Water Is An Important Political Issue Everywhere:The Battle For The Hetch Hetchy Valley

It is true isn’t it??  Water really is an important political issue everywhere you go and no matter where you live.

Why this post today?  Hetch HetchyYosemiteSan Fransisco.  Water.

I always traveled a lot.  For business and of course, for pleasure.  What is more fun for you and your family than to travel to new lands or to old familiar places, visiting friends and family, learning new languages and cultures.

When I was young, before I retired and air travel was luxurious, I sometimes would get on a plane Friday night after work, go somewhere and be back at my desk Monday morning.  I had friends in the airline industry and was lucky enough to do some flying for free on Stand-By.

One of the things I enjoyed no matter where I visited was to drive the local communities, get out in the countryside and see how people lived.  And you could not miss seeing what the hot-button political issues were.

And Number 1?  No matter where you were?  Water!

Everywhere there would be signs about local water issues, statewide water issues.

Signs covering each race, Republican or Democrat in the U.S., local parties in Canada or Mexico.  The fences in  the country would often be covered with signs about water.  Water Rights.  The cost of water.  The need to damn a river or a creek.  The desire to remove the turbines.  What politician was o n what side of the issue about water.

Signs covering opponents signs.

And nearly every sign asked for money.  Money to fight the good fight, whether that be Yes to a Dam or No to a reservoir.  They all wanted money.  And they wanted more money.

It was the same everywhere.  Moe water, Access to water.  Farmers needed it more.  Cities needed it more.  Developers needed it more.

My god.

So what started me on this tirade today?

Growing up my Grandmother was always against building dams and reservoirs.  Against sending “our” water to other areas and people.  They always trucked it out in the middle of the night sending it down south to Los Angeles.  And she just knew we needed it more.  And the farmers needed it the most.

Now there is a very significant political issue in California.  A water issue.

Even if you don’t live in California you have heard of the Yosemite Valley.  You may have even visited.  Or want to.

But you may not have heard of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

So what is the Hetch Hetchy and why is it important in 2012.

Hetch Hetchy is the long-lost geological twin of Yosemite.  Long-lost because California politicians and big businesses dammed the Tuolumne River and flooded the Hetch Hetchy Valley in  1923, after a decision a century ago, creating a reservoir that continues to provide water to the citizens of San Francisco and the surrounding areas even today.

Important today because the current citizens of San Francisco will soon vote on whether or not to “un-flood” the Hetch Hetchy and find new water supplies for the people of San Francisco.

How do you un-do a dam and a reservoir?  Where do you find water for more than a million people in a state that often is big-time thirsty due to droughts.

Understand this:  due to the decision 00 years ago to build the dam and flood the valley, sending the water to San Francisco, the people in the city today have pristine, pure drinking water coming out of their faucets.  I have no idea how much bottled drinking water is sold in San Francisco but I would bet it is much less on average than other California cities.

An unending supply of water for more than one million people, 7 of California’s population, the turbines in the dam provide hydroelectricity to homes and skyscrapers, streetlights & traffic signals, swimming pools, restaurants, and fun spots, and all of this for less than $30,000 per year.

Politics?  Money?  Big business?  City vs country?  Developer vs farmer??

It is all revisiting San Francisco and the State of California today.

Eventually it will be broadly understood what an abomination a reservoir in a valley like Yosemite Valley really is,” Donald Hodel, the former interior chief, told The Associated Press. “I think it will be hard to quell this idea (of restoration).  It is like ideas of freedom in a totalitarian regime. Once planted they are impossible to repress forever.”

Over the past decade, studies by the state and others have shown it’s possible for San Francisco to continue collecting water from the Tuolumne River further downstream.

But the city never seriously has considered giving up its claim to the valley.

“This is a ridiculous idea,” Mayor Ed Lee said. “It’s a Trojan Horse for those that wish to have our public tricked into believing we have an adequate substitute for the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. We do not. There isn’t any.”

Read more here
I don’t quite understand the current dynamics.  This Bee article above say the Republicans want to return Hetch Hetchy to its’ natural state while Democrats, led by Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein  want to leave it flooded.  That means the Republicans support John Muir and the Sierra Club??
I guess times have changed.  I don’t know the thinking of the current Sierra Club.  Perhaps they don’t want to see the natural beauty of the Hetch Hetchy Valley??  Yes, they do!   Read their thoughts right HERE.
 Even with Republican support. Even with Democratic opposition.
David Brower, former Executive Director of the Sierra Club  says in the above article “The Hodel proposal produced the expected panic in San Francisco. Mayor Dianne Feinstein wanted it shredded. Alarmists (and I can tell one when I see one) warned that the alternative to Hetch Hetchy would be the proposed and despised Auburn Dam and Peripheral Canal and other adjustments, the cost of which would probably total six billion dollars. The media reported all this with but a halfhearted attempt to check. A forester told them how long it would take the trees to grow, and a reclamation writer told how long it would take for the lake bed to dry out and be usable. The mayor understandably did not want San Francisco to lose the thirty million dollars a year from the sale of Hetch Hetchy project electricity.At the time I had been advocating that the Sierra Club initiate a second Remove Secretary Watt petition campaign, this time aimed at his successor. And now I was confronted with the need to praise Secretary Hodel for his brilliant suggestion. Here at last, I could assume, he had realized that because he had been wrong he didn’t have to stay wrong.”
 And I have no idea why the Republicans are supporting the effort, they are the folks who flooded it to start with right?  They must smell money somewhere in the deal.  Increased water rates, utility rates and more.
And the other side is afraid that San Francisco will lose their water, certainly their clean drinking water and that water and electricity will cost more.
I guess times have changed.  I think I just heard my old friend John Muir roll over in his grave!  Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet joining his beloved Sierra Club and supporting their causes?  What is it?  Opposite Day??
Do you Twitter?  You can follow @HetchHetchy  and @Sierra_Club and check out all of the Sierra Club Twitter accounts to find your local club.

May Day—Call To Action On May 1st, 2012

We have a Call To Action on May 1, 2012.

May Day!


May Day Meetings:

Wednesdays 6:00pm

at 33 West 14th St Saturdays 1:00pm

at Judson Church, 239 Thompson St in NYC


at 1:00pm

at 55 Washington Square South NYC

The meeting minutes to date have been posted online


What is #M1GS Occupy May 1st?

In most European countries, May 1st is traditionally a ‘Workers’ day – a day of Labor Solidarity, and a public holiday. In Los

Angeles, it’s a day to celebrate and march in support of im/migrant rights. In protest against the corruption of the worldwide

marketplace, which has led to illegal foreclosures, mass unemployment, low wages, high taxes and a penalization of all those who do

not own the ‘99%’ of the world’s resources, and in solidarity with the im/migrant movements of May 1st, OLA decided to declare

May 1st, 2012 a People’s General Strike. Instead of calling upon unionized Labor to make a specific demand (illegal under Taft-

Hartley), OLA is calling upon the people of Los Angeles and the United States of America to take this day away from school and the

workplace, so that their absence makes their displeasure with this corrupt system be known.”


Occupy The West Coast Ports—December 12, 2011

Longshore worker and crane operator Al Webster...

Image via Wikipedia

The Port Cities of the West Coast of  North America have called for a coordinated blockade and Occupations of the ports and the Occupied cities of:

@OccupyVancover  British Columbia  Canada  Website

@OccupySeattle  Washington   Website

@OPDX  Occupy Portland Oregon   Website

@OccupyOakland  California   No Website

@OccupyLA  Los Angeles, California   Website

@OccupySD  San Diego, California   Website

The blockade is in solidarity with the ILWU local in Longview, WA, which is fighting a move by giant grain and shipping companies to bust the union, so they can have cheaper labor.


All of these West Coast Port Cities have come together and will participate in a coordinated effort and shut down the ports in each and every city on the West Coast of North Americas on December 12th, as:

@OccupyThePort  aka:  WC Port Shut Down   Website

Tonight  (November 28th) Seattle and Vancouver join 5 other west coast cities in shutting down ports all along the West Coast on December 12th.  With this addition it means that every west coast occupation in a city with a port is now participating in the port blockade.  Together we (are) unstoppable.


Clarification on Nature of Call for West Coast Port Blockade

(from the WC Port Shut Down website above):

so that there is no confusion on intent and support for this significant action.

1. The port blockade is being called for by the west coast Occupy movements

2. The blockade is in solidarity with the ILWU local in Longview, WA, which is fighting a move by giant grain and shipping companies to bust the union, so they can have cheaper labor. The port action is also to support LA port truckers’ drive for union recognition at SSA, a port terminal operator – 51% owned by Goldman Sachs. The blockade is also intended to disrupt the profits of the 1% by showing solidarity with those in the 99% who are under direct attack by corporate tyranny – exerting the collective muscle of the west coast occupies.

3. The ILWU rank and file have historically honored community picket lines in the port — for example they refused to cross community picket lines to unload cargo from apartheid South Africa. They refused to cross picket lines at an Israeli ship protesting the Israeli blockade of Palestinians in Gaza.

4. The ILWU did not call for the November 2 general strike in Oakland, either. However, they did not cross the picket lines, set up by tens of thousands of people, including labor, community and student groups, at the Oakland ports. They have a history of honoring such picket lines.

5. The fact that the ILWU Coast Committee cautioned its members that if a similar situation develops on Dec. 12, longshoremen should stand by (our emphasis) in a safe area and await a decision by employers to call for an arbitrator. This is similar to past situations where ILWU members have honored community picket lines. It allows the ILWU a legal out, not to cross the lines, if the picket lines are large enough to pose a threat to their safety, as interpreted by the arbitrator.

6. ILWU Local 21, Longview, Washington, was strongly heartened and encouraged by the overwhelming support shown for them by the historic November 2 port shutdown in Oakland. Their local president spoke at Oakland Occupy’s rally last Saturday, thanking us for our support. He and other ILWU rank and file members marched with us that day.

December 2:

@OccupyMedford Oregon provides a press release

“Support Grows For West Coast Port Shutdown”

“We’re shutting down these ports because of the union busting and attacks on the  working class by the 1%: the firing of Port truckers organizing at SSA terminals  in LA; the attempt to rupture ILWU  union jurisdiction in Longview, WA by EGT.  EGT  includes Bunge LTD, a company which reported 2.5 billion dollars in profit last  year and has economically devastated poor people in Argentina and Brazil. SSA is  responsible for inhumane working conditions and gross exploitation of port  truckers and is owned by Goldman Sachs. EGT and Goldman Sachs  is Wallstreet on the Waterfront” stated Barucha Peller of the West Coast Port  Blockade Assembly of Occupy Oakland.”

Read more at the link above.

December 9th:

Military Veterans join the West Coast port shutown on December 12th.

OAKLAND/SAN FRANSISCO (December 9, 2011)—On December 12th, the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) Bay Area Chapter will march with the 99% as Occupy movements along the West Coast stage mass mobilizations to shutdown the hubs of commerce owned by the 1%.”

We thank you for your proud service.

Scott Olsen will march in the City of Oakland once again, the city he was cfritically injured in last month by a police projectile.  As of today it appears no officer has been disciplined for Olsen’s injuries suffered for merely demonstrating.

Olsen will demonstrate again.

December 11th:

The Oakland Education Association endorses the West Coast Port shutdown!!  Read the Press Release at the link.

More of Hawaii is now standing in solidarity with the Port shutdown as well.

Hilo, Waimea, Kona and Maui have now joined Hawaii’s call for solidarity with the West Coast Port shutdown.

The Tokyo General Union issues a full support of the December 12th West Coast Port shutdown at the link.

“22Tokyo General Union supports the upcoming West Coast Port Shutdown and the Occupy Movement.  We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters taking such a courageous action to end this system that brings untold riches to the 1% at the expense of the 99%”


Unionists Speak Out to support the December 12th West Coast Ports shutdown:

Watch the video at the link or below.  “Trade unionists and community activists held a press conference at the Port of Oakland on the call by the Occupy movement of all west coast ports on December 12, 2011. Speakers included trade unionists from the Oakland Education Association, National Postal Mail Handlers Workers LIUNA local 302 and ILWU Local 10 rank and file leader Clarence Thomas.”

In Oakland on December 12th:

In Oakland, The West Coast Port shutdown begins with a march from The West Oakland BART station at

  • 5:30am March to the Oakland/Alameda Port from West Oakland BART-
  • 12pm Rally @ 14th + Broadway-
  • 1:45 Angela Davis and Barbara Beckel

December 12th:

Early morning the (CHP) California Highway Patrol gets ready for a long day.

December 12, 2011   Remember This Date:

The Oakland Port was SHUT DOWN!

The West Coast Ports Were SHUT DOWN!

Recap of morning and early afternoon in Oakland California:

The crowd of more than 1,500 people moved quickly down the wide street to the port, with police cars leading the charge. As we arrived to the port, organizers began calling for 45-50 people to take over each terminal. Accordingly, a group would break off to seal an entrance as the rest surged onwardBy 10 a.m., Occupy Oakland organizer Boots Riley had declared a “major victory” explaining that “effectively the Port of Oakland was shutdown.” He said people could go home, but called on everyone to rally to Oscar Grant Plaza at 3 p.m. for a march to shutdown the evening shift at the port. ”


Occupy Your Own Front Lawn


Occupy Your Own Front Lawn

War on Error  has a great idea:

put a tent on your own front lawn and then we can start seeing hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of our own front lawns….Occupied!!! 

Thank you Daily Kos   @dailykos it’s excellent.

What would Mayors and Police Departments and City Councils and Bureaucrats do?

Will they start raiding my own front lawn? Throwing tear gas canisters into my pup tent?  Whack my dog with a baton?  Pull my grandmother out of her sleeping bag?  Turn over my cookstove?  Tear down my sign?

You don’t even have to sleep in your tent (some people can’t).

Holidays come, throw a string of lights on it & put on your Santa suit!

Hell, in some cities they probably would, but it’s not like they can say there is a curfew.  Or the property owner did not give you permission?

The more I think on this and write about it the more I like it and want to see it done.

Imagine how this could garner news.  We can get quite creative, actually.

We can each make an Occupy Statement on our front lawns if we have one.  Imagine the kids in the neighborhoods asking:

“Mom, why does that lady (whoever) on the corner have a tent in her yard?  And what does Occupy Wall Street mean?

Unite and Act Globally on October 15th: United For Global Change

On October 15th it is our chance to unite globally.

“We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us

People throughout the world are seeking change and asking for relief from oppressive systems and governments.  Just look at the Occupy Wall Street actions and the US citizens being arrested from East coast to West coast protesting against the big banker and silent politicians.

The Unite Globally website shows the list of sites worldwide with planned events.  Show your support for the struggles of the common man & woman.  Share the poster below.  Post it on your site, send it to your friends and tweeters, print it and hand it out.

Learn and tell others.  We can create global change if we unite.

“We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us

The live streaming website is here.

Click here for a list of October 15th Unity Day events worldwide.

Events in the United States of America include:

Washington D.C. starting on October 6th.  Their website is here and includes videos, a blog, and a toolkit

A Facebook page is here.

“Stop the machine!  Create a new world.”.

October 12th:

The 1% controls economies throughoput the world: The 99% are a slumbering giant who are beginning to stir in the U.S. and in other countries as well.

Join together on October 15th and send a message of unity!!

Much more at the link in both English and Spanish.

In New York City, Occupy Wall Street and others will Take Times Square.  More to come, check the link.

The Sacramento Comedy Festival, September 29th thru October 2nd

Sacramento will host the Comedy Festival in Midtown starting Thursday, September 29th through Sunday, October 2nd.

170 comedians will take to the stage during 17 different shows at The Sacramento Comedy Spot.

Where is the Comedy Spot?

1050 20th Street


You can find a map and directions here.

Brian Crall owns the Comedy Spot and is the primary coordinator of this event.  “Since the festival is all about including different types of comedy,” Crall said, “we try to offer every night a different sampling of each of those things.”

The festival will feature four different comedy mediums for folks to enjoy:

  • standup
  •  improv
  •  sketch
  • and film

Comedianswill be featured from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

What’s the cost?

$8 to $10 with a $12 charge for the Sunday Night San Francisco Standup Showcase.

Trevelen Rabanal, Artist & Bike Builder

If you are a fan of the Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-off series you have seen Trevelen Rabanal in his shoot out with Scott Long or vs Cox and Keino or vs Jesse James.

Trevelen came across as a bit of a hard case with a wicked sense of humor.

Trevelen is an artist and builds some sweet ass bikes.  His biggest influence was his dad, Benji “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” Rabanal. who raced flat-track bikes, boxed and surfed competitively in the 50s & 60s.  A lot of folks used (and still use) The Flyin’ Hawaiian nickname.

Twitter him @OGTREVELEN

Here is an interview with Trevelen in his Los Angeles shop, his “laboratory”.

He lost this arm wrestling vs Jesse James.  Good stuff…

In his 2010 interview in Street Chopper Magazine, Trevelen identifies his 70s influences and his love of the Sugar Bear front end.

His Super Company Customs built and modified some wicked Japanese cars and the bikes.  With the decline of the Fast and Furious car craze, Trevelen concentrated on bikes and his appearances on the Biker Build-off series thrust him and his Super Co into the custom bike spotlight.

Super Company Customs website is here.  Nice site.

This is part 3 of Trevelen’s interview about the “Industry”.  Check it out then you can watch the rest of this series on youTube.  I really don’t watch Sons Of Anarchy.  Seems kinda fakeish to me, but I think he broke down and appeared on the show.

Chica Custom Cycles

Chica is one of the great motorcycle buildersof our time  and has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-off series.

Chica’s Custom Cycles website is here.

Chica has a blog too, it is here.

Not only does Chica design and build some truly wicked choppers, he sells his own tins, wheels, modified frames, etc.







The shop is in it’s 15th year mof building great bikes.

Contact Info:

7522 Slater Ave., #126, Huntington Beach, CA 92647 U.S.A.
Phone: 714-842-9587           714-842-9587
 Fax: 714-842-9087
Email: info@chicacustom.com

Here is Chica’s shop.







Chica is originally from southern Japan and started out as a Honda mechanic who had a passion for Harleys.  Now he builds old school choppers with modern technology.  So they ride well, easier to maintain and all the modern doo-dads.

Let’s look at bikes!!




















I really like Chica’s choppers.  Great designs, yes.  But for me it’s how the design is carried out.  And these bikes are honest choppers and they flow from front to tail.  Nothing seems out of place and nothing seems to be added just to catch your eye.

Things are on the bike for function sake.  But they look beautiful too.  Beauty and function?  That is sweet.

Check this beast out.  I need to ear up just to look at it.  Some serious pipes.














If you are in SoCal or visiting Los Angeles go check out Chica’s shop.  Say hello and score yourself a sweet bike or wheels or just a T shirt.  Have fun.

My motor vehicles

I saw a blog today where the dude listed his cars, had photos and discussed their +’s & -‘s.

Somewhere I have pics of each (old timey printed photos from negatives). Do u kids even know what those r??

So until i find them and fry my scanner FZZZZZT getting them converted to digital, the list below will have to suffice.

late 50s Plymouth 2 door
friends of my mom gave me this car when their oldest son went in the Air Force and off to Libya. They bought it new and it was like 1970 when I got it. It had a pushbutton transmission which was cool cool cool. But it had electrical gremlins which created an untraceable short which drained the battery. Lots of pushing. Someone had also poured hot oil all over it. Untouchable stains. They repainted but it still leaked thru.

1962 Volkwagon Bug
How could you go to college in late 60s/early 70s without a Bug?? Loved that car. went thru 2 engines. Eventually traded it for the Cutlass.

early 60s English Ford 2 door
I bought this from the guy across the street in like 1975. Never saw another. Like he told me “when you can start it up it just runs and runs. Of course starting it was often a problem. Unless you pushed it. Traded it for a 10 speed bike and a horn from a big horn sheep.

1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass 2 door (can you see i like coupes??)
I bought this in 1979. big special order 403ci V8, HD brakes and trasmission. Yellow hard top with tan interior and bench seat. Great car, hot looking, chick magnet. I owned it for like 23 years and eventually donated it for the tax deduction.

2002 Nissan Maxima. Tannish/brownish/goldish color. they called it sandstone think.
Sweet ride. Never had a problem. Traded it in for the Acura.

2004 Acura TL. Might have been my favorite if my Caddy wasn’t listening.
I wanted the white one but they gave me a discount on the dark gray. I came to love that color and the car took a zillion trips (as did the others) to Tahoe, Monterey, Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Francisco environs etc.

2008 Cadillac CTS. I traded in the Acura.
Big 304hp DI V6. The CTS is all creases and angles. From the front (or in your rearview) it looks like a big ole caddy. but it’s actually a mid-size car. I love it and I’m glad i bought it.

Next car:
Hard to say but I still want the Porsche Cayman and love the ride of the E Class Merc. But I love trucks….just not the mileage part. And bad ass bikes……just not the crashing part.

we shall see. what have you driven? favorite? photos??