Call it a coincidence, but on Nov. 7 hard-right political activist and blogger Russ Steele wrote: “Ecoomic Impact of Agriculture in Nevada County is declining.”
It was a politically twisted account, stating “The left thinks that more sustainable local farming will give Nevada County an economic advantage, creating more local wealth as we shop local in year round farmers markets.”
Then The Union runs a front-page headline this week reading, “Revenue from agriculture declines in Nevada County.”
To its credit, it pointed out that registered organic growers have increased by 37 percent over the same period — a detail that Steele ignored all together. It also pointed out that the timber industry’s decline was more the culprit.
But then it stated, with an alarmist tone: “The decline in 2010 marks at least the 10th year in a row that agricultural revenue has declined in Nevada County. Income has decline about 45 percent since 2001, according to the report.”
No kidding. This is not “news,” because it reflect the long-term decline of the timber business — once the mainstay of our economy. As we’ve stated many times before, we need to diversify beyond timber-based businesses such as construction and real estate.
We’re in the middle of “the great re-set.”
And as the article pointed out: “Supervisor Nate Beason said he is hopeful the timber industry can rebound in Nevada County, especially considering companies have figured a way to harvest trees using methods alternative to clear-cutting.”
In short, you have to wonder how The Union decides what is front-page “news,” especially when it comes in the same week that The Union publisher sat at the same table as Steele and his far-right blogging pals at a tea party patriot luncheon.
The local hard-right political activist Russ Steele (a former county transportation commissioner and ERC board member) once had a blog called “NC Media Watch.”
But it was misnamed, because he wasn’t a media “watchdog” after all. Instead, it promoted his extreme politics and vehement anti-global warming agenda (along with the few like-minded friends who comment there). If he lost the argument on merit, he (and his friends) launched into personal attacks.
Russ dropped the blog, and said he was retiring. But that didn’t last long.
Now Russ has launched a blog called “Is it 2012 in Nevada County Yet?” He promised to keep it focused on the upcoming political campaigns. But instead, Russ has let it wander all over the map, including the comments.
These poor fellows can’t seem to stay on topic. Russ needs to rename it (again). Let’s be honest: Russ is really a hard-right political activisit — and always has been.
“A Cobb County jury holds the fate of who controls and owns the rights to the ‘Tea Party Patriots’ name in a trial between two recognized figures within the two and a half year old Tea Party Movement,” according to Renew America.
“At odds are two founders of Tea Party Patriots organization — Roswell, GA resident, Amy Kremer (currently Chairman of Tea Party Express), and TPP President, Jenny Beth Martin, of Kennesaw, GA — co-workers after CNBC reporter, Rick Santelli called for ‘a tea party’ in protest to a pending stimulus bill by President Barak Obama and Congress in February of 2009.
“The Woodstock-based Tea Party Patriots Inc. alleges that Amy Kremer, who lives in the Roswell area of Cobb, wrongly retained control of the group’s email list and intellectual property, including its trademark name and websites, after she was removed as a member of the group’s board of directors in September 2009. — Marietta Daily Journal. Both sides are suing for punitive damages and attorney fees.
“Now more than two and half years after the two women began working on tea parties together, Kremer sat on the witness stand telling her side of why in September following the 9/12 March on Washington that drew an estimated 1.2 million at the Capitol she was ‘kicked off a board that I never agreed to be a part of.’
“I was ‘set up’ by Martin and other initial organizers: Mark Meckler, a lawyer from Sacramento, CA; Rob Neppell who Kremer says became involved by ‘default’ when another initial organizer Michael Patrick Leahy of TCOT (Top Conservatives on Twitter), recommended Neppell’s technical involvement; and legal counsel, Doug Chalmers, a political law attorney from Atlanta suggested by Martin in May of 2009.
“Tea Party Patriots grew exponentially following the March on Washington in numbers of members and donations. Martin has given interviews nationally claiming millions of members and thousands of local groups under the umbrella of the corporation since then. Donations are solicited through its website, emails and other promotional pieces on a regular basis. Martin testified that early on she was the only one paid early on and Meckler added, ‘It wasn’t based on the volume of work but the need…Jenny Beth couldn’t remain working.’
The rest of the article is here.
“The spire of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge eastern span majestically climbs hundreds of feet above the bay, an emerging icon of California’s engineering and aesthetic prowess,” according to the Sacramento Bee.
“Scheduled for completion and public use in 2013 at a projected cost of $6.3 billion, the bridge is the largest public works project in state history. Its designers placed one quality above all others: the strength to withstand the strongest anticipated earthquake.
“Yet a Bee investigation has found that the state Department of Transportation technician who conducted key testing to ensure structural integrity of the span’s foundation was later disciplined for fabricating test results on other projects. The technician, Duane Wiles, also failed to verify that his testing gauge was operating properly, as required by Caltrans to ensure the gauge’s accuracy, before he examined parts of the Bay Bridge tower foundation.”
“When Caltrans officials became aware of the problems with Wiles they did not thoroughly investigate his earlier work – despite public safety concerns raised by other test employees and an anonymous whistleblower.”
The rest of the article is here.
“Caterpillar Inc. said it plans to shift production of small construction machinery from Japan to a new plant in North America that is expected to employ more than 1,000 people,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The new plant, whose location wasn’t identified, will become the company’s global source for small bulldozers and mini-hydraulic excavators. It also will export partially assembled mini-excavators to Europe to improve delivery times for European customers.
“Caterpillar, which is based in Peoria, Ill., said it expects to begin construction during the first half of 2012.
“Compact machinery originated from Japan’s cramped urban centers where full-sized machinery is too large for many job sites. But the small machinery has become ubiquitous on construction sites in the U.S. and Europe, performing a variety of tasks from moving gravel to digging holes for building foundations.
“‘The markets for smaller track-type tractors and mini-excavators have evolved significantly in the past 30 years, with the majority of customers now located in North America and Europe,’ said Mary Bell, vice president for Caterpillar’s Building Construction Products division. ‘Producing these machines at a North American location will put us in the best possible position to serve our customers in the building construction industry.’”
The rest of the article is here.