with being a drummer, do you draw inspiration from other drummers in other bands or do you have your own unique style, your own unique sound?

Chris Bentley: Oh, absolutely, absolutely.  When you hear something cool, you go wow!  I could nick that, play with that.  Absolutely, all the time.

Elizabeth Sealey:  What are some of you guy’s musical influences, bands that you grew up listening to that you wanted to be like when you first started playing the music scene?

Eric Thompson:  Prong, Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, Primus but we don’t get really, you know, get anywhere close to that shit but stuff like that.  Alice in Chains is a huge one for me personally.


Gray Harris:  Alice in Chains.  Anything that you hear on the radio.  I don’t want to sound like a sell-out geek or nothing like that but if I could sell out, I would.  If I could get played on the radio, I would.  If I could get my video on something, I would.  I’d do it at the drop of a hat.  

The Reader's Column

Pot Head Media
by Linda Miller of Palo Cedro



If the posters about the effects of Cannabis were true, many women in the United States would be using it to improve their sex lives.  “Unleashed Passions, Wild Orgies, Weird Parties,” or “Marijuana Girl: She traded her body for drugs... and kicks,” and the well known: “Reefer Madness: Women cry for it - Men die for it - Drug crazed abandon.”  These were posters used to demonize pot.  The Spanish term, “marijuana” was changed to “marihuana,” to utilize racial prejudice to sway opinion.  Anyone who has ever smoked or used pot can tell you that pot does not lead to the insanity depicted in these types of social media.  If it did, my girlfriends would be putting it in their husbands’ food on a regular basis.

 Early history of our country shows large hemp imports that lead to laws like Virginia state passed.  You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769.  Davvy Kidd, journalist for the U.S. Observer tells us, “George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers grew hemp.  Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America, and it processed hemp.”  The word ‘canvas’ is a Dutch word for cannabis (Webster’s New World Dictionary).  Ships sails and ropes, textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, bed sheets, oil, animal feed, etc., were made from hemp until the 1820’s.  The first Bibles, maps, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, were all written on hemp (U.S. Government Archives).  Even our first flag was made of hemp, and hemp was one of our country's largest cash crops until the 20th century.  In 1916, the U.S. Government predicted that by the 1940’s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees need be cut down.  Government studies reported that one acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees for paper production.  Plans were in the works to implement growing programs (U.S. Department of Agriculture Archives). 
           
 When it doesn't make sense, follow the money. What happened to this wonderful plant and its amazing uses, that it became illegal?  Quality paints and varnishes were made from hemp seed oil; 58,000 tons of hemp seeds were used in America for paint products in 1935.  Henry Ford’s first Model-T automobile was built to run on hemp gasoline and the car itself was constructed from hemp!  The car, “grown from the soil,” had hemp panels with impact strengths that were ten times stronger than steel. At the same time, medical preparations used cannabis for a variety of ailments. This is where the first restrictive laws began.  During the time of alcohol prohibition, hemp had to be prescribed by a doctor.  Even so, it was fashionable by upper class persons as a recreational drug. The hemp industry was growing and it was a threat to Andrew Mellon, who was DuPont's chief investor and also Secretary of the Treasury in the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover administrations.  Mellon moved to place someone loyal to him into a position to protect his investments.  He appointed family member, Harry Anslinger, former assistant commissioner of the Bureau of Prohibition, to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Anslinger had been traumatized by the effects of morphine as a child, and cannabis was grouped in with opiates.  Anslinger was a crazed, ambitious drug enforcement officer with Mellon's agenda.  Hemp was a threat to billion-dollar enterprises for both Mellon (Mellon Bank) and his close friend, Randolph Hearst.  Hearst Paper Division of Kimberly Clark, owned vast acres of timberland near McCloud, CA, and in Mexico.  The Oil industry, Mellon Bank/ DuPont, and the Hearst stood to lose billions because of hemp.

A propaganda campaign was started, claiming the “problem” was attributed to a combination of Latin Americans and Black Jazz musicians. Anslinger created “gore files” to influence the attitudes of the American people.  Hearst used his newspapers with quotes such as: “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers.  Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use.  This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.   Hearst used his newspapers to create “Yellow Journalism” or propaganda.  Hearst's pretend world of the dangers of pot led the American people like sheep to believe these lies.  Their purpose was to gain public support so that anti-marijuana laws could be passed and they were.  The media had been successful and pot became illegal.
            
Many people still believe the “Yellow Journalism.”  We even passed a Shasta County ordinance against pot being grown outside.  Pot is no more a contributor to hard core drug use than cigarettes or beer.  Just like anything else, if used in excess, it can have harmful effects.  It has amazing uses, is a great soil amend-er, can be refined to help many ailments, especially cancer, makes durable clothes, and some of the finest rope.  It can be used to make the same “stronger than steel” plastic replacements and reduce our oil dependence.  It would threaten the oil industry, the cotton industry, pharmaceutical companies and the paper industry.  If we can just step back from the Yellow Journalism, and see the better choices.   It would be good for the country and maybe, even good for our sex lives. 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shasta County Air Pollution Control Board Special Meeting, April 8, 2014

by Joe McGarity

Photo by Joe McGarity

The Shasta County Air Pollution Control Board met at 8:50 am on April 8, 2014 in the County Administration Building on Court Street in Redding.  Missy McArthur represented the Redding City Council.  The Shasta County Board of Supervisors was represented by David Kehoe, Leonard Moty and Les Baugh who serves as Chairman.  Mayor Debe Hopkins of Anderson was absent.

This special meeting of the Air Pollution Control Board was called specifically to pass a single item which was placed on the Consent Calendar, a letter to the California Air Resources Board thanking CARB for certain concessions it made concerning deadlines associated with the mandatory installation of exhaust filter systems now required for most commercial diesel vehicles.  The policy is widely opposed by those in the trucking industry locally because the modifications are so expensive they threaten to put small operations out of business. 

The Pollution Control board had asked CARB for a number of modifications to the policy that could ease the burden on local businesses.  Other rural air pollution control districts have done the same and CARB has implemented some of those suggestions by allowing some operations deadline extensions for portions of their fleets.  The overall deadline was not extended and has already passed.  Fleets are currently required to be in compliance unless they have been granted an extension.

At the last meeting of the Pollution Board a motion was made to send a thank-you letter and in fact the board seemed about to pass it when County Counsel Rubin Cruse stopped them.  Governments in California are not allowed to take action on items not appearing on their meeting agenda under the Brown Act.  This prevents them from coming up with a new idea and passing it at the same meeting.  This is meant to give people time to hear about it, allowing for public comment on the subject.

Since CARB was scheduled to meet prior to the Air Pollution Control Board’s next meeting, Cruse had suggested the best course of action was to schedule a special meeting.  The special meeting had one agenda item and it was placed on the Consent Calendar.  Consent Calendar items are usually considered routine and non-controversial.  Any board member, staff member or interested member of the public may request a Consent Calendar item be removed from the Consent Calendar for later discussion.

Consent Calendar

C1 was requested to be removed from Consent by interested member of the public, Charles Alexander.

Regular Calendar

C1 – Air Quality Management District  Approve and authorize the Chairman to sign a letter to Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols which expresses thanks for changes made to the Regulation to Reduce Emissions of Diesel Particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen and other criteria pollutants from In-Use Heavy-Duty Diesel-Fueled Vehicles and supports further delay in its implementation (No General Fund Impact).

Charles Alexander expressed disappointment that the letter did not request a “phasing-in” of vehicles based upon their age.  Shasta County Air Quality Management District Manager Ross Bell indicated that the changes do include several kinds of phase-in schedules.  Chairman Baugh noted that these schedules are not based upon the age of the vehicle.  These phase-ins amount to deadline extensions for large fleets.  He said he would prefer a system similar to what was done for gasoline engines where vehicle over a certain age are exempt.

After some discussion the board voted to send the letter 4 – 0.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Shasta County Board of Supervisors
April 1, 2014

by Joe McGarity

Employee of the Month, Julie Stone with Chariman Baugh
Photo by Joe McGarity


The Shasta County Board of Supervisors met at 9:00 am on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at the County Administration Center on Court Street in Redding.  All five supervisors were in attendance.  A brief summary of each agenda item follows:

Call to Order
Invocation
Pledge of Allegiance

Board Matters

R1 – Julie Stone, Child Support Specialist II, Department of Child Support Services was selected at Shasta County’s April, 2014 Employee of the Month.

R2 – April 2014 was designated “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” in Shasta County.

Presentations

R3 – The Board received the 2013 Shasta County Fire Department Annual Report presented by Fire Warden Mike Hebrard.  Shasta County Fire responded to 11,982 calls in 2013.  The full report is available online at www.ShastaCountyFire.org.  Click on the “About Us” tab.

Public Comment – Open Time

Jim Medland said he’d asked the county six months ago to look into “compliance concerns” regarding dedication of public rights of way.  He had concerns about possible improprieties involving a contract.  He did not specify the particular project at this meeting but indicated he had been in contact with county staff.  Chairman Les Baugh indentified Pat Minturn, County Public Works Director who was present and also County Counsel Rubin Cruse and Chief Deputy Clerk of the Board Glenda Tracy.  Baugh told him that he had the option to file a complaint with the clerk’s office if he was unsatisfied with the county’s response.

Jerry Comingdeer spoke of reforms to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.  He said the county is currently designated as the lead agency for compliance with the act.  He said he was the former chairman of the California Construction and Industrial Materials Association.  He said the Senate Bill 1270 would rewrite the mining act in such a way as to invite third-party lawsuits and usurp the counties’ control over mining activities in favor of the state.  Chairman Baugh said they would ask County Chief Executive Officer Larry Lees to look into it.

Consent Calendar

C5 and C6 were removed from Consent by Supervisor David Kehoe.

The remained of the Consent Calendar passed unanimously.

C5 – Adopt the Driving-Under-the-Influence (DUI) Program Needs Assessment prepared by the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).  Supervisor Kehoe commented that he had an issue with language in the item which suggests that the county not authorize a new program for DUI offenders unless it will not financially harm existing program providers which Kehoe said was against the free enterprise system.  “When it comes to government work,” he said, “anyone ought to be able to apply and compete for that work.”  Director of Health and Human Services Donnell Ewert told the board that language is in the state law and was the result of “lobbying by the providers.”  The two current locally-based DUI education providers were deemed sufficient for the time being.  A review is required every five years.

This passed unanimously.

C6 – Approve an agreement with Visions of the Cross, Inc. to provide sober living services.  Supervisor Kehoe asked for a more detailed explanation.  Donnell Ewert explained that there are currently three levels of treatment offered and that the new program would be offer a higher level of service through a pilot program where an individual who does not qualify for medical residential treatment could be provided a safe and sober environment in which to live.  The pilot program would last fifteen months and be evaluated against the other existing programs to determine its relative success.  Participants and up to two children would be provided room and board, bus passes and gym memberships.  Ewert told the board one of the most important reasons for creating a facility of this type is because many participants in family court have substance abuse issues and are ordered into recovery programs.  But many are not in safe environments either for recovery or for children and often children are removed from the parents until a safer environment can be provided.  The new facility would allow children to remain with their parents during recovery or at least to allow for quicker family reunification.  Supervisor Kehoe asked why participants were being provided gym memberships.  Ewert told him that the facility has a membership and that program participants may use it.  He told them that it’s good for people in recovery to engage in healthy exercise. 

This passed unanimously.

R4 – The Board approved sending a letting in support of Senate Bill 1455, California Reading and Literacy Improvement and Public Library Construction and Renovation Bond Act of 2014.

Health and Human Services

R5 – Authorize the Director of Housing and Community Action Programs to submit a Fiscal Year 2014 – 2015 Community Development Block Grant application which would provide funding for business assistance loans.  Passed 5 – 0

Public Works


R6 – Tabulate the Ballots regarding the formation of the Lake Drive Permanent Road Division (Lakehead Area).  This would incur a parcel charge on all homeowners within the district.  Residents voted in favor.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

CARB Relaxes a Little

Shasta County Pollution Control Board, April 1, 2014
by Joe McGarity

Photo by Joe McGarity


The Shasta County Air Pollution Control Board met at 8:30 am on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at the County Administration Center on Court Street in Redding.  The Pollution Control Board is comprised of three members of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors and one member each from the Anderson and Redding City Councils.  Supervisors Les Baugh, David Kehoe and Leonard Moty represent the county.  Redding is represented by Council Member Missy McArthur and Anderson by Mayor Debe Hopkins.  All five board members were in attendance as were County Administrative Officer Larry Lees, County Counsel Rubin Cruse and Air Quality Management District Manager Ross Bell.  There were also two members of the County Clerk’s staff.  This reporter was the sole member of the public present.

Call to Order

Public Comment Period – Open Time

Chairman Baugh:  “I see no one present today to do that unless Joe, you would like to address the board.”

Fantom Penguin:  Not today.

Regular Calendar

Presentations

Photo by Joe McGarity
R1 – The Board received a presentation from Ross Bell, Manager of the Shasta County Air Quality Management District regarding proposed changes to the California Air Resources Board’s Regulation to Reduce Emissions of Diesel Particulate Matter, Oxides of Nitrogen and other Criteria Pollutants from In-Use Heavy-Duty Diesel-Fueled Vehicles.  The board had previously sent a letter to CARB requesting specific changes to the regulations which are widely opposed locally especially by those in the trucking industry.  The new regulations require the installation of exhaust filters so expensive they threaten to put some small operations out of business.  Bell reported that CARB had implemented all of the suggestions the Air Pollution Control Board had requested except for one.  The Board’s letter had asked CARB to reopen the agricultural vehicle and low-mileage construction truck provisions.  The definitions of certain types of low-mileage trucks were simplified and the deadline was softened to a scheduled phase-in where one would only need to have 40% of a fleet compliant by 2015 ramping up in steps to 100% by 2018.  The one area where CARB did not offer a concession was on the overall deadline for compliance which has already passed.  Vehicles are required to be in compliance now unless they have been granted an extension.

Board Member Moty asked Bell if CARB’s actions would help the local trucking industry.  Bell replied that it would give them a break for a couple of years but trucks would have to get filters eventually.  He added that the expansions of NOx regulations exempt areas could help them a great deal.  The NOx exempt areas are counties mostly in the north where the provisions regulating Oxides of Nitrogen will not be enforced.

Chairman Baugh wanted to recognize the Regional Council of Rural Counties for their leadership in this matter.  He said that while others demanded a seat at the table, RCRC knocked politely and gained entrance.  He proposed sending a thank you letter to CARB.  Board Member McArthur moved that such a letter be sent and that it repeat the request for an extension.  Board Member Moty said, “I think it’s more productive to send a letter that has that tone to it versus one of our local colleagues who just poked them in the eye with a sharp stick.”

County Counsel Cruse told the board at this point that since the letter wasn’t on the agenda it would be better for the board to move that staff write the letter and that it be agendized for the board’s consideration at the next meeting.  Baugh asked if there were a way to speed the process.  CARB meets again on April 24 and the Air Pollution Control Board only meets once a month.  Cruse and Lees conferred for a moment.  Cruse suggested that the most appropriate action would be to schedule an extra meeting.  The Shasta County Pollution Control Board will meet briefly on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 just prior to the Board of Supervisors meeting to pass this one item.

Consent Calendar


Passed unanimously

Sunday, March 30, 2014

No Guns for City Employees

Redding City Council, March 18, 2014
by Joe McGarity

Photo by Joe McGarity
The Redding City Council met at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at City Hall on Cypress Avenue.  All five council members were in attendance.  A brief summary of the meeting agenda follows:

1.  Call to Order

A.  Pledge of Allegiance
B.  Invocation
C. Roll Call
D. Introduction of Meeting Participants

2. Presentations

2A. Citizen’s Award - A Citizen’s Award certificate was presented to Demenn Spade by the Redding Police Department.  Chief of Police Robert Paoletti described an incident where Mr. Spade helped an RPD officer apprehend a fleeing suspect.

2B. Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day - March 30, 2014 was proclaimed “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” in Redding.

2C. Macy’s Heart Your Park - The council heard a report from Community Services Director Kim Niemer concerning the Macy’s corporation’s Heart Your Park program.  She told the council that Macy’ s had adopted Enterprise Park for their Redding location and that customers would have the option of donating at the register from March 7 – March 31, 2014.  Donations collected will be donated to the city to be used for Enterprise Park.

Photo by Joe McGarity
2D. Congressman Doug LaMalfa - The council heard a report from Congressman Doug LaMalfa on federal issues affecting the City of Redding.  He spoke first of getting a handle on the budget, noting that Redding was able to do that for itself but the federal government could not.  Other issues of local interest raised by the congressman were the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Program, too much snooping on citizens by the federal government, an amendment to the Clean Water Act which would defund certain regulatory activities of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Sykes Dam Project and the raising of Shasta Dam.

Public Comment

George Clarke said that a highly compensated city council always seems to vote for City Manager Kurt Starman’s proposals for employee compensation which Clarke characterized as overly generous.

Gary Hollahan continued George Clarke’s written statements adding that when the prior city manager, Mike Warren took over, the pension plan enjoyed a surplus of funds, a situation which has turned around under the last two managers.

Dick Fyten suggested that the city could save money by increasing the employees’ contributions to insurance premiums or decreasing benefits.

Tina Brown, Program Manager at Golden Umbrella/Dignity Health told the council that Senior Corps and AmeriCorps grantees are funded by the Corporation for National Community Service.  She mentioned Foster Grandparents and Senior Companion programs.  She told them that the Mayor’s Day of National Recognition of Public Service will take place on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.  She offered to email the council suggestions on ways they could participate in honoring volunteers.

Terry Rapoza said it was great to have Congressman LaMalfa attend the city council meeting saying it showed he was “hands on” with the community.  But, he said, the State of California is over $418 Billion in debt and the country’s debt is over $17 Trillion.  Even worse, Rapoza said, is the $30 Trillion in unfunded liabilities at the federal level and $875 Million at the state level.  He didn’t claim to have a solution but he urged the council to take the matter seriously.

4.  Consent Calendar

4.2(b) Win-River Donation - Councilman Patrick Jones wished to comment on item 4.2(b) recognizing the efforts of Win River Casino’s Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Fund for donations to the city’s Police, Fire and Public Works Departments totaling $179,000.

4.10(a) General Fund Monthly Report - Councilwoman Missy McArthur noted the increased tax revenue in the current financial report.  City Manager Starman said the City’s share of sales tax revenue for the most recent quarter for which they have data is up by 9%.  Councilman Gary Cadd asked him when we would have the data on specific economic sectors.  4 – 6 weeks Starman told him.

4.11(b) National Surveyors Week - City Manager Starman noted that this item designates March 16 - March 22 as National Surveyors Week and wanted to call attention to the City’s lone surveyor, Bruce Watkins who was present for the meeting.  Starman praised his work.

The Consent Calendar passed unanimously with no changes.

6.  Public Hearings, Petitions and Protests

6.1 Downtown Business Improvement District - Deputy City Manager Greg Clark presented a report on the Downtown Redding Business Improvement District.  The council was asked to accept the report and approve the recommended assessments for the 2014 - 2015 fiscal year.  No public speakers came forward and the item was passed unanimously.

9.  Reports & Communications

9A. Allow City Employees to Carry Weapons - A modification of the City of Redding’s Workplace Violence Policy was proposed which would allow city employees who hold a valid Concealed Carry Weapons Permit to carry their weapons while on the job.

Councilman Patrick Jones presented his reasons for putting this issue on the agenda, saying that this has been an issue of interest to him for as long as he’s been on the council.  He said that right now citizens who have such permits are allowed to carry weapons onto city property but city employees may not.  He noted that council members are already exempt from this policy.

Several speakers wished to discuss this item.  This reporter counted eight in favor and two against.

Councilwoman McArthur asked Chief Paoletti his opinion on the matter.  The Chief said he supports the Second Amendment for citizens to protect themselves but he thought the policy of allowing city employees to carry weapons could lead to hostile work environment complaints from employees who aren’t comfortable around their co-workers who carry.  He recommended extra training for city employees should this policy be adopted saying that the CCW class is not sufficient.  He said the city would need to develop a “staunch discipline process” to deal with employees who misuse their weapon.  He brought up the potential liability of the city should one of its employees be involved in a shooting while on duty.  And he asked the question who would investigate complaints?  Would it be his department or the Sheriff’s?

Councilwoman McArthur said that if the issue were “employee-driven” she would be more inclined to give it greater consideration.  She said that in five years on the council no employee has ever approached her with this concern.  She made the motion that they should “leave this be”.

Councilwoman Francie Sullivan seconded the motion saying that city employees had not raised this concern and that she was also concerned about city liability.

McArthur compared the city’s policy to the policies of private employers saying that if one worked for a corporation one would not be allowed to carry at work even if one had the proper permit.  She also noted that one is not allowed to carry a weapon into a bar even with a permit.

A member of the public temporarily interrupted the meeting at this point with an outburst.  Mayor Bosetti told him, “You’ve been here enough.  You know the rules.”

Councilman Gary Cadd asked City Attorney Rick Duvernay if the city would be liable if an employee who was assaulted sued for not being allowed to protect himself.  Duvernay said no, the city is not liable for the criminal actions of others but it could be liable if it failed to correct a known dangerous condition such as the lights being out.

Mayor Bosetti asked him for further clarification.  Can we be sued?  Duvernay said he was not aware of any agency of government that had ever been sued for having a workplace policy prohibiting weapons.

Councilman Jones said that Sheriffs who are elected generally support Concealed Carry Weapons Permits but Chiefs of Police who are usually appointed do not and he noted that that was true in this case.  He said that if the Chief’s position were an elected one and he opposed the issuance of CCW’s he would not be Chief here. 

Councilman Cadd said that hiring Paoletti as Chief of Police was “a great thing for the city.”  He said this was the first time he had ever disagreed with the chief and that he continues to support the policy of allowing employees to carry while on duty.

Mayor Bosetti pointed out that according to the staff report, any changes to the Workplace Violence Policies must be approved by the nine bargaining units representing city employees.  “We can’t just invoke anything here, folks.  We can maybe open up the door to it but we still have nine unions that would have to agree with this.”  He said also that if the issue were to be brought forward by the city employees through their unions at the regular negotiations he would be willing to discuss it.

The motion “not to move forward with this” passed 3 – 2 meaning that the original item was actually defeated 2 – 3.  Jones and Cadd cast the dissenting votes.

9.3(b) Award Bid to Tehama Tire Service, Inc. – Rod Dinger, Support Services Director presented a report to the council on how this company was selected.  He praised Fleet Manager Jim Schmitz for his pilot program which discovered methods to extend tire life by as much as three times.  This passed unanimously.

Photo by Joe McGarity
9.4(a) General Plan and Housing Element Annual Progress Report – Development Services Director Bill Nagel presented the report.  He told them an annual report on the status of the city’s General Plan is required by state law and that a copy is forwarded to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and to the California Housing and Community Development Department.  The council accepted the report unanimously.

9.11(a) Formation of Hidden Hills Landscape Maintenance District – Brian Crane, Director of Public Works presented some historical background on landscape maintenance districts.  The action before the council tonight would not immediately created the district.  The items before the council tonight would approve the Engineer’s Report and Map, approve the mailing of ballots to the affected residents and set a Public Hearing for 6:00 pm, May 6, 2014 in the City Council Chambers.  This passed unanimously.

10.  Travel Reports

Cadd and McArthur attended a National Association of Clean Water Agencies meeting in Chico.  Cadd also attended a League of California Cities district meeting.

11.  Suggestions for Future Agendas

No suggestions.

12.  Closed Session

12A. Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation.

No reportable action.







Monday, March 17, 2014

Take a Moment

by Susan Bradfield



In the June 23, 2012 issue of Nature there was an article that outlined recent findings of brain activity, stress and city living.  The amygdala "has been strongly implicated in anxiety disorders, depression and other behaviors that are increased in city living such as violence."  The pregenual anterior cingulate cortex "is implicated in processing chronic social stressors such as social defeat."  A very interesting article if you like science based information.  I on the other hand tend to come from the feeling level.  Stress is something I have played with for almost 60 years.

There came a point where my body said that's enough!! and caused symptoms to draw my attention to how I did life. Through the years I studied outside of traditional education, mostly in the healing arts.  Now I have fun sharing stress reducing techniques using the mode of meditation.  I wrote Any Time Any Place Meditation for your Earthwalk, which is available locally at the Enjoy store, Redding Acupuncture Health Care or Women's Health Physical Therapy using the first seven classes of a three year program.  My editor is hopeful that I will send more of the classes in a book format to share in the near future.

Take a moment in your day to look at the sky.  Are there clouds passing by?  Which way is the wind blowing them?  Take a nice deep breath in feeling your abdomen rise and fall.  It calms you through and through. Our bodies are designed to fight or flight just not All the Time.  May you find some moments in each of your days to be present within yourself.  It is said, "as above so below as within so is without."  Wise words from our collective past.  Here's to some happy moments sprinkled through your day.




Susan Bradfield mother, grandmother, wife, teacher, reader and CMT

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

The Soapbox
by Joe McGarity



Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  And this is coming from a McGarity, so it’s an entirely legitimate Irish Greeting!  The spring-like weather is here and you can hardly walk down the streets of Redding without getting hit in the face with a wind full of blossoms.  The Earth itself is participating in the wearin’ o’ the green with baby blades of grass shooting out from every former muddy patch.  Nature, it seems, is waking up, yawning and putting the coffee on this March 17th.

Taverns are stocking up on Guinness and Jameson.  This Irishman prefers Bushmills, but I suppose it’s a matter of taste.  It’s important to have a ride or a safe house within walking distance.  Those of you who don’t have to be at the Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting at 9:00 am the next morning should have no trouble enjoying yourselves.


I do expect to see a lot of you at that meeting.  The board will be officially recording their response to the signatures gathered in opposition to their total ban on the outdoor cultivation of cannabis.  They must either repeal it or send it to a popular vote.  I’ll be there covering the story in my dark shades.  Please don’t speak any louder than necessary during the public comment period.  There are recovering Irish present.



Sunday, March 16, 2014

Casey Lie - Them Wreckin' Boys
Fantom Penguin Music Beat

by Joe McGarity



http://www.FantomPenguin.com

Music Beat was at Bombay’s in Redding on March 15, 2014.  The Fantom Penguin talked to Casey Lie about Them Wreckin’ Boys.

“It’s kind of a dark, piratey sound.  It appears to be Bluegrass on the outside but it’s more so like a band of drunken assholes like us just happened to find folk instruments laying around and made sound with it.”

Beyond Outlaw Country, is that fair to say?

“Yeah!  It’s like a Rebel Gospel, you know, for world-weary people who’ve just have had the shit kicked out of them yet they still show up and they still pound their beer and they have a good laugh and they have a good time.”

And you guys are right here in town, in Redding?  You’re from Redding?

Photo by Elizabeth Sealey
“We’re blended across the area. Pat’s from . . .  There’s four of us.  Theres Patryck McAuliffe.  He is our lead guitar, our only guitar and our singer/songwriter.  There’s me on accordion.  I live in Anderson.  There is Tony.  He is from Redding and Lucas is also from Red Bluff with Pat.  And we just kind of came together.  I didn’t know any of them.  I was a poor little orphan on the street just playing on corners for nickels and dimes and Pat said, ‘Hey, you have an accordion.  We need an accordion player.’  And thus this unholy union was born.”

And who knew that he just happened to be walking by in need of an accordion player?

“Exactly!”

So do you guys tour?

“Oh yeah!  We’ve done so many festivals and other stuff.  Bombay’s is just . . . it’s like our home, you know?  I love this place.”

Alright, man!  Well, thank you for talking to the Fantom Penguin!

“Fantom Penguin rules!  I love the Fantom Penguin.”

http://www.FantomPenguin.com

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Shasta County Board of Supervisors, March 11, 2014

by Joe McGarity

Photo by Joe McGarity
The Shasta County Board of Supervisors met at 9:00 am on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at the County Administration Center on Court Street.  All five supervisors were in attendance.

A brief summary of each agenda item follows:

Call to Order
Invocation
Pledge of Allegiance

Board Matters

R1 – March 2014 was designated “Women’s History Month” in Shasta County.

Presentations

R2 - The Board received a presentation regarding Lassen Volcanic National Park presented by Park Superintendent Darlene Koontz.

Public Comment Period

No Speakers

Consent Calendar

C1 and C4 removed from consent calendar by Supervisor David Kehoe.

C1 – A resolution to accept a report of shortages in the amount of $8,198.66 and grant a relief of liability for the treasurer.  Shasta County Auditor-Controller Brian Muir presented a report.  He told the board that the amount represented a total of three fraudulent checks drawn on county account.  The first fraudulent check was from as far back as 2008 with two others more recently accepted and cashed by Bank of America.  Muir called the checks “excellent forgeries.”  He told them also that new procedures have been put into place that would have prevented these checks from being processed.  Supervisor Kehoe observed that Bank of America was “disinclined to make these loses good to the county.”

This passed 5 – 0.


C4 – Angela Davis, Director of Support Services presented a report on this item.  She told the board, “This board report pertains to the Risk Management Department’s liability in worker’s compensation self-insured programs in which the programs as funded by rate setting through the county departments and how we receive funds from the various county departments, experienced and as well as program costs.  Currently the confidence level is set at 80%.  It’s a specific percentage.  What the recommendation before you today is to adopt a range which is from 80% - 90%, which will allow the department a greater flexibility in managing those funds in particularly if the funds are in excess of the funds that are collected versus what needs to be expended.”

This passed 5 – 0.

C7 – Supervisor Kehoe votes no.  This would authorize an agreement with BtB Software for a laboratory information management system.  Kehoe said he was “not supportive of advance payment.”

General Government

R3 – The board considered sending a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture regarding aid in drought situations distributing water for rural livestock.  The letter specifically asks the department to extend the deadline. 


This passed 5 – 0.

Independence and Freedom

The Soapbox
by Joe McGarity


Okay, just a couple of things here.  I try to keep this column positive.  I know that technology marches forward and I don’t mean to complain but how bright do headlights have to get?  It’s alarming to think where this trend is headed.  Can we stop now or maybe even go back a notch?  It doesn’t seem as safe when you’re headed into them.  The whole world disappears for two seconds.

And while we’re on automotive subject matter, I suppose I should follow up on my own automotive history.  I sort of left everybody hanging.  The Ford Tempo went the way of all Ford Tempos and rests peacefully in the fires of Hell . . . with all the other Ford Tempos.  It served me well for many years.  I built the Fantom Penguin’s distribution route on its back and eventualy sacrificed it to the cause of independent journalism.

With the help of my family I acquired a small Toyota pickup which I really love.  Sadly, the clutch burned out less than three weeks after acquisition.  Fortunately, with the help of my very understanding and very helpful family and the fine folks at A-1 Smog on Bechelli Lane, a new clutch has been installed and the Penguinmobile is rolling once again delivering independence and freedom to your favorite Fantom Penguin location.

Independence and Freedom are in the air.  A full house packed the Redding City Council last Tuesday as the council sat through a rather larger than ordinary number of public comment period addresses on the subject of a land sale to the McConnell Foundation.  There’s a lot of detail in the specifics, but what it boils down to is whether or not the sale of the land at $600,000 constitutes a fair price on the open market.  If it doesn’t, the discounted price would count as a government subsidy. Projects receiving government subsidies must conform to regulations regarding minimum pay for construction labor called “Prevailing Wage”.  Some trade unions and other members of the public strongly promote this position.  Those directly involved with the real estate transaction, the McConnell Foundation and the City of Redding do not.  According to the report presented at the council meeting a judge has ruled once that this is not a prevailing wage project and then that it was.  A third decision is expected to be decisive.

Although many people were there for the subject of the controversial land sale, others seemed to have come just to provide a breath of fresh air to the meeting.  A few speakers came to the podium merely to say how great they thought it was to live in Redding.  The council seemed understandably appreciative.  People don’t ordinarily address the city council unless they have a problem with the city council (or they work for them).  It did make this reporter wonder about the rules of decorum though, which had been discussed at a prior meeting.  Although some of the speakers mentioned the trail systems which are within the city’s jurisdiction, at least one speaker seemed never to touch on any item that technically falls within the business of the city.  Were the rules of decorum to be enforced equally in all cases I thought to myself, they should have this wonderful woman who loves the spirit of the City of Redding hauled off by the Sergeant at Arms, arrested and charged with disrupting a public meeting.  There were other speakers too who very politely and respectfully discussed their concerns which clearly fall within free speech, but not so clearly within the city’s ability to do anything about and they were not interrupted or issued any kind of warning.  Clearly that would serve no purpose.  The only time it should really be necessary to interrupt anyone at public comment would be if they were just on meth and barking like a dog.


Or on LSD and barking like a chicken.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Redding City Council Okays Land Deal with McConnell, March 4, 2014

by Joe McGarity

Photo by Joe McGarity

The Redding City Council met Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm at City Hall on Cypress Avenue.  All five council members were present.  A brief summary of each agenda item follows:

Call to Order

1A – Pledge of Allegiance
1B – Invocation
1C – Roll Call
1D – Introduction of Meeting Participants

Presentations

2A – Mike Reed was presented with a clock on the conclusion of his service the Community Advisory Committee.

2B – The City of Redding was presented with the Tree Line USA and Tree City USA awards by the Arbor Day Foundation.  CalFire Forester Glenn Flamik made the presentation.

Public Comment

Bruce Deile – Against medical cannabis.  Says he smoked it as a teenager and it had a “very negative effect” on him.

Bill Head – Objected to an article written by Councilwoman Francie Sullivan defending pay raises for city employees.  He read from his published response.  He recommended pay cuts starting with the city manager.

Gary Hollahan – Read more of Bill Head’s letter which characterizes the city’s compensation packages for employees as unduly generous.

George Clarke – Recommends the city consider outsourcing electrical engineering positions at Redding Electric Utility.  

Murray Blake – Questioned the hiring practices of Redding Electric Utility.  He suggested the utility threatened to shut down all new development unless 31 open positions were filled.  A lack of engineers was blamed for a six month delay in the issuance of permits for commercial remodels or new development.  He says they spend $50,000 on a compensation study which recommended a generous compensation package as a recruitment incentive.  Then, Blake claims, they brought back one person part time and avoided a shut down.  He asked to be present during the hiring process.

Marimba Giam – Originally from Singapore, she moved to Redding with her son a year and a half ago to attend Bethel.  She praised the city very highly saying “community spirit is found in every school.”

Ken Strafman – Hacienda Heights neighborhood promised a park.  Won’t take kids to Kid’s Kingdom because it’s not safe.

Tyler Williamson – Praised the city very highly especially the parks and trail system.

Olivia Perry-Smith – Also praised the city for allowing access to the outdoors and the River Trail.

Kip Lee – Announced his candidacy for President of the United States in 2016.  Objected to the placement of a “crossroads ahead” symbol sign which he says is partially obscured by a lamp post.  He says the sign should be mounted on the lamp post itself.  He said he had asked the mayor to put this on the council agenda but was denied.

Joanne Owen – Urged the council to ban all outdoor cannabis grows as the county has done. 

Consent Calendar

Councilman Gary Cadd asked for a staff report on item 4.1(a) Project Status Reports concerning Olney Creek and the Sacramento Drive area.

City Manager Starman said that the two projects taking place there were the Sacramento Drive Bridge and a levee on the creek itself.

Public Works Director Brian Crane told him that bridge would be funded 100% by Caltrans through their highway bridge program.  Bids for the project are currently being reviewed.  As for the levee, the city has received a grant through Proposition 84 to evaluate refitting the levee to bring it up to current FEMA standards.

Councilman Jones noted that one of the items on the consent calendar included 8 new police vehicles which he says the city will see soon.

The consent calendar was passed unanimously with no changes.

Appointments

7.1 – Walt Swift is appointed to the Community Development Advisory Committee replacing Mike Reed.

Reports and Communications

9.2(b) – Resolution approving Purchase and Sale Agreement with the McConnell Foundation relative to 14.17 acres within Turtle Bay Exploration Park leasehold and associated California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documents; Resolutions regarding Grant Deed restrictions, easement on Joint Powers Financing Authority Property.

The council convened a joint meeting with the Redding Joint Powers Financing Authority.  City Manager Starman explained that the council was acting as two bodies, holding two meetings simultaneously because some of the recommendations in this item require a vote of the JPA.

Deputy City Manager Greg Clark presented a report to the board, “Before you tonight is the approval of a purchase and sale agreement with the McConnell Foundation for 14.17 acres within the Turtle Bay Leasehold for a total amount of $600,000.  The action includes, as Mr. Starman just mentioned, both city council and JPA or Joint Financing Powers Authority consideration of a number of resolutions that address grant encumbrances and easements and various aspects of the purchase.”

“As you know, just by way of background, since 2010 Turtle Bay Exploration Park has been actively working to construct a hotel and restaurant on the property essentially to give them an additional source of revenue, reduce their dependence on McConnell Foundation for operating revenue.”

Turtle Bay’s agreement with the City gave them a 100-year lease on the property of which they still have 88 years remaining.  Three separate appraisals varied widely in the way in which this would affect the property’s value.  The values ranged from $75,000 to $443,000 with one in the middle at $175,000.

A report was also presented by Mike Ashby an attorney representing the McConnell Foundation.  He emphasized the agreed fair market value of the property was $231,000 and that the agreement to pay $600,000 was to eliminate any possibility of a discounted price being considered a government subsidy.

A large number of speakers wished to comment.  This reporter counted ten speakers in favor and sixteen against.  Most of the controversy surrounded the legitimacy of the purchase price.  If the price is far less than the actual value of the land that would count as a government subsidy and the law would require all workers on the project to be paid at a minimum level known as “prevailing wage”.  Some speakers felt that McConnell Foundation receives favorable treatment from the city.

Councilmen Cadd and Jones attempted to restrict the sale of the property to only the five acres needed for the hotel but were overridden by the majority of the council.

This passed 3-2 with Jones and Cadd casting the nay votes.

9.3(a) – The council received an update from the Shasta County Arts Council which is now running Public Access Television.  Charter Cable wants to move the Public Education and Government Access Channels to channel numbers higher than 100 and the Arts Council is against it.  The Mayor suggested that the city might not wish to renew Charter’s franchise agreement if that happens.

9.11(f) – Speed limit changes in the City of Redding:

25 MPH Girvan near the park
40 MPH E. Bonnyview from Radio Lane to Bonnyview Drive
40 MPH Victor north of Cypress
30 MPH Dana in front of Wal-Mart
40 MPH Rancho Road from Churn Creek to Saratoga

This passed 5 - 0