Mar 19, 2017
Mark Baird, spokesman for the State of Jefferson movement, will be sharing information on the “lack of representation” lawsuit with the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors at their meeting on March 21, 2017. Time is 10 a.m.
Attend if you would like to know where the lawsuit stands and what the next step is likely to be.
Mar 18, 2017
March 16, 2017
Senator Ted Gaines
Capitol Office State Capitol, Room 3076
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: CPUC Commissioner Liane Randolph
Conflict of Interest
Dear Senator Gaines,
As you are aware there is a matter of great significance being adjudicated at the CPUC regarding the request of PacifiCorp to have the CPUC authorize the Amended KHSA agreement signed this past year by Governors Brown of California and Oregon respectively and to approve of the transfer of four hydroelectric facilities to a newly formed non- profit corporation, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC). PacifiCorp has asked the CPUC to authorize in addition the transfer of approx. $250,000,000 of State funds and a finding that the KRRC is qualified to receive the ratepayer surcharge trust funds as well as the State Bond money. The sole purpose of the KRRC is to destroy these hydroelectric facilities.
The County of Siskiyou Board of Supervisors and the Siskiyou County Water Users have each filed a cross Petition with the CPUC raising some very sensitive and important points including but not limited to the issue of lack of experience and background by KRRC, as well as their lack of financial strength that would insure that the project if carried out and substantial bio remediation and a catastrophic failure result could be ameliorated. We raise these questions out of a serious concern regarding the protection and security that would be afforded to Siskiyou County and its citizens by such a novice organization. As you know we have no voice in the process as the agencies involved have deliberately and with malice kept our County officials from being able to have a voice in the destruction to take place.
The question of a conflict of interest on the part of Commissioner Randolph is of great concern and we look to you as our Senator to get to the bottom of it. Commissioner Randolph has recently been put into an oversight position by Governor Brown apparently to make certain that the ALJ involved is guided in the desired direction. Commissioner Randolph in the past 30 days was selected to replace Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen as oversight on this matter. Among other issues this is a blatant affront to all parties involved because Commissioner Randolph acted as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel at the California Natural Resources Agency and according to the record was the point person in the agency for its efforts to destroy the Klamath Dams as she was handling their efforts with regard to the Klamath River Restoration and Dam Removal process. Furthermore it should be pointed out that the California
Natural Resources Agency is a signatory to the Amended KHSA and therefore has a vested interest in seeing that the agreement is carried out including the authorization by the CPUC to transfer PacifiCorp’s interest in the dams to the KRRC. The Director of the Natural Resources Agency of California in order to carry out their efforts granted without reservation an amount of TWENTY-FIVE MILLION DOLLARS ($25,000,000) on October 12, 2016 as an advance on a TWO HUNDRED FIFTY MILLION DOLLAR ($250,000,000) grant to KRRC. The grant of funds was signed by Tom Gibson General Counsel to the Agency and by Bryan Cash, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Agency. According to the amended KHSA this was a grant with no “claw back” provision. The Amended KHSA Page 11 Clause 2 states that “KRRC shall have legal control over the disbursement of funds; disbursements are not contingent on other factors or subject to claw- back ….”. We have only just learned of the existence of this grant as part of a package application submitted to the FERC indicating that the KRRC was financially capable of carrying out the destruction of the Klamath Dams. I would note that the FERC has been purposely misled because without the approval of the CPUC the KRRC cannot receive the funds.
Senator Gaines, we request that you carry out an investigation of this matter as soon as possible to prevent a miscarriage of justice by the CPUC. We would be happy to provide you with additional information as required. Time is of the essence as this matter is before the CPUC ALJ as this is written.
Siskiyou County Water Users Assoc.
cc: Michael Kobseff
Chairman Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors
Mar 15, 2017
The ruling by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, responding to a bitter 2013 clash in one of California’s wealthiest casino tribes and ensuing litigation, effectively rejected claims that the tribe “imposed unlawful restraints” on the “liberty” of Tavares and three other members by cutting off their income and banning them from United Auburn properties.
In October, 2013, Tavares and the other members brought legal action, filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento as a writ of habeas corpus under the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act. She charged that the tribal council for the United Auburn Indian Community wrongly denied her $40,000 a month in benefits and bonuses, based on casino profits, and illegally banished her for 10 years.
Tavares was stripped of payments for 3 1/2 years, starting in 2011, reduced by the tribe from an original sanction of four years. The others were denied payments of $30,000 and up for five months and given a two-year banishment, a punishment since expired.
Tavares and the other plaintiffs – Dolly Suehead, Barbara Suehead and Donna Caesar – were part of an unsuccessful recall effort against five tribal council members that focused on the dissidents’ protests over what they charged were excessive legal fees paid to the firm of tribal attorney Howard Dickstein. The lawyer contended he had provided “a phenomenal net benefit to the tribe.”
The 9th Circuit upheld a district court ruling that rejected the Tavares’ faction’s habeas corpus claim on grounds that federal courts lacked authority to intervene in internal tribal politics.
“We ground our opinion in two fundamental principles in the Indian law canon – tribal sovereignty and congressional primacy in Indian affairs,” wrote Judge M. Margaret McKeown in the court’s decision. “We have long recognized that Indian tribes are ‘distinct, independent communities, retaining their original natural rights.’ ”
In a partial dissent, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw supported the ruling that the court couldn’t intervene by overturning the tribe’s financial sanctions against the members. But Wardlaw wrote that United Auburn’s continuing 10-year-banishment order against Tavares “severely restrains her liberty and constitutes ‘detention’ under the Indian Civil Rights Act” and, thus can be overturned by the courts.
“Taveras presents us with precisely the kind of case over which Congress intended to establish federal jurisdiction: having exercised her right to free expression,” Wardlow wrote, adding “Tavares suffered retaliation … in the form of ‘severe restrains on individual liberty’ not shared by other members of her tribe.”
According to court documents, Tavares and the other members were sanctioned for claims in their recall petition that raised “a litany of allegations” against tribal council members, including ‘financial mismanagement, retaliation, electoral irregularity (and) denial of due process.’ ”
The tribal council ruling, which banned the members from tribal events, offices and properties other than the members’ own homes, was also imposed because the tribal government ruled the Taveres’ faction wrongfully took its grievances to the news media, including The Sacramento Bee in “a sensationalized publicity stunt.”
Tavares served as chairwoman of the tribe for many years. She led the group when it opened its wildly successful casino on Highway 65 in 2003.
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Mar 15, 2017
March 14, 2017
NOME — Mitch Seavey just had the race of his life.
The 57-year-old musher from Sterling won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday, shattering the speed record by nearly eight hours to steal the title of fastest Iditarod musher ever from his much-younger son, Dallas.
Mitch remains the race’s oldest champion and has notched three wins in 13 years, his last in 2013 at age 53.
“Fifty-seven used to be old, and it’s not anymore. I’m just letting you know that,” Seavey said at a press conference after the race, his statement met by applause in the crowded building near the finish line.
‘Old guys rule’
In 4-degree temperatures Tuesday, Seavey pulled under the burled arch on Nome’s snowy Front Street with a team of 11 dogs, led by 4-year-old Pilot and 5-year-old Crisp.
Crowds lined the street, cheering on the team and taking photographs. One person held a sign that read, “Old guys rule.”
Seavey, in a puffy, red parka with a thick ruff, got off his sled and walked to the front of his team, praising the sled dogs along the way.
“Good dogs,” he told them, icicles stuck to his mustache. “Good dogs.”
He gave each dog a snack and then talked about the teamwork that allowed him to demolish the race record, arriving to Nome in 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes to win an exceptionally fast race. (Dallas set the prior record at age 29 in 2016 at 8 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes.)
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Mitch Seavey said of his team’s speed throughout the race, which started March 6, in Fairbanks, and featured a temperature swing of at least 70 degrees, with lows reaching 40 and 50 below in its early days.
A month before the Iditarod began, race officials said they planned to move the official start north, from Willow to Fairbanks. The course out of Fairbanks includes more running on frozen rivers in comparison to the Willow route that sends mushers over the Alaska Range.
But, Seavey said he didn’t know if the course necessarily contributed to the fast race.
“I’m not sure whether it’s slower to go a couple hundred miles on the Yukon at 50 below or take a little hop over the Alaska Range,” he said. Still, he gave the trail the grade of “A-minus.”
‘Let ’em roll’
Throughout much of the 1,000-mile course, Seavey’s team held its speed, allowing him to pull away from the other frontrunners.
“They love speed,” Seavey said of his sled dogs. “I think it frustrated them to go too slow, so I just let ’em roll. It was scary because I’ve never gone that far that fast ever, but that’s what they wanted to do and maybe it’s a new chapter.”
Seavey’s team recorded runs that averaged 10 and 11 mph between some checkpoints and the separation he built over other racers gave him the flexibility to bank generous rest for his dogs, and himself, as they moved up the Norton Sound coast in the race’s final days.