Wednesday July 30, 2014

I keep telling myself, don’t buy anymore books until you’ve finished the stack on your bedside table and then I read another one of Carols’ Books review and the next click is on Amazon books…. I keep thinking someday, I’ll have lots of time to read and will ketchup… sure kid sure…. this week is one of those books I have to read, I don’t know how Carol finds them, but they are usually not on my radar till I read her report. Anybody else have that problem?

Progress is still continuing with the Downieville WSMC Clinic and optimism reigns  for a long term solution. However, The Fringe DeVita wrote an article that kind of made my brain twitch and so I wrote a response. The DC-PAC has really been attempting to work cooperatively with GV-WSMC to keep the 5 day Primary care, and 24/7 urgent and emergency care a continued service for western Sierra County. So remember my response is an editorial, what I think based on looking at many facts. Not all the facts because for some reason the administration has been secretive and unwilling to share some financial information, “For fear of being sued”, well, openness and honesty is one way to thwart lawsuits if you have nothing to hide, why hide it? Simple question. There should be a simple answer. We’re not asking for anything that violates HIPPA … soooo…. just show us the money facts please.

We have Gabby, the Cats, The Others, The Mountain Messenger and our guest columnists Tom Hastings, John LaForge and Erin Niemela and Laura Finley. Enjoy, keep those cards, letters and comments coming and have fun at the annual Downieville Classic Mountain Bike Race and Festival this weekend.

Janice Maddox took this weeks’ lovely, cool, peaceful photo while on a walk in Calpine.

WSMC Care Explained 7/30/14

A letter from Frank Lang to the DC-PAC clearly explains the different types of care necessary at the WSMC Downieville Clinic.

Thanks for your report. First, I suggest that we are clear about what type of care WSMC provides at all sites. That is Primary Care. A primary care practice serves as the patient’s first point of entry into the health care system and as the continuing focal point for all needed health care services. Primary care practices provide patients with ready access to their own personal physician or medical provider or to an established back-up medical provider when the primary physician or medical provider is not available.
Primary care practices provide health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health care settings (e.g., office, inpatient, critical care, long-term care, home care, day care, etc.).
Primary care practices are organized to meet the needs of patients with undifferentiated problems, with the vast majority of patient concerns and needs being cared for in the primary care practice itself. Primary care practices are generally located in the community of the patients, thereby facilitating access to health care while maintaining a wide variety of specialty and institutional consultative and referral relationships for specific care needs. The structure of the primary care practice may include a team of physicians and non-physician health professionals.
Second, Downieville provides Urgent care in addition to Primary Care. Urgent care is a category of walk-in clinic focused on the delivery of ambulatory care in a dedicated medical facility outside of a traditional emergency room. Urgent care centers primarily treat injuries or illnesses requiring immediate care, but not serious enough to require an ER visit. Urgent care centers are distinguished from similar ambulatory healthcare centers such as emergency departments and convenient care clinics by their scope of conditions treated and available facilities on-site. While urgent care centers are usually not open 24-hours a day, 70% of centers in the United States open by 8:00 am or earlier and 95% close after 7:00 pm.
Third, Downieville provides Emergency care which refers to emergency medical services required for the immediate diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions which, if not immediately diagnosed and treated, could lead to serious physical or mental disability or death.
Fourth, Downieville provides Jail Care which is defined as mostly Urgent and Emergency Care to inmates of the Jail Facility on a scheduled and as needed basis determined by protocols approved by the WSMC Chief Medical Officer and the Sierra County Health Officer.
The Downieville Clinic provides a hybrid of these services which make it unique by virtue of its geographic isolation and the lack of other healthcare facilities to provide any or all of these services. The Clinic services are mutually supported by an EMS and Fire Service that supports an integrated response to these types of care. The Clinic then also requires a medical provider with a skill set to meet these needs or there needs to be an increased capacity of the EMS System to support these needs.
Lastly, I want to assure you and others that I am willing to be a part of a process to maintain those services in western Sierra County in any way that is helpful and constructive. We all want the same thing, that is a sustainable health care system that meets the care requirements for ourselves and our community. We need to be unified in that commitment. It is to our mutual advantage to work together. We all need to look “outside the box” to accomplish that. I will be back on August 1st.
Frank Lang

Photos of the Week 7/30/14


Cindy McCreary and daughter Randi McCreary cheering for the Dodgers I think, while not at Sierra Hardware.

7/30/14 Cindy McCreary and daughter Randi McCreary have a life outside of Sierra Hardware in Downieville; here I believe they are cheering for the Dodgers I think, in San Francisco. (Cindy may have turned older on Tuesday)

These young people were at the Downieville Museum enjoying the local lore.

7/30/14 These young people were at the Downieville Museum enjoying the local lore. We think they are from the Clearlake area, but not sure, they may also be part of the Jackson family reunion at Jackson Hole in Indian Valley but also not sure about that, we can blame the OBP. David Marshall

Yesterday's fire east of Sierraville Photo by DeVita

7/30/14 Yesterday’s fire east of Sierraville Photo by DeVita

Diannes’ Ponderings 7/30/14


U.S. Weather Bureau officials announced last week that in many parts of the country June was the hottest month since records started being kept in 1880.

Melting polar ice caps are causing mayhem — hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, wildfires and drought, and even flooding rains. Our climate is in turmoil and it is our fault and it affects all of us.

We need only to look at photos or TV images of heavy traffic on the nation’s freeways to realize the air is changing, and not for the better.
How our activity leads to climate change

When we extract and burn fossil fuels such as coal or petroleum, we cause the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere.

Though natural amounts of CO2 have varied from 180 to 300 parts per million (ppm), today’s CO2 levels are around 400 ppm. That’s 30% more than the highest natural levels over the past 800,000 years.

We also can tell that the additional CO2 in the atmosphere comes mainly from coal and oil because the chemical composition of the CO2 contains a unique fingerprint.

Losing forests makes it worse

When we clear forests, we also release large amounts of CO2. On top of that, plants and trees use CO2 to grow. Worldwide deforestation means we don’t have as many trees to absorb the extra CO2.
This means more CO2 stays in the atmosphere, trapping more heat.

So what do we do about it?

We can take simple steps to decrease climate contamination. Walk, if you can, rather than taking the car, or use public transportation if it’s available.

Limit use of air conditioning or electricity as much as possible.

Reduce use of water in drought-stricken areas. Your lawn will be fine if you don’t use the sprinklers for the summer.

And in drought-stricken areas, DO NOT use matches or build a campfire. If you smoke (subject of another day), don’t discard smoldering butts into dry grass. If you do throw away your butts, make sure they are complete extinguished.

Everyone of us needs to become more aware that the climate changes will only worsen and endanger all of us if we don’t take action. Wildfires, floods and other natural disasters are a direct result of our disregard for our planet. Stop and think about it.


Myth Busting 7/30/14

Insidious Myth Prevents Peace in Gaza

by Erin Niemela

Erin Niemela

Erin Niemela

Media frame violent conflict to reinforce certain biases and myths, emphasizing some facts and omitting others to produce compelling narratives. Good guys and bad guys are crafted and re-crafted in media discourse, and this is especially the case with the protracted Israel-Palestine conflict. Unfortunately, many of these myths enter the public discourse, on both sides, to the detriment of peace.

What’s even worse, well-intentioned authors hoping to dispel these harmful myths also degrade peace efforts by perpetuating harmful assumptions. Chiefly, that violence could be justifiable, depending on who the real victim is. This myth is dangerous, perpetuates violent conflict and seriously hinders peacemaking efforts on both sides.

Nathan Brown, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, addressed five myths about “militant Islamist organization” Hamas in a July 18th Washington Post article. Brown argued that although Hamas may have some capacity to provoke fear in Israel leadership, it is “absolutely true that Hamas does not pose an existential threat to Israel.” The existential threat of Hamas: myth-busted.

Kim Sengupta and Khan Younis, Belfast Telegraph reporters, exposed the myth of Hamas’ human shields in Gaza in a July 21, 2014 article. They wrote, “Some Gazans have admitted that they were afraid of criticizing Hamas, but none have said they had been forced by the organization to stay in places of danger and become unwilling human-shields.” The use of human shields by Hamas: myth-busted.

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America published a report July 21st on the “top nine Gaza media myths” in current circulation. Among them, in a chicken-and-the-egg analysis, that Hamas’ rockets are not simply responses to Israel’s embargos: “Missiles are not the answer for the embargo, they are the cause for the embargo.” Hamas rockets as retaliation for Israeli blockages: myth-busted.

The problem with these and many other myth-busting analyses, from both sides, is that they impose some under-the-radar assumptions on readers that may seriously hinder conflict resolution and peace processes. If Hamas does not pose an existential threat to Israel, as Brown argued, then Israel’s actions in Gaza are not justified. In other words, if Hamas did pose an existential threat, Israel’s actions would be justified. The Sengupta and Younis argument is similar: If Hamas isn’t actually using human shields in Gaza, then Israel’s actions aren’t justified. Therefore, if Hamas did use human shields, Israel’s actions would be justified. Per the Committee, if Hamas is firing rockets as a response to Israel embargos on Palestine, then Hamas may be justified. Get the picture?

There’s really only one myth that needs busting around here and it’s this: “Violence is justifiable.” Violence is never justifiable.

That’s the only myth that needs dispelling right now. The philosophical tradition of “Just War,” which serves to perpetuate this myth, is an additional fallacy that needs further dispelling. However, what we have to immediately address, if we want to prevent another 666 human deaths and sleepless, fearful nights for children, is the practical limitations of the “violence is justifiable” myth on conflict resolution processes.

If the authors of myth-busting analyses, as well as the original myth-perpetuating journalists, had a foundation in conflict resolution – practical or theoretical – they’d know that arguing over violence justification – who’s good, who’s bad and who “deserves it” – is devastating to peace. It’s the direct violence from both sides, no matter the proportion, that perpetuates the conflict and degrades peace efforts in Gaza, Syria, Ukraine and beyond. Unless the direct violence ends, civil society may not be able to address the actual issues or create a sustainable resolution. Violence only creates additional grievances on all sides and perpetuates a conflict spiral.

Furthermore, what many analysts call “myths” are actually perspectives. These perspectives – such as who the victims and aggressors are and when violence may be justified or legal – are held by people all over the world and, most importantly, by people on the ground coping with the violence on a day-to-day basis.

Myth-busters need to know what conflict scholars already know: Everyone believes their in-group is the real victim, and everyone is correct. Trying to convince someone that their reality is false, that they should adopt the reality of their perceived enemy, is conflict resolution-suicide. In peace processes, accepting multiple realities by listening to one another through sustained, mediated dialogue is a more productive force for resolution than any violence, ever.

We must demand that both Israel and Hamas immediately cease all violence (even if one side isn’t very effective in this regard). At the same time, we must reject this assumption that violence can be justifiable. Peacemakers in Gaza need our support in breaking the cycle of violence – listening. Listening leads to dialogue, dialogue leads to transformation, transformation leads to sustainable peace, and it’s really, really hard to hear over the sounds of rocket fire.

Erin Niemela (@erinniemela), PeaceVoice Editor and PeaceVoiceTV Channel Manager, is a Master’s Candidate in the Conflict Resolution program at Portland State University, specializing in media framing of violent and nonviolent conflict.

3/5 of a Person 7/30/14

Three-fifths of an Attorney General Declares POWs “Non-Persons”

By John LaForge052313_NAT_Commentary

Hand it to President Obama for appointing Eric Holder the first African American Attorney General in US history. Then try to fathom that after generations of civil and human rights work by African Americans — whom the US Constitution once called “3/5 of a person” — it is Holder who declared some brown skinned prisoners of war to be “non-persons.” The men are held outside the law by the US at Guantánamo Bay.

Attorneys for the POWs have asked for an order that would allow group prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, but Holder’s Justice Dept. has formally replied that the men aren’t entitled to relief under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) because the Supreme Court has not found that Guantánamo’s prisoners “are ‘persons’ to whom RFRA applies.”

Holder calls the men “unprivileged enemy belligerents detained overseas during a period of ongoing hostilities.” Calling them prisoners of war would require respecting their human rights.

Cori Crider, an attorney with the legal charity Reprieve who represents some of the men, said in a statement, “I fail to see how the President can stand up and claim Guantánamo is a scandal while his lawyers call detainees non-persons in court. If the President is serious about closing this prison, he could start by recognizing that its inmates are people — most of whom have been cleared by his own Government.”

According to AG Holder, US Appeals Court rulings mean Guantánamo’s POWs — whom he calls “nonresident aliens outside the US sovereign territory” — are “not protected ‘person[s].’” In the infamous Hobby Lobby case Holder argues, the Supreme Court refused to say that the word “‘person’ as used in RFRA includes a nonresident alien outside sovereign United States territory.”

Even if RFRA applied to the POWs, Holder claims, the law “cannot overcome the judicial presumption against extraterritorial application of statutes.” Translation: US Law doesn’t apply at Gitmo, or, the reason the US isolates non-persons at an off-shore military penal colony in the first place is so we can ignore or violate “statutes” with impunity. And if we convince ourselves that “unprivileged enemy belligerents” are not people, we should be able to sleep even if we violate the US torture statute (18 USC, Sec. 1, Ch. 113C), the Convention Against Torture and the US War Crimes Act (18 USC, Sec. 2441) ¾ for years on end.

America’s indefinite imprisonment without charges, hunger strikers and force-feeding

My own jail and prison time, all for political protests, has always come with a clear sentence: six days, 90 days, 180 days; 54 months in all. Anybody who’s been on the inside knows that a release date gives you something fast to hold on to, even if you’re called by a number, fed through a slot, handcuffed for court. But imagine 156 months in a nihilistic “extraterritorial” military prison, with no charges, no trial, no sentence, no visits, phone calls or mail, and no hope.

This is what the USA imposes at Guantánamo, a torturous psychological vice of legal oblivion and manufactured futurelessness. Add to this appalling construction the fact that 72 of 149 remaining inmates were approved for release more than four years ago — but are chained up anyway. Scores of Gitmo’s inmates have looked into this man-made oblivion and decided to die. They are using the only power they have left, the dreadful hunger-strike, both as a protest against their endless detention without trial and their only means of eventually ending it.

The US military has chosen to force-feed hunger strikers, gruesomely plunging plastic tubes up the non-persons’ noses. This abuse violates laws against torture, and the force-feeding schedule is the original basis for the religious rights petition so vigorously opposed by Obama and Holder. The ghastly traumatic stress resulting from enduring force-feeding and the regime of its application make Ramadan’s prayerful group reflection impossible. US District Judge Gladys Kessler has, according to Charlie Savage in the New York Times, publicly condemned the abuse for causing “agony.” For PR purposes the Pentagon and Justice Department call the abuse “enteral feeding.”

Mr. Holder has called “not credible” the prisoners’ complaints about “alleged aspects of enteral feeding” and “allegations that detainees who were being enterally fed were not permitted to pray communally during Ramadan in 2013.” But after the number of hunger strikers reached 106 last year, the military halted its public reporting of the strike.

Significantly, a Navy medical officer at Guantánamo has become the first prison official known to refuse force-feeding duty. The unidentified nurse’s refusal was acknowledged by the Pentagon July 15.

If Holder wins his frightening argument denying the humanity of the men at Guantánamo, even the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals could object. The ASPCA says its vision is that “the US is a humane community in which all animals are treated with respect and kindness.”

Community vs Corporate Money 7/30/14

New post on

Squaw Valley & KSL Spend Another $109,000 Fighting The Incorporation Of Olympic Valley
by Mark
Screen-Shot-2014-07-26-at-11.48.16-AM-1024x701 Screen-Shot-2014-07-23-at-10.40.45-AMThe numbers are in for the month of June. They are not surprising, but they are a bit sickening. Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, which is owned and controlled by KSL Capital, contributed another $109,000 dollars during the month of June to the Save Olympic Valley group. SOV is comprised of a very small but vocal group of second homeowners that are opposed to the incorporation effort with Olympic Valley. To date, SVSH and KSL have been the sole contributors to SOV, with contributions totaling nearly $240,000 over the last 3 months.

Although the SOViets have been focusing their campaign on fear, such as the possibility of more taxation and more government, we think KSL is fearful of change. Monday’s meeting of the Placer County Board of Supervisors in Squaw Valley made it clear to casual viewers that the relationship between Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, KSL Capital and Placer County is very tight. There were moments during the meeting where Placer County officials seemed to function more as cheerleaders, rather than the watchdogs that we need them to be.

It’s no mystery that Olympic Valley residents are looking to protect the Valley for future generations. Most of the population of Olympic Valley is not ready to accept a 90,000 square foot Mountain Adventure Center and 108 foot building heights as an “acceptable compromise.” Those that are willing to accept it have one thing in common, they are hoping to gain financially from the potential of an increased number of visitors, especially those that can afford to own a time share in the Valley.

We applaud that Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and KSL have been a positive force in the community in supporting the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, High Fives and the Tahoe Food Hub, as well as other organizations. We’re beginning to think that their contributions to the negative smear campaign, know as Save Olympic Valley, may far outweigh all of their contributions toward the betterment of the community.

As local citizens, we can only begin to imagine the number of lay-offs that could have been avoided during last year’s poor snow season with a quarter of a million dollar investment in people, not profits. When the snow finally arrived last February, how many times were we told that they just didn’t have the staff to operate available terrain at Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. We are all affected by SVSH and KSL’s choice to spend money to stop the will of Olympic Valley voters.

Here’s the the link to the latest Save Olympic Valley financial report at the Placer County elections office. As always, your comments are welcome, even if your ideas don’t match ours.

Truckee Rodeo in August 7/30/14

Save the date!!!!
40th annual CCPRA Truckee Pro Rodeo
McIver Arena – Truckee, CA
August 22nd – Team Penning and Sponsor Dinner 5:00PM – $15 plate, open to public
August 23rd – Rodeo 5:00-7:00 PM – $15 and Dance 7:30-9:30 PM – Free
August 24th – Rodeo 1:00-3:00 PM – $15
Presale tickets available on website at discounted price


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